Soul King Story Revealed in Ichigo’s Training?!

Key takeaways from Ichigo’s Training discussion:

  • Significant Plot Changes: The anime adaptation of Bleach’s TYBW arc introduces major deviations from the manga, including Ichigo’s training.
  • Soul King’s Past Revealed: Ichigo’s training reveals glimpses of the Soul King’s history, his ritual to split the worlds, unjust mutilation, and his current imprisoned state, adding depth to the arc’s mythology.
  • Engaging Adaptation: The anime’s alterations enhance the plot and keep both manga veterans and anime-only viewers intrigued, building excitement for upcoming episodes and the continuation of the TYBW storyline.

If you read the TYBW arc in the manga back in the day, chances are you’re just as excited as anime onlies for the next episode by now. Cause the way things have been going, even we manga veterans have no idea what will come next. We got what looks like glimpses of the Soul King story in Ichigo’s training under Ichibei, this is by far the most significant change to the plot the anime adaptation has made so far.

Minor changes were made to the plot in the first cours of the anime adaptation as well, but none of them were as significant as this. This is the only change so far that makes a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Are we seeing stuff from Can’t Fear Your Own World finally make it into the anime? Possibly. So let’s talk about whatΒ I thinkΒ is going on here. Keep in mind, this discussion will haveΒ spoilersΒ from the arc and CYFOW as well. You have been warned. So let’s go over what happened originally first.

This shot of Senjumaru is amazing

How Things went in the Manga?

Ichigo came down from the Soul King’s palace pretty much at the same time as Rukia and Renji. Renji went on to fight Mask De Masculine while Rukia went on to fight As Nodt. Ichigo fights his way through to Silbern, encountering various Sternritter on his way, only for Yhwach to jump back up to the Royal Palace. Leaving Ichigo to chase him once again. Once Ichigo catches up to Yhwach, he falls into his trap and ends up killing the Soul King. This is the point where I think this season of the anime will end.

What is different in the Anime?

Of course, we are not as far along in the anime but things are already pretty different. First of all, Ichigo’s training is totally different from what little of it we saw in the manga. In the latest episode, Rukia and Renji descended from the Palace. However, Ichigo’s training remains incomplete. Meaning he will come down much later, if at all. Because at this rate, chances are Ichigo will run into Yhwach directly in the throne room without ever descending from the Palace.

Now if this change does happen, I’d be really happy. Cause I thought it was kind of silly in the manga. Ichigo comes down from the Palace to face Yhwach. All this hype is built around his new powers but then Yhwach just rolls out of there leaving Ichigo to catch up again. So it’s better to have them meet in the throne room directly. It will give a little more urgency to what is quite possibly the most important encounter in the whole series to this point.

As for Ichigo’s training, it is way wilder than I ever imagined. I did not expect the anime to change things so significantly. They did tease some stuff from CYFOW and now looks like they’re doing it for reals, including Shinji’s Bankai. So let’s move on to

About Ichigo’s Training

Ok, so anyone who has read CYFOW knows that the visions Ichigo is seeing during his training with Ichibei are glimpses of the Soul King’s past. Ichibei also constantly talks about things like “vessel” and “being able to handle the burden”. From CYFOW we know that he saw Ichigo as a suitable replacement for the Soul King, so those dialogs are hinting towards that. As further proof of this, we see Reiatsu of 4 different colors (representing the 4 different races) filling up Ichigo, before turning black. And from the manga, we know that the Soul King’s Reitastu is indeed, black.

I love how you can see a glimpse of The Almighty in his eyes.

As for the Soul King’s story, the flashes of images we get are pretty much in chronological order. First, we see him walking into a water body, ready to perform some kind of ritual. This is presumably when he split the worlds into the 3 realms we know. After that we see his limbs being ripped apart. We know the Soul King agreed to seal himself to gain the trust of the 4 noble clans but he didn’t agree to the mutilation. But yes, after that we see some flashes of him limbless in the water and then his current imprisoned state, inside the crystal in the throne room of the Palace.

These flashes may either be literal or symbolic of the unjust treatment he received from the four noble clans. Either way, they tell the same story. Now I am curious to see how Ichigo takes all that knowledge. At the conclusion of Episode 4, he finished his training with Ichibei and eventually made it to Senjumaru while feeling exhausted.

Sorry for the quality, had to compress the GIF twice to keep it under 2MB

Conclusion

That is it for now. Those were my thoughts on what is going on with Ichigo right now and what may happen in the future. I am really excited to see the future episode. The anime somehow managed to keep us manga readers really invested in the plot by changing all this stuff around. All the changes so far have only made the plot better so I trust the animators to know what they’re doing. Also, please keep in mind, all of this article is based on what we have seen till Episode 4. Episode 5 comes out in a few days and some of these things may not hold up.

That said, let me know what you guys think in the comments. Bleach TYBW Part 2 has been amazing so far and I cannot wait to see more of it. I will take my leave here. See ya!!

Also, check out my thoughts on Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 episode 4 here. What is up with episode 4s having some crazy stuff in this season lol?

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