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Characters / Bleach: Yhwach

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This is The Emperor of the Vandenreich, whose folder was so large, it needed its own page to avoid the Vandenreich page from getting its edit page locked.

Emperor Yhwach
"Conflict is always such a bitter affair."
Species: Quincy
Weapon: Unnamed sword
Schrift: A - The Almighty
Voiced by: Takayuki Sugo (JP)

The Emperor of the Vandenreich and The King of the Quincies. An extremely ruthless autocrat, he has no qualms about committing one atrocity after another in his crusade. One thousand years ago, he confronted Shigekuni Yamamoto in an unresolved battle. He is the only person Yamamoto never calls a "child".

Yhwach holds the letter "A" of "The Almighty", serving as the supreme commander of the Vandenreich's military. Under the usage of the Schrift (or script), he personally bestows a letter upon a member of the Vandenreich, meant to correspond to their particular ability.

His Quincy cross — stylized as a military medal bearing the Vandenreich symbol - manifests in the form of a winged, eagle-themed sword. His power "The Almighty" allows him to give and take power, negate every harmful ability, once he understands it, and finally see and change the future.


This page contains massive unmarked spoilers. Tread carefully.

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  • Abnormal Ammo: With a horizontal cutting motion directed at the sky, Yhwach summons a gigantic Spirit Bow which fires a Quincy arrow down to the ground in front of him. The arrow is about as tall as him (and he is very tall), and by gripping it at the base of the shaft, can use it as a broadsword. There are two protrusions that jet out from the broadswords cross-guard which, along with the handle, resemble the insignia of the Vandenreich. Yhwach uses the broadsword to bifurcate Yamamoto.
  • Achilles' Heel: He's got major weaknesses that, when targeted together, help defeat him:
    • Despite Yhwach's phenomenal ability to see and counter any future, he's as vulnerable to Aizen's Kyoka Suigetsu as everyone else. As a result, while he can see futures involving Aizen unfold, he won't be able to tell whether it's Aizen showing him an illusion or not. It's about the only thing that can subvert The Almighty even a little bit and proves instrumental in giving Ichigo and Uryu the chance to get past Yhwach's defences.
    • To kill Quincies, Auswählen involves Yhwach creating a magical substance called Still Silver. This substance clots the victim's blood, creating a silver lump that clogs the Quincy's heart and kills them. However if Yhwach himself comes into contact with that Still Silver, all his powers are completely disabled for a split second. Knowing this weakness, Ryuken collects the Still Silver from his murdered wife's body and secretly forges an arrow from it; he then keeps it secret for nine years, waiting for the day his son Uryu, who is immune to Yhwach's powers, becomes capable of using it.
  • Actually a Doombot: He uses Royd Lloyd to scope out Yamamoto's Bankai, while goes to have a conversation with Aizen. When he returns, the distraction that Royd provided allows Yhwach him to steal Yamamoto's Bankai effortlessly after the ruse is uncovered.
  • Adaptive Ability: One of the many applications of his Schrift, 'The Almighty': Once Yhwach fully "understands" how an ability works, it becomes incapable of harming him. This is shown when Yhwach nullifies Ichibei's strongest attack which is supposed to completely obliterate a soul to the point that not even reincarnation will be possible. The Almighty even allows him to predict what his enemies will do in the future, making him able to adapt to any fight he engages in. This makes it next to impossible to defeat him.
  • All There in the Manual: The manga ends with his apparent death and a final confrontation with Ichigo's son Kazui that leaves many questions. The subsequent novels reveal that he became the new lynchpin and that he is not as dead as it seems, still holding an influence over Soul Society.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: It cannot be denied that Yhwach is a monster, and one of, if not the, most evil characters in the series. That said, being the lynchpin of existence is said to be a fate of unimaginable agony that even the death-fearing Yhwach considers to be worse than dying. Ultimately, after he is defeated to by Ichigo, Yhwach is forced to suffer the pain and humiliation that his father endured as the new lynchpin. Anybody who witnesses his new state is utterly horrified, including Harribel who Yhwach had usurped and imprisoned.
  • All Your Powers Combined: He gets the powers, memories, and skills of anybody who dies with a portion of his soul within them.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In the final battle, Yhwach vows to Ichigo that he will one day return at a moment when Ichigo is at his happiest and take it all away. Ichigo is able to kill Yhwach because of three factors: Uryu is capable of temporarily de-powering him without Yhwach being able to anticipate him, Haschwalth manipulated Yhwach's future vision of the moment so that Yhwach would dismiss it as a dream until it was too late, and ten years in the future, his Reiatsu begins to appear in both the Soul Society and human world but is abruptly and mysteriously stopped by Ichigo's future son. The novels reveal that Yhwach possesses so much Reiatsu even after death that he can be used to replace the Soul King as the lynchpin that holds together the world, but the actions of Ichigo's future son will have consequences that affect this situation.
  • Antagonist Abilities: To start with, he has the combined strength of everyone who's ever held a piece of his soul. However, when his Schrift is revealed, we learn that he also has a very extreme version of Combat Clairvoyance, as well as an Adaptive Ability which lets him negate any attack after he "understands" it. His ability, "The Almighty", is also revealed to not just be able to see the future, but change it, and any attempt to counter this will result in a "new" future that he can also change. Even if he's killed, his abilities allow him to Auto-Revive. Highlighting how story-breaking his powers are, the Gotei 13, Ichigo and the others don't even overcome his abilities with their own in the end—they have to temporarily take away his powers with a weapon created from Yhwach himself. The invincibility of "The Almighty" was later confirmed in the light novels, which states that it makes the wielder impervious to death on any permanent scale. The Soul King, who possessed the same ability, had to be put into a comatose state and then completely dismembered to disable his abilities, and even then, Ichibei speculates that the will of The Almighty will eventually create others like Yhwach or Ichigo with the qualifications to inherit the power.
  • Answers to the Name of God: Yhwach's name is derived from the Tetragrammaton, YHWH (or the more commonly written "Yahweh"), which is one of the names of the Abrahamic God. Nimaiya specifically calls him "Y.H." in reference to Yōd and Hē, the first two letters of the Tetragram as found in the Torah in original Hebrew.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • His enmity with Yamamoto goes back at least a thousand years and Yhwach is the only one who Yammamoto doesn’t call “child”. He also considers Yamamoto weak as Yhwach didn’t choose him as one of his Five Special War powers because he believes that Yamamoto was past his prime. It’s pretty obvious that they really hate each other.
    • Ichibei, the leader of Squad Zero, is this to Yhwach as well and Ichibei is said to be at the power level as the Captain-Commander himself, if not moreso. Ichibei tries his best to protect the Soul King no matter what, but Yhwach eventually defeats him.
    • He’s also considered to be this to Ichigo, as he’s the one responsible for his mother's death by de-powering her in the middle of a fight with the Grand Fisher. Yhwach also considered Ichigo to be the first and most dangerous of the Five Special War powers. Yhwach also claims to be Ichigo’s "true father" due to him being the progenitor of the Quincy. After their second battle, Yhwach defeats Ichigo and absorbs his Quincy and Hollow powers and before he left Yhwach tells Ichigo to not come after him because if he did, Yhwach will slaughter him and his friends in that one moment when they're at their happiest.
  • The Assimilator: The very core of his being and how he grows and lives. Yhwach can consume and absorb other beings via physical contact, and impart a fragment of his soul into others as well. He has a piece of his soul inside literally everyone, from Quincies to Shinigami and Visoreds. Once they die, he takes all of their powers and skills, as a way to extend both his life and his power. He even absorbs Mimihagi and the rest of the Soul King as well.
  • Assimilation Plot: The current cosmology consists of three main worlds (one physical, two spiritual) that are kept separated by physical barriers that require special gateways to cross. The lynchpin ensuring this separation and order is the Soul King, a creation of the Soul Reapers to keep the worlds separate and control the reincarnation cycle. Yhwach's goal is to destroy the Soul King, so that the three worlds will merge together and create a single world where life and death are no longer separated, effectively making every single living thing immortal in a world 'without fear of death'.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the Emperor of the Vandenreich and the most powerful fighter within his organization. Even his ephitet is titled 'The Almighty', and it is well worthy of it as well.
  • Ax-Crazy: It is very obvious from the moment we first see him that Yhwach is an immensly dangerous and homicidal individual, with an instinct for killing that is rivaled only by few. For starters, his introductory scene features him blasting off his subordinates arm just to get his attention. His penchant for wanton brutality is incredibly disturbing, whether it's lobbing limbs across the room or obliterating corpses to make sure they're dead. He will kill even his own men if he can benefit from it, or even just because he can. His cool, calm smile at the sight of his carnage truly compounds that something is quite wrong with this man. While he keeps it hidden most of the time, this aspect of his personality becomes more evident the closer he comes to his goals.
  • Badass Boast: He clarifies that the ancient folklore about a Sealed King is called the Kaiser Gesang (the Emperor's Song) and is about what he achieves at each stage of his recovery from being sealed. He reveals the final stanza is that, in nine days time, he will reclaim the world.
  • Badass Mustache: Following his reawakening from a thousand years of slumber, Yhwach quickly mounts an army to utterly defeat Soul Society, kill Yamamoto through clever deception; Ichigo's massive attack power only shreds a piece of his sleeve, right before Yhwach slams Ichigo down with relative ease. His mustache was impressive enough in the beginning, but as each subsequent appearance leads to darker events and brings him closer to the Soul King, the mustache increases in size and thickness accordingly.
