The Thousand Year Blood War arc had a lot of battles — but the TYBW season 2 anime is adding even more to the mix.
Every Bleach captain — with the notable exception of Kenpachi Zaraki — is assumed to have a Bankai. It’s one of the few foolproof ways to prove that yes, this Soul Reaper has enough power to assume captaincy, and is also part of a proficiency test to become the captain.
But not every captain has had the chance to flaunt their premier ability. Some of the most powerful captains, including Sosuke Aizen and Ukitake Jushiro, never got the chance to use their Bankai in the manga.
Fortunately, we are getting one significant correction to the rule, as revealed by the latest Thousand Year Blood War trailer.
Shinji’s Bankai will appear in Bleach TYBW season 2
Shinji Hirako is one of the series’ oldest captains and the leader of the Visoreds. He was the Fifth Squad captain, both before and after the traitorous Aizen.
Combined with his Hollow powers, he’s seriously powerful — and TYBW season 2 will help hammer in that point.
Shinji’s Bankai — Reversed Evil Eight Treasure Blockade (Sakashima Yokoshima Happōfusagari) causes his blade to turn into a flower construct, wrapping around the captain to protect him.
It indiscriminately affects every being in the area — friend or foe — inverting their perception of allies and enemies and causing them to attack each other. It’s a follow-up of his Shikai ability, which also inverts directions to its victims, as shown in his battle against Aizen in the Fake Karakura Town arc.
This also explains why Shinji rarely calls upon the ability. It’s great against a large group of foes, but completely useless in a one-on-one battle. The captain himself has even lamented that his power of inversion, in an ironic twist, applies to his own blade as well, regarding his Shikai as the more powerful ability.
Shinji’s Bankai was first revealed in the offshoot light novel series Can’t Fear Your Own World, written by Ryōgo Narita, with Bleach’s original mangaka Tite Kubo also involved. It also made an appearance in the mobile game Bleach: Brave Souls.
While its canon status has been debated, an animated version will likely put those arguments to rest. The particular fight likely to be animated was off-screened in the manga, but Shinji will get some well-deserved screen time.
This means we might get even more original fights, especially since Kubo remains involved with the adaptation. Bleach’s last cast of characters have many deserving to be thrust into the limelight — and Shinji will hopefully just be the first of many.
READ MORE: The 10 strongest captains in Bleach history