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  • Soul Society currently lacks three captains, correct? They've got a captain-level shinigami that they seem almost too happy to just throw away. WHY THE HELL DON'T THEY MAKE ICHIGO A CAPTAIN? they NEED all the help they can get, ffs.
    • The Soul Society has no real authority over Ichigo and he probably would refuse because it would require him to live in the Soul Society, away from his family and friends. Besides, just because he is captain-level in terms of strength doesn't mean that he is ready to take on all of the responsibilities of a captain. He's only 15, as compared to the other captains who are Really 700 Years Old.
      • Also? He's NOT DEAD YET. Er, we think. I'm pretty sure being dead is a basic requirement. (Not to mention what that would do to his school attendance, which has to be pretty bad already.)
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    • OK, what about Renji? He's been through the Shinigami academy and everything and has been an officer for a long time. The only reason I can think of is that he won't take the job until he's beaten Byakuya, kinda like Ikkaku's reason.
      • There's also the fact that he's been a vice-captain for under a year.
      • And the fact his fight with Byakuya proved it takes more than achieving Bankai to be captain level. Byakuya didn't need Bankai to defeat Renji. He defeated him with Kido and then used Bankai just to prove a point. Renji himself believed only Ikkaku was worthy to become a captain under current levels of power.
    • You just answered your own question. But I understand how this whole thing bugs you though. To me, it seems like Kira and Hisagi should be recommended to be captains of their respective divisions, but not Momo, seeing how she's not mentally stable enough yet for all the responsibilities that a captain has.
      • Well, remember the qualifications for captain. The one requires Bankai, which neither has, and the other one they could do (Since they are unlikely to kill their ex-captains with loads of members around) needs recomendations from 6 captains and approval of at least three more, so basically almost all the captains would have to be behind it. I'm sure in the future they will probably be elected captains of their respective squads, and for now, they count as "active" or "temporary" captain. As for Renji, who has Bankai, well, while I doubt he'd turn it down if offered (He wants to surpass Byakuya, and becoming a captain would help, no?), you can tell he hasn't been tried to talk Ikkaku into going for a promotion (That dub episode just aired so it's fresh in my mind). Even while Renji has Bankai, he's still a rather inexperienced compared to some other choices, as he's only had Bankai for a few months at best. To answer the original point, Ichigo is still A( A living dude (I wouldn't put it past SS to kill people to get them in the power structure, but Ichigo would be pissed), B( Still only a substitute shinigami. Can you imagine those hardasses in charge putting him in a captain's slot straight from that? I can't. He fights "for them" well enough where he is now, C( Since squads apparently have some sort of theme to them, I doubt Ichigo matches the philosophies of squads 3,5, or 9, and D( Though SS probably doesn't know yet, Ichigo is a Visored, and I bet that doesn't fly in the command structure.
      • They could both very well have a Bankai, and Kubo just hasn't said anything else. Then they'll release it, with a convenient excuse for why it's been a secret so far, and they'll get out of whatever "impossible" situation they're in.
      • I don't know, the way Ichigo's been acting recently he could fit in with Squad 3. They hate fighting, but see it as a necessary evil.
      • Ichigo doesn't hate fighting, he realized during his fight with Grimmjow that he likes to fight and part of the reason he came to Hueco Mundo was to fight strong opponents.
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    • Keep in mind that if you just need them to fight - and that's what Soul Society does at the moment - it does not really help anything if you promote them, it's not like that would make them stronger. Being a captain is about leadership, experience and perhaps most of all trustworthiness, as these guys also have a lot of authority to abuse. Even though he turned out to be justified in the end, don't forget that only a few months ago Renji openly rebelled against the authority of Soul Society, for the sake of a personal relationship. So he is probably not that high up on the trust-scale. And the same but more goes for Ichigo, along with the reasons mentioned above.
      • But Zaraki became a captain simply by killing another one, which is in no way a test of any of the qualities you described above.
      • On the other hand, Zaraki seems to be able to inspire absolute loyalty from his squad, so much so that those of his underlings with Bankai don't WANT to be promoted out. They even follow him when he goes against the Central 46 and Captain Commander, with not even one whistle-blower. He's managed to raise Yachiru, so we know he has some sense of responsibility. He even goes to meetings. And it is implied that his predecessor was a pretty poor leader.
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    • There's also Urahara, Tessai, and Yoruichi, three former Captains residing in the living world. They were about to be exiled by Central 46 (who are now dead)— Urahara for conducting Hollowfication experiments (which was actually Aizen), Tessai for helping him, and Yoruichi for helping them both escape. Even if Soul Society doesn't want the former Captains among the Visored back, those three ought to have a basically clean slate by now.
      • Tessai wasn't a captain, he was the Kido chief. And I doubt any of them would want to come back considering how they were treated. Urahara didn't get to so much as say "Wait, I can explain" before Central 46 sentenced him.
    • Because all Ichigo knows how to do is use his Zanpakuto, and you need to know more than that to be a soul reaper, e.g. Kido.
      • Again, Zaraki. See above.
      • Squad 11 is already taken. Every one of the other squads probably requires something more in terms of non-delinquency related management skills than knowing which end of the sword to hold.
