Most Bleach characters are actually popular because they are canon or have been present in the anime filler episodes, gaining notoriety despite the criticisms directed towards these episodes. Still, the Bleach universe also contains several light novels that supplement the canon story, most of which have been (semi-officially) confirmed as canon by Kubo. But, this article will focus on the canon manga as we will talk about one specific character from the series and the first major villain of the series – Sosuke Aizen, whom many consider the villain of Bleach. Aizen was one of the most interesting characters in the series, and we think he deserves an article of his own.
The article is going to be divided into two major sections. The first one will represent Aizen’s powers and abilities, while the other one will be a short comparison of Aizen’s powers and abilities to the powers and abilities of other characters, divided into several subsections. These will not be detailed analyses, just brief comments so you can understand Aizen’s position in the Bleach lore.
Explaining Aizen’s powers and abilities
Sōsuke Aizen is the former captain of Division 5 of the Gotei 13. With his followers, Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen, Aizen committed treason and left Soul Society for Hueco Mundo so he could become the ruler of both worlds.
His lieutenant was Momo Hinamori. He formerly served as the lieutenant of Division 5 under Shinji Hirako. After launching a war against the Gotei 13 with his Arrancar army, Aizen was defeated by Ichigo Kurosaki, sealed away by Kisuke Urahara, and imprisoned for his crimes.
Aizen is undeniably one of the strongest characters in the Bleach universe. He is much more powerful than the Gotei 13 Captains, who are also skilled fighters. He demonstrated his great fighting skills by easily disposing of a group of four Captains and four Vizards. It must be acknowledged that Aizen’s hypnotic Zanpakutō, Kyōka Suigetsu, goes along with his gigantic might. He has a tactical advantage on the battlefield as a result of everything.
In the series, it has become clear that Aizen’s Spiritual Pressure is much stronger than a normal commander’s. As he said himself, it takes more than double the Reiatsu of a commander to activate the Hogyoku, even for a short time. His ability to create armies from arrancar is evidence that he possesses that.
Furthermore, he could completely negate attacks and effects like those of Soifons Suzumebachi and immediately bring Grimmjow Jaegerjaques to his knees. Many characters also make comments about how enormous Aizen’s spiritual energy feels. After his transformation through Hogyoku, his Reiatsu was so powerful that it even made Ichigo Kurosaki doubt that he stood a chance. His control over his Reiatsu is so high that he was able to focus his spiritual pressure on just one person.
Aizen is also highly talented in Kido. He unleashed Number 90, Black Tomb, in a short battle with Sajin Komamura without any incantation. Aizen himself said he didn’t even cast the spell at full power, so it was only a third of its power. Despite this, Komamura suffered serious injuries.
In the battle of Karakura, he often uses Kido-like barriers of spiritual energy that can even repel Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou. He also confused Yhwach and Hashcwalth into thinking they had only been with him briefly when they weren’t. This is believed to be due to Aizen’s kido, which he could use despite being imprisoned and even though both Yhwach and Jugram were extremely powerful.
As far as his Zanpakutō is concerned, Kyōka Suigetsu is an exceptionally powerful illusion-based Zanpakutō. When in Shikai form, Aizen uses its special Total Hypnosis power to trick everyone around the Zanpakutō and create illusions as he pleases. Namely, the power is activated when a person simply looks at the Zanpakutō, which makes it exceptionally dangerous, as you never know what is real and what is not. Aizen’s Shikai was so powerful that only Ichigo was unaffected. His Bankai has not been revealed.
Aizen’s sword attacks have tremendous power, although most of them are normal sword strokes, so he easily blocks attacks from all directions and defeats opponents with simple maneuvers. Its sword attacks are powerful enough to slice through many combatants’ bankai, severing limbs or nearly slicing opponents in half.
The real danger of his Zanjutsu is his Kyoka Suigetsu, with which he can control the five senses of his opponents, and anyone who has seen his Shikai will always be under hypnosis. Since his Shikai alone is very dangerous, his Bankai’s power must be particularly great, although nothing is known about it since he never used it.
