Bleach: Is Yhwach the New Soul King?

Bleach: Is Yhwach the New Soul King?
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Tite Kubo’s Bleach has provided us with various colorful and intriguing characters. And while those who have not read the manga know only a portion of these, those who will know that Bleach has one of the more diverse sets of characters in the story. The final saga, albeit rushed and certainly not as complete as Kubo originally intended, did expand the lore of the series in a major way. We’ve finally learned about the Soul King and Yhwach, two extremely important characters. But, while it is known that the Soul King is actually Yhwach’s father, it is also known that Yhwach killed and absorbed his own father during the saga. So, what happened afterward? With the old Soul King dead, who is the new Soul King? This article will give and explain the answer to that question, so keep reading to find out.

As has been implied in the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel, the new Soul King is, indeed, Yhwach, although it is not the same Yhwach that attacked Soul Society. Namely, as Yhwach merged with the Soul King, the entity that remained after Yhwach’s death was “made” into the new Soul King by the Royal Guard so that order and the balance of the realms could be maintained. In that aspect, Yhwach ironically helped reestablish the very same balance he wished to destroy.

Due to his enormous importance, the Soul King, of course, had to be a topic here on Fiction Horizon, and in this article, we have decided to answer several major questions about him, his very nature, and what happened to this powerful and important entity after Yhwach seemingly killed him. The original manga did not reveal much, but the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel did, so we’ll bring you details from there. A lot of spoilers will be present, so prepare yourselves for that as well.

Yhwach killed the Soul King, but this was, ironically, used to create the new Soul King after the battle

The Soul King is the head of Soul Society, but because he is thought of as having an absolute nature, the Soul Society citizens see more symbolic value in the Soul King’s existence. The Soul King, who rules over Soul Society, doesn’t live in the Seireitei region; instead, he lives in a higher dimension, where the Soul King Palace is also situated.

His Royal Guard bodyguards, commonly known as Division 0, are people he has personally chosen. The Soul King is also Yhwach’s father and the architect of this world, Hueco Mundo, and Soul Society.

These are the general, well-known facts about the Soul King in Bleach. The Soul King was undeniably an important figure in the lore of Bleach, and the fact that he actually kept everything in balance spoke for itself.

But, the Soul King was actually just a passive observer, as he had been sealed and his body was mutilated in the past to prevent him from using his powers any further; this happened after the world was divided into the realms and was done by the Shinigami, who are also in charge of guarding the Soul King and the balance of the realms. This is, indeed, why they are called the balancers.

So, the Soul King’s arms and heart became sentient beings. It was also heavily implied that his mind became a sentient being as well while his legs were severed. One of his arms and his heart joined the Quincy, while his other arm became Mimihagi, a deity worshiped in Soul Society and an enemy of the Quincy.

It has been heavily implied that the Soul King was actually related to the Quincy more than anyone else and that the Shinigami actually “imprisoned” the original Soul King, but this part of the mythos is actually quite confusing still, and we don’t have any precise answers, as the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel wasn’t absolutely clear, and Kubo himself has not yet provided us with precise answers.

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But, the very nature of the Soul King and his (well, interestingly enough, both Aizen and Urahara, two of the smartest characters in the series, referred to the Soul King as a thing, not as a person, implying that they had figured out the secret behind the Soul King a long time ago) relationship to the Quincy is not that important here. We need to tell you what happened to him during Yhwach’s assault.

Not long after Ichigo returned to Soul Society, Yhwach seized the opportunity and traveled to the Soul King’s Palace with his Schutzstaffel. After they defeated the Royal Guard, Yhwach faced Ichibei Hyosube and was almost defeated, but a last-minute activation of his full powers enabled him to take the Monk by surprise and defeat him.

He then proceeded to the Soul King and stabbed him, later controlling Ichigo into slicing him in two. Although Ukitake sacrificed his life so that Mimihagi could become the new Soul King, Yhwach nevertheless managed to absorb the powers of the powerful entity and became a new being, seemingly indestructible.

Although it took him some time, Yhwach consolidated his powers and proceeded to destroy the realms and create his new world, but the combined powers of Renji, Aizen, Ishida, and Ichigo ultimately stopped him.

Yhwach was killed, but it took a total of 10 years for the last remnants of his power to completely disappear, and only then was the world rid of his presence completely. Okay, so we know that happened to Yhwach, but what happened to the Soul King? Well, as far as the manga is concerned, this is a big mystery, a mystery that is a consequence of the fact that Kubo had to rush the ending of the manga, so a lot of scenes and details were omitted.

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But luckily for us, Kubo and Narita explained what happened in the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel, which can easily be considered canon as far as Bleach is concerned. So, not long after the battle, Ichbei Hyosube, who Ichigo had revived, was visited by Shunsui Kyoraku.

At the time, Ichibei was overseeing a seemingly complex task that was soon described as rebuilding the Soul King. It was then revealed that the Soul King was, more or less, a symbol (which means that Urahara and Aizen were correct to refer to him as a thing) of stability and balance. He was not an actual deity, and since he could be rebuilt like a toy, he actually had little actual power (the original Soul King obviously did, but these powers were lost at one point in the story).

The truth was now out, and even the three Arrancar (Nel, Harribel, and Grimmjow) witnessed it, as Ichibei Hyosube explained the practicalities of such a system and the importance of keeping it a secret. Was it good? Was it bad? It ultimately did not matter – the Soul King was an eternal symbol. For him, there was no old or new. It was always the one and the same Soul King, no matter who it actually was.

Of course, to rebuild the Soul King, the spiritual power of someone had to be used, which is why Ichibei even contemplated sacrificing Ichigo for that cause, but this did not happen.

So, who is the new Soul King anyway? Ironically, it is none other than Yhwach, as was implied in the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel. Namely, while Yhwach was killed, the fact that he actually merged with the Soul King meant that a new entity was created and that entity was now the Soul King and not Yhwach anymore.

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The spiritual power of this entity was used to reconstruct the Soul King and, thus, in an ironic twist of fate, Yhwach, who wanted to kill the Soul King and destroy the realms, actually helped stabilize them by becoming the new Soul King. We have to say that the new Soul King has nothing of Yhwach’s mind or personality, so he should not be a threat, but his power was used as a basis to create the new Soul King.

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