Kenpachi's Shikai Debuted in 'Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War' — His Bankai Isn't Far Behind

What is Kenpachi's Bankai in 'Bleach'? The 'Thousand-Year Blood War' anime saw him debut his shikai, but his bankai is still a mystery.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Aug. 28 2023, Published 6:44 p.m. ET

Spoiler alert! This article contains plot details for the original Bleach manga.

The second part of the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War anime has been chock-full of exciting moments and epic battles for the classic Bleach cast. After getting utterly trounced by the Quincy forces of the Wandenreich in the first few episodes, the Soul Reapers of the Gotei 13 have prepared their counter assault and have dealt considerable blows to their enemies in this violent grudge match between afterlife warriors.

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Among the Soul Reapers who have managed to overcome their opponents in spectacular fashion, Kenpachi Zaraki had a brutal victory in his own battle.

As one of the most infamous Soul Reapers in the Gotei 13, the captain of the 11th Division is known for his brute force and penchant for bloody acts of violence, all without having been able to unleash his true potential as a Soul Reaper until very recently.

In the TYBW anime, Kenpachi finally released his zanpakuto in its shikai form. What about his Shinji Hirako's Bankai in 'Bleach' Is Powerful, but Has One Major Weakness?

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What is Kenpachi's bankai in 'Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War'?

Since he first debuted in the series, Kenpachi Zaraki has been an oddity among his colleagues. Though he was granted the lofty position of Captain among the Gotei 13, he is the only captain to have not known the name of his zanpakuto, which is a fundamental skill for Soul Reapers of any power level. He was able to establish himself as one of the strongest captains of the Gotei 13 through sheer strength and willpower alone.

Despite this, he proves to be no match for the Quincy King Yhwach, who easily bests him during the Wandenreich's ambush on Soul Society. It's then that he decides to go through more official training to truly master his Soul Reaper powers and his zanpakuto.

Through an especially violent bout of training with another captain, he is finally able to learn his own zanpakuto's name and thus attain greater power.

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He unleashes his zanpakuto during the Wandenreich's second assault on Soul Society. In a battle against Gremmy Thoumeaux, an elite Quincy who uses the power of his imagination to overcome his foes, Kenpachi releases his zanpakuto's shikai. Officially named Nozarashi, his sword takes the form of a giant cleaver-like weapon that has the strength to cut a meteor in half. He manages to defeat Gremmy, though the battle still leaves him in a tattered state.

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As for his bankai, it has yet to make an appearance in the anime. However, it was already seen in the original manga. Interestingly enough, it doesn't appear to have a name, unlike most bankai. Instead, Kenpachi himself takes on a more monstrous form and obtains even more physical strength than before.

Fans who have read the manga already are eagerly looking forward to the debut of Kenpachi's bankai in the anime. Folks on TikTok state that the unorthodox nature of his bankai is all to indicative of Kenpachi's MO, with one fan claiming that its very existence "breaks the anime history" of Bleach as we know it.

The return of Bleach has been beloved by fans already, but folks are still looking forward to seeing their favorite scenes, like Kenpachi's bankai, fully animated.

New episodes of Bleach: Thousand Year-Blood War stream every Saturday on Hulu.

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