Top 10 Strongest Bankai in "Bleach"

Updated on September 9, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

What Are Bankai in Bleach?

In the world of Bleach, characters called Shinigami wield various powers with their Zanpakutō. A Zanpakutō's first evolution results in a Shikai power, while the second develops a Bankai.

Bankai are rare, usually only seen on characters of Lieutenant or Captain ranks, and fully unlocking one often takes over ten years. Yet once mastered, they result in amazing abilities, some transforming their users, others unleashing devastating attacks. But which powers reign supreme? These are the 10 best Bankai in Bleach!

Spoilers ahead.

Kenpachi's Bankai
Kenpachi's Bankai

10. Kenpachi's Bankai

User: Kenpachi Zaraki

Even without Bankai, Kenpachi was strong enough to become one of the Gotei 13 Captains, but he finally unlocked his unnamed power during the Quincy war. Once activated, Kenpachi basically becomes a berserker-like devil with monstrous strength.

He can even cut at range, which helps compensate for Kenpachi's melee restrictions, though his mindless rage reduces his ability to strategize.

Ichibē's ink from his Shikai
Ichibē's ink from his Shikai

9. Shirafude Ichimonji

User: Ichibē Hyōsube

This Bankai is powerful enough that Ichibē could supposedly have beaten the Quincy King if the King didn't have his time-reversing Almighty boost. Shirafude changes the properties of anyone Ichibē has previously hit with his ink (which comes from his Shikai) based on what Ichibē dictates.

For instance, he could name "black ant" to make his target as weak as an ant, and he can also use this to boost allies. The only downside is that it requires a previous hit from the ink, but once that's locked in, Ichibē's basically won.

Mayuri's Bankai
Mayuri's Bankai

8. Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō

User: Mayuri Kurotsuchi

The 12th captain of the Gotei 13, Mayuri's Bankai actually has two forms, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō and Matai Fukuin Shōta.

The former creates a grotesque baby-like entity that releases a long-reaching (200 meters!) lethal poison that Mayuri is immune to. But if he uses his alternate Bankai, Mayuri creates a different abomination that he customizes to counter the abilities of his opponent, a great way to nullify other Shikai and Bankai.

Kyōraku's Bankai
Kyōraku's Bankai

7. Katen Kyōkotsu: Karamatsu Shinjū

User: Shunsui Kyōraku

As the new Captain-Commander, Shunsui finally revealed his Bankai in the Quincy war. He envelops a large area around him with a bleak aura. Then, the Bankai proceeds in four stages, with the first causing any wounds Shunsui or his opponent inflicts to also appear on their own body.

In the next stage, black spots develop across the opponent, causing severe blooding. Then, a massive gush of water surrounds both fighters and eventually drowns the one with less Reiatsu. Finally, Shinsui uses a white thread to pierce his enemy's deck and blow up their head. Yikes.

Hitsugaya's Bankai
Hitsugaya's Bankai

6. Daiguren Hyōrinmaru

User: Tōshirō Hitsugaya

Captain Hitsugaya's infamous "dragon ice" Bankai grants him two icicle wings and a tail. This is one of the most versatile Bankai; instead of providing a single insta-kill, it grants several smaller abilities, like freezing power, ranged attacks, and the ability to regenerate itself (which most Bankai can't do) using moisture in the air.

More than that, after Aizen's defeat, Hitsugaya trained and vastly improved his Bankai. Now, he can flash-freeze enormous objects at large distances and negate their powers, again bypassing other Shinigami antics.

Gin's Bankai
Gin's Bankai

5. Kamishini no Yari

User: Gin Ichimaru

Like Gin himself, the Kamishini no Yari is a multifaceted weapon. Using it extends Gin's blade several kilometers with impressive strength. However, as Ichigo notes, it's not the length or power that's the true threat, but the speed at which it extends. And as dangerous as the blade is, it's really just a disguise for the hidden poison contained within, which breaks down cells on the molecular level to kill its target.

Using the "Butō" stance, Gin can also rapidly extend and contract his Bankai multiple times in an instant, similar to being assaulted by dozens of swords simultaneously.

Byakuya's Bankai
Byakuya's Bankai

4. Senbonzakura Kageyoshi

User: Byakuya Kuchiki

Captain Byakuya wields arguably the most versatile Bankai in the series, transforming his blade into millions of smaller ones that can be controlled mentally. Byakuya uses these for both attack and defense, and they're fast and numerous enough that not even Bankai-empowered Ichigo could outmaneuver them (although he broke his way through).

Byakuya can also alter his blades in various fashions. Senkei forms them into numerous full-sized swords, Gōkei increases the number of blades to attack from every possible angle, and Shūkei: Hakuteiken condenses all the blades into one overbearing sword.

Urahara's Bankai
Urahara's Bankai

3. Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame

User: Kisuke Urahara

Former Captain Urahara doesn't reveal his Bankai until nearly the end of the manga, but it's an impressive force. Taking the form of a giant woman, anything that Kannonbiraki touches can be restructured.

This can be used offensively to effectively cut and dissect a target, or defensively to heal a damaged body (Urahara was able to restore his sight this way). It can also increase strength, seen by restructuring Urahara's arm to become more powerful, offering an adaptable Bankai with numerous uses.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ichigo's first BankaiIchigo's second Bankai
Ichigo's first Bankai
Ichigo's first Bankai
Ichigo's second Bankai
Ichigo's second Bankai

2. Tensa Zangetsu

User: Ichigo Kurosaki

Ichigo's first Bankai actually shrinks his sword, but makes it much stronger and more durable. More than that, his speed drastically increases,to the point where he was able to instantly place his blade to Byakuya's throat. Plus, unlike most Bankai, Ichigo can maintain his for extended periods of time, once using it continuously for three months.

Ichigo's second Bankai's abilities aren't explicitly stated, but make him strong enough to slice a Soul King-empowered Ywach in two, who only survived due to that pesky time-reversing Almighty ability.

Yamamoto's Bankai
Yamamoto's Bankai

1. Zanka no Tachi

User: Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto

Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 and the strongest Shinigami, Yamamoto's Bankai condenses all the flames previously released with his Shikai into his sword. This makes it hotter than the sun and allows it to cut through anything. It's so intense that victims are evidently "reduced to nothingness" rather than burned.

Additionally, Yamamoto's own body reaches the same temperatures (a fact he often conceals), incinerating foes who touch him, and he can raise undead versions of anyone killed with his flames. In short, he's got the ultimate attack, a strong defense, and a swarm effect in one, with the only downside being a moderate time limit.

Whose Bankai do you prefer?

See results

Unrevealed Bankai in Bleach

In addition to today's units, remember than some characters never revealed their Bankai, like Aizen (who got by fine with just his Shikai). And non-Shinigami often have other abilities, like the Espada's transformations or Quincy powers.

Although the main series has ended, hopefully we'll uncover more Bankai in supporting materials. But for now, as we await potential Bleach spin-offs, vote for your favorite Bankai and I'll see you at our next anime countdown!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jeremy Gill

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com 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: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      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)
      Marketing
      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.
      Statistics
      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)