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Yhwach

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Evil-doer

Unknownjuha

Full Name
Yhwach
Alias
Father of the Quincy
Origin
Bleach
Occupation
Emperor of the Wandenreich
Powers / Skills
Can give away parts of his soul to others thus performing "miracles"
Hobby
Goals
Self preservation through wars and battles he starts, true goal is unknown
Type of Villain
Archenemy


Yhwach is the emperor of the Wandenreich and is the progenitor of the Quincy. He is the main antagonist of the Bleach series after Sōsuke Aizen's defeat.


Appearance

Yhwach is a tall man with a long face, broad chin, and pronounced cheekbones. He has long black hair, which reaches to his lower back, and reddish-brown eyes with thin eyebrows. He has well-kept mutton chops and a connected mustache, but is otherwise clean-shaved. His usual attire consists of a white, double-breasted trench coat, which has the Wandenreich symbol on the middle, with large buttoned cuffs and lapels, white trousers, and trench boots. Over this, he wears a tattered, ankle-length black cloak, which has a red ribbon near the neck and is fastened to the left with a single large button.

Personality

Yhwach is a proclaimed lover of peace, hating conflict and believing painful battles should be ended as quickly as possible. He holds the first generation of the Gotei 13 in great respect, for they were Shinigami who could strike fear into his heart. He especially admired Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, whom he called a demon for treating his subordinates as expendable ashes. Yhwach despises values like justice and honor, which is why he hates how the Gotei 13 became "weak" during the 1000 years of his absence.

Yhwach treats his subordinates and the Quincy very differently. He is very fond of some of them, calling them his sons. He puts great effort into forcibly recruiting them into his empire. Yhwach can show mercy and appreciation, thanking Royd Lloyd for sacrificing himself in a suicidal mission.

In front of his subordinates, Yhwach is a man adamant in his disapproval of infighting, though he will not hesitate to stop the conflict using the most brutal methods possible. Yhwach's contempt for Arrancar is apparent, mercilessly wounding and slaying even those who have sworn allegiance to him when he deems them to have fulfilled their use. After his awakening, Yhwach heartlessly robbed "impure" Quincy of their powers, causing many to die. Yamamoto states this same disregard extends to all of his underlings, regardless of species or position, and is an attitude which Yhwach has allegedly always possessed.

History

As a baby, Yhwach could not see, hear, speak, or even move. Despite this, he was not afraid, and would not have cried even if he had the ability to because he knew he would continue to live on. The people around him treated Yhwach with great reverence because everyone who touched Yhwach found they gradually gained something which they lacked. This occurred because Yhwach possessed the power to share out his own soul. Anyone who touched him received a fragment of his soul, and those fragments healed the wounds which their own souls alone could not. At the same time, as their wounds slowly healed, the various aspects of each person were all imprinted upon the fragments of Yhwach's soul which they had received until those fragments returned to Yhwach at the moment of their owners' deaths. Even though none who touched Yhwach lived for much longer, the people continued to gather around him. As he regained the fragments of his soul that he had shared out, Yhwach's body began to gain function. In time, when his deaf ears became able to hear, Yhwach realized the people had begun to call him by an unusual name: "YHWACH". He understood this was the name of the God these people worshiped, but he chose nonetheless to take this name for his own.

About 1,000 years ago, under unknown circumstances, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto failed to kill him. Sometime around or during the course of this event, Yhwach witnessed the capabilities of Yamamoto's Bankai, Zanka no Tachi. After his battle with Yamamoto, Yhwach supposedly lost his powers. Quincy folklore spoke of him as "The Sealed King": after 900 years of being sealed, he would regain his pulse; after another 90, he would regain his intellect; and after 9 more years, he would absorb the power of every "impure" Quincy to make their abilities his own. With Auswählen, he did this to Kanae Katagiri, killing her, and to Masaki Kurosaki, who died during her fight with Grand Fisher due to the loss of her powers. All "impure" Quincy were killed except for Uryū Ishida. Yhwach later reveals this song is known as the Kaiser Gesang (German for "Emperor Song", Japanese for "Praise-Song of the Sacred Emperor") and has another verse stating the "Sealed King" would regain the world after 9 days.

At some point during the seventeen months after the defeat of Sōsuke Aizen, the Wandenreich conquered Hueco Mundo, and Yhwach personally defeated its ruler, Tier Harribel. Imprisoning her, he claimed the territory of Hueco Mundo for the Wandenreich, regarding it as another foundation stone for the invasion of Soul Society.

