Reiatsu, or Spiritual Pressure, is the physical force/pressure that a person’s Reiryoku (or Spiritual Power) creates upon release. Most Shinigami, Arrancar, Quincy, and Bounts can manipulate the release of their Reiatsu and can demonstrate their power by the Reiatsu released. And while there is no official scale ranking the Reiatsu of the Bleach characters, we have decided to list the ten characters that have the most powerful Reiatsu in the series based on the accounts given by other characters.
The characters will not be ranked because we cannot really determine the exact levels of their Reiatsu and compare them, which is why we will simply list them in random order.
1. Soul King
Most of the powers and abilities that the Soul King actually had before being sealed are unknown, but, in the words of Ichibē Hyōsube, his powers were so enormous that he was able to keep all the realms in balance. As the supreme ruler of Soul Society, the Soul King possesses spiritual powers of unparalleled proportions. When Yhwach, who himself also possesses immense spiritual powers, acquired the Spirit King’s full powers, they were so overwhelming even for Yhwach at first that the Quincy ruler collapsed from sheer overload, and it also took some time for Yhwach to recover from his body has fully made the powers of the Soul King his own.
At this point, so much of the Soul King’s Reiatsu was spilling out of Yhwach’s body that it manifested in the form of countless “shadow creatures” and tumbled down onto the Seireitei, where the “shadow creatures” attempted to destroy it.
2. Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto’s extensive experience, incomparable on any scale to the rest of the Bleach characters, make him one of the most powerful characters in the series, if not the most. Yamamoto is considered to be the strongest Shinigami of all time, and as a former teacher at the Shinigami Academy, he is skilled in all forms of Shinigami combat. Being the “father” of the Shinigami Academy, Yamamoto has more than 2,000 years of combat experience and is capable of fighting at a high level even with two skilled commanders at the same time.
As the former Captain-Commander, Yamamoto has tremendous Reiatsu, which has the power to shock others, like Nanao Ise, and make them lose all faith in victory, and even make it difficult to breathe. Even Aizen admitted that he couldn’t defeat Yamamoto, and Aizen was declared a Special Threat by the Quincy due to his immensely powerful Reiatsu. Yamamoto’s Reiatsu was unrivaled by anyone in Soul Society, and no one had such a powerful manifestation of their powers. In his youth, he was so powerful that he referred to himself as a monster.
3. Ichibē Hyōsube
As a member of the Royal Guard, Ichibē possesses powers and abilities that surpass an ordinary Gotei 13 Captain. The fact that he was the only opponent to date who was able to keep up with Yhwach for a long time or even gain the upper hand over him shows his immense strength. His defense is also formidable, as he could intercept some of Yhwach’s kido-like missiles at half power between his bare palms.
Ichibē Hyōsube has never fought that much, but seeing how he is theoretically stronger than all the other Shinigami (potentially even Yamamoto), he has to be enormously powerful, that cannot be denied. His Spiritual Power was shown to be higher than Yhwach’s (he would have won had Yhwach not activated his The Almighty at just the right time), and he was strong enough to actually rebuild the Soul King from what remained of Yhwach. Ichibē Hyōsube is enormously powerful and is a true beast in that aspect, so this definitely has to be taken into account, despite the little information we actually have.
4. Jūshirō Ukitake
Ukitake stands out among the Captains of the Gotei 13 because of his immense Reiatsu, which was not weakened even through his illness. Despite often being underplayed, Ukitake is actually one of the strongest Captains of the Gotei 13 and, thus, one of the strongest Shinigami ever. However, due to his reserved nature and illness, he is not often seen on the front lines and has not shown his true fighting potential.
Ukitake is ranked so high because Nanao Ise, in the manga, confirmed that, due to the fact that he has to maintain his illness (and probably Mimihagi as well), no other Captain has so much energy as Ukitake (save for Yamamoto), as he had to balance out so many different factors for him to stay alive and remain functional under the circumstances.
5. Sōsuke Aizen
In the series it has become clear that Aizen’s spiritual energy is much stronger than that of a normal Captain. As he said himself, it takes more than double the Reiatsu of a Captain 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 Soi Fon’s Suzumebachi and immediately bring Grimmjow to his knees by simply using his Reiatsu. 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. Even Ulquiorra Cifer, after beating up Ichigo and eventually even going into the second stage of his Ressureccion, managed not to frighten Ichigo that much with his passively released energy.
His control over his Reiatsu is so high that he was able to focus his spiritual pressure on just one person. He also said to Don Kanonji that he would die if he touched him, and even congratulated him on having endured his Reiatsu “as long” as he could, which couldn’t have been more than two minutes, given how much they talked. A little earlier, a man died just by walking past Aizen without direct contact.
After being imprisoned in Muken, Aizen’s Spiritual Power grew even stronger, despite the fact that he was restrained and imprisoned. In the series, it has been stated that his Spiritual Pressure helped keep the world in balance, and he was able to counter the shadows that Yhwach released on the Seireitei after merging with the Soul King. Due to his exceptionally high Reiatsu, he was declared a Special Threat by Yhwach and his Sternritter. He was also able to use his powers on Yhwach, despite Yhwach being nominally stronger than him.
