My Top 10 Favorite Bleach Characters

Keep in mind that if you don’t watch or read Bleach, you’ll have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, because I’ll be using a lot of terminology from the series. Also be warned that this countdown will contain spoilers. And as always, all these countdowns are completely based on my opinions and mine alone. Let’s go!

Chapter 1

My Top 10 Favorite Bleach Characters

10) Rukia Kuchiki

I like Rukia for her decent personality and her ice powers. I like how she took out one of the Espadas out on her own (despite nearly dying), making her the only Lieutenant so far to not only have an Espada rival, but one that she defeated (even if that Espada is the weakest out of the 10). She later demonstrates her smarts against Rudobon by freezing his branches and just recently, she defeated As Nodt (Sternritter “F”) with her newly obtained Bankai, which turns her into a frigid ice princess that just freezes everything to absolute zero. Rukia’s ice Zanpakuto and its techniques are just visually pleasing overall.

9) Aizen Sosuke

Talented in nearly every way, I think of Aizen as the perfect villain (at the very least, the best villain I’ve seen so far). He’s a cruel, selfish, calculating, and manipulating individual who seeks power to overthrow the Soul King (which would basically make him God of all worlds). When Aizen is first introduced, we all thought he was the nicest man ever who died a tragic death. But we learned that it was the exact opposite—damn was that a shocker! While I did hate him then, he later proved to be a very capable and powerful leader, as he was able to group up an army of Hollows, use the Hogyoku to give them Soul Reaper powers, and easily persuade each and every one of them into subordination. Aizen’s powers are also impressive—his Zanpakuto, Kyouka Suigetsu, enables to him to cast illusions that control all five senses of an opponent (complete hypnosis). With that technique alone, he easily cut down the all captains and Visored who confronted him in the Fake Karakura Town. As Gin Ichimaru mentioned, Aizen Sosuke is power.

8) Sajin Komamura

I like dogs and I like wolves, so right away I just have to include Captain Sajin Komamura, the werewolf Soul Reaper. He’s got a heart of gold and a pretty decent Bankai, which allows him to summon a giant samurai golem, and lastly the ability to temporarily make himself immortal. And yet, why is he only in number 8? Truth is, I still don’t feel like I’ve seen enough of him yet—I want to see him kick more ass. So far, he’s defeated Choe Neng Poww (one of Baraggan’s Fraccion) and Bambietta Basterbine (Sternritter “E”) which are both good victories but the former is only against a mere Numeros and against the latter, he reverted to a pure wolf form, which I still can’t tell if that’s a bad thing for him or not—hopefully the latter. Against the Hollowified Kaname Tosen, whom I really wanted Sajin to win against, he couldn’t beat him, which was a bit disappointing. I consider Kaname to be Sajin’s “Arrancar rival”. Most other captains defeated theirs so I really wanted Sajin to defeat Kaname who was being quite a douche then. But Sajin wavered because of the past bond the two shared, which I thought was unlike himself. In the end, Kaname overpowered Sajin and probably would’ve killed him too had Lieutenant Shuhei Hisagi not cut Kaname down. That aside, however, I still think Sajin is a very great character and I just might raise him up a level or two (maybe even more) depending on later chapters—I really think he has the potential to be higher up!

7) Gin Ichimaru

Arguably the most enigmatic character in the series, you just can’t tell for sure whether he’s really a good guy or a bad guy with that face and attitude he wears all the time. His slanted eyes and constant grin makes him seem like an evil psychopath whom you can never trust, and fact is, he is an antagonist for most of the series—he’s Aizen’s right hand man! And yet, even when we see him on Aizen’s side, we still can’t tell just what’s on his mind. All he seems to be doing is cracking jokes and amusement in everything that happens even in the direst of situations. Ichigo had pointed out once that when fighting, he can usually feel what his opponents are thinking, but with Gin, he can’t read him at all. It’s not until Gin’s last moments that he reveals his true motives—to kill Aizen as a means of avenging Rangiku Matsumoto, whom Aizen stole a pink energy ball from. I also like Gin’s unique Zanpakuto, which can extend extremely long distances and retract, both at blinding speeds (though Gin explains that its true nature involves the sword turning into dust that can contract or disperse). Henceforth, he can use that sword to swiftly strike enemies in both long and short ranges. What I like most about Gin is that mysterious and cunning as he is, he is the only person who could ever see through Aizen’s plans and the depth of his power, by patiently following and observing him for over 100 years (still though, even if 100 years doesn’t seem like too long in the Bleach universe, it’s too long just for exacting revenge). It’s such a shame that Gin died though; he is a really interesting character but has spent almost all his life just on revenge (which, again, just makes him more depressing than the fun guy we thought he was; I forgot to mention that he even hosted the Arrancar Encyclopedia omakes in the anime) and in the end, still failed and had to leave his “mission” to Ichigo.

