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. But, such an ideology has cost Kenpachi his life on several occasions, and in this article, we are going to tell you whether Kenpachi is dead or alive in Bleach and what happened to him on all of these occasions.
Kenpachi had several near-death experiences but he is still alive and well. He almost died while fighting Nnoitora in Hueco Mundo, but defeated him. He almost died while fighting Royd Lloyd posing as Yhwach, Unohana actually did kill him multiple times during their battle, but she also revived him until he managed to kill her. He also had a tough duel against Gerard Valkyrie, but survived.
The remainder of this article will give you a detailed overview of Zaraki Kenpachi’s fate in the Bleach series. You already know what happened and how it happened, so we are just going to bring you the details so you know the whole context. Be careful, though, as the article is going to contain a lot of spoilers so if you don’t know all the details, be careful how you approach the text.
Did Kenpachi die when he fought Nnoitira?
Kenpachi suddenly comes to Las Noches and helps Ichigo against the Arrancar Tesla and kills him with a single swing of his sword. He explains to Ichigo and Orihime that he came with four other commanders (Byakuya, Mayuri, and Retsu Unohana) to support Orihime’s rescuers and that Yamamoto knew the girl would not join Aizen’s army willingly. Kenpachi then immediately fights the Quinto Espada Nnoitra Gilga.
Both fight first with their powerful Zanpakuto before the fight gets more serious. Kenpachi is unable to overcome Nnoitra’s powerful Hierro at the beginning and stabs his left eye as a result. He is suddenly pierced by Nnoitra’s hand and behind his eye patch is not an eye but a hollow hole. The fight amuses Kenpachi a lot and he can still injure him with harder heavy blows.
After Nnoitra rips off Kenpachi’s eye patch, the whole reiatsu is released and Nnoitra is severely wounded. When Kenpachi explains that the eye patch is a seal, the Espada unleashes its Zanpakuto Santa Teresa and now has four arms and four scythes. At first, Nnoitra dominates, but then the Shinigami pushes the Arrancar further into distress. Nnoitra surprises everyone involved with his two extra arms as he pierces one of the two Kenpachi again. Kenpachi is happy about this fight again and keeps attacking him with full lust.
However, in the end, he is forced to use Kendo because Nnoitra hits his artery and the shinigami would die. With one blow, Nnoitra is so badly injured that he can’t even regenerate and is defeated. When Kenpachi wants to disappear, Espada frowns on him and attacks him in desperation, mainly because his pride was hurt. Kenpachi kills him with one prank, and Espada dies in the process before his body reaches the sand. He then thanks Nnoitra for a good fight
Did Kenpachi die when he fought Yhwach?
Kenpachi fought the impostor Yhwach, who was actually Royd Lloyd pretending to be Yhwach and he lost. Lloyd was almost a perfect copy of Yhwach but he wasn’t as powerful as the original, that much was obvious when the original approached Yamamoto. And yet, Royd Lloyd as Yhwach managed to almost kill Kenpachi. Truth be told, Kenpachi had not awakened his true powers at the time so we have to take that into consideration, but he was almost killed. Had Yamamoto not intervened in time, Lloyd would definitely have killed him. Kenpachi was later in a coma but ended up recovering from this.
Did Kenpachi die when he fought Unohana?
In order to help Kenpachi awaken his full powers, Retsu Unohana reverted back to her Yachiru Unohana persona and fought her successor. It was a brutal and long fight. Near the end, Kenpachi manages to land a cut on Retsu’s shoulder and continues attacking the Captain without letting her react. Kenpachi is wounded in the chest, and while his blood flows with force, he seems to finally fall before Retsu, however, the Captain uses her abilities in the Healing Kidō to regenerate his wounds.
While they continue fighting, Kenpachi keeps falling one time after another, but Retsu Unohana continues to heal his wounds. Kenpachi manages to land a huge thrust on Unohana, turning the fight around. After receiving the great wound from Zaraki, Unohana continues tying him up, dealing a blow to his cheek. Retsu regenerates the wound with great speed through her medical Kidō and asks Kenpachi if he really thought that she would die from such an attack. Retsu Unohana proceeds to release her Bankai as a large curtain of black liquid covers the place as Unohana utters her Bankai’s name, Minazuki.
Both Kenpachi fight while Zaraki falls, again and again, his flesh starting to detach from his bones. While Kenpachi wonders if he has been dreaming all along, everything returns to normal as they both cross their swords again. Both manage to land blows but it doesn’t come like anyone is ready to quit fighting.
Retsu Unohana thinks that Kenpachi found a way to suppress his power to enjoy the battle, while she found a way to heal wounds and thus make the battle last forever. Retsu states that there can only be one Kenpachi in each time as she remembers her first fight with Kenpachi while telling him that he has been the only man who has made her happy through the battle.
Unohana says goodbye to Kenpachi while being pierced in the neck by his Zanpakutō, leaving Zaraki as the winner of the great battle and the only existing Kenpachi at the time. Unohana is defeated by being impaled by Zaraki’s Zanpakutō. However, Zaraki’s victory is bitter, as he pleaded with Unohana to not dare die at his hands. Unohana tells him that he was the only man to make her feel happy throughout the battle, while at that moment Zaraki manages to make contact with the spiritual side of his Zanpakutō, which is willing to tell him its name.
Did Kenpachi die when he fought Gerard Valkyrie?
After the end of the fight against Pernida, from which Mayuri emerged victorious despite serious injuries, Ikkaku and Yumichika appeared. They take the wounded commander of the 12th unit 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 commander. 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.
He managed to slice Valkyrie with one blow from his Bankai, but as the latter regained his powers, he was able to punch Kenpachi with ease, although the Captain survived again and later returned to help the other captains defeat Valkyrie. This was truly one of the most brutal fights in the whole series and a true demonstration of Kenpachi’s monstrous powers.
And with this, we can conclude our story on Kenpachi’s fate throughout the Bleach series. As you can see, he survived all of his near-death experiences and is still alive and well, as has been confirmed in the Echoing Jaws of Hell chapter.