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[quote name='Gavin'][SIZE=1]As for Aizen's most recent mindscrew with Ichigo, it too calls into question exactly how Aizen even knows about his fight with Ulquiorra given he was in FKT at that time.[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

[size=1][color=green]Yeah, that's my main concern at the moment. I mean it's not like Aizen's a psychic, but one can assume that he put 2 and 2 together and figured out that Ichigo beat Ulquiorra since he is there with them. But then again that don't explain how Aizen knows about that deus ex transformation...

I'm looking forward to hearing this explanation for sure.[/size][/color]
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[quote name='Magus'][SIZE=1][COLOR=green]Yeah, that's my main concern at the moment. I mean it's not like Aizen's a psychic, but one can assume that he put 2 and 2 together and figured out that Ichigo beat Ulquiorra since he is there with them. But then again that don't explain how Aizen knows about that deus ex transformation...

I'm looking forward to hearing this explanation for sure.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/quote]
[SIZE=1]
The only thing I could think of is that somehow having the hyougoku within him allows him to track/observe those he's used it on. Either that or he has a mobile version of his security centre which honestly may be a bit more likely, though the fight did occur outside Las Nochas which sort of torpedoes that theory too. [/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=green]Oh bulltalk, this chapter was just a tease in an attempt to answer questions.... I guess it answered one question though. Aizen does not have hollow powers.... (How the heck did he get so strong in the first place then?) Aizen even proved my point on Ichigo being an idiot too.

Repeating myself again here, Kubo has some amazing talent when it comes to drawing. [spoiler]That double panel where Ichigo appears in front of Aizen is great.[/spoiler]

I think I will stop reading spoilers though, for sure. Tend to either give some false details (Aizen's arm being charred... Really? Looks perfectly fine to me. I think that was Yama's arm they showed) or kill certain moments/moods. Overall it's pretty much like One Piece and Naruto this week, not a bad chapter, but nothing great either.[/size][/color]
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[SIZE=1]I have to admit I found the chapter to be particularly disappointing overall. I mean if the Hyougoku can pretty much negate any damage done to Aizen then why was he even the least bit concerned about anything Yama-jii could pull on him ? Yet again it feels like an asspull, we've never seen the Hyougoku to have any kind of defensive abilities, and given Urahara made the damn thing you'd think he'd have warned someone that "Oh by the way if Aizen merges with it, he's pretty much invincible".

I don't believe Aizen has been manipulating Ichigo from the very start either, if only because he didn't even seem to become aware of him until late in the Soul Society arc and even then he referred to him as Urahara's minion in a very general way.

Likely we'll get another talky chapter out of Aizen next week which will clear up some things but honestly I think we really need to get away from this "You've activated my trap-card" style for Aizen because it kills any sense of action. Hopefully Isshin, Ryuken and Urahara and co. aren't too far away from turning up.[/SIZE]
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[size=1][color=green]After rereading the chapter and actually letting everything soak in, I have to agree that this was a pretty bad chapter. Guess the artwork had me completely whiffed lol.

First the old geezer. Perhaps the biggest disappointing character in this series. (Even more disappointing than the 3 espada) Seriously, not only does he waste time letting his underlings go down while he prepares to try and sacrifice himself to take down Aizen, but this guy uses a level 96 Hadou... Sure that's a nice ditch for a last attack, but what the hell? Why go through all the sandbagging and why not use a high level Hadou right out of the gate? (I swear, if Hadou's 97-99 don't sacrifice the user and it turns out that Bakudo's 90-98 are actually good enough to contain such an explosion then that Old man is definately the biggest idiot in this series)

Now Aizen. Of course I think he's lying about manipulating Ichigo. I mean, what are the chances of him knowing that Rukia would actually run into Ichigo? She could've ran into Tatsuki for all he know... (I think I would actually liked Tatsuki being the main character over Ichigo) If Aizen actually "knew" about Ichigo that would make me think he's actually trying to draw Isshin out. (And him being the only one to know about Isshin just wouldn't make sense to me)

As great a character as Aizen is, he's pretty much turned into Light with all this "Just as I planned" stuff. Kind of makes me wonder if Kubo looked at Death Note before.[/size][/color]
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On the "Aizen psychically knowing the outcome of Ichigo's duel with Ulquiorra" issue:

