Yes, an explanation has been given, but the explanation is nonsensical. Why would Quincy keep killing hollows if it's going to lead to the world's destruction? It would appear that the King and his Stern Ritter leader are aware of the imbalance, and before the invasion were intentionally exterminating hollows. As it stands I'm thinking:
Collapsing the barrier will destroy soul society, but only flood the real world with spirit particles that will largely not affect the way it functions (people who aren't spirit sensitive, which is the overwhelming majority wouldn't even notice), apart from giving Quincy a wealth of spirit particles to work with.
Such a scenario would be bad for shinigami who would have their world destroyed and possibly kill them in the process (though I suppose they could just become refugees and go to the real world) and the Quincy largely didn't give a shit about what happened to the shinigami and just wanted to protect their own people without having to rely on the shinigami's whim. This would make the war a lot more complicated, since both sides are understandably looking after their own interests which just happen to be diametrically opposed to each other.
My idea is that the whole thing is centered around the king and the world's order. So far we know only ambiguous things about the king however it seems reasonably certain that his job is to keep reality as it is considering urahara's description of him/it as a lynchpin. In this regard, wouldn't the king have some sort of ability to determine how the world works? Perhaps the lynchpin can be changed, perhaps it allows someone to determine how the world works...
Before I go on there is something else I want to point out about the quincy. So far the quincy and shinigami are at large opposites in terms of basically everything. Shinigami use their inner power while quincy use external power. Shinigami use swords in close range while quincy use bows (or variations of them) in long distance. Quincy are white and shinigami are black. Quincy seem to have some western qualities to them while shinigami have oriental qualities to them. For orientals white is the color of death/evil (or something like that) and for westerns black in the color of evil/death (or something like that). Shinigami are, well, shinigami, while quincy take on after some angel like thingy.
Now, if shinigami and quincy are opposite and they represent entirely different cultural mindsets then it makes sense their views are a reflection of that. SO far the quincy seem to be trying to take over the shinigami. The function of shinigami is to basically control death and through that control regulate the balance of souls between the worlds. My idea is that the balance itself is unacceptable for the quincy.
Even by shinigami understandings it does seem like quincy are fighting for a just cause. They are not just a selfish group trying to acquire godhood or something, they are fighting because what they actually believe in is by their standards just. The shinigami are the same, they fight for their own vision of justice. However, even if their objective is justice they are opposites in every regard so their vision of justice is likely to be also opposite from the other. In this regard, perhaps it is the very way in which shinigami balance souls and the afterlife that the quincy oppose.
The traditional western idea of the afterlife is basically paradise. You live and die once and then you go to either heaven or hell. For orientals there is more of a rebirth and transitory stages going on.My idea is that the very afterlife system in bleachverse is not only subjective but determined by someone. The lynchpin urahara mentioned as the king would potentiallly hold reality as it is but it would also be plausible to change reality itself into an entirely different system of the afterlife. In the quincy's case they would perhaps want to change the afterlife into a more traditional western system with heaven, hell and purgatory basically. Its not just about hollows (which could actually disappear altogether under a different system), its about them believing their version of the afterlife is morally and objectively better than the current one. They would be described by the shinigami as "just" because the system itself is subjective and could be changed thus having the implication that the current system of soul balance was at some point determined by someone rather than it being an inherent aspect of the world. Of course this would have the implication that the system under which the shinigami work is not necessarily better or worst than the one for which quincy fight, it is just an alternative which they defend for whatever reason. And the quincy would be just another alternative in which they believe in. And there could be a number of other possible systems for that matter.
My whole cracked pot theory actually reminded me of what aizen said in one of his final moments:
The whole thing about thinking about the way the world should be is perhaps consistent with my crackpot theory. Perhaps the orb itself and its ability to grant wishes was an attempt of sorts to recreate the power of the king himself. Aizen and urahara arrived the the hougyoku conclusion (aizen said that) independently. Does it make sense that they both, at almost the same time, would independently develop something which transcends traditional world physics? Perhaps both of them were studying the king and reality itself and came to the orb conclusion as a means to manipulate reality with something akin to the power of the king.
I think that SS colliding with the real world due to an imbalance in the movement of souls is BS made up by SS to cover up another reason for wanting the Quincy exterminated....a reason that is probably much less sympathetic. Probably only Yamamoto, the RG and Central 46 know the truth, and it probably had something to do with the Soul King. The Vandenreich is aware of this and probably killed all of those hollows just to screw with SS. Perhaps it would destroy SS but there's no way the Quincy would destroy the world just so they could have their revenge.
Maybe after they kill all shinigami the Vandenreich will take all of the souls in SS and move all of them to that ice dimension they reside in, and take over as the governing agent of the afterlife.
Well, being that this is the final arc and it's titled "1,000 Year Blood War", I am assuming that this is based heavily around Yamamoto's history with the Quincy King. And somehow, Ichigo is connected to that.
