The Gotei 13 is the military force of the Soul Society, comprising of its most skilled warriors. These Soul Reapers are tasked with defending the Soul Society, protecting stray souls and purifying Hollows.
As a powerful organization, the Soul Society has developed numerous enemies over the millennia. Whenever these threats arise, the captains, the most powerful Soul Reapers, often do battle to protect their home. Captains go through hundreds of years of rigorous training, which means they are often masters of the strongest sword technique a Soul Reaper is capable of, the Bankai.
10 TŌSHIRŌ HITSUGAYA
Despite being one of the youngest Soul Reapers, Tōshirō has quickly risen through the ranks and became captain of the 10th division. He’s regarded as a true prodigy and, with some time, the Soul Society expects him to become one of its most powerful fighters. Hitsugaya wields an ice Zanpakuto by the name of Hyorinmaru. Hyorinmaru’s Shikai ability allows Tōshirō to control water and ice. In his Bankai form, Tōshirō’s ice abilities increase even more, with him being able to freeze things to their core with the slightest of movement.
9 LISA YADOMARU
Lisa Yadomaru is the current captain of the Gotei 13’s 8th division, having formerly been a member of the Visored during her exile from the Soul Society. Having been experimented on by the hands of Aizen, Lisa has both the abilities of a Soul Reaper and Hollow. Lisa wields a gigantic weapon that can easily demolish buildings at the slightest swing. Her Zanpakuto’s special abilities were never shown in the series, but even without this, Lisa has shown herself to be a strong fighter. She is renowned for being ambidextrous during her battles, which means she’s dealt attacks using both her right and left hands. Her hollow mask greatly increases her destructive capabilities while in battle, though she can only use it for 5 minutes.
8 MAYURI KUROTSUCHI
Mayuri is the captain of the of the 12th division as well as the President of the Shinigami Research Institute. Mayuri is as infamous for his deadly creations as he is renowned for his incredible life-changing experiments. Regarded as a mad scientist by many, Mayuri is a man with a curious mind, hellbent on discovering the mysteries of science.
Mayuri possesses a powerful Zanpakuto that he has done several experiments on. This altered Zanpakuto emits a deadly poison that can shut down a person's system just by coming into contact with it. This ability, combined with Mayuri’s scientific knowledge, makes him a hard opponent to beat in a one-off fight.
7 SHINJI HIRAKO
The former leader of the Visored and current Captain if the 5th division of the Gotei 13. As a former Visored, Shinji possesses the power of both a Hollow and a Soul Reaper, meaning, he can summon his hollow mask whenever he wishes. Donning this hollow mask increases Shinji's strength, with particular increases given to his strength and speed. Shinji is also known for having one of the strongest Zanpakutos’s in Bleach. His sword, Sakanade, when spun, let’s off this alluring pink mist and any person who smells this mist falls under its spell. Whenever a person gets caught in this mist, all their senses become inverted. This means that what was once left is now right, and what was up is now down, and so on. This ability is too much for even the most seasoned fighters to acclimatize to and Shinji uses this confusion to quickly defeat them.
6 BYAKUYA KUCHIKI
Byakuya is a prodigious talent even in a room filled with prodigious talents. This natural-born talent, coupled with an insane work ethic, has propelled Byakuya to the rank of captain of the 6th division. Early on in the series, Byakuya is one of the strongest Soul Reapers introduced and, throughout Bleach’s run, he trained hard to maintain that status. A master of the Bankai, Byakuya’s Senbonzakura is enough to put even the most experienced of fighters out of commission. His sword's ability allows it to divide into thousands of micro blades that Byakuya can control by his will. This adaptable and somewhat fluid fighting style has kept Byakuya amongst the strongest captains in Bleach.
5 JOSHIRO UKITAKE
Joshiro Ukitake is the former captain of the 13th division, having been replaced as captain by Rukia Kuchiki. Ukitake died in the final war, but during his time as a captain, he consistently displayed his ability as one of the strongest captains. Ukitake is a strong fighter but an even greater tactician and battle strategist. In his time, he won many fights largely due to his analytical skills. His Zanpakuto can absorb the energy emitted at Ukitake, strengthen it and then redirect it in anyway Ukitake wishes.
4 RETSU UNOHANA
The former captain of the 4th division, one of the Soul Society’s greatest ever healers and the first-ever person to hold the title of Kenpachi. Retsu Unohana is a legendary Shinigami who, despite having lived for over a millennium, has only one scar on her entire persona. This is a testament to her incredible fighting ability, as well as her inexhaustible medical knowledge. Unohana’s Zanpakuto, Minazuki, is great for healing and, in it’s Shikai form, it takes the shape of a weird creature.
In that form, it’s stomach acids act as fast healing medicine. This allows Unohana to heal multiple of her allies at once. Her Bankai seems more focused on strength, owing to her time as a Kenpachi, and it was strong enough to hold off the onslaught of Kenpachi Zaraki’s Nozarashi.
3 KENPACHI ZARAKI
Kenpachi Zaraki grew up the most lawless region of the Soul Society. In district 89, you have to fight in order to live to see another day. This background forced Zaraki to be strong and, as he battled through the hardships, Kenpachi became stronger and stronger until he was recruited into the Soul Society. Having been admitted into the Soul Society, Zaraki then defeated the previous captain of the 11th division and became its leader. Kenpachi is a physical force to be reckoned with, his physical destructive capacity is simply astonishing when at full strength. His Zanpakuto, Nozarashi, aids him in his destructive endeavors by greatly increasing his cutting ability. In its Bankai form, Nozarashi transforms Zaraki into a berserker like state, where all his senses and physical abilities are boosted to an even more insane level.
2 SHUNSUI KYŌRAKU
Shunsui is the current captain of the 1st division and also holds the position of Captain-Commander of the Soul Society. As such, Shunsui retains the ability to issue commands to all members of the Gotei 13. When the previous Captain-Commander died, Shunsui immediately replaced him with a complete vote of confidence. This highlights the prestige that Shunsui has built up during his time as a captain. Shunsui has shown himself to be consistently strong enough to defeat highly ranked members of the opposing forces on numerous occasions. Shunsui’s Bankai is one of the deadliest seen in the series, with its unique abilities forcing opponents to play by Shunsui’s ‘rules’. In his Bankai, he can deal incredible amounts of damage even to beings who consider themselves intangible.
1 GENRYŪSAI SHIGEKUNI YAMAMOTO
Yamamoto is the founder of the Gotei 13 and a former Captain Commander of its 1st division, having died in the final war against Yhwach and his army. Genryūsai originally formed the Gotei 13 to fight against the Quincy in the first Great War and, even at that time, he was the strongest. Yamamoto has displayed the most powerful Zanpakuto in Bleach. When in Bankai form, Yamamoto’s flames burn with such intensity that Ice and Water type Zanpakuto users can’t even manifest their abilities, less they evaporate. Whilst in Bankai, Yamamoto clouds himself in flames that burn as hot as the sun, gains the ability to resurrect those killed by his flames and have them fight for him, as well as the ability to use fire that burns things out of existence. These ridiculous overpowered flame abilities, alongside his years of knowledge, means that Yamamoto is the strongest captain ever to exist.