[LIST]
[*]As has been mentioned, the fact that Ichigo is in FKT at all is a dead giveaway that he beat Ulquiorra.
[*]Ichigo's mask has changed fairly conspicuously, and given his knowledge of all things Hollow, Aizen's probably aware that the altered pattern represents a power upgrade.
[*]There's probably a noticeable change in Ichigo's reiatsu, as well.
[/LIST]

The panel showing Ichigo's DeathKnight form is an aide memoir for us, not a memory of Aizen's. Aizen isn't claiming to know the specifics - only that Ichigo unlocked some form of new power, which is obvious given the evidence.
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[quote name='Raiyuu'][LIST][*]Ichigo's mask has changed fairly conspicuously, and given his knowledge of all things Hollow, Aizen's probably aware that the altered pattern represents a power upgrade.
[/LIST]
[/QUOTE]

[size=1][color=green]This is perhaps my only problem with this speculation. Yes, Ichigo's mask changed. The thing is Aizen haven't seen Ichigo's mask until now. The only thing he really has to go on is a noticeable change in reiatsu. (I can't remember if he has cameras place throughout Las Noches though) Oh yeah and Ichigo's arrival of course.

Gotta love those Bleach inconsistencies. >_>[/size][/color]
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[size=1][color=green]Bout time.

[quote][spoiler]Ichigo is agitated by Aizen's words.

Furthermore, Aizen says he aided in Ichigo's growth because he believed Ichigo would become the greatest raw material for his own personal quest.

That the hollow appeared immediately after his meeting with Rukia; that the menos appeared because of the Quincy bait;

That Rukia was discovered in the real world, and that the circumstances were well reported in SS;

That in SS the captain class shinigami Ichigo fought all had strength comparable to his Ichigo's at the time.

"Didn't you think those were all strange? " Ichigo swings his sword at Aizen but Aizen stops it with his palm.

Aizen continues speaking. He asks Ichigo, "How could I know all the facts?

Who do you think had Rukia stationed in the real world?

Who gave Renji's equipment the ability to detect reiatsu?

Who provided the Vice Captains with the information regarding the direction of your movements?

Was I truly unable to pinpoint the location of the hougyoku for the past 100 years?"

After he finishes Ichigo asks Aizen for the basis of his conviction that Ichigo would become his greatest raw material.

Aizen responds, "It's because I knew you from the beginning, from the time you were born.

In addition you were special from the moment of your birth. Because you are a shingami and..."

Aizen stops mid sentence as Isshin has arrived. Until next week.[/spoiler][/quote]

[quote name='ME][size=1']If Aizen actually "knew" about Ichigo that would make me think he's actually trying to draw Isshin out. (And him being the only one to know about Isshin just wouldn't make sense to me)[/size][/quote]
.................

Still sounds pretty nice though[/size][/color]
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[size=1][color=green]Err.... This is why I choose not to read, watch, play anything for story. I never catch it. All I really got out of that entire explanation was Aizen planned everything, and now I'm left feeling like Ichigo here. (like a confused idiot) I can see Renji and probably Byakuya, but Kenpachi as planned battles? I need a better answers there.

That is one bad### appearance from Isshin, though. I'm amazed at how small Ichigo looks compared to Isshin. The guy look like he can break someone in half with just his hands alone.

And as I stated once before, I find it hard to believe that Aizen (and Urahara) is the only one that knew about Isshin.[/size][/color]
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[SIZE=1]I was actually just thinking myself Isshin is looking considerable more buff than before, evidently he is Yama-ji's most successful student.

As to whether or not Aizen actually has been planning everything from the very beginning, I still think he's bluffing. Yes, he's a chessmaster of the highest order apparently but even he couldn't control the outset and variables of every fight that Ichigo has been through. Kenpachi's kendo, Ikkaku's bankai, his own hollowification, his own bankai training, the fights with the Espada each of these could easily have ended with Ichigo being killed. Hell Aizen himself stated his intent to kill Ichigo at the execution grounds failed.

I really hope that this doesn't fall in with the two bodies in Szayel's lab as to be addressed once and never again.

