Bleach is one of the best selling Japanese manga ever that runs into tens of volumes. All only does it have many many wonderfully crafted characters, Bleach also builds its fans support through its beautiful woven storyline and environment.
Standing in the centre of the story plot lies the powerful Gotei 13, a military Shinigami organization whose duty is to protect the Soul Society. It consists of 13 divisions, each led by a captain as well as his deputy. Each captain is immensely powerful, and can quite easily be multiple times more skilled than his lieutenant. Leading this bunch of monsters will be the Captain-Commander.
Since its establishment thousands of years ago, there have been many different Captains with various skills and characters. Let’s take a look at it’s top best Captains during all these years.
5. Shunsui Kyōraku
The most unlikely of candidate to fill the rank of Captain-Commander when his mentor the first and only Captain-Commander Yamamoto passed on during the Thousand-Year Blood war arc. Although a hugely laid-back and peace-loving dude, Shunsui is one of the oldest as well as strongest captains around.
A master swordsman as well as equipped with powerful Kidō (Demon Arts) skills and a master in Shunpo (Flash Steps), Kyōraku’s strength was only further confirmed when he was able to defeat Coyote Starrk, who was the highest ranked Espada, using only his Shikai (the first upgrade of his Zanpakutō).
Shunsui’s powerful spiritual power as well as skills in masterful deployment of warfare strategies make him an undisputed new leader of the Gotei 13.
4. Retsu Unohana (aka Yachiru Unohana)
Fourth division captain and the Soul Society’s best healer, don’t be fooled by her kind and youthful appearance!! Before becoming one of the founding members of the Gotei 13, Unohana was also one of the most heinous criminal to grace the Soul Society.
A student of the healing arts from Tenjiro Kirinji, one of the members of the Royal Guard for the Soul King, Unohana was also able to use high levels of binding and destruction spells. She is also the first Kenpachi, a title given only to the strongest Shinigami.
Despite her past, her last and greatest gift was using her last breath to teach Kenpachi Zaraki Zanjutsu (Swordsmanship), as well as awakening Zaraki’s Zanpakutō.
3. Genryuusai Yamamoto Shigekuni
The user of the most powerful Hado known to date, the level 96 Itto Kaso, the first ever Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 practically crushes enemies. Yamanoto is one of the oldest and most powerful Shinigami ever, at more than 2000 years old, he claimed that the fact he was its first and only Captain-Commander since the founding of the Gotei 13 (at least till his demise), was that there was no other Shinigami who was born capable enough to replace him.
Despite his old age, he was able to take on several captains in a single battle, his Shunpo skills allow his to outrace younger captains, and his monsterous Reiatsu allows his to break free of Bakudo spells with ease.
When Yamamoto shed his Zanpakuto, all will be burnt into oblivion. When he uses his Bankai Zanka no Tachi, it is said that a prolonged of its power will destroy both himself and even the whole of Soul Society itself.
2. Sosuke Aizen
Love him or hate him, Sosuke Aizen is one cool bad ass. A downright genius who is just about a master of all trades. During the Invasion of Soul Society Arc, Sousuke Aizen single-handedly defeated tonnes of Captains and Vice-captains as well as the Visored (a group of Shinigamis who have acquired the power of Hollow). Hack, he even defeated his own Espadas too!
How strong is he? One single #90 Hado was sufficient to defeat 7th Division Captain Sajin Komamura. His Shunpo techniques are so fast, you can’t even see his attacks, when he easily cut down four captains in a go. Even when he was tied to a seat, his powerful Reiatsu was still able to blast through barriers.
One of the most powerful and intelligent characters ever in the Soul Society and also deservingly chosen as one of the 5 special Powers by the Wandenreich (Invisible Empire).
1. Kisuke Urahara
Surprise, surprise, Kisuke is ranked 1st!!
Kisuke Urahara’s talent and skills are so far spread and diversified that he may well be the most talented and powerful Shinigami ever. A Kido Master with the speed to be on par with Yoruichi, a previous captain of the Gotei 2nd Division which is known for their speed, Kisuke was also able to fight in both armed and unarmed combat with high proficiency.
However, what makes him tower all over other captains is his genius intellect. He invented and founded many inventions, techniques and strategies that can make or break battles and wars.
The Hogyoku as well as Gigai Technology are just two of his spectrum of inventions. The fact is also that it is yet revealed of his Bankai’s power, but was commented that Kisuke learnt of his Bankai using only three days speak volumes of his immerse intellect.
A trainer to Bleach main character Kurosaki Ichigo, even Aizen admitted that without the enhancement of his powers using the Hogyoku, he would have been defeated by Kisuke. Another sign of recognition comes when he is also part of the Five Special War Powers (just like Aizen) declared by the Wandenreich.