    • Also about Reji even if he was strong enough it would probably be bad for the squads after all Momo and Kira were both his classmates and hisagi was an upperclassmen to him and while squad ten may have just accepted Hitsugiya because he's a genius renji isn't
    • In Bleach chapter 479, Shinji, Rose, and Kensei (3 Visored) rejoin the Gotei 13, resuming their former positions as Captains
    • Also, Hisagi has since learned Bankai, thus likely putting him ahead on Renji in any future promotion oppurtunities on account of being a better allrounder and more experienced in senior command.
  • This is less important, but why, if people like Renji, Gin, and Rangiku were homeless, without knowing (or not liking) any blood relatives, why do they have last names?
    • They made them up (like Kenpachi), remembered the names they had before they died, or met other "family" in Soul Society and used their name.
  • I don't get it. Whats up with Soul Society they were pretty adamant on killing Rukia for some minor indiscretion and now they are taking it easy on people trying to destroy them and a city? Why did Yama-jii just give those girls some minor burns, instead of outright frying their sorry asses to a crisp. Why is Unohana healing Arrancar? Kubo, what's up, man?
    • In the Soul Society arc, the captains were just following orders from the Central 46. A few even questioned it and rebelled. Now that they know that the Central 46 were dead, that the order was given out by Aizen as part of his plan, and the captains are now presumably the ruling power, they're just doing whatever they want. They were not adamant at all on killing Rukia.
    • It was explicitly part of Aizen's plan: He killed the Central 46, and since the Central 46 don't make contact with anyone outside of Hell Butterflies, and their living quarters are strictly off limits to EVERYONE except the Central 46 (much like the Forbidden City in ancient China) AND they were sealed off from everyone else when the ryoka entered the Soul Society, Aizen was able to easily kill them all and pose as them for the sake of giving out orders.
    • That was the Sleepy Fans translation; a more reliable translation by Binktopia has him saying "I shall give your souls mercy and simply burn them away," indicating that rather than give them a horrific death by burning up, he wants to incinerate them as painlessly as possible.
    • This was a major Wall Banger for this troper. Is giving power to another human to create a substitute THAT big a deal that you have to execute an officer? No trials? No investigation as to the reason why? Not a peep of objection from the military - is their organization that spineless? Generally, you let the army do its own sentencing - ivory tower civilian meddling from Gotei 46 would rarely be tolerated by the military in any setup. What's more, all the captains except for 13th and 7th squads just accept the order without quibbling. Even shittier is Byakuya's reasoning for not protesting: "I went against the law when I married her sister, so I decided to blindly follow the law for the rest of my life. Even though it goes dead against the promise I made to my wife to keep her safe." Kubo messed up big time.
      • It is possible that Aizen was already controlling Central 46 at the time they decided to kill Rukia. I believe Aizen said he had to use the soukyoku to get the hougyoku out of her.
      • Of the ten captains not causing the execution, two try to phsiycally stop it(8,13), one tries to get it repealed(10), one investigates the origin of the order(4), two question it but follow orders(6,7), and two don't care either way (11,12). So yeah, no objection.
      • The manga actually revealed that it wasn't normal for Rukia's crime to receive a death sentence. Aizen's first introduction into the manga was when he took Renji to one side and discussed this point with him. He actually revealed part of his own plot to Renji at that point - he pointed out that Rukia was receiving a sentence too harsh for her crime. Then he pointed out that she was receiving a method of execution someone of her rank is never given (it's a captain's rank execution method). Then he said this can only mean there's a person behind it all plotting a conspiracy. On top of that, it was also made clear that a captain doesn't have the power or right to question the orders of the Central 46. Byakuya also made two conflicting vows - one to his parents, one to his wife. Unfortunately for him, filial piety means a vow to parents trumps a vow to a wife, which is why he chose to uphold the vow to his parents despite his true heart lying with the vow to his wife. Ichigo gave him the means by which he could uphold both vows by staying the execution long enough for Aizen's treachery to be revealed which meant that Byakuya could both uphold the law and protect his sister at the same time. He also helped Byakuya find a middle ground between his rebellious youth and rules-lawyering self-correction of that rebellious youth.
  • Two words: Soul Society. What's the deal? Yes, it's the "afterlife", but its portrayal in the story is in no way consistent with such an explanation. People evidently are born, mature, and die there (Rukia and Renji grew from children to adults; Kira prays at his parents' grave before going to the shinigami academy in a flashback episode), and they seem to have families that are completely independent of the world of the living. Plus, Soul Society, large as it is, is still just one city. You're telling me that every single person who's ever died (minus the people who are sent to hell) is living there? And for that matter, why aren't there any people there who aren't Japanese (besides Soifon, I guess)? Do all the other cultures get their own Soul Societies or something? And what's with the ghetto/caste system? Can you imagine croaking it at age 93 and waking up in the 80th district?
    • One word - reincarnation. All souls who die on Earth are sent to Soul Society when they die. Souls that die in Soul Society are reincarnated on Earth and souls can be born fresh in either world.
      • In the original pilot, souls stay in Soul Society for at least 60 years before they're reincarnated, so Kubo might have had this in mind.
    • Either that, or literally form the world itself. Explained by Kaien in Rukia's flashback during the Hueco-Mundo arc.
    • In an early episode, Yuichi Shibata (the boy who appeared as a parakeet) is a ghost on Earth; when sent to Soul Society he shows up there at the same age (not as a baby). And he obviously remembers Earth.
