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Bleach 526 – Dirty Little Secret

I don’t think anyone could have guessed that Unohana’s greatest pleasure was battle. Like Zaraki, she only finds true joy in fighting worthy opponents, of which she found in Zaraki as his strength grows to surpass hers. She’s a diabolical character, and the bankai she reveals looks truly vicious: a thin dark blade raising a curtain of what seems like blood. The actual nature of her bankai seems to be made intentionally vague however, and I can only speculate at what it actually does. After she releases it, their flesh begins to melt away, leaving just skeleton. In the very next page everything is back to normal, so perhaps this is the final stage of her “training” – destroying and cleansing Zaraki so that he breaks off his restraints and rises up with his true power. It would be befitting of the meaning of the name of Unohana’s zanpakuto, Minazuki.

All things are pointing to the conclusion of this fight, but we left off with a cliffhanger as usual. While it’s clear that Unohana is willing to sacrifice herself to unlock Kenpachi’s full strength, I’m sticking with my hope that both of them will make it out of this alive – honestly there’s no reason they can’t, especially with the healing abilities that she has demonstrated so far. Plus, teasing us with her bankai then not revealing what her real zanpakutou abilities are would just be unfair. It seems overly dramatic for Kyouraku and Unohana to decide that it is necessary for one of them to die, especially given that Soul Society needs them both badly. Although she has already given her farewell monologue, other characters have gone through worse and still lived, so I’m hanging on to hope that she will return to the 4th squad, ready to use her killing skills on the Vandenreich.

February 14, 2013 at 1:54 am
  • February 14, 2013 at 2:17 amLayfon

    I hope Unohana stays alive.

    • February 14, 2013 at 7:42 amNatsu

      I hope ichigo dies…or atleast renji for good

    • February 14, 2013 at 8:33 amNeunmann

      Why is everyone so obsessed with Unohana?

      • February 14, 2013 at 8:47 amCamora

        For me at least, and I think for others as well, Uhnohana has been around since the beginning, Her back story was NEVER developed in all of the Bleach arcs. She never fought and was a master healer. But every now and then there would be moments where other captains were noticeably afraid of her and people wouldn’t think twice of getting out of her way. She is also one of the oldest captains before Shinsei and Ukitake came along. Despite all that we knew nothing about her. I think people always suspected something more and now that its being revealed people are hooked on it

    • February 14, 2013 at 11:39 amMoridin

      I’m personally hoping she dies as it would be good story telling. It would be an awesome passing of the torch moment between the two Kempachis. It would also dilute Zakaris awesomeness as Unohana herself said in every era there can only be one Kempachi. Add on top of all that it would also be a good symbolic move showing the old making way for the new in Soul Society kinda like Yamamoto’s death (and really the entirety of bleach since Ichigo first showed up).

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:18 amgawrshness

    Wow was that her bankai that turned Kenpachi into a skeleton or some sort of kidou? If Unohana had been allowed to participated in the battle with the quincies we may not have been left with a second round. Hope she doesn’t turn into another Gin who died just from being stabbed once, I still can’t wrap my idea around how many things happened to Momo and she’s still alive while some much tougher people die in a snap in this series.

    Also; if it takes THAT level of madness to make her happy boy is she hard to please…certainly wouldn’t want Unohana as your valentine’s…haha

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:40 amKamui04

      Well besides Momo being stabbed a few times, Hiyori had it worse being cut in half and she survived.

      On the other hand it seems all those Byakuya fans were more vocal when he “died” compared to Unohana’s situation or people came to accept that yet again they’re being trolled by Kubo.

      • February 14, 2013 at 6:37 amgawrshness

        yeah her too, or Rangiku who had her abdomen blown away, or Toshirou who got cut to ribbons by Aizen, or Grimmjow who got slashed, stabbed, impaled and rammed, or Byakuya who himself looked like he had a grenade blown inside his chest just a few chapters ago and the list goes on, that would really SUCK if someone who had the prowess and the resilience of carrying the title of Kenpachi would die from a single stab while the current Kenpachi can take otherworldly amounts of stabbing and still live. (excluding his fight with Unohana herself of course.)