The Thousand Year Blood War Arc

Upon Luders Friegen's return to the Wandenreich base, Yhwach states he dislikes conflict and severs Luders's arm as punishment for arguing with Asguiaro Ebern. After Luders declines his offer to lie down before him in exchange for his legs, Yhwach questions his estimate of five days being required for them to prepare for the war with Soul Society. Asking Luders if he is a prophet, Yhwach listens to Luders's denial of this title and asks him why he had been talking about the future, for he only wanted to know about what was happening at the present point in time, before killing Luders. Turning his attention to Ebern, Yhwach admits he has no reason to praise or blame Ebern, for he effectively delayed Ichigo Kurosaki, and states his role is over before saying Ebern will be a foundation stone for peace in death. When Ebern is decapitated, Jugram Haschwalth asks Yhwach if it is alright to kill the Arrancar, for they do not need to be taught how to fight. Dismissing this, Yhwach climbs newly-formed stairs to a room behind his throne and states they can acquire as many as they need, thanks to Hueco Mundo already being their dominion, as he looks at the imprisoned Tier Harribel.

When told Ebern's medallion was used, but was unable to seal Ichigo's Bankai, Yhwach cites a special plan would be needed to do so. Declaring "hot-blooded fools" could be useful at times, he instructs Haschwalth to have the Jagdarmee of Hueco Mundo collect "a few idiots" alive. Later, when told of Ichigo's ongoing battle with Quilge Opie, Yhwach notes this is the perfect opportunity to invade Soul Society before ordering all of the Sternritter to be notified. Later, Yhwach appears in the air above Ryūnosuke Yuki and members of the 13th Division as they ready themselves for battle and states thinking they will attack from one of Seireitei's gates makes sense before saying war is always a bitter affair. When the group loses their composure in the face of Hidetomo Kajōmaru's defeat, Yhwach permits Haschwalth to spare the others if he thinks it is the benign choice.

Later, as Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto realizes his opponent was not Yhwach, but was instead his subordinate Royd Lloyd, who had used his abilities to mimic Yhwach's disposition, memories, and appearance, the 1st Division barracks are destroyed. Appearing behind Yamamoto, Yhwach thanks Royd for his service before incinerating his remains. When asked what he had been up to this entire time, Yhwach asks Yamamoto what lies beneath the 1st Division building before explaining how he had gone to the Central Great Underground Prison to speak with Sōsuke Aizen, though his offer to join their army was predictably declined. Continuing, Yhwach asks Yamamoto if he has exhausted his power fighting Royd.

When Yamamoto attempts to use his Bankai again, Yhwach steals it with his medallion and reveals it is not that they were unable to take Yamamoto's Bankai, but the power of Zanka no Tachi is too enormous for anyone other than Yhwach himself to handle, so he ordered Royd not to do anything regarding this until he had returned. Goading the Captain-Commander by asking if he should use Yamamoto's Bankai to resurrect the dead Shinigami, Yhwach manifests a second weapon from above. With a wave of his sword, Yhwach bids Yamamoto farewell and attacks him.

With Yamamoto bifurcated by the attack, Yhwach derides him and attempts to leave, only for Yamamoto to grab hold of his cloak. Cutting off the Captain-Commander's arm, Yhwach reveals he had not listed him as a Special War Power because of his foolish reluctance to exploit others, which had made him grow weak. Stating the original Gotei 13 was a group to be feared, and Yamamoto did whatever it took to win, Yhwach says Soul Society will die soon, but unbeknownst to Yamamoto, the Gotei 13 died 1,000 years ago. Unleashing innumerable arrows from an outstretched finger, Yhwach completely obliterates Yamamoto's body.

After ordering Haschwalth to inform the Sternritter that they are to demolish Soul Society, Yhwach observes the ensuing devastation in the wake of the advancing Soldat. With the Seireitei and the main forces of the Gotei 13 decimated, Yhwach prepares to declare a retreat in order to await the Royal Guard's inevitable arrival, only to be startled by an explosion in the air above him. Confirming the Reiatsu is indeed Ichigo's, Yhwach declines Haschwalth's request to eliminate him and states they are leaving. As Tensa Zangetsu is thrust into the ground before them, they are intercepted by Ichigo.

Though unaware of exactly how Ichigo had escaped Quilge's jail, Yhwach congratulates him on doing so before asking Ichigo if he is really intending on fighting with his body's current condition. When asked if he is the enemy's leader, Yhwach states he both is and is not before confirming he is responsible for the current state of Soul Society. As an enraged Ichigo emits a large amount of Reiatsu, Yhwach is left with no option other than to crush him. Unaffected by a Getsuga Tenshō, Yhwach pins Ichigo to the ground before subduing him by stabbing him in the throat with his sword. Affirming Ichigo is still breathing, Yhwach orders Haschwalth to bring Ichigo back to their castle, where they can recruit him into their army. When Ichigo awakens, Yhwach deduces the pronounced veins stopping his sword are in fact Blut Vene before being engulfed by Ichigo's Reiatsu.