      • This is in direct contradiction to one of the Bleach Movies, where they state that Shinigami have their memories wiped before entering the academy. Since Rukia and Renji still have memories of their times together in the streets, this wipe has to occur between death and entering Soul Society (also backed up in the movie). The kid nevertheless remembers everything.
      • Actually, the movie said that it would be a (extremely one at that) rare occurrence for a shinigami to recall much of any of their memories as living humans (if they weren't born in the SS first, that is). This type of amnesia occurs when the soul had died in the living world. Given some few examples (The boy spending most of his earth-bound time searching for his mother, Hisana dying during war together with an infant Rukia, etc.), souls probably have most of their memories of earth of how they died and what they had done during the time they were earth-bound (given if the soul didn't pass on right after death).
    • Rukia started as a baby because she died on Earth as a baby; she had an older sister Hisana who died along with her at an older age. People seem to join families by adoption; it's explained that finding your Earth family is very unlikely.
      • Of course, none of that explains why the afterlife is so crappy - a single, feudal Japanese city floating in the middle of nowhere. It would really suck for a German guy to die and end up having to spend the rest of eternity in the middle of a crappy version of ancient Kyoto, except with streets that go nowhere and with the world's most boring landscape. Hopefully, there's an afterlife for every culture/country. But probably not, since Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe.
      • This troper is of the opinion that there indeed is an afterlife for everyone. Remember, Ichigo et al. exited the ghetto to meet Kukaku Shiba. And outside the ghetto are grassland, forests etc... It's not much of a stretch to assume that beyond said wilderness are other Shinigami cities. All the protagonists end up in that Japan-themed part of Soul Society because they're japanese. (Are there gaijin in there down the line? This troper hasn't seen the show past the middle of the second arc).
      • There are foreigners in there but with Japanese names (Tousen's who is black, Yoruichi who might be Middle Eastern(or a really tanned Japanese) and Rangiku and Kira who're pretty obviously white). They're a minority though, so theyre probably Westerners who died in Japan and took Japanese names to fit in/were given Japanese names by the families that adopted them/Soul Society wanting to increase conformity, rather than an indication that Soul Society is the afterlife for everyone.
    • Waaaaaaaiiiiitttt...if everyone looked how they were when they died on earth, this troper is confused. Hitsuyaga. Isane. Gin. What WERE they? Albino?!
      • And why is there no effort to reunite souls with their Earth families? Granted, if you have a million Daisuke Yamashitas living in the afterlife, it would probably be difficult to sort out which one belonged to your family, but still, Soul Society has access to all sorts of high technology. Surely they could create a cross-referencing computer database where everyone could enter their names and a short description about themselves which would be extremely helpful in reuniting a large portion of the population. One would at least think they'd want to take a census of the afterlife to see how many people they've got "living" there. (If governments here on Earth were capable of doing that 100 years ago, why couldn't Soul Society do it now?)
      • Perhaps it is because souls are recycled and have dozens, if not hundreds, of families from various life times.
      • Because it would be hard to paint the afterlife as a Dystopia ruled by KnightTemplars if you were actually reunited with your loved ones when you got there. Broken home = dramallama.
      • Maybe it's like Grim Fandango, where the life you lead in the living world determines where you'll end up in the next.
      • None it's random
      • Soul Society could also be an Earthsea style artificial afterlife.
      • It should be noted that most of what we see of the Soul Society is the three worst districts in the poorest part of it. Most souls, even among those outside the nobility, are clearly able to make a better life than the life Renji, Rukia, Yachiru, Ikkaku, Yumichika and Kenpachi had before joining the Gotei 13.
      • There are some people who wouldn't want to be reunited with their families; Sora Inoue clearly doesn't want to see his parents again.
    • One Word: Hell. They showed that one guy getting sent there, but so far NO ONE talks about it or what goes on there. This troper is willing to guess that it inescapable so intel is severely limited, but does the Soul Society know how the afterlife works when it seems that there are tons of stuff they don't know.
      • That one is especially annoying. It seems pretty obvious Tite pulled it out of his ass.
      • I wouldn't say pulled it out of his ass. Shinji is in chapter 1. The concept of Arrancar, Fishroy-D and Ice Ringer were introduced with Grand Fisher's introduction. Kubo introduced it early on when he is creating the foundation of the story. It is there and we knew then HM isn't hell (which people would claim to be if we hadn't seen Hell's introduction). Now he can do a Hell arc when he feels like it without people going, "OMG!!!1! Hueco Mundo was hell you stupid Mangaka! Stop pulling stuff out of your *** !"
    • Wait, Shinji was in chapter 1?
    • In this connection I watched the Bleach movie. The movie says that it's rare for anyone (well, at least a Shinigami) to remember their Earthly life. Which means we now have contradictory continuity. Of course, the movie is a Non-Serial Movie and those have their problems, but on the other hand it's strange for a movie to mess up something this big.
      • The movie only said it was rare for Shinigami to remember their Earth life. It made no mention of human spirits. This is somewhat justifiable, since Shinigami live such long an busy lives. The youngest Shinigami we've seen is Hitsugaya, and he is hundreds of years old. Every other Shinigami is older than he is, and it is conceivable that their memories of their Earth life (if they had one) dull over time until they can't remember who they used to be. Think of it like forgetting being a toddler. I don't remember much from when I was three, so why should an eight hundred year old Shinigami remember eighty years of being human?
      • Hitsugaya isn't the youngest, that should be Yachiru.
      • Hitsugaya isn't hundreds of years old, he's about 45.
