Character: Sousuke Aizen
Occupation: soul reaper (formerly)
Bible twin: Satan
Bleach is a manga and anime that needs little introduction. It follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student who is bestowed with the powers of a Shinigami (soul reaper), beings who send tortured souls to the afterlife and who fight against powerful spiritual beings known as Hollows. In the anime’s second arc, the captains and lieutenants of Soul Society are introduced. Sousuke Aizen begins the arc as the captain of the 5th Division
As the show progresses, one of the biggest about-faces in anime history occurs. Aizen is apparently murdered by an unknown assailant. Later though, it is revealed that Aize, who is originally portrayed as calm and compassionate, is a mastermind who would use Rukia Kuchiki, his subordinate Momo Hinamori, and anyone else to use the power of the Hōgyoku. Aizen becomes the primary villain of the long-running and ever-popular series (more spoilers ahead).
It’s perhaps easy to compare any anime villain to the Prince of Darkness; however, Aizen’s connections are particularly bold and transparent. Without delving into extra-Biblical literature, it’s easy to find similarities between the former shinigami and Satan.
Let’s start with the most obvious: they’re both handsome devils. While Satan may have many forms (though horns and pitchfork aren’t likely – they were added by artists hundreds of years after Jesus’ time), one may or may not surprise you. The Bible describes Lucifer as beautiful (28:17&version=ESV">Ezekial 28:17); because of this, he became proud and opposed God. While Aizen’s looks aren’t the center of his pride, there’s no doubt he’s a handsome figure, in almost all shapes and forms. He starts out with the nerdy-but-handsome look; then he turns into the slicked-back, bad-guy handsome look; then he turns into a all-white, sleek, scary handsome look when the Hōgyoku transforms him. Oh, and he, too, opposed his head – in this case, the Spirit King of Soul Society. Both were once on the side of “good,” before each became the epitome of evil.
Aizen is, if nothing, a sly man. Always a step ahead, Aizen hatches his plans without hesitation or fear. Even his Zanpakuto, Kyōka Suigetsu, is mystifying, placing an individual into a form of hypnosis. Satan is also a sly creature, which is why Christians consider him dangerous. One doesn’t have to look any further than his temptation of Christ, in which he attacked the soon-to-be Messiah at his physically weakest by offering bread to the fasting Jesus, trying to goad Him into showing faith, and tempting Him by offering a way to power and rule without having to undergoes the trial that awaited. Smooth operators, both.
Each are described as rulers of a place apart from the afterlife. John calls Satan the “prince of this world” (John 12:31) and he’s referred to as the ruler of earth a number of times. Aizen becomes the ruler of Hueco Mundo after leaving Soul Society (and even begins to make his presence known on earth). While in their kingdoms, each has powerful minions – the Bible describes Satan’s demons, of which he has at least hundreds (though likely many more). Aizen, of course, has Coyote Starrk, Baraggan Luisenbarn, Tia Harribel and all the other Espada.
But even with their powerful associates, Satan and Aizen, like all evil, must fall. In Revelation, John prophecies that Satan will lead a final war against Jesus before being tossed into Hell for eternity. He will be under “lock and key.” Aizen meets his match in a Messiah-figure as well, ultimately losing to Ichigo. He, too, comes under lock and key, being tosses into Muken for 20,000 years which, hey, might as well be an eternity.
With Aizen’s arc finally ending in both the Bleach anime and manga, we can look forward to a new enemy. But for Christians, the battle against Satan is still happening, continuing on a daily basis. Luckily, our Ichigo is described as always being with us.