Tite Kubo’s Bleach animanga series was a sensation in itself back in the 2000s, and the fame is once again seeing a revival as the Thousand Year Blood War arc is making its way with its second cour. With a unique plot involving the world of Shinigamis, Bleach has inspired many anime and manga series over the years. From popular franchises like Yuki Tabata’s Bleach to the latest series such as Chainsaw Man, Bleach has had an impressionable mark on many series. Moreover, one cannot help but see noticeable similarities between the Hashira hierarchy in Demon Slayer and Gotei 13.
Suffice to say, Bleach‘s influence on new-gen anime is large and undeniable. And if it weren’t for Dragon Ball Z creator, Akira Toriyama, seeing the potential in Tite Kubo’s submission, many hit series like Jujutsu Kaisen would have had a different concept or character design. While not all mangakas have revealed their source of inspiration, like Tatsuki Fujimoto or Gege Akutami, some of the new-gen characters look awfully similar to certain Bleach characters, if not in design, then definitely in their mannerisms.
Byakuya, Yachiru, and many other Bleach characters who bear similarities with new-gen anime characters
Ichigo Kurosaki and Rensuke Kunigami (Blue Lock)
The plot of Bleach would have been lost hadn’t high school student Ichigo Kurosaki taken the mantle of Shinigami from Rukia to defeat a Hollow in the very first episode. What followed next was a series of adventures and incredible battles that enriched the plot of Bleach to make it one of the Big 3 anime today. However, the same can’t be the same for Rensuke Kunigami from Blue Lock, whose premise is rooted in reality with no scope of fantasy and supernatural elements. Moreover, unlike Ichigo, Kunigami is just a supporting character who is a contender of the Blue Lock program and currently plays football for Germany’s Bastard Muchen.
A distinctive feature between these two characters is their orange spiky hair. Plus, they both have a tall and muscular (although Kunigami appears broader than Ichigo) physiques. Aside from that, both of them share a calm and serious persona while knowing how to have fun when necessary. They also have a strong sense of morality and can be rational, cautious, and sensible when time calls for it.
Byakuya Kuchiki and Nozel Silva (Black Clover)
The largest similarity between these two characters is that both of them hold the ‘Captain’ position in their respective groups. Byakuya Kuchiki, a Shinigami and the 28th Head of the Kuchiki clan, is the Captain of the 6th Division of Gotei 13 in Beach. Meanwhile, Magic Knight Nozel Silva is the Captain of Silver Eagles.
While their physical similarities (such as trademark hairstyles) are limited, Byakuya and Nozel have a slightly similar nature. Hailing from aristocratic families, the two characters carry themselves in a noble manner. Although Nozel can be labeled as a haughty person, Byakuya’s arrogance largely emerges from his indifference. Even so, Byakuya and Nozel have shown a very calm and serious nature during their respective battles, and they both demand respect from their peers.
Yachiru Kusajishi and Mei (Hell’s Paradise)
In terms of screen time between the two, Yachiru must surely enjoy the attention. Smart, highly competent, and jovial, Yachiru is the prestigious lieutenant of the 11th Division under Captain Kenpachi Zaraki. On the other hand, Mei belongs to the Tensen race and lives in Kotaku without serving any significant role in the plot.
The distinctive feature of Mei and Yachiru is their cute face, having a child’s body, and their bubblegum pink hair. Aside from that, they don’t have any similarities. Yachiru is strong, energetic, and cheerful almost all time, but she does radiate an intimidating aura whenever she’s angry or annoyed. Compared to this, Mei is innocent and loves her silence, as seen when she starts crying when Gabimaru first attacks her and feels intimidated by him. However, she is also helpful as she easily accepts Sagiri’s assistance while bathing and helps them to get Tan (the Elixir of Life) from the island.
Ulquiorra Cifer and Zenon Zogratis (Black Clover)
Ulquiorra was the 4th Espada in Aizen’s Arrancar army, who became the major antagonist after Aizen led them to attack Soul Society. Interestingly, Zenon is also a major antagonist in Black Clover, having been a member of the Dark Triad of the Spade Kingdom while being the host of Beelzebub. Although both of them have vastly different builds, with the Black Clover antagonist being buff while Ulquiorra is lean, they do share some other physical traits.
