Bleach has always been quite extreme for a series ostensibly aimed at the Shōnen age bracket. Hell, even when the anime censored the gorier parts, it didn't keep them from making it bloodier, and they've occasionally made certain scenes even creepier than in the manga.
Notably, once the anime ended its run, the manga immediately went Darker and Edgier, as well as Bloodier and Gorier, to the point where you could honestly mistake it for a Seinen.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi from Squad 12. He turns his own men into living bombs with the skin bubbling shown very clearly in the manga. He has no ears or lips either, and has a sickle attached to a fleshy cord in it that he can retract and detach at will. Finally his bankai Konjiki Ashisogi Jizo is a giant caterpillar with a baby's head that exhales poison and sprouts swords from its neck. Oh. And don't forget about how he planted those bacteria inside Ishida to track him? Imagine someone like Mayuri watching your every move, through millions of microscopic cameras hidden inside your own body, to collect intel on how he can eventually kill you, or anyone you meet.
Anything Szayelaporro Granz pulled qualifies, too. From chomping into his little minion and devouring him whole, leaving a skinny arm dangling from his mouth to forcibly impregnating Nemu, making her stomach grow to an unnatural proportion, and spew out of her mouth (in the manga, he burst out of her instead) as a liquid blob thing, leaving Nemu extremely wrinkled, dried out, and nearly dead.
Ayon, the monster summoned by Harribel's fraccion, and the damage it causes. Matsumoto gets a piece ripped out of her. And if you thought that was bad, just wait till you actually see it's face.
The real Nightmare Fuel kicks in when you stop and realize that Kenpachi thought up the basic concept of the eye patch himself. Made even worse when you realize he wears it by choice and is constantly staring it in the teeth all day every day
Ichigo having a giant bloody hole blasted through his chest. The fact that he then runs around with that gaping hole in his chest somehow makes it worse. In an earlier fight, he was almost cut in half.
Barragan Luisenbarn. The spitting image of death itself in his released form, he is a nightmarish ghoul enshrouded in darkness with a crowned skull for a head, who rots the ground he walks upon. And that's only in regards to the ground. Anything that decays with time (even if it would regularly take thousands, no, millions of years), will be reduced to nothing in a short time.
Gin Ichimaru's damn smile, which he always has, even during the thick of battle or when he's committing some heinous act. You know that a character is terrifying when he scares even the other characters. Gin scares the shit out of Rukia. When she was in Soul Society awaiting her execution, she stated that even if he wasn't talking to her she'd get this ominous feeling like "snakes were curling themselves around her" and she could feel "every bead of sweat" on her body whenever he was in her presence. And there's the fact that Gin was a total asshole and told her that he would save her from being executed before crushing her hopes flat. Rukia's scream is the worst part.
Hollowification. If the victim stays for too long or grows too resentful, their "chain of fate" (a fairly long chain with tiny mouths gnashing out) starts to nibble at itself until it reaches the chest where it's attached. The illustrations show the transformation, where the former "Plus" dissipates and reforms as a Hollow as white stuff spills out their mouth and covers their face into a mask, to be quite painful.
Also, when a Hollow's hunger becomes so strong that the souls of humans is no longer enough for it, it begins to eat OTHER HOLLOWS. This often leads to the creation of the mindless giant Gillian-class Menos, but may sometimes lead to Adjuchas, the level that hollows like Grimmjow were in before becoming arrancars.
It's mentioned that a Gillian is a mass of several Hollows. The Gillians that can evolve have a stronger personality that dominates all others, and that stays in command as the Gillian becomes an Adjucha and later, a Vasto Lorde. Think about it. All the Espadas are comprised of several Hollow souls, stuck together and dominated by the main personality until the Hollow dies.
HollowIchigo. Imagine having a psychotic, demonic Blood Knight rammed within your psyche. You hear its Evil Laugh every time you start to crack under stress, threatening to swallow you up. As a human, you can't do shit to stop it. As a Visored, you have to fight this inner demon while your real body is transformed into a hideous Hollow-like creature, complete with a mask and hole. If you fail, you're doomed to stay a Hollow forever.
