Yoruichi is one of the most fascinating characters in the Anime & Manga Series, Bleach by Tite Kubo. She is the former captain of the Second Division of the Gotei 13, as well as she was amongst the most skilled fighters in Soul Society before she left.
She later returned to Soul Society along with Ichigo, Orihime, Chad, and Urya, to save Rukia Kuchiki from execution. That is where we saw her in action for the first time.
Yoruichi Shihoin’s hand-to-hand combat abilities are exceptional, and she is also the master of speed and flashy techniques. She is most popular for her speed, agility, and incredible fighting skills, both in her human form and cat form.
That being said, there is one thing fans have always been curious about regarding the former second-division captain, and it’s her Bankai. Bankai in simpler terms is the second and the final stage of any Shinigami’s Zanpakuto. A bankai is considered to be the ultimate technique and requires an absurd amount of training to awaken.
Although we have seen the Bankai reveal many other characters and even the most powerful Captains, there is no mention of Yoruichi’s Bankai anywhere in the series. Therefore, this article will try to explore the hot topic of Yoruichi’s Bankai in Bleach, if it exists or not, and if it does, what might be the possible abilities of her Bankai.
Yoruichi’s Zanpakuto In Bleach
Yoruichi is not only proficient in speed, and agility but is also the master of Hakuda, the art of hand-to-hand combats. However, unlike the majority of the Shinigami in Bleach Universe, Yoruichi Shihōin doesn’t carry a Zanpakuto with her.
This particular thing about Yoruichi never seen fighting with her Zanpakuto had fans curious since the beginning of the series. It’s true that Yoruichi is very powerful and even has her own fighting style not too reliant on a sword but instead on her own physical abilities.
But still, a Zanpakuto is very essential for any Shinigami. A Zanpakuto is the physical manifestation of Shinigami’s Soul, and only through their Zanpakuto are they able to channel their spiritual powers to perform different powerful techniques.
Although throughout the course of the Bleach Series, Yoruichi Shihōin is often seen without a sword, there have been instances where she was shown wielding a Zanpakuto. In the very first episode of Bleach Anime, she is seen carrying a sword on her hip during a flashback. This suggests that she was always not without a sword.
Yoruichi might have abandoned her Zanpakuto at some point in the past because she found a better way to fight without a sword. Given her incredible strength in hand-to-hand skills, it is clear that even without a sword she can very much hold on her own against the strongest of characters.
Speculations About Yoruichi’s Bankai
Bankai is the pinnacle of Shinigami’s Zanpakuto. It is the ultimate form of any sword which grants its wielder with immense power and abilities. Unlocking a Bankai requires vigorous training for years with their Zanpakuto, and not all Shinigami are capable of awakening it.
Bleach fans have long speculated about Yoruichi’s Bankai. While it never got revealed in the entirety of the Bleach Series, it just could be that Yoruichi abandoned her Zanpakuto because the extra boost in power provided by her sword didn’t serve her purpose.
Still, there are various fan theories about Yoruichi’s Bankai. We will go through some of the most popular fan theories regarding her Bankai. One popular fan theory about her Bankai is she abandoned it as it is somewhat similar to Soifon’s Bankai which slowed her down in battles.
We have seen Soifon’s Bankai, Jakuhō Raikōben. This Bankai is extremely powerful when it comes to destruction as it comes in the form of a big rocket launcher. But if this is the type of Bankai Yoruichi also possessed, then it would totally slow her down and doesn’t fit with the way Yoruichi fights.
Yoruichi is someone who prefers speed and agility over anything. Now imagine her fighting with a big and heavy sword, that would totally go against her combat style. So perhaps this is the main reason why Yoruichi abandoned her Zanpakuto and the Bankai her sword had as it slowed her during battles instead of adding to her advantage.
Another theory related to Yoruichi’s Bankai in Bleach is related to her cat-like powers and abilities. Some fans have speculated that her Bankai is what allows her to transform into the powerful feline form with increased strength and agility. This is just a speculation though and doesn’t have any weight to prove the theory.
Yoruichi’s Bankai in Bleach is unimportant to the point that it doesn’t even have a name. Let alone her Bankai’s name, we don’t even know what the Shikai form of her Zanpakuto looks like.
Therefore Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach Manga has made it very clear that although Yoruichi used a Zanpakuto in the past, she abandoned it later in the story as she developed her own style of fighting. And this is also the reason why Yoruichi’s Bankai is never mentioned in the series.
Source: Fandom & Bleach Manga!