Every Gotei 13 Captain, Ranked By Strength


  • Captains in the Gotei 13 are the strongest fighters in Bleach, tasked with protecting the Soul Society and human world.
  • Lisa Yadomaru redeems herself to become Captain of the 8th Division, showcasing impressive strength and ability.
  • Kenpachi Zaraki, holder of the Kenpachi title, is considered the strongest Soul Reaper in the Soul Society.

Bleach is an anime of sinister threats and constant battle. Because of this, the anime has a roster of extremely powerful beings who put the protection of multiple dimensions on their back. Aside from Ichigo Kurosaki, there are dozens of other fighters who can make an impact in a fight with their talent, skill, and strength.


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The members of the 13 court guard squads are some of the most powerful individuals in the world of Bleach that place the protection of the Soul Society and the human world above all else. In the hierarchy of the Soul Society, it is the captains that stand at the apex of the strongest fighters and have no issue demonstrating why that is so. Some of the captains in the Soul Society have ruled for thousands of years without a single challenge to their position.

Updated May 19, 2024 by Ritwik Mitra: The Gotei 13 is a group consisting of thirteen divisions in Soul Society, each consisting of a captain, their lieutenants, and the various shinigami working under them. Suffice it to say, becoming a captain of a division is a huge honor, with these shinigami considered to be in a different level of power altogether.

That being said, some captains have proved their worth in battle, showing their toughness and arguably being stronger than most other captains. In a one-on-one confrontation, there are bound to be certain Gotei 13 captains who are outclassed by others for various reasons.

19 Lisa Yadomaru

Strongest Ability: Niju Ichijo Tonbokudari & Hollowfication

Lisa Yadomaru clashing with Tier Harribel in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Haguro Tonbo
  • Bankai: Not shown
  • Title: 8th Division Captain

One of the members of the Visored who was framed by Soul Society and banished from this realm, Lisa sticks around with Shinji and the rest of the gang, masquerading as regular humans on Earth. She is one of the many people who help Ichigo in his training, helping the protagonist get a hold of his Hollow powers.

After Aizen’s betrayal is brought to light, Soul Society starts the slow process of reintegrating the Visored into the Gotei 13. This leads to Lisa redeeming herself and showing her impressive strength, leading to her attaining the important position of being Captain of the 8th Division.

18 Isane Kotetsu

Strongest Ability: Itegumo

Isane Kotetsu

  • Zanpakuto Name: Itegumo
  • Bankai: Not shown
  • Title: 4th Division Captain

It’s only a given that any shinigami following Retsu Unohana’s footsteps would be compared to this tough captain, and Isane Kotetsu doesn’t really compare to the massive pool of strength held by the previous captain. She is certainly competent in her own right but doesn’t hold a candle to the strength of the other captains in the Gotei 13.

She ascends to the position of Captain after the death of Yhwach, with her leadership skills being pretty great in their own right. However, in terms of strength, she hasn’t proven herself in battle enough for viewers to think she’s special by any stretch of the imagination.

17 Tetsuzaemon Iba

Strongest Ability: Shikai Command

Bleach Gotei 13 Captains ranked by likeability Tetsuzaemon Iba

  • Zanpakuto Name: Unknown
  • Bankai: Not shown
  • Title: 7th Division Captain

After the use of the Humanization Technique, Sajin Komamura transformed into a wolf permanently. This rendered him incapable of leading his squad anymore while paving the way for his lieutenant to become the new captain of the squad following Yhwach’s demise.

Tetsuzaemon Iba is a competent shinigami in his own right, but fans must admit that his strength is nowhere near the level of the other, more accomplished Gotei 13 captains. The fact that his bankai wasn’t even revealed by the end of the series shows how much of an afterthought this character is.

16 Love Aikawa

Strongest Ability: Hifuki No Kozuchi

Love Aikawa in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Tengumaru
  • Bankai: Not shown
  • Title: Former 7th Division Captain

A member of the Visored, Love Aikawa used to be the captain of the 7th Division before a series of events led to this Shinigami being Hollowfied along with others because of Aizen’s twisted experiments. As a result, they went into exile and had to live in the real world to figure out a cure for their condition.


