Bleach: Will Ichigo Come Back from Soul Society & Return Home?

Bleach: Will Ichigo Come Back from Soul Society & Return Home?
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Bleach is finally back with its second cour of episodes from the Thousand-Year Blood War Arc. Now, the continuing conflict between the Shinigami and the Quincy will bring us many exciting moments, so we will cover the whole thing for you. In the first episode, the new Captain-Commander Shunsui Kyoraku visits the world of the living and meets Ichigo’s friends, telling them that Ichigo is currently busy and that while the chance is small, he has to prepare them for the possibility that Ichigo might become too powerful to return back to the World of the Living and that they might have to say goodbye to him. In this article, we will tell you whether that happened, i.e., whether Ichigo returned home from Soul Society after the war against Yhwach.

Yes, Ichigo did return home after Yhwach’s defeat, and the epilogue and all the sequel works confirm that he is alive and well, living in the World of Living with his family (wife and son). Kyoraku probably talked about the possibility of Ichigo becoming the next Soul King, which was a theory that he and Ichibei Hyosube discussed in Can’t Fear Your Own World, the sequel light novel, but since that did not happen, Ichigo was free to return to his usual life in Karakura.

This article is going to discuss Ichigo Kurosaki and his fate in Bleach. The situation is more or less clear for Bleach fans, but those who have not read the manga might now know what will happen, and in light of Kyoraku’s quite grim prediction, we wanted to explain everything, including what Kyoraku meant and what actually happened. This article will contain many spoilers from various Bleach works, so be careful how you approach it.

Kyoraku said that the chance that Ichigo would be unable to return was small, and luckily, it did not happen as he had predicted

So, after the first invasion of Yhwach’s Sternritter, Ichigo Kurosaki was taken by the Royal Guard to the Soul King’s Palace. There, he was healed by Tenjiro Kirinji, fed by Kirio Hikifune, had his Zanpakuto restored by Oetsu Nimaiya, and then proceeded to train with Ichibei Hyosube so he could surpass the power of a regular Shinigami, as he was unable to defeat Yhwach in his current state (he will later end up getting a new outfit from Senjumaru Shutara to complete the cycle).

And while he was training to surpass the level of a Shinigami, Kyoraku realized that Ichigo could become too powerful, which is when he also realized that with such a power, he could be a trouble to his home realm, the World of the Living, which is not, actually, used to housing so much Spiritual Power. Realizing that Kyoraku concluded that there was a possibility that Ichigo might have to remain in Soul Society, where he wouldn’t cause too much trouble because of his powers. This was when he decided to visit the World of the Living.

There, Mizuiro, Keigo, and Tatsuki are walking around and discussing how they haven’t seen Ichigo, Orihime, Ishida, and Chad for a while, concluding that they’re probably doing some business for the Soul Society and that they will be back soon.

This is when Kyoraku appears behind them in full Soul Reaper attire and tells them that Ichigo is indeed in Soul Society but that while he will probably return, he has to tell them – as it would be morally unacceptable for him to keep it a secret from them – they will have to be prepared to say goodbye to Ichigo.

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Keigo charges at him, but Kyoraku explains that Ichigo might become too powerful and that the World of the Living couldn’t handle his power. This angers Keigo, but Mizuiro asks what the chances for this happening are, to which Kyoraku replies that they are slim but that he still has to tell them, regardless of that.

He then takes out three tickets, called Soul Tickets, and gives them to them. He explains that Soul Tickets allow humans to travel to Soul Society, and the three of them could travel to see Ichigo in the worst-case scenario. Sadly, the concept of Soul Tickets was never explained further, but there is a good reason for that – there was no need for them to be used.

Namely, despite becoming much more powerful than before, Ichigo’s power never became so high that the World of the Living couldn’t handle him, which is a good thing, as Ichigo did not have to abandon his life.

But, as fans of the series will know, there is also the possibility that Shunsui Kyoraku wasn’t referring to just this, i.e., that he realized that Ichigo might take on another function in Soul Society.

Namely, the Royal Guard prepared for the Soul King’s death, and while the Soul King’s story is quite rich and has been expanded upon in the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel, we won’t be discussing the details here, as this is the topic for another article.

So, while the Royal Guard prepared for the death of the Soul King, they also prepared to select his successor, as they couldn’t really predict what would happen were Yhwach to succeed in his plans, believing that Yhwach would ultimately be defeated (which happened).

And while, as the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel suggests, Yhwach has ceased to exist and has become the new Soul King (so he’s not alive and he is not Yhwach anymore), which means that Yhwach himself has failed in his ultimate plan, as not only did he not destroy anything, he actually became the entity that keeps the current status quo in place.

And this is quite interesting, but what does this have to do with Ichigo? Well, the Royal Guard were quite intelligent people, and they were prepared for every possible outcome, and one of them involved Ichigo.

Namely, the very beginning of the Can’t Fear Your Own World light novel reveals that the Royal Guard had plans to kill Ichigo, i.e., sacrifice him, to turn him into the new Soul King after the old one died, but that was avoided. The “Echoing Jaws of Hell” story ironically confirms that this was avoided, thanks to Yhwach.

But the Royal Guard were prepared to do it. Since Kyoraku was the one who personally discussed this matter with Ichibei after Yhwach’s demise, we are certain that Kyoraku, at one point, realized that there was a possibility that this could happen, and if that had happened, Ichigo certainly wouldn’t have been able to go back home to the World of the Living as the World of the Living couldn’t handle this much power (plus, he’d be a corpse, basically).

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Could it be that Kyoraku was actually referring to this? We don’t know, as Kubo had to rush the ending of the final saga, so we never received any details, but from a retrospective point of view, it could very well be that Kyoraku, seeing how intelligent he is, realized that this was a possibility and that he wanted to prepare Ichigo’s friends for it.

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