  • Bad Boss: No other villain with authority in the series, not even Aizen himself, mistreats their subordinates more than he does. The first time he appears in the series shows him grabbing the attention of his henchmen by blowing off their limbs and clearly enjoying his pain. He will immediately kill off any Sternritter who have failed their tasks, as seen with BG9 and Cang Du. He even kills those who are successful or still fighting if they can no longer directly aid him. A lot of his Sternritters seem to follow in his example in being horrible authority figures and Yhwach doesn't seemed to be bothered by this in the least. Later on, his behavior is given an explanation: every Quincy in existence literally derives their power from him, and that power returns to him upon their death. This is the only thing that saves him from a Fate Worse than Death, because he was born without his senses, and the only way he can keep his senses is to give out his power, binding it to an individual's soul, and then have it return to him. The result is that he is a Blood Knight and his army must fight and die for him lest he return to a state of living death.
  • Bait-and-Switch: He sent Royd in as a Ditto Fighter decoy, tanking Zanka no Tachi while revealing all of Yamamoto's offensive secrets. Once Royd was defeated, Yamamoto deactivated his Bankai... and then the real Yhwach showed up.
  • Barrier Maiden: The light novel Bleach: We Do Knot Always Love You reveals that his corpse has been sealed away and serves now as the lynchpin holding the world together.
  • Batman Gambit: Understanding the conventions of shonen battle gives him considerable insight into how his opponents think.
    • Knowing that Yamamoto's weak spots were his short temper and extreme loyalty to his office, Yhwach goaded him into both Unstoppable Rage and Tranquil Fury by sending Driscoll to assassinate Sasakibe.
    • Appointing Uryuu as his successor forces Uryu to be constantly scrutinised by the Sternritter who do not trust an unknown, unproven man being promoted so dramatically. The success of this scheme relied on Yhwach knowing just how paranoid his subordinates actually were.
    • Yhwach knows how the Soul Reapers respond to emergent threats (i.e., how long they'll likely to need to muster and train to be ready to face a new enemy) and times his attacks accordingly, including leading with his strongest fighters as a result of the Soul Reaper reliance on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil. This meant he actively planned for Royal Guard involvement in Soul Reaper training, including Ichigo's.
  • BFS: His Spirit Weapon manifests as a Reishi sword, with a cross-guard shaped like the wings of an eagle, almost as long as he is tall (and he's very tall). He can also create a truly massive Reishi arrow that he can wield as a broadsword powerful enough to bisect the immensly durable Yamamoto in a single swing.
  • Big Bad: He is the main antagonist of the post-timeskip half. Yhwach is the one responsible for all the things that Aizen wasn't involved in, and has a far more personal connection to Ichigo than the renegade Soul Reaper. He is the progenitor of the Quincies, the Emperor of the Vandenreich, the creator of the Sternritter; even the creation of the Gotei 13 is implied to be connected to him. Many centuries before the start of the series, a war broke out between the Soul Reapers and the Quincy, in which Yhwach was believed to be killed. In truth, he survived and would return 1,000 years later. His desire is to escape death by killing the Soul King and create a world without death and fear. To do this, he's willing to commit any atrocity he can that will aid him in his quest. He's responsible for the Echt culture that brought Ryuken and Masaki together and killed off both Masaki and Kanae. The Quincy bloodline that he is the progenitor of attracted Aizen's Hollowfication experiment White and provided a means of stabilising the Visoreds. Neither Ichigo nor Uryu would exist without Yhwach's influence. He leads a ruthless attack on Soul Society that leaves many Soul Reapers dead, and kills Genryusai Yamamoto. He creates chaos and bloodshed to feed off souls, which keep him alive and functioning. He even manages to succeed where Aizen failed by destroying the Soul King. He is the most powerful, dangerous. and crulest villain in the series, uniting enemies against him, with Soul Reapers, Quincies, Arrancars, Humans and even Aizen himself all working together to defeat him.
  • Bishōnen: Both flashbacks and Tensa Zangetsu's appearance indicate Yhwach had a very slender and androgynous appearance when he was younger.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: The Quincy are a race of progress and evolution. They care about how the world should be. Yhwach creating a new, perfect world would eventually have led to stagnation and ceased all progress, the very thing the Quincy do not stand for. This is best illustrated by him absorbing Mimihagi, who governs stagnation and sided with the Shinigami, who prefer stagnation over progress, and abandoning the white Quincy color-scheme for the black color of the Shinigami. Fittingly, in the end his defeat was caused by the actions of four Quincy.
  • Blind Obedience: Yhwach despises blind loyalty, and when the established Sternritter saw Uryu Ishida as his choice of successor, he was glad they showed genuine discontent over that.
  • Blood Knight: Despite claiming to be a lover of peace, the man literally thrives on warfare and violence. When the Soul Reapers end up getting their Bankai back (besides Zanka no Tachi), Yhwach simply... smiles. It quickly turns into a wide, maniacal grin. Not only did he expect them to regain their Bankai, he was looking forward to it. During his second battle with Ichigo, he could've immediately defeated him using The Almighty, but chose not to because he wanted to personally enjoy the fight for as much as he could, seeing it as some twisted form of "father-son bonding time".
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: When it comes to the Quincy, Yhwach operates under the question of whether they are more useful to him alive or dead, as he gets stronger with every dead Quincy. He expresses no joy, unlike with his slaughtering of the Shinigami, or sadness, but rather sees it as only natural and believes that the Quincy would be grateful for that and how they have to act. When questioned by Liltotto, he calls his sacrificing the lower ranks for the higher ranks an act of camaraderie and comrades helping each other. He is furthermore genuinely grateful for the service of each Quincy under him and is confused, why Ichigo is angry at him for killing his mother and believes that there is no greater joy than to empower him. As he was born with no senses or power, he had to sacrifice those around him just to survive and came to the belief that everything was for his taking and it's only natural that he would sacrifice others, once they stop being useful alive.
  • Break Them by Talking: Yhwach repeats Aizen's Deicide strategy of claiming that Ichigo's power development has all been for the sake of furthering Yhwach's goals. Yhwach further claims that, because Ichigo shares his blood, Ichigo's will is his own. When Ichigo dismisses his Quincy heritage and claims he'll "stop" Yhwach regardless, Yhwach points out that Ichigo's weakness against him is proven by the fact Ichigo can't even say he'll "kill" his own mother's murderer. By expositing on the true nature of his abilities while effortlessly trouncing both Ichigo and Orihime and negating their every means of attacking him, he succeeds in pushing Ichigo into true despair.
  • Casting a Shadow: Yhwach has the ability to teleport the Soul Society and Schatten Bereich by opening shadow portals. However, he can be outside of Schatten Bereich for a limited time. He can also use that ability to summon his subordinates. He later absorbs Mimihagi, which has the power to manipulate darkness. Once he sucabsorbs the Soul King into himself, he becomes a horrific dark being capable of weilding powerful black Reiatsu that serves as an extension of his own body. In the final battle of the series, he comes dangerously close to submerging all of Seireitei in his dark Reiatsu.
  • The Chessmaster: Yhwach is priortizes pragmatic strategies to acomplish his goals. He first sends an Arrancar to the Human World in an attempt to see if Ichigo's Bankai is stolen. Invading Hueco Mundo, Yhwach knows that Ichigo will eventually come to save it, which gives him the chance to attack Seireitei. He sends in an impersonator to confront the Captain-Commander while goes to have an audience with Aizen, and returns to steal the exhausted Yamamoto's Bankai. Haschwalth believes Yhwach named Uryu as his successor, in order to preempt any betrayal by him. Haschwalth's reasoning is that Yhwach is using Uryu to sow such discontent among the army, that they will then scrutinize Uryu too closely for Uryu to be able to make any move against Yhwach. It's also implied that Uryu's aware of this. He then counts on Ichigo recieving training in the Royal Realm so that when he returns, Yhwach will have the chance to invade the Soul King's palace.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: His treatment of Luders (blowing off his limbs and watching him scream in pain) very closely resembles this. It is the first clear sign that Yhwach does not treat his servants kindly.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Yhwach's signature power, "A of The Almighty", lets him see into the future. However, what is unique about his foresight is that the future that he sees is not something set in stone, so other users of The Almighty are prone to confusion if a foreseen future spontaneously changes. However, not only is Yhwach able to see every possible future and follow any alterations, he is also able to bring any outcome he has foreseen immediately into the present reality. He uses this power to literally defeat his opponents instantly. His ability does have a few weaknesses. One is that he can't see or affect the past so, though he destroyed Ichigo's sword, Tsukishima used his ability to alter the past to change things so the sword was never broken. Next, while his his power to show the possible futures is infallible, his own perceptions of reality are not and his senses can be fooled by Aizen's illusion abilities to see false futures. He also cannot see futures that involve beings using the same type of power he has with strength on his level, so when the right hand of the Soul King attacks him, he is surprised because he saw no future involving the attack.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The author states that Yhwach (and the Quincy race as a whole) is meant to symbolize cold, logical pragmatism (like trying to stab Ichigo in the neck in a fight). This is the polar opposite of the Arrancar, who represent unrestrained passion and instinct. Yhwach takes advantage of every opening the enemy gives him. He told the Shinigami war would begin in five days, but attacks in less than 24 hours simply because Ichigo has gone to Hueco Mundo and cannot come to Soul Society's rescue. He tricks Yamamoto into revealing his Bankai too soon, which allows him to steal Yamamoto's power. He comments that those Sternritter who fight less pragmatically than he'd hoped are fighting naïvely, although even the most "naïve" are willing to attack while the Shinigami are introducing themselves or calling their attacks.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Yhwach easily defeats Yamamoto by taking his Bankai, cutting him in half and blowing him to oblivion. He easily downs Ichigo when they first meet, despite Ichigo being in Bankai. He swiftly destroys Ichibei after activating The Almighty and has no trouble defeating Liltotto and Giselle without taking a scratch.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Quincy have a preference towards cladding themselves in all white. Yhwach stands out among his men due to being the only Quincy that wears dark clothing; in particular, a dark maroon cloak which he wears over his white uniform. It makes him look like he's permanently enclosed in shadow. It is also very fitting with his dark, ruthless nature as a being who thrives on violence and death to prolong his own life. He commits a brutal slaughter on Seireitei with many Soul Reapers, including Captain-Commander Yamamoto, losing their lives. He cares for his men not as people, but rather as fuel sources to extend his life when their use innevitably expires. It's strongly implied that the reason the Quincies' war with the Shinigami is solely his doing, rather than it being a natural thing for the two sides to do. After absorbing Mimihagi and the Soul King, his body becomes shrouded in darkness that oozes around him, and he forgoes all of the Quincy's "holy" attacks in favor of mauling his opponents with globs of dark energy. In the final battle of the series, he is bisected by Ichigo, but uses The Almighty to revive himself as a living mass of darkness that attempts to swallow all of Seireitei in dark Reiatsu.
