10 most powerful Bankai in Bleach (anime + manga)

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Bleach is a classic series that can easily be recognized just by the title. It has been in the anime and manga universe for a while, capturing quite a lot of attention from people who are into adventure fantasy thrillers.

In Bleach, Bankai is the ultimate ability that a Shinigami can achieve and the strongest of them are extremely powerful and destructive. Each is unique and provides its owner with various abilities and strengths that can be used to overcome even the toughest opponents.

The most powerful Bankai are often characterized by their extraordinary power and versatility, as well as their ability to manipulate reality or energy in some way. They may also have significant drawbacks such as the risk of harming the user’s body or mind, or causing severe damage if not used correctly.

In general, the Bankai abilities in Bleach showcase the immense creativity and imagination of the series’ creator, Tite Kubo, and have contributed to its status as one of the most popular shonen anime and manga series of all time.

Disclaimer: This article is subjective and reflects the writer’s views.

10 most powerful Bankai in Bleach: Tensa Zangetsu, Kyoka Suigetsu, and more

1) Ichigo Kurosaki’s Tensa Zangetsu

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Ichigo Kurosaki’s Tensa Zangetsu in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Ichigo’s Bankai, known as Tensa Zangetsu, transforms his sword into a long and thin blade with immense cutting power. This is one of the strongest in the series and can release powerful energy blasts, making it highly versatile in combat. Tensa Zangetsu also grants Ichigo extraordinary speed and strength, enabling him to quickly defeat his foes. It can fly and compress and release vast amounts of spiritual energy, causing severe damage to his enemies.

Ichigo has employed his Tensa Zangetsu Bankai in several confrontations throughout Bleach. He has used it against formidable adversaries like Captain Byakuya Kuchiki, Espada Ulquiorra Cifer, and Yhwach. Moreover, Ichigo has also utilized his Bankai in several other battles against powerful opponents, including Aizen, Ginjo, and Quilge Opie.

2) Sosuke Aizen’s Kyoka Suigetsu

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Sosuke Aizen’s Kyoka Suigetsu in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Aizen’s Bankai, Kyoka Suigetsu, enables him to produce potent illusions that can manipulate various senses, including the perception of time. It’s one of the most dreaded in the series since the illusions can be challenging to counter.

Kyoka Suigetsu can deceive an opponent into thinking that they are still battling even after the conflict has ended. The illusions are so compelling that they can even influence the perception of other Shinigami, making it tough for them to realize they are under its sway. Furthermore, the Bankai can create a replica of Aizen, adding another level of complexity to the opponent’s confusion.

Aizen used his Kyoka Suigetsu Bankai in several pivotal battles in the Bleach series. One of the most notable was his encounter with Captain Sajin Komamura, where he used it to deceive Komamura and make him attack a fellow captain.

He also used it in the Fake Karakura Town arc while fighting against Ichigo and other Shinigami, where he created a realistic illusion of himself to distract them while he hid elsewhere. Additionally, Aizen utilized his Bankai in his final showdown with Ichigo, creating an illusory world to try and ensnare him.

3) Kenpachi Zaraki’s Nozarashi

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Kenpachi Zaraki’s Nozarashi in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Kenpachi’s Bankai, Nozarashi, boosts his already enormous strength and speed to even greater levels, making it effortless for him to slice through most foes. Unlike other Bankais, it doesn’t require a specific command to activate and can be summoned solely by Kenpachi’s determination.

Nozarashi concentrates on enhancing Kenpachi’s physical capabilities, such as his strength, speed, and resilience. Additionally, the Bankai can absorb and redirect the energy from any attacks aimed at Kenpachi, making him almost invincible.

Kenpachi Zaraki used his Bankai, Nozarashi, in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc’s final fight against Gerard Valkyrie, the Sternritter leader. Initially struggling against Gerard’s impressive strength and regeneration, he summoned his Bankai through pure determination and managed to overpower his opponent.

In an impressive display of the Bankai’s strength, Kenpachi delivered a fatal blow to Gerard, cutting him in half with one strike.

4) Shunsui Kyoraku’s Katen Kyokotsu
Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Shunsui Kyoraku’s Katen Kyokotsu in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Katen Kyokotsu unleashes two spirits that engage in games with the enemy, enforcing strict rules and punishing them severely for breaking them. The rules of the games vary each time, rendering them unforeseeable and challenging to anticipate.

The games the spirits play are usually lethal, such as Bushogoma, which causes devastating explosions, obliterating anything within the vicinity. The rules of the games are deliberately perplexing and unclear, making it tough for adversaries to predict their next action.

The Bankai of Katen Kyokotsu was first introduced in the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales arc in the anime, where it was utilized in dangerous games against Ichigo and his companions. It was later used once again in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, where it played a vital role in battles against the Sternritter.

Shunsui Kyoraku employed his Bankai, Katen Kyokotsu: Karamatsu Shinju, during the Bleach’s final manga arc. Its initial use was against Lille Barro, a Sternritter, and it had devastating results.

5) Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo is a Bankai that releases a humanoid creature capable of emitting a poisonous mist and a swarm of small creatures that consume an opponent’s flesh. It is especially effective against those with regenerative abilities, and it also has the ability to generate a fatal poison and deliver a powerful electric shock. It is considered one of the most macabre Bankai in the series due to its gruesome nature.

Mayuri Kurotsuchi used his Bankai, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo, during the Quincy Blood War in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc of the Bleach manga. He used it in battle against the Quincy, Pernida Parnkgjas, and later against Giselle Gewelle and her zombified army.

6) Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto’s Zanka no Tachi
Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto’s Zanka no Tachi in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Zanka no Tachi is a Bankai that belongs to Yamamoto, and it is known for its immense heat that can burn almost anything in its path. It is considered one of the most powerful in the series and can cause significant damage to the surrounding area. This Bankai has four “flames,” each corresponding to different aspects of fire: heat, destruction, ash, and death. Each has a unique ability, such as the power to incinerate any object it touches or turn matter into ash.

Yamamoto’s Bankai, Zanka no Tachi, was fully revealed during the final arc of the Bleach manga, where he used it in battle against Juha Bach. Its full power was demonstrated when Yamamoto created an explosion that destroyed a significant part of the Seireitei.

However, despite its incredible strength, Zanka no Tachi has some weaknesses, such as Yamamoto’s vulnerability to the heat it generates. Additionally, the Bankai’s four flames can be extinguished individually, which can weaken its overall power.

7) Toshiro Hitsugaya’s Daiguren Hyorinmaru

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Toshiro Hitsugaya’s Daiguren Hyorinmaru in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Daiguren Hyorinmaru is a Bankai that releases a dragon made of ice that can freeze anything it touches, including the air itself. It is considered to be one of the most versatile Bankai in the series and can be used for both attacking and defending.

Aside from its ice dragon, it has the ability to create large quantities of ice that can freeze entire landscapes. Moreover, it can generate ice clones of both the wielder and itself, which can be used to mislead opponents.

Toshiro Hitsugaya, a captain in the Gotei 13, used his Bankai, Daiguren Hyorinmaru, several times throughout the Bleach series. One notable instance was during the Fake Karakura Town arc, where he used it to battle against Harribel, one of the Espada. He also used it during the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, where he fought against several Sternritter and even battled against the Quincy leader, Juha Bach.

8) Kisuke Urahara’s Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame
Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Kisuke Urahara’s Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame is Urahara’s Bankai, which allows him to manipulate reality and bend it to his will, making it one of the most distinct in the series. This ability requires Urahara to possess high intelligence and creativity to use it to its full potential.

With this Bankai, Urahara can alter almost anything to his advantage, from the properties of matter to weather conditions. Additionally, Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame can generate potent energy blasts and create robust barriers to protect Urahara.

Urahara’s Bankai, Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame, was first revealed during the final arc of the Bleach manga, the Thousand-Year Blood War. He used it in his battle against the Sternritter, Askin Nakk Le Vaar. Its reality-warping abilities were shown when Urahara used it to create a pocket dimension that negated Askin’s ability to manipulate the properties of matter.

9) Byakuya Kuchiki’s Senbonzakura Kageyoshi

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Byakuya Kuchiki’s Senbonzakura Kageyoshi in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Senbonzakura Kageyoshi is a Bankai used by the captain of the 6th Division, Byakuya Kuchiki. It was first introduced early in the Bleach manga and has been one of the most iconic in the series. The Bankai releases thousands of tiny blades, which can be controlled to attack opponents from any angle. The blades are so small and fast that they are nearly impossible to dodge, and they can easily pierce through most defenses.

Additionally, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi can create large, sword-shaped petals that can be used for powerful slashing attacks. Byakuya can also scatter the blades in all directions to create a powerful defense that can protect him from even the most powerful attacks.

The Bankai is known for its beauty as well as its deadly effectiveness and has been a fan favorite throughout the series. Byakuya Kuchiki first used his Bankai in his battle against Ichigo Kurosaki during the Soul Society arc of the Bleach anime. He has also used it several times throughout the series, including during the Arrancar arc and the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.

10) Sajin Komamura’s Kokujo Tengen Myoo

Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Sajin Komamura’s Kokujo Tengen Myoo in Bleach (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Kokujo Tengen Myoo, Komamura transforms him into a giant, armored samurai with incredible physical strength and endurance. He first used it during his battle against Sajin Komamura.

Its imposing size and strength make it nearly invulnerable to all but the most powerful attacks, and it can release shockwaves and fire blasts from its massive sword, which can cause widespread destruction. Additionally, when Komamura activates his Bankai, his physical appearance changes to match that of a wolf, which adds to his powers.

Komamura first used his Bankai during the battle against Aizen, one of the main antagonists of the series. While it was initially successful in overpowering the latter, it was ultimately unable to defeat him due to his immense power and abilities. Despite this, Kokujo Tengen Myoo remains one of the most visually striking and impressive Bankai in the series.

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