are a race of spiritual beings that act as enforcers and psychopomps who all share similar supernatural powers. They are souls with a high level of innate Spiritual Energy, recruited from the ranks of the residents and nobility of the Soul Society. Like all spirits, they cannot be detected by normal humans. Soul Reapers use their Zanpakutō, supernatural swords that are the manifestation of their owners' power, to perform soul burials on Pluses. Shinigami also use their Zanpakutō as well as magic known as Kidō to fight their arch-enemies, the Hollows (Formerly) Heroes (Current). Soul Reapers are souls that have supernatural powers. As such, their bodies are composed of Spiritrons (spirit particles) instead of atoms. This means that just like most other types of spirits, they can only be seen by other spiritually aware entities, which excludes most humans. Nevertheless, they are quite capable of influencing their environment. When souls with exceptional spiritual energy train their bodies, they reach the level of Soul Reapers. The most talented of them become affiliated with various organizations like the Thirteen Court Guard Companies and the Stealth Force. Sometimes, a Soul Reaper is born among the residents of the Rukongai, and in some rare cases from Seireitei.

Soul Reapers are the personification of death. Their job is to send spirits to the Soul Society (the afterlife) in order to maintain a balance of souls between it and the material world, and to exorcise evil spirits. Because of their duties Soul Reapers possesses supernatural abilities such as:

  • Longevity: While they can age and die of natural causes or as a result of physical injury as regular humans, Soul Reapers have extended life-spans and it is not uncommon for one to live for thousands of years.
  • Enhanced Endurance: While they can be injured and die like regular humans, it takes considerably greater injuries for the latter to occur than it would in regular humans.
  • Reiryoku: Soul Reapers also naturally give off Spiritual Energy, which varies greatly in magnitude with the strength of a Soul Reaper. Additionally, unlike humans, they do not have to eat anything to sustain themselves, though they engage in the act none the less as Soul Reaper and other spiritual beings only become hungry when they used too much Spiritual Energy within a short amount of time.
  • Kidō: The technique that Soul Reapers use to focus their Spiritual Energy into magic spells of various powers.
  • Hohō: A variety of techniques associated with movement, including jumping and shunpo (flash step).
  • Zanpakutō: The most prominent supernatural power possessed by a Soul Reaper is their Zanpakutō, a supernatural sword (which can be in the form of any kind of Japanese sword) generated from the Soul Reaper's soul. A Zanpakutō is a physical manifestation of this force concentrated into a blade.[2]All Soul Reapers have a Zanpakutō, but not all of them carry one with them.

Soul Reaper operations are based out of the Soul Society, where departed human souls reside. Travel between the human world and Soul Society is extremely limited and monitored, but some Soul Reapers are stationed in the human world to carry out their duties and therefore must often travel between the two.

It is also implied that Soul Reapers receive salaries, like workers in the real world.

Also there are some soul reapers who are evil to the core and have gain power that transcends above Gods and Devils. Such as Soifon's Lover Dark Emperor and the former Captain of Squad 5, Sosuke Aizen.