  • Dark Messiah: Yhwach is the prophesied herald of the Quincies and their supposed salvation. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, he is a very, very dark and wicked figure. He was born with strange healing powers that could cure anything, even restore missing limbs. For these miracles, people referred to him as YHWH, one of the names of the Abrahamic God. The price of his healing is a drastically shortened lifespan, as he can recall the power he used from the target's soul at a later date, killing them in the process. When he enters the Royal Palace, he addresses the Soul King as his father. Several of the Sternritter, especially Lille Barro, outright consider him a God.
  • Deal with the Devil: He thrives on people looking to him to become stronger by curing their problems and granting their wishes. He cures ailments, missing limbs and voids of the soul by inserting a piece of his own soul into them. This drastically reduces the person's lifespan as the soul fragment is designed to obtain a power-up from residing in the victim to strengthen Yhwach when it returns to him.
  • Devour the Dragon: Yhwach hits his remaining elite Sternritter, including the devoutly loyal Haschwalth, with an Auswählen immediately after absorbing Ichigo's powers, completely preventing them from eventually killing Ichigo's allies in the process.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • He's quite surprised when Ichigo instinctively uses Blut to protect himself from Yhwach's attacks, and admits it was a mistake on his part to let Ichigo's Quincy powers awaken so soon. He had planned on awakening them later, implying he had wanted complete control over it happening.
    • He was fully aware of Mimihagi's existence, and admits Mimihagi lies beyond his sight. However, he is very surprised by Mimihagi's sudden decision to intervene on behalf of Soul Society and can't understand Mimihagi's motive for doing so.
    • Despite his precognition power, and knowing full well Uryu intended to kill him when first introducing Uryu to the rest of the Sternritter, he is caught completely by surprise when Uryu manages to shoot him from behind with an arrow of Still Silver to briefly take away his power.
    • He's incapable of telling the difference between the visions that The Almighty gives him and Aizen's illusions. As a result, the smallest of slip-ups on his part leaves him vulnerable, which is precisely what happens and leads to his defeat. Needless to say, when he realizes he cut down Aizen instead of Ichigo, he had his first true (and last) Oh, Crap! moment. In an ironic twist of fate, he actually did see this coming well before it happened - he merely thought it a dream due to a little tampering on Haschwalth's part. In that respect, he also didn't see his most loyal soldier's betrayal coming.
  • Disability Superpower: He was born blind, deaf, mute, and paralyzed, but with Healing Hands that could place his soul into other people with damaged or incomplete souls and bestow a multitude of abilities upon them. Since the piece of his soul returns to him when they die and brings their powers back with it, over time he was able to cure his own disabilities and accrue immense spiritual powers. The schtick is he needs to keep doing this or he will eventually revert to his blind, deaf, mute and paralyzed state.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He wants to hear about the present, not the future. When Luders gave his two cents on what the Soul Society would do after their attack, Yhwach blows him up.
  • Dissonant Serenity: No matter what happens, Yhwach never loses his composure. The only expression he ever has on his face is either a look of indifference, or a calm smile. It heavily contrasts with his thirst for bloodshed and violence, making for quite an unnerving sight when he remain calm even in the face of the atrocities he has caused.
  • The Dreaded: Yhwach inspires either blind loyalty, or immense fear among his men. Even Äs Nödt, a Sternritter whose power revolves around causing fear in others, is utterly terrified of the idea of failing him. Considering how he regularly treats his subbordinates, the fear is completely justified. When he absorbs Mimihagi and the Soul King into himself and achieves a new form as a Transcendent Being, all of his remaining Sternritter except for Haschwalth react in shock and horror.
  • The Emperor: He is the Emperor of the Vandenreich, and is referred to as 陛下 (heika = "Your Majesty"), the official way of addressing real life Emperor of Japan. He also pulls double-duty as King of the Quincies. He's a hands-on military leader, not the "isolated on the golden throne" type, who is as willing to kill his own troops as his enemies. When he fights, he becomes an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight. There's an indication that his soul thrives on war to keep functioning. Without the ability to absorb the souls of those he kills, he would be nothing more than a vegetable who can neither move nor has functioning senses. As a result, he incites war and violence wherever he can.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Mayuri once observes that Reiatsu can only continue to exist if there is a heart that can beat which is why Muken imprisons those who cannot die by normal means. Yhwach appears to be killed by Ichigo, and his lingering Reiatsu appears to be defeated a few years later, but even dead he still possesses enough Reiatsu to function as the Soul King. The Soul King he replaces also had functioning powers even after Yhwach had stabbed him and Ichigo had split him in half. In the post war novels multiple characters, even though they don't know that he became the lynchpin after his death, speculate if Yhwach is responsible for the various plots that are happening. It's open ended as to whether or not Yhwach's threat is truly gone for good.
  • Establishing Character Moment: One of the first things Yhwach is seen doing is killing two subordinates for incredibly minor offenses. His exchange with Luders also foreshadows his Schrift, "A" of "The Almighty". From that point on, it's constantly reiterated that he is a terrible boss who will turn on his own subordinates as fast as he'll turn on his enemies.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He cannot understand why Ichigo would oppose him even after learning of their blood relation and after Ichigo's Quincy instincts caused him to attack the Soul King.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, the Head-Captain of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads. He and Yamamoto are both ancient -and very powerful- peerless and strict leaders of military organizations devoted to eliminating Hollows and each other, and in the past, both were equally ruthless and amoral. However, Yamamoto found something worth protecting and thus mellowed out, obeys the law, protects his subordinates and maintains the balance of reincarnation, all the while holding a very short fuse. Yhwach retained his cold, opportunistic pragmatism, and so he marches at his own pace, murders his underlings on the fly and actively disrupts the balance of reincarnation, while maintaining an incredibly passive demeanor through all of it. Yhwach, however, points out they were once similar in terms of their treatment of allies.
  • Evil Laugh: Upon defeating Ichigo while on Wahrwelt, Yhwach steals Ichigo's power and begins to laugh maniacally as Ichigo's power merges with his own. It is the first time he is ever shown laughing.
  • Evil Overlord: Yhwach is The Emperor of the Vandenreich, a hyper-militant Quincy organization. He is a brutal, intolerant autocrat primarily interested in causing as much discord, conflict, and death as possible for the sake of fueling his life-span with the souls of all who are killed. He's completely willing to encourage his Sternritters to engage in team killing and mistreating their subordinates whenever they feel like it. He himself is also a truly horrifying authority figure whom Yamamoto claims has absolutely no compassion towards those in his service. Yamamoto's claims would later prove to be greatly founded. Yhwach resides within the Schatten Bereich (the Shadow Realm), the location of the Vandenreich (both the city and the organization), but he generally resides within Silbern, an ice palace. As a bonus, when he makes his debut, he'd already conquered Hueco Mundo on the side. His desire is to kill the Soul King, which serves as the linchpin of the three worlds. Once he kills him, he decides to absorb him into himself, and recreates the Royal Palace into a new realm for the Quincy, which in the center lies a fortress called Wahrelt. He then eventually decides he no longer has any use for his remaining Sternritter and uses Auswählen on them before setting out to bring ruin to existence.
  • The Evil Prince: The Soul King is ultimately responsible for the balance of souls between worlds and is the linchpin of the three worlds. Yhwach possesses this unusual power to redistribute souls and spiritual power, and claims that nine days after he regains his power, he'll "reclaim" the world. As he stabs the Soul King, he calls the Soul King his father. When Ichigo arrives to stop him, he uses the Quincy blood inside to force Ichigo into killing the Soul King. Yhwach then decides to absorb his father into himself and essentially becomes the new Soul King. Rather ironically, once Yhwach is slain, his corpse is used as the replacement for his father as it still contains enough spiritual power to serve as a suitable linchpin.
