The bloodlust filled captain of the 11th division Kenpachi Zaraki suffered a gruesome loss against the Quincy King Yhwach during his invasion of the Soul Society.
In order to rebuild their structure and battle strength, the newly appointed Captain Commander Shunsui Kyoraku decided to have Kenpachi learn the “Way of the Sword” which basically meant to awaken his full potential. He achieved so by assigning 4th division captain Retsu, now revealed to be Yachiru Unohana to fight him.
After possibly fighting the deadliest battle of his life and reminiscing old memories of their similar paths, Kenpachi prevailed victorious by killing his senior captain and former holder of the Kenpachi title.
He finally was able to hear the voice of his Zanpakuto after this battle but what levels do the monster’s aka Kenpachi Bankai & Zanpakuto reach? Was it worth sacrificing an unprecedented amount of power that was contained within Unohana. who would push the likes of Kenpachi to his limits? Let’s find out.
So what is Zaraki Kenpachi Bankai & Zanpakuto?
After a hard fought battle with one of his strongest rivals, he might have lost that light but instead he awakened a new one. A new voice rang in Kenpachi’s ears who beckoned him and claimed to have been finally noticed by him, which was none other than the spirit of his Zanpakuto.
He comes in to help Isane and Yachiru who were stuck fighting one of the strongest Quincies of the Wandenreich, Gremmy Thoumeaux and fights off against him.
Although a very formidable opponent, a newly strengthened Kenpachi doesn’t break a sweat and kept pushing himself against the powerful imagination of Gremmy until the latter decides to blast off the area with a giant meteor and Kenpachi goes on to reveal his Zanpakuto’s released state, Nozarashi.
He completely sucks out the firepower from the meteor and destroys it using his Shikai and proceeds to fight. Talking about the basic abilities of his newly discovered Zanpakuto, it’s simple really; it drastically increases the blade’s cutting strength and combined with the user’s raw power, it’s virtually impossible to stop.
His fight with Gremmy goes on the brink of the latter’s sanity where he starts imagining himself to be more stronger than Kenpachi himself which ironically led to his own body exploding as to control the power of a monster, you need to have the body of monster who is capable of withstanding the unreal amount of spiritual energy.
What a beast truly, defeating people whose powers defy the natural logic of the world by just flexing pure physical strength.
But speaking of his transformation, it does not end here as we all know the true strength and potential of a Shinigami lies within the final transformation of their Zanpakuto, the Bankai and Kenpachi Bankai is also portrayed to us as whose power level is difficult to fathom for anybody.
He comes in to help the captains Byakuya Kuchiki and Toshiro Hitsugaya who were fending off against the Heart of the Soul King and one of the strongest characters of Bleach, Gerard Valkyrie.
Being the Sternritter M – The Miracle, his power literally translates to him winning through the most unexpected miracles during his fights, as he was coming back up after every death, that too stronger. He turns the damage he takes into his own power.
Kenpachi arrives after Gerard had died a couple of times and enters into the fight by slicing off his giant forearm, but as the fight continues, even a Shikai using Zaraki was not able to harm him.
He gets blasted to the ground and when he was lying down, his lieutenant Yachiru appears in front of him and tells him to get up and to use her in the ‘right’ way, as he gains the power of Bankai.
Kenpachi rises again with a newly found power as we see him turn into a monster himself rather than his Zanpakuto transforming, unlike standard Bankai.
With a sudden surge in reiatsu, everyone’s attention is drawn towards him as even a titan sized Gerard feels his overwhelming power.
As Gerard tries to casually punch the awakened demon, Kenpachi retaliates by ripping off his arm before single handedly cutting Gerard cleanly into two halves from the middle.
Kenpachi Bankai ability turns not his sword, but himself into an unstoppable monster with astronomically high levels of strength, which can cut anything. His power is so immense that while trying to use his own power, his own arm got ripped off due to his body not being able to handle such power.
Already having such a powerful body, it is difficult to imagine the level of power which even his body can’t handle. Also it a shame that we do not get to see more of his Zanpakuto action, but it seems it would be overkill to have him fight more as he is capable of destroying most of the cast of Bleach.
Although we get to see Kenpachi Bankai in it’s full glory, what was the moment about Yachiru coming up to him about and asking him to use her correctly? What happened to her?
The thing is strong Zanpakuto spirits can manifest physically, as we saw with Ichigo’s Bankai, who was a manifestation of a young Yhwach from his Quincy bloodline.
So Is Yachiru Kenpachi Bankai?
With the given information above, we can safely assume that Yachiru was infact Zaraki’s physical manifestation of his Bankai and for proof, we can refer to the time when he was young, after the events of his fight with Unohana, the first Kenpachi.
We see here a toddler Yachiru fondling with a young, slightly wounded Kenpachi. At some point of time she suddenly appeared in front of him and starting playing with him and Kenpachi actually decided to keep her with him and become her guardian.
He also named her Yachiru, presumably after his rivalry with the former 11th division captain and mentor. Also the fact that she never left his side and followed him for so many years strengthened the bond between them.
The timing of her disappearance and Kenpachi’s Shikai activation is not at all a coincidence and the voice that called to him after Unohana’s death further cements the notion that Yachiru is infact Kenpachi’s Bankai.
Is Yachiru Kusajishi still alive? What happened to her?
We see Yachiru leaving her Lieutenant badge before going out to fight and as mentioned before, the disappearance of Yachiru and Kenpachi’s Shikai activation is not a mere coincidence as the moment he activates his Shikai, she is no where to be found and she only comes back for a moment to give Kenpachi Bankai power before completely disappearing in her physical form.
The fact is, Yachiru Kusajishi is not dead. No, she has not died but instead returned back to her Zanpakuto as Kenpachi has finally learnt to wield and use it properly, leaving her the only way to return back to her original form. Kenpachi has not lost her and he knows that.
Kenpachi Zaraki gained the power of his Zanpakuto by fighting 4th division captain and former Kenpachi holder Yachiru Unohana as he learnt it the hard way that holding back is not option now, which he was doing for a long time. We see the first glimpse of his Zanpakuto Nozarashi during his fight with Gremmy Thoumeaux as he displays increased physical and cutting strength with his newly found power.
He further awakens his Bankai during his fight with Gerard as his lieutenant Yachiru comes up to him and gives him the power of Bankai which turns his own body to a monster with immeasurable power which slices off Quincies as strong as Gerard Valkyrie without much effort. Kenpachi Bankai was shown to be so strong that even his own body cannot handle such strength.
Although gaining immense power, not only did he have to lose his best fighter but also his long time companion Yachiru, who is revealed to actually be Nozarashi herself as she leaves her physical form behind and returns to his blade. It is evident with solid proof as when she comes up to him and grants him the power of Bankai. Although she may have lost her physical form, she is alive as a spirit inside Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto.
Although the loss of 4th division captain Unohana and his lieutenant Yachiru is something he will never forget, the Soul Society was only able to prevail because of their sacrifices.
Do you think there was any other way possible for him to achieve Bankai without him killing Unohana? How strong do you think Kenpachi Bankai is if he had no restrictions? Do comment your thoughts on this topic below.
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