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:36 pmjn99y4

      hard to please, bow chicka wow wow

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:20 amLaughingMan

    FUCK ME! This chapter REALLY caught me off guard! Unohana, please don’t die…

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:40 amsufficiency

    What is the name of her bankai in kanji?

    • February 14, 2013 at 2:53 amProoof

      the Bleach wiki gives 肉雫唼 (“purify the flesh”)

      • February 14, 2013 at 3:34 amZen

        肉雫唼 (“purify the flesh”)

        That’s quite an apt name; it speaks to Unohana’s dual nature, reflecting both her unquenchable bloodlust, and her role as Chief Healer- Soul Society’s very own Angel of Death. A sword that “purifies the flesh”- an instrument of healing and restoration to the pure, but a savage scourge to the flesh of the corrupt…neat little metaphor, Kubo…

      • February 14, 2013 at 10:04 amKandur

        That her Shikai. Her bankai was written as 皆尽. Although it also reads as “minazuki”, it has a different meaning.

        肉雫唼 (“purify the flesh”)
        皆尽 (“deplete everything”)

      • February 14, 2013 at 1:03 pmDigid

        To Kandur’s “Deplete Everything”, could this possible have a link to what Kirinji was talking about, about wounded Reiatsu – depletes / drains all the wounds / damaged Reiatsu (and repairs it) but with a side effect of taking Reiatsu away, leaving those exposed to her Bankai’s effect with only their strength & blades?

        After all, she knew so many fighting styles, killing an opponent with only her blade sans other powers would have been an easy task for her

      • February 14, 2013 at 2:38 pmsufficiency

        I see, her sword and bankai have the same pronunciation. That’s why I was so confused.

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:42 amDestiny-

    after almost 426 chapter of a captain that we kept wondering wat her bankai was, she dies instantly after using it. good job kubo

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:59 amAnanas

    Happy Valentine. Those two really have their own idea of unprotected sex.

    • February 14, 2013 at 11:40 amMoridin

      Well considering Saint Valentine’s Day was originally a martyr’s celebration their is also that connection.

  • February 14, 2013 at 3:12 amCelecia01

    I was so excited when Unohana used Bankai, I’d forgotten how cool it was to see a new one until now (this arc if including the Head Captain). Though it’s about time we began to see the ones not shown so far. It would be rather annoying that after finally seeing her strength she might die. At least she went down having shown us her Bankai…sort of.

  • February 14, 2013 at 3:42 amssj4jw

    I think this is the “death” of Yachiru “Kenpachi” Unohana not Retsu Unohana. Where she officially pass on the Kenpachi name to Zaraki.

    • February 14, 2013 at 4:39 amNadester

      Yeah, I definitely see that happening. If Unohana could keep healing Kenpachi from death itself, seeing how she had done so countless times in their battle, why wouldn’t she be able to heal herself now? I think her “death” as Kenpachi is a figurative one. She is just passing on her title.

  • February 14, 2013 at 3:49 amP Ko

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Kubo killed her off to be honest. If he has then it’s rather sad that Unohana’s final note was a whimper rather than something theatrical or inspiring.

    I’m still waiting on Yachiru. You hear that Kubo! WHERE’S MY PINK HAIRED YODA ACTION DAMMIT!

  • February 14, 2013 at 3:56 amNaske

    And thus like I was saying last week unohana pointlessly dies for basically nothing…
    Not only did ken-chan not at least get a shikai but assuming he did power up he’s probably only just as powerful if not a little bit more powerful than unohana…

  • February 14, 2013 at 4:19 amNadester

    Unohana won’t die, I really hope so. And the Vandenreich better prepare to take on Ken-chan Version 2. Also is it possible that only the Kenpachi side of Unohana died, leaving the calm, healer side of her personality behind?

    • February 14, 2013 at 9:23 amVivace

      cant wait to see this,

      Ken-chan version 2: Say auf wiedersehen to your venderich balls.

  • February 14, 2013 at 4:48 amSkins Thunderbomb

    And suddenly a shitton of shippers are born.

  • February 14, 2013 at 5:52 amAshita123

    I know I will be hated for this comment, but I believe Bleach does need a meaningful sacrfice. Although it is true that this one might be a bit weak.

