As far as Bleach characters go, Kenpachi Zaraki is one of the most intriguing and popular ones. The guy who actually seemed like a brainless lump of raw strength actually became a character with much depth and one of the best stories in the whole series. He is the current Captain of the 11th Division of the Gotei 13 and a character who likes a challenge more than anything else. The stronger the opponent, the more he enjoys the battle. He was also unique in many ways and his not knowing the name of his Zanpakuto was one such trait. But, that all changed during the Quincy War against the Sternritter when Kenpachi found out the name of his Zanpakuto and also managed to activate his Bankai.
The revelation of Kenpachi’s Bankai was a major moment for Bleach and since that moment, as well as the Bankai, were so special, we have decided to write an article explaining its powers and abilities to you, as well as when and how it debuted.
What is Kenpachi’s unnamed Bankai?
Statistically, the Captain of the 11th Division should be the weakest of the Captains, but in practice, he is actually one of the strongest. Kenpachi Zaraki is a very powerful Shinigami, a fact he has repeatedly proven in the story. His appearances in the anime alone, including the movies, show how powerful he is; he defeated the Quinto Espada alone and severely injured the Cero Espada alongside Byakuya.
He can also take on other Captains who fight him with their Bankai while he holds back himself. Where his strength comes from is unknown, but since he was already a strong fighter when he was in Rukongai, there may be some connection with his past. Since Captain Unohana held the title of Kenpachi, she was the strongest Shinigami of her generation.
But even as a child, Zaraki Kenpachi was stronger than her. Since Zaraki holds the title of Kenpachi, he is the strongest Shinigami of his generation. And that although he has no Kido and no Reiatsu instincts.
As for his Zanpakuto, it was thought, for a long time, that Kenpachi will never find out its name and thereby access its full powers. But, during the Quincy War, Kenpachi managed to find out the name of its Zanpakuto – Nozarashi – and used it to help the Shinigami defeat the invaders. We’re going to give you more details on that later, but let us now see, in short, why Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto is so special.
Kenpachi’s Shikai takes the form of a butcher knife with a sheath connected to a green tassel, Nozarashi’s cutting ability is so great that she can disintegrate a giant meteorite created by Gremmy. Kenpachi’s Bankai turns him into a demon and his blade is partially broken, the power and cutting power are overwhelming, and can split a giant like Gerard Valkyrie in half.
How did Kenpachi activate his Bankai?
During the battle between the Vandenreich and Soul Society, Kenpachi encountered Lloyd Royd posing as Juha Bach. Kenpachi appeared in front of him with three dead Sternritter on his back and explained how weak they were. He is later seen being defeated by Lloyd as Juha Bach. After that, he only reappears after the battle when he has to fight Yachiru Unohana to learn the art of killing.
During this fight, Kenpachi is often killed by Unohana and revived by her healing abilities, as Unohana knows that Kenpachi is stronger than her and she wants to help him regain his old strength. You learn that Unohana has fought against Kenpachi before when he was a child and that she lost. However, Kenpachi wanted to have even more fun fighting and thus sealed a large part of his true power.
This gradually returned when Kenpachi took heavy damage and was healed. By the end of the fight, Kenpachi has regained his former strength and kills Unohana. After Unohana’s death, a mysterious voice begins to speak to Kenpachi, telling him that she has been watching over Kenpachi all along, and then wants to tell him her name.
After Yachiru was attacked by Gremmy Thoumeaux, Kenpachi arrives and begins a fight against the Sternritter. Both fight on an equal footing, but thanks to his special ability “The Visionary”, Gremmy seems to be one size too big for the Captain. As the battle enters its final phase, Guremi threatens to use a meteorite to destroy the Seireitei. That’s when Kenpachi uses his shikai “Nozarashi” for the first time. With his new power, Kenpachi finally succeeds in destroying the meteorite.
Gremmy then attempts to launch Kenpachi into space. The Captain struggles to stay alive in the vacuum, but he manages. Gremmy then triggers an explosion, but Kenpachi survives this too with burns. When Gremmy finally imagines wanting to be stronger than Kenpachi, he dies due to the fact that such a large mass of muscle is too much for the boy’s body.