6) Kenpachi Zaraki

Couldn’t leave him out, could I? Everyone’s favorite badass fighter, the captain of Squad 11—Kenpachi Zaraki! Kenpachi is a brute who loves to do nothing but fight, fight, and fight to the death. But what makes him truly unique is his fighting style—unlike all the other Soul Reapers, Kenpachi doesn’t have any Shikai (until he fought Gremmy), Bankai, Kido, nor Hado; all he has is his Zanpakuto—a long sword that is worn and crooked along the edge from frequent battles—and a lot of spirit energy. However, just from sword techniques (and a lot of endurance) alone, he has proven to be one of the most powerful and most fearsome captains in the Gotei 13 (to be fair though, all captains are pretty powerful). And then there’s his fight against the 5th Espada, Nnoitra Gilga, another battle-loving brute, which was in my opinion, the most epic fight in all of Bleach thus far! That battle… is what I call… a fight. The two spent more time just fighting and exchanging blows non-stop, with Kenpachi enjoying every last bit of it (even injuries), it was just a 100%, pure, unadulterated battle to the death! Overall, Kenpachi Zaraki just has an aura of invincibility that it’s just hard to imagine him losing (until the Sternritter came along).

5) Mayuri Kurotsuchi

Like many characters in any series, he was a total a__hole when first introduced, but the more we see him, the more badass we see in him. Mayuri Kurotsuchi is a mad scientist, and as expected, he is extremely eccentric. Given his whacked mindset, he often comes with unorthodox methods and solutions to various problems, with absolutely no regard for what others may think or feel about his actions. What I love most about Mayuri is that his insane desire to experiment on others is more than enough to motivate him to defeat his enemies using cruel and unusual methods. In general, hardly anything seems to stop Mayuri from getting and doing what he wants! Also, despite his apparent cruelty and ruthlessness, I still found him very inspirational when he spoke about why he hates perfection from a scientist’s viewpoint after defeating Szayelapporo Granz: "…But in truth, what is this idea of "perfection" truly worth? …To be "perfect" is to be unable to improve any further… To true scientists like you and I, "Perfection" is tantamount to "despair". We aspire to reach greater levels of brilliance than ever before, but never, NEVER, to reach perfection…." (Chapter 306, page 4-6).

4) Yumichika Ayasegawa

One of the funniest characters in Bleach, Yumichika gets more and more amusing each time he appears. Yumichika is a narcissistic pretty boy who judges everything by looks and beauty, and the first impression he may give some readers is “annoying and feminine”. However, in later appearances, he proves to be a lot more reliable, rational, and resolved than he looks, though his attention to aesthetics still remains a defining trait. I especially liked him in his fight against the Charlotte Chuhlhourne, one of Baraggan’s Fraccion, which started with the two bashing each other non-stop about how “ugly” the other looks, with Yumichika’s insults being more outrageous (in a good way of course). But aside from the comical nature, this also shows how direct Yumichika is with everyone, a trait that I like. That also mixes well with his observance, attention to detail, and analytical skills, which make him one of the smarter members of the savage 11th Division of the Gotei 13. This is shown in his confrontation against Giselle Gewelle (Sternritter “Z”), where he not only made accurate observations and comments about Giselle’s methods (she was trying to provoke Yumichika and his partner Ikkaku), but also anticipate other possible traps Giselle might be hiding and simultaneously counter-provoke his opponent, forcing the Sternritter to use more direct tactics in which Yumichika could more easily observe. I also respect Yumichika’s loyalty to the Squad 11, which is considered to be the best combat unit of the Gotei 13. However, this division, led by the death-defying Kenpachi Zaraki, condemned the use of any tactic other than pure melee techniques (for anything other than the latter would be considered cowardly). Yumichika’s desire and resolve to remain a part of this proud squad forced him to keep his Shikai a secret, which he hid very well, only using it when no one can detect him. His Shikai consists of powerful (and very beautiful) glowing vines that wrap around an opponent, siphoning his/her spirit energy dry. When the flowers on the vines bloom, the enemy dies. Yumichika can also eat the flower petals to heal himself. With this ability, he was able to overpower Shuhei Hisagi, a higher-ranking officer. Lastly, I also respect his quote: "I never regret anything. That's just how I do battle."

