Bleach: 6 Best Mentors, Ranked

Bleach’s Ichigo, as well as several other crucial characters in the series, would never have reached their potential if not for these mentors.


  • Bleach was once part of Shonen Jump’s Big Three, with the Soul Society arc being one of the best in shonen history.
  • Various mentors in Bleach helped characters like Ichigo unlock new powers and evolve as shinigami.
  • Characters like Urahara, Zangetsu, and Unohana played crucial roles in guiding their students to new heights of power.

Bleach is a series that has been through its fair share of ups and downs, and there are so many people that rail on it at this point that fans may be forgiven for forgetting that there was a time when this manga was considered to be part of the Big Three of Shonen Jump, along with Naruto and One Piece. It may not have reached the heights of the other two, but Bleach was incredibly compelling when it was at the very height of its powers, with the Soul Society arc continuing to be one of the greatest shonen arcs in any series to date.

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The characters in this series are memorable in their own right, with many of them serving as mentors over the course of the series as they help others reach new heights of power. While most of these characters may have mentored Ichigo, there are others who also benefited from some solid mentoring and ended up reaching new heights of power as a result.


Rukia Kuchiki

Impatient And Impulsive, But Succeeded In Showing Ichigo The Ropes

Rukia Kuchiki in Hueco Mundo in the Bleach anime

  • Notable Student(s): Ichigo Kurosaki
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Rukia’s introduction in Bleach didn’t make her seem like the most powerful shinigami around, especially as the series evolved. The fact that she struggled against a lowly Hollow wasn’t a great sign, even if it served as an excuse for Ichigo to attain the powers he needed to become a Substitute Shinigami.

The early arcs of Bleach focused on the human world and Ichigo’s life with his friends, with him tackling various Hollows as the series evolved. Rukia helps him learn the ropes before she is taken by her brother to be executed for the crime of giving Ichigo powers that he should’ve never had access to, setting the stage for one of the series’ best arcs.


Shinji Hirako

Teaching Someone How To Control Hollow Powers Is No Mean Feat

Shinji Hirako in Bleach

  • Notable Student(s): Ichigo Kurosaki

After Ichigo struggles to control his Hollow side, he’s advised to get help from the Visored. These Shinigami have been ostracized from Soul Society after Aizen betrayed them, forcing them to hide out in the human world. Their leader, Shinji Hirako, is the most powerful of the bunch and wastes no time in showing Ichigo his place.

What follows is a slow and painful process for Ichigo as he learns to control his Hollow powers, eventually using them against the Arrancar, who’ve tormented him time and time again. Shinji may not have been the most impactful mentor for Ichigo, but he did just enough for the Substitute Shinigami to come to terms with his Hollow side, even if he did go overboard during his battle against Ulquiorra.


Yoruichi Shihoin

A Calm, Cool, And Collected Mentor With A Tender Side


  • Notable Student(s): Soi Fon, Ichigo Kurosaki

Most people would be forgiven for forgetting that Yoruichi helped Ichigo learn how to control his Bankai. For what it’s worth, the bulk of the mentorship here was on Urahara, with Yoruichi guiding Ichigo in the right direction whenever he felt lost. She also served as a friend and mentor to Soi Fon, who relied on her and felt betrayed when Yoruichi left out of nowhere after Urahara was framed by Aizen.

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This leads to a battle where Yoruichi proves her superiority. It takes a while, but the two repair the bonds of their friendship once again. Yoruichi may be an effective mentor, but the fact that this part of her character is forgotten time and time again suggests that she could’ve left more of a lasting impact on her students.



Helped Mold Ichigo’s Philosophy As A Shinigami

Zangetsu in Bleach

  • Notable Student(s): Ichigo Kurosaki

This figure, whi everyone assumed to be the true form of Ichigo’s Zanpakuto spirit for the longest time, helped out the protagonist numerous times during his efforts to evolve as a Shinigami. He helped Ichigo break through his ceiling over and over again to become more powerful and take on Byakuya himself in a battle for the ages.

While the impact of this character is slightly diminished following the revelations in the Thousand-Year Blood War, that shouldn’t take away from Zangetsu’s impact as a mentor in the slightest. He may not be a physical presence, but this character still helps Ichigo see the light and attain the strength needed to save Rukia.


Kisuke Urahara

Teaching Ichigo How To Unlock His Bankai In Two And A Half Days Is Seriously Impressive

Kisuke Urahara

  • Notable Student(s): Ichigo Kurosaki

Urahara is one of the coolest characters in Bleach, and his intriguing backstory makes fans hate Aizen even more. Despite not putting a single foot wrong, he was framed and kicked out of Soul Society in an unceremonious manner. Thankfully, this works out for Ichigo, as he receives the tutorship of this powerful shinigami, who decides to teach Ichigo how to unlock his Bankai.

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The fact that he helps the Substitute Shinigami unlock this new level of power in just two and a half days is nothing short of extraordinary. This feat, among many others, proves why Urahara is one of the strongest characters in Bleach, and a reliable mentor to boot.


Retsu Unohana

Sacrificed Her Own Life To Help Kenpachi Reach New Heights Of Power

Captain Unohana Having A Chat With Captain Kyoraku and Ukitake In Bleach

  • Notable Student(s): Kenpachi Zaraki

Most people would argue that Unohana’s mentorship was short-lived and extremely harsh. After all, she killed Kenpachi time and time again, bringing him back from the brink of death to awaken the animal inside him. However, the inherent challenge of trying to mentor and train someone as wild as Kenpachi can’t be stated enough.

She figured out a way to mentor the wild beast without making her actions obvious, which was critical to helping Kenpachi unlock a new level of power that no one else could’ve coaxed out of him. If nothing else, Unohana deserves the moniker of being the best mentor in Bleach simply because she sacrificed her own life to help her ‘student’ evolve as a Shinigami and turn the tide of battle against the Quincy in the Thousand-Year Blood War.




Release Date

October 5, 2004




Tite Kubo



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Categorías: Anime

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