‘Bleach’: What Is Yoruichi’s Cat Form & How Powerful Is It?

Yourichi cat forms

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In a series brimming with a variety of personalities and supernatural abilities, Shihoin Yoruichi has managed to seize the spotlight with numerous fans of the franchise that shall forever remain a part of the ‘big three’ in anime – Bleach. In addition to her undeniable strength and energetic personality, she captured the attention of many with her continuously assuming different forms, two of which could be considered the most spoken of among the fans.

Yoruichi’s cat form is the result of an ability passed down the Shifuin bloodline, which allows some of its members to transform into beasts. Yoruichi first appears in the series in the form of a black cat in chapter 51 and maintains that form until chapter 116, when she reveals her true form, aka her human form. However, in chapter 662, Yoruichi takes an incomparably more formidable catlike form – Thunderous Black Cat Battle Princess. By combining lightning-based attacks, exceptional physical prowess, and swift movement to overpower her opponents, this form is the pinnacle of her might.

While the black cat form almost acts as her signature, the ‘Thunder God’ attracted a lot of attention both for the burst of power it brings and also for how it demeaned her as a character. Here is what we know!

Yoruichi’s black cat form explained


In addition to her lively and whimsical personality, Yoruichi is one of the strongest Shinigami in Soul Society. Her titles of an ex-captain of the Second Division of Gotei Thirteen and a former commander of Onmitsukidō stand as proof of her capabilities. Moreover, she claimed a high spot on most, if not all, lists of the strongest female characters in anime not merely by acting as a leader but by mastering a number of techniques to a point where she surpassed other Shinigami who are considered proficient practitioners of the art themselves.

In addition to her mastery of existing techniques, such as Flash Step (an advanced high-speed movement technique used by Shinigami), while also invented certain techniques (such as Shunkō) as she honed her skills to reach even greater levels of mastery. As a highly proficient master, she could even outmatch Kuchiki Byakuya in terms of Flash Step – a technique he also honed and is known for being almost unrivaled in.


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Another fact about Yoruichi’s status, which we have yet to mention, is her position as the twenty-second head of the Shihōin Clan. As a descendant of one of the Four Great Noble families in Soul Society. They are the Caretakers of the Hōgu, known as Treasured Tools, and Bugu, aka Armaments, both of which are said to have been bestowed on them by the gods.

What we learned from Tite Kubo later on is that in the Shifuin bloodline, some members possess the ability to transform into beasts. His answer to a fan’s question further elaborated that it is an ability manifested in some members of this family that happens only occasionally.

This response provides the piece of information that seems to have been entirely eschewed in the manga and the anime. Instead, the fans began to pay closer attention to the subtle hints in certain conversations or events, such as the fact that Yoruichi’s cat form must have been a well-known thing even a hundred years ago since young Byakuya referred to her as the ‘demon cat.’


Additionally, we don’t obtain a lot of information about her strength while assuming that form or what precisely happens with her reiatsu. However, it is hinted that she is surely weaker than she is when in her true form, as her response to Ichigo saying how it must have been quite the task to carry him around was that she found it rather easy in her true form.

Yoruichi’s thunder cat form explained

The form that stirred the most controversy, on top of being the most fearsome one in the manga, is Thunderous Black Cat Battle Princess. Assuming this form, Zoruichi-s physical abilities and overall strength and agility are significantly increased. However, in return, she turns into a moody beast incapable of thinking and rationalizing her actions. While the form did turn Yoruichi into a fearsome opponent, the controversy was directed toward the context surrounding her transformation.


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In addition to her Flash Step and Shunko, the thunder cat form allows Yoruichi to generate and control lightning at a seemingly greater level, as her physical abilities also spiked in this beast-like transformation, which even she refers to as ‘grotesque’ and refuses to take on this form. The Shunryu Kokubyo Senki that is revealed to us in chapter 663, titled God of Thunder, shows her immense strength and speed, making Yoruichi capable of delivering devastating physical attacks and discharging powerful electric shocks.

Most importantly, this form allows her to change her spiritual pressure 48 times per second. However, this is where other details come into the picture. While Yoruichi never really shied away from showing some skin, to put it lightly, this transformation arguably crosses the line in terms of overly sexualizing her character overall. Being acknowledged by many as one of the most powerful female heroines, it simply leaves a sour taste to see her being Kisuke’s pet cat, while her form doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. In fact, even the title of the 662nd chapter is written on her behind.


Moreover, even though Yoruichi stated she refused to assume this form, Kisuke triggered her transformation in order to beat Askin Nakk Le Vaar, whom she ultimately did not even manage to defeat. The Sternritter ‘D’ prevailed against both Yoruichi and Kisuke, while Grimmjow delivered the final blow.


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Overall, the cat forms that Yoruichi assumes are certainly a well-discussed topic among Bleach fans, not only due to Yoruichi being one of the most popular and beloved characters but also for their versatility, strengths, and peculiarities. However, we will note that her bloodline’s physical traits almost hint at their catlike transformations, as both she and her brother have yellow, feline eyes.