3) Toshiro Hitsugaya

At 3rd place, we’ve got [physically] the youngest captain of the Gotei 13, Toshiro Hitsugaya of Squad 10. Despite being a common fan favorite, a lot of people tend to underestimate his power. While Toshiro may not be the strongest of the Gotei 13 captains, he is no pushover! Able to master a Zanpakuto with a lot of potential, Toshiro is able to command ice at an overwhelmingly vast range—he can use all forms of surrounding water (no matter what phase, in the land or in the atmosphere) to freeze his opponents from various angles. (Heck, he can do whatever he wants with all the water and ice!) In fact, the strongest move in his Bankai, Hyoten Hyakkaso, can change the weather completely and then trap an opponent in a giant obelisk of ice that the victim can’t escape from without sufficient outside help. This is one of the reasons why I consider Toshiro to be the ideal ice elemental. In addition to his power, Toshiro has a unique spirit energy that is cold, even before he gained his Zanpakuto. This frigid nature is also reflected on his personality—calm and collected, rational, analytical, and strategic—all of which are qualities that I like and respect. In fact, he is one of the few characters in Bleach who don’t really have many flaws in character. Unlike some other characters, he isn’t arrogant—he fully acknowledges that his techniques still need work; he isn’t an idiot (should be pretty obvious by now); he is very determined in battle (which I’d like to point out is an aspect of life which contrasts the aspect of death, sacrifice, that his Espada rival, Tier Halibel represents); and he isn’t careless or hot-blooded either, except when Aizen deceived him into stabbing his friend Momo Hinamori who is like a sister to him. In fact, let's talk about Toshiro's fight against Tier Halibel (Espada #3). Once again, people tend to underestimate Toshiro--I don't know if it's because he looks young or whatever other reason--but Toshiro took on one of the top 3 Espadas (excluding Yammy at Rank 0) and even defeated her albeit temporarily. It is one of my favorite fights as we really see Toshiro shine, with his ice matching Halibel's water, a wide ranged combat, and Toshiro knocking out a few strategies before freezing his opponent in that wicked obelisk of ice--absolutely spectacular. Lastly, I’d like to mention that his Bankai is very visually pleasing and stylish, as it takes the form of a winged dragon-themed armor of ice, and the abilities he can use with his Bankai are just awesome looking. I look forward to seeing Toshiro’s return in later chapters of Bleach.

2) Urahara Kisuke

He used to be my favorite character, but even now, he’s still very high up on this list. Kisuke Urahara is a badass in so many ways. You get a humble, funny candy store merchant who is hands the down the smartest guy in the series (even smarter than Aizen), as shown in his uncanny inventions, such as a replication of an entire city, inter-dimensional communication devices, and the infamous Hogyoku which can break the boundary between a Hollow and a Soul Reaper (it’s what Aizen used to create Arrancars). And as smart as he is, Urahara is also a brilliant strategist as shown in his contribution to Aizen’s defeat (causing usually calm overlord to burst in anger for the first time). It is suggested that Urahara is probably very powerful, as he has a high amount of spirit energy and has mastered Bankai in only three days with some special method he created. Even Ulquiorra considered his abilities to be highly dangerous. However, in battle he rarely reveals a lot of abilities and sometimes opts to use his inventions instead. So despite all his skills and talents, Urahara remains humble and relaxed at most times; he would even crack a few jokes sometimes. You just gotta love characters who are like that—godly intelligence, shakes the world behind the scenes, a hell lot more than meets the eye.

