Bleach foreshadows Unohana’s true identity in the funniest way
Retsu Unohana’s true identity as the first Kenpachi is revealed in the “Thousand-Year Blood War Arc,” shocking fans entirely. However, it was foreshadowed earlier on.
Bleach TYBW reveals one major secret after another. The story has completely changed its course in the mere 13 episodes of the first part. Whether it is the Quincy army or Ichigo’s Quincy bloodline, the final arc has several shocking moments that keep fans hooked.
One such unexpected moment is the revelation of Unohana’s true identity. No one would’ve expected that the kind and gentle Captain of Squad 4 would turn out to be the ruthless Kenpachi responsible for mass murder.
However, Bleach has never known to drop a bomb out of nowhere. Throughout the series, Tite Kubo leaves behind several hints that are too subtle for fans to notice. Here’s how Kubo foreshadows Unohona’s identity early on in the series — and that also in the funniest way possible.
What is Unohona’s True Identity?
Retsu Unohana’s true identity as the first Kenpachi and the original captain of the Gotei 13 is only revealed after the first Quincy invasion. Up until her encounter with Kenpachi Zaraki a few centuries ago, Unohaha had been serving as the Captain of Squad 11. She joins the Gotei 13 during the time of its formation and contributes to the Quincy annihilation over a thousand years ago. After the war, Unohana finds her bloodthirst rising exponentially and goes on killing people at random.
However, that all changes when Zaraki defeats her. He is another bloodthirsty person who lusts only for battle. Unohana and the young Zaraki cross swords, giving each other scars. The battle ends with Unohana losing against him, resulting in Zaraki taking over her position.
Unohana then becomes the Captain of Squad 4 and focuses on healing others instead of killing, mellowing down in the process. After the first Quincy invasion in the TYBW arc, the Soul Society focuses on developing its strength. In order to make Kenpachi stronger, Unohana sacrifices herself when she fights with him again.
She reveals to the viewers that Kenpachi has been suppressing his true strength in fear of surpassing the only person he found worthy of fighting against him — which is Unohana. Therefore, only by killing Unohana will Zaraki unlock his true potential.
How Does Tite Kubo Foreshadows Unohana’s True Identity?
In the Soul Society Arc, the Soul Reapers suffer great damage after the Ryoka invasion because of Aizen. As a captain of Squad 4, Unohana is responsible for healing the injured. The other members of the Squad also develop their healing skills instead of fighting. Therefore, while all the Soul Reapers are recuperating at the Squad 4 barracks, a couple of Squad 11 members start creating a ruckus.
They start making unreasonable demands until Unohana comes and solves the situation. She threatens them with a sweet smile on her face, completely scaring the two Soul Reapers away. However, Unohana gets confused about why they fear her so much since she didn’t do anything.
Despite being funny, the scene has a deep, hidden meaning. What fans didn’t know at the time is that they feared her previous self, who was famous around the Soul Society, especially in Squad 11. Although fans learn about her much later on in the series, it is not a secret among Soul Reapers.
The Bleach anime can currently be streamed on Crunchyroll. In the meantime, check out our other TV hubs below:
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