Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 16 Ending Explained: How were Soul Reapers able to reclaim their Bankai? How will Quincies overcome the Soul Reaper’s Bankai?
Bleach just released episode 16 of their Thousand-Year Blood War arc. The name of episode 16 of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc is “The Fundamental Virulence”.
This episode was full of shocking revelations and epic battles. In this episode, the Captains of the 13 Court Guard Squads were able to reclaim their Bankai with the help of Kisuke Urahara.
We saw some new Bankai for the first time and the advanced version of some of the old Bankai that we have already seen. This episode was full of thrilling and shocking moments, which kept the fans motivated and yearning for more.
In this episode, we saw how powerful the Captains have become after the time skip in Bleach and how their Bankai have evolved.
In this article, we will do a full review of everything that happened in episode 16 of the Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc and will provide an answer to the question: How were Soul Reapers able to reclaim their Bankai? How will Quincies overcome the Soul Reaper’s Bankai?
With everything that is happening in the Bleach universe, the Soul Reapers face their most formidable adversary yet and must give it their all to win.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War: How were Soul Reapers able to reclaim their Bankai?
The episode starts with everyone taking cover from the Quincy attack and trying to fight against them. We then see Tōshirō Hitsugaya on the ground and Cang Du appearing before Bazz-B, telling Bazz-B that he will finish Hitsugaya.
Cang Du then throws Rangiku Matsumoto on the ground in front of Tōshirō Hitsugaya and says that they both should die side by side as Matsumoto has always stayed with Hitsugaya.
Cang Du then introduces himself as “Stern Ritter I. Cang Du, The Iron”.
Cang Du then activates the Bankai he stole from Tōshirō Hitsugaya: Daiguren Hyorinmaru and says that it is a beautiful Bankai.
We then see a conversation between Squad 12 Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi and Kisuke Urahara who are talking about reclaiming the lost Bankai.
Urahara tells Mayuri that he has discovered a weakness in the means that Quincies use to steal Bankai and that they can use that to prevent the Quincies from stealing their Bankai.
Furthermore, they can also use it to reclaim everyone’s stolen Bankai. Mayuri tells Kisuke that it is wonderful news however, that is a whole other matter.
Mayuri is angry that Kisuke places a communication device on his clothes without his permission and hangs up the call.
Then Urahara suddenly appears in front of Mayuri through a portal and tells Mayuri that he was calling from inside the Precipice World and asks Captain Kurotsuchi for his cooperation.
Everyone inside the Research and Development department starts working inside the shadow-free lab that Mayuir prepared.
They started working on confirming the positions of all the captains and lieutenants and released all the remaining Kizochu insects to have them modify any Quincy mechanical devices so that they can take advantage of it and let it all connect to the system in the lab.
While all that is happening Kisuke starts explaining to Mayuri about his plan. He shows Mayuri some pills called Shineiyaku.
He tells that inside Hueco Mundo he saw the clue to preventing Bankai from being stolen. The turning point was the battle with Quilge Opie after he consumed a Hollow.
His appearance crumbled at the moment he absorbed the Hollow and Urahara realised that Quilge Opie wasn’t able to completely control its power.
He then tells that with an Arrancars’ Resurrección, the power of their soul is shaped into a sword and released to obtain greater powers. One could say that this skill is nearly identical to a Bankai.
If the Bankai of the captains can be stolen, then the same should apply to the Resurrección of the Arrancars.
However, not a single Arrancar had their Resurrección stolen, and it is not because the Quincies weren’t interested in the Arrancars.
It’s a fact that they captured many Arrancars and turned them into soldiers, yet, they did not steal their Resurrección, and there can only be two reasons for this.
After hearing Urahara’s findings, Mayuri tells the two reasons. One is that the Resurrección cannot be stolen, and the other is that stealing the Resurrección would to disadvantageous to the Quincies.
Based on Urahara’s Hollow research, he cannot find a reason why Bankai can be stolen but not the Resurrección; therefore, it is logical to think that it is disadvantageous.
Finally, the connection gets established, and Squad 12 have located the Spiritual Pressure of the captains both inside and outside the Seiretei.
