Looking back at how Tite Kubo’s Bleach influenced the world of anime, along with Naruto and One Piece, one cannot help but remember the epic battles we’ve witnessed over the years. Bleach certainly had its share of amazing battles from the very start and while we’re preparing for new battles to hit the screen during the upcoming Thousand-Year Blood War series, we are going to revisit one old rivalry from the series – the one between two of Aizen’s Espada, Ulquiorra Cifer, the Cuatro Espada, and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, the Sexta Espada. The two of them had a brief skirmish in the series and in this article, we are going to reveal who the stronger of the two is.
Being the Cuatra Espada, Ulquiorra Cifer is stronger than Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, the Sexta Espada. Although these numbers don’t necessarily reflect the powers of the Espada, in this case, the ratio is correct, as Ulquiorra would be able to defeat Grimmjow. The only reason that Grimmjow survived in the series is that he tricked Ulquiorra, and because the latter didn’t really want to fight him in the first place.
The rest of this article will further elaborate on the above-given answer, as we are going to compare Ulquiorra Cifer and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez in more detail. Through several categories, you are going to see who the stronger of the two is and why our answer is like it is, i.e., why Ulquiorra would be able to defeat Grimmjow in a fight.
He very rarely displays his zanpakutō in battle and only when he considers his opponent worthy enough. Accordingly, his Zanjutsu skills are at a very high level, so high that Ichigo initially had great difficulty keeping up with Ulquiorra. The power of a sword attack is devastating, and Ulquiorra can even block a Kuroi Getsuga with the sword. He can stab with incredible speed, and his slashes can throw opponents several meters away.
Despite the fact that Grimmjow rarely fights with his zanpakutō, he is still very skilled with it and has good use of the sword. This is particularly evident in the fights against Ichigo and Shinji, as he was forced to draw his sword with only one arm. However, he wields his sword very aggressively and doesn’t seem to take good care of it as the blade already looks quite chipped.
This point clearly goes to Ulquiorra because his swordsmanship skills (zanjutsu) are absolutely amazing and are on a level above Grimmjow’s. In fact, Ulquiorra is among the best swordsmen among the Espada.
Points: Ulquiorra 1, Grimmjow 0
Ulquiorra is one of the strongest antagonists of the Arrancar Arc. He is so powerful that Ichigo will believe he is the strongest Espada and will be overwhelmed when he discovers that he is only two ranks higher than Grimmjow, much weaker in comparison. Thanks to his aspect of death – Despair – which exempts him from emotions and attachments, Ulquiorra cares only about the importance of the orders Aizen gives him and will carry out his missions, regardless of whether his allies and his enemies must fight for the sole purpose of diversion.
Ulquiorra has advanced abilities, even for an Espada, and masters all the combat techniques of an Arrancar. Ulquiorra has shown himself to be a shrewd fighter, also using his head in a fight, unlike Grimmjow or Yammy, who throw themselves into the fray. Even though he is not as intelligent as Aizen, the latter trusts Ulquiorra when it comes to analysis and observation, as in the case of Ichigo Kurosaki.
Grimmjow appears to be an excellent fighter, able to defeat Rukia Kuchiki with a single attack or overpower Ichigo Kurosaki, a Captain-level Shinigami, without difficulty. He acts arbitrarily, without even the opinion of his hierarchy, as long as it serves his objectives. Being the Sexta Espada, he has formidable power and far surpasses Luppi Antenor, yet powerful enough to also be the 6th Espada. His Aspect of Death – Destruction – makes him a ruthless, relentless, and battle-obsessed warrior.
Grimmjow masters a few techniques but favors brute force in his battles. As said before, Grimmjow is an expert in hand-to-hand combat, favoring his fists rather than the saber to demolish his opponent. Even when faced with opponents stronger than himself, Grimmjow has demonstrated the ability to hold his own and strike back with his unique fighting style.
This is a category where we couldn’t really determine the winner, as both Ulquiorra and Grimmjow are amazing fighters. This is why we have decided to split the points in this category.
Points: Ulquiorra 2, Grimmjow 1
His defensive power is just as tremendous, allowing him to parry powerful attacks with just one hand. Any form of Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshō deals little or no damage to him. In its transformation forms, the Hierro is so strong that no normal attack seems to be able to harm it. However, in his second hollow form, Ichigo can easily injure Ulquiorra and even rip off an arm.
Also, his regeneration ability, according to Ulquiorra himself, is even stronger than his attacking abilities. If his body is damaged, the body parts will immediately regrow, making him even harder to damage. However, this ability does not work for his internal organs or his brain.
A technique that provides Arrancar with stronger, armor-like skin capable of parrying most attacks. Grimmjow’s Hierro is particularly strong, able to parry most attacks, including Rukia’s Shikai, and to hold Ichigo’s Bankai blade with his bare hands without taking any damage.
And while Grimmjow’s Hierro is undoubtedly strong, it is not as powerful as Ulquiorra’s which is a consequence of Ulquiorra’s high level of Reiryoku. That is why Ulquiorra wins this point.
Points: Ulquiorra 3, Grimmjow 1
Ulquiorra mastered this technique naturally and is one of the best users of this technique being able to move over long distances very quickly, as if teleporting, or block an attack in a flash before his opponent has time to move.
A fast-moving technique, similar to Shinigami’s Shunpō, which Vasto Lordes naturally mastered and other Menos mastered once they became Arrancars. Being the Sexza Espada, Grimmjow is a good use of this technique, able to rival the moves of a Captain-level Shinigami.
