The anime renaissance is upon us all, and it’s been a wild time for old-school fans. Somehow, the Big 3 of the days gone by are back again, on screen, at the same time. However, the fact that Bleach came back after almost a full decade of hiatus did nothing to deter its popularity in the mainstream. And with new fans showing their interest, I think it’s time we got a little refresher course on the legendary manga Bleach’s lore – revolving around the power of Bankai.
After all, what is a Shonen show without some cool powers and weapons added to the mix? Bleach has long been known for its themes involving spirituality and the dead. And its weapon arsenal reflects that. The Zanpakutō are the universal weapon that is the main asset for every faction present in the franchise. From the Shinigami to the Arrancar, the thing that sets them apart is the Bankai AKA the upgrade that takes it from a normal sword to a beacon of power.
And there are so many Bankai out there, all with various different abilities and powers. A good Bankai can make or break a battle, similarly to the swordsman who wields it. And it is what gives them an edge above the rest. Think of Bankai like an upgrade, an addition made to supplement a good sword and make it even better. It needs to be tailor-made to the person who owns it. And because the Zanpakutō are a part of the bearer’s soul, it’s necessary that adding the Bankai doesn’t take a huge toll on them.
So, out of all the various ones we have seen throughout the history of Bleach, which ones are the middling rankers and which ones are the crème de la crème? Let’s list them down in today’s segment of Get Ranked! These are the Bankai in Bleach, from the worst to the very best. Let’s get started!
Table of contents
- 21. Mukōjōchū Muramasa
- 20. Ryūmon Hōzukimaru
- 19. Tekken Tachikaze
- 18. Sōō Zabimaru
- 17. Kinshara Butōdan
- 16. Jakuhō Raikōben
- 15. Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū
- 14. Kokujō Tengen Myō’ō
- 13. Tensa Zangetsu
- 12. Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō
- 11. Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame
- 10. Nozarashi
- 9. Kamishini no Yari
- 8. Enma Kōrogi
- 7. Senbonzakura Kageyoshi
- 6. Minazuki
- 5. Hakka no Togame
- 4. Karamatsu Shinjū
- 3. Daiguren Hyōrinmaru
- 2. Zanka no Tachi
- 1. Shin’uchi
21. Mukōjōchū Muramasa
This Bankai belongs to a certain ex-Kuchiki clan member, and reflects the resentment of its owner. Mukōjōchū Muramasa isn’t a subtle power upgrade, considering how it manifests into the true spirit of the Zanpakutō when called upon.
Hell, Kōga Kuchiki doesn’t even have to be nearby for it to happen. The Mukōjōchū Muramasa can act independently and send out a burst of energy that affects all Bankai in the vicinity.
20. Ryūmon Hōzukimaru
Imagine a Bankai that only got stronger the more it was targeted. Because that is exactly what Ryūmon Hōzukimaru is capable of doing.
The Bankai itself is like amalgamation of three weapons in one, so no wonder its owner, Ikkaku Madarame, is known for his melee skills. When the Bankai’s crest is fully red from all the damage it has taken or dealt, it can showcase its true power.
19. Tekken Tachikaze
The Tekken Tachikaze might not be one of the most powerful Bankai out there, but it’s certainly unique in its appearance. Armed by one of the least loved Captains in the Gotei 13, this Bankai has the appearance of fingerless gloves with blades in the knuckle area.
This allows Kensei Muguruma to put some real power in the punches he throws!
18. Sōō Zabimaru
Hihiō Zabimaru might be low on our list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a formidable Bankai. With its powers that didn’t even recognize its owner, Renji Abarai, initially, it has certainly come a long way.
Now, Renji is respected by the spirit that resides in his Zanpakutō and has the power to transform it into spine-like Shikai, similar to that of a snake’s. And its bite is just as deadly, where bursts of energy help it to latch onto its enemy.
17. Kinshara Butōdan
A psychedelic Bankai? That’s exactly what the Kinshara Butōdan is.
Rojuro Otoribashi’s special weapon takes the form of a golden whip that can create hallucinations. Think the magician’s slight, where Rojuro uses music and imagery to deceive his enemies. And as long as they are caught up in that illusion, the damage his Bankai is inflicting is very, very real.
16. Jakuhō Raikōben
I personally love the Jakuhō Raikōben that Suì-Fēng weilds because there are no bells and whistles here. It’s a giant freaking missile launcher, on the shoulders of a very petite girl.
