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Kanji 十刃 (エスパーダ)
Romaji Esupāda
Headquarters Las Noches, Hueco Mundo
Affiliation Sōsuke Aizen's Arrancar Army
Purpose High-ranking members in Sōsuke Aizen's Arrancar Army

The Espada (十刃 (エスパーダ), Esupāda; Spanish for "Sword", Japanese for "Ten Blades") are the top-ranked and most powerful Arrancar in Sōsuke Aizen's army of Hollows with Shinigami-like powers, serving as the primary opponents of the Gotei 13 captains during Aizen's war.


The Espada are comprised of ten Arrancar with exemplary strength. Members of the Espada are given a number from 0-9.[1][2] The lower the number, the more Reiryoku the Espada has.[3] Each Espada has a tattoo with their number somewhere on them, such as Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, whose tattoo is on his lower back,[4] and Coyote Starrk, whose tattoo is on the back of his left hand.[5] Along with Sōsuke Aizen, Gin Ichimaru, and Kaname Tōsen, the Espada as a group possess comparable strength to Soul Society's Gotei 13 Shinigami captains.[6]

Their immense amount of power and leadership status among the Arrancar also grants each Espada the authority to exert command over Aizen's other forces within Las Noches: the Números, the Exequias,[7] and their own Fracción, chosen by them from the Números. Similar to the power gap between captains and lieutenants in the Gotei 13, the strength of the Espada far surpasses that of the average Número.[8] Aizen himself is confident enough in his Espada's abilities to send them out on potentially hazardous missions, such as gathering information in the Human World, fighting Shinigami captains inside Las Noches and Karakura Town by themselves,[9][10] and searching for Vasto Lorde.[11]

The Espada all together at a meeting called by Aizen.

Being Aizen's most direct subordinates (aside from Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen), the Espada are privy to several of Aizen's plans and most intimate secrets, such as his goals of destroying Karakura Town and creating the Ōken, and the location of the Hōgyoku within Las Noches.[12] Aizen's respect for the Espada's abilities is reflected in his manner of addressing them, often referring to them as "my dear Espada"[13] and sitting at the head of the same table with them while discussing the events around Hueco Mundo.[14] According to Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio, though Aizen treats them as tools to do his bidding, he wanted to take back his position as an Espada to once again be close to Aizen.[15] In accordance with this, Aizen is not at all distressed over the deaths of the Espada, and calmly congratulates the intruders in Las Noches for their victories against the Espada as he leaves for Karakura Town.[16]

There is a hierarchy among the Espada; a higher-ranked member can give orders to lower-ranked members, such as when Ulquiorra Cifer leads a team of lower-ranked Espada to kidnap Orihime Inoue.[17] Various missions usually involve one or more Espada operating together, with the most senior member exercising command over the others.[18] While the lower-ranked members usually have little restraint in taking their own initiative (thus exceeding their orders), higher-ranked members usually stick to Aizen's commands, and are often the first to bail the others out of trouble, because, according to Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, they wish to prevent the Espada from losing one of their own.[19] However, Aizen's attitude toward the offending Espada members is one of leniency, officially forgiving them (though not without severe sanctions) on the grounds that they are merely advancing his own wishes.[20]

The Espada have their own quarters within Las Noches, which have been designed to suit the specific Espada's taste. For instance, Szayelaporro Granz possesses a large building that he refers to as his "palace", complete with a hidden, indestructible laboratory and a changing room.[21] Zommari Rureaux has a meditation room,[22] while Coyote Starrk's room is designed along the lines of a lounging chamber,[23] and Aaroniero Arruruerie's tower, accessed via a hanging bridge, effectively keeps out sunlight and contains nooks and crannies for hiding cushions and other implements whose purpose is to make his shape-shifting abilities more convincing.[24]

According to Ulquiorra, any Espada ranked 4th or higher are not allowed to release their Zanpakutō within Las Noches, nor are any Espada allowed to discharge a Gran Rey Cero as both are powerful enough to destroy the majority of Las Noches.[25]

