Bleach: Everything You Missed In The Ending, Explained (2024)

For over a decade, the manga landscape was dominated by One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach, but all great things eventually come to an end. And so in 2016, it was Bleach's turn to wrap things up after a very successful 15-year run. The series followed Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student who becomes a Soul Reaper in order to fight Hollows and other evil supernatural beings. Even though it was one of the world's most popular manga, its final arc left fans with a sour taste because it felt extremely rushed.

The anime was also quite popular, but it ended four years before the manga did, and as time passed, it appeared as though fans were never going to see an animated version of the Thousand-Year Blood War. However, that changed when it was announced that the final arc was coming to television. The manga storyline ended a while ago, so those who read the final chapters may have forgotten some of the confusing and ludicrous things that happened.

Updated on October 25, 2023, by Ajay Aravind: The Bleach manga may have ended in 2016, but the anime adaptation of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc is currently ongoing. With 26 episodes left to go, fans can't wait to see some of their favorite manga scenes animated for the first time. That said, not everyone remembers everything that happened during the Bleach ending. As such, we've updated this list with some more information.

15 Urahara Seemingly Vanishes From The Story

The Echoing Jaws Of Hell Mentions Urahara

Kisuke Urahara has always been one of the most popular characters in Bleach, as well as one of the most cosplayed. As such, it came as quite a shock when his fate was not mentioned in the concluding chapters of the Thousand-Year Blood War. Urahara's role in defeating Askin Nakk Le Vaar was nothing less than extraordinary, especially given the Sternritter's overwhelming power.

The last time he was seen was when Askin's Gift Bereich collapsed around both of them, leaving Nel to launch a rescue mission. On the other hand, Tite Kubo's Echoing Jaws of Hell mentions Urahara, even if it doesn't actually show him — another mystifying Bleach ending by the mangaka.

14 Nanao Ise Is Shunsui Kyoraku's Niece

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Nanao And Shunsui Work Together To Defeat Lille Barro

Shunsui Kyoraku and Nanao Ise's relationship is one of the most endearing features of either character. Although his vice-captain, Nanao ostensibly bosses Shunsui around — this is later revealed to be because of the Captain's natural laziness. Nanao doesn't fight much, but she's forced to battle Lille Barro in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.

Facing off a nigh-omnipotent entity like Lille turns out to be impossible for Shunsui, but Nanao's Shinken Hakyokken makes light work of the Sternritter. This is when fans find out that Nanao is actually Shunsui's niece, having been born to his older brother. As of the Bleach ending, Nanao is still his vice-captain.

13 Hitsugaya's True Bankai Is Revealed

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Daiguren Hyorinmaru's Purple Petals Were Counting Down To Hitsugaya's True Form

For the longest time, most fans believed that Hitsugaya's Bankai had a timer associated with it — when the purple petals disappeared, so would Daiguren Hyorinmaru. Although still a timer, the purple petals were counting down to something else entirely. During their joint battle against Gerard Valkyrie, Byakuya requested Hitsugaya to stop fighting because he was nearing his limit.

In response, Hitsugaya merely smiled before activating the true form of Daiguren Hyorinmaru. This turned him from a small child into a tall adult man, a transformation that also came with extremely potent new abilities. That said, Hitsugaya was unable to maintain this form for too long.

12 Ichigo Could Have Become The Next Soul King

Yhwachi Has Probably Taken The Place Of The Former Soul King

The Soul King was supposed to be the lynchpin that holds Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, and the Human World together, while simultaneously preventing these dimensions from spilling over. This is why the Zero Squad was tasked with protecting the Royal Realm from interlopers like Aizen and Yhwach.

Unfortunately, Yhwach's destruction of the Soul King's body puts the safety of all three worlds at risk, forcing Ichibei to make some dangerous moves. It appears that Yhwach has currently taken the role of the Soul King, meaning that he's a powerless being trapped inside an amber cocoon. That said, some fans suspect that Ichibei was presumably planning to use Ichigo for this purpose.

11 The Zero Squad Might Not Be Dead

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Every Character Death in Bleach - And When They Occurred

Ichibei Has Most Likely Brought His Fallen Comrades Back To Life

The anime adaptation of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc has made significant alterations to the manga. One of the most prominent changes takes place when Yhwach and his Schutzstaffel invade the Royal Realm. In the anime, two members of the Zero Squad take their own lives to release something called a Blood Oath's Seal, allowing Senjumaru Shutara to release her previously nonexistent Bankai.