Aizen must also be incredibly proficient at Shunpo, dodging most attacks with ease, even if they come from a blind spot. Since he said he had achieved perfection in all types of combat, he is probably just as fast as Yoruichi, but it is questionable whether he is faster than them. However, he could dodge even a point-blank attack from Yamamoto – it looked like he would simply disintegrate. Also, he was too quick for Komumura and Hitsugaya.
How powerful is Sosuke Aizen compared to other Bleach characters?
This section will compare Sosuke Aizen to other strong Bleach characters. These will be brief comparisons whose main goal is to give you a general idea of his powers and abilities.
Sosuke Aizen vs. Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo was the one who ultimately defeated Aizen, but it is a well-known fact that neither of them used their actual powers at the time: Aizen was under the influence of the Hogyoku, and Ichigo used his final Getsuga Tensho.
Now, both of them grew and evolved after that battle, and while Ichigo did access some amazing powers and abilities, Aizen was able to trick Yhwach and defend the Seireitei while still being partially sealed. This is why we think that, objectively, Aizen is stronger than Ichigo.
Sosuke Aizen vs. the Espada
As we’ve said, the Espada were a very diverse group with many different characters whose powers were also quite interesting. And while they all existed as Hollows before Aizen arrived in Hueco Mundo, Aizen created them. Aizen claimed he was stronger than all the Espada, and he was probably right.
He easily defeated Harribel with his tricks, but seeing him fight Baraggan, Starrk, and Ulquiorra’s second form would be interesting. The others wouldn’t really be a challenge for him, although he would probably be able to counter Baraggan in the same way as Hachigen did, and he could potentially overpower both Start and Ulquiorra.
Sosuke Aizen vs. Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto
Despite his thorough narcissism, Aizen was actually afraid of Yamamoto. Yamamoto was, in fact, the only Captain of the Gotei 13 that Aizen could not beat, so he created Wonderweiss, whose sole purpose was to seal away Yamamoto’s powers.
Even Aizen was aware that he couldn’t do much against Yamamoto’s Zanpakuto, and Yamamoto, despite being severely injured, proved he was capable of almost killing Aizen, as well as seeing through his tricks. That is why Yamamoto wins this one.
Sosuke Aizen vs. the Gotei 13 Captains
The Thirteen Captains of the Gotei 13 are also a diverse group with many different powers. Aizen tricked them, giving himself the upper hand against them, but from an objective standpoint, he was not the strongest Captain.
Kyoraku and Ukitake were more powerful than Kenpachi, whose raw power Aizen couldn’t handle. Unohana, in her original state, was also probably stronger than Aizen. It would be interesting to see how he would do against Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Shinji Hirako, but as far as the other Captains are concerned, he probably would be able to defeat them.
Sosuke Aizen vs. the Royal Guard
Everything we’ve said about Yamamoto applies to the Royal Guard as well. First of all, they were not under the influence of his Zanpakuto. Secondly, all five of them were exceptionally powerful. This is especially true for Nimaiya, who would know everything about Aizen’s Zanpakuto, and Hyosube, who was simply too powerful, even for Aizen’s standards.
Sosuke Aizen vs. Kisuke Urahara
Urahara actually managed to outwit Aizen, and even Aizen himself recognized Urahara as his intellectual superior. And while intelligence alone is not enough to defeat Aizen, Urahara was also powerful. He had one of the most epic Bankai in the series, so we’d give Urahara the advantage here.
Sosuke Aizen vs. Yhwach
Now, this would be an interesting one. Aizen managed to influence Yhwach and mess with his perception of time, but it is not certain that he would actually be able to defeat him. Yhwach was quite powerful, and although the two of them could probably not kill each other, Yhwach would, in our opinion, triumph.
Sosuke Aizen vs. the Sternritter
The Sternritter are numerous and diverse, but knowing his power, Aizen would probably be able to surpass most, if not all, of them. All those below the level of the Schutzstaffel would not be a problem for Aizen, and he would probably figure out how to defeat Pernida, Askin, Jugram, and Barro. Gerard would be an issue because we haven’t seen how Gerard can be defeated, but if possible, Aizen would probably be able to figure it out.