      • Someone calculated that since Rukia said she was around 10 times Ichigo's age, which would put her at about 150 years old, and that Hitsugaya would only be a bit younger than that, his age would be about 120-130.
      • This would only be true if Hitsugaya had died as a baby like Rukia did. We don't know how old Hitsugaya was when he died, so it's possible he is only around 45 or so.
      • Based on the dates we have- Hisana died 55 years ago, and it took Byakuya 5 years to find Rukia-, that'd mean she spent eighty years as a street urchin, and fifty as a Shinigami. So... why doesn't she look 2/3 older now than when she was in the Academy?
      • According to Byakuya's telling of events in Chapter 179, Hisana died before the first plum blossoms 50 years ago after 5 years of marriage. He found Rukia the year after Hisana died and immediately adopted her into the Kuchiki family. However, on a couple of separate occasions, it's said that Rukia has been a Kuchiki for 40 years and that Rukia and Renji have been separated for 40 years because of the adoption. It's a continuity issue, but the manga doesn't say Byakuya searched for Rukia for five years - only for one. Hisana searched for the five years of her marriage, however.
      • Well, Rukia IS rather short, but despite Ichigo's reaction to her in the very first episode, her mature appearance allows us to assume that she is physically somewhere around her late teens. She could have just done a lot of growing as an urchin, and the less noticeable stuff as an academy student...after all, girls finish growing in early teens, so lack of change in the time since graduation isn't that implausible.
      • Don't forget that Hisana looked rather young when she was married. And even compared to an average human age rate, it still implies that, despite being old enough to marry (and at least be around Byakuya's age), her appearance doesn't really change much when she aged. It might actually make sense if this problem were genetic considering that Rukia has had that same looking face ever since growing up in Rukongai.
      • After his fight with Ichigo, Renji flashbacked to his childhood with Rukia. Both of them seem to age normally for the ten years after they meet, and it seems as though they only stopped once they became shinigami. Rukia was probably just over-exaggerating her age in the first chapter.
      • Or maybe it has something to do with reincarnations. The VIZ release has her saying she's lived "ten of your lifetimes".
      • But if we do say that Rukia spent 80 years as a street urchin, the last 10 was spent living with Renji and his ragtag group of boys before they decided to become Shinigami. So she met him as a 70 year old kid. But, seeing them both standing on the hill with the graves, we see that they have aged "normally" as you say, into teenager-dom. Why would Rukia's physical appearance accelerate in so little time compared to before? It took her 70 years to physically age approx. 10 years (from a baby) while it took only 10 years to physically age approx. 5 years more? She even had spiritual pressure while at that age, so using the excuse that shinigami age slower than Rukongai's ordinary inhabitants, she should've aged more slowly than before.
      • Kyoraku and Ukitake have been shinigami for over 2000 years, possibly including their training period. Clearly, at some point, aging can just STOP.
      • This troper always assumed that the rate at which you age in Soul Society is inversely proportional to the amount of spirit power you actively use. Meaning, the more you use, the slower you age and the other way around. That would explain how Renji and Rukia were able to grow up relatively fast as kids - since they used only small amounts of spirit power - but stopped almost completely once they were accepted into the academy. It is also the only way to explain how the world is not MAJORLY imbalanced when it comes to living humans vs. dead people. That is, if dead people have such long *cough* life spans *cough*, and a new human only is born when a soul reincarnates...major mathematical issue, anyone? (Then again, how to account for population growth is really beyond this troper....)
  • Among Soi Fon's exact words were, "All who get in my way are my enemies. All enemies must be slain. That is all that matters." Why would she say that? Would some of the people that get in the way include innocent bystanders and children? Does she not believe in Thou Shalt Not Kill?
    • Why would she? She's been trained from a very young age to be a personal body guard to the leader of a clan that traditionally controlled an entire organization of assassins (among other things), and is now in charge of that very same organization, not to mention also being in charge (at the same time) of an entire military division that's charged with protecting society. And that's before we get to the subject of why a Chinese character in a Japanese setting would ever adhere to a Christian concept. While Buddhism has its own set of restraints on the subject of killing, that just brings us back to her role as an assassin and a leader of both assassin and military divisions. That's also ignoring the fact she likes to play the tough guy.
  • Why did the events of the Soul Society arc have no impact on the involved high-ranking Shinigamis at all? Kyoraku and Ukitake plus their subordinates destroyed the legendary execution blade, Zaraki helped a bunch of invaders just to have fun, and Renji went against his captain. Mind you, none of them did this to thwart Aizen's plan, but just to save Rukia (or, in Zaraki's case, to battle). Don't tell me a Knight Templar like Yamamoto would let that all go unpunished.
    • Here's the thing- Ukitake, Kyouraku, and Hitsugaya were all in the right. They believed that Rukia's execution was unjust and unlawful. When it turned out that it was (since Aizen slaughtered those 46 dudes), they were proven right. Zaraki...well, I think everyone in Soul Society just sort of tolerates him.
      • I always had the impression that Ukitake did not really save Rukia because he thought the execution was wrong, but because of genuine sympathy for his subordinate. And Kyouraku helped him because of their friendship. The only one who really suspected that there was more behind it was Hitsuguya.
      • Would you want to get in the way of somone who's at Captain level without even being able to use Shikai? I sure as hell wouldn't.
