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The 15 Most Underrated Bankai In Bleach, Ranked

March 13, 2020 17.5k votes 3.2k voters 273.5k views15 items

As the Bleach fandom prepares itself for the upcoming 20th-anniversary project dubbed Bleach: Face Again, they’re reminiscing over everything they loved about the series, such as the best fights or story arcs. Of course, ranking the best Bankai attacks is part of the friendly discourse. However, not every Bankai is Bleach got the appreciation it deserved during the anime's prime. 

Whether it was because it was only featured in small doses, or revealed in non-anime material, there are a lot of unbelievable Bankais in Bleach that continue to go unnoticed by fans. Although some of it can also be blamed on the Bankai powers belonging to less popular characters, even a few major Bleach characters have had their fascinating Bankai powers ignored. Ignore no more. It’s time to appreciate these underrated Bankai powers in Bleach.

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  • Photo: Viz Media

    It may seem odd to suggest that the Bankai of Ichigo Kurosaki, the hero of Bleach, is overlooked in the series. However, as manga readers already know, Ichigo’s Bankai, the Tensa Zangetsu, never got the moment of glory it deserved. The Tensa Zangetsu was the symbolic manifestation of Ichigo coming to terms with his Quincy and Hollow powers; resulting in a black-and-white fusion of immense power. A sample of the Tensa Zangetsu’s great power was a golden-colored Getsuga Tensho that’s fired from Ichigo’s energy-engulfed sword. Unfortunately, the Tensa Zangetsu never got its moment to fully shine, as Yhwach put a stop to it by absorbing all the Quincy and Hollow powers from Ichigo. 

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  • Photo: Pierrot

    To match the cold personality he often shows his peers, 10th Division captain Toshiro Hitsugaya has a Bankai that can ice the competition with ease. Toshiro’s Bankai, the Daiguren Hyōrinmaru, encases his limbs in ice until he has the icy features of a dragon, such as wings and claws. Naturally, Toshiro can use his Bankai to freeze anything within his radius and has many ice-related attacks to aid him in battle. However, he can also use the ice dragon appearance for a more animalistic approach to fighting, like swinging his icy tail at an enemy, or, using his icy wings to launch an aerial attack.  

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  • 7

    Chōjirō Sasakibe - Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū

    Photo: Pierrot

    Chojiro Tadaoki Sasakibe, lieutenant of the 1st Division, is all about proper (Western) appearances. This is why his Bankai, the Koko Gonryo Rikyu, is such a great fit for him. Its thunderous attack is very theatrical and powerful to boot. When Chojiro raises his Zanpakuto above his head, bolts of lightning are produced to form an electric dome. Chojiro is able to manipulate the weather and fire incredible bolts of lightning at his enemy.

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  • Photo: Viz Media

    Renji Abarai, a childhood friend of Rukia Kuchiki and lieutenant of the 6th Division, wields an underrated Bankai called the Soo Zabimaru. In its true form, Renji’s Bankai is worn like an attire made from a snake’s skull and bones. The snake skull isn’t just for looks, as Renji is able to extend a large blade from its mouth. Additionally, the skeletal body of the Soo Zabimaru is part of its special abilities, such as the cowl transforming into a large skeletal arm, or, the vertebrae structure unfurling around Renji’s waist and extending like a tail, while the blade portion of the Bankai changes into a larger, serrated form. The standout ability of Renji’s Bankai, however, is the Soo Zabimaru, Zaga Teppo, which crushes its victim with a spiritual construct of a snake’s jaw, before finishing them off with a blast of energy.

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