Bleach: How Tier Harribel Became Hueco Mundo’s Newest Ruler

Bleach introduced fans to a wide cast of characters during its run. From main protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki to the Soul Society to the Arrancar, there's no shortage of personalities and people for fans to love. But, one of the most interesting characters has to be Tier Harribel, the new leader of Hueco Mundo.

Introduced as the #3 member of Sosuke Aizen's Espada, Harribel proved to be strong enough to hold her own against the likes of Gotei 13 captain Toshiro Hitsugaya. But that doesn't mean she's a lone wolf. Harribel understands the value of teammates and working together as a group. She's analytical, calm and is against killing others, especially if it's for the sake of gaining strength. But how does someone with those ideals become the new queen of cutthroat Hueco Mundo?

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In her anime-exclusive backstory, Harribel was a shark-like Vasto Lorde-class Menos, an amalgamation of hundreds of Hollows combined into one being. She wandered Hueco Mundo, eventually meeting Cyan Sung-Sun, Franceska Mila Rose and Emilou Apacci, forming an all-female group of Hollows in an attempt to protect themselves from the predatory male Hollows. Sometime before this, however, she had multiple scrapes with the King of Hueco Mundo at the time, Baraggan Louisenbairn. The group was attacked by a member of the king's court, and that's when Aizen stepped in and saved them. He admits to giving the attacker the powers of an Arrancar, but not the brains to control them. But he extended the full package to Harribel and her group, who became members of Aizen's Arrancar army.

In the manga canon, Harribel is a member of the Espada. She notes to her subordinates that fear is natural and that they should value it as the group watches the fight between Grimmjow and Ichigo. She's strong enough to hold her own in battle against Toshiro Hitsugaya, using her anger and grief over the loss of her Fracción subordinates to push her forward. She's even able to land what appears to be a fatal blow against him. He survives, and as the fight continues, it's revealed Harribel can control water. However, Hitsugaya's eventually able to trap her in ice.

She escapes with the help of a fellow Arrancar, and she continues the battle, now not only fighting Hitsugaya, but also Lisa Yadoumaru and Hiyori Sarugaki with their Visors. Even after the death of Coyote Starrk, she continues her assault. Harribel's only stopped when Aizen betrays her, slashing her across the chest, saying that he's done with her since she's not strong enough. She tries to retaliate against him, but he stabs her in the back after distracting her with an illusion and sends her plummeting to the city below.

Having survived Aizen's attack, and being the third-strongest Arrancar, she was next in line to inherit the title of ruler of Hueco Mundo. With the death of Barragan, Harribel took on the role but was overthrown when the Quincy Wandenreich attacked and seized Hueco Mundo, thus becoming their prisoner.

Tier Harribel was not only one of the strongest fighters in Bleach but also among the most empathetic. She was cooperative and understanding, despite being an antagonist, valuing the power of groups and using one's emotions to fuel the fight. Harribel is a true standout, even with her ultimate defeat.

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