Ulquiorra and Zenon both have black hair and droopy eyes that may seem as if they are relaxed, but that’s far from the truth. The stark similarity in their appearance becomes evident when Zenon uses his devil powers, while Ulquiorra uses his Arrancar abilities. Zenon, when using 55% of his devil abilities, sports a pair of curved horns on his head and bat-like wings, with dark magic covering half of his body. But when he uses 100% of the same power, his entire body gets covered in black and he dons an almost-full body armor made out of Bone Magic that also has helmet-like accessory as he develops a whip-like tail.
Meanwhile, Ulquiorra’s Arrancar get-up has remnants of his previous life as a Hollow. Aside from the hole in his sternum, his Hollow mask resembles a broken helmet that is situated on the top-left side of his head. But while using his second form of Resurreccion ability, Ulquiorra’s entire upper body is covered in white, with the lower half and his arms covered in black. Moreover, he also flaunts large bat-like wings and whip-like tail on his back. Aside from that, he also develops two white horns on his head, with feet resembling that of a bird’s.
Rukia Kuchiki and Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
Both Rukia and Mikasa are abled and reputed fighters in their line of work. However, unlike Mikasa, who is tall and has a lean-built physique as a result of the arduous training, Rukia has not been lucky in the height department, having to work with a petite build. Besides this, the similarity in Rukia and Mikasa’s physical selves became prominent when Rukia (post-Aizen’s defeat) sported a bob cut that was similar to Mikasa’s before she went to Marley.
Rukia and Mikasa both have strong associations with respectable families. In the Shinigami’s case, she was adopted by the noble Kuchiki family on her late sister’s request, while Mikasa, apart from being an Ackerman, is connected to the royal Azumabito family from her maternal side. Later, like Rukia, she got adopted into the Yeager family. Aside from that, both characters are level-headed, rational, confident, and rarely seen losing their temper, even during battles.
Nanao Ise and Kiyoko Shimizu (Haikyu!!)
Bleach’s Nanao Ise is the co-lieutenant of the 1st Division under Captain Shunsui Kyoraku and the Vice-President of the Shinigami Women’s Association. On the other hand, Kiyoko Shimizu was seen as the manager of the Karasuno High’s boys volleyball team for the majority of the series.
Nanao and Kiyoko’s distinctive physical attribute is that both of them have a similar facial structure and wear spectacles. Despite having different hairstyles, the two characters are seen to have similar personality traits. For example, Nanao and Kiyoko are known to be serious and pragmatic people who usually have to put up with the antics of their Captain (in Nanao’s case) and the volleyball team (in Kiyoko’s case). However, they deeply care for their respective groups and have been seen shouldering official responsibilities.
Uryu Ishida and Klaus Lunettes (Black Clover)
The obvious similarity between the two is that both of them wear spectacles. Aside from that, they both have a slender build and a similar facial structure, with extended bangs hanging from opposite sides of their faces.
Although they both are firm believers of reason and judgement, Klaus is extremely proud and arrogant of his position as a 3rd Class Intermediate Magic Knight of the Clover Kingdom’s Golden Dawn and Royal Knights squads. Meanwhile, Uryu is quiet and humble and doesn’t look down on others based on their social rankings, unlike Klaus. Despite joining the Wandenreich and going against Ichigo and his friends, Uryu maintains his usual strong sense of justice and moral code.
Kisuke Urahara and Satoru Gojo (Jujutsu Kaisen)
The eccentric teachers of Bleach and Jujutsu Kaisen would have made a hilarious and powerful duo had they ever met in real life. However, one can only hope that it would happen for real. Aside from differences in their power, abilities, and character designs, Urahara and Gojo are strangely similar. Both of them are optimistic, laid-back, confident, and jovial individuals who are sorted about their goals and achievements. Plus, they radiate crackhead energy with their students but can be equally terrifying in the face of danger.
