If you thought that Aizen was a god with his bullshit abilities, then Yhwach is going to blow your mind. This chapter gives a bit of backstory about the father of quincies and the origin and nature of his powers, presumably narrated by Haschwald. Yhwach was born as a completely physically disabled infant – blind, deaf, mute, and immobile. He did however, have to power to grant portions of his soul to other people, which also granted them all sorts of healing boosts and other abilities. At the same time though, I wonder why he was unable to heal himself. Interestingly, Yhwach’s name seems to reference Jehovah (also transcribed as Yahweh) and he was basically treated as some sort of holy relic, but once the people infused with parts of his souls passed away, power, knowledge, and skill returned to him and he regained his functions. Now he uses people infused with portions of his souls as pawns to keep himself running. Every death (regardless of quincy or shinigami) returns more power to him and makes him ever stronger. The whole war is basically just snack time for him in the grand scheme of things, if his motives are what Haschwald said.

However, his power overall is very convoluted with a lot of holes that may or may not be explained in the future. He’s been dormant for the past millennia (presumably because of a lack of souls return to him), but the quincies have still been around reproducing and dying natural deaths all that time. Also, the mass extermination was only 200 years ago, which would have boosted his strength significantly and easily restore his functions. I can only assume that since being a quincy seems to be genetic, the descendants of the people he infused also gain part of his soul. It’s not clear why the Sternritter serve Yhwach so fervently either as despite his cruelty and power it doesn’t seem they are fighting against their will. It’s possible that they were all tricked into ingesting the Sternritter initials, but I would guess that they are aware of the nature of their existence and purpose. Finally, we have Ishida, whose motives are only hinted at, but if he’s Yhwach’s “successor” then why does he also need to die and become tribute? And why would Yhwach need a successor in the first place? The implications of his power are interesting, but it also raises a lot of questions that I hope will be explained later rather than leaving us to make up theories about what’s going on.

For the protagonists, the obvious solution would be to prevent Voldemort from splitting his souls into anybody else and waiting it out until all the horcruxes die and the cycle breaks. Since Kubo probably isn’t going to drag this series out for several hundred years though, Ichigo and co. will have to find another way to defeat him. Or possibly, Aizen will come back and work some more of his plot magic.

60 Comments

      1. yeah but realistically speaking, if the baby can’t move, won’t be able to talk, can’t see or hear…then…well…there really is no hope in the real world (this is like the only exception since its fantasy). Helen Keller is an example that even with most of your senses gone you can still have a good life, but this baby had ALL of his senses gone that he needs to basically function (at least Helen could move, hence her success in sign-language)…so…yeah…this is going to sound like an asshole thing to say but the parents should…you know…

        SDFGS
      2. Okay… Not even touching the Jesus/Helen Keller abortion comments, but if anyone’s interested, Yhwach’s condition is likely based off of this very real genetic disorder: Tay Sachs disease. As a tie-in to the ‘revelation’ that Yhwach’s true name is similar to the Jewish word for god, this disease primarily effects people of Eastern/Central-European Jewish descent. Honestly, this just underscored for me why I considered this chapter to be completely tasteless and utter bullshit. I mean, talk about cultural insensitivity—first, all the Quincies have a German influence, then we find out there was a Quincy holocaust (via Shinigami AND this guy), and now this? Seriously? I can’t.

        PLEASE, AIZEN. LET THIS BE PART OF YOUR PLAN TOO. Or at least call fucking Harry Potter so he can get started on the horcrux search again. Sigh.

        randomly
  1. That explains everything!

    …except why aberrant souls like Yhwach exist in the first place. Is he another grand experiment by an even older mad scientist, or even perhaps related to the Spirit King?

    I wonder if Uryuu Ishidah’s position as ‘successor’ means ‘backup body’, and Uryuu plans to subvert that plan so Yhwach is destroyed instead of reborn.

    Psithief
    1. It’d be even more interesting if Kubo ties in Yhwach’s existence with some kind of dastardly plot perpetrated by the Soul King himself- revealing the Soul King as the true ultimate enemy instead of the Quincy…

      Zen
    2. At this point, we know two things. We know Uryu indeed came there so he can avenge his mother. We also know that Uryu will be given the letter “A,” so we can assume that he will likely gain the same power as the King.