When Tousen had a jaw sprout out of his otherwise-blank Hollow mask. Look at what happened to his arm...
The first fight between Ichigo and Grimmjow, mostly because Ichigo being utterly owned by Grimmjow is made worse by the fact that most arrancar's Hierro makes their skin literally tough and hard as iron, which means all those punches are effectively sledgehammers to the face. Ichigo is damn lucky his skull didn't cave in. Then there's the occasional tinkling sound...Was that his chain on his Bankai...or was it teeth falling out?
Just look at the distance between his eyes. And the worst is, despite having turned into an insect-like abomination, there's still a part of his freaking human face left! With ragged teeth, of course. And the fact that he still talks (having gone batshit insane, but not significantly more than a few seconds ago before his transformation), yet is unable to recognize his old friend, whose face flashed before him in his dying moments might put him downright into the depths of the Uncanny Valley.
Grillar Grillo in the anime, his eyes making a squishing noise as he opens them, and his voice suddenly going from deep and warped to psychotically high-pitched as he starts screaming his new Madness Mantra was just really unnerving.
The scene in which Hiyori nearly gets strangled to death by a insane Hollowfied Ichigo with a huge Slasher Smile on his face. The English dub of that particular scene takes this up a notch. Holy crap, Johnny Yong Bosch! (start around 3:48) That crazy bone-chilling laughter...
When we finally get to see it, the release of Wonderweiss looks like a level 4 Akuma. Much like Tousen, he still has a bit of a humanoid chin. The worst part of it is by far those goddamn arms◊ erupting out of his over-sized shoulders.
Menos Grandes, and the the other Adjuchas in Grimmjow's gang (before becoming Arrancars) have some very horrific physical forms and faces.
Ninth Espada, Aaroniero Arruruerie definitely has the look of an ugly-ass Eldritch Abomination. His real "face" is a large, glass cylindrical capsule filled with blood-red liquid and two small, floating Hollow heads, that tend to talk at the same time when revealed, almost as if there's two people speaking to you. The upper head has a menacingly deep voice, while the other is more high-pitched and child-like, like that of a living doll or chipmunk. His zanpakuto is a deformed arm-like appendage with dozens of sprouting tentacles, concealed in his left hand under his glove. One of his powers is to absorb you into himself, gaining all your memories and abilities, which he can perfectly mimic to any one else he comes into contact with, including peoples' faces. He shape-shifts by forcing one of his heads through the glass, making it bubble into a coating of skin, which he then stretches to force the rest of the cylinder under. Finally, his released form is a MASSIVE, two-eyed, grinning octopus◊. For reference, that little yellow thing standing right in front of Aaroniero is Rukia.
Chapter 403 gives us Aizen's new form. As Ichigo himself states in the chapter: "What...the fuck...is that..."
Following up on Chrysalis-Aizen, this is what happens after he's hit with a big-ass Getsuga. Special note is that, when injured, he doesn't bleed, his skin cracks instead, with no reaction at all from the guy, implying that he can't feel anything anymore.
The scene in Fade To Black where Homura and Shizuku fusing with Rukia against her will, because they want to be with her and want nobody else getting in the way. Poor Rukia's tortured screams do NOT help. After this, Dark Rukia shows up and rams her scythe into a plant which spawns an Eldritch Abomination that's OVER 150 STORIES TALL with massive eyes EVERYWHERE, sprouting tentacle monsters that look made out of sperm. All the captains make a Big Damn Heroes, but it doesn't really help much, because the damn thing spawns the monsters non-stop.
Anime only, in the "New Captain" arc, where Ichigo gets locked in to his mind for a moment and tormented with the death of his mother, Masaki Kurosaki. She also starts choking him, intending to kill him while he is unable to harm her. The worst part is how her face was hidden in shadows/covered by her hair so you couldn't really see her expression.