As for what Ichigo is a hybrid of, seems general opinion is Hollow, followed by Royal, neither of which I agree with for the moment (though I would lean closer to the former of the two). While Aizen has been fascinated by the relationship of hybridization between Shinigami and Hollows, sexual reproduction between them (given the way most Hollows look) would seem impossible unless they'd been vaguely Shinigamified first.
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I'm going to be unhappy if Ichigo ends up being half something predictable... It'd be nice if his other half was whatever was in Szayel's lab... and what was in Szayel's lab needs to be something unexpected... like people that don't get their ***** handed to them by lamers...

Also does Mayuri know what Ichigo is? He did call him a half shinigami before he left HM, and if Ichigo is half Szayel's specimens then it would explain how Mayuri knew this information that every other character seemed to miss.

If Ichigo is half something related to SS, then it seems unlikely that Yamma wouldn't know about it, i mean he has been around for 1000 years, is trusted with the location of the kings key, and could probably deep fry half of the royal guard anyways.

[tangent] Didn't it say some where that Yamma-jii started the shinigami school? And if he did, how is he not the first Captain Commander? Cause to me it seemed like he started a school for them and then Shunsui and Ukitake were awesome and became captains right after they were done with their schooling. I always thought that Yamma, Unohana, Shunsui and Ukitake have been Captains as long as there have been Captains, but I guess they haven't [/tangent]

I liked the chapter, but I am a fan of Aizen and the words he uses, and not so much the random fighting chapters... So pretty much then ends of the arcs where Aizen is plotting is my favorite chapters. I've given up on Gin doing stuff, he seems to enjoy watching Aizen mind crush everyone.
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Being completely honest, I caught wind of [spoiler]Aizen pulling an Orochimaru ("I want your body, Sasuke")[/spoiler] when he specifically stated that the Espada were not the thing he really wanted. Ichigo's Hollowification training and the general direction of the manga also pointed me towards this beforehand.

Think about it. He enjoys messing around with the Shinigami / Hollow mixture, and through his manipulation, both the Vizards and the Espada were born. And, yet, he's not content with either of them. Why?

Simple. The mix is not "genuine".

Let me point out this

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/220/02/[/URL]

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/222/04/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/222/05/[/URL]

Why do they show surprise at the instantaneous regeneration, an ability that only Ulquiorra has displayed of the characters I know of thus far? The answer is quite simple -- they did not experience such an ability, nor were they able to perform a cero (which is why there was such surprise and even sideline warnings). If this was common in the hollowification process, then they would not have been so surprised in the first place. Can any of the Vizards even perform these attacks? It's doubtful -- these are hollow qualities, not shinigami ones, and a shinigami-with-hollow-mixes is still not a hollow.

See here -- [URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/350/18/[/URL]

To point at another thing, the Vizards were not [I]born[/I] with an inner hollow after becoming a shinigami. The inner hollow was essentially forced onto them with the help of Aizen. Why is it that the Vizards up to this point have been artificial ones, whereas Ichigo is a natural-born one? You could argue that Ichigo's transformation into a Shinigami-substitute, his innately large reiatsu, and the odd manner in which he became a "real" shinigami --

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/61/13/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/61/14/[/URL]

-- is what allowed him to do this, but I feel as if that doesn't tie up one point. By Urahara's explanation, Ichigo would become a Shinigami OR become a Hollow. Being both a hollow and shinigami is so outrageously unnatural, that in order for the Vizards to even be so, they had to get help from this little item

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/315.11/19/[/URL]

of which Ichigo had no interaction with.

More importantly...

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/315.12/03/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/315.12/18/[/URL]

So what does this all mean? It appears as if they were Shinigami who were turned into Hollows (they had to [I]reverse[/I] the hollowification, not slow it down / stop it), and then, with the extensive help of the [I]Hougyouku[/I] and Urahara's efforts, were able to revert to a Shinigami-with-a-Hollow persona. They were full-blown hollows for a time. Ichigo never had the luxury of being a "full-blown hollow" except [I]after[/I] he tried to gain mastery of his powers to become a Vizard. He came pretty close, but it was never a full transformation. He managed to stop it.

