One of shonen's strongest fighting systems, centered on kido spells, Hollow abilities, and most importantly, zanpakuto, or soul-cutting swords, is featured in the Bleach tale. Officers can employ a shikai release or even a bankai release to swiftly overwhelm their opponents with special skills and effects, and all Soul Reapers carry a zanpakuto.

Ryujin Jakka, the zanpakuto wielded by Captain-General Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, is the most feared and renowned of all the zanpakuto revealed in the Bleach saga. His bankai ultimately failed to rescue anybody since it would have destroyed the planet rather than save it.


Ryujn Jakka's Bankai, Zanka No Tachi's Flame Powers

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In its sealed condition, Ryujin Jakka resembles a typical katana; nevertheless, in its shikai state, Head Captain Yamamoto is able to unleash furious, potent flames everywhere, as he did in the decisive battle with the treacherous Sosuke Aizen. Yamamoto, however, hardly ever releases Ryujin Jakka's bankai, much less employs it in combat. This bankai, Zanka no Tachi, has the ability to destroy the whole planet, even the Soul Society itself, as some characters have noted. Yamamoto now sees himself as a terrible fiery monster that inflicted suffering to the world, demonstrating the guilt he feels for his violent and thuggish past.

When Yamamoto activates bankai, his zanpakuto appears badly scorched, although it doesn't grow any larger, setting it apart from most bankai. The blade is hotter than the sun's surface, and once it strikes someone, they aren't just burned -- they are vaporized from the extreme heat, practically erased from existence. The victim won't even have any clear scorch marks from their wounds, nor are they set on fire. And there's more.


Zanka no Tachi has four major abilities, one for each cardinal direction. The East technique is an even stronger version of this bankai's basic abilities, while the West effect enshrouds Yamamoto in incredibly intense heat that may appear flame-shaped if his spiritual pressure becomes visible. The West technique appears largely defensive in nature, so Yamamoto must use the North and South techniques to defeat his opponents.

The South effect involves thrusting Zanka no Tach into the ground, which then summons the charred skeletons of anyone and everyone this bankai has ever killed. Those skeletons fight tirelessly on Yamamoto's behalf, and Yamamoto can even send specific skeletons to attack his enemy to inflict psychological pressure on them if the enemy recognizes the corpse. Finally, the North technique is an ultra-powerful slash that can destroy absolutely any foe it touches without mercy.


Yamamoto's Utilization Of Zanka No Tachi In The Bleach Story

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tYamamoto revealed his shikai in the "Soul Society" story arc and used it again in the final battle against Aizen, but he kept his bankai sealed away until an impostor king Yhwach confronted him. Yamamoto had failed once before to kill Yhwach, and now, in the "Thousand-Year Blood War" arc, Yamamoto aimed to finish the job with his fearsome bankai.

Yamamoto dealt serious damage to the impostor Yhwach with his bankai, then used all four cardinal direction techniques to apply further pressure. In particular, Yamamoto used the South effect to send the skeletal remains of long-dead Quincy warriors after Yhwach, which deeply disturbed the latter. Finally, after deflecting Yhwach's counterattack, Yamamoto used the North ability to fatally slash his opponent, only for the real Yhwach to appear at last.

Despite the serious risks and collateral damage of using Zanka no Tachi, Yamamoto activated his bankai again, only for Yhwach to use his medallion and steal it -- something no other Quincy could have done. This left Yamamoto vulnerable, and Yhwach struck him down. Zanka no Tachi is incredibly powerful, but it was never meant to save the world from Yhwach or any other foe. In fact, thanks to its extreme heat, this bankai is more liable to burn the entire world down, hence Yamamoto's shame in it. Now it's up to Ichigo to finish the job Yamamoto started and save the world from Yhwach's wrath.

Read more: Bleach: The Exposition of the Thousand-Year Blood War Told Kenpachi's Story Poorly