Bleach, one of the most popular anime series from over a decade ago, follows the story of Soul Reapers, Hollows, and Quincy, each possessing unique abilities and attributes. One of the main characters, Ichigo Kurosaki, and many other Soul Reapers, have the power to use Bankai, the second release of their Zanpakutō. Bankai is a potent ability, and only high-ranking warriors known as Captains can achieve it.
Throughout the series, fans have witnessed various Bankai, all of which are incredibly powerful, but some are stronger than others. However, a popular theory among Bleach fans suggests that one of the most notorious characters, Aizen, never had a Bankai and used his Shikai to create an illusory one to deceive everyone. Let’s delve into this theory and explore why Aizen might have done this.
But first, let us take a look at the 20 finest Bankai in terms of strength.
- Raika Goen Kaku can unleash powerful flames
- Ryumon Hozukimaru’s strength increases when it deals or receives damage
- Tekken Tachikaze is capable of producing strong melee attacks
- Kazeshini Fushi No Kojyo has the ability to create a cycle of death and rebirth
- Soo Zabimaru can reduce enemies to ash
- Kinshara Butodan can create physical illusions
- Jakuho Raikoben utilizes an incredibly powerful missile
- Koko Gonryo Rikyu can produce lightning strikes from the sky
- Kokujo Tengen Myo’o is a massive armored giant
- Tensa Zangetsu’s true power is capable of injuring a Quincy God
- Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo can create poison and new abilities
- Kannonbiraki Benihime Aratame is capable of restructuring anything
- Nozarashi can essentially cut through anything
- Kamishini No Yari is extremely fast and can dissolve enemies at a cellular level
- Suzumushi Tsuishiki creates a space that nullifies most senses
- Senbonzakura Kageyoshi can create countless flying blades for both offense and defense
- Minazuki produces extremely effective acid
- Gagaku Kairo can devour anything within its reach
- Hakka No Togame creates a mist that freezes anyone it touches
- Urozakuro allows the user to fuse with anything
What about the Aizen Bankai?
A popular theory among fans suggests that Aizen, a character in a story, doesn’t possess a Bankai, a powerful ability possessed by high-ranking warriors known as Captains. Instead, Aizen only has a Shikai, a lesser ability called Kyoga Suigetsu. It suggests that Aizen Bankai was an illusion. However, Kyoga Suigetsu’s illusions are so potent that Aizen could have used them to hypnotize everyone during the Captain test and make them see an illusory Bankai, thus fooling the examiners. Aizen could have kept this illusion going until his betrayal, which would render it irrelevant.
Furthermore, Captains rarely use their Bankai in battles, so Aizen could have kept his “Bankai” hidden and only used it during the test, making it the sole instance of its use. For the other Captains, this would have been satisfactory, and no one would have questioned Aizen’s qualifications for his rank. Aizen was known for being a kind and artistic user of Kido spells, not for his Bankai.
Why would Aizen Create an Illusory Bankai?
Aizen’s desire for greater power and ability to break natural barriers drove him to compensate for his lack of Bankai potential. He obtained greater power through the forbidden Hogyoku, which made him practically unstoppable in his final fight against Ichigo. However, to conduct the historic project of developing and using the Hogyoku, Aizen needed more than just authority and required access to advanced research data and lab funding, which he couldn’t achieve as a Lieutenant. Therefore, he used his Shikai to fake a Bankai, gain the rank of Captain, and obtain the privileges necessary for his research.
Aizen’s ruthless and calculating personality made him willing to deceive every Soul Reaper officer to achieve his goals. He knew that being a Captain granted more than just authority and privileges, and he needed that rank to achieve his ultimate objectives. Thus, he used his powerful Shikai to hypnotize everyone and make them see an illusory Bankai during his Captain exam, which allowed him to fool the examiners and gain the rank he needed. Despite lacking a natural Bankai potential, Aizen’s cunning plan allowed him to become one of the most powerful and dangerous Soul Reapers in history.