15 Strongest Lieutenants in Bleach Ranked by Power

15 Strongest Lieutenants in Bleach Ranked by Power

Each Division in Bleach has at least one Lieutenant who deputizes for the commander if he is unable to do so. The Lieutenant (also translated as Assistant Captain) mostly does the desk work. There are of course exceptions, such as Rangiku Matsumoto, who ignores her upcoming work, or Renji, who often completes assignments in the real world. A prime example of a second-in-command who does the desk work is Izuru Kira. Lieutenants also lead a Division when the position of Captain is vacant.

And while powerful, Lieutenants rarely know techniques further than Shikai, although some of them have been able to activate Bankai. In this article, we are going to rank the 15 strongest Lieutenants in Bleach. We are going to use the post-Quincy War structure, i.e., the current structure of the Gotei 13 and rank the characters accordingly, although we might include some other characters that have been Lieutenants in the past; the main criteria is that they have not become Captains at one point, which would disqualify them from being on the list.

15. Nanao Ise

Division: 1 (formerly 8)
Shikai: Shinken Hakkyōken
Bankai: Not achieved

Until now Nanao Ise has not been seen fighting, so her fighting skills are mostly nothing more than assumptions or information that has been extracted from specific comments by Tite Kubo in the databooks of the series. Likewise, and like most of the high-level Shinigami, she is capable of moving at great speeds through the Shunpo and has a large amount of spiritual energy.

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And while Nanao Ise certainly didn’t get a spot on our list because of her Zanjutsu skills, she is a Kido expert and has large amounts of spiritual energy, which is why she is ultimately on here. Her Kido skills caused problems even for the Sternritter, which is quite amazing. Although she is not an expert with her Zanpakuto, she would still probably kick Omaeda’s ass, which is why we started off our list with her.

14. Momo Hinamori

Division: 5
Shikai: Tobiume
Bankai: Not achieved

Despite having been chosen for the position of Lieutenant according to Aizen’s plans, the truth is that at no time has Hinamori shown herself to be below the level of the other Shinigami, being as capable as any other of her companions. Her high abilities could already be seen in the Academy, when she was admitted to the highest level class, along with other future Lieutenants such as Kira and Renji.

Although she is emotionally weak and was very devoted to Aizen, Hinamori is not weak. She has respectable Zanjutsu skills, but she is also a Kido expert, which makes her that much more dangerous. There is no doubt that Hinamori, despite her story, deserves a spot on this list, and that is why we have placed her on here.

13. Yachiru Kusajishi

Division: 11 (formerly)
Shikai: Sanpo Kenjū
Bankai: Not achieved

Yachiru possesses tremendous speed and physical strength, for example, she had no problem climbing the almost vertical walls of a very tall tower with the injured Kenpachi (who is about ten times her own body weight) on her shoulders with only two or three hops on top of it to get to the roof. Similar to Kenpachi, she has a very keen fighting instinct, which allows her to know for sure if a person is an enemy even if she has never seen them, and to reflexively attack. She also possesses an enormous Reiatsu that takes on the appearance of a pink cat when severely angered.

The mysterious Yachiru is one of the most intriguing characters in the series and her disappearance raised so many questions that we’re still wondering whether she was a real person or simply a manifestation of Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto. Be that as it may, Yachiru was quite powerful and could pack a (surprise) punch, which is why we gave her a spot on our list.

12. Hiyori Sarugaki

Division: 12 (formerly)
Shikai: Kubikiri Orochi
Bankai: Not achieved

As a former Lieutenant, Hiyori possesses a large amount of Spiritual Energy, managing to emanate pink Reiatsu. Hiyori seems to be an average Shunpo user which she uses to complement her Zanjutsu and Hakuda skills. Hiyori is an expert in the arts of Zanjutsu having an aggressive and somewhat unpredictable style, as Hiyori tends to channel much of her anger into her attacks. Hiyori has been able to cut down a Gillian with ease as well as being able to fight Tier Harribel.

