Here is everything you need to know about the five Bleach villains that fans loved more than the heroes.
Even the most selfish and manipulative anime villains like Sosuke Aizen get a lot of fans since they have darkly compelling charisma, incredible powers, and fascinating dialogue. That puts Sosuke Aizen in the same league as anime villains like Griffith from Berserk and Dabi from My Hero Academia, among others.
Ex-Captain Sosuke Aizen killed Central 46, betrayed the Soul Society, and waged war with an Arrancar army to seize the empty throne of heaven, and he stole the show the entire time. Bleach fans couldn’t help but marvel at Aizen’s cold confidence and monologues, even as he tried to tear the Soul Society apart.
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Grimmjow Jaegerjaques was introduced as the 6th Espada under Aizen’s command early in the Arrancar saga. Right away, Grimmjow captured everyone’s imagination as a handsome and aggressive antagonist with his honorable side, making him feel more balanced than thugs like Yammy Llargo.
Grimmjow started a bloody rivalry with Ichigo and wanted more than anything to prove himself by beating Ichigo fairly, which was a somewhat sympathetic goal. Grimmjow also got along relatively well with Orihime Inoue and once fought off his fellow Espada, Ulquiorra, just so he could fight Ichigo again. Later on, fans were delighted to see this villain return in the TYBW arc as a reluctant ally.
Coyote Starrk was the most innocent Espada of them all. Despite being the strongest, he didn’t identify with combat and bloodshed at all. Instead, the surprisingly gentle Coyote Starrk just wanted friends. He saw the other Espadas as his friends, even if they didn’t return the favor.
All that made Starrk highly sympathetic. When combined with his innocent humor and incredible combat skills, he was more compelling than Bleach’s actual heroes. Many Bleach fans must have been sad to see him finally defeated, dying in a futile conflict without a chance to seek true happiness.
Captain Kenpachi Zaraki
In the Soul Society arc, most Soul Reapers were hostile towards Ichigo and his friends as temporary villains. That included memorable powerhouses like Captain Kenpachi Zaraki, who was Bleach’s obligatory shonen character.
Kenpachi made a powerful impression as a bloodthirsty but honorable warrior who loved combat more than anything. He even used his eyepatch to restrain his powers and savor the fight for longer. It was impressive how even a monster like him had the courage to admit he needed – and wanted – to get stronger for next time.
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Captain Byakuya Kuchiki
Bleach fans recognized the antagonist Byakuya Kuchiki as a standout character. Byakuya may have been Ichigo’s nemesis in the Soul Society story arc. But fans couldn’t help but love his haughty, aristocratic ways combined with his good looks and beautiful yet deadly Zanpakuto release.
He also had substantial character development during his time as a villain. Byakuya had broken the law twice as the scion of the wealthy Kuchiki family. So he was determined to follow the law even if that meant sending Rukia to her execution.