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Bleach 526 – Dirty Little Secret »« Bleach 524 – What Kills You Makes You Stronger

Bleach 525 – Demon Child

For Kenpachi, what kills him really does makes him stronger. It’s an interesting notion, and Kubo fleshes it out to explain a lot of Kenpachi’s battle history while Unohana kills him and resurrects him hundreds of times over. When they first met a very long time ago in Rukongai, it was their lust for battle and desire to find a worthy opponent that brought them together. Then because Kenpachi finally found a strong opponent, he unknowingly put limits on himself after that battle, which was what Unohana had hinted at in the previous chapter. The way I’m interpreting it is that because Kenpachi loved battle so much, he stopped fighting at his limit so that he could enjoy the feeling of fighting a worthy opponent again; if he unleashed himself, his subconscious fear was that his enemies would go down so quickly (as some of his lesser opponents already do) that it simply wouldn’t be “fun”. This explanation is in-line with his personality and history, and actually partially explains some of the inconsistencies in Kenpachi’s power levels throughout the course of the series. Unohana gives this as the reason why he lost against Ichigo, and why he only barely beat Noitora.

Unfortunately, this also means that Kenpachi is actually stronger than even Unohana, and as he is revived over and over again, his full potential begins to show and his strikes start to find their mark. Unohana takes a major hit at the end of the chapter, but despite the foreshadowing given in the past few weeks I still really do hope she survives. Kenpachi is great, but we’ve seen a lot of him already, and I’m more interested in seeing Unohana’s character fleshed out and developed beyond what’s shown in this battle – one that she has no intention of winning. Normally Bleach can be counted on for the good guys to survive crazy wounds, but those chances seem to be growing slimmer as Kenpachi grows more ridiculously powerful.

January 30, 2013 at 11:28 am
  • January 30, 2013 at 11:43 amNadester

    Keep on slashing Ken-chan ……keep on slashing.

  • January 30, 2013 at 11:45 amcaramel_cod

    Too bad for Unohana. She gets interesting at the very moment that she’s surpassed in power (not to mention in healing abilities given that Zero Squad guy). Shame that she became irrelevant so soon after getting some spotlight.

    • January 30, 2013 at 12:20 pmKarmafan

      Makes me sad to see where this is going. Killing her off at this point would be really stupid when she can help to save soul society.

    • January 30, 2013 at 1:15 pmSortedevaras

      We got flashbacks and had a interesting character fleshed out just a bit after years of wanting it? Death flag raised.

    • January 30, 2013 at 8:00 pmNatsu

      They should kill her off so a interesting character like…say oh theres none in bleach but maybe yoroiuchi(however its spelled) will get the spotlight or something

      • January 31, 2013 at 11:45 amSortedevaras

        The problem would be if any non team Ichigo character got spotlight then they too would raise death flags. The moment we see a bankai its death time, Yamamoto for example. No wonder Kyōraku did not want to show his bankai against Stark, he knew the writer would kill him off if he did.

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:01 pmstarss

    Hmm. Back stories and character development is nice and all, but I really want to know where the story is going with all this. This is becoming less “Bleach” and more “Kenpachi Zaraki Adventures and Friends”.

    • January 30, 2013 at 11:25 pmbrilliantaether

      So two chapters is enough to derail a series? Alright.

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:02 pmgawrshness

    Kid Kenpachi owned Unohana? Damn dude he should have been the main character of Bleach. Imagine, if he actually learned full control of his Zanpakuto as well along this kind of power who can possibly win against him? I sure hope he goes bankai before the story ends.

    • January 30, 2013 at 1:01 pmshadowalker

      I doubt he’ll go bankai, it’ll be a short story if he does.

      • January 30, 2013 at 9:02 pmJello

        Seeing as how Kubo had announced that after the Fullbring arc this would be the last arc lasting about 1.5 years…As we’re already about half a year into that…

        That’s probably exactly how it ends.

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:06 pmtroy

    “Kenpachi Zaraki Adventures and Friends” Dude I wouldsopay to be able to read that :)

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:06 pmNaske

    So what if ken-chan gets stronger every time he dies… Not unless he is able to remove his “unconscious limiter” then would he just in theory only become AS powerful as unohana?!! Which would really make her own death pointless if he’s only as strong as her…
    For example I’m really good at SF4 but my friend sucks… so subconsciously i hold back while fighting him cause i know that if i over whelm him he might not wanna play anymore. So i think to my self why not make him stronger so that way i can have a better challenge, but the problem with that is that even if he gets better that still doesn’t change the fact that subconsciously ima hold back…
    TL;DR No understanding how ken-chan dying over and over can make him anymore valuable than unohana her self

    • January 30, 2013 at 7:48 pmwellthar

      Unohana will live unless they think sacrificing Unohana, who’s also one of their best healers, just to make Kenpachi a slightly stronger fighter than her is a smart move.