      Now the main question is if this going to be similar to Hiko Seijūrō XIII (Rurouni Kenshin) where “if you kill me then will succeed me,” or something similar.

      L002
    1. I can actually see the finale battle being a battle royale between Aizen (the one who wants to conquer the universe), Yhwach (who wants to destroy the universe), and Ichigo (who wants to save the universe) in the end.

      LaughingMan
  2. This brings up a possible link to the Soul King. Could it be that Juha has similar powers as the Soul King? Could it be that they may be related?(A child of his or something?)

    Quendi
    1. Best hope is that the Spirit King is a similar being and all the Shinigami get their powers from him. Kubo hinted long ago that the Spirit King wasn’t necessarily a good guy, so this would lend more evidence to that. Who knows, the Spirit King could be doing something similar and trying to build up his strength to be the most powerful being of the three so he can rule everything.

      EliteF22
  3. Despite raising new questions, this chapter is good, imo, because it actually makes sense! He’s like a vampire on a bigger level, creating strife at intervals to prolong his life and powers. Certainly better than the nonsensical previous battle.

    GGr
  4. Jenovah.. Oh god dammit I can hear the FF7 fanboys rejoicing somewhere.

    Well this explains everything, sorta. Does this mean that even Ichigo in the end is gonna die or become a spare body for Yhwach? He did show some interest in capturing Ichigo before the war.

    XxVanitasXx
      1. No, no.
        We’re aware of that.

        I believe his(?) point is that in FF7, the ‘God’ was actually a parasite.

        And now in Bleach, this ‘miracle god child’ is also revealed to be a parasite.

        However, just because a very specific version of a ‘false saviour’ trope is seen in multiple media coming out of Japan doesn’t mean one influenced the other.
        Rather, I suggest this is another case where that idiom “There is nothing new under the sun” applies.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Psithief
  5. I was thinking about how everyone has letters engraved on them like “A” “B” “S” “Y” And they’ve all been English letters and there’s only 26 letters in the English Alphabet. So what happens when he runs out of letters? Can he only split his soul into 26 parts? It makes it sound like he can do this infinitely, but unless Kubo makes up letters or starts using different languages… >_>; Also how does “S” stand for Cheers make you stronger?

  6. There are two possibilities that explains this quite neatly actually (probably much more):

    1. Yamamoto did most of the Quincy Hunting himself, slewing them with his bankai. As a result their souls are captured by Ryujin Jakka and never return to Yhwach (this is at least my interpretation of Yamamoto’s bankai).
    2. Hollows ate the rest of the Quincies, preventing their souls from rejoining Yhwach. This chapter provides a different perspective on the Quincy (hates) Hollow relationship. This suggests Yhwach himself considers the Hollows his mortal enemy, because they eat souls, and the souls with his pieces are prevented from returning to him. In fact, this might explain the existences of Impure Quincies; they are Quincies whose ancestors were tainted by Hollows long ago.

    Izaak
  7. Wait. Just wait. Loyd and Royd. Quincys “Y” and other “Y”. I remember them saying they were born with their powers to copy likeness and abilities…So which is it? Were they born with them or did Juha Bach write “Y” ‘s on them when they were babies?

      1. Don’t even try man, I’ve given myself many a headache trying to figure out what the fuck was going on in this arc. Hopefully kubo can bring it all together nicely cause this shit is like LOST right now. Every chapter you get 1 answer, but about 20 new questions >_>

        Keranu
  8. “For the protagonists, the obvious solution would be to prevent Voldemort from splitting his souls into anybody else and waiting it out until all the horcruxes die and the cycle breaks.”

    lol, thanks for making my day 🙂 @PROOOF

    Anon
  9. Interesting chapter, but I really hope Yhwach sees an endgame to this war, rather than warring for the sake of war.

    Also, young Yhwach looks, unsurprisingly, like Tensa Zangetsu.

    Sekai
  10. Im wondering who was Yhwach (birth), where was he born human world or soul society? how did they know of his ability? I dont think in soul society no one would notice his ability.

