Bleach: Who Is The Fastest Shinigami Of All Time?

Many among the Gotei 13 and Royal Guard are capable of attaining incredible speeds. But who among them can lay claim to being the fastest of them all?


  • Speed is a vital aspect of power scaling in Bleach, enabling Shinigami to outmaneuver opponents and execute attacks that catch enemies off guard.
  • Shunpo, or “Flash Step,” is the main technique that enhances a Shinigami’s speed, allowing them to travel from one point to another in minimal steps.
  • The fastest Shinigami contenders include Yoruichi, Yamamoto, Ichibe, Kirio, Tenjiro, Aizen, and Ichigo, with debates on who is the fastest due to various power-ups and transformations.



Speed is essential to any Shinigami’s arsenal in Bleach, as it permits them to blitz through opponents and gain the upper hand against even the most powerful of adversaries. In fact, many of the most memorable displays of strength in the series have involved characters executing attacks or techniques that catch their enemies completely off guard, leaving them with little to no idea of what actually transpired. There are several instances of this littered throughout the Soul Society Arc, particularly when Ichigo’s fights against Byakuya, as well as many of Aizen’s fights.

Later on in the series, the degree of power scaling takes this speed to levels that were hitherto unseen prior. In Bleach’s Thousand Year Blood War Arc, even more powerful characters are introduced to push the limits of the main cast. This also expanded the list of those who possess incredible speed among the ranks of the Gotei 13 and the Royal Guard. Considering how important speed is in terms of the series’ power scaling, there is definitely no shortage of debate on who is the fastest Shinigami of all time, with a few notable contenders who can realistically hold a claim to this title. In this inquiry, the question of speed is limited to the actual pace at which a Shinigami can cover ground, regardless of the technique they use to travel at this pace.

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What Techniques Can Boost Speed?

Ichigo Byakuya Shunpo Bleach

For most Shinigami, Shunpo or “Flash Step,” is the main technique which augments their raw speed. Coming under the Hoho subset of combat skills which covers movement techniques and footwork taught to Shinigami, Shunpo is essentially a means of traveling from one point to another in the minimum number of steps, relying on a Shinigami’s superhuman strength and physical conditioning to move faster than the eye can see. Expert Shunpo practitioners can use the technique to outmaneuver their opponents in combat to gain positional advantages, or traverse long distances while concealing their presence.

Among those in the Gotei 13, the 2nd Division, which is affiliated with the Onmitsukido or Stealth Force, are some of the foremost practitioners of Shunpo. Some of the best Shunpo users in history such as Sui-Feng, and her mentor, Yoruichi Shihoin, were Captains of the 2nd Division, attesting to how much emphasis is placed on this skill. For the Onmitsukido’s covert operations, Shunpo is vital in assassinations and stealth, as operatives can use it to break through enemy lines and avoid detection. There are also a number of other characters who excel in the art of Shunpo to various levels as it is essential for all Shinigami to master it to some degree.

Besides Shunpo, Shinigami can also enhance their speed through other means. This can vary from building their raw physical abilities, to other power ups and transformations. For instance, Ichigo Kurosaki gained a massive boost in his speed whenever he activated his older incomplete Bankai, which concentrated all his Reiatsu into a compact form that could unleash devastating bursts of power and move at speeds that rivaled Byakuya Kuchiki. After training in the Dangai to learn the Final Getsuga Tensho during the Battle of Fake Karakura Town, Ichigo’s Bankai reached even greater speeds, where he could outstrip even Aizen, who had evolved beyond the limits of both Hollows and Shinigami.

The Main Contenders

Best Shunpo Users Bleach - Featured

After surveying most of the Gotei 13 and the Royal Guard, there are definitely a few standouts who come to mind, due their mastery of Shunpo as well as their raw speed. Among those who make the cut are Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, Shunsui Kyoraku, Sosuke Aizen, Tenjiro Kirinji, Kirio Hikifune, Ichibe Hyosube, Kenpachi Zaraki, Yoruichi Shihoin, Sui-Feng, Kisuke Urahara, Byakuya Kuchiki, and finally, Ichigo Kurosaki himself. This list includes some of the most powerful Shinigami in the history of Soul Society, each of them a true powerhouse in their own right.

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Most of the characters in this list primarily rely on Shunpo for their speed, apart from Zaraki whose raw physical strength more than made up for his lack of skill at Shunpo. The only ones who use power ups to augment it are Aizen, whose Hogyoku-induced evolutions were responsible for boosting his Reiatsu and raw physical strength, and Ichigo, whose earlier Hollow mask and Bankai also gave him a massive boost in speed, especially when he returned from training in the Dangai during the Battle of Fake Karakura Town.

That being said, it is not that the two of them do not use Shunpo at all in their fights. Instead, they use the massive boost in physical strength given by these transformations to push their Shunpo to even higher speeds, even when their mastery of the technique may not be on par with someone like Yoruichi or Sui-Feng. This is especially true in Ichigo’s case, as he only really learned to master Shunpo after training with the Royal Guard during the Quincy Blood War.

The Fastest Of Them All

Ichigo Aizen Bleach

Shunsui and Byakuya can be eliminated quite early on as they were both completely outclassed in speed by Yamamoto and Yoruichi respectively on different occasions. A similar case could also be made for Sui-Feng as she was slightly slower than Yoruichi but could not keep up with Tenjiro at all, who lived up to his title of “Lightning-Fast Tenjiro.” Despite being able to keep up Yoruichi during their sparring sessions, Kisuke does not primarily rely on speed as part of his fighting style, and was soon outmatched when facing off against Aizen. A similar case could be made for Zaraki, as he only began to learn Shunpo during the Quincy Blood War, and while his speed is fearsome, it is not the main basis for his approach to combat.

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Yoruichi, Yamamoto, Ichibe, Kirio, and Tenjiro are all on fairly similar levels, with only Yoruichi’s mastery of Shunpo giving her a bit of an advantage in terms of speed, with Tenjiro a close second. It is important to note here that Ichibe and Yamamoto surpass her on most other parameters, which is why they are regarded as being more powerful than her overall. Any comparison beyond this would be difficult as direct confrontations between these individuals are hard to come by, so there is no way to accurately gauge their relative speeds.

Hence, the only ones remaining are Aizen and Ichigo, according to the feats they performed during their climactic battle in Fake Karakure Town, as well as their fights against Yhwach in the Quincy Blood War. It is safe to say that Ichigo far surpassed Aizen’s speed after training in the Dangai, where the former Captain was not even able to register Ichigo’s attacks despite having evolved with the aid of the Hogyoku. That being said, Aizen is said to have grown stronger during his imprisonment, surpassing even his Hogyoku forms. A comparison between Ichigo’s speed after his Dangai training and after his time at the Soul King Palace would be quite difficult to ascertain. In this manner, it would be quite difficult to pinpoint who is faster between the two, and so, they could both easily lay claim to the title of the fastest Shinigami of all time.

BLEACH: Thousand-Year Blood War Part 2 – The Separation is available to stream on Hulu and Disney+.

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