Power is seen differently across different anime universes. The power system ranges from Chakra to Nen and in the case of the Bleach anime/manga, reiatsu. In Tite Kubo’s unique universe, reiatsu is the basis of how strong one is and can be directly translated into attack potency and durability. The Espada, the strongest of all Arrancar, are unique blends of Hollow and Shinigami abilities, representing a different aspect of death (loneliness, emptiness, etc.) and are also one of the greatest harnesses of reiatsu. Under the command of the deserter captain, Sōsuke Aizen, they replaced the old members (except for Aaroniero, number 9) and grew to be a much more powerful group. So on this occasion, we will be looking at the top 5 strongest Espada in the anime.
5. Tia Harribel
Also known as the Tercera Espada, Harribel is ranked as the 3rd most powerful Arrancar within the Espadas. While by no means weak, she seems to fall behind in the battle versus the shinigami when compared to her mates (even the lower-ranked ones) and in the end lost out to Hitsugaya Toshiro, the prodigy captain of the Gotei 13.
Her Zanpakuto is Tiburón ("Shark Empress") and its release command is "Destroy". Her special ability is water creation and manipulation: she can create cascades, launch damaging water blasts, and make water’s temperature swiftly reach extreme boiling heat. Her manipulation of water is second to none, and by extension, ice also and her destructive power in her released state skyrockets. This, combined with her great observation and analytical intelligence makes Harribel a terrifying enemy.
4. Ulquiorra Cifer
Ulquiorra, the 4th Espada in Aizen’s army and a well-known fan favourite also makes this list. His Murciélago’s (translated as "Black-Winged Great Demon") release command is "Enclose" and many agree that his power level is way above his rankings.
Apart from having by far the most entertaining fight scenes in the anime and almost killing Ichigo before the awakening of his Vasto Lorde form, he is the only known Espada to have two Resurrección release forms. Both of which adopt strong vampiric, bat-like qualities in appearance. He is also noticeably one of the smartest members of the group, and has incredible strength, speed, and rare regeneration abilities, granting him unrivalled endurance.
3. Yammy Llargo
Yammy was stated to have the highest reiatsu and attack potency when he becomes the Cero Espada i.e. after releasing his Zanpakuto. He was able to fight against two of the most powerful captains of the Gotei 13, Byakuya Kuchiki and Zaraki Kenpachi, at the same time and managed to inflict serious damage on both of them.
Ironically, Yammy is initially the lowest-ranked Espada at number ten (and is even easily defeated by Ichigo's Bankai alone), but when his full power is released, he grows immensely in size, resembling a kaiju. His cero is also more lethal and has a broader reach, while his power potential seems to be uncapped, increasing incrementally depending on how enraged he gets.
2. Baraggan Louisenbairn
The former God-King of Hueco Mundo is more than a formidable opponent as his mere display of spiritual power was capable of causing a shockwave in the fake Karakura. His main power is the ability to speed up the age of anything he touches. As seen in the battle against Soi-Fon (where he took her hand and tanked a shot from her missile-like Bankai) and Hachigen Ushoda, a visor, it can cause tremendous damage to his enemies.
Upon his Resurrección (the release phrase is Rot) he transforms into a literal skeleton clothed in a black-purple cloak. His special abilities are Senescencia, making everything close to him wither and decay, and a fog-alike vapour that ages and decomposes anything it touches.
1. Coyote Starrk
Even with his laid-back and lazy nature, Starrk has proven to be one of the most powerful characters in the series. And with his other half, Lilynette, the duo is capable of spectacular feats of destruction.
He possesses incredible speed, intelligence, and power. His resurreccion amplified the power of Cero greatly and he claimed to be able to fire a thousand ceros. He also has a technique that can summon an army of spiritual wolves who detonate after biting their target. He was defeated by Kyoraku Shinsui, one of the two-dual wielders from Soul Society and also exceptionally powerful shinigami, during the Karakura town arc.
When all is said and done, the different Espadas are all pretty cool with each character here being unique in their way. Which one of the following characters is your favourite and would you have ranked them any differently? Feel free to comment down your thoughts and also don’t forget to share this article with your fellow otaku friends.