Bleach Discussion: The Espada and their Rankings
The 10 Espadas in Bleach are officially ranked:
0) Yammy Llargo (Resurrecion)
1) Coyote Stark
2) Barragan Louisenbairne
3) Tier Halibel
4) Ulquiorra Cifer
5) Nnoitra Gilga
6) Grimmjow Jaguerjacques
7) Zommari Rureaux
8) Szayelapporo Granz
9) Aaroniero Aruruerie
The Validity of the Espada Rankings
â€œWell, duh! Everyone knows that!â€
Are you sure, guys? Are you really 100% sure?
Of course youâ€™re right! I just said Kubo Tite, the author of Bleach decided these rankings, didnâ€™t I? Therefore, these rankings are absolute and inarguable. A resurrected Yammy is stronger than Stark, Stark is stronger than Barragan, Barragan is stronger than Tier, and so on. Itâ€™s obvious! So obvious that thereâ€™s almost no need to be saying all this, right?
...But sadly, it obviously isnâ€™t.
Because there are still so many fans out there who think that these rankings are wrong and donâ€™t make sense and sht. As if! They might as well satisfy themselves by writing their own fanfics for that matter. Many fans believe (or like to believe) that some Espadas should have a higher rank over another, that some Espadas should be at a lower ranking than another, or that the rankings doesnâ€™t actually represent an Espadaâ€™s strength over another. Quit being so delusional, kids! Quit trying to defy the truth; itâ€™s no longer a matter of â€œopinionâ€, itâ€™s just facts vs false statements--youâ€™re either right or wrong. If I sound like one of the stubborn know-it-alls, so be it; Iâ€™m not going to pretend like Iâ€™m the author of Bleach.
The example I hear most of is about Ulquiorra, or Espada No. 4. There are a lot of people who think that Ulquiorra should be the strongest Espada, especially because of his second sword release, Segunda Etapa. Itâ€™s no doubt that his Segunda Etapa is extremely powerful, and his Lanza del Relampago is strong enough to reduce Las Noches in height. But that does not make him any stronger than Stark, Barragan, and Tier Halibel. Heâ€™s #4, that should tell you everything. Ulquiorra even openly admits that there are 3 (not counting Yammy at #10) Espadas who are stronger than him.
â€œBut wait! Ulquiorraâ€™s number disappears when heâ€™s at Segunda Etapa!â€
Segunda Etapa, Segunda Etapa, Segunda Etapa--just shut up already! That changes nothing! Unless Mr. Tite has officially revealed otherwise, Ulquiorra is #4 till the very end! And if that still doesnâ€™t convince you, Ulquiorra (at S.E.) has called himself â€˜Cuarto Espadaâ€™ in the video game, Bleach: Soul Resurrecion. And no, a game wouldnâ€™t lie about something like that.
And yet, still, there are people who like to compare Ulquiorra to other Espadas...
Ulquiorra Cifer vs Coyote Stark
â€œAt Segunda Etapa, Ulquiorra would be even stronger than Stark!â€
No, he wouldnâ€™t. Not only because Stark is #1, but because against someone like Ulquiorra, the one who is faster has the upper hand. Ulquiorra mainly relies on his extremely high flying speed as well as powerful Black Ceros and other destructive techniques. An opponent who is faster than him can easily evade all his attacks and quite possibly land a good one on Ulquiorra. Stark has fits this criteria. Coyote Stark has proven to be the fastest among all the Espadas (despite Zommariâ€™s claim of being the fastest himself) as he is the only one so far to have teleported between places that are no where near each other and can even create more afterimages than Zommari can (Zommari can only produce 5) at once. That said, Stark already surpasses Ulquiorra in speed. In addition to speed, Stark has also proven to be the best with Ceros. In his regular form, he can shoot Ceros from anywhere from his body without moving a muscle, a merit that is both quick and efficient. In his Resurrecion, Los Lobos, Stark can use Cero Metralletas, which shoots out a Bala-fast blister of Ceros (that is very difficult to dodge unless youâ€™re as skilled as Shunsui Kyoraku). But suppose Ulquiorra was fast enough to at least dodge that, Stark can still manage to lure Ulquiorra from the opposite side of the Cero Metralletas explosions and attack him from there (just as he did with Shunsui, despite a failed attempt). Either way, Stark will never have a problem avoiding Ulquiorraâ€™s attacks and landing effective blows on Ulquiorra. Therefore, it should be clear that Coyote Stark is superior to Ulquiorra and that Ulquiorra (even at S.E.) is still inferior to Stark (if it wasnâ€™t clear enough already!)
Ulquiorra Cifer vs Tier Halibel
There are a lot of people who just wouldnâ€™t believe that Tier Halibel would be stronger than Ulquiorra. I mean, it would be easy think that someone who uses powerful dark energy would be stronger than a mere water elemental. However, Tier is not â€œmerelyâ€ a water elemental. But I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s really the reason why fans would think Ulquiorraâ€™s stronger. Ulquiorra (again, at S.E.) has Lanza del Relampago which is certainly powerful, and can quickly reduce the fortress of Las Noches in height, but some of Tier Halibelâ€™s water attacks (I forget the names--is it Cascada or Azul-Blood Splash?) were powerful enough to flood and level nearly the entire city of Fake Karakura Town. Even Barragan acknowledged, â€œTier Halibel puts on quite a show.â€ Furthermore, Tierâ€™s Cero is wider and therefore less easier to dodge than Ulquiorraâ€™s. And again, Ulquiorra has stated that there are 3 stronger than him, heâ€™s #4, Tierâ€™s #3, get the idea if you havenâ€™t already.
