Spoiler alert! This article contains plot details for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.
It's an all-out war in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. The hotly-anticipated return of the Bleach anime first began airing back in October 2022, with a second part having premiered in July 2023. In the final arc of the Bleach saga, Ichigo Kurosaki and the rest of the Soul Reapers of Soul Society fend off an ambush from an army of Quincies hellbent on revenge against Soul Reapers. As war breaks out throughout the Gotei 13 and the Wandenreich, both sides are made to unleash their strongest powers.
For the Soul Reapers, that means that many of them must resort to using their Bankai. Bleach fans will no doubt remember Bankai as the strongest form of a Soul Reaper's powers and abilities that channeled through their katana-like zanpakuto. The level of Bankai is only ever achieved by exceptionally-powerful Soul Reapers and is often a prerequisite for a Soul Reaper to become a Captain in the Gotei 13.
To that end, Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi has already reached this level. So what is his Bankai?
What is Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi's Bankai in 'Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War'?
Among the wide and eclectic cast of Bleach, Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi is certainly unique. He was originally introduced as one of the Visored, a group of exiled Soul Reapers who accidentally acquired powers of Hollows, malevolent and monstrous spirits that typically serve as antagonists for the series. He was later revealed to have been the former Captain of Squad 3 of the Gotei 13 before becoming a Visored. After the battle against Sōsuke Aizen, he is reinstated as Captain of his old squad.
As a current Captain, Rōjūrō's powers are quite formidable even when wielding his shikai, the first form of his zanpakuto. His shikai is Kinshara and has several unique abilities, including constraining his opponents with a string akin to piano wire. When released, Kinshara becomes a golden whip that is able to manipulate sound into a destructive force.
Rōjūrō's love of music is reflected in his shikai, and that is further compounded when he unleashes his Bankai.
Rōjūrō first reveals his Bankai against the Stern Ritter, a group of especially powerful Quincies within the Wandenreich. His Bankai is Kinshara Butōdan and takes the form of "dance troupe" of golden humanoid beings that Rōjūrō commands using a conductor's baton. The dance troupe can already act as an army that attacks his opponents, but its true power lies in the "music" Rōjūrō conducts while using his Bankai.
Using his Bankai, Rōjūrō is able to conduct different songs. Upon hearing these songs, his opponents are affected by physical illusions that their minds believe to be real, causing them actual damage. While this is certainly a formidable attack, Rōjūrō and his Bankai are bested in shocking fashion after his Quincy opponent, Mask De Masculine, ruptures his own eardrums to avoid hearing any of his songs. Rōjūrō is quickly defeated and nearly killed, though he is saved by Renji Abarai.
New episodes of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War premiere every Saturday on Hulu.