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While he’s definitely quite powerful, there’s no denying that Love hasn’t shown his combat prowess all that much in later arcs. As a result, the other Shinigami have simply trounced him when it comes to sheer power, leaving him in the dust.

15 Sajin Komamura

Strongest Ability: Humanization Technique

Bleach Gotei 13 Captains Ranked by Likeability Sajin Komamura Captain 7th Division Cruncyroll

  • Zanpakuto Name: Tenken
  • Bankai: Kokujo Tengen Myo
  • Title: Former 7th Division Captain

Saijin Komamura is a unique citizen of the Gotei 13. In his first appearance in Bleach, he was a mysterious warrior who hid his face behind a bamboo helmet. It was later revealed that Komamura was an Anthropomorphic Wolf and was highly self-conscious about his features among the rest of the Bleach captains.

In strength, Komamura possesses the adequate spiritual pressure required to remain a captain. However, compared to the rest of his peers in skill and Zanpakuto ability, he does not measure up. Komomura’s physical strength can not withstand that of most other captains, and even his Zanpakuto has been easily defeated throughout the series.

14 Rojuro Otoribashi

Strongest Ability: Prometheus (Potentially Ein Heldenleben)

Rojuro Ootoribashi fighting Mask de Masculine in the Bleach manga

  • Zanpakuto Name: Kinshara
  • Bankai: Kinshara Butodan
  • Title: 3rd Division Captain

Rojuro, also known as Rose, was a member of the Gotei 13 until he was exiled along with the other Vizored after the Soul Society was tricked by Aizen Sosuke. Rose joined Shinji Hirako and the other Visored until the time came for them to join the fight once again and take down Aizen.

Because of his part in the final battle, Rose was reinstated and given his former rank of captain of squad three in return. Rose is an exceptional fighter who moves around the battlefield with grace and poise. Unfortunately, Rose does not enjoy combat and does not feature enhanced strength, instead fighting with maneuverability and control.

13 Sui-Feng

Strongest Ability: Mukyu Shunko & Jakuho Raikoben

Sui-Feng with her Shikai Suzumebachi activated in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Suzumebachi
  • Bankai: Jakuho Raikoben
  • Title: 2nd Division Captain

As the captain of the Second Division in the Soul Society, Sui Feng is also head of the Stealth Force. Sui Feng replaced Yoruichi after she abandoned the Soul Society and has been living in her shadow ever since.

Sui Feng does possess immense skill in battle, being one of the fastest captains in the thirteen court squads, but she lacks patience and is quick to let her emotions get the best of her. Because of this, Sui Feng often makes hasty attacks that leave her open counter-attack; in addition, Sui Feng’s Zanpakuto ability was initially one of the most dangerous, but if faced with a stronger opponent, the effect becomes inert.

12 Jushiro Ukitake

Strongest Ability: Shikai Techniques

Bleach Gotei 13 Captains Ranked by Likeability Jūshirō Ukitake Captain 13th Division Cruncyroll

  • Zanpakuto Name: Sogyo no Kotowari
  • Bankai: Not shown
  • Title: Former 13th Division Captain

Captain Ukitake is a highly respected captain among the ranks of the Soul Society for his calm and approachable demeanor. Ukitake is also a highly skilled swordsman, one of the most skilled, having been trained by Captain Commander, and considered one of his top pupils next to Shunsui Kyoraku.


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However, while Ukitake is a formidable opponent, his fragility and poor constitution make him vulnerable and weaken him to a severe degree. Nevertheless, Ukitake remains strong enough to maintain his position in the thirteen-court guard squads but avoids battle if possible.

11 Kensei Muguruma

Strongest Ability: Hollowfication & Tekken Tachikaze

Kensei Using His Bankai Against Multiple Menos Grande In Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Tachikaze
  • Bankai: Tekken Tachikaze
  • Title: 9th Division Captain

Kensei is another member of the Visored who was reinstated after the final battle against Aizen Sosuke as the last replacement for the captains who deserted their posts alongside him.