  • Eviler Than Thou: According to Shutara, Aizen may be the personification of evil, but Yhwach is even worse. The author states that the conflict with Aizen was a case of good versus evil, but the conflict against the Vandenreich is one where both sides are morally equal and Yhwach is an enemy, but not a villain; this, along with the events of the sequel novels, strongly implies that Shutara's claim cannot be trusted.
  • Exotic Eye Designs: While using his Schrift, the number of pupils visible in each of Yhwach's eyes increase. The pupils are capable of independent movement and contribute to his ability to see anything, including his opponents abilities and the future. The first use of his power increases his pupils from one to two per eye and the second increases them to three per eye. After absorbing the Soul King, pupils spread to every part of his body and even to the shadows that cover him.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Upon completing the absorption of the Soul King, and the Mimihagi the Soul King's Right Hand, his body, and the ground around him, becomes warped by shadow. The top half of his head no longer details either human eyes or even a forehead. Instead, giant malformed eyes of varying sizes cover his face. Eyes also appear across his shoulders and neck. Wherever the shadow touches his body, eyes appear. They even seem to be forming across the ground that is intimately connected to his body via the shadows.
  • Fantastic Racism: Yhwach has nothing but contempt for Arrancars and Soul Reapers. He views Arrancars as Cannon Fodder at best because he can always get more. He despises Soul Reapers because they are the natural enemy of the Quincy, and for turning his father into an abomination. Not even the Quincies themselves are immune from his prejudiced views, as he has a very low view of mixed-blooded Quincies, intentionally wiping them all out in a purge six years before the relatively major events begin. He's a bit confused as to how Uryu survived it.
  • Final Boss: After defeating Ichigo and bringing him to despair, Yhwach absorps his Quincy and Hollow powers, and performs Auswählen on his remaining Sternritter before setting out to bring ruin to existence, starting with Seireitei. He departs with a warning to Ichigo that he will find him in the moment he is at his happiest and slaughter him and everyone he loves, should he decide to follow him. When Tensa Zangetsu is reforged with the help of Tsukishima, and getting a pep-talk from Renji, Ichigo regains his confidence and sets out to confront Yhwach in the very last battle of the series. Yhwach is so dangerous and powerful, that Ichigo requires the help of both Aizen and Uryu to defeat him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There was a volume spread picture that had Ichigo going through all of his opponents throughout the years. At the very top was a long black cloak with something resembling a wad of messy hair at the top, connected to four red and black chains. It looks rather suspiciously like Yhwach.
    • Opie mentions that Yhwach should adjust Blut, which works through a Quincy's blood, for the Vandenreich. Yhwach also refers to Ichigo and Uryu as his "sons". Yhwach is the "First Quincy", the progenitor of all Quincies through whom his blood flows.
    • His physical appearance, including his facial shape, the type of moustache, the long, shaggy hair, the flowing black cloak that wraps his body in shadow, all make him look like Old Man Zangetsu. Old Man Zangetsu turns out to be Yhwach from a thousand years ago and Tensa Zangetsu turns out to be Yhwach from his teenage years because Ichigo has a Quincy's heritage, and therefore Yhwach's blood, running through his veins.
    • When the Quincies leave an area swiftly, they are enveloped by shadows. The first invasion reveals the quincies can enter the Seireitei's barrier because, Yhwach claims, they were already there. When his Hour of Power is over, Yhwach is pulled underground by shadows. When he begins the final battle, shadows envelop the Seireitei, coming from underground. It turns out the Quincies have been hiding in the shadows of Seireitei for a thousand years, and quite literally - they created a dimensional shadow realm right underneath the Soul Reapers' noses.
    • When he enters the Royal Realm, Yhwach dismisses the Soul King's palace as a "rotten grave" and sets up a new castle called Wahrwelt, a name drived from a work by Nietztsche called "How the true world became fiction". The Soul King is the lynchpin that defines the boundaries between the worlds as the characters understand them to be, and he is kept in the Royal Palace behind a barrier. It eventually becomes clear that there's a question mark over whether or not the Soul King is alive at all, and that the boundaries between worlds, including the lynchpin that sustains those boundaries, were deliberately created by the Soul Reapers. This makes Soul Society an artificial world that hides the truth about the real world that came before.
    • He mentions that his sense of time was off when he's about to capture Ichigo and remarks that he should have had more time outside of their shadow dimension. He mentions that Aizen must have had something to do with it. This was a hint that Aizen's illusion powers could affect his senses and it was Aizen's ability to alter Yhwach's perception that was instrumental in his defeat later.
    • Yhwach tells Ichigo at some point that a horrible fate will await him and considers ending his life an act of mercy. Captain Kyoraku also gives soul tickets to Tatsuki, Mizuiro and Keigo, so they can visit him in the future if he's not allowed to ever return to the human world. The novels reveal that the Royal Guard's original plan was to turn Ichigo into the new Soul King, a fate both Kyoraku and Yhwach knew about.
  • For the Evulz: Yhwach is a cruel psychopath who will kill for very little reason, or for no reason at all if feels like it. He is introduced blasting the arm off one of his servants just to get his attention. When the servant finishes his report, he kills him for speculating about the future. He admits that he has no reason to praise or critique how his other underling, Ebern, handled his mission, but kills him too regardless. His bloodthirsty behavior is given an explanation: he was born without senses and requires the souls of others to retain his senses and prolong his life, meaning that he has to kill others whether he wants to or not. However, this doesn't change the fact that he's clearly enjoying himself when he commits his ruthless atrocities.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Yhwach is the progenitor of the Quincy race and has unlimited power over them. The Quincy tell of a legend about the Sealed King of the Quincy, who will eventually return to conquer the world. He founded the Vandenreich, of which he serves as The Emperor. His blood flows through the veins of every Quincy and those descended from them and is therefore the source of both their power and organization.
  • Freudian Excuse: The very last chapter reveals that his ultimate motive was to destroy the current life and death cycle and create a new world where people don't have to live in fear of death.

  • A God Am I: It’s all but stated that he’s a God-like being, but was still a human of divine origins, being the son of the Soul King. He is the "Father of the Quincy" and has the ability to impart pieces of his soul unto others. As an infant, the people regarded him as a miracle and called him YHWH (one of the ancient Hebrew names for God), despite the price of his “miracles” being their deaths later on as the pieces of his soul would eventually return to him with all of their memories and ability, a process that would help him keep his senses and prolong his life. He took the name as his own, and tweaked it just a tad to promote his own identity, thus resulting in Yhwach. Even his Schrift the “A” stands for “The Almighty” a power that allows him to see the future, and "know" and counter any ability he sees. After he absorbs the Soul King, his own father, he becomes a true Physical God. He uses his newfound power to completely reshape the Soul King Palace in his image. After defeating Ichigo, Yhwach kills off his remaining Sternritter and sets off to merge the three worlds into a new world where life and death are one.
  • God-Emperor: Yhwach is The Emperor of the Vandenreich and later reveals himself as the son of the Soul King, a nigh-omnipotent Transcendent Being who was sealed away to be the lynchpin of existence. Even as as a baby, he possessed God-like power, and was thus given the name of God by the humans around him. He is the King of the Quincy, and the Quincies fanactically worship and praise as a deified figure; calling him the "First Quincy" and the "Father of the Quincies" because his blood flows through the veins of every Quincy. His Schrift is called The Almighty and permits him to see all potential futures, allowing him to plan for any eventuality and negate any power. The kanji used to spell "The Almighty" - zenchizennou - even means "All-Knowing, All-Powerful". Some Quincies are genuinely loyal through blind obediance or ignorance, but others seek to oppose him whenever they learn of his true nature. The true power of "The Almighty" is to alter the future, even being able to revive himself on the slim chance someone manages to deal a killing blow to him. All this makes him almost impossible to defeat or kill.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Yhwach has a nightmare of Ichigo cutting him with Getsuga Tensho. When he wakes up, he seems delighted and remarks on how exhilarating it is. In his fight with Aizen and Ichigo, he gets cut in half at the waist by Ichigo, but regenerates thanks to his ability to manipulate the future. He gets cut in half again not long after, this time when his powers have been temporarily negated by an arrow made of Still Sliver.
  • Hate Sink: Kubo stated that Yhwach was designed to be an antagonist but not an outright villain. Despite this, Yhwach is a selfish, brutal and sadistic tyrant who treats the lives of his subordinates as toys, making him despised in universe and without by those not sworn to him. Yhwach acts like a saviour to people as a way to insert shards of his soul into them so that he can empower the target; upon pulling back the shard, he obtains the target's powers but kills them in the process. He is self-centred, brutal, xenophobic, and sadistic, and truly believes that everything in the world exists for his taking. Yamamoto wanted him annihilated, he is behind the deaths of Ichigo and Uryuu's mothers, and his actions unite Soul Reapers, Arrancars and Quincies against him. After his death, the Zero Division uses his corpse as the new lynchpin and conceals the truth, with nobody mourning him.
  • Hero Killer: No other villain in Bleach has brought forth more death and destruction then Yhwach. He leads a brutal attack on Seireitei, which results in countless Soul Reapers dying. He's the one who personally kills Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto, the Big Good of the series. It's also revealed that he's the one responsible for the death of Ichigo's mother Masaki and Uryu's mother Kanae. He later kills Ichibei, the leader of Squad Zero, when he reveals his Schrifft. Though Ichibei is later resurrected, and his status as "hero" is questionable to say the least.
