Not going to lie. Whenever we think of Espada of Bleach, it kind of gives the similar vibes of Akatsuki of Naruto. But, let’s not compare these two. They both are very different. It’s just the vibes, though. But, who are the Espada? Well, they are the group of strongest Arrancars of Aizen’s Hollow-Shinigami hybrid army. Now, as we know, Aizen was the main antagonist of Bleach. Then, of course, the Espada is also a group of antagonists. Aizen formed this group in order to fight against the Gotei-13 captains during Aizen’s war. But, there are things that make the ten Espada interesting. Like the fact that the ten Espada represent the ten ways of death, one can die from. And the abilities of each Espada and their beliefs represent these ten ways of death. Even though they are a bunch of antagonists, they are still quite popular.
Now, just like Akatsuki from Naruto was popular and had their own fanbase, Espada is also popular among fans. So, today we are going to rank the Top 10 Espada in Bleach on the basis of their popularity. Whether it’s their looks or their ideology, fans never stopped loving them. So, without any further delay, let’s begin with our Top 10 Espada in Bleach – Ranked by Popularity.
1. Coyote Starrk
Can an antagonist be kind and wise? Well, Coyote Starrk didn’t deserve to be an antagonist. For us, he looked like the kind of protagonist who had no other choice but to live as an antagonist. Just like we mentioned above, each Espada represents different aspects of death. His aspect was ‘Solitude’. Why? Here’s why. He had been through solitude himself, in ways we could never go through. He had powers so powerful that he feared that he might kill someone. And to avoid killing anyone, he chose the path of solitude and wandered the deserted wastelands all alone. At some point, he was so alone that to fill the gap of emptiness, he created a friend from his own spiritual energy and named him Lilynette Gingerbuck.
Starrk was so strong that he fought against two captains, Jushiro Ukitake and Shunsui Kyoraku. His strength never got the best of him. He always had his code of honor until his death. Kyoraku, on the other hand, had to use low-blow attacks in an attempt to defeat Starrk. Starrk was the loneliest, the least evil, and the strongest Espada ever. And that’s what makes him the most popular Espada of all.
2. Ulquiorra Cifer
The aspect of death that Ulquiorra represents is ‘Nihilism,’ which means Nothing in the world has a real existence. And that’s why he thinks of human life as nothing more than trash. The potential of his true powers was terrifying. Even Aizen didn’t know about his second transformation. Ichigo barely managed to survive against Ulquiorra. But, in the end, Ichigo was the protagonist, so of course, he’d win in the end. And Ulquiorra, during his final fight, did realize the true value of life. In the beginning, we might have feared him, but in the end, during his end, we felt for him.
3. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez
Grimmjow represents Destruction. And that is proved by his thirst for Violence. Yes, he craves Violence, but the thing that makes him special and places him in a special place in our hearts is that he is not dishonorable. Do you remember how he let Orihime heal Ichigo when he was injured? Any evil does not approve of that. And the fact that he let that happen proves that he was not evil at all. He stood by his code of honor. And that’s what makes him so popular among fans.
4. Nnoitra Gilga
What makes Nnoitra up here in this list? Well, the fact that he almost defeated the undefeated champion Kenpachi makes us admire his abilities. He is no doubt the most bloodthirsty Espada in Aizen’s Arrancar army to be able to match Kenpachi’s strength like that. He also has one of the fastest regeneration abilities that allow him to grow extra arms just when he needs them to take his opponents by surprise while close quarter combats. Imagine you are fighting this guy. Wait, don’t imagine. You’ll be dead before you even realize it. We are not Kenpachi to survive this guy.
5. Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck
We love Nel, don’t we? She should have been number 1 on this list. But, the fact that she is not an Espada anymore makes her drop down to this number. But also the fact that she used to be the third-rank Espada, not mentioning her in this list would be disrespecting her capabilities. We don’t need many reasons to love her. The fact that she is super cute when she is in her kid version, her cuteness, overpowers every strength of all Espadas. But don’t underestimate her capabilities.
Remember how Renji couldn’t differentiate between the spiritual powers of Nel’s and Ulquiorra’s? She even defeated Nnoitra many times that he had to go behind her back to get her expelled from the Espada, with the help of Szayel. But, Nel isn’t that weak to die from their betrayal. But, what makes Nelliel different than all other Espadas is that she has a strong sense of compassion. Even when she regained her memories back, she was sensible enough to understand whom to side with. And she chose Ichigo, who saved her many times.
6. Tier Harribel
Harribel’s aspect of death was Sacrifice. And she did join Aizen’s Army to protect the three friends she was able to make in Hueco Mundo. That is one kind of Sacrifice itself, knowing that she is not evil, yet she had to join the evil army of Aizen just to protect those whom she holds dear. Lots of people think that she is one of the weakest Espada, but don’t forget the fact that she tried to kill Aizen the moment she realized what he thought of the lives of his Espadas. Standing up against someone like Aizen takes a lot of courage and strength, and she possesses both.
7. Baraggan Louisenbairn
Baraggan represents Senescence, which means deterioration with age. And just like the aspect of death he represents, he also has the ability to turn things into dust just by a single touch. We all saw his abilities during his fight against Sui-Fon. He was no doubt one of the strongest Espadas, but he was no match against Aizen. And the fact that his own powers could be used against him made him drop down to this number in this list. But, no matter what, we dig his powers. After all, one touch is all it takes.
8. Aaroniero Arruruerie
Aaroniero was supposed to be one of the weakest Espadas, right? Then how did he make it on this list? Well, here’s why. He loves to make his opponents desperate and helpless before defeating them. He lets them believe what they want to, he gives them false hopes, and just when they fall for it, Aaroniero makes them realize how unfair it was. If he is considered weak, then he uses his brain to make his opponents weaker by making their fears and weaknesses overpower them. And when they are in no shape to stand up, that’s when Aaroniero makes his move. Using one’s weakness against them is evil, but one can’t deny that he’s a genius.
9. Szayel Aporro Granz
The aspect of death that Szayel represents is Madness. And yes, he is mad. Not just any kind of mad, he is a crazy mad scientist who made his own Fracciones go through so many terrifying modifications just so that they can be of any use to him. Loyalty means nothing to him. His craziness dragged him on this list. But, no one will deny how satisfying it was when Kurotsuchi ended him slowly and painfully. We used to fear Kurotsuchi for his craziness too. And the fact that Kurotsuchi was crazy, too, was why he was able to take Szayel down.
And one of the reasons how Szayel made it on this list was because of his end. His end was more popular than while he was living. And the fact that in the end, right before he died, he realized that nothing was perfect. Not even his so-called immortality.
10. Zommari Rureaux
Zommari is one of the balanced characters. He does not feel guilty for those he kills, yet he also respects them when they are defeated. He doesn’t feel guilty about using wicked tactics, yet he doesn’t disrespect his opponent.