Warning: Contains spoilers for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episodes 9 and 10.Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 10 has been released and with its release, Unohana’s Bankai has finally been explained. After the first invasion by the Wandenreich, Unohana, revealed to be the first Kenpachi and one of Soul Society’s deadliest warriors, is tasked with training Kenpachi in preparation for the Quincies’ return. To achieve that, the two engage in a fight to the death where Unohana continuously kills and revives Kenpachi, with each iteration of the cycle allowing Kenpachi to gradually release the limits he unconsciously placed on himself.
As Kenpachi’s power grew to the point where he could harm Unohana, Unohana increased the scope of the battle by activating her Bankai, Minazuki. When Unohana used her Bankai in Tite Kubo’s Bleachnot much focus was drawn to it, and when she died shortly after its activation, it became unclear what its abilities were supposed to be. Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War however, episode 10 expanded the fight enough to finally explain what Bankai does, and it does a lot to establish how powerful Unohana was supposed to be.
What Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Reveals About Unohana’s Bankai
Even if it wasn’t covered Bleach manga, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War finally explained the power of Unohana’s Bankai, Minazuki. Upon activation, Minazuki fills the area with a pool of blood and turns the sword into a sword of blood. Unohana can use her sword to attack with streams of blood that seem to have an acidic quality, and Minazuki also seems to heal her injuries over time to some extent. The 2022 century Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War also seems to confirm that the scene where Kenpachi and Unohana turned into skeletons was not part of Unohana’s Bankai and was simply something in Kenpachi’s head.
The reveal of Unohana’s Bankai makes perfect sense when you consider her character. As revealed in the latest episodes of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, Unohana’s true nature is a bloodthirsty killer, with her healing abilities even only existing so she can prolong her fights. As such, a Bankai like Minazuki that literally manifests her bloodlust and desire to always keep fighting is nothing but fitting for her, and it’s great that the anime finally managed to pull it off.
Why didn’t Unohana help fight the Wandenreich?
With Unohana’s Bankai now fully explained, another question that needs to be resolved is why she didn’t help in the fight against Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War‘s Wandenreich. It had already been established that the first generation of the thirteen court guard companies, which Unohana belonged to, was the strongest generation, so that already puts Unohana at a high level. Add in how easily she was able to overwhelm Kenpachi for most of their fight and the versatility of her Bankai, and it’s easy to see how she would make one of the strongest Soul Reaper captains, so she could certainly be useful during the invasion.
That being said, staying out of the match was probably the best decision for Unohana. As powerful as Unohana was, her abilities probably wouldn’t be enough Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War‘s Sternritters with either complicated abilities or incredibly high power levels, both of which were problems for Kenpachi, who was supposed to be stronger than Unohana. Taking all of this into consideration, it makes sense that Unohana would prioritize healing the wounded over combat, but at the same time, it still ends up being disappointing that it took Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War for Unohana to have a turn in the spotlight, and only for a brief moment.
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Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War releases new episodes Mondays on Hulu.