In the Fall 2022 anime season, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War has finally come, bringing with it a number of stunning changes and turns as well as some intriguing mysteries. Most character plotlines have reached their climaxes at this point in Bleach's narrative, but there are still some unresolved issues.
As an illustration, consider Sternritter J's identity, the warrior who assisted Ichigo and Kisuke Urahara in eliminating Quilge Opie in Hueco Mundo. Despite Quilge's arsenal of tricks, a mysterious warrior slew him with a single sword stroke before posing a threat to Kisuke. Longtime Bleach fans have made some good assumptions about who it may be, and the ramifications are both exciting and terrifying.
The Mysterious Final Foe of Quilge Opie in Hueco Mundo
Protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki fought well against Quilge with his bankai in the desert sands of Hueco Mundo, but Quilge regained the upper hand with clever use of his ability, The Jail. He also held off Kisuke, Chad and Orihime with his remaining power and use of Ransotengai, and it seemed he couldn't be stopped. At the last moment, someone or something slashed Quilge in half from behind, finishing him off for good. His dead body barely hit the sands when the mystery attacker threatened Kisuke with their zanpakuto's blade, and the scene edned there. Aside from that blade, nothing was shown of the attacker -- but by process of elimination, only a few Bleach characters remain as candidates.
All Soul Reapers are busy defending the Seireitei from the Wandenreich's brutal assault, so it cannot be one of them. But there are several surviving Arrancars out there, including the former 6th Espada, Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, and the Tres Bestias, or Harribel's former fracciones. Nelliel is still alive but is in her child form, and Orihime is holding on to her tightly in those scenes. Given the mystery attacker's power and use of their sealed zanpakuto, it's almost certainly Grimmjow.
Most Espadas died in the "Hueco Mundo" arc or the "Fake Karakura Town" arc, but Grimmjow survived. In fact, Ichigo spared his life when Nnoitora Gilga attacked, and that was the last Bleach fans saw of Grimmjow at the time. Now the former 6th Espada may be back for more, and he has no love of the Wandenreich and its Hollow-slaying Quincy. To defend his homeland, Grimmjow will gladly finish off Ichigo's enemies -- but that doesn't mean the two are now friends. Grimmjow is a chaotic third party, a wild card that could do anything in this all-out war.
How the Shocking Turns in Bleach's Story Are Resurrected by the Thousand-Year Blood War
Bleach's final war arc is a lot like My Hero Academia's heroes clashing against the Paranormal Liberation Front in Season 6. These may be both series' final major arcs, but there's still ample room for plot twists, character growth, new abilities and much more. Both Bleach and MHA are keeping viewers engaged with new mysteries and shocking developments right up to the end, and nothing will be decided until the final episode. This means Bleach fans should be ready for last-minute changes or new chapters in any given character's arc, even if it seemed to be complete already.
Manga readers know the "Thousand-Year Blood War" arc actually has more twists and turns than any other Bleach arc, and this chaotic war will totally reshape the story and its world. That includes the return of the surviving Arrancars, many of whom have plenty of things left to say and do. Grimmjow, a fan-favorite villain, is in the perfect position to return as a wild card and keep viewers guessing with his self-serving behavior as a reluctant anti-hero in this war.
Grimmjow isn't suddenly Ichigo's best friend, but he has every reason to oppose the Wandenreich -- and above all, he wants a chance to fight Ichigo once again as a worthy rival. If Grimmjow must butcher the Sternritter to make room for that rematch, so be it. There's no Sosuke Aizen or Kaname Tosen to keep Grimmjow in check anymore, so his fate is truly in his own hands at last. He can't wait to make the most of it.