Hiyori is best remembered for her constant fights and quarrels with Urahara, Shinji, and Ichigo, but she is a powerful character without a doubt. A former Lieutenant under Kirio Hikifune, Hiyori was a force to be reckoned with, as was seen during Ichigo’s training. Her Visored powers have helped her to land a spot on our list, as they make her all that stronger.

11. Yuyu Yayahara

Division: 8
Shikai: Not revealed
Bankai: Not achieved (probably)

Due to her being a new character, not much is known about her. Still, it is assumed that Yuyu is fairly powerful and skilled, as has been shown in the panels of the “Hell arc“. She does possess a special ability; by extending her hands in front of her, Yuyu proceeds to curve her fingers to look like sharp teeth, by doing this Yuyu is able to create the head of a gigantic Bear with which she was able to easily decapitate a Jigoku no Gaki.

It is not strange that Captain Yadomaru would pick such a quirky character for her Lieutenant, but although Yuyu doesn’t seem like much, she has some strong attacks and techniques. She was able to decapitate a giant Hollow from Hell easily and that was certainly more than enough for us to give her a spot on this list, regardless of the fact that we do not know much about her powers at this moment.

10. Atau Rindō

Division: 7
Shikai: No fixed name
Bankai: Not achieved

Not much is known about Atau’s powers and abilities, but as a Lieutenant, he probably has a high amount of Reiatsu and is skilled in all modes of fighting. Apparently, Rindō’s Zanpakutō doesn’t seem to have a fixed name; instead, Rindō can use different attacks by writing the names of different types of animals on the blade of his Shikai.

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Replacing Iba as Division 7’s Lieutenant, Rindō must definitely be a strong fighter because Division 7 is known for its courage and nobility when it comes to fighting, which is why Iba would hardly pick someone weak. We’ve only seen a glimpse of his powers in the “Hell arc” and from what we’ve seen, he duly deserved his spot and a spot on our list as well.

9. Kaien Shiba

Division: 13 (formerly)
Shikai: Nejibana
Bankai: Not achieved

Little is known about Kaien’s true abilities in the fight, since only an efficient use of Shunpo and great physical strength have been seen, which he used to rip off Metastacia’s tentacles with his own hands, once he was unable to use his Zanpakutō due to his enemy’s strange abilities. For this reason, although it is more than likely that he was a good practitioner of Kidō and a great fighter, is considered a genius among those of his generation, we cannot say with certainty.

And while Kaien Shiba is mostly known through stories other characters have told about him, Ukitake must have seen great potential in him to have appointed him as Lieutenant; Rukia also spoke highly of his skills and his wisdom. As seen through Aaroniero Arruruerie, Shiba’s Nejibana was a very powerful and practical Zanpakuto. All of this earned Shiba a spot on our list.

8. Nemu Kurotsuchi

Division: 12 (formerly)
Shikai: N/A
Bankai: N/A

Nemu’s abilities are largely unknown. However, she was strong enough to hurl away a rock that may be ten times its weight. She can also rotate her right forearm and hand, which allows her to drill through rock herself. As with his own body, Mayuri has implanted various modifications and chemicals within Nemu’s body for her to use against her opponents.

Being artificially engineered, Nemu is certainly unique among the Shinigami but knowing Mayuri, he made her – perfect. She is the result of numerous experiments and in that aspect, she was a skilled fighter. Even without a Zanpakuto, she was skilled enough to fight the Sternritter, for example, as well as the Espada. Her body has been imbued with various poisons and toxins which makes her even more dangerous.

7. Mashiro Kuna

Division: 9
Shikai: Not revealed
Bankai: Not achieved

As with all Visored, it is difficult to place Mashiro on a power scale, comparing her to other characters in the series. A century before the present moment narrated in the series, Mashiro must have been a very powerful Shinigami, for having become a Lieutenant of a division, and also in her Hollow state, getting to practically put a division Captain, Rose, out of action by attacking him by surprise with incredible strength and speed.

In those moments it could be seen that Mashiro’s skills seem to lie mainly in close combat, especially in the use of devastating kicks and huge jumps. However, we do not know to what extent her powers have improved in recent years, in which she has gained control of her mask, and whether under the current circumstances she is an opponent comparable to a Shinigami Captain or not.

