Gin Ichimaru (市丸 ギン Ichimaru Gin ) is the captain of the 3rd Division in the Gotei 13 until he betrays Soul Society, and after that he becomes a commander inSōsuke Aizen's arrancar army. His lieutenant was Izuru Kira. Gin's most distinguishing characteristic is his expression; with his slitted eyes and ever-present grin, his face looks like that of a fox. Ichigo derisively nicknames him "fox-face" in their first meeting because of this (in the English dub, he instead replies with a more generalized insult). He also has unusual silver hair, which has a purple tint to it in the anime; his name refers to his hair color, gin (銀, "silver"). Gin rarely removes his smile or opens his eyes; his eyes open when he is significantly annoyed or angry.
Gin Ichimaru's zanpakutō is Shinsō (神鎗, literally "Divine spear"). It takes the form of a wakizashi when sealed. The guard is shaped like an 'S'. Shinsō's shikai is triggered by the phrase "shoot to kill" (射殺せ ikorose ); in the anime, this was slightly changed to the declarative ikorosu. In the English translation of the series, the phrase is inconsistent between uses, but mostly describes stabbing (slay, impale, pierce). Another trigger phrase, used in the first Soul Society arc, was "Shoot 'em dead". Its first rendering in the Viz translation was "skewer that punk". In its shikai, Shinsō's blade glows white and extends at high speed to impale Gin's opponents. In addition to making it a deadly long-range weapon, the extending blade also carries tremendous force without affecting Gin, making it useful for dislodging heavy objects, as seen when Gin pushes bothIchigo Kurosaki and the giant Jidanbō out from under the Seireitei gate, despite Jidanbō being firmly braced under it. Once extended, Gin can maintain the blade's length and swing Shinsō in wide arcs, simultaneously attacking multiple targets with speed and ease. While it has not been seen in the actual series, various Bleach console games have depicted Shinsō as having additional abilities. In Bleach: The Blade of Fate, Bleach: Dark Souls, and Bleach: Shattered Blade, Gin fires Shinsō into the sky and swords similar to Shinsō's unreleased state rain all around him. In Bleach: Blade Battlers Gin shoots Shinsō into the ground and the blade hits the opponent from underneath, whereas in Bleach: Heat the Soul 5, a wave of blades instead shoots up from the ground to hit the opponent.