    • And that Komamura is not Lawful Stupid. You don't fight your three captains when three others just defected to enemy and other three would stay neutral at best and more likely side with first three... given that two other most likly will stay neutral and in this situation divisions would likely follow they captains. If you do - it's Lawful Stupid of epic proportions.
    • I think you mean Yamamoto, not Komamura.
    • By this point Central 46 was dead and to try and punish the Captain would have deprived Soul Society of vital military assets during a time of war. Aside from that, Soul Society justice is very selective on who it will punish. Murderers can get off free and a mad scientist is within the ranks of the Shinigami.
  • The Shiba house (or houses): Giant chimney/cannon and ridiculous banners aside, how does Kukaku manage to keep finding huge tracts of undeveloped land on which to build her houses, when most, if not all of the Soul Society districts are extremely overcrowded? Do they blast out the area with their spells and explosives, then plant a bunch of grass and build a house? Or are there just giant fields all over the place that nobody is noticing?
    • Kukaku just takes those huge tracts of land wherever she goes.
    • Don't even start asking yourself how Soul Society works, your brain might explode.
    • Ghibli Hills
    • I don't recall it ever being said that SS was overcrowded, just that some areas were more populated than others. Seireti isn't crowded at all, and the upper Rukongai districts don't look that bad either[1]. We also see lots of greenland in SS[2]. Seireti seems to have less than other places, but it's still there. The Noble families have grass and trees around their manors/compounds[3] and their own rivers, apparently. There's some areas around Sogyoku Hill that look like small forests [4]. There's also some mainly green areas around the Second Division barracks[5] and the Nest of Maggots [6], the Eleventh Division barracks[7], and Ugendo (where Ukitake recovers when he's sick)[8]. Outside of the Seireti is the Rukongai, which contains mountains/trees/large green areas. In fact, we see Kenpachi find Yachiru in a forest-like area. Grass is common in SS, just not in the parts we're used to seeing in the story. Most of the Soul Society Arc is about Ichi-crew running through this[9].
  • With everything Soul Society and the Soul Reapers can do, why can't they cure Ukitake's tuberculosis? I mean, they can create artificial souls and bodies, but not antibiotics?
    • Maybe he doesn't actually have tuberculosis, just the symptoms left over from when he died from it. This would create a lot more Fridge Logic, of course.
      • My theory is that Unohana Retsu is poisoning him because he knows too much about her (see WMG for details). You know, they already had Aizen and Tousen playing the nice ones before...
      • Besides, he couldn't have died from it. He's a noble, and was born in Soul Society.
      • Fatal wounds aren't much of a problem to shinigami because shinigami heal at a faster rate than an average human, so to them, wounds that are fatal to humans is probably, at best, a battle scar that might reduce into a smaller one over time. What's probably considered fatal to shinigami is probably Rangiku's entire right side of her abdomen getting torn right off by Allon as a good example.
      • Since Ukitake was born in Soul Society, maybe he can develop rare spiritual ailments with physical syptoms.
  • Why is the justice system in Soul Society so piss-poor?
    • Crapsack Afterlife?
    • Perhaps it's because a lot of death within the Soul Society is actually conducive to keeping the balance of souls. If death inthe Soul Society means reincarnation in the world of the living, then all the pointless deaths are their way of keeping the natural order.
      • It's never said how souls go from Soul Society to the world of the living, since Kaien says they break down into reishi. Additionally, the Sokyoku destroys the convict's soul.
      • One could interpret it as their spirit-bodies that turn to reishi, and the soul goes back to the living world since it's free again. Also, the Sokyoku may be a special case, in which the soul is just obliterated entirely.
  • Why do so many people decry Soul Society as a Crapsack World when literally the only parts of it we've seen, besides the Seretei, are the districts that are clearly designated as the Wretched Hives?
    • An ideal afterlife shouldn't have those bad areas to begin with. There's disease, poverty, the Central 46 is a terrible governing body, shinigami can act like Jerkasses without any real consequences, and the whole society basically functions like feudal Japan, which pretty sucks for anyone who didn't live in feudal Japan.
      • An 'Not ideal World' (or rather, a normal world which is what it sounds like) =/= Crapsack World. Also, we may never have seen the real Central 46 operating. Damn Aizen.
      • Actually we have seen the 'real' Central 46 in action. They're the one's who condemned Urahara, Tessai and Yoruichi on seriously paltry evidence, without giving them any chance to defend themselves. Noteworthy, because the condemned were all high officials, with Yoruichi being the heir of one of the Four Great Noble Houses. Other than that, Sereitei is demonstrably not a benevolent government. Urahara, before becoming a Captain, was in charge of a prison for 'dissidents', which is anyone who disagreed with the current system, where people could be imprisoned for having the potential to commit crimes. Kurotsuchi Mayuri used his division shinigami as living bombs, obviously without consent, with no demonstrable consequence. Kon is a prime example of Soul Society's attitude towards sentient, if artificial, creations. Also, it should be noted that Aizen got away with impersonating the Central 46 because of the rigid, I-will-not-question-orders attitude of Yamamoto et al. The fact that districts like Zaraki exist mean one of two things - Sereitei cannot control all of Rukongai or Sereitei allows the situation there to persist. Neither imply good governance. So, yeah...Soul Society is a Crapsack World.