  • The High King: What his role is to the Quincies as a whole alongside with his other title as The Emperor of the Vandenreich.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Once he finishes evaluating Ebern's performance against Ichigo, Yhwach declares him to be "a foundation for peace"... and then beheads him.
    • He praises Royd's achievements and overlooks his subordinate's sense of failure. Just as Royd wells up with joy at Yhwach's benevolence, Yhwach slaughters him and Yamamoto accuses him of being cruel.
  • Hour of Power: Some unspecified weakness limits his time outside his own territory. Energy seems to start bleeding off him when he hits the limit.
  • Humanoid Abomination: From the moment he was born, he could inject pieces of his soul into others, then retrieve it and kill them in the process, though the curing of ailments and bestowed powers led many to view him as divine for this. His Schrift produces Extra Eyes on each eyeball that give him omniscience and omnipotetence, including the power to "change the future" in a manner that is completely incomprehensible to anyone who faces it. After he absorbs the Soul King, his proclaimed father which itself is so bizarre that Aizen calls it "that thing", he transcends into a horrific God-like entity capable of bending reality to his will, manipulating dark Reiatsu, and recreating the Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, and the Human World into one new world where life and death are one. His body has been largely converted to a mass of shadow with even more eyes, visibly terrifying the Schutzstaffel. After dying, his corpse becomes the Soul King's replacement, whereupon he is also spoken of like an unnerving object.
  • Hypocrite: He claims to hate violence and preaches about peace, but he kills his subordinates without any hesitation and orchestrates a war with the Soul Reapers. This is reflected in how his volume spread picture contains the word "Peace" written in blood.
  • I Want Them Alive!: He wants to defeat Ichigo without killing him so that he can force Ichigo into becoming one of his followers. He's apparently not very strict about it, though, since none of his followers see killing Ichigo as something they might regret.
  • Immortality Immorality: As long as he keeps reabsorbing souls of dying Quincies, he can keep extending his lifespan. Of course, the easiest way to do this is to organize war after war, guaranteeing as much death as possible to keep him alive longer. When he is finally defeated and slain by Ichigo, he reveals to him that his motivation was to create a world where death doesn't exist so that he would be able to live forever.
  • Immortals Fear Death: His one true fear is dying, and his goal is to create a world where death doesn't exist to prevent that from happening.
  • Irony: He, Soul Society's greatest enemy, is now protected by them and as the lynchpin holding the current world he despises so much together.
  • Informed Attribute: His Auswählen is stated to be always fatal, stealing the powers of any Quincies hit by it and killing them by clotting their blood with Still Silver and stopping their hearts. However, the only Quincy shown being killed by it in that exact manner were Kanae Katagiri — who died offscreen — and possibly Jugram Haschwalth — who retained his power to trade injuries with his opponents. Robert Accutrone and Gerard Valkyrie were Stripped to the Bone when struck by it; and the other Vandenreich members hit by it only lost their Vollständig powers — with the manga never explaining why this was the case.
  • Invincible Villain: He steamrolls everyone that goes against him (including Yamamoto, the head of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads who has the power of a sun), manages to get into the Soul King palace, beats his Elite Guards by reviving his own elite guards after they're initially defeated, and manages to take the Soul King's power and merge with it. His Schrifft boils down to being a Reality Warper who can see and manipulate every possible future to his whim, even outright breaking the rules of other powers if he wants. This makes him incredibly difficult to defeat or kill. Aizen himself has to team up with the heroes to take him on, distracting Yhwach long enough for Ichigo to kill him with a powerful Getsuga Tensho. When Yhwach uses his power to bring himself back from the dead, Ishida negates his powers by shooting him with the Still Silver arrow, which gives Ichigo just enough time to kill Yhwach for good.
  • It's All About Me: Yhwach's entire existence revolves around giving pieces of himself to others, only to take everything they have to offer. He is the progenitor of all Quincies and his blood flows through every one of them. He doesn't take kindly to the idea of mixed breeds or tainted pure bloods. When he wants to rebuild his power, he thinks nothing of taking the power of all of the Quincy that has "tainted" blood in order to fuel his own power, killing them in the process. In fact, the entire war between the Vandenreich and Seireitei is all for the purpose of increasing his life and strength. It is explained that as a child, Yhwach had to rely on imparting fragments of his souls into others and recall them back to him with the lives, memories, and abilities of the person who was imparted with the soul shard. If he doesn't continuously do this, he will revert back to his vegetative state. Being self-centered is literally a survival tactic for him. However, he never once laments or attempt to justify it, and in fact even enjoys it. He tells Ichibei that everything in the world exists for his taking. He cannot fathom why Ichigo would be upset over his mother's death, as Yhwach wholeheartedly believes that empowering him is the greatest honor there is. Even his hunger for a world without death seems like nothing more then a way to escape that fate.
  • Just You and Me and My GUARDS!: He pulls this when facing off against the Royal Guards. Every time someone has tried to attack Yhwach directly, he quickly reveals that he's still being protected by some unseen minion (or group of minions).
  • Karmic Transformation: The light novel Bleach: We Do Knot Always Love You reveals that his corpse is being used as the new Soul King.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: One of his most commonly used methods of asserting his authority.
    • After destroying Luders' arm (and watching him crawl as he struggles to deal with the pain), he says that it's fine for Luders to give his report while lying on the floor. As soon as Luders shows relief, Yhwach promptly threatens to destroy Luders' legs since he "doesn't need them for sitting."
    • He praised Royd for his role in the invasion, just before blasting him to bits. Yamamoto calls him out on it.
    • Does this almost literally in Yamamoto's case, via stepping on his head and pushing it the ground after killing him.
  • Knight of Cerebus: No villain has ever been quite as brutal or destructive as Yhwach. Not a single speck of his time is spent on comical moments, and the devastation he wrought to the Seireitei is unprecedented. Yhwach decimates the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, kills Yamamoto and any Quincies he has no further use for, defeats the Royal Guard, and tricks Ichigo into killing the Soul King. He then absorbs the Soul King and remakes the Royal Realm in his image. Even a handful of the Sternritter get their own funny moments, but whenever Yhwach is seen, things turn serious very quickly.
  • Knight Templar: Many millennium prior to the start of the series, the Five Noble Houses committed the Original Sin by creating the Soul King which separated life from death. Yhwach's ultimate goal is to end the Soul King, undo the Original Sin of Soul Society and create a deathless, stagnant world without fear and suffering. How does he intend to do this? By destroying the world and causing enough conflict, so that he will be powerful enough to execute his plans. Yhwach cares nothing for those he kills and destroys along the way, also being fanatically devoted to his own divinity while purging Quincies he deems 'impure' in his quest.
  • Lack of Empathy: According to Yamamoto, he has never had compassion nor mercy for others, not even his own men. Something he tends to demonstrate time and time again. He dismisses the Arrancar who work for him to be nothing more than Cannon Fodder, even if they have sworn alleigence to him. Six years before the start of the series, when he awakens, he heartlessly robs all of the "impure" Quincies of their power, causing them to die. The sole survivor was Uryu Ishida, who's mother was one of the many who died. Yhwach would converse with Uryu about that event in a casual manner. When Liltotto demands to know what his soldiers were to him, he refers to annihilating his Sternritter as simply their lot in being his 'comrades' with no regard for their anguish. He also genuinely doesn't understand why Ichigo is upset at his mother's death, as Yhwach believes there is no greater honor then empowering him.
  • Large and in Charge: He is so tall that when Royd copied his appearance, he Neck Lifted the 202 cm (6'7") tall Kenpachi Zaraki. Hinted at during the Soul Society invasion when Zangetsu strolls past Kenpachi and is clearly larger than him. Zangetsu is how Yhwach looked a millennium ago.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Yhwach has a habit of killing his subordinates when they are no longer useful to him, often by using Auswählen to leave a piece of Still Silver in their hearts while he absorbs their powers and make himself stronger. He also recruited Haschwalth to be his other half, bestowing The Almighty on Haschwalth every night. Ryuken crafts for Uryu an arrow that is made from the Still Silver that killed Kanae that can suspend Yhwach's powers for a brief moment when it touches his blood. Haschwalth feeds a vision of Ichigo killing Yhwach to Yhwach in such a way as to make Yhwach think it's only a dream, and the two events coincide to give Ichigo the moment he needs to cut Yhwach in half.
  • Leave No Survivors: During both the initial invasion of the Seireitei and the follow-up, this was the only order Yhwach gave to the Sternritter. Haschwalth even told Kyoraku up front exactly what they were ordered to do.
    Haschwalth: His Majesty is fond of peace. He is fond of battles that are not drawn out, and so we were given only one directive: the instant and immediate extermination of all enemy forces.
  • Life Drinker: How he lives and thrives. As an infant, Yhwach wasn't able to see, hear, feel, taste, or smell. He was born with the ability to share pieces of his soul with other people. This would result in the person being healed of all ailments, both physical and spiritual. However, the soul fragment would eventually return to Yhwach, and with it, the life-force of that person along with their abilities and memories. Through this, Yhwach was able to acquire his senses and grow in power. Anyone who comes in contact with his soul are at risk of having their life stolen by him, and this includes all of the Quincies as well as whoever fights them. It's through this Yhwach is able to extend his life-span, and if he doesn't continuously do this, he will revert back to the senseless state he was in as a child.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Quincy uniform is pure white, although he hides that uniform behind a dark maroon colored cape. He wields the power of Light, but every time he brings forth the Light, it's to kill. The most significant use of his Light is used to destroy the Quincies themselves, calling back their power so he can redistribute it among himself and any living Quincies of his choice. During the Vandenreich's second invasion, he briefly swaps his maroon cape with the usual white-colored white cape worn by the Quincy before changing it back when he prepares to invade the Soul King's Palace. When he assimilates Mimihagi and the Soul King, he completely abondons the light-themed colors of the Quincy in favor the powers of darkness he recieved from the Soul King.
