Bleach: The 24 Best Bankai Ranked By Strength

In Bleach, how does every Bankai in the anime stack up against each other? Just which among them are the strongest?

A little more than a decade ago, the anime world was dominated by three series, and Bleach was one of them. At its core, Bleach focuses on the conflict between three factions: the Soul Reapers, Hollows, and Quincy, and each group possesses distinct attributes and abilities. When it comes to powerful iconic Shonen protagonists, Ichigo Kurosaki ranks near the top, and like several other Soul Reapers, he is capable of using Bankai.

Every Soul Reaper has a katana called a Zanpakutō, and each one possesses a Shikai release. Bankai refers to a Zanpakutō’s second release, and it can usually only be achieved by Captain-level Soul Reapers. Fans have seen more than a dozen of these Bankai, and they are all extremely powerful, but some are far stronger than others.

Updated on March 6, 2023, by George Voutiritsas: The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc has been a huge success thus far, and it has already introduced some never-before-seen Bankai, and as the story continues, several more Bankai will make their debut. The Bankai release is the strongest weapon that a Soul Reaper can use, but only a handful of Soul Reapers can actually awaken their Zanpakutō’s Bankai. Every Bankai is different in terms of ability and appearance, and some can wipe out dozens of enemies at once. Each Bankai may be powerful, but when it comes to overall power and effectiveness, they are not all equal. Most fans know what the strongest Bankai is, but there are still a few that need to be mentioned, including some that are only present in fillers and supplementary novels.



24 Raika Goen Kaku Unleashes Powerful Flames

Captain Shusuke Amagai Using His Bankai Against Ichigo

Of all the filler characters that Bleach introduced, only one became a Gotei 13 Captain. Shusuke Amagai took command of the 3rd Division, and he wielded a Zanpakuto which would heat up and unleash powerful fireballs and fissures of flames.

His Bankai is called, Raika Goen Kaku, and it takes the form of an enlarged crimson blade with a hook at the end. Its hilt is covered by a large white shell which serves as a shield. Its special ability is quite simple, as it enhances his flames. This Bankai is basically an empowered flamethrower that can also create flaming spears from the ground.

23 Ryumon Hozukimaru’s Power Increases When Damage Is Dealt Or Received

Ikkaku Using His Bankai Against A Fake Soul Reaper Counterpart

Ikkaku has been a fan-favorite ever since he debuted during the Soul Society Arc. He loves to fight, and his Zanpakuto is perfect for melee fighting. His Shikai is a type of spear that can split into three pieces, but his Bankai is far larger, and it deals a lot more damage.

Ryumon Hozukimaru takes the form of three different weapons that are all connected via a thick metal chain. The main weapons are a monk spade and pole-like weapon, but there is also a large axe blade with a dragon crest above his head. The crest continues to turn red each time Ikkaku receives or deals damage, and when it is fully charged, he can utilize his Bankai’s true cutting power.

22 Tekken Tachikaze Produces Powerful Melee Attacks

Kensei Using His Bankai Against Multiple Menos Grande

Kensei Muguruma may not be the most likable Captain of the Gotei 13, but he is still a powerful Soul Reaper. When he activates his Shikai, his Zanpakuto takes the form of a combat knife that can produce air blades. His Bankai on the other hand. looks far different.

Tekken Tachikaze takes the form of two knuckle blades with curved silver edges, and he gains segmented purple wraps that cover his arms like armor. These knuckle blades can also take the form of brass knuckles and spiked gauntlets. The destructive force of Kensei’s Shikai is amplified and focused into his fists, which allows his punches to produce explosive force.

21 Kazeshini Fushi No Kojyo Creates A Cycle Of Death & Rebirth

Depiction Of Shuhei Hisagi's Kazeshini Fushi no Kojyo Bankai

Shuhei Hisagi may not get a lot of screen time, but he is one of the strongest Lieutenants in Bleach. Hisagi never achieved Bankai in the manga, but he did reveal it in the official Can’t Fear Your Own World novels. He is training to awaken his Bankai during the Thousand Year Blood War arc, so it may be shown in the anime.

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Its name is Kazeshini Fushi no Kojyo, and it creates a massive sphere of chains above Shuhei and his desired target. Chains wrap around their necks, and they drain the spiritual energy of both individuals until one is fully drained and dies. Until then, neither will die because the chains will continuously heal both parties, thus creating a cycle of death and rebirth.

20 Soo Zabimaru Can Reduce Enemies To Ash

Renji Using His True Bankai Against Mask Of The Sternritter

There was a great deal of emotion when Ichigo battled Renji, and what makes their fight even more interesting is the fact that neither had achieved Bankai yet. Renji achieved it shortly after his defeat, and it took the form of a long skeletal snake.

This was not his Bankai’s true for,m however. The true form is achieved during the Thousand Year Blood War Arc, and it is much smaller. The iconic snake skull is now a gauntlet with a protruding blade, and snake vertebrae cover Renji’s body. When he impales someone, the Bankai produces jaws made of spiritual energy that latch onto his opponent. He can then shoot them with a blast that can turn the target to ash.