The nucleus of a Bakkoto looks like an eyeball. Gyokaku kept them on his desk. Then, when Amagai kills Gyokaku, he takes them with him and then wears them like a sash, looking like he has four eyeballs growing across his chest.
In the manga, Grimmjow kicking Loly in the stomach so hard that it causes her to vomit, and ripping off her leg. The look of absolute terror in her eye says it all. Also look at how badly Loly disfigured Orihime's face. All of this was understandably softened in the anime (Grimmjow just swats Loly aside with his arm, psyches her out with a "Boo!" rather than rip her leg off, and Grimmjow's arrival interrupted Loly before she got the chance to badly disfigure Orihime.
Ulquiorra ripping out and crushing his eye. To say nothing of how he brutalized two Red Shirts by shooting gigantic holes through their chests with a Cero.
The eye thing is mitigated somewhat by the fact it was more or less crystallized at the time, so it wasn't like he was crushing it into a gooey mess.
Kurotsuchi showing Uryu a picture of his grandfather's soul after Kurotsuchi had finished experimenting on it. Mild compared to the worst of the examples on this page, but still horrifying in retrospect. It's bad enough to be shown the mangled corpse of a stranger who might be a distant relative, but if that corpse happens to belong to your much-beloved grandfather, you'd probably be having nightmares for a while afterwards.
Not that bad? It's kind of hard to see right off the bat, but if you spend some time to look at him, you can see the picture pretty clearly in the reflection on Uryu's glasses. His grandfather didn't have a body anymore. Even worse: he hadn't been beheaded. Based of Mayuri's comments, Old Grandpop's bdy had been ground up, dissolved, crushed into pulp, burned away, or any other horrible thing you can imagine. Also, he was definitely alive for the start of the process. At least the start.
Chapter 409: Upon reaching the real Karakura Town, Aizen began randomly slaughtering passerbys. Keep in mind, most of which can't even see him. And he isn't even doing so with intent; his Battle Aura is so strong, anything made of reishi (spirit particles), which includes peoples' souls, that isn't used to such a strong aura, gets splattered. Only those that actually have something to resist can try to survive. That means Aizen is now currently so powerful that his mere presence is enough to kill the entire human population. Oh. He also goes after Ichigo's friends, intending to kill them in the hopes that it'll provoke Ichigo into becoming more powerful.
The Menos Forest was rather creepy. Just a gray floor with dark gray pillars jutting up into a black abyss that is pretty much everything around you. And the fact that there are massive, and also rather frighting Gillians everywhere in the darkness.
Metastacia. It's kinda hard to use words to describe this thing, so just use this picture.◊ If anybody touches the tentacles on his back, their zanpakuto is broken, leaving them at his mercy. Poor Kaien.◊ And in the manga it was worse; there were tentacles sprouting out of his empty eye sockets. Not mentioning his habit of turning friend against friend. Imagine having to fight your friend, but it's not really your friend, even though you know it actually is.
There was that scene when Muramasa invaded Ichigo's mind to control Zangetsu, and during the 'probing', Ichigo awoke on the ground of his inner world, then suddenly went to his inner hollows' version of that world, except that he was on the 'roof', with Muramasa standing a few feet in front of him. Without warning, a hole opens up on Ichigo's chest and dozens of arms forcibly erupt out from his very torso, wrapping around his entire body like a cocoon.
And the part when, after being rejected and broken by Kouga, Muramasa underwent a horrific transformation into a Hollow himself, where his entire body, from head to toe, was literally and repeatedly enlarging from the inside-out, shrinking back in proportion immediately thereafter and enlarging once again after that, simultaneously boiling the skin at each time.
Tesra vs. Ichigo. Tesra goes One-Winged Angel on Ichigo immediately, and then proceeds to break every bone in his body. You can hear Ichigo's arm being snapped like a twig! Tesra apparently thought it was necessary to slam him into the ground from 15 feet up 3 times in a row and then attempt to break his spine on two different occasions. Thankfully, Zaraki pulled a Big Damn Heroes and then took Tesra out in one shot.Now for all to enjoy!