    On the other hand now its clear why old man Zengetsu looks like Yhwach not just because his Itchigo’s Quincy power but he is a part of Yhwach soul that he place into Ichigo’s mom which was pass to him when she gave birth to him like his hollow. I wonder what will be Ichigo reaction when he finds out & I really want to see his bankai!

    lune
  11. I think this chapter set up not only an explanation of what Yhwach’s power was (and why he was called the Father of all Quincy), but also how to defeat him.

    Essentially, he’d split his soul apart too much a thousand years ago, leaving his body a near-empty husk. Yamamoto looked at it, and realized that he couldn’t kill something so helpless. Centuries pass, and more Quincies are born, growing and learning and giving him more knowledge and power as their soul was absorbed into him alongside his own piece of soul. This is both his advantage and his weakness, as he NEEDS all the souls to die to retain his senses and mobility. His power is just the Vollstandig taken to an extreme.
    Basically, all everyone needs to do is stop fighting, just lay down arms and not kill each other. Yhwach will regress, and he – the Source Soul – will be killable.

    Independently, I do find the interpretation of the Eucharist here a rather interesting addition to the mythology. It will be fascinating to see what other sorts of interpretations of Western theology will appear.

    Puppet
    1. Sadly that is not the case as quincies seem to blindly follow him *much like modern religion* So I’m sure the common sense answer is that the war stops, yhwach dies from lack of power, quincies live their normal human lives(assuming they even have one judging by how little we know about them) and the shinigami go on with maintaining the balance of souls.

      But this is manga where common sense does not exist.

      If anything all I’m seeing is that the quincies have a vendetta to which yhwach keeps poking at, thus that fuels their blind following of why they should serve him even though they live to die in a nutshell

      Keranu
  12. I’ll just leave this quote here from a user at MS.

    Fact #1: Hollow is fatal to Quincy.

    Fact #2: Ichigo has a piece of Yhwach’s soul. (all quincy does)

    Fact #3: Ichigo has a piece of Hollow inside him.

    Fact #4: When Ichigo dies, everything that once was him will become Yhwach’s.

    Self-announced fact: Yhwach is fucked.
    And Ichigo is a kind of bleach used to cleanse the f*** out of the villain Yhwach, hence the series name.

    – Will Trần

    WaffuRefu
    1. That changes everything… that means that,

      1. Soul Society is thrown into chaos.
      2. Spirit King was forced to make a move, linking SS to his domain.
      3. Yhwach, the only other transcendental in the series, dies from Ichigo’s Hollow poisoning.

      Is this part of Aizen’s plan?

      ReverseTales
  13. I wonder what would have happened if Aizen’s original plan to take over Soul Society had worked and Yhwach had challenged him for control? Now *that* would make an awesome spin-off :O

    Kurama
    1. Seriously though, aizen’s arc made more sense -_- dude wanted to rule the world as a higher being. Simple and easy. Hell when aizen left SS he pretty much said what the whole arrancar arc was about in just a few sentences. Him casting off the shackles of being a shinigami, gaining more power than the soul king, and ruling the world. The arrancars were just a bonus to give hollows the spotlight

      Keranu
  14. Fuck me. So that explains how Yhwach not only is so powerful, but how he’s been living for so long. I gotta hand it to Kubo. He’s made a hell of an interesting “ancient evil” villain. Can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

    LaughingMan
    1. James’ cheers powered up Superstar, neither of them could die from fatal injuries as long as they’re both alive. Superstar was disintegrated, therefor James died as he was cut into pieces earlier.

      Karma
  15. I think it’s funny that I crossed reference Harry Potter’s Voldemort to Yhwach (when he was first introduced) and was insisted to be utterly wrong by fanboys and whatnot. Then many many month’s later the cross reference reappears on Random Curiosity. 😉

    Anyway, this was an interesting chapter (although not the most exciting). So Yhwach is the only Quincy that can redistribute Reishi? That’s odd (not in a bad way). The only time I can remember Reishi being distributed to someone is Ichigo regaining his Shinigami powers and he is, half-quincy after all. So then if Yhwach is an automated process of that (via soul-link carvings) and he regains everything (but the reishi of that person except his own) of whoever he gave power to… that’s a neat class of viral hacking right there.

    SPat3

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