      • January 31, 2013 at 1:47 amdefunkt_bots

        i’ve always found soul society’s tactics to be somewhat self shooting.

        having said that.. the introduction of the upper echelon and soul king, there seems to be an even more powerful healer in their midst. ero-hotspring-ni-san…

        and the super-weight-watchers-lady,

        what i’m not sure about is whether ken-chan has a massive onee-san complex with unohana?

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:13 pmFT5Havok

    Haha fitting comparison considering how much of a beast Gohan grew into as a teen and then how much of a bitch he turned back into after the whole mystic gohan shit was through Except Zaraki’s never been a bitch. -jjabw

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:20 pmGermanguy

    Unohana… Well, when Ken-chan became stronger as Her, then She keep her “healing” Focus for herself. But….. Aww, this idea has a flaw. When She is focus on healing herself, she can not land a “death blow” to Ken-chan anymore. So she cant “Boost” him more up…

    • January 30, 2013 at 12:25 pmGermanguy

      and it is interesting to know, that Ken-Chan has his Sword with him as a Child. His one? or “Loot”? Mmm, i think last part

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:52 pmZensa

    Read the correct translations – Ken-Chan limited himself in order not to kill Unohana – as a child he was already stronger than her – she is trying to revert him back to there to he can obtain new heights.


  • January 30, 2013 at 12:59 pmshadowalker

    To limit himself so he can enjoy the battle? That is sooo Kenpachi.

  • January 30, 2013 at 1:17 pmDa5id

    So, is Unohana sacrificing herself so Kenpachi can fully release his power? Isn’t that like sacrificing a Queen piece to turn a Knight into a Queen? You’ll have a Queen, sure, but you’ll be down a Knight. Unless she plans to survive this, in which case, go for it.

    But if Unohana IS going to die in this, she better use her Shikai and/or Bankai in this fight or I am going to be pissed.

    • January 30, 2013 at 1:28 pmNaske

      I defiantly agree and honestly that’s pretty much what i was trying to say in my own comment.
      But anyway IF she HAS to die than like you said she better at least reveal some awesome abilities XD

      • January 30, 2013 at 1:36 pmDa5id

        Oh hey, you did! Haha, I guess I should read the comments first.

    • January 30, 2013 at 2:03 pmshadowalker

      It’s kind of like that, but in this case the new Queen will be far stronger than the old Queen.

      But I’m betting there will be some unexpected twist and Unohana wouldn’t die.

    • February 1, 2013 at 4:01 amZaku Fan

      Its more like sacrificing a knight to turn a pawn into a queen.

      Unohana is strong but unlikely to reach the level of the captain commander, so the obvious resort is to find someone who can surpass or at least reach CC’s level and that guy is kenpachi.

      Otherwise having a weak kenpachi and unohana changes nothing. They still get stomped

      • February 1, 2013 at 12:21 pmDa5id

        You’re telling me KENPACHI is a pawn? What does that make Ukitake, a checker piece?

      • February 1, 2013 at 11:50 pmZaku Fan

        Yeah considering how easily the entire lot of captains got stomped into the ground (kenpachi included), their power level is pretty much at the pawn level right now (non captain shinigami are less then pawns) which looks to be the power level of the 3 mooks kenpachi took down

  • January 30, 2013 at 1:29 pmMichio_Watanbe

    I think Germanguy mentioned something I was wondering as well. Based on this chapter, Kenpachi has had his zanpakutou since he was young, however he didn’t become a Soul Reaper until he was an adult. Does this mean that someone can manifest a zanpakutou without possessing an Asauchi? People like Kenpachi and Ikkaku seem to have already possessed zanpakutou prior to becoming Soul Reapers, so I’m curious to know if this will be fully explained later on. Perhaps when we get back to Ichigo and Renji, Ouetsu will shed some more light on zankautous.

    • January 31, 2013 at 4:39 pmJkl

      This might actually be the reason why the power level difference between the “real” shinigami (the ones that live > 10s) and the “skeet” shinigami is so huge (or it’s just the standard mortality algorithm…). The strong ones “create”/”find” their own zanpakutou.

  • January 30, 2013 at 1:43 pmShouko

    .. Trying to get over the shock that a Bleach entry appeared before Naruto for the first time in God knows how long. Yay Prooof!

  • January 30, 2013 at 2:26 pmAnanas

    Never let kids play with sharp things.

  • January 30, 2013 at 2:51 pmEamonX

    Saiyan powerup tactic.

  • January 30, 2013 at 2:55 pmkenpachi

    maybe the death that shunsui is talking about has already been shown through zarakis 100s of deaths at the hand of unohana
    i say this because i want unohana to survive in this form she is my favorite captain almost as badass as captain commander (his deatg was ridiculously quick WHY KUBO WHY)

  • January 30, 2013 at 3:25 pmMagoiichi

    Badass Kids grow up to be Badass Men, factual.

  • January 30, 2013 at 3:44 pmSuppa Tenko

    Question bleach logic has never gotten anyone anywhere.