In the manga, the four weaker members of the Zero Squad are ostensibly killed off-screen by the freshly resurrected Schutzstaffel. Even Ichibei falls after Yhwach unleashes his Almighty, but is later resurrected when Ichigo Kurosaki calls out his name. It's almost certain that Ichibei would bring his fallen comrades back after the Bleach ending, especially given the scope of his powers.

10 Komamura Becomes A Dog

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Komamura Defeats Bambietta With His Humanized Bankai Before Collapsing

Throughout the series, Sajin Komamura is the captain of Squad 9, but following a ten-year time skip it is his lieutenant Tetsuzaemon Iba who now holds the title. There is a reason for this. During the Quincy invasion, Komamura uses his family's secret technique to become human. However, the only way to do this is by ripping his own heart out of his chest.

After exploiting this newfound ability to defeat Bambietta Basterbine, Komamura loses all his humanity. He later transforms into a dog, and he is forced to stay in that form for the rest of his life. On a positive note, Komamura is still strong enough to train his former right-hand man and successor in the Bleach ending.

9 Ichigo Never Truly Defeated Yhwach

Yhwach Actually Tries To Destroy The Future From The Past

No one thought that Bleach would be able to introduce a new villain who was even more powerful and menacing than Aizen, but then Yhwach came along and literally became a God. More importantly, Yhwach was the son of the Soul King. He wished to take the throne from his father so he could fuse the living world with Hueco Mundo and Soul Society, creating a world where no one feared death.

Ichigo Kurosaki ultimately thwarted Yhwach's plan when he cut him in half with his Zanpakuto. However, years later, Yhwach attempted to destroy the future from the past, which proves that Ichigo did not actually defeat him in the Bleach ending. Thankfully, someone new was around to prevent this from happening.

8 Rukia's Journey Came Full Circle

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Rukia Gains A Bankai And Becomes A Gotei 13 Captain

When Rukia first appears, she is an ordinary Soul Reaper who willingly transfers her powers to Ichigo so he can defeat a Hollow. As a result, she ends up being branded as a criminal by her own people. As the series goes on fans see just how powerful Rukia really is. She even displays her formidable Bankai in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.

In the Bleach ending, Rukia is revealed to have risen through the ranks of the very same organization that wanted to execute her to become the new Captain of Squad 13. She will be taking the place of the fallen Jushiro Ukitake. To the fandom's delight, however, Rukia and Ichigo promptly get into an argument like they did in the very first chapter.

10 Bleach Quotes That Define a Main Character

7 Fighting Hollows Is A Thing Of The Past

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Bleach's Most TERRIFYING Hollows Hardly Appear in the Anime

Tier Harribel Manages To Keep The Hollows Under Control

From the very beginning, Bleach focused on battles between Soul Reapers and Hollows. However, following the events of the Thousand-Year Blood War, there has been no fighting whatsoever for over a decade. This is why Ichigo has gone on to take over his family's clinic while Orihime becomes a homemaker.

This is also why Uryu and Chad have become a doctor and a prized heavyweight boxer, respectively. This peace exists because the Quincy forced Soul Society and Hueco Mundo to join forces by the Bleach ending. Further, it does not hurt that Harribel, the de facto queen of the Hollows, owes her life to Ichigo and his friends.

6 Kurotsuchi Is Now A Loving Father

Nemu's Loss Changed Mayuri For The Better

When Mayuri Kurotsuchi first appeared, it looked like he was a sociopath who didn't care about his subordinates, especially his vice-captain Nemu. However, their relationship was much more complicated than that. During the final arc, it's revealed that Nemu was part of an experiment performed by Mayuri to see if he can create an artificial being, which means that Nemu is technically his daughter.

Getting the opportunity to watch Nemu grow up day after day was like a dream for Mayuri, which is a sentiment shared by every loving parent. In the Bleach ending, a new Nemu is shown. She was created after the previous model sacrificed herself to save his life. Nemuri-8 may very well be the same Nemu because he rescued the original's brain before it was destroyed.

