Wow! Bleach has so many characters that it is tough to come up with any kind of top 10 list for it. Invariably, you leave out some fan favorites. Different aspects of a character strike a core with a fan that may not resonate with another.
That being the case, there are some characters that most Bleach fans can agree deserve a spot at the top. So, here is our list for Top 10 Lovable Bleach Characters. These characters may not be the strongest, though some of them are, but their personalities, interactions, and relationships are entertaining to watch and keep us talking about them long after the series is over. Let’s jump in and take a look at who made our list!
10. Kaizou Konpaku
Though his full name is Kaizou Konpaku, Ichigo and the others refer to him as Kon. He is a modified soul capable of fighting hollows. Kon usually takes the form of a small, stuffed teddy bear with a spiky mane and short tail.
During the Hueco Mundo Arc, Kon played the role of hero for Karakura Town. Urahara turned Kon into Karakura-Raizer. He then led his team of follow superheroes against the growing number of Hollows that had appeared in town. They then entered a mysterious fortress and took down the Arrancar within. The fortress was destroyed just in time for the final battle to take place in Karakura Town.
It’s tough not to like this cute little bear that is actually very perverted and is attracted to women with large breasts. At one point, he took over Ichigo’s body and made a move on Orihime and then kissed Ichigo’s female friend Tatsuki Arisawa (angering her in the process). Let’s also not forget that he also sang the intro for Bleach’s Opening #6.
9. Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck
“Nel” was the former Tres (#3) Espada. She contains two forms. The first is that of a young child. She looks very small and sounds adorable when she talks with her lisp. Despite this childlike demeanor, she has a surprisingly advanced vocabulary. Though she believes all Shinigami to be evil, she does develop a connection with Ichigo and follows him into Las Noches.
Her second (and true) form is that of physically mature woman. In this form, she acts more composed, analytical, and is able to fight her opponents very methodically. She demonstrated this in her fight against Nnoitra Gilga (5th Espada). Also, she was also capable of defeating him when she released her Zanpakutou and entered her Resurreccion form: a centaur. However, at a critical moment she unexpectedly reverted back to a small child.
She retains her strong attachment to Ichigo when she enters her mature form. At one point, she comically almost knocked Ichigo unconscious after the battle with Nnoitra. She tackled him with an overly enthusiastic hug while he was already passing out from exhaustion.
8. Rukia Kuchiki
She was the original Shinigami stationed in Karakura Town. Her adopted brother is Byakuya. At first, she was very cold to others and had trouble making friends. She took her responsibilities as a Shinigami extremely seriously and wanted to fulfill her duty. But, she slowly opened up to Ichigo and the others. She is the one responsible for explaining the world of Shinigami and Hollows to Ichigo. Though not the strongest fighter, her Zanpakutou’s unique ice techniques and her ability to wield Kidou make her a formidable opponent.
Early in the anime’s lifespan, people often “shipped” Ichigo and Rukia together. The time they spent together in the first couple of arcs led them to developing a close relationship. Ichigo was the first person that she truly opened up to. Her personality and physical appearance were strikingly opposite to Orihime’s. So, that was another reason why people wanted to see them end up together.
7. Coyote Starrk
This man is the #1 Espada of Aizen’s army. Of course, having the title means he should be the strongest and lead all the other Espada. This is a responsibility Starrk wants nothing to do with. Unlike the others, he has a distaste for battle and harbors no inherent aggression. The only real motivation he had in the battle at Fake Karakura Town was to prevent any more of his comrades from dying.
He is also the only Espada to have split his soul into two beings. Starrk’s counterpart is Lilynette Gingerbuck. The reason for this split is because the original being was so lonely. Its mere presence caused other hollows in the vicinity to lose their soul and die. This was a major reason why they began following Aizen. He was the only person that didn’t die when he was in their presence.
The lead up to the reveal of Starrk as #1 was worth it, save for one aspect. His power, fighting prowess, techniques, and character design were definitely fitting for the top Espada. But, it seemed that he was capable of more if he had been truly motivated. Either way, he is a great character and his fight against Shunsui is one of the best ones of the series.
6. Shunsui Kyouraku
He is the former Captain of the 8th Division. Currently he is the Captain of the 1st Division and Captain-Commander for the entire Gotei 13. He is one of the oldest captains and was trained personally by the previous Captain-Commander Genryuusai Yamamoto. His appearance stands out from the other Captains because he wears a straw hat and a pink, flower patterned kimono over his captain’s uniform. He is an easy-going guy who tries to avoid fighting as much as possible.
I mentioned that he isn’t particularly interested in fighting. This was spotlighted in his fight against the #1 Espada, Starrk. Both have similar personalities. So much so, that Starrk proposed the idea that they only pretend to fight while the other Shinigami and Espada battle intensely. Shunsui admitted that he’d prefer to do just that, but he decided that he couldn’t do that to his follow comrades. In the fight he also showed his Zanpakutou’s unique ability: the power to make children’s games real.
5. Toushirou Hitsugaya
Toushirou is the Captain of the 10th Division of the Gotei 13. He is the youngest captain and is labeled a true prodigy. He keeps a cool demeanor most of the time, but he does consider himself above “immature actions”. He has also developed a cold attitude towards most people. The notable exceptions are Momo Hinamori and Rangiku Matsumoto.
There are two main reasons why he’s on this list. First off, it’s truly impressive to see Toushirou’s ability and potential be praised by other formidable characters. Captain Commander Shunsui commented in his fight against Starrk that Toshirou could potentially become stronger than him in another hundred years. Even the enigmatic Gin Ichimaru has stated that Toushirou is the reincarnation of a powerful guardian that returns every few centuries. Of course, this isn’t an exact prophecy. He’s just addressing the fact that this young captain is genius the likes of which are extremely rare.