While Grimmjow is really fast, he cannot measure up to Ulquiorra, who is among the fastest Espada in the whole group. This is why Ulquiorra wins this point as well-
Points: Ulquiorra 4, Grimmjow 1
Ulquiorra’s Zanpakutō, Murciélago , takes the form of a standard-sized katana with a green hilt and sheath. The hilt has two curved extensions at its long sides, with a line running through both parts giving it the appearance of an eye. His release command is “Enclose”. Murciélago releases a torrent of green and black spiritual energy that falls around Ulquiorra in green rain.
In this form, he takes on more of a bat-like appearance. Large black wings have grown from his back, his hair has grown and become messier than before and the remnants of his Hollow mask are now centered on his head with its two huge horns on each side. The lines of his face widen and darken while his nails, which have turned black, have become longer. Finally, he wears a large white robe which is tight on his neck, torso, and arms with a large black line starting from the collar to the bottom of the robe and two other black ones, perpendicular to the previous one which intersects his Hollow hole in X.
Ulquiorra has a second level of Resurrección and claims that he is the only Espada to have one and that even Aizen has not seen this form. He refers to this appearance as “True Despair” because his Spirit Power becomes so dense and heavy that one might think it is not Spirit Power. While he keeps his black wings, the rest of his appearance still changes. His jacket disappears to reveal a white, skinny torso with, in the middle of his chest, a black Hollow hole, larger than before, from which emerges a mark of black liquid running down his torso.
Her eyes turn green with her pupils turning yellow, her eye markings change, and other smaller lines appear above. His mask disappears, except for his horns. The lines of his face become even blacker and wider. His forearms and the rest of his body are covered in black fur. He also gains a long flexible tail to which are added 2 clusters of hair that start from his buttocks and stop at the height of his calves. The tattoo like the 4th Espada is gone.
Pantera is the name of Grimmjow’s Zanpakutō, which has the shape of a katana whose handle and sheath are light blue, and whose guard has the shape of an “S”. Along with the use of the Cero, handling his Zanpakutō in combat seems to be Grimmjow’s favorite discipline, and he has been seen to employ it profusely and with accurate blows, also showing a tendency to release it quickly, due to his impulsive nature.
His release command is Grind. Upon his transformation, a cloud of smoke erupts around him to make way for his new appearance. The latter changes drastically, giving it the appearance of a bipedal feline, with legs and a tail. His mask on his cheek disappears to make way for a headband on his forehead. Her hair is getting longer, having grown down to her lower back. He gets a blade on each of his forearms and is covered in white skin, similar to his skin when he was just an Adjuchas, with a cleavage revealing his chest
Due to the fact that Ulquiorra has two levels of release and is generally more powerful, we have to award the last point to him as well, since he is stronger than Grimmjow in this aspect.
Points: Ulquiorra 5, Grimmjow 1
Ulquiorra Cifer vs. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez: Who would win?
In this final section, we are going to combine our usual methods. We are going to both give you a recap of the brief skirmish between Ulquiorra and Grimmjow, and also analyze the points as we have presented them in the proceeding paragraphs. Ulquiorra and Grimmjow are exceptionally intriguing characters and writing this comparison was a true pleasure.
The first time we see Ulquiorra and Grimmjow interact is during Ichigo’s fight against Grimmjow in Karakura Town. Ichigo is on the brink of losing but is saved by the sudden arrival of Shinji Hirako, who complains that he hates getting involved in Shinigami fights, but concedes that when you hear the sound of fighting so close, you just can’t ignore it.
When Grimmjow asks him who he is, Shinji tells him that it doesn’t matter and Grimmjow prepares to attack him. Having a small talk with Grimmjow, he is then suddenly attacked by the Espada, who declares his intentions to kill him. Shinji then dons his Hollow mask, telling Grimmjow that he can’t take it easy on him. He fires a Cero towards him, seriously injuring him. Enraged, Grimmjow prepares to release his Zanpakutō but is stopped by Ulquiorra who tells him that the mission is accomplished. He then takes him back to Las Noches.
Later, after learning of Ichigo’s defeat by Ulquiorra, he decides to fetch Orihime from her room. Once they arrive where Ichigo was defeated, he orders Orihime to heal him. She manages to revive him, but Grimmjow insists that she heal him completely as he wants to settle accounts with him. Orihime refuses, but Grimmjow scolds her and tells her to do as he says.
However, Ulquiorra suddenly appears, interrupting them. Ulquiorra asks him why he is here, healing an enemy he had just defeated and orders him to hand Orihime over to him as she is in his custody. Grimmjow, refusing to hand it over to him, quickly attacks Ulquiorra, talking about how Ulquiorra would be afraid to fight him because he thinks he would be crushed.
After a brief confrontation, Grimmjow uses a Caja Negación to seal Ulquiorra away for some time. He then asks Orihime to continue healing Ichigo.
Now, their two canon encounters don’t reveal much, really. In the first one, it was obvious that Ulquiorra is the superior one, but Grimmjow was severaly weakened and was about to face Shinji, one of the strongest Captains of the Gotei 13. In their second encounter, they seemed more matched, but it didn’t seem like Ulquiorra was giving it much effort there. Grimmjow behaved like he just wanted to buy some time rather than actually fight his fellow Espada.
And he had a good reason to do that. Ulquiorra is far superior to Grimmjow in every aspect and he would’ve beaten him easily had the fight been serious. Even in their base form, Ulquiorra is far superior to Grimmjow, and in their released forms, he would simply trash him. This is why we had Ulquiorra as the winner of this duel.