Updated on September 29, 5:12 p.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy.

Even for a long-running shonen series, Bleach is known for its enormous cast of characters.

There are groups within groups of Soul Reapers, Quincies, Hollows, and even humans. For all their glittering powers, even the strongest inevitably congregate in their elite groups — the Captains and the Zero Squad, the Espadas, and the Sternritter.

And yet, some of them are still able to stand apart. The 5 strongest characters in Bleach are an eclectic bunch, ranging from a teenage part-time Soul Reaper to the heart of a god.

The 5 strongest characters in Bleach

Spoiler warning: Bleach manga and anime spoilers ahead

5. Gerard Valkyrie
4. Ichibe Hyosube
3. Soul King
2. Ichigo Kurosaki
1. Yhwach

5. Gerard Valkyrie

Bleach Gerard Valkyrie
Credit: Viz Media

Gerard Valkyrie, as the heart of the Soul King, already possessed great power. And yet, he was bestowed the Miracle Schrift by Yhwach, making him truly broken.

Gerard Valkyrie’s Schrift lets him conjure, well, miracles. It has seemingly limitless potential — the Quincy was bisected, frozen, and takes the full brunt of several captains’ Bankai, and yet continually grew in both size and strength through things that would kill most beings.

The lower a chance of something happening, the more likely the Miracle grants it. This allowed the Quincy to say absurd statements that essentially turned true — wish-making that even a genie would be jealous of. He also grows stronger, larger, and faster through taking damage.

Gerard’s one big weakness was that his overpowering Schrift was granted by the progenitor of the Quincies, Yhwach — and it could be taken away at will.

4. Ichibe Hyosube

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Ichibe Hyosube
Credit: Pierrot

The leader of Squad Zero is a literary master, having named essentially everything in Soul Society.

His power over names includes himself. Having had his body disintegrated, somebody saying his name was enough to bring him back to life, slowly piecing his body back together by stealing little bits of power from those that said his name.

Ichibe’s Zanpakuto, Ichimonji, gave him the power to write calligraphy and chop up names. He can literally half a person’s power by cutting their names in half, as well as write letters that can fully conceal something as absurdly gigantic as the Soul King Palace.

He’s so old that his Bankai isn’t even a Bankai — because he named them that. Instead, his Shinuchi, or True Strike, White Brush One Written Character (Shirafude Ichimonji) let him change the name of his targets, whose powers then correspond to their new title. For example, writing Black Ant on an opponent would cause them to have the strength of an ant.

3. Soul King

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War anime Soul King
Credit: Pierrot

The Soul King’s Spiritual Power is incomprehensibly vast. His power is what keeps the three realms — the Human World, Soul Society, and Hueco Mundo — separate.

When Yhwach absorbs the Soul King’s body, he’s wracked by the sheer amount of Spiritual Power and collapses out of strain. 

He does this even without his limbs and body parts, which are powerful enough to be godlike entities of their own. His left arm, Pernida Parnkgjas, and heart, Gerard Valkyrie, are nearly indestructible beings that gave several Captains — the best of the best of Soul Society’s military might — tough battles.

However, the Soul King’s one weakness is that he cannot move. Locked in a prison, he’s still vulnerable to attacks — especially from two of the strongest characters in Bleach.

2. Ichigo Kurosaki

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War TYBW anime trailer Ichigo golden Getsuga Tenshou
Credit: Pierrot

The protagonist of Bleach seems to always have another gear inside himself. From the beginning of the series, he’s gone through relentless improvement to become better, stronger, and faster, culminating in power levels that leave even his godlike foes afraid.

Ichigo Kurosaki Funko Pop Bleach figure
Credit: Funko
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With four separate pieces of souls in him, he’s the only example in the series of a true whole — Quincy, Human, Hollow, and Soul Reaper. Ichigo’s hybrid nature lets him combine powers unique to each being, resulting in a distinct “this isn’t even my final form” in every arc.

Tamashii Nations - Ichigo Kurosaki -Bankai Tensazagetsu- Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, Bandai Spirits S.H.Figuarts 6.1 Inch
Credit: Tamashii Nations
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Ichigo’s true ceiling isn’t even known yet, because Yhwach nullified the true Tensa Zangetsu immediately by breaking it. Even then, we saw Ichigo bisect Yhwach with one Getsuga Tensho — before the battle results were effectively canceled out of canon by Yhwach himself.

1. Yhwach

Bleach TYBW Yhwach
Credit: Pierrot

Yhwach, the leader of the Quincies, is a being of terrifying, world-breaking power.

His purpose in life was to create a world without fear of death, through collapsing the barriers between the three distinct realms — the Human World, Soul Society, and Hueco Mundo — destroying the cycle of life.

Bleach Box Set 3: Includes vols. 49-74 with Premium (3) (Bleach Box Sets) Paperback – Box set, November 6, 2018chigo Kurosaki never asked for the ability to see ghosts—he was born with the gift. When his family is attacked by a Hollow—a malevolent lost soul—Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured spirits themselves find peace. Find out why Tite Kubo’s Bleach has become an international manga smash-hit!The third and final Bleach manga box set. This set completes the series, featuring volumes 49-74 at a substantial savings over buying them individually, along with an exclusive booklet containing a cover art gallery and author interview, as well as a full-color, double-sided poster.
Credit: VIZ Media LLC
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The vastness of his might is difficult to comprehend. Every Quincy’s powers came from him, and he can take them back forcibly to improve his own power. The Almighty, his signature ability, makes him an omniscient god — he sees and knows every future originating from the present, and can alter them at will.

Bleach’s ultimate villain was taken down, yes. But it required so many things to go right for Yhwach’s reign to finally end.

Without the help of Sosuke Aizen — himself one of the most powerful beings in existence — and Uryu Ishida’s silver arrow, the progenitor of the Quincies would likely have accomplished his goal.

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