Moreover, Urahara (blond) and Gojo (white) both have light-colored hair and often cover their eyes. While Gojo uses bandages or a dark-colored blindfold to cover his eyes, the Bleach character uses his bucket hat or fan to obscure his fan. Plus, they both occupy a prestigious position in their social sphere, taking into consideration Urahara’s later promotion to that of a Captain in the series.
Sosuke Aizen and Yamada Asaemon Eizen (Hell’s Paradise)
Aizen’s fans have recently made fun of the Yamada Asaemon due to having similar character designs. Although not much, both the characters have a similar sounding name. Having occupied higher positions in their respective social groups, Aizen and Eizen have been well-respected individuals. However, Aizen became a major antagonist in the middle of the series, unlike Eizen, who met his death early in the series.
During his Muken years, Aizen started sporting a black eye-patch above his right eye. Meanwhile, Eizen also wore an eye-patch above his left missing eye. The Hell’s Paradise character was prideful but not soft-spoken, but as a Captain Aizen showed the same trait. But what differentiates the Bleach captain from Eizen is his superb intelligence and extraordinary fighting skills. As such, while fans may continue to draw similarities between the two characters, the differences overrule the similarities.
Zangetsu (Quincy powers) and Shota Aizawa/Eraserhead (My Hero Academia)
The similarity between Zangetsu, who is manifested out of Ichigo’s Quincy powers that he inherited from his maternal side, and Pro Hero Shota Aizawa/Eraserhead is their appearance. Appearing as lean-built and serious middle-aged men, Zangetsu and Eraserhead have pale skin, droopy eyes, stubble, and long black messy hairs framing their faces. In addition, the two characters flaunt black outfits. While Zangetsu wears brown-tinted sunglasses, Aizawa is sometimes seen wearing his googles as part of his Hero outfit.
Besides their physical similarities, Zangetsu and Aizawa serve the role of a teacher. The former has trained and guided the Bleach protagonist, Ichigo, in mastering his zanpakuto abilities. Aizawa, on the other hand, is the homeroom teacher of Class 1-A at U.A. High School, but he has also greatly influenced My Hero Academia protagonist, Izuku Midoriya.
Yumichika Ayasegawa and Kirsch Vermillion (Black Clover)
Probably the most fashion-conscious entries on this list, Yumichika from Bleach and Kirsch from Black Clover can be called flashy and narcissistic. Always the one to be on the lookout for maintaining their handsomeness, Yumichika and Kirsch have the tendency to judge others easily, taking into account the beauty factor. Despite their flamboyant nature, the two characters have shown their skills as a combatant and resilience on the battlefield. Even though they have their differences in the choice of accessories they don or hair color they have, Yumichika and Kirsch are perceptive and insightful individuals who can make heads out of tails from their target’s nature or methods.
Lisa Yadomaru and Maki Zenin (Jujutsu Kaisen)
If one considers Maki from the pre-Culling Game period with Bleach’s Lisa (2003 version), they can see how the two bespectacled characters look almost similar. Wearing their hair in a high ponytail, they both have bangs covering their foreheads with fringes covering the sides of their faces. Plus, they both have an athletic build.
Lisa and Maki have a calm, almost strict, rational nature, and are often seen as more sensible individuals than their peers. However, the two also show temperamental and irritable behavior. Although they may seem slightly detached, Lisa and Maki have shown a deeply caring nature for the person they like.
Nnoitora Gilga and Jack the Ripper (Black Clover)
The 5th Espada of Aizen’s Arrancar army, Nnoitora Gilga, has sharp facial features, snake-like eyes, and wears a maniac smile – characteristics that can be seen in the Captain of the Green Mantis squad of the Magic Knights, Jack the Ripper. But that’s not where their similarities end. Although Nnoitra sides with the antagonist while Jack fights for the good cause, the two can be described as uncouth, foul-mouthed, bloodthirsty, and sadistic.
The ambitious Espada always craves for a good battle that he believes will give him the thrill of life, but Jack is the more provocative kind who always threatens others to fight with them. The other most notable difference is that Nnoitra disregards others’ feelings while Jack shows a responsibility towards his peers. The former even shows the tendency to use unfair means during the battle, if need be, but the same cannot be said for the latter.