  • Logical Weakness: In spite of his abililty to see and choose whatever future he wishes being utterly broken, it's not without limits. Yhwach can only see and affect the future but not the past. This means that anything he can alter can, in theory, be reversed by Tsukashima's ability to change the past which allowed Tsukashima to reverse Zangetsu's destruction. Also, because his ability is to literally see the future, it's just as open to Aizen's illusions as mundane sight. Using his illusions to make Yhwach see a false future, Aizen manages to conceal Uryu just long enough for the latter to impale Yhwach with the Still Silver arrow.

  • Make an Example of Them: He doesn't like fights. He sees two people bickering. He's told them in the past not to fight. The punishment? Lop off the arm of the one who started it just to ram his point home.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • When Royd is left dying from grievous wounds inflicted by Yamamoto, Yhwach lets him know that he did a good job before ending his life swiftly.
    • Yhwach thinks that killing the Soul King, who has suffered lifelong humiliation at the hands of the Soul Reapers, is the only way to free him.
    • Shortly afterwards he tells Ichigo that is going to kill him, because a horrible fate will await him. Said fate turns out to be being turned into the lynchpin.
  • Motive Rant: During his dying moments, Yhwach claims he wanted to create a world where everyone could live without fear of death.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: He proudly declares his name to Ichibei to prove it is no longer erased by Ichibei's powers and that Ichibei no longer has the ability to steal his identity.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: He is the Emperor of the Vandenreich, an empire of Quincies with a German aesthetic. His Sternritter wear uniforms that bear resemblance to the apparel worn by SS personnel. The four Sternritter chosen to serve as his elite guard are called the Schutzstaffel, sharing the name of the paramilitary organization that served under Adolf Hitler. Six years prior to the start of the series, Yhwach enacted a purge on all Quincies of mixed blood, or Quincies he deemed "impure" in order to empower himself. He holds great contempt for Arrancar and Soul Reapers, seeing the former as nothing more than cannon fodder, while taking great joy in slaughtering the latter.
  • Nerves of Steel: He maintains his calm demeanor, no matter what happens. If he's ever surprised or taken aback, it's usually only for a few seconds, then the smile and serenity returns.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Once he's defeated Ichigo and taken his powers, he decides to use Auswählen on the remaining Sternritter. At the very least, this saved Uryu, who was completely at Haschwalth's mercy and about to be finished off, and would end up assisting in his own defeat by temporarily shutting off his powers. He also relieved the Soul Reapers of having to deal with Gerald, whose Story-Breaker Power had proven impossible for them to overcome even when his powers were supposed to have been frozen, and would have spelled trouble for their society based on his size alone if left to rampage.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: As if he wasn't disturbing enough, Yhwach seems to delight in having nightmares. As he sleeps, he dreams of Ichigo confronting him while asleep and slashing him in cold blood. Yhwach promptly wakes up, grins, and declares that there is no better dream than a nightmare. However, this ends up being his undoing, as it wasn't actually a nightmare, but in fact, a vision of his death. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't realize this until it is too late to prevent it.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Yhwach is a highly pragmatic villain who takes advantage of his opponents' decisions and actions to maximize his own plans. He brings forward the invasion of Soul Society by five days when he learns Ichigo is preoccupied in Hueco Mundo with Quilge. Yhwach prevents Yamamoto from reusing his (improved) Bankai against him by using his medallion to immediately steal it, leaving Yamamoto helpless against his lethal attack. He doesn't just kill Yamamoto, he obliterates the whole body to prevent healers like Orihime from ever reviving him. He knows Uryu only joined the organization simply to avenge his mother's death, so he leapfrogs him over established Sternritter to become Imperial Heir, ensuring Uryu cannot plot against him. He toys with opponents like Ichibei just long enough to understand his powers, and then immediately kills him. When Ichigo activates his true Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, Yhwach immediately warps the future to destroy it before Ichigo can even use it, let alone move it in its intact form. And when he sees Ichigo again with said Bankai repaired, he tries to break it again, though he only cracks an illusion Aizen created.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: He claims Yamamoto, in his younger days, was every bit the ruthless, merciless monster that Yamamoto's accusing him of being. Unohana, who was one of the original captains that Yhwach calls "thugs" discusses with Zaraki how people like her are criminals who were captains instead of prisoners because of their strength. Multiple characters point out just how much Ichigo's impact on Soul Society has softened and changed the old man. Yhwach claims that softening is what allows him to kill Yamamoto; after defeating the Quincies a thousand years ago, the Soul Reapers won the peace: peace gave the Soul Reapers something to fear losing, and so Yamamoto began to soften.
  • Not So Stoic: Yhwach, having kept a relaxed demeanor the entire arc, bursts into sadistic laughter after having taken Ichigo's Quincy power.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Uryu hits him from behind with the Still Silver arrow that momentarily saps his powers, Yhwach's actually quite surprised. He rants that it won't make any difference. It does.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Yhwach's plan is to create a world of immortality where death doesn't exist. Unfortunately, for that world to come to be, all of the current world has to cease to exist. To that end, Yhwach orchestrates wars to feed off of the death for the sake of goals that put all of existence at risk. Yhwach bids Ichigo farewell after he absorbs all of his power while promising that he will bring ruin to all of existence, including Soul Society and the Real World, now that he has neither further need for Ichigo nor the Sternritter. His final act before he is finally undone is attempting to plunge the cosmos into darkness, starting with Seireitei.
  • The Omnipotent: While already a monumentaly powerful being as the Father of the Quincy, Yhwach ascends to nigh-omnipotence when he kills and absorbs his father, Soul King. As the new Soul King, Yhwach is a Godlike being capable of doing virtually anything he wants: reforming the Soul King Palace into a new realm for the Quincy, controlling the Reishi to give his subordinates the upper hand in combat, and even reforming Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, and the Human World into one new world where death does not exist. Even his Schrift, 'The Almighty' reflects this as it allows him to see into and alter every possible future, an ability that he can even use from beyond the grave to resurrect himself. The only possible way to defeat him was to shoot with an arrow forged from his Still Silver to temporarily render him powerless.
  • Only One Name: His name is just Yhwach and nothing else. Seeing as it's a variation on the name of God, one name is plenty.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He claims he's the only person strong enough to steal Yamamoto's Bankai without dying. He also invokes this with the other Sternritter, ordering the ones who stole a bankai that they have to finish off their former owners themselves.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Played With. During the initial assault on Soul Society, Yhwach leads the charge (well, using Royd Lloyd to lead directly while he goes off to find Aizen) and they inflict massive casualties, including Yamamoto once Yhwach shows up for real to steal his Bankai, and he only leaves when he realizes Aizen messed with his perception of time enough that he couldn't afford to stay out of his realm much longer. When the second major battle begins, however, Yhwach is content to wait in his palace after bringing the Silbern into Soul Society so he doesn't need to worry about his time limit, as he's waiting for Ichigo to return so he can assault the Royal Realm with his Elite Guard.
  • People Puppets: A limited form of it. By infusing his Reiatsu into his sword, it resonates with Ichigo's Quincy blood and takes control of his arm when Ichigo grabs the sword, forcing Ichigo to cut the Soul King in half. Ichigo overcomes it shortly thereafter, but Yhwach only needed it to work for the one attack.
  • Pet the Dog: After Royd's mortally wounded by Yamamoto with zero hope of recovery, Yhwach takes a moment to praise his performance and swiftly ends his suffering. He also grants Shaz Domino membership among the Vandenreich after he escapes Gremmy's thrall out of respect for his tenacity. These are just about the nicest things he ever does.
  • Physical God: Yhwach becomes a Transcendent Being when he absorbs the Soul King. Even before however, he was worshipped as the "Father of the Quincy" and has the ability to impart pieces of his soul unto others, but he also possesses "The Almighty", a power that allows him to see the future, and "know" and counter any ability he sees. The kanji used to spell "The Almighty" - zenchizennou - even means "All-Knowing, All-Powerful". Then he kills and absorbs the Soul King, which transforms Yhwach into a eldritch godlike being, and taking the Soul King's place as the linchpin of all reality. As the new Soul King, he could manipulate and bend all dimensions to his will, or even erase all of them from existence if he desired to do so. It's later revealed that the true power of The Almighty, allows him to alter every possible future to suit his advantage, even from beyond the grave. In the final battle, he comes dangerously close to destroying all of existence, and replacing it with a world without death, and is only killed by Ichigo with a well-timed slash from Zangetsu, and only after he is shot from behind with the Still Silver Arrow to disable his powers and prevent Yhwach from resurrecting himself with The Almighty. Even after his death, his corpse contains enough Reiatsu to continue serving as the linchpin of reality.
