And while Bleach has provided us with some truly amazing fights, even among the allies, the two characters we have compared today have never fought in the series, which is why the balance of power between them is so interesting. Namely, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto is known as the strongest Shinigami ever, while Ichigo, in his true form, transcended the traditional role and powers of a Shinigami. This is why we have decided to compare these two to determine who would win in a fight and why.
And while Ichigo Kurosaki did become extremely powerful after unlocking his true form, powerful enough to cut down Yhwach, he would still lose to Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto in a fight. Namely, Yamamoto is such an experienced and resilient fighter that Ichigo’s skills wouldn’t be of much use, because he wouldn’t be able to seriously injure Yamamoto despite having more Spiritual Pressure than him.
This article is going to be all about comparing Ichigo Kurosaki and Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto. You’re going to find out who Ichigo and Yamamoto are, as well as what their exact powers and abilities are. In the end, based on what we have presented earlier, we’re going to give our final verdict on who is stronger. It’s promising to be a fun story so keep reading until the end!
Ichigo Kurosaki and his powers
Ichigo Kurosaki is a fictional character and the protagonist of the manga Bleach, as well as the anime adaptation of the same name. He was created by Tite Kubo and is a 17-year-old high-school student who can see ghosts. After an unfortunate incident, a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki transfers her powers to him so he can save his family, after which he becomes a Soul Reaper himself.
Ichigo does not rank like Shinigami but his strength is great enough to fight on par with captain-level Shinigami. When in his Shinigami form, he already has great speed and his strength is much greater. Because Ichigo has more spiritual power than his body can handle, he is constantly leaking power. This prevents him from suppressing his spiritual power.
In addition to his Shinigami powers, Ichigo also has Hollow powers. After losing his first fight with Byakuya Kuchiki and losing his Shinigami powers with it, he went to train with Kisuke Urahara to regain the Shinigami powers. During that training, Ichigo also partially became a Hollow. The Hollow’s strength grows throughout the series.
Unlike Ichigo, the Hollow fights like a berserker. The Hollow disregards Ichigo’s injuries and surpasses Ichigo’s speed and strength. Ichigo has been taught to control the Hollow by the Vizards, who let him summon his Hollow powers without the Hollow taking control. After controlling the Hollow, Ichigo trains to extend the time he has to use the power. His limit is 11 seconds, but during his fight with Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, it is considerably longer.
Ichigo’s Zanpakutō is called Zangetsu. Unlike other Shinigami, Ichigo’s Zanpakutō is always in the Shikai form. The Zanpakutō is so big because Ichigo cannot control his spiritual power. Zangetsu’s soul is a middle-aged man with sunglasses and a long cloak. He is portrayed as a wise and calm man who likes to test Ichigo in unusual ways.
Zangetsu’s Bankai is called Tensa Zangetsu. Ichigo’s Bankai causes his Zanpakutō to shrink and his uniform changes. He can also move faster and his reflex has improved. Zangetsu’s special attack is the Getsuga Tenshō, which launches an energy attack from the top of Ichigo’s sword. The soul of Tensa Zangetsu is a younger version of Zangetsu, about Ichigo’s age. He is also aggressive.
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and his powers
Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto was the captain of Division 1 in the Gotei 13 and also the Captain-Commander of the whole Gotei 13. His lieutenant was Chōjirō Sasakibe. He founded the Gotei 13 and commanded the units for more than a thousand years, making the Gotei 13 one of the most feared units in the whole series.
As one of the oldest Shinigami, Yamamoto possesses an inordinately powerful Spiritual Power. He is so powerful, he is able to bring down Nanao Ise, a Vice-Captain. He can get rid of 4 Bakudō techniques very easily and even Aizen recognizes that he is weaker than him in brute force combat. Yamamoto will say that if he has been the Captain General for 1,000 years, it is because since taking office, no Shinigami more powerful than him has emerged.
In addition to this legendary power, Yamamoto is an excellent teacher and tactician, having trained the first generation of Shin’Ō Academy or Kenpachi Zaraki in the space of a day. He has led the 13 Divisions for 1,000 years, thanks to his legendary strength, but also thanks to his great combat experience and his model leadership.