Chapter 415 What Aizen's cronies did to Matsumoto. she was one of the people they beat up and took a piece of her soul to power up Aizen's Hougyoku. Made worse by the fact that the state they left her in makes it look like she was raped.
Minor in comparison to the rest of this page, but seeing Hitsugaya in the anime viciously, determinedly stabbing his sword through Aizen's chest right up to the hilt for how deliberate it was. Not even taking into account what happened next...
This also happens to be the first time we're seeing things ''from the perspective of somebody affected by him. Even Ginjo, dislikes Tsukishima's usage of his Fullbring as it can completely destroy the victim's MIND and make them Empty Shells with over usage. His reaction is Lack of Empathy.
The backgrounds of some of the Fullbringers: Jackie returning home with her dead brother in her arms to find her family slaughtered. Or Kutsuzawa killing his own wife on a whim. Riruka kidnapping a guy she liked and locking him in a dollhouse... And what exactly happened to Yukio's parents?
Rukia in Ganju's flashback when she returned with Kaien's body to the Shiba residence. The look in her eye is just...terrifying.
The fourth movie brings us Hell itself, from what appears to be gigantic prison city made up entirely of white marble blocks patrolled by giant skeletal gorillas with floating skulls instead of heads, that can pass through walls and chew on people, to a sea with stone lotuses, with a corpse of one such monster impaled on a giant sword inside each, to what appears to be a cavern, with ponds of corrosive yellow liquid and a dimly lit underground tunnel, leading to a desert made of the ground bones of the damned, with some sort of dark sacrificial altar in the middle, and a pool of lava that respawns anyone killed in hell so they can die again, and that's just the start.
Due to Hollow's having slipped far, far down in the Villain Pedigree they were resorted to being comedic in filler, it can be easy to forgot just how horrifying they can be. Chapter 480 was more than happy to remind us. Two pages earlier.
Chapter 488. If you thought Mayuri's freakishly-painted face was scary, you may want to skip this (very spoileriffic) panel.
Ulquiorra's psychological torture of Orihime was quite unsettling, especially the part where he threatened to force feed her and then strap her down to a table and give her intravenous therapy when she refused to eat after he ordered her to.
Chapter 493: We get to see the pleasant sight of people's flesh being disintegrated from their bones. Up to and including seeing seeing Ayon being reduced to a skeleton, in a way somehow much more gruesome than the similar fate of those affected by Baraggan's ability.
Chapter 494: Interesting that they introduced several officers at once with zanpakutous to boot at once. That means that they'll probably be cannon fodder to the Vandenreich while— DID ONE OF THEM BLAST KIRA'S RIGHT SIDE OFF?! 1,000+ deaths in 7 minutes? Aizen, can you be our Big Bad again?
Even more so, does poor Kira's horrifying injury look familiar? Yes, it's disturbingly similar to what happened to Matsumoto in the FKT arc. Only that, instead of having his right side merely torn by a Giant Mook's hand, the upper half of his body was blasted off. Auuuugh.
Originally we thought that there were only 7 Stern Ritter, 7 Stern Ritter than completely annihilated 1/3 of the Seireitei, then in Chapter 495 we find out that they're ranked by letter and Rose comes face to face with Nanana Najahkoop who is Stern Ritter U...U being the 21st letter of the alphabet...that means there is a strong chance there are 26 Stern Ritter...look at how much destruction those 7 caused, and it turns out that there are literary THREE TIMES MORE OF THEM.
They're probably all there; eleven pillars of light can be seen on panel, and probably more off, when they first touch down, and some didn't appear until the next chapter, Nanana included. Not that this helps much...
The scary thing is there may be 30 of them because the German alphabet has 30 letters and this arc has a German theme.
The shinigami killed by Nodt keep on screaming even after they die.
Made worse by the fact (s?)he stole a bankai, specifically Byakuya's.
And has now used Senbonzakura Kageyoshi to turn Byakuya into a fountain of blood. As Nodt is the living embodiment of Nightmares.
