The following contains spoilers for Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 7, “Born in the Dark,” now streaming on Hulu in the US and Disney+ internationally.
Thousand Year Blood War is the highlight of the fall 2022 anime season, featuring BleachThe most violent and shocking arc yet. In just seven episodes, this story changed almost everything in the famous shonen anime, and that includes some tantalizing secrets about protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki’s true heritage.
The Wandenreich’s invasion of Soul Society is a major turning point in the story, with the Soul Reapers facing certain doom and the enemy commander King Yhwach having every advantage in this one-sided war. In episode 7, Yhwach turns his attention to Ichigo, and he becomes nervous. BleachThe ‘s hero with the promise of an amazing secret that will change everything once again.
The hints of Ichigo’s true legacy in Bleach
various scenes in thousand year blood war they have expanded the relationship between the Quincy tribe and the Soul Reapers, including the extermination campaign 200 years ago to destroy all of Quincy. The Quincys now fight for revenge and survival, just like the Marley Empire in attack on titan, which adds a sympathetic touch to these groups of villains. The two sides just can’t get along, but of all people, Ichigo could be the bridge between them, even if he doesn’t understand how or why.
Head Captain Yamamoto falls to Yhwach in Episode 7, only for Ichigo to finally arrive after their difficult battle in the faraway Hueco Mundo. He identifies Yhwach as the enemy leader and fights him, but his exchange of words is much more important. His battle ends conclusively, then Yhwach hints at the truth of Ichigo’s apparent connection to the Quincy tribe.
Yhwach himself is shocked to see so much evidence, including Ichigo’s instinctive use of Blut Vene, a Quincy defensive technique. Also, Quilge Opie’s ability, The Jail, couldn’t contain the hero for long, and Yhwach points out that The Jail doesn’t work on Quincy, only on enemies. Yhwach believes that by damaging the jail, Ichigo mixed his spiritual pressure with Quilge’s; this awakened something deep in Ichigo, which Bleach fans have not seen before.
The possible connection of the Kurosaki family with the Quincy tribe
There is mounting evidence that Ichigo has a personal connection to the Quincy tribe, likely beyond his exposure to The Jail. In BleachThe first episode of Ichigo becoming a Soul Reaper when Rukia Kuchiki lent him her powers, but she just awakened his potential. The same may be true here, as it’s unlikely that Ichigo suddenly got Quincy’s powers from Quilge Opie. Rather, he probably had dormant Quincy abilities all along and now they’re awakening. That would explain why Ichigo didn’t do anything like this in the past. Bleach bows, even with Uryu Ishida around. Now, the question is how Ichigo got those latent powers from Quincy.
Yhwach provides more hints about that in Episode 7 and calls Ichigo his “son born in darkness”, which may be literal. After all, Ichigo inherited the Soul Reaper powers from his father Isshin, a former Soul Reaper, so Quincy’s power may have been inherited from him as well. It seems highly unlikely that Isshin also had Quincy blood, so Ichigo’s late mother, Masaki, remains. Little is known about Masaki other than her appearances in flashbacks of her, so there is room to expand her character and give her the Quincy inheritance.
If so, then Ichigo is part Quincy from his mother’s side, unbelievable as that may seem, making Yhwach his maternal grandfather. He won’t get any more answers for now, but Yhwach promises to explain more, and Isshin Kurosaki could do the same. If Ichigo learns the whole truth about his mixed lineage, he too can learn the secret to defeating the Wandenreich once and for all.