Bleach: Is Aizen responsible for Ichigo’s birth, explained

Ichigo activates Final Getsuga Tenshou against Aizen (Image via Pierrot Studios)
Ichigo activates Final Getsuga Tenshou against Aizen (Image via Pierrot Studios)

As the archetypal Bleach villain, Aizen is much like Frieza from Dragon Ball Z. In his pursuit of godhood, he, along with the Arrancar army, was behind the attack on the Visored. Besides committing many more crimes, he was also behind ordering Rukia’s execution.

Even though Aizen is currently being held in a facility for containment deep beneath the Seireitei, he hasn't fully dealt with the situation there. This is because the all-powerful Hogyoku is still fused to his body, giving him the ability to interfere with Yhwach's perception of time without him noticing.

During the events of the Thousand Year Blood War arc, Ichigo goes up against Yhwach, and his Zanpakuto is broken in battle. When he is taken to the Soul King’s Palace, Ōetsu Nimaiya, creator of all Zanpakutos, refuses to fix his broken Bankai as he is unaware of his own self. Subsequently, Ichigo is sent back to Karakura Town to re-discover his roots when the truth of his birth is revealed.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the Bleach series.


Aizen unknowingly created his worst enemy in Bleach

Isshin faces off against White (Image via Shueisha)
Isshin faces off against White (Image via Shueisha)

As revealed in the latest Bleach TYBW episode, Aizen has always been interested in the Hollowfication process, which transformed a positive soul (a "Plus") into one of Hollows. It appeared that Aizen was conducting his experimentations on the subject during Ichigo's father's tenure as a Soul Reaper, seeking to produce an ideal Hollow referred to as White.

The intent of unleashing this Hollow on Karakura Town was to cause some sort of mutation to fight Soul Reapers. Isshin, Ichigo's father, soon visited the living world to look into the mysterious deaths of Soul Reapers and discovered this Hollow to be accountable.

Masaki fends off White (Image via Shueisha)
Masaki fends off White (Image via Shueisha)

Isshin did an excellent job of fighting it off. However, Aizen and his cohort of traitors appeared and retaliated, immediately recognizing the cut inflicted by Zanpakuto that he considered a betrayal, even when he was not aware of his attacker’s identity. At that point, Masaki Kurosaki, Ichigo's future mother, arrived and launched a barrage of Heilig Pfeil to attract the monster's attention before dispatching it with a single blow.

Later, in Bleach, Isshin and Masaki fell in love and married, which indirectly resulted in the birth of Ichigo. As such, this determined his involvement in bringing Aizen down. Masaki saved Isshin, and he returned the favor when the Hollow prepared to self-destruct. However, it went deeper than that. Masaki was bitten by the Hollow, and although it was not yet known what exactly happened to her, it's clear that something significant did take place.

Isshin and Masaki (Image via Shueisha)
Isshin and Masaki (Image via Shueisha)

Ichigo may have developed the power to Hollowify as a result of this event, making him a far better candidate to become a Visored than the artificially created ones. After all, even Aizen had no idea what to anticipate from the events that had transpired earlier, but he was excited at the prospects. Given that Ulquiorra and Aizen were defeated in large part because of Ichigo's Hollow skills, it logically follows that Aizen was the one who provided the protagonist with the very means to do so.


Suppositions throughout Bleach

During the Bleach's Agent of the Shinigami arc, it was hypothesized by Urahara that Ichigo underwent a partial Hollowfication due to the results of his Zanpakuto training. Similar to how Rukia unleashed Ichigo's Shinigami abilities, Urahara and the Vizards assisted Ichigo in awakening his Hollow instincts.

Ichigo emerges from the shaft in a partially Hollowfied state (Image via Pierrot Studios)
Ichigo emerges from the shaft in a partially Hollowfied state (Image via Pierrot Studios)

However, that was not the case. Contrary to other Hollows, who served as Bleach's main antagonists, Hollow Ichigo assumed the position of the anti-hero who, as the story developed, becomes the protagonist's biggest challenge and greatest ally.

Over the course of the Thousand Year Blood War arc, the Hollow within Ichigo was nothing but a manifestation of White since the Hollow was experimented upon by Aizen. It was the essence that was transferred into Masaki and later into Ichigo, melding with his spiritual energy and becoming his Zanpakuto, Zangetsu. This was probably why Hollow Ichigo came out as a profoundly vicious individual with an insatiable thirst for conflict.


In conclusion

Ichigo and Hollow Ichigo, aka Zangetsu (Image via Pierrot Studios)
Ichigo and Hollow Ichigo, aka Zangetsu (Image via Pierrot Studios)

Owing to the various machinations of Aizen throughout the course of Bleach, it's unclear how much he is aware of his part in all of this. Although he recognized Isshin from the Fake Karakura Town storyline, an intelligent person like him wouldn't have much trouble making the connection to Ichigo. The only thing that could make the major villain from Bleach feel worse would be the irony that he was the one who brought his own demise with Ichigo, yet he was unable to control the situation.

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