After Aizen's defeat and the deaths of Starrk and Baraggan Louisenbairn, Tier Harribel becomes the ruler of Hueco Mundo.[26][27] However, an empire called the Wandenreich appears, and she is personally defeated by Yhwach and captured. The Wandenreich empire claims Hueco Mundo as their dominion.[28][27] Grimmjow also survives the Invasion of Hueco Mundo and allies himself with Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends in order to help him fight Yhwach and the Wandenreich solely so that there can be a world left to fight Ichigo.[29][30]


The creation of the Espada has long been one of Aizen's most important preoccupations. The original Espada were already in existence sometime before Aizen's defection from Soul Society and acquisition of the Hōgyoku. Since then, the composition of the Espada has changed, both in membership and position.[31]

At some point in the past Nnoitra Gilga was the 8th Espada[32] with Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck as the 3rd Espada[33] and Szayelaporro was not a member at all.[34] During this time Aizen frequently sent the Espada out to search for the Vasto Lorde-class Menos.[35]

Before his death, Aaroniero Arruruerie was the sole member of the current Espada who was also part of the first-generation Espada.[36] He was also the only Arrancar from Gillian-class Menos stock to attain a position among the Espada.[37] Most of the Espada were Vasto Lorde.[38]

Notable Members

Rank Name Zanpakutō Tattoo Location Aspect of Death
Cero (0) Yammy Llargo† (Post-Release) Ira Left Shoulder Rage
Primera (1st) Coyote Starrk† & Lilynette Gingerbuck† (Post-Release) Los Lobos Back Side of Left Hand (Starrk only) Solitude
Segunda (2nd) Baraggan Louisenbairn Arrogante Unknown Senescence
Tres (3rd) Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck Gamuza Mid Back Unknown
Tres (3rd) Tier Harribel Tiburón Left side of right breast Sacrifice
Cuatro (4th) Ulquiorra Cifer Murciélago Left pectoral muscle Nihilism
Quinto (5th) Nnoitra Gilga Santa Teresa Tongue Despair
Sexta (6th) Luppi Antenor Trepadora Right Hip Unknown
Sexta (6th) Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez Pantera Right side, lower back Destruction
Séptima (7th) Zommari Rureaux Brujería Unknown Hedonism
Octava (8th) Szayelaporro Granz Fornicarás Unknown Madness
Noveno (9th) Aaroniero Arruruerie Glotonería Top head: 3/4 of head
Bottom head: 1/2 of head

Privaron Espada

An Espada may be demoted from the group either when they lose strength or cease to be useful to Aizen, such as Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez after his left arm was cut off by Kaname Tōsen.[39] In most cases, they will be demoted to the Privaron Espada (十刃落ち (プリバロン・エスパーダ), Puribaron Esupāda; Spanish for "Deprived Sword", Japanese for "Omission of the Ten Blades"), who are former Espada that have officially lost their rank and are assigned a three-digit number.[40]

Being former Espada, they are far stronger than the normal Números. They reside in Tres Cifras (3ケタ (トレス・シフラス), toresu shifurasu; Japanese for "Three-digit", Spanish for "Three Digits"). Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio states that these former "naturally created" Espada were rendered obsolete after Aizen began artificially creating Arrancar to meet his own standards.[41]

Privaron Espada
Rank Name Zanpakutō Tattoo Location Aspect of Death
103rd Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio Giralda Unknown Unknown
105th Cirucci Sanderwicci Golondrina Unknown Unknown
107th Gantenbainne Mosqueda Dragra Unknown Unknown

