Top 10 Strongest Captains in "Bleach"

Updated on March 14, 2020
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy enjoys anime when not working as a chemist or building manager.

Captains in the Gotei 13

In the Bleach world, Shinigami warriors defend Soul Society and are split into thirteen main divisions, each led by a white-robed captain. With their mastery of Kidō spells, swordmanship, and Bankai abilities, captains are powerful champions few can match.

We've encountered dozens of captains throughout the series—which reign supreme? Looking at past members as well as current, these are the ten strongest Gotei 13 captains in Bleach! Spoilers ahead.

Byakuya Kuchiki
Byakuya Kuchiki

10. Byakuya Kuchiki

Squad: 6

Rukia's elder brother, Byakuya's Shikai and Bankai scatter his blade into thousands of microscopic pieces that can both attack and defend. His Bankai has numerous forms, providing a versatile weapon, and Byakuya has mastered the Flash Step technique, making him one of Soul Society's fastest captains.

Gin Ichimaru
Gin Ichimaru

9. Gin Ichimaru

Squad: 3

Gin demonstrates his sword skills against fellow captain Hitsugaya, but his best trait is perhaps his cunning, defecting from Soul Society alongside Aizen yet secretly plotting his downfall.

Gin's Bankai rapidly extends his sword hundreds of meters, a swift ranged attack. However, like Gin himself, this is a deceptive technique, with its biggest danger lying in the poison it releases.

Shinji Hirako
Shinji Hirako

8. Shinji Hirako

Squad: 5

Former captian Shinji now leads the Visored, Shinigami who have acquired Hollow powers. Thus, Shinji can don his Hollow mask for increased speed, strength, and endurance, which allow him to pressure the Espada Grimmjow.

Plus, Shinji's Shikai emits a dangerous illusion, "reversing" the target's senses and making them unable to intercept attacks. Shinji's Bankai was never shown, but would undoubtedly further justify his ranking.

Yoruichi Shihōin
Yoruichi Shihōin

7. Yoruichi Shihōin

Squad: 2

Another former captain, Yoruichi is one of few major characters to have neither her Shikai nor Bankai revealed. However, we do know she's considered the best Shunpo user in Soul Society history, having perfecting the Flash Step to the point of combining it with Kidō attacks.

Yoruichi defeats captain Suì-Fēng (who was using Shikai) without ever releasing her Zanpakutō, showcasing her incredible skill.

Tessai Tsukabishi
Tessai Tsukabishi

6. Tessai Tsukabishi

Squad: Kido Corps

Arguably the most underrated character in the entire series, Tessai formerly headed the unique Kidō Corps and can use level 99 Kidō spells without incantation. He also wields forbidden Kidō that manipulate time and space and is skilled at healing injuries.

Plus, Tessai demonstrates a keen intellect and formidable physical power, making him a well-rounded warrior despite never revealing his Shikai or Bankai.

Shunsui Kyōraku
Shunsui Kyōraku

5. Shunsui Kyōraku

Squad: 1

Despite his laid-back attitude, Shunsui's a monstrous foe when forced to battle. His skills let him match Starrk (the 1st Espada) without needing his Bankai, and his Shikai is one of the best in the series, able to "make children's games real". This forces combatants to fight with unique rules (like hitting each other's shadows or only certain colors).

Shunsui's intelligence and Bankai further prove his might, and he takes over as Captain-Commander once Yamamoto dies.

Kenpachi Zaraki
Kenpachi Zaraki

4. Kenpachi Zaraki

Squad: 11

Kenpachi is the only captain in history to attain the rank without mastering either Shikai or Bankai; his outstanding Reiatsu energy provides incredible raw power, letting him defeat the fifth espada Nnoitra.

But Kenpachi becomes much stronger once mastering his Zanpakutō; his Shikai becomes a large blade capable of cutting anything, and his Bankai turns him into a demon-like berserker with exceptional speed and power.

Kisuke Urahara
Kisuke Urahara

3. Kisuke Urahara

Squad: 12

Urahara's most dangerous attribute is his intelligence, with Aizen describing him as the only man smarter than himself. And the former captain wields an impressive skillset, having mastered Kidō, the Flash Step, and swordsmanship.

Urahara's Shikai can utilize energy in several ways (like firing ranged attacks or forming defensive shields), and his Bankai can restructure what it touches, useful both offensively and as a form of healing.


2. Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto

Squad: 1

Captain-Commander Yamamoto repeatedly proves his might throughout the series. His Shikai creates incredibly powerful fire, providing the strongest Shikai in terms of destructive capacity, and he wields one of the best Bankai, letting him cut anything out of existence and summon the dead.

Yamamoto has fought captains Shunsui and Ukitake simultaneously, and even Aizen had to create an Espada (Wonderweiss) solely dedicated to negating Yamamoto's power before challenging him. But speaking of Aizen...

Sōsuke Aizen
Sōsuke Aizen

1. Sōsuke Aizen

Squad: 5

The main villain throughout most of the series, Aizen has arguably the strongest Shikai in the series, strong enough to carry him through his fights without needing Bankai (his was never revealed). Aizen's Shikai creatures a "perfect illusion" that lets him completely control anyone's five senses.

This proves ridiculously hard to counter because you never know if you're actually fighting Aizen or just think you are. Aizen's incredible Kidō mastery and blade skills further cement his power, perhaps best displayed when he single-handedly defeated numerous captains, lieutenants, and Visored at once (including renowned warriors like Shinji, Shunsui, and Suì-Fēng).

Which captain is your favorite?

See results

Other Captains in Bleach

Ranking the captains isn't easy, especially those with unrevealed Zanpakutō releases, but today's list highlights many of their strongest members. Honorable mentions include Kaname Tōsen, Retsu Unohana, and Mayuri Kurotsuchi, but for now, vote for your favorite captain and I'll see you at our next Bleach countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      7 months ago from Louisiana


      I like Gin too, but he tried and failed to kill Aizen. Too bad we didn't get to see him go all-out in his other fights.


      True--Byakuya had basically reached his peak when the series started, where other characters still had room to grow. But he still held his own throughout the series (he got to take down the Espada Zommari, for what it's worth).

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      gin is by far the strongest, if he tries he can defeat anyone though maybe not with fighting prowess, but with the power of his sword, being able to turn to dust

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      8 months ago from Roanoke

      My youngest son was a bleach fan.

    • Jason Capp profile image

      Jason Reid Capp 

      8 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

      The direction the series took was quite unfortunate, considering how stellar the first couple arcs were. With that said, Byakuya took a hit as a character, because he was one of the first revealed Bankais in the series. He was portrayed as so strong too early, and that essentially gave Tite no choice but to devalue Byakuya a bit to put spotlight on the other captains when their Bankais were finally revealed.

      Great list, though. It brought back a lot of memories reading the manga.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)