We then see Urahara communicating with all the Soul Reapers. He tells them that he has sent a black pill to all of them along with a message that this Shineiyaku (the black pills) only reacts to those who possess Bankai.
Urahara tells everyone to touch it with their hands, feet or sword. The pill will be absorbed from the touchpoint and will permeate the inner part of their soul.
Mayuri further tells everyone that there was something about the Quicies that have always bothered him. He thought that perhaps Quincies’ hostility against the Hollows is not based on resentment, as legends say.
Hostility stems from a difference in ideology and it is impossible to continue hating those who do not have a will or ideology.
There is only one reason that the Quencies could hold such lasting hostility. It’s a fundamental fear that endangers one’s life.
Then Urahars further explains that Quincies are a breed that has no antibody against Hollows and the very existence of Hollows is poisonous to Quincies.
Encroachment by the Hollows not only weakens their spiritual powers but ultimately leads to the decay of their souls and eventually their death.
Unlike Soul Reapers, the Quincies don’t even have a path to Hollowfication. This is why Quincies must exterminate Hollows.
In other words, if the Soul Reapers were to absorb just a small amount of Hollow power, and Hollowfy their Bankai for a short moment, their Bankai will also become poison for the Quincies.
How will Quincies overcome the Soul Reaper’s Bankai?
Suddenly Cang Du, who was using Tōshirō Hitsugaya’s Baknai, starts bleeding while Tōshirō gets his Bnakai back. Cang Du asks Tōshirō what did he do and Tōshirō tells him that perhaps Hyorinmaru wants to come home. Soi Fon also activates her Bankai: Jakuho Raikoben and blows BG9 away.
Cang Du starts attacking Tōshirō, but Tōshirō tells him that Hyorinmaru cannot attack himself to which Cang Du states that Bankai does not have a mind of its own.
But then Tōshirō starts talking to his Bankai, Hyorinmaru and takes his full Bankai form. Cang Du attack Tōshirō with a named attack “Shejintsao” but Tōshirō instantly overpower it with his Bankai powers and freezes Cang Du. Tōshirō then passes out due to heavy injury.
We then see Shinji Hirako, Squad 5 Captain, in front of a group of Quincies who are about to attack him. But Shinji activates his Bankai: Sakashima Yokoshima Happo Fusagari, and all the Quncies start attacking each other.
Shinji’s Bankai: Sakashima Yokoshima Happo reverses the recognition of enemy and ally and makes them attack their own side.
We then see Ikkaku Madarame, Yumichika Ayasegawa, and Shūhei Hisagi start fighting against Mask De Masculine while Sajin Komamura, Captain of Squad 7, intercepts Bambietta Basterbine, the Quincy who stole his Bankai.
But Shinji Hirako interrupts them and tells Komamurato to go on ahead and that he will handle Bambietta Basterbine. Shinji activates his Shikai: Sakanade, whose’s Sakasama no Sekai ability makes the enemy see everything in reverse.
Up becomes down, and left becomes right; therefore, it is impossible to fight this way. Shinji tells Bambietta that he has been practising to have words sound backwards too.
Bambietta tries her best to overcome Shinji’s Shikai ability, but she is unable to do it. All her attacks are useless against the formidable Captain of Squad 5.
Ikkaku Madarame, Yumichika Ayasegawa and Shūhei Hisagi are still fighting and struggling against Mask De Masculine, but Hisagi manages to bind Mask De Masculine within the chains of his Shikai while Madarame hits him.
Just when we start thinking that the Soul Reapers finally have the upper hand in this battle, we see the Stern Ritters activate a new power while Yhwach starts laughing.
The name of that new power is “Quincy Voll Sternn Dich”. Bambietta reveals that they weren’t able to use this power because the Quincies had to steal the Captain’s Bankai.
We then see a lot of tall towers of different colours of light with the Quincy symbol at the top of them within the battlefield.
In the Post-Credit Scenes of this episode, we see Ichigois almost at the entrance but is still very far because of the heaviness he feels. He starts seeing some flashes of memories, but he has no idea what those flashes are.
The name of Episode 17 of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc will be “Heart of Wolf”.