  • Playing with Fire: Yamamoto possessed the most powerful fire-type Zanpakuto in history. Yhwach stole the Bankai, Zanka no Tachi, giving him The Power of the Sun. Even Yamamoto risked destroying the world every time he activated the Bankai, so Yhwach has not rushed to use it and ultimately never does use it even up to his defeat.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He openly uses Arrancar as shock troops, explaining to a subordinate's query that they're disposable and easily replaced. He's only using them because they don't need training to fight, so he really doesn't care how long they last before they die. His racist views on "blood purity" as a Quincy, leads to his willingness to cull any Quincy deemed to have impure blood, whether by birth or by Hollow taint. Masaki, Kanae, and countless others have died in his purge. He also implies it's not the only purge he has conducted.
  • Power Parasite: Yhwach steals Yamamoto's Bankai using his Quincy Medallion. He later strips Ichigo of his Quincy and Hollow powers.
  • Puppet King: Following his defeat, Yhwach has become the Soul King and theoretically the highest authority in Soul Society, but he is also a sealed away corpse and seemingly unable to act.
  • The Purge: His use of Auswählen (roughly "Holy Selection") enables him to take the powers from Quincies he decides are "impure" or unnecessary. It kills most and leaves the few survivors completely powerless. As it's used by Yhwach to empower himself or redistribute Quincy power to strategically support his personal goals, he is unrepentant in the use of it. Notable victims over the years include Masaki, Kanae, Uryu, Bazz-B, Liltotto, and Giselle. Much to Yhwach's confusion and interest, Uryu is the only Quincy in history to have survived the purge with both his life and power intact.
  • Reality Warper: Yhwach is able to manipulate Reishi to create anything he wants, even stairs in the middle of the air. Once he absorbs the Soul King, this ability powers up to give him complete control over the Soul King's realm. He is able to dismantle Seireitei itself, using its Reishi to reshape the Royal Realm into a city that's in the shape of a giant Quincy Cross, and placing his new palace at the center. He also alters the density and consistency of the atmospheric Reishi; the Soul Reapers find it impossible to use Flash Step because they cannot manipulate this altered Reishi to create footholds in the air. The ultimate ability of The Almighty is to transform the future, enabling him to set traps and destroy Ichigo's new Bankai the moment he activates it and without moving, and bypass Orihime's shield to attack Ichigo.
  • Religious Horror: Yhwach is heavily inspired by Jesus and the Abrahamic God. As such, many of his more horrifying and monstrous actions are direct references or inspired by the likewise horrifying actions Jesus and God performed in Revelation.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Although he looks like someone in his forties or fifties, he was alive a thousand years ago, where he looked like a man in his thirties. His exact age is unknown, but he is known to be at least twelve hundred years old (given he was more than two hundred years old before the initial invasion of Soul Society a millennium ago).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He delivers a rather poignant one to Yamamoto right before obliterating his corpse, by accusing Yamamoto himself as well as the entire first generation of the Gotei 13 to be little more than murderous sociopaths - just like Yhwach himself. The damning thing is that Yamamoto actually can't disagree.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Yhwach can alter any future he foresees into one he desires, including a future in which he has already been killed. However, it does not work for events that have already transpired. Can't Fear Your Own World also implies that any holder of The Almighty is technically immune from death on any permanent scale unless very specific steps are taken to make any form of revival effectively impossible.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Yhwach named himself after the Hebrew and Christian God, based on what humans were calling him when he was miraculously healing the incurable as a baby. To empower the Sternritter, he makes them drink his blood from a cup, which is very strong Hebrew and Christian symbolism.

  • Sadist: While he conceals it pretty well usually, Yhwach is an utterly ruthless and sadistic being who absolutely delights in the pain of others, freely slaughtering enemy and ally alike just to further his own goals, and even looks down upon the concepts of mercy and compassion. His first appearance in the series shows him torturing Luders by blasting his arm off and mockingly permitting him that he can rest on the floor, but says he will blast Luders' legs off as well because he doesn't need them to sit. He then kills both Luders and Ebern simply because he can. After he kills Yamamoto, he gives a taunting speech to him about how "weak" he has gotten and obliterates Yamamoto's corpse even though he was already dead. He also enjoys playing cruel mental games with his victims, as during his second battle with Ichigo, he could've used 'The Almighty' to immediately defeat Ichigo on the spot, but instead chose to drag the fight on to enjoy it, and to give Ichigo the hope that he could win. When he reveals his future manipulation power, he breaks Ichigo's new Bankai, thoroughly beats him down, severely injures Orihime with the tip of the broken Tensa Zangetsu, and by the end starts indulging in hysterical evil laughter at Ichigo's emotional pain.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: According to ancient Quincy folklore, the Sealed King would regain his heartbeat after 900 years. He would then regain his intellect after 90 years. From that, he would then regain his power after 9 years. The final, more secret, stanza is that he would then regain the world after 9 days. The Final Arc is based on those last nine days and concludes with his corpse being resealed — as the new Soul King.
  • Seers: His Schrift, The Almighty, allows him to not only see the future but, as he explains it, to see every possible future. He describes this as every possible future being one granule in a dust cloud. Even if you prevent the granule which embodies a future currently on course, the future merely jumps to another granule, but Yhwach can see that one, too. There are some things though, that are immune to Yhwach's precognitive abilities, such as Mimihagi, the left arm of the Soul King.
  • Shrouded in Myth: There's ancient folklore among the Quincy about a Sealed King. He's the origin of that folklore, although whether his legend is that of a hero or villain remains unknown.
  • Significant Double Casting: He has the same voice actor as Old Man Zangetsu, since Zangetsu's physical appearance is based on a younger Yhwach.
  • Single Tear: As Yhwach rants to Ichigo about his defeat, and how death will no longer cease to exist, he sheds a single tear as his dream of a world without fear will never become reality.
  • Slasher Smile: He flashes a somewhat sedate version when saying farewell to Yamamoto. However, with Ichigo, he doesn't hold back the smile.
  • The Sociopath: Yhwach is an incredibly ruthless and brutal psychopath who Yamamoto states has no compassion for anyone, not even his own men. Yhwach will not let anyone stand in his way and will cross as many lines as he feels is necessary to accomplish his goals without hesitation. Six years prior to the start of the series, Yhwach strengthens himself by using Auswählen, taking the powers of any Quincies he deemed "impure" or "unnecessary", including children, resulting in their deaths, showing no remorse for this act. Yhwach is also quite prone to violence, lopping off the arm of an Arrancar just to get his attention, and kills several Soul Reapers, Arrancar and Quincies alike in a calm and serene manner. When performing Auswählen for a second time on the Sternritter he left behind in Seireitei to revive the Schutzstaffel, Liltotto demands to know what the Sternritter were to him, and Yhwach replies that they are comrades helping him. Yhwach sees nothing wrong with sacrificing his own soldiers to empower himself, and expresses confusion at Ichigo's anger at the death of his mother, who was a victim of the first Auswählen, because in Yhwach's point of view, there is no greater honor than empowering him. He's also quite self-centered, outright stating that everything in the world exists for his taking, and can be pretty sadistic at times.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: A defining characteristic of Yhwach is that oftentimes, he deliberately insults and belittles dead enemies (or allies) to the proverbial faces of their corpses. Then, there's the time he killed Yamamoto whom he truly hated... he then proceeded to deliver a poignant "The Reason You Suck" Speech and proceeded to desecrate his corpse by hacking off his one remaining arm, stomping on his head, and completely incinerating the rest.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The name is officially "Yhwach" (pronounced "Yuu-Haa-Vahk"). Unofficial translations use the katakana to produce "Juhabach" or "Yuhabaha", or "Juha Bach" to give him a first and last name.
  • Super Empowering: Unlike the rest of the Quincies, who can collect Reishi from their surroundings and make it theirs, he was born with the ability to give parts of his soul to others, and as time went on, he found a more efficient technique by carving initials of a letter inside them, which possibly hints at how the Sternritter were created. He can also use the Auswählen to distribute the power of Quincy he deems "unnecessary" to Quincy he deems "essential", causing them to become ever stronger and be reborn even if they had suffered fatal wounds.
  • The Stoic: While he does smile from time to time, Yhwach is for the most part, a pereptually calm man that always remains collected and reserved no matter what. Even when something happens that does shock or surprise him, he regains his composure quickly afterwards. Towards the end of the series however, he starts to express more emotion, being more openly sadistic and Ax-Crazy, and by the time that he is finally close to death, his stoic act shatters completely.
  • Story-Breaker Power: As the Quincy progenitor, Yhwach possesses all Quincy powers, as well as the ability to give people power by lending them pieces of his soul. He can call back the soul shards at will, depriving the recipient of their power and life, to increase his strength. In battle, Quincies unknowingly infect their opponents with his soul shards, allowing Yhwach to steal life and power from both Quincies and their enemies. He can use this power recall to resurrect fallen Quincies, literally choosing who lives and dies at any moment. Once he understands someone's power, his Schrift ability kicks in, allowing him to see into that person's future, letting him to develop counters to their techniques before they have even been used. It's not for nothing that his Sternritter title is "The Almighty". Yhwach regards the future as malleable and susceptible to change. "The Almighty" allows him to see all possible futures and to transform any or all of them to ensure the future he wants will come to pass. What Yhwach is capable of doing has basically already been done. His ability removes causality by instantly ensuring the effect occurs. Once Yhwach absorbs the Soul King, there are no limits on what he can do; he can even rewrite his own death, making him impossible to kill while the ability remains active.
