Bleach: How Ryuken Ishida orchestrates Yhwach’s downfall

An image of young Ryuken Ishida in Bleach TYBWCrunchyroll

Ryuken Ishida has always been a sidelined character in Bleach. He has no significant role in the series except for training his son, Uryu Ishida. However, in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, Ryuken finally reveals his plan to take down Yhwach once and for all.

The highly anticipated final arc of Bleach finally delves deeper into the powers and history of the Quincy race. Ever since the beginning of the series, Tite Kubo has hyped the Quincies, who were annihilated by the Soul Society a few centuries back. However, fans recently learned that not only is the Quincy race alive, but the King of the Quincies, Yhwach, is raising an army to destroy all the worlds.

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Yhwach, being the son of the Soul King, is an entity with power so immense that even the strongest Soul Reapers never manage to put even a scratch on him. To defeat such a divine being, one needs more than just raw power. This is when Ryuken Ishida comes into play and reveals his ultimate plan, which turns out to be the only way to defeat the undefeatable King.

This is surprising since it’s always Urahara who comes to save the day at the last minute. Furthermore, even if Kubo entirely focuses on Quincies in the TYBW arc, the two known Quicnes, Uryu, and Ryuken, don’t seem to have a lot of presence. However, that all changes, with Ryuken being a major reason behind Yhwach’s downfall.

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What is Ryuken’s motive behind going against Yhwach?

An image of Ryuken Ishida and Kanae Katagiri in their Quincy attireCrunchyroll

Ryuken has always been a passive character in the series. He also seems to inherit the centuries-old hate that Quincies have for the Soul Reapers. As such, it would make sense for him to be loyal to his King, Yhwach. However, Ryuken and Uryu are the only Quincies who work against Yhwach. The reason is Kanae Katagiri’s death because of the Ashwalen (the Holy Selection).

Ryuken’s wife, Kanae, dies on the same day as Isshin Kurosaki’s wife, Masaki Kurosaki. Masaki loses all her powers during her fight with Grand Fisher and ends up dying while protecting Ichigo. On the other hand, Kanae’s already frail body completely collapses after she loses all her powers. Therefore, Ryuken plots for years before he can achieve his goal.

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How does Ryuken Ishida orchestrate Yhwach’s downfall?

An image of Ryuken Ishida and Isshin Kurosaki in Bleach TYBW arcViz Media

Kanae’s death is declared to be the result of her sick body, but that is far from the truth. Ryuken, being a doctor, decides to get to the bottom of this. He doesn’t mind performing an autopsy on his wife’s corpse to determine the truth. This is seen by the young Uryu, who later starts hating his father and distances himself from his only remaining family. However, Ryuken shows a pained expression when he sees Uryu at the time, but that is too subtle for a child to know.

That said, the autopsy is by no means fruitless since Ryuken discovers a key factor that could save the world. During the extensive autopsy that lasts for several days, Ryuken discovers a silver blood clot in Kanae’s heart and deduces it to be the cause of her death. He then forges the clot into a silver arrowhead. In the TYBW arc, Ryuken gives this arrowhead to Uryu to wait till the perfect time before attacking Yhwach with it.

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This immobilizes Yhwach for just a second, nullifying all his powers. This may not seem much, but that mere second is enough for Ichigo to land a final blow to Yhwach. This is how Ryuken’s years of planning finally bear fruit, and he is able to avenge his wife’s death.

The Bleach anime can currently be streamed on Crunchyroll. In the meantime, check out our other TV hubs below:

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 | Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Part 2 | Chainsaw Man Season 2 | BRZRKR movie | Jigokuraku Hell’s Paradise | Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 | Sonic the Hedgehog 3 | Super Mario Bros Movie | Invincible Season 2

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