As to why, the two organizations are fighting with one another, I believe it's gone beyond the whole "balance" thing, because now, the Quincy are using "hollows" to carryout their plans. So, their hatred for them is over and done with it. Their supposed annihilation by the Shinigami, could've been an order by Central 46, but if we are indeed talking about a threat so great that it would effect the balance of worlds, then is it possible that even the Spirit King itself, gave the order for the Quincy to be destroyed?.
It's obvious too, that they are the greatest threat Soul Society will ever face and the war itself as of now, to me at least, could be about dominion of the actual spirit worlds all together. They "believe" to be working towards "one" balance instead of "several" that they alone will control to their own ends. Erasing all other balances has given them the idea of creating a "whole" spiritual world, where life and death merges as one or something.
Anyways, that's my theory on it. It could also be, the traditional "take over everything" motif, but that's gotten worn out. Even in Bleach.
Somehow I doubt that SS spilling into the real world is a lie. Wouldn't the 12th division be aware of that by now? Why would there be a need for mayuri to kill 28000 people if there was no need to fix the balance. I think SS spilling into the real world is actually true but perhaps the belief that this will bring about an actual end of the world is exaggerated. The quincy destroying the balance makes no sense if we assume that it will indeed destroy the world. Greater good makes no sense if there is not a world after all. In turn, if the truth is that it causes a decent deal of destruction but not absolute destruction, it leaves a decent number of people actually alive, then it makes sense the quincy would resort to this. If this is the case then a huge number of people would theoretically die however if there is a world after that then the quincy could basically justify everything being for the greater good. We already know that the shinigami and quincy are fighting for their own version of justice. For the greater good and their justice it makes sense they would take collateral damage.
I can hardly imagine the living world keeping together after flooding to SS (spriritualizing) or conversely. It's been shown that Shinigami die if they go to the living world through Tenkai Kecchuu and not the normal Senkaimon way, and the converse is probably the reason for Ichi and party to invade SS through Urahara's special stargate. Those are completely separate worlds. With one exception, though. Quincies, who can use their abilities in human bodies as well as spiritual (Ishida), which IMO implies that they are somewhere at the boundary, and therefore would survive.
And yeah, they are as a matter of fact fighting for "their" good however as far as they are concerned their good is the correct one, their good is the objectively better one. The whole thing about shinigami and quincy being at war was because both of them were fighting for "their good", their justice. As far as the quincy are concerned they are not evil bastards bent on the destruction and subjugation of the world. As far as they are concerned they are fighting for the greater good (their good) which is every bit as important to them as what the shinigami's good is to them. As far as the quincy are concerned the shinigami are the evil ones (as much as the quincy would be evil to the shinigami) who must be purged.
As for the tenkai kecchu thing, I think that you might be taking that a bit out of context. We have no reason to believe that people die when traveling between worlds by any other than the stardard means. We even saw 2 shinigami using something other than the senkaimon. Remember when rukia trained with orihime and then orihime was sent to the human world through the void thingy and ulquiorra got a hold of her? That much is proof that the senkaimon is not needed for shinigami to cross. Shinigami have also been seen using garganta for that matter. I would rather argue that the issue here is that tenkai kecchu is not actually meant to transport people thus making it inherently dangerous rather than there being a limitation as to the means of traveling between worlds. That said, the worlds spilling into each other would in all likelihood be different enough from traveling between worlds for it to probably not be the best comparison.
I guess I'll insert my own crackpot theory here . In hindsight, all that's been going on in Bleach is reminding me a lot of Inu Yasha.
Here, hollows would be the equivalent of demons; the quincies would be the equivalent of demon slayers; and the current arrangement of the Bleach worlds is the same as the modern world in Inu Yasha where Kagome is from where demons don't exist (at least in the open) but can enter through special means. Before soul society would have been created the Bleach world would've had hollows and other spirits living in the human world like in the Sengoku Period in Inu Yasha where demons and other magical stuff existed openly (Komamura often reminds me of Shippo the little fox demon ).
If at some point in the past, the Spirit King was responsible for removing hollows from the human world and creating the barriers between the dimensions, and if Soul Society was created as a result of this to maintain the balance between souls passing through these barriers, then having the balance broken would indeed mean that soul society would cease to exist and the current bleach world would enter a time of chaos where it would have to get used to having hollows living there (which i guess would be considered as the destruction of the world by hollows as a result aside from soul society being destroyed).
I'm assuming an in depth past though, where quincies used to battle hollows before shinigami used to exist. It does seem like that soul society has a finite past. At least the organization of the squads, their training schools and the captain commander's past seem to lead to the begining of all this.
I want to add that I really like kkck's comparison of western culture's concept of heaven & hell vs eastern culture's concept of the cycle of rebirth is represented by the quincies vs shinigami making the cause of their fighting really being a battle of ideology which can't really be reconciled with in this context.
Last edited by Anduren; August 07, 2012 at 07:35 PM.