Because of a miscalculation, four captains have now had their bankai stolen before they get the chance to set them off.. So much that it gives resident stoic Byakuya a legendary Oh Crap face, too shocked to even hide it.
Well keep in mind that the above were only the mid-tier captains, surely the senior captains will-and Shunsui's lost an eye...oh shit.
The effects of the bankai thievery sound part Tear Jerker and part this when Toshiro was breaking down because he couldn't communicate with Hyorinmaru. It sounds like not only it was just a stolen ability, but his partner was outright ripped out and imprisoned, and likely may not be able to use his shikai either.
Byakuya fights it well and reminds himself that he fights for Rukia... but he soon succumbs to it. And this image of Rukia disintegrating and becoming a zombiedoes not help! Tite Kubo can be insanely good at Psychological Horror, and it shows.
And at the end, Byakuka is attacked by his own Bankai, blood jettisoning from his body.
Chapter 502 gives us As Nodt repeatedly using Senbonzakura to turn Byakuya into a mangled bloody mess.
Also,Byakuya's bloody body lying in a huge crater in the wall. It is not pretty.
It should also be mentioned that Driscoll's skeletal structure could be seen in the fire. Prior to this, nobody got scorched that badly by Yamamoto, which shows how personally he took it. Yeah, do not piss him off.
Chapter 505: Kenpachi lost to the Emperor. How do we know he got his ass handed effortlessly? Yhwach is holding him up by a few fingers impaled in his face, the eyes are blank (no eyepatch!), and Kenpachi isn't displaying any sign he enjoyed the battle. It is chilling to watch, especially how the few panels prior was Yamamoto's rage riling up the Soul Society.
Chapter 507: Zanka No Tachi's power and heat is so intense that it is causing all of the moisture in Soul Society to vanish. Unohana even tells Yamamoto to finish the fight quickly before Zanka no Tachi destroys Soul Society. Now we know why Yamamoto never used it against Aizen; his Zanpakuto could literally destroy the world.
Chapter 508: Zanka No Tachi, Minami: Kaka Juuman Okushi Daisoujin. Just try imagining Yamamoto raising 100,000 skeletons of the people he's killed to fight against you. Said skeletons are charred and at least a few of the people he killed were Stern Ritter.
It gets worse. If Hollows are purified and sent to Soul Society when they're killed by a zanpakuto, who are the 100,000 people (not counting the Stern Ritter) that Yamamoto killed to get his undead army? Consider that is still an army's worth, it is still up there, and does not dissuade the fact that these are charred, skeletal shades of the enemies he has killed over the past 2000+ years.
Yamamoto pissed off is Nightmare Fuel. The Hellfire imagery, The Sheer Beastial/Demonic faces. If you came into this chapter blind YOU THINK YAMAMOTO IS A VILLAIN from the bowels of hell!
Chapter 509: Continuing from the above. Yamamoto purposefully attacks Bach with the Quincy he's killed so he'd have fight his way past them.
Yamamoto's rampage has been truly terrifying except when the final lines of the chapter are spoken...you just realize how screwed he is. Just imagine what Yamamoto was thinking, his mind must have been going
"Finally, Juhabach is finished, I've saved everyone and this pointless war is o-...wait, what? You're not Juhabach?
Chapter 511, Yamamoto dies. Not only is he cut in half, his hand gets cut off, and his entire body gets completely disintegrated. Even if Orihime can get to Soul Society, he almost certainly can't be brought back.
Also, the Vandenreich has brought in their army to destroy all of Soul Society, and are now in the process of massacring the few Shinigami left.
Also before Juhabach does all that to Yamamoto he basically tells he knows about Orihime's powers and was kinda disappointed in that he didn't have her restore his arm which brings up some scary thoughts...how does he know about her and her powers the only person who would and could talk about that to him would be Aizen.
They have enough information to know about Ichigo. It is only logic that they would know the powers of Ichigo's Nakama.