Mashiro is a character who landed in the upper half of the list because she is a Visored, but only because of that, but also because she is quite skilled. Her abilities are still a big enigma, but the fact that Muguruma picked her as his Lieutenant back then and also now certainly points to Mashiro being powerful. A glimpse of her power was seen during the Fake Karakura Town arc.

6. Rangiku Matsumoto

Division: 10
Shikai: Haineko
Bankai: Not achieved

Matsumoto is a character who, although he has had several fights throughout the series (especially thanks to having a more active role than most of the lieutenants in the “filler” chapters of the anime), has not been able to show the true magnitude of her potential. However, there is nothing to indicate that he is at a different level than the rest of the Lieutenants. Rangiku has shown to have great handling of his Zanpakutō, her main strength being the mastery of his Shikai’s special ability which allows Matsumoto to be able to face large groups of enemies at once.

Rangiku Matsumoto is definitely a character whose looks are deceiving. You’d think that she wasn’t powerful because of her beauty, but she is an exceptionally skilled and dangerous Shinigami. On top of that, her Zanpakuto has a very specific ability that is lethal in most cases and very difficult to defend against, especially considering her skills in using it.

5. Izuru Kira

Division: 3
Shikai: Wabisuke
Bankai: Not achieved

Although Kira’s appointment as a lieutenant of the 3rd Division was driven by Aizen’s dark designs, his level is comparable to that of any other Shinigami who holds this position, thus being one of the elite warriors of the Soul Society, as well highlighted Yamamoto by entrusting him with the protection of one of the four pillars, during the fight in the copy of Karakura.

Kira is capable of performing Shunpo and moving at high speeds, barely visible to the non-advanced eye. Izuru has been shown to be an expert in the use of Zanjutsu, proving to be quite adept at wielding Wabisuke when she is freed, as he demonstrated during his brief fight against Matsumoto and later against Abirama. Also, Kira has been able to mix his abilities with Zanjutsu along with his Shikai’s special ability.

Kira is a Shinigami that doesn’t look like he can pack a punch, but he is exceptionally skilled and is a cold-blooded executioner, something he probably learned from his former mentor, Gin Ichimaru. His Zanpakuto, Wabisuke, is enormously practical and is one of the best in battle, despite demanding close-range combat (but that says enough about Kira’s Zanjutsu skills).

4. Shūhei Hisagi

Division: 9
Shikai: Kazeshini
Bankai: Not revealed

Hisagi is a capable Shinigami who is in no way inferior to the other Lieutenants. On the contrary, while he is at least as fast in Hohō as other Lieutenants, and he also masters Kidō spells up to number 73, he has developed his Zanjutsu so far that he can defeat most opponents, even if they fight with released Zanpakutō, without releasing his own.

This has to do with the fact that he doesn’t like the Shikai form of his sword, so he mostly only uses it as a last resort. Though he doesn’t use them often, Hisagi seems to have mastered them to some extent as well. In the fight against Findor Carias, he shows that he can also handle a Kusarigama (the form of his Shikai) well.

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Little is known about his Hakuda abilities, but at the time of the Fake Karakura Town Arc, those seemed to be enough to hold off an enraged Yumichika Ayasegawa for at least a while. This assessment is based on his physical strength. Hisagi claims to have mastered his Bankai but it has not been revealed yet.

Hisagi is one of the best fighters in the Gotei 13. He has a very philosophical approach to battle thanks to being Tosen’s pupil, but he is enormously strong and has a powerful Zanpakuto. He has supposedly become the fourth Lieutenant to have activated his Bankai, but that remains to be seen in the canon works. Nevertheless, he absolutely deserves to be on this spot.

3. Ikkaku Madarame

Division: 11
Shikai: Hōzukimaru
Bankai: Ryūmon Hōzukimaru

His Zanjutsu skills are close to Captain level. According to Yumichika Ayasegawa, Ikkaku is the second strongest man in the 11th Division. Here, however, it is not entirely clear whether he is really the second strongest person in the 11th Division, surpassing Yachiru Kusajishi, or literally the second strongest man.

