Before the Hollowfication Incident (in the anime) we see Kisuke Urahara is called to a room to meet with Head Captain Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, with the presence of 2 other captains. After this, he is revealed to be the new Squad 12 Captain, so we can infer that this was the Captain's Exam.

Earlier in the series we learned that it is a requirement that all Captains had to master Bankai to become a Captain (with the exception of Kenpachi Zaraki), but I don't see how Kisuke's Bankai can be evaluated in that small room. Also given how they were seated it seemed as if all they would do is talk.

So what exactly happens during a Captain's Exam?

  • 1
    This is one of the mysteries in bleach that kubo has never addressed , he has never actually shown the accesion of a captain , although it could be speculated that we could know that a person has mastered bankai by taking a look at his reaitsu levels
    – paws
    Jul 4, 2017 at 6:48

2 Answers 2


It is indeed true that all captains have to master Bankai before they even become captains and Urahara is said to have mastered it in just 3 days.

We don't know what is going on in the Exam room, but the supervising captains along with Yamamoto could already know of his bankai mastery and subject Urahara to different tests, such as to evaluate his conviction, his ability to command others, his decision making and other traits a captain should have before taking up that role.

Also, Urahara isn't the only one who's bankai manifestation is very big, the same could be asked about Mayuri Kurotsuchi who's bankai is much bigger then Urahara's.

So to answer your question, probably the Captain Exam isn't only about power, but how a Shinigami can exert authority and responsibility over his subordinates in order to complete the task given to his squad.


There are three different ways to become a Gotei 13 captain

  1. To take the captain proficiency test which requires the ability to perform the bankai. Presumably, most Soul Reapers become captains using this method. At least three existing captains, including the Commander-General, have to witness the test.
  2. To have personal recommendations from at least six captains and approval from at least three of the remaining seven.
  3. To defeat a captain one-on-one with at least 200 witnesses from the captain's division. Kenpachi Zaraki is the only known captain to have achieved his rank using this method

note: This answer is from toddfroggs in yahoo answers and not my answer

  • Welcome to Anime & Manga! It's appreciated that you mentioned a source, but it'd be better if you also provide the link to it, and it'd be great if you put the quoted answer inside quotation block (or append > to the beginning of the sentence). You can still edit your post to improve it :)
    – Aki Tanaka
    Nov 22, 2017 at 11:55
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    This doesn't answer the question which isn't asking how one becomes a captain but what happens during a Captain's exam citing when Kisuke Urahara went to take his
    – Memor-X
    Nov 23, 2017 at 21:49

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