The battle with the Quincy may be over for now, but all that means is that the time has come for the Soul Society to grieve and prepare for the next.
Warning: Spoilers for Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 8The Soul Society in Bleach has stood for over a thousand years, but in all that time, they’ve never suffered a loss as great as this last battle against the Quincy. Now in the aftermath of that loss, the survivors will have to mourn the fallen while they plan for what’s to come next.
The Quincy Wandenreich appeared within the Soul Society’s walls without warning and immediately laid waste to the area, killing thousands of low-level Soul Reapers in addition to Bleach’s Head Captain himself. At the same time, they stole the Bankai abilities of several captains and beat Byakuya and Kenpachi Zaraki so badly that it’s stated in the episode they may never wake up again. Needless to say, the surviving captains have been left angry and confused by this sudden and brutal attack.
Squad Four, the healing specialists, are running around wildly as they desperately try to help those who can still be saved. Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya are all bandaged up and unable to move. Ichigo himself is now without his Zanpakuto, given that it shattered in the face of Yhwach’s power, and according to the Soul Society’s lead researcher Mayuri, it’s a long and slow process to try to recreate one. Other characters, like Ikkaku, simply refuse to believe it’s possible for them to lose so badly, struggling against the healing crew to get back out to fight, even though the Quincy are long gone. And without leadership, the remaining captains are left to argue among themselves, with Captain Kyoraku taking the initiative to calm them down. All this is compounded by a visit from the Royal Guard, AKA Squad Zero, which provokes even more anger at their apparent lack of concern for the devastation that unfolded without their involvement.
Bleach’s Soul Society Needs to Build Back Stronger to Face the Quincy
While it’s understandable for Bleach’s Soul Reapers to feel angry and upset, this attack has been an open declaration of war. They need to take this opportunity to rebuild and reorganize as quickly as possible, to be able to respond to future attacks faster and more efficiently. The Quincy’s ability to appear within the walls of the Seireitei without warning is an incredibly dangerous power, so until they can figure out a way to block them, the Soul Reapers will have to remain in a state of constant vigilance, which itself is quite exhausting. The Soul Reapers are undoubtedly shorthanded after so many losses, too, which means that much more work for those who’ve survived. All of these problems are only exacerbated by the lack of leadership right now, so it may turn out that the most important thing Bleach’s Soul Society can do is name a new Head Captain, or at least an interim Head Captain to take charge during this crisis.
After such heavy losses, it’s alright for the Soul Reapers of Bleach to mourn, but they cannot afford to be lost in their sadness and anger, or the entire Soul Society might be next.
New episodes of Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War are currently streaming on Mondays via Hulu.