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I think these guys have the most potential.
Ichigo - obviously he is the main character of a Shounen manga. But aside from that he also has a crazy level of reiatsu thats been stated over and over again, he is pure blood as stated by someone (forget who but i think it was that hollow that killed his mom when he found out his father was shinigami). He has such little understanding of his reiatsu control, bankai abilities, hollow mask and Zangetsu in general he has crazy amounts of potential to advance.
Zaraki - He doesn't even have Shikai!! (I don't think Yoruichi was implying that Zaraki's sword is permanently released IMHO. Unless a translator unequivocably says and proves that I won't buy it =P). I think there is something funny going on with him and his sword and how they work together, but still think he is a juggernaut.
Hitsugaya - He hasn't hit puberty yet and he's a frikkin captain. He's got to be loaded with more potential.
Yamamoto is uber strong i agree, but he's old, I think he's reached or is near the cap on his strength...which is still insane.
Id say Ichigo,he has his shinigami powers not for a long time and is already stronger the mot of the captains,maybe is even the strongers,he has vizards powers and duh hes da main charachter,its obvious he has the most potential and Ichigo is just talent,no hard work,just born talent.I mean learnin bankai in three days,how long did it take for Toushirou??Ichigo has the most potential.
I agree with all of Gekkani's, but I'd say Ichigo is the one with the most potential of them all.
He was showing signs of greater strength than Ulquiorra before learning to control the mask. He almost choked out Hiyori, a Vizard who's had full control of her powers for years, without going Bankai. And after getting his ass kicked by Ulquiorra, he came back strong enough to beat Grimmjow FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER. So he's the best prospect because his potential exceeds common sense.
Kenpachi is second for the reasons already stated, and the Kendo thing.
And in terms of current strength, Aizen is clearly at the top. He brought GJ to his knees on a whim, stopped Tensa Zangetsu with his finger, and has the cheapest Shikai in the entire series. There isn't anyone around who can take him yet IMO.
Ichigo definitely has the most potential seeing as how he is the main character and he has a huge ass amount of reiatsu. It's like he has the NINE_TAIL FOX'S twin inside of him.
Hitsugaya. He is so young yet he is a captain and even though his bankai has not been perfected, he can still whoop ass.
Ukitake- if his illness is ever cured, he would a huge force to be reckoned with. Even in his current condition, he can take out most of the captains. With him at full strength, he could make aizen pee in his pants. Same goes for shunsui.
I'd say Ichigo and Kenpachi
Ichigo because he still has a lot to learn about his Shinigami powers and Zangetsu. Not to mention all he still has to master with his Vaizard powers.
Kenpachi simply because he doesn't even know his sword name yet. He will be much much stronger once he masters his sword.
There really is nothing so far to suggest that he is amazingly strong by himself. We saw him pwn Chad, but any of the captains could have probably done that to Chad during SS arc.
People usually reason that since he is half of this legendary partnership, then he must be at least half that strong. We don't really know how strong the duo of him with Ukitake is. Yamamoto seemed to be fairly serious when fighting them, although he only went shikai and probably could have killed them (or at least done a lot more damage) by going bankai. Likewise, both he and Ukitake were obviously not really seeking to fight Yamamoto; so, they may not have fought at full strength. When taking this into account, the true strength of their tag team has not really been shown yet. Plus, any combination of power mixes could result in their tag team's power; i.e., they could each contribute half the strength to the tag team, an unequal amount, or their abilities complement each other in some sort of synergy.
So, to answer your question succintly, it is sort of implied that he would be strong by himself too, but how strong is unknown. He could be by himself anywhere form on the order of Komamura to on the order of two-handed Kenpachi.
Well from what's been implied in the manga isn't the more probable premise that Shun is stronger than Aizen. Considering Shun has been a captain longer than Aizen and the fact that he learned from someone like Yamma, it's possible that he could have reached his limits and mastered each form of shinigami combat to it's limits as well.
Also, from a story-telling standpoint, it would not make sense for Shunsui to be stronger than Aizen. Yamamoto currently maybe, since he's the legendary alpha dog of SS and has seemingly reigned as strongest shinigami for quite some time, but Shunsui has not been characterized in that manner.
statement of his being above the rest.
True, it could just have been a general statement that was only meant to cover his students, but it could have also have been about other shinigami's, considering he has been watching their increasing power. What about the Vasto Lorde, Hitsu states that a single Vasto surpasses any captain.
Well, we have yet to meet any Vasto Lordes. We think that Ulq and higher espada may be VLs, but even then, they are still subservient to Aizen. We have no indication as to whether he is more powerful than them. (We've only seen him demonstrate his power against Grimmjow; so, we know for sure he's at least stronger than him.)
As for Hitsugaya's statement, perhaps he meant normal captains and not captains who have reached their limits and may have done things likely illegal in SS to increase their power to unknown greater proportions. There may be VLs greater in power than Aizen, but we have yet to see them and given Aizen's known use of forbidden experimentation, he is likely to have done something to increase his powers that would not make him validate Hitsugaya's statement. Until someone shows up who is clearly enumerated as more powerful than Aizen and/or Aizen is somehow characterized in a fashion in which we can truly assess his abilities, we don't know of any characters stronger than him yet.