The small and incredibly likable Yachiru Kusajihi was best known as Kenpachi’s Lieutenant and the president of the Shinigami Women’s Association. She was a small girl who loved Kenpachi very much and was always by his side to aid him or cheer him on. She was one of the few characters who really understood the depth of Kenpachi’s persona in Bleach. And while most people know her as a comic relief, Yachiru is one of the series’s most important characters, especially in terms of Kenpachi’s story. But in this article, we are not going to discuss her relationship with Kenpachi, but rather her own story, as you will find out what happened to Yachiru and whether she will be back in Bleach.
Yachiru Kusajishi disappeared when Kenpachi was finally able to activate his Bankai, which, as was later confirmed, proved that she was just a manifestation of his Zanpakuto and that she wasn’t real, although there are still some plotholes related to this fact. Be that as it may, it was implied that she simply merged with Kenpachi’s blade and thus became a part of it, which means that we probably won’t be seeing more of her, save for a potential cameo if the manga ends up being continued in the future.
The rest of this article will focus on Yachiru Kusajishi and her fate in the Bleach series. Yachiru Kusajishi was a very intriguing and much-beloved character in the Bleach lore, and it only makes sense that the fans want to know what happened to her, so we have decided to compose this article. This article will contain some spoilers from the Bleach manga, so be careful how you approach it.
Yachiru Kusajishi is one of the most intriguing Bleach characters, despite the fact that she was often just a comic relief
Yachiru Kusajishi was the Lieutenant of the 11th Division of the Gotei 13 under Captain Kenpachi Zaraki until her mysterious disappearance. Yachiru is very childlike in many aspects, as shown by her size, activity, and mostly carefree nature. She mostly clings to Captain Zaraki Kenpachi’s left shoulder. However, she can also be surprisingly intimidating, especially when upset. Like Kenpachi, she has no sense of direction, but since Kenpachi relies on her directions, it is always difficult for them to get to their destination without help.
Bleach fans will remember Yachiru as a comic relief in most cases. She functioned as a proper contrast to Kenpachi, who has been portrayed as a monstrous fighter from the beginning, and the other members of Division 11, who were known for being ferocious brutes.
Thus, when we saw the small, kawaii Yachiru following Kenpachi around and him listening to her as if she were in charge (in fact, the whole Division listened to her; sometimes it seemed as if she were the Captain and Kenpachi the Lieutenant, and not vice versa), it was a refreshing change, and Yachiru quickly became a fan-favorite character. Her appearances as part of the Shinigami Women’s Association’s activities made her even more popular among fans of the series.
But, regardless of her popularity as a character, Yachiru was never a two-dimensional character without a story or a purpose. Her backstory seemed to be quite disturbing, and her overall role in the series proved to be quite important, much more than anyone had anticipated, actually.
Returning to her past, at one point in the story, we find out that Kenpachi met Yachiru during one of his killing sprees when he was young. He killed a bunch of people, and suddenly, as he took a blade from one of them, a baby Yachiru appeared in front of him.
Although he was bloodied and had just been in a brutal fight, Yachiru was not afraid of him and approached him curiously. She, as a baby, did not reveal his name, and Kenpachi did something that he had never done before – he took her with him and gave her the name Yachiru, after the only woman he ever admired, the former criminal Yachiru Unohana, who, when she became part of the Gotei 13, took on the name Retsu Unohana.
As the story develops, Yachiru and Kenpachi get closer, and when we meet them at one point, they are basically inseparable. Wherever ‘Kenny-chan,’ as she calls him, goes, she is there. She watches each and every one of his fights and seems to be the only character in the series who truly understands Kenpachi’s feelings and inner struggles, which is a big deal in understanding her role in the story.
And while Kubo had been hinting at Yachiru’s special role for a while, it wasn’t until the Quincy Blood War that her role was actually revealed, although not in the most straightforward way possible.
Namely, we know that Kenpachi finally discovered the name of his blade during the Quincy Blood War and that he was able to activate both his Shikai and his Bankai at one point in the story. And while Yachiru was still present when Kenpachi activated his Shikai, the moment he activated his Bankai, Yachiru disappeared completely and permanently. This is what actually happened.
Will Kenpachi ever find Yachiru again?
Yachiru Kusajishi was still present when Kenpachi defeated Unohana, as he had not activated his Shikai at the time. But, during his fight with Gremmy, when the latter conjured a large meteor, Kenpachi activated his Shikai for the first time, and Yachiru was close by to observe it. We did not see what happened to her at the time, but after the battle was over, she was gone.
Kenpachi, worried, asked his teammates if they saw Yachiru, and they gave a negative answer, speculating that she had probably wandered off somewhere, which is what she often did. But, Kenpachi was worried for a reason – it was almost instinctive – and he ordered them, furious, to go look for her. Of course, they will not find her.
Thus, Kenpachi was without Yachiru for the remainder of the second invasion, as no one could find her. All that was left of her was her uniform and her badge. But, this was not the last we would see of Yachiru. Namely, a while later, the Shinigami were able to breach Wahrwelt, which was actually the Soul King’s Palace modified into a Quincy stronghold by Yhwach.
Kenpachi arrived there with Mayuri but not with Yachiru. When the two of them faced off against Pernida Parnkgjas, Kenpachi almost died, but was ultimately saved and healed by Mayuri Kurosuchi after the latter, thanks to Nemu’s sacrifice, defeated the Sternritter “C” – “The Compulsory”:
Later, Kenpachi turned up again while a group of his allies fought Gerard Valkyrie, the Sternritter “M” – “The Miracle”. Kenpachi immediately took off his eyepatch and charged Gerard with Nozarashi active, but that was not enough, as Gerard’s power allowed him to blast Kenpachi as if he were a fly.
While he was down, Yachiiru appeared in front of him in her uniform, seemingly out of nowhere. Kenpachi was confused and asked her why she was there, to which she told him that she was there to give him the power he still needed, the power of his Bankai, which Kenpachi could then activate. This is when Yachiru Kusajishi disappeared for the final time, and from that moment on, we never really saw her again.
Her fate was not addressed in the original manga series, so it remained a mystery back them, which was another layer to the general mystery surrounding Yachiru’s true nature and her overall role in Kenpachi Zaraki’s story and evolution.
She wasn’t listed as dead, and there are only two possibilities. One, she ran away, which was a plausible theory for years, but Kubo himself seemingly refuted that.
Namely, during a talk with the fans, Kubo revealed that Yachiru is tied to Kenpachi’s blade, named Nozarashi. It seems that Yachiru was actually the personified Spirit of Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto. When Kenpachi fully activated his Bankai, she disappeared because she once again became one with the blade. This is why she disappeared; as far as we know, the second theory is correct.
This means that the chances of us seeing Yachiru again in the series are very small, but they are not completely impossible, as a cameo appearance that will completely explain her story and confirm what happened to her is not out of the question.