Oh man, this was such a hard post for me. I love all of the Bleach fights! In fact, this was supposed to be a top 10 list, but I just couldn’t narrow it down anymore. As it is, I’m leaving out some really awesome fights. But anyway, here are my picks for the top 12 Bleach fights.
#12: Hisagi vs. Findorr
This fight was the first time we ever saw Hisagi’s sword release - 200+ episodes into Bleach. That alone makes this fight noteworthy, but I also quite liked Hisagi’s opponent, Findorr. The way he kept upping his power level by breaking off pieces of his mask was very cool. But mainly this is about Hisagi’s awesome sword release.
Best moment: Hisagi’s final line: “A captain’s level? Not even close.”
#11: Kira vs. Abirama
This was a good fight for Kira - his best, in my opinion. He got to show off his strategizing skills, since his opponent’s long-range attacks were hard to counter with his sword. Plus he got to explain about how the marigold, the flower of despair (apparently), is Squad 3’s flower, which may be one of my favorite Kira moments ever. And finally, Kira is just *so scary* at the end of this fight when he coldly executes Abirama by cutting off his head.
Best Moment: Kira explains his squad’s flower.
#10: Ichigo vs. Kenpachi
This was the first fight in which Ichigo found himself completely out-classed - and knew it. I mean, Ichigo actually runs for his life when he realizes that his sword won’t cut Kenpachi. But then Ichigo collects himself and faces Kenpachi with the help of Zangetsu. It’s the first time Ichigo beats a captain, and the first time his zanpakuto materializes. Plus, Kenpachi is so wild and scary and huge. It’s just a great fight.
Best moment: Ichigo slices open Kenpachi’s nose as Kenpachi lunges at him. Kenpachi ignores it with a giant grin on his face and just keeps coming.
#9: Hichigo vs. Ichigo (during Ichigo’s vizard training)
I’m always very excited whenever Hichigo shows up. But this is my favorite Hichigo sequence. I love the way he looks up, smiles, and calls Ichigo “King” when Ichigo first arrives. And the moment that they both bankai and then Hichigo just pushes aside the smoke with one hand. And the moment that Ichigo finally gets his resolve back - his eyes flash, he twirls around his sword, and you see an “Ohhhh…..shit” look come over Hichigo’s face.
Best moment: The first one I listed. When Hichigo looks up and grins.
#8: Ichigo vs. Grimmjow (in Hueco Mundo)
We finally get Grimmjow’s sword release in this fight (he’s a kitty!), and Ichigo finally manages to keep his mask on for an extended period of time. The fight is long and intense, and Ichigo gets really beat up (always a good sign?). Plus Orihime and Nel are watching - meaning that Orihime finds out about Ichigo’s hollow powers for the first time.
Best moment: When Ichigo is collapsed against the pillar and Grimmjow goes in for the kill….but then Ichigo catches his hand, looks up, smiles, and says, “Sorry, Grimmjow.”
#7: Ichigo vs. Renji (in Soul Society)
Since I love both of these characters, it was awesome to see them fight (that’s not messed up….is it?). It was fun to see Ichigo actually try to think through this fight, since he normally doesn’t rely much on the ol’ brain, even though his brilliant deduction that Renji could only attack three times in a row didn’t end up helping him much. But mainly I like the end, when Renji begs Ichigo to go rescue Rukia. It was such a poignant moment.
Best moment: That one. When Renji begs Ichigo to rescue Rukia.
#6: Kyoraku vs. Stark
You guys have no idea how excited I was about this fight - I really wanted to know what Kyoraku’s sword powers were. I have to admit, I didn’t expect them to be so…scary. I was surprised and delighted that Kyraku’s power amounted to “fucked up children’s games” and that he was such a sneaky and ruthless fighter. Plus Stark was very cool with his cero-gun and wolves….when he wasn’t molesting the guns, that is.
Best moment: The first time Kyoraku appears out of a shadow and attacks Stark from behind with a dead, dead look on his face.
#5: Soi Fon vs. Yoruichi
What I loved most about this fight was how different it was from any other fight we’d had up to that point - it was largely hand-to-hand combat rather than swords, and it was two ladies fighting each other, rather than two dudes (with swords). Plus, I like fights that have some sort of heavy emotional underpinning, and this fight certainly had that. And also, shunko is cool.
Best moment: Yoruichi reveals that shunko isn’t something Soi Fon created.
#4: Ishida vs. Kurotsuchi
I still think that this is Ishida’s best fight. He was facing a captain who was not only way more powerful than him, but who was also willing to use some very dirty tactics…like revealing that he had pictures of Ishida’s tortured-to-death grandfather. And this fight gave us our very first bankai - and what a horrifyingly scary bankai it was! Ishida had to give up his powers to beat it.
Best moment: Ishida faces down the giant horrible baby-caterpillar rushing at him….and then calmly cuts it in half with an arrow.
#3: Byakuya vs. Ichigo
This is, of course, the fight in which we finally get to see Ichigo’s bankai. That alone would rocket this fight into the top 10 (or 12…), but the rest of the fight was also awesome. Byakuya’s bankai…his guiding the petals with his hand to make them faster…his resorting to the Execution Scene…plus, of course, the moment when Hichigo takes over Ichigo’s body for the first time.
Best moment: Byakuya’s “WTF?” face after Ichigo tears off his mask and apologizes for the interruption.
#2: Ichigo vs. Aizen
As I’ve discussed before, this fight was more tragic than anything else, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t amazing. Ichigo out-classed Aizen to such a huge degree - Aizen couldn’t even sense his spiritual pressure. Ichigo calmly deflected everything Aizen threw at him, while being so serious and determined and sad. This was THE fight. The one that took 300 episodes to actually happen.
Best Moment: Ichigo suggests that he and Aizen fight elsewhere. Aizen demurs. So Ichigo GRABS HIM BY THE FACE AND FORCES HIM TO SWITCH LOCATIONS. Either that or the moment that Ichigo breaks through Aizen’s super-powerful-you’ll-never-break-this-you’ll-be-trapped-forever-boy kido with one hand.
#1: Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra
*cough* I may have discussed this one enough already. http://bleachlists.tumblr.com/post/26873682062/why-ichigos-fight-with-ulquiorra-is-my-favorite-bleach#notes
Best Moment: Ishida tries to stop Hollow Ichigo from mutilating Ulqiuorra’s body any further. So Hollow Ichigo stabs him.