Like many Shonen anime and manga series, Tite Kubo's Bleach has a huge cast of warriors of all different types. The series is packed with all kinds of high-voltage battles, often with the fate of the world at stake. Or at least, a personal grudge is being settled (this anime has a lot of grudges among the cast).
Many of Bleach's characters show off the true potential of their powers, and some of them learn new abilities as they go. Ichigo masters his zanpakuto step by step, and Byakuya and Renji each unlock new power as they fight ever-stronger foes. But some characters didn't live up to their potential, or their power was wasted on a weak villain who was bound to get crushed. Which ten Bleach characters deserve another chance to show us what they're really made of?
10 Szayelaporro Grantz
This may seem like an odd entry at first, since Szayelaporro Grantz's battle was a long one, where he fought several different opponents. We also got to see every ability that his resurrecion, La Lujuriosa, has to offer. He's quite something.
But his first two opponents were fairly easy game, and his final opponent, Captain Kurotsuchi, was tailor-made to defeat him. Of course, he lost. What if the 8th Espada went up against Byakuya or Ichigo or Sajin Komamura? They're powerful fighters, but they wouldn't have easy countermeasures like Captain Kurotsuchi did. Let's see if Captain Kuchiki can handle him!
9 Zommari Rureaux
Several Espada will make this list, and now we get the Septima (7th) Espada, Zommari. What can he do? This is the fastest Arrancar of all, able to make speed-based clones to disorient his enemies. He even outpaced Captain Kuchiki this way!
Things went south when Zommari got overconfident with his final form, Brujeria, and practically handed Byakuya a victory on a silver platter. Suppose Zommari was more humble, and fought at 100%? His power could, in theory, defeat any opponent. He just has to put his eyesight tattoo on an enemy's head, then force them to destroy themselves somehow. Or make them hold still as Zommari blasts them to dust with a cero. Too bad he didn't!
8 Aaroniro Arruruerie
Who's that tall fellow standing behind Rukia? It's the 9th Espada, Aaronerio! He's the only Gillian among the Espadas, but his power is real. His power, Glotoneria, allows him to eat any hollow and gain its energy and abilities, without any known limit.
He claims to have eaten 33,650 hollows and become a one-man army! Not that it does him any good. When battling Rukia, he mostly uses Kaien Shiba's form, then slapped Rukia with one hollow tentacle. What happened to that hollow army? He must have a thousand unique powers! We'd love to see them in action!
7 Cang Du
It's time for one of the Sternritters to make this list. Each one has a letter, and Cang Du is "I," or "the Iron." He can harden his skin, and in theory, this would allow him to outlast any opponent and beat them into submission. Think of Colossus from X-Men.
Cang Du even obtained Daiguren Hyorinmaru, but did little with it. Once he manifested it, Captain Hitsugaya used Kisuke Urahara's hollow trick to force Cang Du to remove it. Then this Sternritter lost to a powerful ice attack! Cang Du never even landed a blow with his snake bite attack. So much for the Iron!
6 Chojuro Sasakibe
This is the Lieutenant of Squad 1, a man who has loyally followed Yamamoto for over 1,000 years. You'd think he was a very powerful Soul Reaper, and he has a Bankai that Yamamoto is quite proud of.
But we never see much of it. Sasakibe was easily defeated (including Shikai) when Ichigo attacked, and later, his Bankai was stolen and used against Yamamoto, to little effect. You'd think that a high-ranking member of Squad 1 would get some more action scenes, but no such luck.
5 Loly Avirrne
She's an Arrancar serving faithfully under Sosuke Aizen, along with her friend Menoly. Both girls bullied and tormented Orihime, and they didn't stand a chance when Grimmjow showed up to repay Orihime's kindness.
Loly finally leaped into action, and against Yammy, of all people. Her release is the form of a centipede, and she claims that her venom can kill anyone. Yammy, for his part, defeated her with one blow. Later, when the Quincy army muscled in, Loly and Menoly challenged Sternritter "J" Quilge Opie. Once again, they lost in an instant.
4 Kaien Shiba
For the most part, we see Kaien in action indirectly through Aaroniero, who obtained his body and abilities (and memory) through a hollow that fused with Kaien's body. So, we know the nature of his shikai, and it's impressive.
But that wasn't truly Kaien at all. He's the one who trained Rukia, and he was massively popular (even married!). We'd love to get a few more scenes of Kaien fighting hollows and saving the day, but we won't get that. He's a tragic figure who died before his time.
(Photo courtesy of Stark01)
3 Yumichika Ayasegawa
This fancy guy is the 5th seat of the dreaded Squad 11, and he takes this duty seriously. All the same, he's also a bit of a goofball, and he gets into the silliest fights. He clashed with Ganju early on, and later, he fought against the equally flashy Arrancar Charlotte.
Yumichika forces his zanpakuto to hide its kido-based nature out of shame, and only once did he fully manifest it. He easily beat Charlotte this way, but we'd like to see him fight an Espada or a Captain this way and see how far he can go. He's tougher than he looks! It's a shame to only use him for comic relief.
2 Ikkaku Madarame
On the left is Ikkaku Madarame, before he became a Soul Reaper and joined Squad 11 under Kenpachi (right). He's an exemplary Squad 11 warrior, favoring melee attacks and a tough-guy attitude. He's the 3rd seat in that fearsome Squad for a reason.
He even unlocked a brutal melee-style Bankai, but he only used it to defeat a Fraccione, Edorad Leones. Later, he fought the huge Arrancar Poww, but refused to even try and use his full power! His stubborn pride got in the way. What a fight it would have been if Ikkaku was fighting for real.
1 Tetsuzaemon Iba
This tough guy is the Lieutenant of Squad 7, serving under the wolf-man Sajin Komamura. He's loyal and cool, and he even writes articles about how to be manly. Iba is also Ikkaku's friend and sparring partner.
His Shikai, though, is a massive letdown! Just look at it. Iba is meant to imitate a yakuza thug, but we hardly get a chance to see it. Why not give him a cooler Shikai and a chance to duel a tough opponent with it?