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Did Byakuya Kuchiki Die? Did He Get His Bankai Back In Bleach TYBW?

Byakuya Kuchiki

It is totally justified if you are here after watching episode 7 of Bleach Thousand Year Blood War. The episode and the incidents in it leave the fate of Byakuya Kuchiki, one of the main characters of the series, hanging by a thread.

After being marauded and overpowered by Stern Ritter F, As Nodt, Byakuya was left in a near death state. Not only did his bankai get stolen by the former, he was apparently no match for his opponent. And in the latest episode after Ichigo makes an appearance, a gravely injured Byakuya makes one final request to our protagonist.

The scene, which had death written all over it, showed Byakuya’s zanpakuto breaking, in what seemed like his final moments.

So, is Byakuya Kuchiki really dead? Or will he somehow survive?

P.S. manga spoilers ahead!!

Byakuya Kuchiki

Is Byakuya Kuchiki really dead in Bleach?

No, Byakuya Kuchiki is not dead. After Yhwach leaves the Soul Society, and the clean up of the mess begins, it is revealed that Byakuya managed to survive the ordeal.

According to initial assessment, it is said that Byakuya would not be able to carried out his duties as a captain, or regain his consciousness ever.

However, things change once Squad 0 makes their appearance. He is then taken by them to Soul King’s Palace. Though Unohana argues that Byakuya is in no condition to leave the Seireitei, the Squad Zero members note that the captain will surely die if he stayed back.

At Soul King’s palace, Byakuya gets healed thanks to Squad Zero member Tenjiro Kirinji’s White Bone Hell and Blood Pond Hell hot springs. An astute healer, Kirinji created the hot springs to replenish damaged reiatsu and the blood that has been lost by a shinigami.

Urahara’s hot springs on Earth, which we see in the initial episodes, were inspired from the ones that Kirinji created. Unohana was also trained by the latter in the art of healing.

Though it sounds simple on paper, being healed by simply lying in the hot springs, Byakuya took the longest time to heal among those of the injured who were taken to the Soul King’s palace. This probably reiterates that he was gravely injured.

After getting better, Byakuya then proceeds to train with the Squad Zero, in order to once again enter the fray against the Quincy.

But, we know that Byakuya’s bankai was stolen. So how does he manage to face off against the quincy without his bankai? Does he get his bankai back?

Does Byakuya get his bankai back?

To answer in short, Byakuya Kuchiki does get his bankai back thanks to a special drug that Keisuke Urahara created, named Shin’eiyaku.

As we all know, Zanpakuto is essentially a weaponized form of the spirit which resides in every shinigami. The shinigami’s train to manifest this spirit into an asauchi i.e. an empty sword.

Once they achieve this, the asauchi is called a Zanpakuto. It is important to know that even though the spirit now resides in the asauchi. It is still connected to shinigami it came from.

One of the reasons why only the shinigami, whose zanpakuto it is, can hear the zanpakuto spirit and not others. Also, the reason behind why the shinigami has to meditate hard enough to communicate with spirit.

Now Zanpakuto has two stages, shikai and bankai. In the shikai stage, the zanpakuto spirit exerts only some of its powers into the sword and manifests physically by changing the form of the sword.

Whereas, in the bankai stage, the full power is exerted and the full weaponized physical form of the spirit is revealed. Hence it became easy for the quincies to steal the bankai from the shinigami’s and not the shikai.

Also as mentioned above, the spirit of the zanpakuto and the shinigami are connected in a much deeper way than just as a sword and swordsmen/women. Hence even after getting their bankai stolen the Shinigami’s could use their shikai abilities.

It is important to know that the form of the bankai or shikai can be altered by speaking wrong names of the spirit or if the bankai spirit lies to the shinigami about its real name or gives out only half a name. For example, Yumichika Ayasegawa using his shikai as a melee type weapon even though it is a kido-type so that he can stay close to Kenpachi Zaraki. Also, Abarai Renji’s bankai Hihio Zabimaru lied to him about its full name since it deemed Renji as not worthy to know its full name.

Now Urahara’s whole plan was hinged on this link between Shinigami and their zanpakuto spirit. The drug that he created has the powers to hollowfy a Shinigami. This meant that their zanpakuto too would manifest hollow like powers. Since shinigami powers are purifiers of the soul society and are balanced compared to the quincies who are eradicators. That’s why hollow powers are a poison for the Quincy so they had no option but to release the bankai that they had stolen in the medallion.

Now you must be thinking that the medallion was device separate from the quincy then how did it affect the quincy?

Well, the reason is, the wandenreich medallion was able to steal the bankai but to contain the bankai the quincy who stole the bankai has to use their own reiatsu and reishi. Meaning, they were constantly pouring in their reiatsu into to the medallion as well.

So the hollow reiatsu which seeped into the medallion via the shinigami also seeped into the quincy reiatsu which as mentioned before is poisonous to the quincies. Hence they had to release the bankai from the medallion.

It is also the main reason why the quincy who stole bankai couldn’t use their Volstandig but after its release they could.

Thus when Byakuya took the pill, his bankai returned from As Nodt, who was then later defeated by the Kuchiki siblings.

TD:LR;

Yes, Byakuya is alive and has received his bankai from As Nodt after killing him.

What do you think of Byakuya’s return? Do you think he should have been kept dead? Will that have impacted the story better? Let us know in the comments!

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