Bleach TYBW: Who is Unohana Yachiru?

Bleach Thousand-Year Blood War - Yachiru Unohana
Yachiru Unohana as seen in Bleach TYBW trailer (Image via Studio Pierrot)

With the Bleach TYBW anime currently focusing on the aftermath of the Quincy's attack on the Seireitei, the Shinigamis must get stronger quickly to take on the Wandenreich empire. While Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya have already been taken to the Soul King Palace, the rest of the Shinigamis are back in the Soul Society.

As evident from the preview of Bleach TYBW episode 9, Shunsui Kyoraku is set to be named the next Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 and the captain of Squad 1. After taking over the position, Shunsui's first task will be to get Zaraki Kenpachi trained in Zanjitsu by Squad 4 captain Unohana Retsu. However, Kyoraku is set to reveal the latter's real identity during this time.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the Bleach manga.


Retsu Unohana was once the most dangerous killer of Seireitei in Bleach TYBW

Yachiru Unohana as seen in Bleach Brave Souls (Image via KLabGames)
Yachiru Unohana as seen in Bleach Brave Souls (Image via KLabGames)

Yachiru Unohana was the former villainous identity of Squad 4 captain Retsu Unohana. Before she changed her identity to Retsu, Yachiru was known as the most diabolical criminal and serial killer of the Soul Society.

Looking at her skills, Yamamoto Shigekuni had her join him as one of the Founding members of the Gotei 13, naming her as the captain of Squad 11 and the "1st Kenpachi." However, she later gave the title to the boy, who later came to be known as Zaraki Kenpachi.

Zaraki Kenpachi as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Zaraki Kenpachi as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)

In the manga, Shunsui Kyoraku proposed that Unohana train Zaraki Kenpachi. For this, he had to convince the Central 46, which was only possible after he revealed Retsu Unohana's original identity to be Yachiru Unohana, the person who was given the title of the "1st Kenpachi."

After Shunsui revealed the secret, Unohana reverted to her truly dark persona. She was the only person capable of training Zaraki Kenpachi, who was a valuable war asset in the battle against the Quincy. However, given his defeat against Royd Lloyd in Bleach TYBW episode 5, the Soul Society needed Zaraki Kenpachi to become stronger as soon as possible.

While Unohana's secret was shocking to fans back when it was revealed in the manga, many were confused about why she changed her identity.


Why did Yachiru Unohana change her identity?

Yachiru Unohana as seen in Bleach (Image via Shueisha)
Yachiru Unohana as seen in Bleach (Image via Shueisha)

After being named the "1st Kenpachi," Yachiru once took on a mission to kill the warriors on the edges of Rukongai. As she wandered around the area, she was attacked by a young boy who gave her a scar.

When Yachiru won against the boy, she realized he was way stronger than her and was much more suited to become the future Kenpachi. Thus, she decided to leave Squad 11 and became the captain of Squad 4 through her expertise in medical techniques, which was taught to her previously by Squad 0 member Tenjirō Kirinji.

Tenjirō Kirinji as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Tenjirō Kirinji as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Moreover, the reason behind her having learned medical techniques from Kirinji was also creepy. Yachiru, who was adamant about prolonging her fights, learned medical techniques to heal her opponents during her fights so that the battle could go on a bit longer.