Kensei has immense physical strength, which echoes his fighting style. Kensei is a very close-quarters fighter who has honed his hand-to-hand combat techniques to perfection. Paired with his Visored abilities and his Zanpakuto, Kensei is a prominent threat on any battlefield, which many of his peers recognize.

10 Shinji Hirako

Strongest Ability: Sakashima Yokoshima Happofusagari

Bleach The Visored Hirako Shinji Thousand Year Blood War

  • Zanpakuto Name: Sakanade
  • Bankai: Sakashima Yokoshima Happofusagari
  • Title: 5th Division Captain

Shinji Hirako was the former Fifth Division captain until he was exiled with the rest of the Vizored. Shinji led his fellow outcasts into battle against Aizen, partnering with the Gotei 13 to take him down. Because of the part he played, he was reinstated in the Soul Society along with a few of his comrades and made a captain once again.

Shinji has incredible swordsmanship skills but not overwhelming strength to overpower his opponents. Shinji excels at outthinking his opponents and forcing them to make mistakes which he can then take advantage of. He does possess more power than most Bleach captains as a Vizored but can not compete among stronger competitors like Zaraki Kenpachi.

9 Rukia Kuchiki

Strongest Ability: Hakka No Togame

Rukia Kuchiki in Hueco Mundo in the Bleach anime

  • Zanpakuto Name: Sode no Shirayuki
  • Bankai: Hakka no Togame
  • Title: 13th Division Captain

Rukia comes off as rather weak in the early goings of Bleach, with her character being turned into a damsel in distress that Ichigo must save as he breaks into Soul Society to prevent her execution. After this arc, it takes a while for Rukia to show the true extent of her powers, improving dramatically throughout the series.

By the time the Sternritter shows up to wreak havoc in Soul Society, Rukia shows off a Bankai that is so ridiculously powerful that she can succumb to its effects if she doesn’t concentrate properly while pulling off this move. It’s easy to see why she quickly ascends the ranks to become the Captain of the 13th Division — a title that she has more than earned by the time the manga wraps up.

8 Mayuri Kurotsuchi

Strongest Ability: Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo: Matai Fukuin Shota

Mayuri Kurotsuchi in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Ashisogi Jizo
  • Bankai: Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo
  • Title: 12th Division Captain

Mayuri of Division Twelve is not a weak captain by any means. However, he has a minuscule interest in petty squabbling and fighting strong opponents. He is an intellectual whose sole purpose is the discovery of knowledge and to forever pursue his curiosity.


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While Mayuri does possess a powerful Zanpakuto ability, he does not participate in battle often. However, he is still feared among the Gotei 13 for the horrific experiments that he uses against his opponents, some of whom have eaten enemies alive for their spiritual pressure.

7 Toshiro Hitsugaya

Strongest Ability: Shikai Hyoketsu

Toshiro Hitsugaya in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Hyorinmaru
  • Bankai: Daiguren Hyorinmaru
  • Title: 10th Division Captain

Hitsugaya is the youngest Gotei 13 captain in the Soul Society and is considered a prodigy among shinigami, also being the youngest shinigami to reach the state of Bankai.

Hitsugaya trains relentlessly to increase his strength and skill and can easily go toe-to-toe with many of the thirteen court squad captains without releasing his Zanpakuto. Additionally, Hitsugaya’s Zanpakuto is one of the strongest in the Soul Society, countering that of Ryujini Jaka, belonging to Captain-Commander Yamamoto.

6 Byakuya Kuchiki

Strongest Ability: Shukei: Hakuteiken

Byakuya Kuchiki in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Senbonzakura
  • Bankai: Senbonzakura Kageyoshi
  • Title: 6th Division Captain

Byakuya Kuchiki is a member of a long line of powerful Soul Reapers and as such, holds himself to a high standard when it comes to his abilities as a Soul Reaper and captain of the sixth division of the Gotei 13. Byakuya was hand-trained by Yoruichi Shihouin in both shunpo and swordsmanship, making him a cut above the rest aside from those trained by the Captian Commander himself.

His sword skills are deathly accurate, and his strength is formidable, being able to rival that of Ichigo’s Bankai for a time; Byakuya’s Zanpakuto only adds to his strength giving him an attack with nearly limitless range.