      • No, it's not. First, Yamamoto not questioning his orders. Why should he? Other than how harsh it was, he had no reason to. Because of Aizen's abilities, it looked like it came from Central 46. He would have to assume they were just looking to make an example out of her, or make sure it didn't appear they were going easy on a highly important family. Alright, I'll grant you how harsh they were on Urahara and Yourichi. A bit agressive there. And how is the Zaraki district in any way relevant? The Soul Reapers aren't cops. They're soldiers. It's their job to protect the world of the living, and keep the Soul Society safe from Hollows and the like. They simply don't have the resources to do both. Do you expect the National Guard to patrol rough areas of Los Angeles? Of course not. That's not what they're there for.
      • If the movies and anime are taken into account Central 46 cares more about the so called "harmony" of Soul Society than justice. As stated, a prison was made for anyone deemed a threat to this harmony regardless if they broke a law or not. Severe punishments sound to be something of the norm. Nobles on the other hand are immune to any form of criminal investigation unless you somehow have evidence. Tosen turned against Soul Society because his friend was murdered and Central 46 did not punish the man. One of the Shinigamis' jobs is to police the rest of Soul Society. That is why the districts close to it are safe and clean and the ones further away are slums or worse. Given the punishments so far handed out by Central 46 and Yamamoto not questioning it it sounds like it is not unusual.
    • It certainly doesn't help matters that, when it comes to an afterlife, the only options are Soul Society (which, as others have mentioned, is hardly an ideal place), Hell, turning into a Hollow, or ceasing to exist.
  • Central 46: The entire Soul Society is governed by a group of 46 people without any kind of checks and balances? Excuse me? It only looks even worse in the light of the shenanigans pulled by the traitor Aizen and his co-conspirators after they killed them all.
    • Its based [extremely loosely] on feudal Japan. King of Soul Society is the distant, functionally powerless emperor, Central 46 is the shogunate, only better because they're a council not with a single person in charge. Presumably, its formed by election among nobles and high-ranking shinigami, in which case it'd be a sort of congress, albeit probably closer to the House of Lords in membership than the House of Commons. It may be bad, but its better than just having a single-person type government. If you haven't noticed, Soul Society is kinda the epitome of "social conservativism", so its not surprising that their government is several hundred years behind modern Japan's.
    • I'd consider the number of people to be checks and balances for each other, and even a single slightly dodgy execution had several captains ready to rebel, so its not like they could get away with anything.
    • Another problem I saw during the Soul Society Arc was authentication of orders. You'd think there would be some system in place by which the Head Captain would be able to confirm that an order really came from C46 and not some scoundrel trying to pull a fast one. Going by what happens with Rukia's death sentence and the events surrounding it, they seem to lack that. Combine that with the fact that orders and decisions from C46 cannot be appealed, and you've got a surefire recipe for disaster.
      • Two things, a couple of off hand references do indicate that there is authentication. Second, there was NO way to see through what was happening. Aizen used his zanpakuto to create the illusion Central 46 was still running normally. And as we know, there's no way to beat that. Basically, he short circuited the entire process by destroying the head and replacing it in such a way no one would even have a chance of noticing it.
  • Central 46's judicial process and subsequent judgments: Even setting aside Rukia's sentence (which wasn't actually handed down by the Central 46), their "justice" system makes no sense. Tessai was sentenced to (extremely long, if not immortal) life in prison (at the "3rd level") for using a forbidden Kido. Urahara Kisuke was sentenced to removal of powers and eternal banishment to earth for experimenting with Hollowfication on captains. In contrast, Kurotsuchi Mayuri has been unethically experimenting to his heart's content without a peep from the Central 46. This raises the issue that Central 46 (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the Gotei 13) seem to have the attitude that as long as it's not us/Sereitei, it doesn't matter. But the real headbanger is how they responded to Aizen Sousuke: the man who was discovered to have actually been behind the Hollowfication of the Visoreds, the man who killed the previous Central 46, who created most of the current Espada, who was trying to wipe out Soul Society was sentenced to 18,800 years in prison. That's less time than Tessai was sentenced to! Granted, Aizen was sentenced to the highest (8th) level of the prison, but the fact that Aizen could be released—without even having his powers removed—in the future just makes no sense to this troper, particularly considering Tessai and Urahara's sentences
    • There's no indication shinigami are naturally immortal. In fact, given the way the Central 46 reacted to Aizen's immortality on top of the fact we've seen that shinigami age, the indications are strong that long-lived does not equal immortality. In many real life systems, a sentence of "life" does not mean "for that individual's natural lifespan", it generally means for the maximum possible sentence that legal sytem can dole out - in Japan, a 'life sentence' really means an imprisonment in which an offender cannot seek parole for a minimum of 10 years, but how long they actually remain in prison may vary depending on situation. Since they have a special term for prisoners who have a genuine life sentence (as in for the rest of their natural life), 'life' doesn't automatically mean that. Add in the complication of a shinigami's extended life-span and we have absolutely no idea how long 'life' actually is for a shinigami sentence. We therefore can't easily compare it to Aizen's sentence.
  • On another note, what, the people who died in the 20th/21st century just put up with a feudal system? This troper doesn't know about the Japanese or other tropers, but she would sure as hell start a revolution...And the Shinigami can hardly afford to kill large parts of the population in Rukongai, can they? With their job being keeping the balance of souls in check and everything...
    • Depending on the answer to other questions on this page, people may very well not remember the real world, so no democracy, no suburban commuting, no industrial revolution. Equally opinions are split on whether or not this is the afterlife for all peoples or not.