    • February 14, 2013 at 8:15 amLogan

      We did loose Gin though, he managed to pull a Professor Snape on us. When I look back at old chapters and see his sinister cold grin, somehow i feel hurt to have seen him go.

  • February 14, 2013 at 6:50 amMurdacion

    I think The whole “melting away” was not Unohana’s bankai, rather Zaraki’s awakening of his sword. If you recall, Zaraki’s reiatsu takes the shape of a skeleton earlier in the manga during a fight with Ichigo.

    I’m hoping Unohana’s true bankai hasn’t yet been revealed, that maybe a certain “act” or “event” (i.e. end of this chapter) is required to truly activate it. I have a feeling this battle isn’t quite over yet….

  • February 14, 2013 at 6:55 amNine

    Somehow i felt that they both can make a good couple or even get married.

  • February 14, 2013 at 6:55 amGGr

    It’s “Bleach 526″ not “426″. And I thought Unagi kidnapping Ichigo seemed familiar! :)

    • February 14, 2013 at 6:58 amNine

      Funny, i didn’t notice it until you mention it. LOL

  • February 14, 2013 at 7:00 amTasa

    Unohana should still be alive since Kenpachi has yet to learn any sword techniques which was the reason way he was sent their in the first place.

    • February 14, 2013 at 8:18 amLogan

      Unohana’s Itinerary list:

      1. Unlock all of Zaraki’s reatsu.
      2. Reveal Zaraki crush.
      3. Teach Zaraki kendo.
      4. Teach Zaraki how to talk to his sword.

  • February 14, 2013 at 7:18 amedo

    and what exactly means minazuki ?

    • February 14, 2013 at 7:32 amGGr

      Prooof answered it above in the comments, “purify the flesh”.

  • February 14, 2013 at 8:12 amNierTevra

    and what did her bankai do exactly, except for inking that one page pitch black…

  • February 14, 2013 at 8:46 amlol

    if you read this chapter from dirty perspective, it’s like watching two person having sex

  • February 14, 2013 at 8:53 amRex


  • February 14, 2013 at 9:26 amAeous

    If Byakuya lived through his fight and Unohana dies, i’m going to flip all the tables within walking distance

  • February 14, 2013 at 10:37 amDa5id

    Did anyone actually catch just what the hell Minazuki was?

  • February 14, 2013 at 12:25 pmshadowalker

    Are we sure that the flesh-melting-away-skeleton thing was Unohana’s bankai’s doing?I thought it was a somewhat symbolic(or actual) representation of how Zaraki Kenpachi perceives the world in his unrestrained self.His words in that scene seemed to indicate this.
    flesh = sealed self
    melting way = freeing himself
    skeleton = true self

  • February 14, 2013 at 1:41 pmYanDaMan

    She better stay alive. Killing her off like this would be dumb, even by Kubo standard.

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:05 pmspikerman87

    So what does Unohana’s Bankai do? It melts people’s skin…but not really because they have it back later? Let me check the Bleach Wiki- no they don’t know either. I am confused @_@

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:10 pmL002

    NOOOOOOOO KUBO, please tell me that, like Ginjo who not many really cared if he died, that Unohana will live. My favorite female captain who I want as my girlfriend if she was real to die. Ohhh, the tragedy. Why, the point was to simply teach Kenpachi martial arts, it wasn’t meant to kill Unohana. …….Well I am wondering what is Ichigo doing. He may want to move FAR AWAY if Kenpachi really got stronger.

  • February 14, 2013 at 2:49 pmMagoiichi

    Because Unohana never really had much of character development since the beginning I wouldn’t be bothered much if she actually died or not besides wanting to see what her Bankai actually does.

    I don’t even know what her Shikai does and I was expecting Kenpachi to learn how to release Bankai or Shikai at least during this chapter, but nope

    just good old fashion hax is what Kenpachi does best

  • February 14, 2013 at 8:10 pmSuperpat3

    COUGAR ACTION! I really hope she doesn’t die. Healers and medics are always a MUST for war, battles or RPG quests. Unless you have cheats, which is what Aizen did. Come baacckkk oh great hhaacckkkeerr… and please don’t die Unohana…