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The 15 Most Underrated Bankai In Bleach, Ranked

March 13, 2020 17.4k votes 3.2k voters 266.4k 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.

  • Despite being a major early player in the anime, former 12th Division captain Kisuke Urahara never got the chance to show off his Bankai. Manga readers, however, are well aware of Urahara’s Bankai: the Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame. The Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame takes the form of a giant dark-haired woman wearing a risque red robe. It has the power to restructure anything it touches for offensive and supportive purposes, such as splitting open an object within its area with a knife, or, healing Urahara’s eyes in his fight against Askin Nakk Le Vaar.   

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  • Photo: Viz Media

    While Shunsui Kyoraku, captain of the 1st Division and Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13, may wish to live life as a pacifist, he will engage in combat if the situation demands it. As a storyteller, Shunsui’s Bankai, Katen Kyokotsu: Karamatsu Shinju, provides him the perfect opportunity to illustrate his somber tales of violence. When activated, Shunsui’s Bankai unleashes black, root-like tendrils into the ground, as Zanpakuto Spirit, Katen Kykotsu, appears behind him. The move covers the battlefield with a gloomy aura that affects the psychological well-being of the enemy. There are also various special abilities to the Katen Kyokotsu: Karamatsu Shinju, such as the user and the enemy sharing the wounds they inflict on each other, or, covering the enemy’s body with black spots that result in profuse bleeding.

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  • Photo: KLab

    Retsu Unohana, former captain of the Fourth Division in the Gotei 13, has one of the creepiest Bankai in Bleach. Her Bankai, the Minazuki, liquifies the blade of Retsu’s Zanpakuto into a thick, dark red substance that can surround her proximity. After most of the liquid has flown off the Zanpakuto, the remainder hardens into a shortened katana that’s capable of clashing with Kenpachi Zaraki's blade.   

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  • Photo: Viz Media

    Shinji Hirako is the goofy, yet, perceptive captain of the Fifth Division of the Gotei 13. While he never uses his Bankai in the Bleach TV anime series, the novel, Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World III, revealed its power. Shinji’s Bankai, the Sakasama Yokoshima Happō Fusagari, transforms his sword into a staff with a large ring on the front end, while he stands on a large construct of flowers. It has a wide-range attack that targets multiple opponents without bias; injuring friends and foes alike. 

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