Sousuke Aizen is without a doubt one of the most formidable villains in not just bleach but anime as a genre. When we first encountered Aizen, no one thought much of him. I certainly didn’t, like many fans it was only after his supposed death that he caught my attention, but it was after his return that everyone really began to take notice.
As Aizen revealed his true colors and set into motion his well laid out plans it did not take long for us to realize, he was simply not someone to be trifled with. Aizen was pivotal to the Bleach storyline, that said it came as a near shock to me when I realized we never saw the captain’s Bankai.
DOES AIZEN HAVE BANKAI?
I think the question on everyone’s mind is; does Aizen even have Bankai? The simple answer is yes! Aizen does have Bankai. So the question is what is it and why did we not get to see it.
In order to understand all that we will need to discuss Aizen’s role in Bleach as a whole, the manner in which his Shikai works and how his Bankai factors in all of this.
As a major Bleach antagonist Aizen was a very important character, beyond that he was a very powerful one as well, rivaling some of the more powerful characters in terms of strength such as Ichigo himself and even to a certain extent Ywach.
Kyoka Suigetsu, Aizen’s Zanpakuto is a very powerful blade. The stunning thing is all the while he faced and defeated some of the more capable characters in Bleach such as Urahara and the Shinji not once did Aizen reveal his Bankai.
Granted many of those victories were gained through ambush, it is still telling of Aizen as a character. So let’s get into the reasons we never really got to see Aizen’s Bankai.
HIS SHIKAI IS OVER POWERED
Even for typical Gotei 13 captains their Shikai’s are usually more than enough to take down any enemy. It takes a truly formidable opponent to force a captain to use his Bankai as we have seen many times in the story and this applies to Aizen to a larger extent.
Aizen’s Shikai alone is literally more than enough to bring defeat to virtually any adversary if used properly and Aizen knows how to properly use it. As already stated the manner in which Aizen’s shikai works by casting near perfect illusions on it’s targets makes Aizen a particularly troublesome enemy to engage with.
We see this in the manner in which he faked his death, framed Urahara and hollowfied Shinji and the Visored. Though extremely powerful and skilled captains are able to sense Aizen’s illusions, they are still usually unable to deduce it’s an illusion or break out of it, making it game over before the first blow. This meant we didn’t get to see Aizen’s Bankai as he never really had to use it.
HE RARELY ENTERS ALTERCATIONS.
Another reason we never really got to see Aizen’s bankai is because Aizen rarely entered fights during the Bleach story arc. Through out the entirety of Bleach, Aizen had his followers handling engagements for him or entering fights on his behalf. We see this in the fake Karakura town arc and even when he first defects.
We also see in even the few fights Aizen did enter, whether they could be called fights at all, he had basically won before the first strike. Classic examples once again been with Urahara and the Visored.
AIZEN’S BANKAI ONLY WORKS ON THOSE ONLY TRAPPED BY HIS SHIKAI.
Though very little is known about Aizen’s bankai, we did get a little information about it from the 2012 Bleach Novel; Bleach Spirits are forever with you. In the novel it was reveal that Aizen’s bankai only works on those already hypnotized by his Shikai.
This severely decreased the chances of us ever seeing his Bankai in the main story as the fight was usually virtually over once enemies laid eyes upon his shikai. The fact that Aizen’s bankai needed his shikai activated before we saw it simply meant we were highly unlikely to ever see it as Aizen would rarely need to summon Bankai once his shikai was active.
AIZEN IS OVER POWERED
Even before absorbing the Hogyoku Aizen was already very powerful. As already stated his ability to effectively utilize his shikai made him a very deadly opponent indeed. The situation worsens once he successfully merges with the Hokyoku as at this point there is very little anyone can do to stop him.
Even Ichigo using the final Getsugatensho is just barely enough to weaken him and cause him to get sealed. In the end the main reason we never got to see Aizen’s bankai is because unlike so many other shinigami, he never had to use it!