Bleach TYBW: Why Oetsu Nimaiya is crucial to Ichigo’s final evolution

The God of the Sword himself
The God of the Sword himself (Image via Tite Kubo / Shueisha / Bleach)

Bleach TYBW is crucial to Ichigo Kurosaki's development, and it's all thanks to Oetsu Nimaiya.

In a series where swordplay is the main form of combat, it's not easy carrying the prestigious title of the "God of the Sword." Nimaiya is a key supporting character in the Bleach TYBW anime. He is a very important member of the Zero Division and is also responsible for training Ichigo.

There is a clear divide in power levels between the Shinigami and the Sternritter, at least by this point in the series. Ichigo must evolve far beyond his current form in the Bleach TYBW anime. Nimaiya might be very unpredictable in his teaching methods, but he knows exactly what he's doing.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views. It will also contain major spoilers from the manga.


In his own way, Nimaiya helped Ichigo reach his potential in the Bleach TYBW anime

Ichigo seemingly failed a very important challenge

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Ichigo needed to regorge his Zanpakuto after it was broken by Jugram Haschwalth. In the tenth episode of the Bleach TYBW anime, Nimaiya explained how Ichigo and Renji Abarai needed to fight the Asauchi as part of their training in the Soul Palace, otherwise, he wouldn't bother fixing their blades.

Nimaiya gave Ichigo and Renji three days to deal with the Asauchi in the Bleach TYBW anime. Although Renji passed his test, Ichigo was unable to, and he was later sent back into the Human World for his failure.


Nimaiya knew that was going to happen (manga spoilers)

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Nimaiya earned his position in the Zero Division for a very specific reason. He is the creator of the Zanpakuto, which means he knows everything about them. Nimaiya quickly figured out why Renji didn't bother protesting Ichigo's dismissal. They both knew that he would fail the test in Bleach TYBW.

It turns out that Ichigo needed more time to discover himself. The Asauchi didn't accept him because he didn't fully understand his relationship with the Zanpakuto. Nimaiya wanted to ensure that Ichigo would look for those answers for himself. The latter would never unlock his full potential until then.

Yhwach had already spelled it out to Ichigo in their first encounter with the Bleach TYBW. There's a reason why the former called the latter "his son" before he departed from Soul Society. Ichigo needed to figure himself out before he could hope to reforge his Zanpakuto.


Ichigo finally understood his Zanpakuto's true form

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For the longest time, Ichigo assumed that his Zangetsu spirit was the Yhwach lookalike. However, it turns out that he was the manifestation of his Quincy powers. Hollow Ichigo was the true Zanpakuto spirit this entire time. He only found this out after meeting up with his father.

Isshin explained that Ichigo's mother was a Quincy. She was infected by a Hollow, but with timely intervention on Kisuke Urahara's behalf, she fused her soul with Isshin's and survived that ordeal. Masaki later gave birth to Ichigo, who later inherited both powers for himself.

After returning to the Soul Palace, Ichigo finally confronts his inner spirits about this. He would acknowledge both of them as his Zanpakuto in Bleach TYBW. Ichigo would gain full access to his Zangetsu powers after Nimaiya forged him two distinct blades.

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