Shinigami are the most powerful spiritual beings in Bleach. They ensure safe passage for the lost wandering souls and eliminate Hollows who spread chaos in the human world. A Shinigami carries a Zanpakuto which is their primary weapon in combat.
They possess immense spiritual powers and exceptional mastery in swordsmanship, which makes them a formidable force against evil. Here is the list of the 10 strongest Shinigami ranked in terms of strength.
Ranking the 10 strongest Shinigami in Bleach
10) Renji Abarai
Renji is the lieutenant of the 6th Division of 13 Court Guard Squads under the captainship of Byakuya Kuchiki. He holds immense respect for Byakuya and made a resolution that he will surpass him someday.
Renji is capable of holding against a captain-level swordsman. His Zanpakuto is capable of extending like a whip and its attacks are often unpredictable. Apart from being a master swordsman, Renji also holds prowess in Shunpo and Kido.
9) Ikkaku Madarame
Ikkaku is an individual for whom fighting is fun, and tends to hold back his true potential to extend the duration in combat. He would not release his Zanpakuto’s Shikai and Bankai if the opponent is not worthy. Ikkaku is the lieutenant of the 11th Division of 13 Court Guard Squads under the captainship of Kenpachi Zaraki.
He refused to take the position of captain because of his immense loyalty towards Kenpachi. However, Ikkaku is proficient enough to take the position.
8) Byakuya Kuchiki
Byakuya despises people who don’t abide by the laws of the Soul Society. He is a member of the Kuchiki clan, one of the four great noble clans in the Soul Society and subsequently became the head of it. Byakuya is also the captain of the 6th Division of Bleach.
His presence can be felt at great distances as he possesses immense Spiritual Power. His Zanpakuto, Senbonzakura produces tiny fragments of blades that can shred his opponents and also breakthrough almost any defense.
7) Toshiro Hitsugaya
Despite his child-like appearance, Toshiro is an exceptionally intelligent and mature individual who carries a stern demeanor almost all the time. He is the captain of the 10th Division of 13 Court Guard Squads in Bleach. His spiritual pressure is said to be immensely cold and uncontrollable.
He wields Hyorinamaru which is a powerful ice-nature Zanpakuto. Through it, he can even control the weather and summon terrifying blizzards.
6) Shinji Hirako
Shinji was exiled from the Soul Society to acquire Hollow powers. He later reclaimed his position as the 5th Division Captain of 13 Court Guard Squads in Bleach. His Zanpakuto’s Shikai ability “Upside Down World” releases a pink mist and those who smell it get themselves entrapped in his optical illusion.
With this ability, everything the victim experiences becomes inverted, for instance, if Shinji struck his opponent from the left side, his opponent would see the attack coming from the right and their back would get injured. No matter how powerful his opponents might be, they still won’t manage to perceive his attacks.
5) Kenpachi Zaraki
Kenpachi is the 11th Division captain of the 13 Court Guard Squads in Bleach. He has a menacing aura around him as he gets thrilled with the thought of fighting a worthy opponent. If the opponent resists even the slightest in the dual, he will withdraw from the fight by stating he doesn’t fight weaklings.
He wears an eye patch developed by the Soul Society’s Research Department that suppresses his spiritual powers because he doesn’t like to quickly eliminate his opponents. By releasing the Shikai of his Zanpakuto, Nozarashi, he can cut through an enormous meteor.
4) Shunsui Kyoraku
Shunsui ultimately became the 1st Division captain as well as Captain-Commander of 13 Court Guard Squads of Soul Society after the death of Genryusai Yamamoto. Although Shunsui doesn’t like to engage in conflicts, he is one of the most proficient swordsmen in Bleach.
His Zanpakuto, Katen Kyokotsu has a unique ability in which he can force his enemy to play child-like games which has two outcomes: Victory means they are spared while a loss will result in death.
3) Aizen Sosuke
Aizen was a major antagonist for Bleach's first half. He abandoned and betrayed Soul Society in order to become the most powerful being by using Hogyoku. He is the former captain of the 5th Division of 13 Court Guard Squads.
Aizen’s Zanpakuto, Kyoka Suigetsu, can trap his victims by taking control of their five senses, creating complete hypnosis. After getting fused with Hogyoku, Aizen became Immortal.
2) Genryusai Yamamoto
Genryusai was the captain of the 1st Division and the captain commander of the 13 Court Guard Squads in Bleach. He is the most powerful swordsman with over two millennia of experience.
As the progenitor of the 13 Court Guard Squads, he had prowess in Shunpo, Kido, and Hakuda. Genryusai’s Spiritual Powers were considered to be immeasurable. His Zanpakuto, Ryujin Jakka was capable of burning the existence of his opponent in its Bankai state.
1) Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo Kurosaki is the protagonist of Bleach who had the greatest transition, as he went from being a Substitute Shinigami to the most powerful Shinigami. Throughout the series, his Zanpakuto kept changing its form until it reached its final version, where he wielded two blades.
The larger one represents the Hollow within him and the smaller one represents his Quincy powers. Having the powers of a Shinigami, Hollow, Fullbringer, and Quincy made him the deadliest force in Bleach.