So before I move on to my #1 favorite character in Bleach, I’d like to give a list of honorable mentions:

Ichigo Kurosaki
Uryu Ishida
Orihime Inoue
Sado “Chad” Yasutora
Yoruichi Shihoin
Izuru Kira
Hanataro Yamada
Momo Hinamori
Byakuya Kuchiki
Renji Abarai
Shunsui Kyoraku
Yachiru Kusajishi
Shinji Hirako
Ulquiorra Cifer
Grimmjow Jaguerjacques
Szayelapporo Granz
Rudobon Chelute
Yukio Hans Vorarlberna

And so, with that out of the way, we are finally down to my single favorite character; first place… goes… to…!

“Sorry to disappoint… I’m number one…”

1) Coyote Starrk & Lilynette Gingerback

That is correct. My favorite character is none other than the Primera Espada, Coyote Starrk (and his other half Lilynette Gingerback actually). I love this guy’s style and personality. He is a humble guy with a lot of power and some pretty badass techniques. For starters, he can shoot Ceros without a pose and his Sonido has proven to be the fastest among the Espadas as he is the only Espada to be able to teleport between places that are nowhere near each other instantaneously. His Sonido is so fast that he can even use it to generate more pseudo-clones that Zommari (who claims to be the Espada with the fastest Sonido) can. I also love Starrk’s release, Los Lobos, which grants him two pistols (after merging with Lilynette). A lot of characters in Bleach use swords, but then all of a sudden, you get a character who wields two F-you guns that can spam Ceros at a rapid rate; in fact, one of his techniques, Cero Metralletas, shoots Ceros in a wide machine gun fashion, hence the name. I find his use of guns awesome and I like the shade of blue his Ceros have. Starrk and Lilynette also have another power that I love even more than his pistols: they can summon and command an endless pack of wolves that give off powerful explosions upon contact. Like I’ve mentioned with Sajin Komamura, I love wolves and the ability to summon them is just awesome. I also mentioned that Starrk is very humble, as he never brags or gloats about his power like most other Espadas would, despite being the strongest among them (or second strongest if you include Yammy Llargo’s release). Also in contrast to most other Espadas, he isn’t inherently evil or violent. However, as I much as I love Starrk, he’s not flawless—there are moments where he does seem a bit pathetic. He seems to get easily demoralized and his will just doesn’t seem strong enough to keep him fighting seriously, which eventually became his undoing. Thankfully, Lilynette makes up for that, as she would urge Starrk to regain his will and strength for her pride of sharing the high Espada ranking with him. That said, where Lilynette fuels Starrk’s motivation to fight, Starrk will do the fighting and analyzing for both himself and Lilynette. These two are such a great tag team and in all honesty, when they fought Shunsui and the Visored, not only did I want Starrk and Lilynette to win, I almost thought of them as the good guys and their opponents as the villains. Part of that is also because they actually seem like good guys! But to be fair, with all the other Espadas, I would expect the Soul Reapers to win, so one way or another, Shunsui had to defeat Starrk and Lilynette. Still, however, they didn’t deserve to die! Why couldn’t they just be defeated but still live? Why’d they have to die? Kubo, you were nice enough to let Tier Halibel and possibly even Grimmjow live—not saying these two aren’t good characters—but why not Starrk and Lilynette?! I know I’m being purely biased but Starrk and Lilynette are just too good to be thrown away in my opinion. You have no idea how much it would make my day if Kubo does become kind enough to bring the duo back, even if it requires a lot of BS and ridiculous means. And of course, if Kubo is that generous, I hope Starrk and Lilynette will remain powerful and badass, and not lose like Tier Halibel did to Yhwach. But that’s just my wish, good chance it’ll never happen, but I can only hope and pray for my favorite characters to return. If not, then Rest In Peace, Coyote Starrk and Lilynette Gingerback—the first to pass away and still be my favorite characters of a series.

I guess that means Urahara Kisuke is currently my favorite character alive… if the Primera Espada doesn’t return. Still hoping of course!


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