19 Kinshara Butodan Creates Physical Illusions

Rose Using His Bnakai Against A Quincy

Rojuro Otoribashi became a Captain again after the war with Aizen, but it wasn’t until the war with the Quincy that he revealed his Bankai. His Shikai is a golden whip that uses sound as a weapon, but his Bankai allows him to create physical illusions with music. It creates a large pair of hands, a conducting wand, and a group of colossal dancers.

The music is meant to deceive his opponents’ hearts, and as long as they are deceived, the Illusions can inflict real physical damage. The illusions are produced by the dancers, and, if Rojuro wishes, he can make them stop his opponent’s breathing.

18 Jakuho Raikoben Utilizes An Incredibly Powerful Missile

Soifon Aiming Her Bankai

Soifon’s Shikai creates a gauntlet with a stinger-shaped blade on one finger, and she can use it to kill an opponent in two hits. This ability complements her fighting style, which incorporates stealth and speed, but her Bankai is the complete opposite, which is why she hates using it.

Jakuho Raikoben is twice the size of Soifon, and it is an armored missile launcher made of gold that is attached to her right arm. It is a heavy Bankai that requires Soifon to aim from far away. Once she locks onto her target, the missile tracks them down, and the resulting explosion causes large-scale destruction.

17 Koko Gonryo Rikyu Produces Lightning Strikes From The Sky

Chojiro Guiding His Bankai's Lightning Bolts At An Enemy

Captain Commander Yamamoto was the strongest Soul Reaper for centuries, so it makes sense that his Lieutenant would be a powerful fighter as well. Chojiro Sasakibe wielded a Zanpakuto that transformed into an ornate rapier when he activated his Shikai.

His Bankai is called Koko Gonryo Rikyu, and when it is released, his Zanpakuto fires a bolt of lightning into the sky, which then creates a dome of lightning. There are also numerous lightning pillars that extend toward the ground. Chojiro can direct the lightning bolts with his hands, and the bolts are strong enough to injure the Captain Commander himself.

16 Kokujo Tengen Myo’o Is A Massive Armored Giant

Komamura's Bankai In Karakura Town

Captain Sajin Komamura is built like a tank, and, unlike other Captains, he has used his Bankai in every single fight. His Bankai is pretty straightforward, as it summons a giant which wears a full suit of armor. The giant mimics Komamura’s actions, and it wields a massive blade.

This Bankai’s one downside is the fact that Komamura sustains any damage his giant receives. When Komamura enters his human form, he can unleash his Bankai’s strongest form, which sees the giant lose its armor. While in this form, the giant is immune to all forms of physical damage.

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15 Tensa Zangetsu’s True Power Can Injure A Quincy God

Ichigo Using The True Form Of His Tensa Zangetsu

As the main character, Ichigo has a number of powerful abilities at his disposal, and they all seem to enhance his Bankai. For the majority of the series, Tensa Zangestu looked like an ordinary black katana, and it gave Ichigo a black outfit. It also gave him enhanced speed, reflexes, and durability. The strength of his Getsuga Tenshou was increased as well.

Tensa Zangetsu’s true form is revealed during the final fight with Yhwach, and the blade looks very similar to Zangestu’s curved Shikai design. The true ability of this Bankai has not been seen, but it can produce a golden Getsuga Tenshou that can seriously injure the father of all Quincy.

14 Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo Creates Poison & New Abilities

Mayuri Summons Ashisoji Jizo

Mayuri Kurotsuchi is by no means a good person, but at least he is on Soul Society’s side. His Shikai uses poison that acts like a neurotoxin, but his Bankai is even deadlier, despite its appearance. Its original form has a worm-like body and a golden baby’s head. It breathes extremely lethal poison, it has numerous retractable blades in its chest, and it can self-destruct.

In its modified form, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo becomes a massive purple-skinned baby that can create modified versions of itself. After gathering information on an opponent, Mayuri sends the data to his Bankai, which, in turn, creates specific abilities to counter said enemy.

13 Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame Can Restructure Anything

Urahara Using His Bankai For The First Time

Kisuke Urahara is the former Captain of Squad 12, and he possesses a Bankai which makes use of his scientific mind. His Bankai is called Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame, and it takes the form of a large woman with dark, braided hair. Her arms look like they belong on a mannequin, and she wears a surprisingly revealing red dress.

This Bankai is capable of restructuring anything it touches. Basically, it can cut anything around it as if it were dissecting something, and it can then restructure them by stitching them back together. Healing is just one of its applications, as Urahara used it to fix his blindness. It can enhance certain other body parts too and can create paths through obstacles and barriers.

12 Nozarashi Can Essentially Cut Through Anything

Kenpachi Entering His Berserk Bankai Form

Bleach’s anime does several things better than the manga, including the way it introduces new Bankai. Fans have wanted to see an animated version of the final arc for years, and Kenpachi’s Bankai is a major reason why. The Bankai’s name was never fully revealed, but it causes his skin to turn red, and it makes him grow horns on his face like a demon.

