Ichigo and many of his friends suffered serious injuries battling the Quincy, but a special type of Divine healing may be just what they need.
Warning: Spoilers for Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 8The battles seen so far in Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War have been incredibly intense, and many major characters have suffered some serious wounds as a result. Fortunately, Ichigo and his most injured friends have been given access to the greatest healing of all time–even if it’s a little creepy.
Following the Quincy attack on the Seireitei, a number of characters are on death’s door, and some like Head Captain Yamamoto have already died. Squad Four’s healers are doing their best, but when it comes to those with the most severe injuries like Byakuya, they weren’t even confident that he’d ever regain consciousness, much less get back to fighting shape. Rukia and Renji had similarly serious injuries, especially since Renji was thrown a ridiculously far distance before crashing into and destroying some buildings at the end of his fight. While Ichigo is still on his feet, that doesn’t mean that his injuries aren’t also quite bad, and with his Zanpakuto destroyed, there’s little he can do to fight now either.
The captains and Ichigo are all called out to witness the arrival of Squad Zero, a secret group of Soul Reapers who act as the Royal Guard for the Soul King who reigns over the Soul Society. Squad Zero’s members reveal that they’re there to retrieve Ichigo, and will also be bringing with them Rukia, Renji, and Byakuya for some intensive healing. Despite a rough, rocket-like launch, they all arrive at the Soul King’s palace safely, and all four are taken to a special hot spring. While Ichigo is able to relax in the hot spring as one normally would, the other three are left submerged in the water, a fact which causes him great concern. The member of Squad Zero with them, Tenjiro Kirinji, explains that this is a special hot spring that drains the blood and damages spiritual pressure from those submerged in it. Once all the blood is purged, they’ll be moved over to a second hot spring of bubbling blood, which will replenish their bodies–something he demonstrates by tossing Byakuya into the blood pool.
Squad Zero’s Intensive Healing
Kirinji explains that his title among Squad Zero is “the Hot Spring Demon.” When he spoke to Squad Four’s Retsu Unohana, he asked her if she’d been using the healing techniques he taught her, so it’s fair to conclude that Kirinji is the team healer for Squad Zero. As a consequence of his power and proximity to the Soul King, it’s no surprise that his healing is on a completely different level than any seen thus far in the series. The healing method he practices bears some resemblance to bloodletting, an old and discredited technique that is supposed to force illness from the body along with the blood. Hot springs themselves also have a long association with health and recovery in Japan, but bringing the two ideas together in this way is an original, if disgusting, method of healing.
With any luck, Rukia and the others will be back on their feet in Bleach soon. While Ichigo’s injuries may heal quickly here, there’s still the matter of his broken Zanpakuto to worry about, so it looks like their time in the Soul King’s Palace may last a bit longer in Bleach.
New episodes of Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War are currently streaming on Mondays via Hulu.