So why is it that Ichigo, who never completely transformed into a full hollow, can imitate those who were a full hollow that were reverted to Shinigami? And why is it that Ichigo's "final" form resembles Ulquiorra's ability to revert to a final form? Notice the lines going down from Ulquiorra's form compared to the lines stemming from Ichigo's new hole.

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/351/09/[/URL]

The biggest difference is only that [I]Ichigo has retained his shinigami sword[/I] (which is removed after a normal resurrecion) and that he still retains his mask. None of the other Vizards have either done or even heard of such a thing, either, as far as I can tell. It is believed that Hiyori died and, yet, there was no Level II power-up as with Ichigo's death, and I'm pretty sure that she had more than enough people she cared about calling for her after the fact that if she could have pulled an Ichigo, she would have.

This all points to the great possibility that Ichigo is inherently part hollow, perhaps through the union of Isshin (Ichigo's father and Shinigami), and a Vasto Lorde female (judging from Nel, we might be able to conclude that a Vasto Lorde female could very well fall into a romance with a shinigami, under the right circumstances). This could explain why Isshin is currently on Earth as opposed to being in Soul Society.

Extra tidbits :

Little note on the prospect that Ichigo is part Shinigami.
[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/63/10/[/URL]


Ichigo directly after becoming a Shinigami.
[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/64/12-13/[/URL]


(My first post on Otakuboards. Pleasure to make your acquaintances -- I've been lurking for a good time now).
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[size=1][color=green]First, welcome Rune.

That's a great post with some interesting/great points. However, there is one little flaw in one of your points.

[quote name='Rune']they did not experience such an ability, nor were they able to perform a cero (which is why there was such surprise and even sideline warnings).[/quote]

Shinji has fired a cero, and if I'm not mistaken so did Hiyori.

[url]http://www.mangatoshokan.com/read/Bleach/Maximum7/236/11[/url]
[url]http://www.mangatoshokan.com/read/Bleach/Maximum7/236/12[/url]

[url]http://www.mangatoshokan.com/read/Bleach/Maximum7/366/6[/url]
[url]http://www.mangatoshokan.com/read/Bleach/Maximum7/366/7[/url]

Well, it's not really flawed, but I thought you might've forgotten about that. Anyway, I think a post like this was greatly needed though. It just might have me read this from the very beginning (which I haven't done in a long time).[/size][/color]
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[quote name='Magus'][SIZE=1][COLOR=green]
Shinji has fired a cero, and if I'm not mistaken so did Hiyori.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/quote]

Oho, those are some interesting snapshots. Yes, I did forget about it (largely because it wasn't hyped up nearly as much as Ichigo's own Cero). Good catch.

Which makes Ulquiorra's disbelief a little... redundant. Surely he knew about Hollow Ichigo. If even Stage I Vizards can use Cero, then why would it be hard to believe Stage II Ichigo could? I guess it was a plot device to show off just how much Ichigo had gone into "Hollow territory" at this point. Anticlimactic. =/

Surely Grimmjow would have mentioned to the higher-ups that somebody (Shinji) just tried to smash his face in with a cero before this whole fiasco?

I do stand by the instant regeneration, however, especially at the rate the Vizards seem to be getting taken out of action. They didn't even display that trait when they were originally hollowified (in turn back the Pendulum). Perhaps it's all done in the background, though, trying to build a dark tone before the entire Vizard squad will pull a mass "haha, you thought you killed us but you really didn't" move on Aizen, to which he will respond "this was all part of my plan".

Also, did Ichigo get hit with Aizen's sword ability when Aizen went to block?

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/396/13/[/URL]

If so, it's possible that the Hogyouku is simply a farce, although I don't know why he would do something like that. He obviously has plans for it since he manipulated Orihime into messing with it (implying that she could destroy it completely with her ability, when she was actually reverting it to an earlier stage). Anyway, unless Aizen has to do something special to get people under his hypnosis, I suppose Ichigo is even more of a pawn, now? =/


An interesting note regarding Hollows

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/302/11/[/URL]

From Nel's words regarding the Espada in control prior to Aizen, I suppose that Aizen's current Espada are more gung-ho about taking the fight to the Shinigami whereas the prior Espada were far more mellow in this regard. This is only conjecture, but this Espada's bitter speech may be a reflection of more than just his own feelings.
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[SIZE=1]Firstly welcome to OB Rune, it's great to have another Bleach fanatic here.

