10 Smartest Characters in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

bleach tybw smartest kisuke uryu kirio

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is the Bleach anime’s final arc, and in this war saga, many Bleach characters new and old will get a chance to truly shine in their own way. The strongest Soul Reapers and the deadliest Quincy will face off in one final war for the fate of the world, and sometimes, that means fighting smart.

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Characters like Captain Kenpachi Zaraki and Mask de Masculine rank among the strongest warriors on each side, but some Bleach: TYBW fights are won because someone used clever tactics or even spiritual science to get the edge. Some of these smart characters also have the administrative skills to lead an entire army or research department and make use of everyone’s talents.

Bleach manga spoilers ahead!

10 Uryu Ishida Is A Quick-Witted Tactician

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Ichigo’s tsundere friend Uryu Ishida is a human Quincy with remarkable spiritual and mental gifts. He is a top student at school and a prodigy among his kind, having mastered Hirenkyaku and Ransotengai by age 15. In many battles, Uryu fought and often defeated stronger foes, such as Cirucci Sanderwicci and Szayelaporro Grantz, with his clever tactics.

In the TYBW story arc, Uryu has quickly reviewed the full Soul Reaper vs Quincy history and is carefully pondering what to do next. He seemingly joined Yhwach after that, but manga fans know that he actually plans to take the Wandenreich down from within, which no Sternritter even suspected.

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kirio Hikifune gesturing at a giant cake

Just over 110 years ago, Kirio Hikifune was squad 12’s Captain, but then she got promoted to squad 0, the royal guard. Kirio earned that promotion with her incredible spiritual research, mainly her invention of Gikon.

Gikon pills can remove a Soul Reaper’s body from a gigai and forcibly eject stubborn souls from their dead bodies, among other uses. Later, Kirio also invented her own spiritually-charged cooking style, which allowed Ichigo and Renji to rapidly gain strength for the tough training that lay ahead.

8 Quilge Opie Commands A Hunting Army

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Quilge Opie is one of the Sternritter, elite Quincy with unique abilities. He was the first Sternritter to appear, in fact, leading a small army of Quincy soldiers across Hueco Mundo’s desert sands to capture that world in the Wandenreich’s name.

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Quilge expertly led his forces and found, captured, and killed many Arrancars. He also hoped to lure out Ichigo Kurosaki and capture him in The Jail, preventing Ichigo from supporting the Soul Reapers during the main Soul Society invasion.

7 Oetsu Nimiaya Is The Ultimate Swordsmith

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Oetsu Nimaiya, like his deredere peer Kirio Hikifune, earned his place in the royal guard because of his historic contributions to the Soul Society. He is by far the most skilled and smartest swordsmith of all, and he knows the location of every zanpakuto at all times.

Oetsu understands the truth of asauchi and zanpakuto spirits, far more than even experienced Soul Reapers like Renji. Oetsu also has peerless skill in forging zanpakuto of all shapes and sizes, and he can even make perfect zanpakuto for unconventional clients like the human Ichigo Kurosaki.

6 Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi Is The Gotei 13’s Top Scientist

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Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi is a cold but brilliant Soul Reaper scientist who has extensively modified his zanpakuto, Ashisogi Jizo, and even his own body. In battle, he uses all his assorted weapons and experimental drugs to capture his foes alive so he can dissect them later.

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Captain Kurotsuchi outwitted Szayelaporro in their scientist battle in Las Noches, then invented a brilliant drug to undo The Zombie’s effect on Toshiro Hitsugaya later. He also thought up highly effective ways to fight the bizarre Sternritter C, Pernida Parnkgjas.

5 Kisuke Urahara Is A Peerless Inventor & Spirit Expert

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Kisuke Urahara was once squad 12’s Captain, a daring scientist who has invented many bizarre things, from the Hogyoku to portable gigai bodies to Hollowfication pills that forced several Sternritter to discard their stolen bankai. Kisuke can also study an opponent’s muscle movements to predict their actions.

Off the battlefield, Kisuke is very helpful to Ichigo’s party, since he understands portal technology so well. He once opened a gate to the Soul Society, and later, he found a way to open his own garganta portals, something that not even Captain Kurotsuchi can do.

4 Captain Retsu Unohana Is A Medical Expert

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Captain Retsu Unohana once went by the name Yachiru, and was the first Kenpachi hundreds of years ago. Since then, Unohana gave up her warlike ways to become an expert healer instead, and she even studied techniques from squad 0 to perfect her craft.

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Unohana is a skilled and charismatic administrator in squad 4, effortlessly coordinating all her junior officers even when there are dozens of injured patients being rushed into the barracks after a battle. No matter the paperwork or mental strain, though, Unohana won’t falter or complain.

3 Jugram Haschwalth Helps Yhwach Run The Wandenreich

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Jugram Haschwalth is Yhwach’s cool, collected right-hand man as Sternritter B, using an ability called The Balance to defeat any foe who crosses him. Jugram is an aloof and princely type, smartly assessing any battlefield situation before making a move.

Jugram also helps Yhwach run the entire Wandenreich, and even borrows The Almighty to do so. Only a well-educated and skilled Quincy veteran could pull that off. Yhwach also trusts Jugram to deliver fair but harsh judgment on Sternritter who fail him, such as Cang Du and BG9.

2 Yhwach Commands All Quincy And Can Redistribute Powers At Will

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Emperor Yhwach becomes a god in Bleach: Brave Souls

Yhwach is the Quincy king, and he has commanded his entire tribe for several centuries now. He also formed the Sternritter in the medieval period, a smart move that allowed him to rival the Soul Reaper Captains with his own elite team.

It takes serious mental effort to command a huge and powerful army like this, and Yhwach does it with ease. He also thoroughly understands all spiritual techniques and abilities, and can even use Auswahlen to tactically redistribute Quincy powers from afar. He also masterminded the devastating attack on the Soul Society and enjoyed a total advantage.

1 Sosuke Aizen Is Still Alive & Highly Dangerous

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Ex-Captain Sosuke Aizen ranks among the smartest Bleach characters of all time, using his formidable intellect to patiently bring his plans to fruition. He made his move in the Soul Society story arc, then absorbed the Hogyoku before Ichigo and Kisuke finally stopped him.

Now Aizen is a prisoner, but he’s still alive and still smart. Captain Kyoraku reluctantly freed him so Aizen could help out, and Aizen even fooled Yhwach himself with his shikai. That bought Ichigo an opportunity to take the fight to Yhwach and make one last stand to save the entire world.

NEXT: Ichigo Kurosaki’s 10 Best Allies in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War


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