And it’s so absurd because of how fast and agile Suì-Fēng is, her Bankai is equally bulky and totally not her style. Still, it certainly packs a punch!
15. Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū
Ah yes, the Thor’s Hammer of Bleach. Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū has the ability to rain down literal thunder and lightning from the sky when called upon by its owner, Captain Commander Yamamato.
Yes, the same guy who was once the most powerful Soul Reaper. No wonder his weapon is as deadly as him!
14. Kokujō Tengen Myō’ō
Gundams? In Bleach? Apparently, it’s more likely than you’d think! This Bankai has the ability to turn into a giant creature, completely clad in a suit of armor.
This reflects its owner, Captain Sajin Komamura, and his own imposing physique. And the Bankai itself is left being immune to any physical damage.
13. Tensa Zangetsu
Despite being Ichigo Kurosaki’s famed Bankai, it’s still fairly nondescript.
However, don’t let that fool you. This Bankai grants Ichigo enhanced powers alongside having the capability to injure a literal Quincy God.
12. Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō
A venomous weapon meant for a seedy wielder; the Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō is certainly on the weirder end of Bankai.
Why? Because it transforms into a giant baby that breathes out a deadly poison and neurotoxin that can also self-destruct at will.
11. Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame
This is one of the coolest Bankai out there. Echoing Kisuke Urahara’s brilliant mind, this Bankai can basically dissect through the things it comes across, leaving them restructured and plain useless.
However, it’s cool because not only can it use its power to destroy, but also heal those around it.
The Nozarashi was one of the most anticipated Bankai for fans out there and it’s easy to see why.
With the power to turn its owner into a demonic figure wielding a giant axe, it’s certainly a dramatic weapon that fits its owner, Kenpachi Zaraki.
9. Kamishini no Yari
This is another Bankai that is just really frightening in practice. With speed rivaled by none, Kamishini No Yari can literally melt its targets from their very core.
Think cellular dispersion but way, way scarier. It’s not hard to see how Gin Ichimaru almost got away with killing Sōsuke Aizen using it.
8. Enma Kōrogi
And speaking of, Aizen isn’t exactly lacking in the weapons department either. Just like his charisma, his Bankai is equally as engrossing.
Enma Kōrogi literally creates a black hole-type space, and those caught in it, lose every one of their senses until they are a mere, numb mess. Pretty scary stuff.
7. Senbonzakura Kageyoshi
How about a blade that’s just even more blades?
Byakuya Kuchiki’s Bankai is the definition of extra because of how hard it goes on the offense. It basically summons an arsenal of weapons to cut down its enemies in record time, leaving no inch unscathed.
Retsu Unohana really knows how to balance her reputation. Where her Shikai is a gentle creature that heals, her Bankai is a monster that can inflict so much damage.
Taking the appearance of a bloodied sword, the Minazuki is like an acid that can melt beings to their very skeleton within seconds, leaving behind nothing but empty, caustic remains.
5. Hakka no Togame
It’s my girl Rukia Kuchiki’s turn! And of course, best girl gets one of the best upgrades.
Hakka No Togame can create this ominous mist that can freeze opponents on impact, with Rukia herself at its core. And once a person is caught in her swirling mists, they crumble away into nothing.
4. Karamatsu Shinjū
Ah yes, what could be deadlier than a Bankai that gives you literal depression?
I’m not exaggerating when I say Shunsui Kyōraku’s Bankai is a literal torture device. It inflicts its pain in four parts, with the last being severing its opponent’s head using a mere string. Creepy, to say the least.
3. Daiguren Hyōrinmaru
Think Rukia’s ice powers, but somehow even more stronger?
Tōshirō Hitsugaya’s youthful appearance might throw you off but his Bankai is no joke. He can flash freeze anything on a whim and nullify his opponents’ spiritual energy.
2. Zanka no Tachi
Looks like Yamamoto continued his strongest Soul Reaper streak with this Bankai as well.
Ryūjin Jakka has the ability to burn brighter and fierier than any other sword out there, reducing its enemies to mere ash. They say Yamamoto himself reached 15 million degrees when using it, but that’s neither here nor there.
What’s stronger than a weapon that can negate every other weapon around it?
It comes as no surprise that the Shin’uchi comes in at the very top. When Ichibē Hyōsube unleashes his Bankai, its black ink becomes this marker that, if touched, can absorb an individual’s powers and leave them useless.
But it can also give power as Ichibē pleases. For example, if he rewrites your name with the ink as an ant, you are reduced to the power of one. Talk about OP!