As part of the original Big Three, it was only a matter of time before we got around to talking about Bleach.
And since there’s plenty to say about the reboot, this feels like a great time to tackle the show and the characters that made Bleach what it is.
So let’s count down some of the most iconic characters in Bleach.
And do note, these are my favorites as a ranking, and not simply the strongest characters – because scaling Bleach would give me aneurysm.
10. Shunsui Kyōraku
It’s a universal law that people with an eye-patch are the best. Don’t look it up.
Plus, this man definitely has a flare for the dramatic.
Never before have shadows been terrifying, and I can never visit a theater again.
On a more serious note, he makes for a good contrast with the rest of the Soul society, as he doesn’t immediately jump the gun at every opportunity to fight to the death.
He’s just out here chilling, looking for a tea drinking buddy.
Being one of only two characters to actually wield a dual blade Zanpakuto is also a major plus.
9. Yamamoto Shigekuni Yamamoto
Who doesn’t like an occasional badass grandpa?
Will he throw out his back, or throw you into the shadow realm? Who knows.
You also have to question how the hell this man associated fire to a compass, of all things.
But hey, at least he’s overpowered as all hell.
Just don’t let all the burned corpses deceive you, he has a sensitive side too.
I say “sensitive” but I really mean that he finally let go of his rule-only mentality later on in the series.
8. Zaraki Kenpachi
This man chose violence the second he was birthed into this world.
And you have to admire how much he likes to toy with his opponents.
The dude doesn’t even know how to use his Shikai, but he still outmatches most enemies. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that he’s limiting his spiritual pressure most of the time.
He’s like a Dark Soul’s boss with a second stage you don’t even get to experience.
Hell, even his own body can’t keep up with his insane power level. Truly the incarnation of battle and violence – and I am here for it.
7. Unohana Retsu/Yachiru
How hard does someone have to overpower you to literally knock your name off?
Supposedly even a little child can suffice, if given enough Reiatsu and a thirst for battle.
This led to one of the biggest 180 degree turns in anime, as the blood-thirstiest, most vile criminals to have ever walked the earth suddenly adopted the persona of the typical support main.
How hard would you have to slap Light Yagami to get the same result? Just asking for a friend.
6. Ukitake Jushiro
Surprise, surprise, we have another dual weilding Shinigami.
I hope my biases aren’t too obvious.
And although both dual weilders share the dual badassery perk, their characters are pretty much polar opposites.
Sure, Ukitake will also try to avoid unnecessary conflict. But he will get way more up in your face as opposed to the chill lord.
Fire and ice, I guess.
I usually prefer the more chilled out dude in any show.
However, I’m also a sucker for a good tragic backstory.
And it’s safe to say that Ukitake brings the misfortune to the table.
Not only does he have a Hyakkimaru Lite edition childhood, but he also doesn’t even get the satisfaction of ever gaining his health back.
5. Gin Ichimaru
This dude is basically Itachi without the whole family slaughter situation.
I will say that he looks the part way more than mister Sharingan over here.
He just has the face of a fox. And I am honestly surprised that they didn’t immediately bust his double agent adventure.
But as much as his face might give him away, his choice of words is a whole different story.
Everything is vague with this guy.
His firepower is no joke either.
Technically, he’s the only person to actually kill Aizen. And if that doesn’t vouch for his strength, I don’t know what does.
4. Urahara Kisuke
RPGs wish they had merchants as cool as this.
Sure, he might seem like he doesn’t give a damn about anything that’s going on.
But boy is that simply not the truth.
This dude was playing 3D chess while we were out here collecting our checkers. With a Bankai that lets him restructure reality no less.
Exactly why he only pulled out his hacks move once in the series is beyond me. But beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.
It was also nice to finally see all of his feats acknowledged by the very society that exiled him.
We stan a good comeback story.
3. Aizen Sosuke
Twist villains, when done correctly, are one of the best and most effective hype trains that an anime can utilize.
And Bleach definitely did my boy Aizen some justice.
I mean, just look at that reveal!
He cleaned the floor with Ichigo while just using his finger.
The writers basically had to inject Ichigo with horse steroids in order for him to finally have the leg up.
He was a legendary twist villain, and arguably right up there with Ichigo when it comes to popularity.
However, if you pick him in Jump Force, we’ll have to swap hands.
2. Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo is the type of protagonist that really grows on you the more anime you watch.
The first time around you might just think that he’s okay or a bit bland. But once you’ve seen your hundredth “nakama power, I am always positive” head screaming shounen protagonist, you start to appreciate Ichigo.
He’s just doing what he does to protect those around him.
Depression slaps him more than a few times, and he never really comes off as just another loud-mouth brat.
He also has the best fights in the entire series, being the protagonist and all.
1. Kurotsuchi Mayuri
Just based on visual design, this guy is pretty out there.
And originality is definitely one of the main draws when it comes to this character.
Because the designers couldn’t just stop at his looks. Oh no.
They had to go and give him this weird Babidi-looking Bankai.
He is, of course, also a mad scientist, so no basic points there either.
And I’m pretty sure that he started the trope of making someone’s senses so sharp that they can’t even react to anything.
Eat your heart out Gojou.
So yeah, weirdness is very effective when it comes to me and my choice for the best characters.