Yumichika was ready to die in FKT to protect the secret ability of his zanpakuto. He would have let Charlotte kill him if it weren’t for that black dome.
In 592, he was ready to release Ruri'iro Kujaku without hesitation to protect Ikkaku.
Yumichika would happily throw away his own life for something as superficial as keeping his kido-based zanpakuto a secret but when Ikkaku is in trouble it no longer matters. He values Ikkaku more than he values his own life.
Yumichika’s reaction to seeing Ikkaku go down was heartbreaking. Yumichika is usually relatively composed until someone fucks with Ikkaku. He did the same thing when Ikkaku lost his fight in FKT. I wanna hug him now.
When you think about it, their relationship has been about sacrifice from the very beginning. Mostly from Yumichika’s part, honestly, but still.
Whenever he stepped aside to give Ikkaku the better fight, when he stood there and watched, knowing he could lose his friend, but did nothing, because he knew Ikkaku’s honor was more important to him than anything, he was sacrificing his own happiness. He spend many years doing that, devoting himself to Ikkaku 100% as if his satisfaction meant more to Yumichika than his own. Yes he went crazy and tried to help him at the Fake Karakura Town pillar, but there were many other times he simply had to stand there while Ikkaku practically begged for death, because he understood that was what he wanted.
Somewhere along the lines… during this 17 month break in the Bleach universe, I guess (a lot of things changed in that time, lol - everyone got both an apperance AND a personality makeover), that’s all been turned around.
Now, they’ve come to an even bigger understanding. It’s not about sacrificing their happiness to the other can die in battle with honor. It’s about sacrificing their own LIVES to protect each other. Ikkaku broke the number one fucking rule, pushing Yumichika out of the way to save him. In doing so, it cost him his own life. Yumichika then stood between Captain Hitsugaya and an injured/dying Ikkaku to protect him, a big no-no in their beloved division. Why do they no longer give two fucks about the samurai code and Squad 11’s rules?
My theory is simple: THEY LOVE EACH OTHER MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD
I really hope they revamp the Bleach anime and put this arc on the screen because so much crazy character development and intense shit is happening! Yes, lots of my favorites are being axed off, but at least these two got some major development first AND kicked (a little) ass first.
Ikkaku taking one for Yumichika and Yumichika losing his shit over Ikkaku…
Yumichika and Ikkaku… Please don’t be dead…
Hitsugaya is more badass as a zombie. Not bad…
So… Hitsugaya isn’t dead. Kubo pretty much just confirmed that he isn’t dead and probably won’t die. That was the only reason for that entire exposition between Giselle and Mayuri. False alarm, everyone! Hitsugaya will be saved.