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Why We Never See Ulquiorra Smile On Bleach

Like most of the other Espadas in “Bleach,” Ulquiorra has a rather terrible origin story. He was created from absolute nothingness, and he was the only white hollow among a sea of black ones, making him an anomaly in a harsh, unforgiving world. While talking about his past, Ulquiorra clarifies that, while he might have been experiencing the “void,” he could not hear, smell, bite, or feel absolutely anything. 

As he later rose through the ranks of Aizen’s army to become the Fourth Espada, his inability to comprehend feelings or empathize with others remained, rendering him a creature governed solely by logic and proof. As he explains in the “Bleach” manga, Ulquiorra believes that “what cannot be seen does not exist”; accordingly, feelings — which he also refers to as “heart” — remain a mystery to him.

As a being born into the void who laments his own existence, it’s no wonder that Ulquiorra never smiles. Ultimately, however, he does come close to understanding the human heart, but only at the very end of his story, when he is moments away from dying. It’s interesting to note that, towards the end of his final fight with Ichigo Kurosaki, Ichigo becomes more and more detached from human emotions as he’s consumed by rage, while Ulqiorra in turn becomes more humane. This change in understanding can be seen in his final words: “Now I see. Her heart was right … in my hands.”



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