Even more Fridge Horror comes from the terrible fire monster Yamamoto mentions in his flash back. Some creature even he was afraid of. In the flash back he claims that should that monster come back he won't be coming back. Seems to imply that this monster would only return in the event of his death, as if this monster's seal was HIS body.
Or that he, himself, was the monster, he holds that part of himself back through sheer force of will, and if it ever returns Yamamoto as we know him would be GONE.
If you look closely, it's pretty clear that the picture is of Yamamoto wielding Zanka no Tachi, specifically the Western aspect, Zanjitsu Gokui, the Sunset Hell Robe. Which means that Yamamoto's statement to Shunsui meant that if he ever was forced to use his bankai in combat again, it would most likely be his last battle - a sadly prescient observation.
Chapter 512: The sheer look of rage on Ichigo's face, you can hardly blame him though, he was essentially trapped in a cage, helpless and forced to listen to his friends die.
The death glare on the final page of Chapter 520. Combine that with who it's from: the normally cheerful, but nonetheless universally feared Unohana. Oh, and by the way, it turns out her real name is Yachiru Unohana, and she's the original Kenpachi.
It's particularly effectively done, because of how her face usually looks. Her neat hairstyle and calm expression normally adds to her 'motherly' image. Here Unohana is shown partly in shadow; her hair frames her face in a way that make it looks like a mask and her expression is less 'calm' than it is blank and deathly.
Also, the manner in which Tenjirou's Healing springs work may be very benefitial, but it sounds horribly... uncomfortable. To get healed, you have to be totally submerged in one of them, which sucks out the damage to your body and reiatsu and drains it into another pool. There, said damaged blood/reiatsu are sucked into a skeleton bone and replenished in the pool... which instead of water, is made of blood. And you get tossed into that blood pond to continue the process. Later, rinse, repeat, until your health is fully restored. Also, if you're healthy... you have to get out ASAP before the healing springs work against you, making your body explode. (Hence why Tenjirou's assistants must wear protection). Yeah, it does work wonders on Ichigo and Renji and ultimately saves Rukia and Byakuya too, but still. Ewwwww.
Even more nightmare-worthy facial expressions from Unohana in Chapter 523. She's like a completely different person now, complete with Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl style hair...
The things that Ichigo and Renji are fighting are no better. They appear to have mouths were their eyes are supposed to be. It doesn't help they are filled with anger either.
And that one page where it looks like they're crying...or maybe drooling?
Unohana's training regimen for Kenpachi in Chapter 524. In a series that typically involves characters calling out their attacks and explaining their abilities, she quickly and brutally takes down Kenpachi, culminating in a killing slice to his neck...and then she heals it. She intends to heal every fatal blow she lands, just so Kenpachi can survive long enough to learn from the training. That alone demonstrates just how deadly Unohana really is.
Also, Kenpachi's reaction when he realizes that he's unable to kill Unohana, and that she's about to kill him. That's probably the only time in the series in which Kenpachi looks scared.
Kenpachi Zaraki has never had any formal training as a Soul Reaper. Central 46 had to pass a law forbidding his for instruction just to make sure he wouldn't get so strong they couldn't control him. Now picture Kenpachi Zaraki, with formal training as a Soul Reaper, with all of his spiritual energy, and proper fighting techniques, and, against the law of his squad, KIDO. Him just swing his sword with both hands was enough to one shot Nnoitra. Now imagine that kind of power coming after you.
Chapter 525 not only re-affirms this but takes it Up to Eleven. When Zaraki and Unohana first fought each other, Zaraki was only a child, but he was stronger than Unohana. He even had his Zanpakuto back then, and it was still the same, chipped, constant-release nameless Zanpakuto that it is today. Zangetsu once said the disunity between Zaraki and his Zanpakuto and not knowing its name weakened both Zaraki and the Zanpakuto. To top it all off, the reason why Zaraki is weaker than what he used to be is because he was afraid of losing the one person who made him enjoy a fight, so he subconsciously limited his power. Take away the subconscious limiter, have him use proper swordsmanship and learn the name of his Zanpakuto. With every last thing that is limiting Zaraki's true potential rectified, imagine how powerful he can become...
