Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about a theory I came up with some time ago and I came to the realization that I never posted it here to hear your guys thoughts on it! So it's no secret that has Bleach was gearing up for some big fights, the publisher cut Tite Kubo off making him end the series in a few chapters. One of the problems I had with the ending is Ichigo's Zanpakutou and more accurately his "Bankai". Now in the 3 different forms we'd seen his Bankai take the last form was the most different and didn't make sense, changes which remained constant through out all of the forms suddenly thrown out the window! Then at the end where the sword broken and inside of it was his original Shikai made even less sense! Unless you remember the fact that Kubo had to rush the ending and consider... What if that "Bankai" was originally meant to be Ichigo' Shikai! What if Kubo didn't have the time to draw a new Bankai design and instead used panels he had already made but changed the dialogue/story that went with them. Here's my argument for this theory! Ever since Tensa Zangetsu was revealed in Chapter 162 in the fight against Byakuya Kuchiki, it underwent a total of 3 changes through out the series and out of those 4 forms 3 of them had multiple aspects in common! Ichigo's Clothing changed It had a swastika guard It was a regular sized black sword The clothing change was referenced to during the Fullbring Arc, when Ichigo's Fullbring turned into it's 2nd form. The true nature of Ichigo's Powers is being covered in them. Another thing is that Ichigo was often compared to Kenpachi Zaraki due to the fact that originally it was thought that they both were in state of "constant release", that they were always in their Shikai state. But with the reveal of Kenpachi's Shikai Nozarashi this was deemed incorrect for Kenpachi and the Author added in Chapter 667 when Kenpachi activated Nozarashi in front of Byakuya, he said "that the constantly released form as we called it... Never even existed to begin with..." So if this theory was incorrect with Kenpachi, then why would it not be for Ichigo as well? Shunsui Kyoraku has two sealed sword which release simultaneously so why wouldn't Ichigo? Someone might argue that the sword had a chain something that is constant in Ichigo's Bankais and to that I say, that it isn't sole part of his Bankai anymore. With two first forms yes, but once Ichigo regained his powers in the Fullbring Arc his Shikai changed and isn't of just bandages wrapping the "Handle", his new Shikai had an actual handle with a chain at the end of it! Now finally to explain why at the end of the final battle when Ichigo's "Bankai" broke, his original Shikai was within. During Chapter 541 when Ichigo's Zanpakutou was being reforged after his Bankai was broken, Ichigo learned that his powers were not split Shinigami, Hollow, and Quincy. But instead as Shinigami-Hollow & Quincy, his Shinigami Powers and Hollow Powers were one in the same, and that the Old Man he thought was Zangetsu was Yhwach, the manifestation of his Quincy Powers. When he surrendered all of Ichigo's powers over to him he explained that up until now he was only using a fraction of what he could not suppress. When Ichigo got his full powers and knew the truth behind everything, he accepted both powers as Zangetsu, giving him two blade to balance these powers, the long blade representing his Shinigami-Hollow powers and the short blade representing his Quincy Powers. When activating his "Bankai" or for the sake of the Theory his Shikai the two blade merged together to form one large one! But when Yhwach at the end stole both Ichigo's Quincy and Hollow powers (I will admit I got no explanation or theory as to why he took the Hollow too which is supposed to be poisonous to Quincy) all he was left with is pure 100% Shinigami, meaning his Zanpakutou had no reason to take on a dual form, to balance anything out, causing it to break into it's original form when Yhwagetsu was suppressing his hollow powers and hiding his Quincy nature. It was a bit long with all the explanations, but what do you think? Is it plausible? Does it explain when somethings were said and why his supposed Bankai broke into his original Shikai?