I think you've certainly made some interesting points, and yes obviously Ichigo's level of hybridisation goes beyond that of what I'm tentatively going to call 1st Generation Vizards like Shinji and go and is closer to Tousen's 2nd Generation level, although for the moment it appears Ichigo lacks Tousen's high-speed regeneration in just mask-form (but then Aizen did just taunt Ichigo with "you're stronger than this").

I agree there's something of a discrepancy regarding Ulquiorra's surprise regarding Ichigo's mask and when they first fought but not necessarily his ability to use cero when they fought on top of Las Nochas. It's actually not even that Grimmjow would've told anyone about Shinji's cero and mask (and I don't think he would've because he's so prideful and wouldn't want to admit being thoroughly whipped by Shinji) but that Ulquiorra himself seems to be watching, or at least near the location of the fight in order to drag him away.

Ulquiorra's surprise above Las Nochas about what Ichigo has become is not entirely without merit, after all he and most of the other Espada (although Harribel is the only one to comment directly on it) assume that Ichigo is completely human rather than a hybrid Shinigami/whatever. Obviously he's right, a human is completely different both a Shinigami and a Hollow so it would seem odd enough he's able to use Shinigami powers and then to go on and effectively activate a ressurrecion while keeping his bankai from Shinigami-form would be surprising.

His use of high-speed regeneration in Hollow-form isn't that surprising to us, but then again remember Ulquiorra is still thinking of him as a human (which given Ulquiorra's tactical acumen would seem strange).

While obviously Ichigo being born half-Shinigami and half-Hollow would certainly make him a prime target as "material" for Aizen, I'm still having trouble accepting reproduction between the two, given physically and I extend this even to Vasto Lordes because just looking human-esque doesn't ensure they'll have reproductive organs in the appropriate place they're almost entirely different species. That said we know that Hollow's can naturally Shinigamify (the Privaron) so an Arrancar/Shinigami union isn't out of the question.
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First, this thread is very interesting to read and I like everyone's opinions.

Umm...for me Aizen just seems to know a little too much about everything. Even when Isshin showed up, Aizen seems to know about that as well. I just dont see how he could of have known about Ichigo unless his mother was an arrancar. He obviously had the denizens of HM on his side as they pulled him, Tosen, and Gin into HM. He probrably sent her to earth as a set of eyes. It would explain the plan to use Karakura Town as the material for the Kings key and how he knows everything Kisuke knows. It also would explain how Ichigo's mother can move so fast to protect her son when she was killed. This will hopefully explain why Ichigo can do the things he does: in having the best of both worlds of hollows and shinigami. His mom being an arrancar derived from a vastos lordes and his father being a vastly powerful shinigami should be the explaination of why he exceeds limits beyond everyone's imaginations. Ichigo's mother being an arrancar is the only explanation behind all of this and maybe she was one of the original "espada"as well. And each of them has died for the thing they represent or the type of death they rule over. Humans have died due to love and that was probrably her type of death. Barragan explains that theory:

[url]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/356/13/[/url]

[url]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/356/14/[/url]


Continuing though Aizen thought up many ways to combine soul reapers and hollows. And that he considers the force hollowfication of the vizards and the making of the espada to not be enough, maybe he thinks the birth of mixing the two genetic formulas would create the thing he wants most. I.E. being Ichigo.

Some questions I have though:

What did Isshin do in the soul society to be banished to the human realm? Or was it another frame job by Aizen so that no one would see his experiment of soul reaper/hollow breeding?

If my theory of him wanting to mix soul reaper and hollow is correct then why did he not reproduce with an arrancar himself?

Where the crap did Juushiro go? Its like he disappeared into thin air. Maybe I missed that part though in my reading.


*Also side note* I think the two bodies in Szayel's lab are Kisuke and Yuruichi. It would explain how he knew so much about everyone besides the constant observation and why those two aren't helping in the fight in FKT. It seemed when I was reading that Mayuri immediately noticed the two bodies with the look on his face and the sarcasm in his voice. Why they were there... think Kisuke wanted to know how to make the garganta appear on both sides because if he didn't figure it out then all those who went there would be stuck. I think he told Mayuri and Unohana how to open it but then got "captured" by Szayel's traps to dispel suspision. Because almost immediately after killing Szayel, Mayuri went straight to those doors buried underneath the debris.