Yes, it would seem Unohana's Nausea Fuel Bankai dissolves everything. In an extremely disgusting manner. And even more disturbingly, she seems to be the one that is intentionally keeping Zaraki alive, no matter how much he is dissolved.Because she cares. It would also seem that Unohana is fully capable of killing Zaraki whenever she damn well pleases, but cedes her own life because she deems him worthy of the title of Kenpachi. He may not be as skilled as her, but she clearly respects his raw power and future potential.
Zaraki Kenpachi is about to learn his Zanpakuto's name. This is a moment fandom has been anticipating for a long time and now, having regained his former power that surpasses the second-strongest Shinigami in Soul Society, he is about to finally learn the name of and to start working together with his Zanpakuto. When Ichigo began working together with Zangetsu in his fight with Zaraki, Ichigo went from being beaten on the ground to overwhelming Zaraki and eventually beating him. One can only imagine what heights Zaraki will achieve...it seems Godpachi might become reality.
Also the test Ichigo and Renji had been subjected gives more nightmare fuel since it gives us a timeframe Unohana was killing and reviving Kenpachi for 3 straight days so yeah its confirmed if she wanted to Unohana won't let you die until she wanted you to die.
One of the volume sketches in Vol 55 is the Vandenreich symbol with the word "Peace" written in blood. It's very ominous.
In chapter 530 a Shinigami's head is split in half horizontally in the blink of an eye. The look in his eyes shows he barely had time to realize that he was dead.
In Chapter 534 Masaki suffers some after effects of letting that proto-arrancar bite her... and it causes her to gain what looks like a Hollow Hole and bulging veins it looks pretty horrible. Remember what happened to the Visored? It's the same thing. The one revealing it is none other than Urahara, and he's dead serious.
In Chapter 535 poor Masaki finds herself floating helplessly naked into a massive hollow's mouth. Thank God Isshin saved her.
Chapter 537: We learn the real reason why Masaki died. She had her powers stolen by the Vandereich leader, simply because he considered her "tainted" and/or "not strong enough". And this happened right when she was about to fight Grand Fisher, which she could have performed easily if not for Yhwach's intervention.
For worse, she wasn't the only victim. All remaining Quincies who didn't fit Yhwach's standard of "purity" suffered the same fate. Including Uryuu's mother Kanae, who fell in a coma and died three months later.
And as of 544, we have confirmation that Uryuu's survival wasn't for lack of trying on Yhwach's part. He tried to kill an 8 year-old just for existing.
Chapter 544 has Bambietta inviting a Quincy guy over to her room, apparently having sex with him and then slicing him in two out of frustration. You can see his body falling apart in front of the camera as she calmly, almost dully stares on. When the FemRitters appear, they don't necessarily disapprove of her brutality; they just don't like how she made a mess and killed a hunk before they could have their own fun with them. Granted, he did accept her offer at the beginning, and he was a Neo-Nazi by default, so yeah.
And what if this happens when not only you have any idea of what's going on, but your beloved and much younger little sister who is NOT a combatantis right next to you? And then one of the most powerful enemies shows up and you have no time to send the little girl to safety? Whoa there, Kubo.
And this particular horror reaches CRITICAL MASS QUOTIENT in chapter 549, since BG9 stabs Mareyo with a tentacle and holds her hostage with the threat of extracting it and letting her bleed to death. Shiiiiiiiit...
Chapter 558 shines a really dark light on the relationships between the FemRitters. When Bambietta is defeated, she's surrounded by Giselle, Candice, Liltotto, and Meninas. Giselle claims that they don't want her to leave them, which would be fine if it wasn't for how she was Face Framed in Shadow as she said so, along with how Bambietta actually elects to plead for her not to help. There's something very ominous about it.
