My Bankai Is Bigger Than Yours!
It may have ended on sour terms with fans, but for the longest time Bleach was considered an anime beast that couldn’t be topped; a shounen juggernaut that was on par with the likes of One Piece. Swords, the supernatural, plenty of enjoyable characters, the early arcs were certainly a delight to watch, which is why it still holds a special place in many otaku hearts.
It’s just a shame that it was mired in filler arcs…and the conclusion with Aizen turned out to be a huge disappointment…and the Fullbringer arc was way underpar…and the ending was so abrupt it – you get the idea!
But instead of criticise (more than we already have) we’ve decided to celebrate what Bleach did right. Namely its action scenes! From the skirmishes with the Gotei 13 all the way to the clashes with the Espada, we are counting down what we believe to be the best fight scenes Bleach gave us over the years. Ready you zanpakutos!
Fair warning, there are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
#5: Mayuri Kurotsuchi vs. Szayel Aporro Granz
What happens when two mad scientists try to kill each other? Things get freaky. With Szayel’s Ressureccion abilities allowing him to break the bones and organs of his foes, you would think it would be his victory. Unfortunately for him, Soul Society’s resident sociopath has experimented on himself so much that he’s practically immune. He manages to win the day by drugging the Espada with a concoction that slows down his sense of time, essentially torturing him with a single stab for decades on end.
#4: Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Kenpachi Zaraki
Friends? Rivals? Sword buddies? Whatever they are, the Substitute Shinigami and the Captain of the 11th Division didn’t get off to the best of starts, mainly due to Kenpachi easily cutting through Ichigo on their first encounter. Thankfully, due to the connection he shared with his zanpakuto, Ichigo is able to bring himself back, leading to the two of them hacking each other to pieces. Kenpachi’s mad laughter as he is cut apart just makes the scene.
#3: Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez
One of Ichigo’s many Arrancar foes, Grimmjow made it his sole goal in life to kill Ichigo for his own personal pride. After many bloody encounters, the two settle things once and for all by going all out with their most powerful forms. Even as a feline, Grimmjow proves himself to be a tough opponent, but its not long before the self-proclaimed king loses his crown vis a blade through the chest.
#2: Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Byakuya Kuchiki
The pitch perfect conclusion to the beloved Soul Society arc. In order to rescue his friend Rukia, Ichigo clashed blades with her rather stoic older brother. Having now mastered Bankai, the two of them held nothing back, leading to a visual spectacle as Ichigo’s high speed slashing took on Byakuya’s blizzard of bladed petals. Throw in an appearance by Hollow Ichigo, and this battle cemented Bleach’s initial stardom.
#1: Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Ulquiorra Cifer
No other foe has pushed Ichigo as far as the the 4th Espada. To the point where he technically ended up killing him. In order to save his friend Orihime, Ichigo throws everything he can at the likes of the emotionless Arrancar…only to fall woefully short. And that’s all before Ulquiorra reveals he has a second transformation under his belt. At the brink of death, Ichigo has no choice to give into his inner Hollow. Not only is the fight brutal, but it also ends on a rather emotional note, with Ulquiorra questioning the nature of the human heart one more time.