Besides Ulquiorra, there are debates about other Espadas as well.
Barragan Louisenbairne vs Coyote Stark
There are those who believe that Barragan (Espada #2) should be the strongest out of the Espada and therefore stronger than Stark (#1). Granted, Emperor Barragan Louisenbairne was indeed the â€œGodâ€ of Hueco Mundo before Aizen showed up, dethroned and demoted him, and started running Hueco Mundo a whole new sht. Moreover, Barragan possesses Respira, the Dying Breath, an extremely lethal poison vapor that causes all things to age, rot, and disappear. And just as weâ€™ve seen, Barragan was able to so easily reduce every obstacle in his way to nothing with his Respira. The Respira was also able to defend him from nearly any solid attacks, such as falling buildings. And yet, it wasnâ€™t perfect--the Respira doesnâ€™t seem to be able to protect Barragan from explosives as Soi Fon had managed to injure him a great deal with her missile Bankai. This also leads me to speculate whether Respira would even work on energy attacks at all. If not, Stark could already beat Barragan with his powerful Cero prowess. But regardless, Stark can summon explosive wolves (which can re-spawn even after explosions) that should be able to deal Barragan a great amount of damage. Combine that with Starkâ€™s speed (which he can use to easily avoid Barraganâ€™s Respira). Iâ€™d honestly say Stark has surpassed Barragan by a long shot; heâ€™s got all it takes! Stark is No. 1, and Barragan is No. 2, period.
Yammy Llargo, Espada No. 0
In his regular form, Yammy Llargo is only No. 10, making him weaker than all the other 9 Espadas. But with enough rage, he can use his Resurreccion, Ira, to instantly level him up to No. 0, making him hands down, the single most powerful Espada. A lot of fans werenâ€™t happy about this and wanted to deny it, some because they really hated Yammy. Iâ€™ll admit, even I wasnâ€™t impressed by the idea, especially because it meant that Yammy was now stronger than Coyote Stark, my favorite Espada (the only one that I liked, actually). But too bad! To restate Kubo Titeâ€™s decision bluntly: A resurrected Yammy is stronger than Coyote Stark; stronger than all the other Espada, like it or not. Being a giant at Resurrecion, Yammy can blast out Ceros that are a hell lot larger than all the other Espadasâ€™ are. Yammy is also hard to defeat for good--even if it looks like you beat him, he only needs to be angry enough to revive and even become stronger and bigger yet. In a sense, Yammy is a far more powerful and troublesome version of the Incredible Hulk. Lastly, it took 2 of the most powerful Soul Reapers to take him out permanently. How they did it I donâ€™t quite recall.
Grimmjow Jaguerjacques vs Ulquiorra Cifer
Okay, I know Iâ€™m mentioning Ulquiorra again, but this time, instead of explaining why heâ€™s weaker than another Espada, letâ€™s talk about why heâ€™s stronger than another, namely Grimmjow, Espada No. 6. There are people who think that Grimmjow is stronger than Ulquiorra. Not even close! Sure, Grimmjow did manage to throw Ulquiorra off guard once, sending him into another dimension. So what? Although it took a while, Ulquiorra managed to get out of the dimension on his own, no harm done whatsoever. Still not convinced that Ulquiorraâ€™s stronger? Letâ€™s just compare their battles with Ichigo since they both fought him. Against Grimmjow, Ichigo was able to win at with his Hollowification Bankai move (I think thatâ€™s what it is). It was completely out of his own power and effort, and therefore a solid victory. But against Ulquiorra, Ichigo proved no match for him and nearly (no, should have) died when Ulquiorra blasted a deep hole in Ichigoâ€™s chest! And Ichigo would have died for sure had Orihime not â€œmagicallyâ€ revived him by crying (boy is that becoming a thing). To cut Ulquiorra down to size, Ichigo had to completely become something else--something resembling a berserk Vasto Lorde with exponentially more power than normal Ichigo has. In short, Ichigo was strong enough to have a fair fight with Grimmjow, but had to defy certain death to struggle against Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra (#4) or Grimmjow (#6), whoâ€™s stronger? (Iâ€™ll just delete any comment that votes Grimmjow.)
So, for those of you who just couldnâ€™t accept Kubo Titeâ€™s ranking system, Iâ€™ve done my best in trying to convince you to accept it. But if you still canâ€™t, youâ€™re in denial. Why do I bother writing all this? Like you (assuming youâ€™re a Bleach fan), Iâ€™m also into Bleach and I always have thoughts about it. But I digress. The Espadasâ€™ ranks are absolute, definite, and everything. I donâ€™t want to hear BS like â€œno, ranks and numbers donâ€™t decide whether your strong or not, we have to look into them and see--!â€ Shut up. The rankings do decide everything and I did the â€œlooking into themâ€ for you. The only time a lower ranking Espada has â€œbeatenâ€ an upper ranking Espada was when Nnoitra (#8 at the time) cheated to strike down Nelliel (an Espada who was #3 back then), with the help of Szayelapporo. But in all the fair fights between Nnoitra and Nelliel, Nnoitra always lost (why else what he cheat?)
Iâ€™m done; Iâ€™ve made my point. The end.