In the world of Bleach, a Soul Reaper is nothing without their bladed partner, the Zanpakutō. In addition to being a Soul Reaper's main weapon for combat, these Japanese-style swords also contain hidden powers called Bankai, that give their wielder extraordinary advantages in combat. One Zanpakutō can summon a skeleton snake demon, whereas another calls forth an indestructible samurai giant.
There is an amazing number of incredibly powerful Bankai wielded by heroes and Bleach villains alike, but which ones are truly supreme?
Don't let this old man fool you, Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryūsai is anything but a helpless grandpa. He's a hell of a fighter, especially when he activates his bankai — the Zanka no Tachi — which allows him to wield the fires of Hell.
It's only fitting that an oddball characer like Kisuke Urahara wields a Bankai that's a little out of the ordinary. The Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame takes the form of a massive, beautiful woman with braided hair arranged in loops. When it's called forth, it offers Urahara the power to restructure anything to his liking. This restructuring can be used for offense or defense, as the Bankai can split open structures, repair buildings, and heal physical wounds.
The Bankai Kenpachi Zaraki uses has no name. However, that doesn't stop the nameless Bankai technique from being trouble for anyone unlucky enough to encounter it. Kenpachi's Bankai transforms him into a red-skinned demon that's capable of causing mass destruction, sort of like The Incredible Hulk.
Withheld as a last resort, Shunsui's Katen Kyōkotsu: Karamatsu Shinjū is a frightening maneuver that causes its victims considerable physical and mental harm. When Shunsui points his weapon downward, he unleashes the black tendrils of his Zanpakutō onto the battlefield. Horrifically, the Katen Kyōkotsu: Karamatsu Shinjū distorts its victims' perception of reality to make them feel hopeless. If that weren't enough, anyone under the Zanpakutō's control feels every wound inflicted upon the wielders body.