The second is because of his relationship to his lieutenant, Rangiku Matsumoto. They often bicker with one another, but they actually have a long history and deep down they look out for each other. One important aspect of their relationship is that Toushirou is often tossed aside by bumping into Rangiku’s bosom. Their interactions have led to tons of fanfiction “shipping’ them together.
4. Grimmjow Jaegerjaques
Grimmjow was the 5th Espada in Aizen’s Arrancar army. Outside of battles, he is a laidback person who shows disrespect for authority. He’s always looking to prove his strength. Usually that meant wanting to pick a fight with Ulquiorra, whom he saw as inferior in combat prowess, and trying to squash the grudge he had with Ichigo. Once he’s in the midst of combat, his true self emerges. His aggression and ability to exploit the smallest of openings left by his opponent is scary, to say the least.
His character design remains a fan favorite to this day. He has light blue, spiked hair and blue eyes with green lines below them that ooze ferocity and strength. His mask covered the right side of his face and was a basic design of a two rows of jagged, sharp teeth. The perfect way to emphasize Grimmjow’s straightforward desire to fight.
His Adjuchas form is one of the best ones we’ve seen as well. In the past he was shown as a scaly, white panther. In the flashback, he quickly attacked a group of Adjuchas and impressed them to the point of becoming their leader. He vowed to be their king and lead them towards becoming Vasto Lordes. This glimpse into his past is actually very touching and provides backstory for why Grimmjow always pushes himself to exceed his own limits and overcome any opponent.
3. Gin Ichimaru
Gin was the Captain of the 3rd Division before he defected and joined Aizen’s ranks. He is known for his nondescript clothing and generally bland appearance. Except that his eyes are always closed and constantly has a large smile plastered on his face. He has the ability to unnerve those around him. This skill plus his naturally mysterious nature give off the sense that he is hiding some sinister plot and is just putting on a fake persona.
Gin’s backstory and reasons for aiding Aizen in his plans, for over one hundred years, are heartfelt and tragic. The audience never knew what he was thinking and whether he was in fact truly following Aizen or waiting for an opportunity to turn on him. His manipulation and disinformation skills were second to none. He managed to hide his intentions and his Bankai’s true ability from Aizen for all of that time. In the end, he managed to come the closest to killing Aizen before Ichigo showed up in his new form.
2. Sousuke Aizen
Before his betrayal of Soul Society, he was the captain of the 5th Division. His gentle personality and soft-spoken attitude earned him the respect of his peers and subordinates. Unfortunately, it was just an illusion that covered up his treacherous and selfish nature.
Once he departed from Soul Society, he showed his true colors and led an army of Arrancar in a war against his former comrades. On more than one occasion, Espada have mentioned that the Arrancar follow Aizen because he is a being without fear. This is one of the many reasons for why he is such an attractive character.
Aizen was the ultimate bad guy of the series. He outsmarted all of the other Shinigami and even pitted them against each other a few times. He felt that everyone (except Urahara) was beneath him in terms of intelligence and strategy. In fact, Aizen spent over one hundred years and sacrificed hundreds of Shinigami in order to create the Hougyoku. Everything up to the final showdown had been according to his plan. He was most definitely the Batman of the Bleach universe.
Also, no one ever posed a threat to him, until his Gin betrayed him and his final battle with Ichigo. I want to emphasize “final” because in their first fight Aizen famously put an abrupt end to Ichigo’s attack (and theme song Number One) with a single finger.
Throughout his reign of terror, he had no problem taking on multiple captains at once. Even when he encountered a new technique or Bankai, he quickly developed a counter and regained control of the situation. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the only reason he was defeated by Ichigo was because he was the main character. Sometimes “plot armor” is stronger than the strength of an immortal being with hundreds of years of planning.
1. Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo is an angsty teenager who hates school, but has a strong sense of justice. His inclination to fight at every opportunity comes from his desire to protect those around him. It is something that was instilled into him as a young child when he overheard his father say that his name meant “to protect one thing”. Ichigo inherited unique properties from each of his parents. His father was a former Shinigami and his mother was from a pure Quincy bloodline.
It’s no surprise that the titular character of the series is also one of the most loved ones. We saw him start out as a normal-ish person with a heightened awareness for hollows. Then, he slowly transitioned into a formidable Shinigami, capable of standing toe to toe with any of the captains. Eventually, he became something even greater than that.
As I mentioned before, his unique heritage played a key role in his development of abilities and strength. But, his Hollowfication was something else he had going for him as well. He was in a constant struggle against his inner-hollow trying to free itself and take over his body. This Hollow-Ichigo is a very cool aspect of himself that forced him to confront his true motivation for fighting and wanting to gain power. It assisted him in several battles and gave him access to a multitude of unique abilities.
Ichigo Kurosaki was given all of the tools (by the author Tite Kubo) necessary to become the strongest character in the entire series. This could come off as lazy writing, but it hasn’t stopped Ichigo from constantly gaining the top position in popularity polls in Japan.
There you have it. What do you think of these Bleach characters? Each of them brings something unique and worthwhile to the series. As I mentioned in the intro, there are a ton of characters in this series. So, I’d like to hear who your favorites are. Don’t be shy. You may even like some of the characters from the Bount Invasion Arc or other filler episodes. They’re fair game since they are in the anime.
Thanks for stopping by and reading the article. I’ll be in the comments below, so post your thoughts and we’ll get a discussion going!