Espada-exclusive Powers & Techniques

  • Caja Negación (反膜の匪 (カハ・ネガシオン), kaha negashion; Spanish for "Negation Box", Japanese for "Anti-Membrane of Negation") is a variant of the Gillian-exclusive ability Negación used to punish Arrancar subordinates by trapping them eternally in an alternate dimension. However, should the Caja Negación be used on an Espada, the Espada will eventually break free (usually within a few hours), due to their large amount of Reiatsu.[42]
  • Gran Rey Cero (王虚の閃光 (グラン・レイ・セロ), guran rei sero; Spanish for "Grand King Zero", Japanese for "Royal Hollow Flash") is a variation of the Cero technique that can be used by the Espada by mixing their own blood with the Cero. The result is a Cero with a much greater attack power which can disturb the fabric of space.[43] It is forbidden for any of the Espada to perform Gran Ray Cero within Las Noches, as it could possibly destroy most of the enormous building.[44]
  • Cero Oscuras (黒虚閃 (セロ・オスキュラス), sero osukyurasu; Spanish for "Dark Zero", Japanese for "Black Hollow Flash") is a variation of the Cero technique used by the Espada in their released state.[45]

Appearances in Other Media

Privaron Espada
Rank Name Zanpakutō Tattoo Location Aspect of Death
100th Cien Granz Fornicarás Unknown Unknown
102nd Pícaro Langosta Migratoria Unknown Unknown


The Espada silhouettes in the anime.


  1. Bleach manga; Chapter 209, pages 4-5
  2. Bleach manga; Chapter 354, pages 16-17
  3. Bleach: Official Character Book 2 MASKED, page 134
  4. Bleach manga; Chapter 240, page 15
  5. Bleach manga; Chapter 339, page 16
  6. Bleach manga; Chapter 197, page 17
  7. Bleach manga; Chapter 255, pages 7-10
  8. Bleach manga; Chapter 209, page 9
  9. Bleach manga; Chapter 297
  10. Bleach manga; Chapters 231-232
  11. Bleach manga; Chapter 312, page 12
  12. Bleach manga; Chapter 229, page 13
  13. Bleach manga; Chapter 244, page 17
  14. Bleach manga; Chapter 245, page 1
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter 254, page 7
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter 314, page 6
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter 229, pages 11-17
  18. Bleach manga; Chapter 191, page 9
  19. Bleach manga; Chapter 312, pages 12-15
  20. Bleach manga; Chapter 213, pages 9-16
  21. Bleach manga; Chapter 276, page 13
  22. Bleach manga; Chapter 269, page 8
  23. Bleach manga; Chapter 269, pages 9-11
  24. Bleach manga; Chapter 266, page 19
  25. Bleach manga; Chapter 345, pages 7-9
  26. Bleach manga; Chapter 486, page 10
  27. 27.0 27.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 487, page 17
  28. Bleach manga; Chapter 485, pages 16-17
  29. Bleach manga; Chapter 625, page 4
  30. Bleach manga; Chapter 630, page 2
  31. Bleach manga; Chapter 254, page 1
  32. Bleach manga; Chapter 294, page 7
  33. Bleach manga; Chapter 291, page 12
  34. Bleach manga; Chapter 295, page 1
  35. Bleach manga; Chapter 312, page 12
  36. Bleach manga; Chapter 297, page 11
  37. Bleach manga; Chapter 267, page 7
  38. Bleach: Official Character Book 2 MASKED, page 133
  39. Bleach manga; Chapter 230, page 12
  40. Bleach manga; Chapter 250, pages 19-20
  41. Bleach manga; Chapter 254, page 1
  42. Bleach Manga; Chapter 278, pages 13-15
  43. Bleach manga; Chapter 280, pages 13-14
  44. Bleach manga; Chapter 345, page 9
  45. Bleach manga; Chapter 346, pages 17-19
  46. Bleach anime; Episode 120
  47. Bleach manga; Chapter 209, page 9
  48. Bleach manga; Chapter 231, page 1
  49. Bleach novel; Can't Fear Your Own World, Chapter 11
  50. Bleach video game; Bleach: Brave Souls
  51. Bleach: Official Character Book 2 MASKED, page 133