    • Actually, they can and have. Mayuri just revealed that he recently had 28,000 souls killed for the sake of soul balance.
    • 1) They wouldn't need to kill them all. Just the leaders and the tacticians, wait for morale and discipline to break, and then just torture the others in whatever way their particular Shikai or Bankai permits until they surrender. They can do this because 2) Ordinary people would stand no chance at all against a single captain of the Gotei 13 or a squad of lieutenants. Remember how badly Ganju Shiba fared when he went up against Yumichika? And he was hardly a muggle. You would be the equivalent of a cow in a slaughterhouse bringing your army against a single release of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi. And remember we are not talking about the 21st century army here with jets, aircraft carriers, tanks and artillery (even then I am dubious of success but at least a chance exists) because you could never build, and more importantly, fuel and maintain a post 19th century army within the Soul Society. The best you could do would be to field a nice collection of simple firearms, swords and catapults. And even if you did succeed and you managed to overthrow the Gotei 13, who is going to be out cleansing hollows now that almost everyone with a Zanpakuto (and the skill to use it) is dead or in hiding?
  • So I just read Renji's first fight after the Time Skip against Jackie Tristan, and some of his lines got me scratching my head. He seems to have picked up quite the chivalrous attitude over the past year, like letting her attack first, because she's a girl(and not in a humorous way, he's completely serious when he says this), or won't finish her off when not doing so will likely kill him because "A man that raises his hand to a woman is trash." Trying to put aside my own feelings for a moment, this kind of thinking doesn't even make sense in the context of the series: Renji is a part of the Gotei 13, an organization that presumably has no qualms of throwing women into the front lines. Many women now including his best friend Rukia share his same rank, and there are even a few that are, or have been higher ranked. That's like Kakashi saying he wouldn't hit a female enemy ninja just because she's a girl when he has a female Hokage in power. In conclusion, nothing about Renji's upbringing implies he would have a problem cutting down a girl, and his statements just come off as even more sexists than it would in Real Life.
    • I've seen other translations which say he's basically saying that he won't kill a woman not that he won't fight one. That does make more sense because this manga has a history of having a lot of the male good guys go easy on female characters they're fighting against or have females paired off against females. There's also the issue of her being a human female where shinigami are sworn to avoid unnecessary killing of humans unless authorised. Just because Kenpachi killed one doesn't mean the others wouldn't have a problem with it. After all, at least one of Kenpachi's own subordinates has issues with killing humans. Earlier in the manga, Yumichika was the only member of Hitsugaya's advance guard to concern himself with how humans might be affected by the battles and to try and do something about it to protect them.
    • I would debate how gender equal the Soul Society is. 1) It is based on Feudal Japan in almost all aspects 2) The majority of the Shinigami we see are male and that includes the Gotei 13 both present and past. I would argue that the Soul Society is a patriarchy, and the common trait of most patriarchies throughout history is its belief that women are somehow weaker than men. That would affect Renji on some level no matter how open minded he is.
  • One million years? In chapter 476, Rukia had better be exaggerating when she says that Soul Society has not changed in one million years. Forget the 2,000 years of Yamamoto when people first moved to Japan in the first/third century AD; forget the weird aging; and now forget that modern humans have only been around for about 100,000 years. Seriously, Kubo?
    • It's probably a translation of an idiom for "countless" or "myriad" or something like that. When it's said that Japan has eight million gods, it doesn't literally mean eight million it means "more gods than we can count". "Myriad" is ancient Greek for "10,000". In a sentence saying "Soul Society has not changed in myriad years" someone could translate it rather literally to "Soul Society has not changed in 10,000 years". Of course, if Kubo did mean one million, that's another matter.
    • Who came first? The humans on Earth or the humans in the Soul Society? Maybe the system of reincarnation only came into being because the Soul Society was overpopulated? After all, it wouldn't take too many guys and girls with thousand year lifespans reproducing to pack out the place.
  • I think the concept of the afterlife in Bleach Universe might be based off of the Six Domains of the Desire Realm in Buddhism[10]. The place the Soul King resides is (in theory, since we haven't seen it in the story) the Deva/God Realm. Soul Society is the Asura Realm. The Human World is the Human Realm. Hueco Mundo is the Preta/Hungry Ghost Realm. Hell is the Naraka/Hell Realm. The only one that doesn't seem to fit with Bleach is the Animal Realm. There haven't been any animals shown in Soul Society aside from the Hogs that Ganju and his gang had and the Hell Butterflies, so perhaps they go to their own afterlife?
    • Perhaps Komamura is a clue since he seems trapped midway between animal and human, and it's at least hinted he comes from a family of these since apparently the reason he hates carrots is because his father told him it's not food for their kind.
    • I just realized something. Byakuya has golden koi fish in his pondthat are extremely rare and have been raised on the Kuchiki grounds for many generations[11]. I'm probably overthinking this, but since the Kuchiki family is in charge of compiling & protecting the history of Soul Society and animals seem to be rare, maybe the fish are special?
  • Why has no one in Soul Society thought to bring in Orihime to resurrect Sasakibe, the same way she did with Loly and Menoly?
    • Because the manga has never claimed Loly and Menoly were dead or that Orihime brought them back from the dead. The idea of her resurrecting them from death is fanon only. At the current time, characters in-universe have no reason to believe Orihime can resurrect the dead and the fandom only speculates that she can.
