Bleach: Kyoka Suigetsu, The Most Overpowered Zanpakuto

In Bleach, there are few zanpakuto that have the ability to affect an individuals senses.

In most cases these rare and few zanpakuto targets only a single sense or creates illusions centered around only one sense.

One such example is the zanpakuto sakanade which uses the olfactory sense to activate its effect.

In this article, i’m going to cover one of the most broken zanpakuto in the entire Bleach series, Kyoka Suigetsu. It is the equivalent of comparing a lighter to ryujin jakka when it comes to illusionary abilities, the undisputed king of shikai abilities.

Bleach: Kyoka Suigetsu History & shikai abilities

In Bleach, Kyoka Suigetsu is the zanpakuto belonging to the ex captain of the 5th division sosuke aizen and in its unsealed state takes on the appearance of a normal katana with a green handguard and a tsuba in the shape of a hexagon but with opposing sides having a longer dimension which gives it the shape of a prism.

To release the zanpakuto into its shikai state, Aizen uses the command “Shatter” which is also used to deactivate its ability. In shikai state, Kyoka Suigetsu retains its appearance but allows aizen access to its ability which is Kanzen Saimin, complete hypnosis. The shikai ability allows aizen to manipulate all five senses of whoever he chooses to affect with no clear limits on its range or number of affected targets. Aizen can make them see practically anything he wants them to with accurate representation so far as to even replicate a person’s mass and feel. 

In order for a person to be under this hypnosis however, they must have seen the release of kyoka suigetsu at least once and every occurrence after that event the person would always fall under its influence whether they are aware of it or not. There isn’t even a set time limit in which this hypnosis would stay on a particular target as the visored captains were still affected by it years after they had fallen under its initial spell. Hitsugaya Toshiro and a large number of other captains were tricked into attacking their Momo Hinamori during the fight between captains and Aizen as they had assumed that Aizen would have to activate the ability in each fight.

The hypnosis is so complete that during the course of battle many of Aizen’s enemies can’t even determine when the ability has started, in fact during the soul society arc, he used this ability to fake his death by creating an illusion of his dead body which even captain unohana did not realize was fake however she did feel something was off but could not determine the reason. When aizen dispels the illusion, what typically happens is kyoka suigetsu will shatter like a giant mirror breaking revealing the actual situation. 

Kyoka Suigetsu’s Potential in Battle

In combat Aizen uses this ability to confuse enemies either to create feints as to his position or to have them fight amongst each other. From what we’ve seen the illusions have mostly been the illusion of people or enemies which he uses to confuse others so it’s not clearly mentioned if he can create other things such as objects or inorganic material like fire or ice and have his targets feel heat or cold. Because Kyoka Suigetsu is able to control all the senses this may very well be possible.

During Aizen’s captain exam he was said to have revealed his bankai, which turned out to actually be the release ceremony for his shikai, by creating flames to make others think that his bankai had fire properties so it’s likely that he can make illusions of things other than people. After his interaction with the hogyoku and the merging of his body with his zanpakuto, Aizen was still able to use the illusion powers of his shikai.

During his fight with juha bach his illusions were strong enough that it fooled even juha bach’s power the almighty though Aizen did mention that he did not know what was shown to bach only that he was under an illusion. This might imply that the illusions were strong enough that even abilities to see into the future were fooled by the accuracy of kyoka suigetsu’s illusions.

Bleach: Kyoka Suigetsu Potential Weaknesses

While the illusions that Kyoka Suigetsu casts are pretty much perfect, there are ways for people to break through them.

Two known examples are captain commander yamamoto and gin ichimaru.

Yamamoto opted to allow Aizen to pierce the blade through his abdomen and was able to feel it’s reiatsu to determine if what he saw was real or not but this wasn’t fullproof as Aizen mentioned that he could have simply released it before attacking yamamoto. Its not clear why it needs to be in his abdomen to do this but most likely it would be easier to feign getting hit than to catch his blade outright.

Gin on the other hand actually found the one weakness to this ability as he mentioned that the only way around its ability was to be touching the blade before it was released. It took a lot of effort by gin to fabricate the right circumstance where he could accomplish this however and involved many years of planning and patiently waiting for Aizen to drop his guard.

Gin on the other hand actually found the one weakness to this ability as he mentioned that the only way around its ability was to be touching the blade before it was released. It took a lot of effort by gin to fabricate the right circumstance where he could accomplish this however and involved many years of planning and patiently waiting for Aizen to drop his guard.

Nevertheless it seems as though the only true way to be immune to it is to have not experienced its release at all such as with Ichigos or tosens case.

In the case of the latter, it’s precisely the reason why Aizen convinced tosen to join his side as being blind meant tosen was immune to the effects of kyoka suigetsu. It is quite curious how tosen zanpakutos ability would have interacted with the abilities of kyoka suigetsu as tosens bankai removed all senses except for touch while kyoka suigetsu relied on these senses to create its illusions. It might be this reason that Aizen wanted Tosen to be on his side as his bankai was seemingly a complete counter to his. 

Aside from these rather difficult methods of circumventing the zanpakuto, there really isnt much other ways for those who are caught in its spell to break from it making it extremely potent in terms of its abilities.

Bankai and Closing thoughts

Now by this point, I would be talking about the bankai stage of the zanpakuto but in the case of kyoka suigetsu the bankai has never been revealed. As Aizen is far and beyond captain level it’s very likely that he would have achieved this state but has never had a need to use it. Frankly speaking there has been many speculation surrounding this bankai but no conclusive answer has turned up over the course of the manga’s story.

One theory is that the abilities we currently see are actually the bankai abilities of kyoka suigetsu while another theory speculates that the sword is permanently in its bankai state. Its difficult to speculate a stronger version of this power as complete hypnosis is already very powerful thus we may not ever know what the actual abilities are.

Nevertheless, kyoka suigetsu is one of the few zanpakuto in Bleach that has a shikai so overwhelmingly powerful and versatile that the user may not even need a bankai. This zanpakuto is one of the more hax abilities within the manga and makes its user even more broken then he already was.

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