Having reached Bankai, Ikkaku himself is superior to some of the Gotei 13’s Lieutenants, but he hides this from all but a few he trusts, allowing him to remain in the 11th Division, serving under Kenpachi, and dying under his command. His Bankai increases his Reiatsu by five to ten times.

Edrad Leones said of Ikkaku’s Bankai that it had no special abilities, that it was just pure power. Also, Ikkaku is able to use Shunpō, although he only uses it on strong opponents in order to be able to fight longer. In addition, he is also able to attack his opponents with his bare hands if they are unarmed, and can also cause a lot of damage due to his physical strength.

Being the third and only known Lieutenant to date that has activated his Bankai, Madarame absolutely had to be placed so high. But, aside from that, he is one of the best and most resilient fighters in the Gotei 13, so much so that he becomes reckless, as seen in Fake Karakura. Still, he has a lot of heart and is deservedly so high on our list.

2. Renji Abarai

Division: 6
Shikai: Zabimaru
Bankai: Sōō Zabimaru

Renji possesses such high spiritual energy that his level of spiritual energy has made Hanatarō Yamada set him apart from most shinigami. Renji also stands out in having an unusual capacity for learning and progress in a shinigami who has been in the Gotei for so little. His career through the divisions has been meteoric, as well as the achievement of his Shikai and his Bankai.

Renji is highly skilled in Zanjutsu techniques, being trained by Ikkaku Madarame and later surpassing him. He has increased his strength and ability allowing him to become a Shinigami with an excellent level of Zanjutsu mastery. Renji usually combines his knowledge of Zanjutsu techniques with Zabimaru’s ability to separate into pieces and lengthen, in this way Renji is able to attack his opponent from a flank that he does not expect and thus be able to take him by surprise. Renji’s Zanpakutō is called Zabimaru.

As far as Renji is concerned, seeing how exposed he’s been and how much experience he has, it is quite obvious that he ended up so high on our list. He activated his Bankai and is known as one of the quickest learners in the Soul Society. On top of that, he had one of the best possible mentors in Byakuya Kuchiki, but he has also trained under Aizen and Kenpachi.

1. Chōjirō Sasakibe

Division: 1 (formerly)
Shikai: Gonryōmaru
Bankai: Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū

Being a Lieutenant of the Gotei 13 and also being the right hand of the Captain-Commander, it is undeniable that Chōjirō Sasakibe must have been a very powerful Shinigami, despite the fact that the only time he has been seen fighting he was so easily defeated. Even so, it should be noted that Sasakibe has shown mastery of Shunpo, a high-speed movement technique known to most of the Shinigami who occupy the highest positions in the Gotei 13 hierarchy.

His maintaining, opening, and closing of the barrier surrounding the fake city of Karakura seem to indicate that he is also highly knowledgeable in Kidō. His Zanpakuto is called Gonryōmaru. When in his sealed aspect, Gonryōmaru has the appearance of a katana with a greenish-yellow handle, as well as a guard shaped somewhat reminiscent of a lotus flower, being composed of two bows of different sizes, one on each side.

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Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū is the name of Chojiro’s complete release of Zanpakutō, which he developed 2000 years ago and mastered in a period of one month. What makes this Bankai one of the most dangerous is his ability to manipulate the weather, which can create powerful electrical storms.

Fans generally forget about Sasakibe because his role in the story is very minor and he has hardly made an appearance in the anime series, but there is absolutely no denying that he was the strongest among the Lieutenants; Yamamoto would not have chosen anyone else. He mastered his Bankai in a short time, he had a very dangerous Banka, and he was definitely an expert who deserves to be placed on top of our list.

Source: Bleach Fan Fiction Wiki

  • Arthur S. Poe has been fascinated by fiction ever since he saw Digimon and read Harry Potter as a child. Since then, he has seen several thousand movies and anime, read several hundred books and comics, and played several hundred games of all genres.