Bleach is a long-running manga and anime penned by Tite Kubo, and it is no stranger to having protracted, bloody battles that leave the characters missing a few gallons of blood and usually on their clothes (maybe that's another reason why it's called Bleach).
Today’s article will look at the 10 incredible fights that left fans in awe. As always, this article is subjective, and many fans will have their own thoughts on which sword-swinging, Bankai blasting and fighting battles were the best. But for now, let's try to keep things civil.
Ranking Bleach's 10 most incredible fights
It’s no secret that Bleach has a lot of filler, with the series having well over 300+ episodes in total, some good, some bad, and some just downright ugly.
So, for this list, the only fights that will be considered are the same ones that took place within the manga.
10) Ichigo Vs. Renji
Let's start this list off with an old favorite, and one that introduced the world of Shingamis proper. Up until this point, Bleach fights had mostly been against the otherworldly horrors called Hollows, but this was Ichigo's first battle against another Soul Reaper.
In addition, this fight helps set the stage against the kind of enemies that Ichigo will face and learn that not all of his problems can be solved with a giant sword.
9) Toshiro Vs. Halibel
While not exactly the most intense, this fight does pose an interesting conflict between the ice-wielding Toshiro and the water-blasting Halibel. Rather than an out-and-out conflict of who can slash harder, this one relies more on their respective elements and any tricks up their sleeves.
It's rare to see two similar fighters have had this clash, even if it wasn't resolved quite the way everyone wanted it to.
8) Ichigo Vs. Kenpachi
One of the biggest hurdles Ichigo had early in his career and, ironically, one of the few he never really surpassed. Kenpachi Zaraki was a Gotei 13 captain, easily capable of going through Ichigo's sword with no more than a gentle poke of his own.
While Ichigo has always had a few close fights, this was one of the few that was a unanimous loss, and it helped that Kenpachi himself didn't have any special powers, just raw strength and skill.
7) Rukia Kuchiki Vs. Aaroniero Arruruerie
Rukia Kuchiki sadly doesn't get a lot of fights in Bleach, but the few she does have are usually a bit more intense than what a reader might think. What's more, this fight has a bit more of a personal connection to Rukia, making it all the more impactful when she puts her sword through Aaroniero, one of the most confusingly named characters ever, and avenges her former superior, Kaien Shiba.
It's one of the few fights where Rukia comes out on top that isn't filler, and doesn't leave her with a giant hole in her chest.
6) Shunsui vs. Starrk
The old adage "brilliant but lazy" applies to these two, and it shows just what happens when two lazy old men decide to get off their rears. What makes this fight interesting is that the two are evenly matched in power, meaning that their special abilities determine this fight.
Shunsui's Zanpakto just makes things even more interesting, as its constantly changing rules mean that no matter what happens, the viewer is left on the edge of their seat.
5) Ichigo Vs. Byakuya
First appearing to take Rukia away, Byakuya is the main antagonist of Bleach's Gotei 13 arc, and the one Ichigo has to beat to save Rukia from her fate. Given that he delivered an absolutely brutal smackdown to Renji and Ichigo prior, fans knew that this fight was going to be one for the ages.
Armed with his new Bankai, Ichigo proves to Byakuya that he might be a low-class Shinigami, but sometimes you don't need a fancy family to get the job done.
4) Byakuya Vs. Tsukishima
Speaking of Byakuya, this one is an interesting mash-up. Both Tsukishima and Byakuya pride themselves on their strategies and mind games, so when these chess masters clash, the audience is in for a treat. While the outcome was never in doubt, the idea that someone might match Byakuya in Bleach, at least when it came to tactics, was a sight to see.
3) Ichigo Vs. Ulquiorra (Final)
Let it never be said that a brawl can't be entertaining. Bleach fights generally go into one of two categories, tactical fights that rely on special abilities or just out-and-out slugfests. This one is one of the latter.
Ulquiorra proved to be one of the most harrowing opponents Ichigo has ever fought, outclassing him even with several power-ups. Only until Ichigo's love interest, Orihime, has her life on the line does Ichigo become a Vasto Lorde and overpowers Ulquiorra with almost disgusting ease. This fight was so iconic that it was remade in the movie.
2) Aizen Vs. Everyone
Near the end of Bleach's first run, it looks like things have taken a turn for the worse. It's Aizen vs. everyone still standing, and while outnumbered against various Soul Reapers of various powers, he still manages to come out on top. A combo of his Kyōka Suigetsu, which binds his foes in illusions, and magical abilities, means that Aizen plays everyone for fools. Poor, poor Momo.
1) Ichigo Vs. Aizen
The last fight of the Bleach anime for a time, and it was a doozy. Aizen had just upgraded into a literal butterfly of death and had become so powerful that he could vaporize people if they got too close to him. He looks darn near unstoppable, but all that changes when Ichigo makes his appearance once again.
This time with longer hair and missing a sleeve, Ichigo seems a bit stranger than last time. No longer angry and hot-blooded like most shonen protags, he's calm, almost eerily so. The fight proves he has every reason to be. Thrashing Aizen up and down the city without so much as a scruff on his shirt, Ichigo's final Getsuga Tenshou cleaves Aizen in two.