Chapter 562. Mask du Masculine, up until that point, was a rather flamboyant and hammy Stern Ritter of the bunch. All of his actions seemed to make him rather Laughably Evil than anything else. But when Renji demonstrates just how dangerous he is, the guy snaps. His eyes turn bloodshot, he's screaming and ranting on about how much of a "hero" he is and a "villain" his enemies are, and at one point, he starts attacking Renji repeatedly while repeatedly chanting the word "murder" over and over again. Another reminder of how depraved and insane the Stern Ritter are.
Chapter 563 has a terrifying scene in which James' mouth, despite being detached from the rest of his face and his body after Renji shredded him, is given a close-up as it cheers for Mask du Masculine...And a smaller James comes out of it before more James come out of the shredded remains of his body. Renji is visibly horrified by the sight.
Needless to say, the actions and behavior of the higher orders of the Stern Ritter are so terrifying and bizarre that they somehow manage to make Hollows, creatures consumed by hunger and violence, look like upstanding citizens in comparison. Yhwach acts less like a human and more like a Humanoid Abomination, whose tendency to indifferently dispose of his fanatically loyal minions regardless of whether they helped accomplish his goals or not is akin to that of a Eldritch Abomination and its cult.
This is not in the least hepled by the fact that Yhwach LITERALLY feeds on the death of his minions and those they kill. Since he thus needs endless bloodshed and war to survive, he has become a completely unfeeling monstrosity, caring more about the powers he has bestowed than the soldiers he has bestowed them upon.
Oh, if only it were that simple. The ability applies to anyone who has touched his soul, so even if a Shinigami were to die in unrelated combat, their power would still go to him. OH, and this means he already has Yamamoto's power, and he and Kenpachi have most certainly made contact. In other words, if Kenpachi dies after attaining bankai, it's over for the entire universe.
Adding to the creepy, he's had this power since he was a baby. The text notes that everyone who was "healed" by touching his soul would die mere months later as Yhwach took back the soul fragments along with their memories and abilities. He's been killing people since birth.
It wasn't mentioned till now, but the whole Vizards incident. Imagine being out in the night to investigate something that apparently wiped out captain-class Shinigami. The place is away enough no one can reach for Soul Society for extra help - you and your friends are on your own. Then two of your friends show up wearing a Hollow mask and having become a mindless monster bent on killing you. When you manage to defeat those friends, one of the unaffected people starts exhibiting symptoms too. Soon, all of you are becoming mindless monsters and there's nothing you can do about it. Also, because of it, the military organization you've been treating as home wants nothing more to do with you, and in fact has sentenced you to death as Hollows. All Vizards still seem quite traumatized by the event one hundred years later.
Chapter 566 features the return of As Nodt. Not only that, but as soon as he sees Rukia, the younger sister of the guy he almost killed, hestartsgoingfuckingCRAZY.
A more low-key one. His Emotion Bomb apparently cannot be blocked, which Rukia found out when his fear attack bypassed Sode No Shirayuki's ice.
You think he's scary now? Wait till you see what he's hiding under that mask...
...As well as his One-Winged Angel form. He looks like a cross between Aizen's monster-form and Ulquiorra's Segunda Etapa.
Said One-Winged Angel is the standout example of the series. There may be scarier sights in Bleach, but how many other characters have a form with the explicit purpose of terrorizing anyone who sees it into submission?
If it was somehow possible, As Nodt continues to become even more horrifying in Chapter 569. He practically grows into a borderline Eldritch Abomination after Byakuya shows up.
Chapter 570: Now we get a Quincy whose powers are comparable to The Silence. Yachiru actually lands a hit but forgets instantly and gets sucker-punched as a result.
Not to mention, the Quincy who did that? He manages to pull one HECK of a Nightmare Face against both Yachiru and Isane. And for worse, all of this happened in a specially sealed place that was supposed to be a haven for the Shinigamis.Fuuuuuuu--
Chapter 572: Another Sternritter appears and explains that Guenael is just a product of his imagination before vaporizing him. He claims he already killed Kensei and Rose, and Isane checks their bodies to confirm this. Yachiru tries to attack him, but he causes the bones in her arm to be made of cookies, breaking them.