Lets get the whole VL thing straightened out
Considering what we've learned in recent chapters of Bleach, its obvious that Kubo has a lot left to tell us about his story and has added some serious longevity to his manga by doing this. Some very important plot lines include that of Ichigo and his mother, the whole story with the Quincy and Ichigo's possible connection to them, the remaining captains' bankai, and most important for me, the existence of Vasto Lorde in the Bleach universe.
I want to focus this thread around the VL and get as much evidence put together as we can. I will post the most relevant chapters I can think of, but I want your guys' help to get even more posted. First up are chapters 197 and 284/285, where most of our knowledge on VL comes about:
Now I have no knowledge of, or access to, any of the Bleach databooks, but I hear that most of the VL rumors come from those. I feel that I do not have a clear understanding of what is stated in them, and want your guys' help to post up this information with reliable translations. Obviously, we have no clear indication in the manga whether any of the Espada were VL, but apparently the databooks back Espada 1-4 being VL. Another notable thing is this image of espada 4, apparently from the databooks:
(See the section on Ulquiorra's history)
Is this real? Is there other images like this in the databooks?
To be quite honest, I just don't feel that we can rely on anything from the anime or databook as being more relevant than the manga. Let me throw out some examples.
The manga states that Espada 9 was a Gillian before becoming an Arrancar. He was obviously very strong for a Gillian and thats why he made the espada rank. Yami, who is confirmed to be an espada, was almost certainly an adjucas level hollow with great power potential. Like espada 9, he was essentially as strong as he could be for his ranking, and thus why he was labeled number 0. My point is that all espada, rank 8 and above, outclassed the strongest Gillian Espada, SO WHY WOULDN'T A VL ESPADA NOT OUTRANK THE BEST ADJUCAS ESPADA? My point is that if espada 1-4 were VL, why would they not be stronger than Yammi at his most powerful state? It would simply make no sense.
Basically what I'm getting at is that Adjucas have been shown to vary in size, but many are very small, almost as small as a human. Clearly Kubo has shown us that the smaller and more human-like the hollow, the stronger they are. So guys like Grimmjow, Barragan and Starrk (the only ones of the top 6 that I know of being shown in the manga as hollows) could very easily be considered very strong Adjucas.
On a final note, why can we not assume stronger hollows are out there? You might argue, why wouldn't Aizen recruit VL? Why would he only recruit the top Adjucas? Well perhaps Aizen didn't know about their presence. Remember how he couldn't feel Ichigo's power? Its possible they were too strong for him to sense. Or perhaps he knew about them and avoided them because they were too strong? You could also argue why was Barragan the king of the Huenco Mundo if he was only an Adjucas? Well perhaps the VL simply didn't care about those hollow below them, perhaps they live higher up in Huenco Mundo and separated themselves from the rest after evolving? My whole point is that we cannot ignore the possibility of VL existing in Huenco Mundo based solely on what we saw in the Aizen storyline.
So anyway, I want this thread to be a basis for discussing all things Vasto Lorde. Please post any relevant material, most notably things from the databooks, that can shed more light on the topic. I simply feel that there is no strong evidence showing that espada 1-4 were VL and feel that the entire sub-class of Menos is yet to be introduced.
And as always, thanks for reading .