Wow I had a lot to say....sorry for the long read.
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[quote name='Humaru']

*Also side note* I think the two bodies in Szayel's lab are Kisuke and Yuruichi. It would explain how he knew so much about everyone besides the constant observation and why those two aren't helping in the fight in FKT. It seemed when I was reading that Mayuri immediately noticed the two bodies with the look on his face and the sarcasm in his voice. Why they were there... think Kisuke wanted to know how to make the garganta appear on both sides because if he didn't figure it out then all those who went there would be stuck. I think he told Mayuri and Unohana how to open it but then got "captured" by Szayel's traps to dispel suspision. Because almost immediately after killing Szayel, Mayuri went straight to those doors buried underneath the debris.[/QUOTE]

I think that's wrong, Yuruichi is hella fast and both of them are smart enough to keep their guard up while walking in enemy territory (unlike Renji). I can't see Kisuke getting trapped by something designed by someone who was out smarted by Mayuri. Secondly, Yamma had him open the portals to HM for the captains, which means that he would have had to leave right after they did, and by that time Szayel's palace was wrecked by Renji and his clone's bankai. I guess you could say that he arrived their before the 12th captain, while the palace was still up, on account of Mayuri having to preform his surgery. But I feel like he would have come to Ishida and Renji's rescue, seeing as Szayel was dominating them the entire fight and he has close relationships with both of them, and not fallen into a trap... Ishida did manage to get around the traps and save Renji after all (and I don't see Ishida out classing Kisuke and Yurichi in any way shape or form).
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[quote name='Gavin'][SIZE=1]While obviously Ichigo being born half-Shinigami and half-Hollow would certainly make him a prime target as "material" for Aizen, I'm still having trouble accepting reproduction between the two, given physically and I extend this even to Vasto Lordes because just looking human-esque doesn't ensure they'll have reproductive organs in the appropriate place they're almost entirely different species. That said we know that Hollow's can naturally Shinigamify (the Privaron) so an Arrancar/Shinigami union isn't out of the question.
[/SIZE][/quote]

Is there such a great difference between a Shinigami and a Hollow in the first place?

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/62/19/[/URL]
[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/62/20/[/URL]

If I recall correctly, also, those in Soul Society who develop hunger are prime candidates to become Shinigami. (I've looked through the Bleach chapters, but I can't seem to figure out where the Rukia-Renji flashback is for supplementary evidence. If anyone else can find it, I would be eternally grateful >.<)

Shinigami originate from Human Spirits. Hollows originate from Human Spirits (that do not go to soul society). In my eyes, they're pretty close to the same thing, just with different intricacies.


I'm more curious as to how something ethereal would be able to reproduce with something else ethereal to produce a physical manifestation (a Shinigami and Hollow). This is, of course, assuming that Isshin is not a "shinigami substitute" as Ichigo is, but is a full-blown Shinigami and, thus, can exist physically only in a gigai. Would reproduction be possible in such circumstances, and how would genetic material be passed on?

Special Gigais are probably not impossible, however, considering Kisuke likes to fiddle with them at length.


[quote]What did Isshin do in the soul society to be banished to the human realm? Or was it another frame job by Aizen so that no one would see his experiment of soul reaper/hollow breeding?[/quote]If Isshin really did enjoy the company of a hollow, I highly doubt Soul Society would just turn a blind eye, especially if Isshin felt like marrying her. His exile could have been self-imposed and Soul Society never realized the true reason he did such a thing, or it could even have been, as you said, forced exile (although far more people would know about him if this was true).
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[quote name='Rune']
If I recall correctly, also, those in Soul Society who develop hunger are prime candidates to become Shinigami. (I've looked through the Bleach chapters, but I can't seem to figure out where the Rukia-Renji flashback is for supplementary evidence. If anyone else can find it, I would be eternally grateful >.<)
[/QUOTE]

I think there was some hunger stuff mentioned during the flashback where Gin saved Matsumoto. I don't know who had the flashback or when it happened though... anyways...
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[SIZE=1]That's a fair point with the hunger-trigger Rune, I'd actually completely forgotten about it. I was going to say that Shinigami are merely souls which gain control over their hunger and through controlling their energy are able to manifest a zanpakutou and other Shinigami abilities but are effectively still human souls where as a Hollow undergoes a distinct physical transformation on becoming Hollows which seem to be distinctly different from human souls.

