"That is a logical thought. But if you had asked me, I would have placed us above both." Li takes the paper back and draws a Shinigami wielding a Zanpakuto above the two other drawings, slightly to the right so it's more above the Human than the Hollow.

"Humans have freedom of thought, but are limited by karma. Hollows have freedom from karma, but they are limited by instinct. We Shinigami, who have already died and passed judgement of Heavens, are free from both. But, that freedom is balanced on our duty to help others who die to move on. Both Human and Hollow."

Li puts the pen down and hangs the paper before Koutarou so he can take a good look of it. "Only a limited set of souls ever display spiritual power. This trait is not unique to a certain incarnation, either. Someone who has once been a Shinigami, often will become one in further incarnations as well. It is not easy to spot, however, because Shinigami live such long time as spirits compared to ordinary souls. It is likely we only live that long so that we can successfully commit to our tasks. A wheel needs to be sturdy to last for the whole journey, to use an analogue. In that sense, we are less fortunate than either humans or Hollows. In the time they will go through multiple lives, happy or sad, we remain burdened by a single duty."

"But I'm getting sidetracked. Let's continue with pictures. An Arrancar is, supposedly, a Hollow that has overcome its instincts. Where would you place them on this paper?"