Tite Kubo's hit anime/manga series Bleach is a classic example of Shonen action: tough heroes, scary villains, endless adventure, and exciting battle scenes. Hero Ichigo Kurosaki gains the powers of a Soul Reaper, and with his trusty Zangetsu, he fights the forces of evil and powers up again and again. His friends Uryu, Chad, Renji, and Rukia have impressive powers of their own.
But for every powerful or cool sword, there's a not-so-impressive one, to put it mildly. Most characters in Bleach have a magic sword of some sort, and a few of them are so underpowered, dull, or simple that they're not much fun to watch (and not much good in battle). Here are the bottom ten swords in the series.
The sword of Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto, Haineko can be thought of as a much lesser Senbonzakura. To be fair, Byakuya Kuchiki outranks Rangiku anyway, but Haineko still doesn't make much of a case for itself.
The concept is decent: dissolve the blade into sharp ash and scatter it, to attack from any direction. But this shikai only gave Apacci (merely a fraccion) a single cut, and Halibel's three fracciones soon cornered Rangiku in battle. At least Rangiku is a little better at kido!
Not every villain has a terrifying power, and some of the arrancars' zanpakuto are pretty underwhelming. The bully Loly Avirrne spends most of her time tormenting Orihime, until she, at last, draws her zanpakuto against Yammy. Her released form has plenty of spikes and claws, and Loly claims that it can dissolve anyone to death.
Not that we ever see it; Yammy crushes with a single blow. She survives, though, and later faces off against Sternritter "J" Quilge Opie, with her friend Menoly. Once again, they are easily taken down.
8 Pinza Aguda
Barragan Luisenbarn is an Espada with incredible power, but some of his minions fall short. Findorr Calius is a tall blond arrancar with a lobster-themed release form, but his claws don't bring him victory against Shuhei Hisagi.
Even at nearly full power, Findorr only had a slight edge over a Lieutenant, and once Shuhei released his own zanpakuto (Kazeshini), Findorr was helpless. In fact, he was sliced in half while running away!
That's right, even an Espada's sword can make a list like this. Although in the top ten arrancar, Aaroniero barely hangs in there with a zanpakuto that consumes other hollows and adds their power to his own. Aaroniero had to consume over 33,000 hollows up until now, and he still couldn't quite kill Rukia with it.
Even with his full body released, his head was perfectly vulnerable, and an ice-sword to the face slew this Espada in one go. Maybe Aaroniero should have had dessert first (as in just a few more hollows to boost his power).
That sounds like the name of the ultimate zanpakuto, right? Hardly. This is the sword of Pesche, a friendly arrancar loyal to former Espada Nelliel Tu Odelschwank. To his credit, Pesche draws blood against a fully-released Szayelaporro Grantz with Ultima, but that's it.
This is simply a sword that glows with spirit energy, and it's really more of a gimmick than anything. Pesche's brave, but he doesn't turn the tide against the Octavo Espada by any means.
Quick disclaimer: based on when Sternritter "O" Driscoll Berci borrowed this sword's Bankai, the full power of Gonryomaru is quite something. But until then, its wielder, Chojuro Sasakibe, doesn't have much to show for it. During the climax of the Soul Society arc, Sasakibe is one of several Soul Reapers to block Ichigo from reaching Rukia.
They all release, and Ichigo (in Shikai mode) easily beats them all. Sasakibe activated his Shikai... then got blown away. Oops. Whatever he was trying to do with that Shikai, it was either too slow or too weak to stop Ichigo at all.
Some swords are on this list because they couldn't defeat their opponents. Others are on this list because they are boring! Marechiyo Omaeda's Shikai, Gegetsuburi, is in the latter category. This large, opulent man is part of the assassin-based Squad 2, and he's faster and craftier than he looks.
He defeated an arrancar this way, but his Shikai is three spiked iron balls on chains, and that's it. It's unlikely that he could take down a more impressive foe, and his attack is weirdly blunt for an assassin.
3 Dondochakka's sword
This one is so dull, it doesn't even have a name. Around the same time that Pesche drew Ultima, the hulking Dondochakka (also loyal to Nelliel) drew his club-like sword. With it, he beat aside two of Szayelaporro's minions. And nothing else.
With such a simple shape and no special powers that we see, Dondochakka's underwhelming sword proves to be nothing more than a mere beatstick.
2 Del Toro
Quite a few villain swords are proving to be underwhelming, and now we get another fraccione without much power to boast. The blond Ilfort Grantz squared off against Renji early in the arrancar arc, but Ilfort only had the edge because Renji was subjected to a power limiter.
Ilfort seemed unstoppable after he released his bull-like true form, but once the Soul Society lifted that power limiter, Renji crushed Ilfort utterly. Besides, Ilfort's release is simple: a bull, with horns. If he can't gore his opponent to death first, he can't do much of anything.
1 Tetsuzaemon Iba's zanpakuto
Here it is, the most underwhelming sword in all of Bleach, and it belongs to a Lieutenant (its name is unknown). It's even more tragic, since Tetsuzaemon is supposed to be a tough and cool guy, and he hangs out with Ikakku Madarame and the towering wolf-man Sajin Komamura (his Captain).
While Iba is disciplined and smart, his sword falls way short. Its Shikai form is a fan-like sword with a wide end, and a thinner spike that pokes out from a perpendicular angle. Yes, that's really it! Iba is modeled after the Yakuza and (in Japanese) speaks with a Hiroshima accent. But in battle, forget it. He's got nothing to offer.