The problem with that theory is we've seen souls manifest zanpakutou without being Shinigami (Kenpachi) and Shinigami abilities are mostly just the control and moulding of their reiatsu for a specific purpose. Given Hollows also possess reiatsu, although it seems to be distinct from Shinigami reiatsu, perhaps I was wrong to call them separate species but are rather two distinct sub-species of souls whose differences are based on their ability to control their hunger and reiatsu, Shinigami attaining control of both where as Hollows are very much driven by their hunger and don't possess any great level of reiatsu control until the undergo Shinigamification or perhaps become Vasto Lordes (although that's speculation).

Regarding why Isshin would be banished/exiled I've always believed he's the former head of the Shiba noble family and a Royal Guardsman but never come up with a concrete reason for his exile. If he did indeed father a child with a Hollow, Ichigo would be viewed as an abomination and that could very likely have lead to his exile/fleeing from Soul Society. As much as I don't like the idea, because it's so cliche it does make sense.
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[quote name='Gavin'][SIZE=1]Given Hollows also possess reiatsu, although it seems to be distinct from Shinigami reiatsu, perhaps I was wrong to call them separate species but are rather two distinct sub-species of souls whose differences are based on their ability to control their hunger and reiatsu, Shinigami attaining control of both where as Hollows are very much driven by their hunger and don't possess any great level of reiatsu control until the undergo Shinigamification or perhaps become Vasto Lordes (although that's speculation).[/SIZE][/quote]

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/4/12/[/URL]

Interestingly enough, Hollows do not eat souls because they are hungry, but because they are in pain. They lose their human heart and, to fill that void, consume others. This is why Hollows all have holes in their body, to signify this "missing heart".

Also, something significant --

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/6/15/[/URL]

Apparently, Hollows can be purified and thus sent to Soul Society, just like regular souls. I'm not sure how this is applied to higher class hollows, however -- it seemed as if, by slashing apart the Espada, they definitely perished.

When a hollow becomes an Arrancar, it reverts to a more humanoid form. This could very well show that, even as a hollow, they inherently desire to return to being human, to returning to life to fulfill that which they have regretted being unable to fulfill. Vasto Lordes, as far as I know, do not feast on the souls of humans, either, which is why they do not appear in the human world under normal circumstances. They have carved out their own niche and no longer have to fill the void in their heart with the suffering of others. Instead, it could probably even be said that they are the negative equivalent to Shinigami, just as normal hollows are the negative equivalent to normal souls, and their existence can hardly be considered as "evil" in the grand scheme of things.

[URL]http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/1/21/[/URL]

This holds even more weight when you consider the possibility that those souls who go on to Soul Society retain the form they had as a spirit in the human world, effectively making Soul Society the "world of the plus" where it is theoretically impossible for souls to naturally degenerate into hollows, with Hueco Mundo as the "world of the negative", where it is theoretically impossible for souls to retain their natural form.
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[SIZE=1]Hmm again another good point that I'd overlooked, my only concern is that when Hollows eat other Hollows, such as when Grimmjow and co. were stalking other Adjuchas and Menos before they became Arrancar it seems to be to increase their own power and evolve rather than to fill a void. Admittedly the reason give was their fear of reverting to a lesser form would render them permanently without sentience rather than a desire to evolve, but it does seem that Hollows of Menos class or above consume other souls for a different reason.

The Vasto Lordes being the opposite of Shinigami evolutionary-wise is an interesting theory, as a platform they seem to be the only stable Hollow once in terms of power and personality although whether or not they need to feed is supposition for the minute, because we really don't know anything about them. The only thing that's throwing me on the consumption part is that when Yammy did his Gonzou in Karakura he spoke as if he was eating souls for sustenance as opposed to power, this probably feeds into his own unique evolution but it's still curious.

On the spoiler side, it seems we're not going to learn what the second half of Ichigo's hybrid nature is this week.
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