After his victory, Kenpachi becomes aware of his serious internal injuries. He begins to wonder where Yachiru has gone and shortly thereafter finds her Lieutenant badge and Shihakusho lying on the ground. Kenpachi orders the soldiers of the 11th Company, who rush over to congratulate him on his victory, to search for Yachiru immediately. However, they are stopped by Candice Catnipp, Meninas McAllon, Giselle Gewelle, and Liltotto Lamperd, who have come to take out the weakened Captain.
The Sternritter begin decimating the lower-level shinigami, causing Kenpachi to attack them with the last of his strength. Eventually, however, he is thrown to the ground by Giselle and Meninas with their combined strength and initially appears to be unable to fight. Later, Kenpachi is taken to Urahara Kisuke’s laboratory, where his injuries are treated by Jūshirō Ukitake.
When Ukitake says he won’t be able to move for a while, Kenpachi emerges from the medical room asking who he means, which amazes Ukitake. Kenpachi then questions Urahara about Yachiru’s whereabouts and, after learning that his Department is currently still searching, attempts to exit the building despite Urahara telling him to stay. As Urahara wants to halt him using a kidō barrier, Kenpachi moves toward him in a rage, but is confronted by Nanao Ise, who points out that he has an obligation to fulfill here.
After a brief pause, Kenpachi concedes that Urahara is correct, withdraws, and asks for an orb to fill with his reiatsu. Later, when Kenpachi questions whether charging the orbs will make them fly, Urahara responds that it will make entrances to the palace of the Soul King. Urahara acknowledges that there might be no going back, to which Kenpachi responds that his only goal is to murder the Wandenreich members. Kenpachi is surprised to hear Urahara announce that the Soul King was killed as Seiretei starts to come apart.
Kenpachi then watches as Ukitake uses the power of Mimihagi to replace the Soul King. He later appears in the newly transformed kingdom alongside Nemu and Mayuri Kurotsuchi, greatly surprising and angering the latter. The three then meet the Sternritter Pernida Parnkgjas. Kenpachi tries to kill him immediately and slashes through his head, which ends up wounding Kenpachi’s arm.
Pernida then, to his amazement, suddenly begins to grow. When Kenpachi notices that his arm is still crooked, he immediately severed it to prevent further damage to his body. While Nemu tries to heal his wounds, Kenpachi thinks of a way to attack Pernida without getting too close to him. However, he then promptly moves towards Pernida and cuts part of his body, which, however, only bends his legs. To save his life, Mayuri reacts immediately and stabs him in the chest with Ashisogi Jizō from behind using Fear Factor 4, causing Kenpachi to collapse.
When Mayuri realizes that Kenpachi can still move his eyes, he calls him a monster. After the end of the fight against Pernida, from which Mayuri emerged victorious despite serious injuries, Ikkaku and Yumichika appeared. They take the wounded Captain of the 12th Division to a medical device he has brought with him, in whose chamber he can recover. Mayuri says that since a second chamber is ‘accidentally’ available, he doesn’t mind if the two use it to heal their Captain.
Sometime later, he wakes up from his unconsciousness and blasts open the medical chamber from the inside to immediately go to the scene of the fight against Gerard Valkyrie together with Toshiro Hitsugaya, who has also been restored. Once there, he quickly draws the gargantuan opponent’s full attention and instructs the other Shinigami and Visored engaged in the battle to stay out of it. After a fierce exchange of blows, with Kenpachi even using his Shikai, he is still unable to gain the upper hand against the colossal Quincy.
Only when he finds himself seriously cornered by this does Yachiru, who has been missing since meeting Gremmy Thoumeaux, appear to him, who says it is time he mastered the power called ‘Bankai’. As a result, Kenpachi finally obtains that Bankai and decisively harasses the exorbitant archangel.
In what chapter does Kenpachi use his Bankai for the first time?
If you remember Kenpachi’s story, it was thought that he was unable to use Bankai at all because, for a long time, he did not know the name of his Zanpakuto and he himself thought that he would never learn it. Now, once he actually discovered his Zanpakuto’s name, Nozarashi, it was just a moment of time when such a powerful Shinigami as Kenpachi would activate his Bankai. And it happened. In Chapter 669 of Bleach, which was titled “刃 II”. The 刃 Kanji actually means sword or blade in Japanese. This was the first time we’ve seen Kenpachi’s peculiar Bankai in action and it was a wholly exciting and brilliant experience.