5 Yachiru Was Probably Kenpachi's Zanpakuto This Whole Time

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Defeating Unohana Helped Kenpachi Unlock Nozarashi For The First Time

Yachiru was more than just Squad 11's lieutenant, as the argument can be made that Kenpachi Zaraki viewed her as a daughter. But when the series ended, she was nowhere to be found. This disappearance coincides with Kenpachi releasing his Zanpakuto for the first time, which is why some believe that Yachiru was actually his sword in human form.

Something similar happened with Stark and Lilynette, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility. For those who say Kenpachi's sword isn't called Yachiru, it's a non-factor because he was the one who named her when they met. More importantly, Yachiru appears to Kenpachi right before he unlocks his Bankai.

4 Ichigo Married Origime, While Renji Married Rukia

Some Fans Would Have Preferred That Ichigo Marry Rukia

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Whenever a Shonen anime ends, it usually offers its fans some form of fanservice, and that usually means that certain characters are going to be married. With Bleach, Ichigo and Orihime got married, and although many fans wanted to see him end up with Rukia, what actually happened makes a lot more sense.

Rukia on the other hand, married Renji, which feels somewhat odd because they always seemed to have a sibling relationship. However, there were several hints sprinkled throughout the series that indicated Renji had real feelings for her. In the Bleach ending, both couples are shown to have one child each.

3 The Door Is Open For A Sequel

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Bleach: Ichigo Kurosaki's Transformations (In Chronological Order)

With Kazui And Ichika As New Protagonists

When Naruto ended, it gave a glimpse at the next generation of ninjas. Two years later, Bleach did the same thing when it introduced Kazui Kurosaki and Ichika Abarai. Kazui is Ichigo and Orihime's son, while Ichika is Rukia and Renji's daughter. Further, based on Kazui's ability to manifest a Soul Reaper outfit and Zanpakuto, he'll likely be involved with the Soul Society in the future.

Fans were delighted to get the Boruto manga and animated series. The same thing could very well happen here because it's the only real reason to make a five-year-old a Soul Reaper. Besides, the one-shot manga chapter titled Echoing Jaws of Hell makes the prospect of a sequel all the more believable.

2 The Sad Meaning Of Aizen's Final Words

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Bleach TYBW Hails the Return of Aizen - And His Plans for the Kurosakis

Aizen Will Spend The Next 200 Centuries In The Mugen

For most people, Aizen will always be Bleach's main antagonist after he nearly destroyed Soul Society on his quest to dethrone the Soul King. As such, he is currently serving a 20,000-year sentence for his crimes. That said, he also plays an important role in the final arc by helping Ichigo defeat Yhwach in the final battle.

Aizen appears in the Bleach ending where he recalls Yhwach's final words, stating that people would never develop hope and courage if the fear of death did not exist. This is a significant statement for Aizen to make because he is immortal — without that mortal fear and hope, he realizes that he is now living an empty existence.

1 Kazui Is The Real Hero

Kazui Somehow Manages To Neutralize That Last Remaining Fragments Of Yhwach

Ichigo did not fully defeat Yhwach in the Bleach ending, as a past version of the original Quincy was still able to manipulate the future remnants of his spiritual energy. These remnants were apparently strong enough to destroy the future in which he failed, and he almost accomplished this in the manga's final chapter.

This is where Ichigo's son comes in, as Kazui found a hole in his room that was oozing Yhwach's energy. When he shoved his hand through it, he destroyed the final remnants for good, which means that Ichigo might not actually be the ultimate hero of the series. Then again, what father would not want the best for his only son?

Bleach: Everything You Missed In The Ending, Explained (12)
Bleach

TV-14

Action

Adventure

Fantasy

Bleachrevolves around Kurosaki Ichigo, a regular always-grouchy high-schooler who for some strange reason is able to see the souls of the dead around him.

Release Date
October 5, 2004

Cast
Masakazu Morita , Fumiko Orikasa , Hiroki Yasumoto , Yuki Matsuoka , Noriaki Sugiyama , Kentarô Itô , Shinichirô Miki , Hisayoshi Suganuma
Main Genre
Anime

Seasons
17 Seasons

Creator
Tite Kubo
Bleach: Everything You Missed In The Ending, Explained (2024)

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