10 best character designs in Bleach, ranked

The Big Three series' wide cast of characters is home to some of the best designs in anime and manga (Image via WordPress)
The Big Three series' wide cast of characters is home to some of the best designs in anime and manga (Image via WordPress)

One of the biggest strengths of author Tite Kubo’s Bleach series is its character design. Both celebrators and detractors of the series will always praise the character designs and overall aesthetic seen throughout Bleach.

A few Bleach characters and some specific outfits tend to jump out even amongst the generally superb designs. Some of Bleach’s characters even have multiple outfits and designs that rank amongst the best in the series.


Bleach protagonist Ichigo is the only character with multiple top 10 design entries

10) Toshiro Hitsugaya (Sternritter Outfit)

Toshiro Hitsugaya’s Sternritter outfit, as seen in Bleach’s Thousand Year Blood War arc, deserves to be mentioned. The Sternritter outfits are always stellar, but Toshiro’s fits him differently than others.

Its classiness compliments his simplistic character design, resulting in an eye-catching character who doesn’t necessarily jump off the page. It’s a fantastic blend of simplicity and elegance, easily making it one of the series’ best.


9) Rukia Kuchiki (Lieutenant)

Rukia Kuchiki’s Lieutenant outfit is great for a variety of reasons. The subtle differences from her typical Shinigami outfit, such as the overall looser design and the addition of sleeve stockings, make it seem like not much has changed.

However, the true highlight of the outfit is the trademark lieutenant badge that she wears on her left shoulder. It’s a small yet impactful addition that makes this Shinigami outfit one of the most unique in Bleach.


8) Ichigo Kurosaki (TYBW Shinigami Outfit w/ Hollow/Fullbringer influences)

Ichigo’s final Shinigami outfit in the series is fantastically designed for a number of reasons. For one, it takes influence from his Hollow and Fullbringer designs without letting them dominate the true nature of the outfit, that being one of a Shinigami.

Even more significant is that it is symbolic of Bleach’s protagonist’s journey up to this point. It recognizes each of the major stages in his journey thus far while still maintaining his true identity as the only Substitute Soul Reaper.


7) Renji Abarai (Post Training/TYBW)

Renji’s Thousand Year Blood War outfit, often called the Post Training outfit, departs from his typical Shinigami outfit in all the right ways. The goggles and striped parka are small additions, yet ones that make a fantastic impact on how he appears.

In all the right ways, Renji’s new outfit pops off the pages of Bleach and forces readers to acknowledge and appreciate it.


6) Coyote Starrk (Resurreccion)

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Coyote Starrk’s Resurreccion outfit is one of the cleanest in the series, lacking a better term. The design is uniform throughout, with consistent influences as clear as day in each part of the outfit.

Even more amazing are the details, which go a long way to emphasize that the form is a combination of Starrk’s base design and his other half, Lilynette Gingerbuck.

The influence of each’s design on their combined form’s appearance makes it one of the best character designs in Bleach.


5) Shunsui Kyoraku

Shunsui as seen in the series' anime (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Shunsui as seen in the series' anime (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Shunsui Kyoraku’s unique character design and appearance amongst the Gotei 13 are a significant part of what’s so attractive about his appearance. He stands out amongst the crowd, mainly thanks to his Sugegasa hat and pink, flowered kimono. Despite being one of the more simplistic designs in Bleach, it also proves that one doesn’t need a complex design to be well-designed.


4) Sosuke Aizen (Muken)

Sosuke Aizen’s Muken outfit further hammers this point home, incredibly simplistic in its style and form. The form’s contrasting layers almost reflect his past, much like Ichigo’s final Shinigami outfit did for him.

The black base is symbolic of Aizen’s origins as a Shinigami, one which he has embraced and wants to remember. Meanwhile, the tattered white top serves as a reminder of his Hollow days and how Ichigo Kurosaki foiled his plan.

The line of white running up the middle of the black base serves as a connector of the two, showcasing how this current Aizen is the result and continuation of all his prior success, failures, and everything in between.


3) Ulquiorra Cifer (Segunda Etapa)

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Ulquiorra’s Segunda Etapa form is one of the most demonic and creative character designs in all of Bleach. The appearance of this form instantly turns the story's mood at that moment into a sinister, almost creepy one. The form is a strange mix of demonic, saddening, and intriguing, combining for one of the best and most memorable designs in the series.


2) Ichigo Kurosaki (Final Getsuga Tenshou)

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Ichigo Kurosaki’s Final Getsuga Tenshou form is easily one of the most iconic and beloved in all of Bleach. The outfit is a departure from anything seen in the entire series, whether before or after, and is truly one of the most unique in all anime and manga. If only one outfit could be pointed at to encapsulate Tite Kubo’s skill in aesthetics and design, it would undoubtedly be this one.


1) Grimmjow Jaggerjaquez (all forms)

No matter which version of Grimmjow Jaggerjaquez throughout Bleach is being discussed, nearly all of his character designs would rank as the best in the series. The simplicity of his base forms is beautiful, on par with the Sternritter outfits in terms of a balance between elegance, attractiveness, and simplicity.

His panther-inspired release form is incredibly eye-catching while still maintaining the simplicity other Release and Resurreccion forms seem to miss. Even as an Adjuchas Hollow, his big-cat design was incredibly unique, and nothing like it could be found in Hueco Mundo. All of his character designs are viable contenders for the top spot in the series.


Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.