The Soul Society has been a major part of Bleach's history, with the Soul Reapers working their hardest to protect the afterlife while cutting their way through hordes of Hollows over the years. In the latest episode, we are given a glimpse of the original thirteen captains that not only defeated Yhwach and the Sternritter originally, but helped in forging the supernatural organization that currently calls Ichigo Kurosaki as one of its own, albeit as a substitute to the "real deal".
The flashback saw the current leader of the Wandenreich, Yhwach, recalling how his allies were struck down in rapid succession by the original 13 captains, with Yamamoto leading the charge and putting a stop to the Quincy insurgency hundreds of years prior to current events. Unfortunately, the current stable of the Soul Reapers hasn't been able to commit to a level of ruthlessness and power that helped forge Soul Society to start with and have mostly been defeated. With Yamamoto literally cut in two thanks to his fight with Yhwach, the Shinigami are missing their strongest member this side of the substitute Shinigami known as Ichigo Kurosaki.
The Brutal Soul Society
Not a lot is known about the original Shinigami that helped in forging this peaceful organization that helped fight against Hollows and various supernatural threats, but it's clear that in order to take down the Sternritter originally, Yamamoto and his allies were far more vicious than the captains that we have come to know, except for maybe Kenpachi. The fate of these captains has yet to be revealed, though we might learn more as the current season of the Shonen anime adaptation continues.
Ichigo Kurosaki might not be as ruthless as these captains, but he certainly showed how powerful he remains in his one-on-one fight with Yhwach, which also takes the opportunity to hint at a background that has the substitute Soul Reaper's upbringing linked a bit closer to the Sternritter than he might have expected.
Do you think we'll learn more about the original thirteen captains that helped in forging the Soul Society? What mysteries do you think surround Ichigo's origins and the connections that his mother made before she died? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Soul Society.