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Well, we know that the Royal Guards are 2 things;
- Shinigami who have made a discovery that's changed the Soul Society.
- Shinigami who have (on average) power that exceeds a fifth of that of the whole of the Gotei 13.
It seems that the whole "discovery" thing is why they're chosen, so here's a question; "how come they all just happen to also be uber-elite!?!?!?". How come we haven't got a Royal Guard group that aren't scrawny uber-brainy nerds? My theory is that it's actually the ouken that gives them their strength!!! It literally gives them the key to the Royal Dimension, as with it they could beat the shit out of anyone else who's not invited!
What are your thoughts on this?
Your view is closely related to mine. The way I've looked at it is that the Soul King is the most royal "being" in Soul Society. Serving him would thus be the greatest honour anyone could hope to achieve. Those who have, in one way or another, aided the development of Soul Society in a revolutionary way are thus rewarded with the highest honour. Furthermore, by doing the above, those people have most likely proven their loyalty to Soul Society beyond any doubt.
As we have been told, there exists some special reiatsu in the Royal Dimension. I think that this, combined with the modification of their bodies into the "Ouken" actually unlock their full potentials and give them an enormous power boost. This also explains why enormous strength is not a sufficient condition for becoming a Royal Guard since their loyalties could still be in doubt and those who are accepted into it are given an enormous power boost anyway.
EDIT: Just a wild thought, but perhaps the Ouken is actually some special & extremely dense reiatsu. That could give us a hint on how Aizen tried to create one himself. Perhaps the collective reiatsu of Karakura Town would be enormous enough, and the Hogyoku could then insert this "special reiatsu". At this point, I'm confident that the Hogyoku is closely related to the Soul King and that it has powers similar to his.
Last edited by Azuma; March 12, 2013 at 06:00 AM.
Well, if you're theory is correct, and the Ouken unlocks their true potential, then it sounds very much like another object we've seen in Bleach...the Hougyoko; both act like a philosopher's stone, only the Hougyoko seems to take this a step further. Furthermore, the creation of the Hougyoko and the Ouken share similarities; both have required the sacrifice of thousands upon thousands of souls in order to create them.
Perhaps the Hougyoko is another example of technology that's been copied from the Royal Dimension, but this time the Hougyoko is actually MORE powerful than the Ouken and allows the very will of its master to be be materialised as well as their true strength. It may be the case that Aizen was not aiming to create an Ouken, but to actually improve his Hougyoko even further to the level where he essentially became a new Soul King; in other words, the Hougyoko is a step inbetween the Ouken that the Royal Guard possess and the Ouken that the Soul King himself possesses.
Going further into my theory that the Soul King is the original "pureblood" Quincy (whereas others are kinda diluted down by the introduction of Human parents), it may be a fact that Quincy are infused with Ouken powers, which may be why the Vandenreich (which are the older and purer Quincy) are so damned powerful!!! This would also explain their ability to manipulate spirit particles, as the Ouken essentially do the same thing (i.e. they manipulate the spirit particles within a being to bring about its true potential).
In fact, I like your idea that the Soul King possibly IS a Hougyoko (or combined with my theory that they're the same, an Ouken). According to my theory, this would make the Quincy Human/Ouken hybrids!!!
Last edited by Lee.J.Baxter; March 12, 2013 at 06:30 AM.
Hence, as you just stated, Aizen tried to become the new Soul King (in fact, he implied that and perhaps even explicitly stated that) by gaining similar powers as the Soul King (through fusion with the Hogyoku) and taking his place.
Last edited by Azuma; March 12, 2013 at 07:12 AM.
Come to think of it, if the Quincy ARE Human/Ouken hybrids, then it may explain why the Hougyoko suddenly had a change of heart during Ichigo's final battle with Aizen. At first the Hougyoko worked together with Aizen to kill Ichigo, and it could have allowed Aizen to finish him off without abandoning him. My theory is that the Hougyoko may have sensed the dormant Quincy powers within Ichigo, and refused to participate in the murder of its own "kind".
BTW, this may also explain Ichigo's seemingly limitless potential too; if he has the powers of a powerful Quincy (i.e. Masaki, who's most likely one of the Vandenreich) infused within his blood (and thus the powers of the Soul King's Ouken), then those powers would facilitate his progression.
---------- Post added at 11:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:44 AM ----------
I don't know about you Azuma, but our combined theories seem to be fitting every piece of the puzzle!!! The Soul King is a powerful Hougyoko (which is why Aizen started to look similar to him as he fused with one), the Ouken are weaker splinters of that Hougyoko (which is how their potential is fully unlocked), the Quincy are Human/Hougyoko hybrids (which is how they possess the ability to manipulate and absorb spirit particles), and Ichigo is also part Hougyoko too due to his Quincy bloodline (which explains his ability to master abilities .etc. so quickly, as his Hougyoko powers assist with this)!
Last edited by Lee.J.Baxter; March 12, 2013 at 07:01 AM.
Regardless, the fact that Aizen infused the Hogyoku in himself while still planning on using the Hogyoku to create an Ouken, combined with the fact that the Royal Guards all have an Ouken in them, strongly suggest a link between the Hogyoku and the Ouken. We might not be spot on, but I think we're close.