His Zanpakutō is called Ryūjin Jakka and in its sealed form it looks like a normal katana kept hidden inside the old Shinigami’s walking stick. She is a fire-related elemental-type zanpakutō and is the oldest and most powerful of her kind, as well as the one with the greatest attack power. The shikai is released on the command “reduce the entire universe to ashes” and its power is such that the area around the captain is consumed in flames, which only powerful captains can resist.
His Bankai is called Zanka no Tachi and through this the flames are concentrated in the blade, which appears as if it were burned and ruined by the fire, reaching temperatures of 15,000,000 degrees. From the moment of activation, the whole surrounding environment is affected by a drought condition; moreover, from the thoughts of the commander, one can sense that even his own body would be in danger if the release were to continue for a long time.
The Zanka no Tachi has four distinct techniques, each associated with a cardinal direction. They are:
- Zanka no Tachi, Higashi: Kyokujitsujin is the technique where all of Ryūjin Jakka’s flames are concentrated on the edge of the blade. According to Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, it simply destroys everything that comes in contact with her. Which is easy to believe, since he just completely dissolves a large area with a single blow.
- Zanka no Tachi, Nishi: Zanjitsu Gokui is arguably Yamamoto’s Bankai’s most dangerous technique. It is invisible until he wants someone to see it. His body is literally engulfed in flames, which reach temperatures of up to 15,000,000°C, making it impossible for anyone to even touch him. Yamamoto compares it to him and his sword being clothed in the flames of the sun. It is very likely that this technique is also the reason for the great drought.
- Zanka no Tachi, Minami: Kaka Jūmanokushi Daisōjin can be used only after Yamamoto recites an incantation. After reciting it, armed skeletons appear and support Yamamoto in battle. The skeletons are all enemies that Yamamamoto had killed with Ryūjin Jakka so far. These attack Yamamoto’s opponents until their bodies turn to ashes.
- Zanka no Tachi, Kita: Tenchi Kaijin is Zanka no Tachi’s final technique through which Yamamoto concentrates all of his Bankai’s powers into one single cut which cuts through the opponent with east.
Ichigo Kurosaki vs. Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto: Who would win?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Let us continue.
There are numerous debates about who the stronger of these two characters is. Some people keep downplaying Yamamoto because he did not defeat Aizen and Yhwach, but from an objective standpoint, Yamamoto was tricked in those unfair fights, where his opponents had an unfair advantage. Aizen did everything he could to avoid a direct clash with Yamamoto, whereas the impostor Yhwach lost to Yamamoto; it was only through the fact that Yhwach cheated and stole Yamamoto’s Bankai that the Captain-Commander actually lost these fights. It was not because he is not that strong because he actually is.
As for Ichigo, his final form is the one we have to consider, because Yamamoto would easily deal with all of his earlier forms, that much is clear. But, Ichigo’s final form was enough to cut down Yhwach and his Spiritual Energy in that form is very near to that of the Soul King. Now, this is much more than Yamamoto’s but we still think that it wouldn’t be enough for Kurosaki-kun to defeat the Yama-ji. Why?
Well, for starters, pure energy is not enough to defeat Yhwach. Both Aizen and Yhwach were roughly on the same level as Yamamoto, with Yhwach probably having even more power than the Captain-Commander due to his connection with the Soul King, but neither of them were able to defeat Yamamoto without resorting to trickery; Aizen outwardly stated that Yamamoto wat too much of a threat and he didn’t even defeat him (Yama-ji collapsed due to exhaustion), whereas Yhwach was only able to do it because he found a way to steal Yamamoto’s Bankai.
Secondly, Yamamoto is both a better and more experienced fighter. Had it come down to a duel between Ichigo and Yamamoto, Yamamoto would definitely win due to his vast experience in dueling various powerful opponents. Ichigo beat some of his opponents with actual luck, whereas Yamamoto won using his skills and powers. Sure, Ichigo had the power to parry Yamamoto, but he did not have the skill to do it. The only ones who might have been on Yamamoto’s level are members of Division 0, but even that is debatable (Hyosube probably was, but we can’t guarantee about the others).
Ultimately, Ichigo would fall to Yamamoto who is the series’ most skilled fighter. Sure, Ichigo has become stronger over the years, but he is the protagonist and was able to surpass the Shinigami Captains because of his specific nature, which allowed him to adapt to different opponents, whereas the Shinigami were limited by their very natures. But, that is not an actual measure of power, which is why we have Yamamoto as the winner here regardless of all the other facts that might go in Ichigo’s favor.