The Shingami Zanpakuto of Bleach it is initially revealed as a shikai, a stage that requires saying the name of the weapon and activating it with a specific enchantment for the wielder. Almost all Gotei 13 officers have the ability to manifest their shikai, and it becomes quite difficult to get promoted if one does not have good control over it.
There are several types present in Soul Society: projectile, alive, fire, poison, melee, earth, kido, ice, alive, earth, lightning, darkness, wind, illusion, and water, to name a few. However, it goes without saying that the more experienced the Shinigami, the stronger his shikai, although this is not exactly accurate in all cases.
10 Kuchiki Byakuya’s Senbonzakura Explodes into Cherry Petals
Senbonzakura is released when Byakuya utters 散 れ, or Scatter, and the blade explodes into hundreds of beautiful cherry petal-shaped pieces. This gives him access to long-range attacks and greatly increases his field of attack.
Furthermore, the petals can move with immense speed, also providing shields. Although Byakuya’s bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, is much more overwhelming, his recent visit to the Royal Kingdom has greatly strengthened his shikai.
9 Hitsugaya Toshiro’s Hyorinmaru can alter the weather on a grand scale
Hyorinmaru has one of the coolest launch commands ever, 霜天 に 坐 せ, or “Sit on top of the icy skies.” He is the most powerful shikai of his kind on Seireitei and possesses various abilities designed to enhance his effectiveness.
For example, Hitsugaya can alter the climate of his surroundings on a large scale. Also, to fight Bazz-B, he comes up with some complex techniques, such as the Shinku Taso Hyoheki, the Ryojin Hyoheki, and the Rokui Hyoketsujin. Unfortunately, his opponent has too much raw power to be baffled.
8 Kisuke Urahara’s Benihime creates a versatile dark red aura
Kisuke Urahara’s Benihime is the most versatile of all Soul Society. As such, it can be activated by saying 起 き ろ, which means “Awakening”. At its most basic level, the shikai creates a deep red aura, which is subsequently used in various ways.
For example, telling your shikai to “chant” unleashes huge blasts of power, while “razor” allows you to break through any variety of barrier objects. “Refuse” is best used to negate an opponent’s technique by perfectly countering it with your own, and “Binding” and “Beaded Mesh” generate a crimson web that is used to trap the enemy and then explode in sequence.
7 Katen Kyokotsu from Kyoraku Shunsui offers games for difficult children
Kyoraku Shunsui has not become the new Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 for nothing: his Katen Kyokotsu boasts such spectacular power that even Coyote Starrk, the First Sword, is defenseless before him.
After an overexcited deliverance charm, 花 風 紊 れ て 花 神 啼 き 天 風 紊 れ て 天魔 嗤 う, or “Flowery winds are disturbed, the flower god sings, heavenly winds are disturbed, the devil of the sky scoffs, “Katen Kyokotsu allows her wearer to play certain childish games with her. They may seem innocent, but victory is very difficult against them.
6 Kurosaki Ichigo’s Zangetsu doesn’t have a release trigger
Ichigo’s Zangetsu is the only shikai out there without a release trigger, but it’s not that he needs it anyway. Previously, he used to produce vague approximations of arcs of energy in the form of Getsuga Tensho, but Squad Zero has taught him how to express the full power of his zanpakutos.
By the end of the series, Ichigo’s Getsugas are clean and infinitely more powerful, and his Getsuga Jujisho is ridiculously overpowered.
5 Unohana Retsu’s Minazuki is able to defeat the likes of Kenpachi
To be fair, it’s still not very clear what Unohana Retsu’s shikai looks like. It is believed to take the form of a huge floating manta ray that swallows wounded combatants and vomits them almost completely healed.
However, given the reveal about his real identity, it is possible that the creature is just a form of his shikai, and the sword he uses during his battle at Muken is his fighting mode. In any case, Minazuki is capable of defeating people like Kenpachi dozens of times.
4 Aizen Sosuke’s Kyoka Suigetsu can manipulate whoever she wants
Sosuke Aizen’s Kyoka Suigetsu is activated with the simplest commands – 砕 け ろ, which means “Shatter” – and the worlds of reality and illusion collide within the minds of his opponent. Even without taking into account his immeasurable reiatsu, his shikai can successfully manipulate anyone into perceiving a universe of his own creation.
Known as Perfect Hypnosis, this technique is strong enough to simultaneously defeat multiple Gotei 13 captains and actually works against Yamamoto Genryusai (to a degree).
3 Kenpachi Zaraki’s Nozarashi can decimate meteorites and sever the void of space
After the destruction of the mental blocks that had been placed, Kenpachi was finally able to hear and manifest his shikai, Nozarashi (呑 め, or “drink”). It takes the form of a gigantic ax, completely different from its original leathery state.
Interestingly, Nozarashi’s size is for effect only because it is her capacity for violence and destruction that is most terrifying. Currently, Kenpachi is capable of decimating meteors and opening or closing the vacuum of space.
2 Hyosube’s Ichimonji Ichibei removes the name of everything he touches
One of the oldest zanpakuto ever created, Ichimonji is revealed when Ichibei Hyosube commands him to 黒 め よ, or “Go black”. It turns into a calligraphy brush, which then sprays ink on the enemy. This substance can remove the “name” from everything it touches, thus nullifying its functions.
If this isn’t terrifying enough, Ichibei’s Futen Taisatsuryo technique can steal the darkness reserved for a different timeline to build a tomb for his enemy. Yhwach only survives because his own Schrift is back at peak efficiency by then.
one Genryusai Yamamoto’s Ryujin Jakka controls heat in a precise and calculated way
Genryusai Yamamoto has the most overwhelmingly incredible activation command of all time: 万象 一切 灰燼 と 為 せ, which means “All things in this world, turn to ashes.” The shikai is perfectly suited to his deliverance charm – to be honest, the old man doesn’t even have to resort to his techniques to win a fight with Ryujin Jakka.
His unconquerable power is demonstrated by the fact that Aizen himself is aware of the impossibility of surpassing it. More importantly, it’s not like Yamamoto is just throwing fire; your control over heat is precise and calculated.
NEXT: Bleach: Every Filler Arc In The Anime (In Chronological Order)
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