5 Shunsui Kyoraku

Strongest Ability: Shime No Dan: Itokiribasami Chizome No Nodobue

Bleach Gotei 13 Captains Ranked by Likeability Shunsui Kyōraku Captain Commander Cruncyroll

  • Zanpakuto Name: Katen Kyokotsu
  • Bankai: Katen Kyokotsu: Karamatsu Shinju
  • Title: Captain-Commander Of The Gotei 13, 1st Divison Captain

Shunsui is the second favorite pupil of Captain-Commander Yamamoto, who has reached an expert level in swordsmanship and possesses immense power as a captain of the thirteen court guard squads. He excels at every aspect of combat, from speed, strength, and skill, also being the only Soul Reaper who can adeptly use two swords simultaneously.

Shunsui’s physical strength is also nothing to look down on, as he is more than capable of taking down strong opponents without releasing his Zanpakuto and fighting on equal terms with the Espada. Still, due to his personality to always take things easy, he never fights at full strength.

4 Retsu Unohana

Strongest Ability: Minazuki

Captain Unohana Having A Chat With Captain Kyoraku and Ukitake In Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Minazuki
  • Bankai: Minazuki
  • Title: Former 4th Division Captain

The history of Retsu Unohana is very muddled in the Soul Society due to her change in station. Retsu was hand-picked by the Captain Commander himself during the Gotei 13’s founding and was made the original Captain of Squad Eleven and the previous holder of the Kenpachi title.


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Retsu was the most feared fighter on the battlefield whose strength knew no equal; she was so overwhelmingly strong that her fights would end so quickly that she learned how to heal so that she could repair her opponent’s injuries and fight them again.

3 Sosuke Aizen

Strongest Ability: Kanzen Saimin

Sosuke Aizen in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Kyoka Suigetsu
  • Bankai: Not shown
  • Title: Former 5th Division Captain

No one saw Aizen’s betrayal coming at the end of the Soul Society arc, with this seemingly calm and collected Shinigami revealing himself as the main antagonist of the series in a bombastic conclusion to this storyline. Ever since this point, Aizen more than proves himself to be one of the strongest characters in the series, with his Shikai being strong enough to bamboozle the strongest characters around.

It’s a shame that his Bankai was never revealed by the end of the series, and fans can only hope that they get to see the true extent of his powers in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, where he is slated to play a major role in the final battle. Until this comes to pass, most fans will have to just wait and see how the adaptation covers one of the most contentious parts of the story.

2 Kenpachi Zaraki

Strongest Ability: Bankai Transformation

Kenpachi Zaraki Saving Ichigo in Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Nozarashi
  • Bankai: Unnamed
  • Title: 11th Division Captain

Zaraki is the current holder of the Kenpachi title and is considered the strongest Soul Reaper in the Soul Society. Zaraki became a Soul Reaper after facing Retsu Unohona, whom he could only wound once, and was then quickly dispatched after.

Retsu healed Zaraki, and he became a Soul Reaper soon after she stepped down as Kenpachi, then rose to become a captain of Squad Eleven. Zaraki’s way of fighting fuels his ego as he loves the thrill of battle and facing death head-on. Zaraki Kenpachi jumps through many hoops to decrease his strength so that he doesn’t kill his opponents too quickly.

1 Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto

Strongest Ability: Zanka No Tachi, Kita: Tenchi Kaijin

yamamoto Using His Bankai Against Yhwach In Bleach

  • Zanpakuto Name: Ryujin Jakka
  • Bankai: Zanka no Tachi
  • Title: Former Captain-Commander Of The Gotei 13, Former 1st Divison Captain

The Captain Commander of the Soul Society is a shining example of power and strength. Yamamoto has ruled over the thirteen court guard squads for over one thousand years and has done so with the sheer presence of his power alone.

No soul reaper measures up to the combined strength of Genryusai Yamamoto and his Zanpakuto. However, Yamamoto does not require his sword to be a formidable opponent having the strongest hand-to-hand combat skill in all of the Soul Society, which was demonstrated during his fight with Wonderweiss where he cleaved the Espada in two with just a single punch.



Release Date
October 5, 2004


Number of Episodes