    • January 30, 2013 at 9:15 pmNatsu

      I see you’ve been enlightened

  • January 30, 2013 at 4:04 pmK C M

    Demon Child is putting it kindly, how about son of the devil.

  • January 30, 2013 at 4:16 pmjingoi

    at the moment- OP>Naruto>Bleach.

    • January 30, 2013 at 5:27 pmDa5id

      Wasn’t it always like that?

  • January 30, 2013 at 7:26 pmjunglepenguin

    I’m glad I was reading Vagabond just before reading this chapter. Seems like the demon child does well in the afterlife too.

  • January 30, 2013 at 7:40 pmSilentCid

    She’ll live unless she gets sliced in half like the previous captain-commander to the point of overkill…

  • January 31, 2013 at 2:35 amYanDaMan

    Hope she survives, killer her after she’s been in the background for 500+ chapters and finally gets fleshed out in a few chapters would be just dumb. Let her do something in the upcoming war at least.

  • January 31, 2013 at 2:37 amasd

    bleach is going downhill again.

    • January 31, 2013 at 3:52 amjunglepenguin

      How so, may I ask?

  • January 31, 2013 at 4:52 amshibby

    I’m enjoying the development of Zaraki’s power and it’s interesting to look into his origins but is it just me or does anyone else find it hard to believe that Zaraki as a mere child is more powerful that Unohana – the first kenpachi? And correct me if I’m wrong but Zaraki doesn’t join SS until he is an adult, so how could SS let someone who is more powerful than Unohana just go on his own way doing as he likes? Maybe Kubo will clear up some more of his history to so we can piece together all the bits and pieces cos at the moment I’m just a little bit confused

    • January 31, 2013 at 9:53 amdamrod

      It will probably be explained by pointing to those self limiting restraints of himself.
      After all, why kill someone if he/she sealed their own power to such an extent that they are weaker than a captain?

  • January 31, 2013 at 3:09 pmCelecia01

    I like the character development over the past few weeks, maybe if we’d be given some of that instead of fight after fight for the past few years, the manga would be going great and the anime would still be running. Even so, I hope that Unohana makes it out alive, as she has yet to show how effective she can be in an actual battle (as opposed to a training battle) and I would have for her only role in the Bleach series to just be awakening Kenpachi’s hidden strength. Plus, I’m still keen to see her Shikai and Bankai abilities, here would be a good chance for them to be used, since they’d be pretty much useless against the Quincies, (well, Bankai anyway…not like she needs it).

  • January 31, 2013 at 5:16 pmCorey

    SUCK IT HULK!!!!! Kenpachi IS basically Bleach’s Hulk only better. So at least those Hulk fanboys can shut the hell up about hulk getting stronger when he gets angry and trumps EVERYONE cause of his broken abilities that Marvel keeps giving him. Ken-chan don’t need no upgrades or power-ups or Bankai. When You Kenpachi you have upgrades. This proves that Kenpachi has TRUE unlimited strength and reiatsu and as the the Kanye saying goes “what kills you makes you stronger”. Kenpachi SMASH, Bitches!

  • January 31, 2013 at 10:34 pmKeranu

    I really hate how kubo just turned unohana into a stepping stone for one of the main characters to improve >_>, unohana could of had a interesting backstory that explains so much about her and reveals what she can do shikai and bankai wise and thus make her valuable against the fight with the quincies, but no, she’s merely reduced to fodder to make kenpachi stronger. This chapter pretty much laid out the red carpet for her death and thus a potential interesting character is pushed aside to further increase the strength of one of whom we’ve seen fight so many times already. I wonder what captain they’ll sacrifice next to improve hitsugaya or byakuya -_-

  • February 1, 2013 at 3:57 amZaku Fan

    I think she was the start of the unconscious block because she was weaker when they fought for the first time but also the first person to almost challenge kid Kenpachi, hence why she felt guilty

  • February 1, 2013 at 4:41 pmDrock85

    I’m absolutely ecstatic over Kenpachi’s power and everything but it’s not like its terribly inventive. He’s similar to Doomsday, Superman’s killer, as everytime he dies he gets stronger. I would have loved to see Unohana’s backstory fleshed out a whole lot more. She’s more interesting for one and we all know that Kenpachi is just power incarnate. It’s not really a surprise. I guess we’ll see what Kubo has to say for himself… Not really expecting much.

  • February 1, 2013 at 10:23 pmYachiru “Retsu” Unohana

    Unohana will die knowing Bleach Logic >_<" Kenpachi will learn Shikai, and I dont understand why sacrifice Unohana whom we do not know anything about yet (besides being a blood thirsty bastard) for Kenpachi's sake so now Kenpachi will be stromger than captain #4? wait does that mean he is stronger than all the other captain divisions under #4?

  • February 11, 2013 at 11:16 pmzaraki

    After 10 years of watching all kinds of animes I must say Zaraki Kenpachi is the best character ever created. His desire to kill is excellent.