Emerging mostly unharmed, Yhwach admits he had made a mistake in using a pure Quincy to stop Ichigo, for this awoke the memories in his Reiatsu. He reveals in trying to escape Quilge's jail, Ichigo absorbed some of the surrounding Reiatsu, which awoke the memories deep within his soul and allowed him to escape, for the jail cannot trap a Quincy. Stating Ichigo knows nothing about himself, not even about his own mother, Yhwach threatens to drag Ichigo to the Wandenreich and tell him everything there. As the two clash, Yhwach prepares to stab Ichigo, only for shadows to appear below him. When told his time outside of the Schatten Bereich is up, Yhwach realizes Aizen had confused his perception of time while they spoke and turns to leave. As Haschwalth intercepts Ichigo's subsequent attack, Yhwach departs while declaring he will return for Ichigo.

Several days later, he asks Haschwalth where the subject is. When Haschwalth states he is here, Yhwach greets the newly recruited Uryū Ishida before proclaiming they will fight together. Yhwach is later saluted by the Sternritter as he announces he has information for them. Announcing Uryū will become his successor, much to the dismay and shock of several Sternritter, Yhwach states they do not need to doubt his decision because they will see Uryū's power for themselves in the upcoming fights.

Later, in his chambers, Yhwach tells Uryū the ceremony is over and states Uryū's power will soon awaken. Saying he will give Uryū a Schrift, Yhwach bestows him with the letter "A", which is his own letter as well. When Uryū asks why he specifically was chosen as his successor, Yhwach asks why he is alive, much to Uryū's shock, before stating all mixed blood Quincy died during Auswählen except for Uryū. Proclaiming he named Uryū his successor because he was the first one to survive Auswählen in all of history, Yhwach surmises Uryū possesses a power which can surpass his own, which is why he was chosen to succeed him. Stating Uryū does not have to question anything, Yhwach tells him to come with him.

Shortly after the Seireitei vanishes, Yhwach appears on a building with Uryū and Haschwalth and states the invasion is complete before asking Uryū if he knows the Kaiser Gesang. When Uryū confirms this and recites it, Yhwach notes there is another verse: after 9 years of regaining his powers, he will regain the world in 9 days. He instructs Haschwalth and Uryū to come, for the world will end in 9 days. Later, Yhwach elaborates on how the Wandenreich managed to make Seireitei vanish and reveals the Quincy escaped into the Seireitei, the most vulnerable area in Soul Society, and created a space in the shadows after they lost the war 1000 years ago, which is why they named themselves the Hidden Empire.

When the Shinigami reclaim their Bankai by using the Shin'eiyaku invented by Kisuke Urahara, Uryū asks Yhwach if he had expected it to happen. Confirming this, Yhwach states he had indeed predicted it before noting the Sternritter seem to be reveling in this event. As numerous Sternritter across the Seireitei activate their Quincy: Vollständig, Yhwach proclaims the Shinigami will now taste true despair. Later, at the Wandenreich HQ, BG9 and Cang Du sit tied up before Yhwach, who says he is going to judge the Sternritter who lost. As Yhwach has Haschwalth step forward, BG9 begs him to wait and admits they lost before pointing out how the activation of their Quincy: Vollständig resuscitated them. As BG9 states they can still fight for him, Yhwach says they should be grateful for having survived.


Powers

Swordsman: During his short battle with Ichigo Kurosaki, Yhwach displayed a certain amount of proficiency with his sword. He landed a direct hit on Ichigo's arm, despite the latter's proficiency in swordplay and wielding of Tensa Zangetsu, and nonchalantly clashed with and repelled the same opponent twice while only using a single arm.

Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Aside from his Quincy skills, Yhwach possesses a certain level of proficiency in hand-to-hand combat. He quickly subdued and pinned down Ichigo, who was using his Bankai and is a very adept martial artist in his own right, before the latter could react or defend himself properly.

Immense Spiritual Power: According to Quilge Opie, Yhwach has power surpassing that of an Espada. He easily defeated Tier Harribel, who was "utterly powerless" before him. As a further testament to Yhwach's power, by his own claim, among the Wandenreich, only he possesses enough power to actually wield Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's Bankai.