While in this form, Kenpachi is a mindless berserker, and he uses a rough and jagged cleaver. He gains immense physical strength, and his cutting power increases to the point that he can cleave through anything.

11 Kamishini No Yari Is Extremely Fast & Can Dissolve Enemies At A Cellular Level

Ichimaru Using Both Versions Of His Bankai

Gin Ichimaru only pretended to be a villain so he could kill Aizen at the right time, and he nearly accomplished this goal with his Bankai. Kamishini no Yari’s main ability is similar to its Shikai, as it can extend at high speeds while producing a great deal of force.

The speed with which it extends is greatly amplified, however, as it can extend up to 8 miles at 500 times the speed of sound. The sword can also transform into dust for a split second, and this allows Gin to leave a small piece of his sword inside his target’s body. Once activated, this piece releases a fast-acting poison that dissolves the target’s body at a cellular level.

10 Suzumushi Tsuishiki Creates A Space That Nullifies Most Senses

The Exterior & Interior Of Tosen's Bankai

Many fans believe that Aizen is one of the best anime villains of all time, and he managed to assemble quite an army of followers. Tōsen was one of those followers, and he used his Bankai only once throughout the entire series.

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It is called, Suzumushi Tsuishiki, and it creates a black void that expands until it forms a massive dome-like space. This space nullifies an enemy’s ability to smell, taste, see and hear. It also takes away their ability to sense spirit energy, but it leaves them with their sense of touch. With most of their senses gone, someone trapped within this Bankai cannot defend themselves from Tōsen’s attacks.

9 Senbonzakura Kageyoshi Creates Countless Flying Blades For Offense & Defense

Byakuya Defeating Tsukishima With His Bankai

Byakuya Kuchiki is one of Bleach‘s more recognizable Captains, and his Bankai produces an almost limitless amount of offensive potential. Upon activation, he summons thousands of large blades which scatter into a countless number of smaller blades that resemble cherry blossoms.

These blades are completely under Byakuya’s control, and he can surround his opponent with them. He can literally tear his enemy to shreds, and best of all, he can use these blades as a shield to protect himself from opposing attacks. The Bankai’s true form surrounds Byakuya and his opponent in a circle of constantly-moving swords, and he can control each sword mentally.

8 Minazuki Produces Extremely Effective Acid

Unohana's Bankai Filling The Area With Blood

Captain Unohana may not be one of the smartest female Shonen characters, but she is a founding member of the Gotei 13, and she was once the Soul Society’s most vile criminal. Her Shikai is a giant manta ray that can heal people with its stomach acids, and her Bankai does the complete opposite.

When its Bankai is activated, Minazuki’s blade liquefies into a thick, dark red substance that pools around her. She can still use the blade as a weapon once it solidifies, but she can use the liquid as well. The liquid is acid, and it is capable of melting even the strongest opponents into a skeleton within seconds.

7 Gagaku Kairo Can Devour Anything Within Its Reach

Kenpachi Kuruyashiki Summoning His Devouring Creatures-Bleach: Brave Souls

For the most part, everyone’s Bankai can be used within the Seireitei as long as they are safe, but Central 46 forbade Gagaku Kairo from being used because of its indiscriminate destruction. This Bankai belongs to Kenpachi Kuruyashiki, the 7th person to hold the Kenpachi title.

His Shikai creates a creature with fangs that will attack whoever he designates, but the Bankai follows no such rule. Upon release, Gagaku Kairo summons an enormous pair of jaws from the ground, which devour anything and anyone within its reach. The only person who is safe from this ability is Kuruyashiki himself.

6 Hakka No Togame Creates A Mist That Freezes Anyone It Touches

Rukia's Bankai Appearance

Rukia is one of Bleach’s main characters, and she achieves her Bankai release during the Manga’s final arc. Unlike most Bankai, Rukia’s changes her physical appearance, to the point that her hair turns white. She also gains a long, white kimono, and the blade of her sword becomes transparent ice.

This Bankai creates a pillar of cold mist where Rukia is standing, and it grows until it covers a wide area. Anything this mist touches, freezes, and once her enemy is frozen, their entire body will crumble away within seconds.

5 Urozakuro Allows The User To Fuse With Anything

Azashiro With His Bankai Spirit From Bleach: Brave Souls

Soya Azashiro was part of one of Soul Society’s noble families, and he went on to become the Captain of the 11th Division and the 8th Kenpachi. He gained the position by killing Kenpachi Kuruyashiki in battle, who died as soon as the battle started.

This was the result of Azashiro’s Bankai, which is known as Urozakuro. It has no special appearance, and that is because it allows Azashiro to fuse with his surroundings. He can fuse with his opponents and rip them apart from the inside. As a defensive measure, he can fuse with non-physical substances like air to become intangible.

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