According to Quilge Opie, he has strength superior to any Espada, which is confirmed by defeating the Third Espada, Tier Harribel, without much difficulty. In Yhwach’s own words, even the Tercera Espada “couldn’t do a thing against him.” He was also able to defeat and kill Shigekuni Yamamoto Genryūsai without any difficulty, so having defeated one of the strongest characters in the Gotei 13, he is one of the toughest opponents in the entire series. According to his own words, he was the only Quincy capable of stealing Yamamoto’s Bankai.
The exact level of Yhwach’s Reiatsu is a matter of debate, but it is definitely enormous and among the highest ones. Namely, we know that he is more powerful than the Espada and most Sternritter, but while he is one of the strongest characters in the series, Reiatsu is not equal to one’s strength in battle. His Reiatsu wasn’t enough to overwhelm Zero Division, Yamamoto, or any of the Captains, and even the more powerful Sternritter were not overwhelmed by his sheer Reiatsu. Aizen was not impressed by him and even managed to use his powers on him, both when he was normal and after he fused with the Soul King.
Yhwach’s Reiatsu definitely wasn’t as strong as the Soul King’s, as the Soul King’s power overwhelmed him, and we could argue that because of that same reason, Ukitake’s Reiatsu is also stronger, as Ukitake was able to house a deity inside him since he was a child. The differences are really quite small, so this ranking was quite difficult to determine properly, but we have explained why it is like that. This is, of course, basic Yhwach we’re talking about.
7. Gerard Valkyrie
Gerard Valkyrie is the Heart of the Soul King and the Sternritter “M” – “The Miracle.” He is an exceptionally powerful character and while his base Reiatsu is on par with that of a Gotei 13 Captain, thanks to his power, The Miracle, Gerard can increase his Spiritual Power so much that we can claim that it is almost infinite. At one point, his Spiritual Power became so high that he could barely sense the powers of the Captains he fought, and even Kenpachi Zaraki knew, before activating his Bankai, that he had to attack him both with his Shikai released and without his eyepatch, which is a testament enough of just how strong Gerard is.
8. Shunsui Kyōraku
As one of the oldest Captains and also from a noble family, Shunsui Kyōraku has an incredible amount of Spiritual Pressure. He is also very resilient, having suffered no major damage after a (relatively brief) battle with Yamamoto and his Zanpakutō Ryujin Jakka, said to be the most destructive in all of Soul Society, and was not even shaken by his Reiatsu. It has been said that his and Ukitake’s Reiatsu far surpass those of other Captains, i.e., that they are the most overwhelming in the Seireitei, behind only Yamamoto’s. A testament to his strengths was that he managed to survive the battle against Lile Barro (who managed to take out some members of the Royal Guard), as well as the fact that he was elected as Yamamoto’s successor, which proved that he was truly one of the strongest.
9. Kenpachi Zaraki
Kenpachi has tremendous Reiatsu, which comes out very often because he doesn’t always have control over it. His Reiatsu is so great that he cannot suppress it completely. It can paralyze and suppress his opponents and his attacks are also very dangerous thanks to his Reiatsu. His reiatsu always appears yellow in color, and without its eyepatch, it can manifest itself in the form of a skull and even be used as an attack. His Reiatsu can be used both offensively and defensively.
Kenpachi’s Reiatsu surrounding his body can completely neutralize weak attacks, and the damage can be transferred to the opponent. Toxic gases and vapors are simply blown away by his Reiatsu. His Reiatsu protects him automatically, and he can only be hurt by strong opponents. This protection is similar to the Hierro of the Arrancar. When Kenpachi concentrates his Reiatsu, powerful shock waves are created when he slashes his sword. If he uses both hands when attacking, the shockwave can reach a large radius of destruction. Unleashing his Bankai creates such a massive wave of Reiatsu that buildings in a large area are completely leveled. It has been stipulated that his Reiatsu is limitless when its growth potential is concerned, but this has not been confirmed.
10. Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo has been noted several times as having vast spiritual energy, far beyond most other Shinigami. In fact, it could be said that Ichigo possesses an unimaginable Reiatsu. This is so large that its body is not sufficient as a vessel for it. Therefore, it is constantly sprayed outward, similar to Kenpachi’s Reiatsu so that he can be easily found, making it impossible for him to hide his Reiatsu. Ulquiorra Cifer, upon first meeting Ichigo, says that his Reiatsu at its peak even exceeds Ulquiorra’s own, but it spirals out of control because Ichigo was in conflict with his Inner Hollow.
Ichigo has learned to focus and harden his Reiatsu, weakening or even neutralizing enemy attacks; he thus masters a technique similar to the Hierro of the Arrancar. According to Unohana, his Reiatsu is greater than that of a regular Captain. When Grand Fisher met Isshin and realized he was Ichigo’s father, he said that Ichigo was a thoroughbred Shinigami, which explains his great powers. Since Isshin was also a Captain, much of Ichigo’s great strength seems to lie in his blood, as well as the blood of his Mother, who was an Echt Quincy.
During the Quincy Blood War, he trained with the Royal Guard in the Soul King’s Palace, and Ichibei commented on how he had finally surpassed the level of a regular Shinigami. Has, in fact, become so powerful that he could serve as a vessel for the Soul King, which was also Ichibei’s backup plan. This finally made Ichigo into one of the series’ strongest characters.