Soul Distribution: Yhwach was born with the innate ability to distribute a piece of his soul to another by being touched by them. In doing so, the wounds which one;s soul could not heal alone would finally heal. This power healed the physical, mental, and spiritual ailments of those who touched Yhwach. While the wound of a person healed, all of their their knowledge skills, and talents would be engraved inside the piece of soul they received from the baby. Those healed in this way had their lifespan drastically reduced, and once the person had died, the augmented fragment would return to Yhwach. In turn, Yhwach slowly gained the usage of his dormant senses. While all Quincy have the power to collect Reishi from their surroundings to make it theirs, Yhwach is the sole Quincy who can do the opposite: he has the power to share his spirit with others. However, he eventually discovered a more powerful way distribute his soul: by engraving a letter, signifying an ability, directly onto another's soul, he could share out his soul more deeply, and with greater power. He does this by having others drink his blood. Every time he regains a piece of his soul, Yhwach becomes stronger and lives longer. If he does not continue to absorb souls, he will eventually revert to his original state, completely deprived of his senses once more. It is during his sleep that Yhwach returns to his position of "Father of the Quincy" and stores his power, so no one is allowed to disturb his sleep.

  • Auswählen (German for "Select", Japanese for "Holy Selection"): After 990 years of being sealed away, Yhwach used this ability to restore his lost powers. After selecting Quincy whom he deems impure, including those with mixed blood, Yhwach can steal their powers and make them his own. This process is fatal to its victims, particularly those who are already weak.

Reishi Manipulation: Yhwach can collect Reishi and solidify it at will. He created an intricate throne, which he later deconstructed with ease, and reconstructed it into a set of steps in order to ascend to a higher level of Silbern.

  • Blut (German for "Blood", Japanese for "Blood Guise"): An advanced Quincy technique which grants one inhuman offensive and defensive capabilities, generated by making Reishi flow into the user's blood vessels. The independent forms for attack and defense cannot be employed simultaneously.
    • Blut Vene (German for "Blood Vein", Japanese for "Stilled Blood Guise"): During his short fight with Ichigo, Yhwach displayed impressive physical strength. Using this defensive form of Blut, Yhwach was completely unaffected by a direct hit from Ichigo's Bankai-enhanced Getsuga Tenshō. When he stabbed Ichigo in the neck, the force of his attack caused the ground beneath them to shatter.
  • Hirenkyaku Master: After destroying the 1st Division HQ, Yhwach moved a great distance and appeared behind Yamamoto without being noticed. He overwhelmed Ichigo while the latter was using his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu.


Spirit weapon

Reishi Sword: Using his Quincy Cross, Yhwach can gather both spirit energy and particles and transform them into weapons. Unlike the bows displayed by most other Quincy, his particular weapon manifests in the form of an ornate sword, reminiscent of a Dadao, with a relatively long handle and a cross-guard shaped like a bird.

  • Reishi Broadsword: With a simple, horizontal cutting motion directed at the sky, Yhwach manifests an enormous bow in the air above himself, which in turn fires an arrow back towards the ground in front of him. The length of this arrow is comparable to Yhwach's own height and, by gripping it near the base of the shaft, he can wield it in a manner similar to a large broadsword. Two protrusions jutting out diagonally on either side form the sword's cross-guard which, alongside the handle, form a shape reminiscent of the Wandenreich insignia. The blade of this weapon can effortlessly bifurcate an opponent, including one as powerful as Yamamoto.

Heilig Pfeil (German for "Holy Arrow", Japanese for "Sacred Destruction Arrows"): By collecting more Reishi, Yhwach can form the spiritual arrows which are typical of other Quincy bows. He can generate them without the need of a Spirit Weapon, instead forming and firing them with just an outstretched finger. These arrows appear as simple blasts of Reishi shaped like the Quincy Cross, though they still retain enough force to create deep cavities in the ground. He can fire them in rapid succession as a continuous barrage, which can destroy an adversary as durable as Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.

Trivia

  • The prophecy of Yhwach recovering over a period of 999 years is reminiscent of the story of Revelations and the rise of Satan to dominate humanity. The number 999 is an obvious nod to the Number of the Beast - 666.
  • The name Yhwach is an altered version of YHWH, a tetragrammaton for Yahweh, the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah. This was proven correct as of chapter 565 of Bleach, as Yhwach was said to be the name of a god the people worshiped. Also since Yhwach himself is over 1000 years old it is also hints that he was born before the early post-biblical times in which the name of Yahweh had ceased to be pronounced in favor of the word Adonai, meaning Lord.
  • The names YHWH and Yhwach most likely are one and the same, the latter being an altered version made for Bleach.
  • His origin as a miracle worker, who could also offer his blood to his followers, is similar to the mythology of Jesus.
  • Yhwach is actually not his true name, for he took it for himself. If there is any significance to this then his true name will be revealed in the future.

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