      • ...one of them had the entire upper half of her body destroyed, and yet Orihime was able to bring her back. She should be able to fix one stab wound.
      • I can think of three reasons for this. 1: They don't know. We, the readers, know she can revive the dead but really very few others know that. From what I remember the only ones should be Aizen (who is in super prison), Loly and Menoly (who are in Hueco Mundo) and Orihime herself. Why she didn't offer to help in unknown but I guess either she also does not full understand what she really can do, she forgot, or she did not have the time to offer. 2: she can't because he was killed by a Quincy. This is making an assumption but is is stated that Quincies completly destroy the souls of hollows they kill so maybe that includes Soul Reapers as well and that might be to much for her powers to reverse. 3: Pride, something tells me that Yamamoto is to proud of both himself and his lieutenants sacrifice (and focused on revenge) to call on her to reverse his death. They are a bit of a stretch but not impossible.
      • The fact that they have probably been too busy preparing to deal with the Quincies when they return to think of a way to resurrect one person would have something to do with it as well.
      • There is also the fact that Orihime pretty much acted on Loly and Menoly quickly. It is a lot like actual medics, the longer it takes to get started with treatment, the less likely it is for success. Sasakibe was probably dead for too long for even Orihime to bring him back even if she tried whereas one of the two who got her upper half blown off was treated quickly enough to survive and/or be revived.
  • Why is there any mortal danger in the Soul Society? Everyone there IS ALREADY DEAD. How do you die a second time?
    • Because they still bleed and apparently have organs, so they can still die. Plus quite a few people are BORN in the Soul Society already. When they die, they end up reincarnated some time later and this balance of souls between the human world and the Soul Society is actually brought up quite often. Souls can also be destroyed. Think of it almost like the afterlife in Dragon Ball. People there can still be killed in the afterlife, at which they completely cease to exist on any plane of existence. And quite a few characters have died without ending up reincarnated so they never know when, how, and if they will be reincarnated so they have the desire to preserve their lives all the time.
  • How big is the Soul Society? If you take the "balance of souls" thing into account, there should be over 7 billion people there. This means that the Soul Society would need to be the size of Pangaea in order hold them all. Also, they only have 3000 Soul Reapers to manage all of it.
    • First of all, there wouldn't even be 7 billion people in Soul Society because not everyone goes there. The Soul Reapers can only cleanse people of acts they committed as a hollow, if they were wicked in life, they go to Hell. So a pretty large amount of souls are probably there. Secondly, balance has more than one meaning and it's not like there's a scale that goes: Soul Society: 4.5 billion souls. World of the Living: 7 billion souls. Well, better go kill some people. It's more like equilibrium, in that they insure there is no troublesome amount of net change, and even then both realms could have very different amounts of souls needed to maintain equilibrium. People die, there's nothing to stop that, but apparently people are also reincarnated, so if a lot of people die, there's gonna need to be a lot of reincarnations to repopulate the earth to restore balance, and vice versa. In all, Soul Society could be the same size as the Earth.
  • The Lieutenant's meeting we see shortly after Ichigo and friends invade the Soul Society raises a lot of questions. As Renji and Momo are talking, Rangiku arrives. She bemoans the state that the Soul Society is in and says that her Captain can't be found anywhere. This raises the first question. Where exactly was Hitsugaya? He's one of the more diligent Captains, and certainly not the type to just disappear, especially if the Soul Society was under attack. However, his apparent absence is never explained or questioned by anyone else. It seems especially strange since Izuru, Shuhei or Momo could have delivered that line equally well, and it would have served as some nice foreshadowing that their captains were up to something. Moving on, Renji then asks Momo who Rangiku's captain is. This raises another question. How the hell does Renji not know all of the Captains off by heart? He's a lieutenant for crying out loud. And it's not like there are all that many captains, and Hitsugaya in particular is notable for being a Child Prodigy. Anyway, once Momo reminds Renji who Hitsugaya is, he immediately makes a remark along the lines of "Not that little genius. And I thought I had it bad." This raises the third question. Why would Hitsugaya, who is usually portrayed as strict but fair, be considered an especially bad superior in an organisation that includes Soi-Fon, Mayuri, and even Byakuya himself (making the "and I thought I had it bad" bit seem especially strange) at the time? I suppose you could chalk it up to jealousy, especially given the 'little genius' snipe, but it still seems strange that anyone would consider Hitsugaya a bad boss when there are such worse leaders in the same organisation.
    • In the beginning Kubo allegedly planned for Aizen to be ACTUALLY murdered and for Urahara to be the big bad. Those plans were obviously scrapped, but what if he originally planned to have Hitsugaya as one of the bad guys? After all, Aizen's letter blames Hitsugaya so this could have been foreshadowing to Hitsugaya being a bad guy before Kubo changed his mind.
      • Okay, is ANYONE actually going to cite actual evidence that Urahara was intended as the big bad? Because as much I hear of this, I have NEVER been able to find any official confirmation anywhere, and I'm starting to think someone just made that up. Wouldn't be the first for this series.
    • As for why Renji didn't know of Hitsugaya to begin with: Renji's been a lieutenant for maybe 4 months at this point and the inter-division communication in Soul Society seems to have been pretty terrible prior to Aizen's defection, so that could be one reason. Or it might be like that talk between Isshin and Urahara - exposition done in a pretty dumb way, nothing more.

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