  • Strong and Skilled: Yhwach has an extreme amount of spiritual energy so vast, that even after his death he had enough power to serve as a replacement to the Soul King. He also has the skill, knowledge, talent and any other ability of anyone who possesses a fragment of his soul when they die as well as their Spiritual Power. In addition he has a good number of broken abilities in the form of Schrift which he can flawlessly use.
  • Superpower Lottery: He has the ability to insert pieces of his soul into anyone, whereupon that piece will soak up the abilities and power level of the victim. When Yhwach recalls the shards, he is empowered at the expense of the victim's life. He can therefore switch and distribute his power around people as he sees fit and kill people just by willing it to happen. As a result, if his power is reduced, he can simply absorb it back from the environment or people around him. His Schrift allows him to understand the future of what he can see in front of him and therefore counter abilities he is confronted by, and he can manipulate the future to cause events he "sees" to occur in the present. His name comes from the Tetragrammaton; humans interpreted his "miracles" as an act of God, and he plays along with it.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The story has long established that the only way to be certain that a being of spiritual power is dead is by decapitating them. However, most characters do not account for this when they kill. Yhwach decapitates as a default method of death, as both Luders and Ebern discover. When he wants to make a point, he doesn't just kill Royd, he obliterates Royd's entire torso. To kill Yamamoto, he cleaves him in half, chops off his arm and then obliterates the entire body. Subverted with Ichibei: although he dismembers Ichibei, he does not obliterate the body, allowing Ichibei to later return to life.
  • The Unfettered: One of Yhwach's defining character traits is his complete and utter ruthlessness and his almost unemotional determination to overcome any obstactle that gets in his way, both physical and moral. In the state of being very weak? Just conduct The Purge and regain power and extend your lifespan, of "unnecessary" and "impure" Quincy, regardless of age. Team Killing from his soldiers? It doesn't matter. Power ups from the heroes? It doesn't matter. Barriers keeping you from walking further? It doesn't matter. Squad Zero itself meeting up with you head-on? Fuck off. All four of your Schutzstaffel Elites falling to one guy? Conduct The Purge on your own soldiers so you can simultaneously revive and strengthen the elites. Destroying the world? A necessary sacrifice. No single thing can and will keep him from undoing the original sin by recreating a world without death, and there's not a single thing he will not do to further his goal of creating said perfect world.
  • Villain Ball: During their fight on Wahrwalt, he completely defeats Ichigo and drives him to true despair with the full scope of The Almighty before stealing Ichigo's power. Instead of killing Ichigo (and to a lesser extent Orihime), Yhwach lets him live solely for the purpose of doing it again in the Seireitei which results in Aizen and Uryu having the opportunity to help Ichigo defeat Yhwach. Aizen's illusions buy Uryuu the time to obtain a power-nullifying arrow from Ryuken and arrive in time to use it on Yhwach while also allowing Ichigo to set up the perfect strike. The defeat resonates ten years into the future to ensure the final factor in the destruction of Yhwach is Ichigo's own son. Had Yhwach simply killed Ichigo, none of this — including Ichigo's future son — would have been possible.
  • Villainous Breakdown: During his final fight with Ichigo, Yhwach starts to lose his calm composure, showing signs of stress and rage as he begins to experience unexpected events that he had not foreseen. Never having been able to understand Uryu's abilities, he begins to scream when Uryu's arrow temporarily disables his powers. It goes into full-swing when he realizes Haschwalth had disguised one of his future visions as a nightmare, ensuring that the one vision Yhwach did receive was ignored as a dream.
  • Villain Has a Point: Hollows cannot exist if humans don't die, so the creation of this new world by the Soul Reapers also created the Hollows that hunt and destroy humans. However, Yhwach is treated as wrong for wanting to restore the previous world where death and fear don't exist, believing it to be a better quality of life for everyone than what currently exists.
  • Villains Never Lie: Despite being ruthless and brutal, Yhwach has a reputation for honesty and is stated to hate lies. He tells Ichigo without hesitation that he destroyed Soul Society. He tells Uryu that his "Holy Selection" genocide of the Gemischt nine years ago was supposed to kill Uryu, too. However, he is a master word-smith, being able to obscure context and consequences without lying. By telling the Vandenreich that Uryu was the "last survivor", he hides the existence of Ryuken (an Echt Quincy). Telling the Sternritter their job is to fight and die for him fails to reveal that this means they're fair game for his "Holy Selection" the moment they become useless to him.
  • Villain Takes an Interest:
    • He's very interested in the "Five Special War Powers", combatants he feels can change the tide of the entire war. He extended an offer for Ichigo to join the Vandenreich (whether he wanted to or not), and a large part of his first attack against the Seireitei was an attempt to bust out and recruit Aizen (he refused, but Yhwach expected this). As for Kenpachi, Urahara and Ichibei, they are what he would consider kill-on-sight targets. Having them around gives the Soul Society an advantage that's a little too close for comfort for him.
    • No Quincy in history has ever survived The Purge with both their power and life intact. Most die, and the few who don't are left completely powerless. When Yhwach performs Auswählen against all impure World of the Living Quincies to regain his power, Uryu makes history by being the sole Quincy to ever survive without losing his life and power. Yhwach is so fascinated by this that he recruits Uryu, makes him his Unexpected Successor, and claims Uryu is capable of surpassing even him. Haschwalth believes Yhwach is keeping Uryu as close to him as possible precisely because Uryu has every reason in the world to kill him.
  • Villain Team-Up: Subverted. He claims to have approached Aizen as a way to recruit the former Arrancar leader into the Vandenreich, but Aizen refused. Yhwach didn't seem to mind it, however.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Yhwach completely hates values, such as justice and honor. This is why he hates how the Gotei 13 became weak during the 1,000 years of his absence.
  • Visionary Villain: Yhwach hates lies, so he plans to destroy the biggest lie in existence: Soul Society, creating the true original world without death and fear in the process.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: During the first invasion of Soul Society, he captures Yamamoto's Bankai (and kills him afterwards), which has flames as hot as the Sun and could destroy the world if left activated for too long. However, he's content to let his soldiers do the fighting for him.
  • We Have Reserves: When asked why he keeps killing his Arrancar soldiers, he replies that he can always get new ones.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change!: Each of the Sternritter have something called a Schrift, an ability that is unique to them. As Sternritter 'A', Yhwach's Schrift is 'The Almighty'. The Almighty grants Yhwach access to a multitude of abilities such as negating the effects of any attack he has a full understanding of, and to be able to see into the future. As he explains during his second battle with Ichigo, the future is full of infinite possibilities, with each choice one makes spawning a new future. He compares it to how there are countless grains of sand scatter about. Yhwach can see every single one of them, so even if Ichigo decides to do something that defies the future, Yhwach can predict it anyway. As the fight progresses, Yhwach reveals to Ichigo that The Almighty isn't just the power to see the future, it's the power to change it. He proves this by destroying Tensa Zangetsu and taking Ichigo's Hollow horn. The Almighty is so powerful, that Yhwach can even use it from beyond the grave to resurrect himself. This effectively makes him immortal and nigh-impossible to defeat or kill unless very specific circumstances are met.
  • World's Strongest Man: Yhwach is, without question, the most powerful character in the entire series. As the progenitor of the Quincies, Yhwach has access to every one of their natural powers and abilities, and can use them to a greater extent. During his fight with Yamamoto, he steals his Bankai, which happens to be the most powerful one of them all. It's revealed that every time someone comes in contact with his soul, that person will eventually die, and their soul will be absorbed into him, and he will gain their memories and abilities. Each of the Sternritter have a Schrift, an ability that is unique to them, and as Sternritter 'A', Yhwach's Schrift is 'The Almighty' which allows him to not only see into the future, but change it to his advantage. He eventually absorbs both Mimihagi and the Soul King into himself which makes him powerful enough to reform Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, and the Human World into one new world. In the end, it took the combined effort of Aizen's Shikai, Uryu shooting the Still Silver arrow at him from behind, and a well timed slash from Zangetsu to ultimately take him down. Even after his death, his corpse contains enough Reiatsu to serve as a suitable replacement to the Soul King.
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": His "Holy Selection" wiped out the entire Gemischt ("mixed-blood") Quincy population with the exception of a single individual. Holy Selection is not an automatic process; Yhwach personally selects every single Quincy that he intends to steal power from and every single Quincy he will redistribute that power to. Nine years ago, he destroyed the Gemischt to restore his own power. During the invasion of the Royal Realm, he redistributes power from multiple Sternritters to revive his elite Schutzstaffel; although he only steals the Vollständig from, it instantly kills Robert and he informs his victims that they should be grateful to be aiding their comrades.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Holy Selection occurred when Uryu was eight years old, and Uryu was the only survivor. Yes, Yhwach tried to kill an eight year old boy just for existing. Not only did Yhwach kill, then take the powers and life force of an unspecified number of Echt and Gesmicht Quincy, which consisted of adolescents and adults, but Quincy children as well, except one. This proves that regardless of how old or young his victims are, and what their hardships are, Yhwach will remorselessly harm and kill them all.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Everything plays out in his favour. As his soul spreads to both his soldiers and those they fight, it doesn't matter who wins or loses, he grows stronger anyway. Aizen prevents him immediately recruiting Ichigo, resulting in Ichigo training in the Royal Realm. Ichigo's return leaves the gateway open just long enough for Yhwach to invade. When his elite Sternritter are defeated, he revives them to fight again. Although Uryu has the ability to surpass Yhwach, Haschwalth believes that Yhwach has put Uryu in a position where he's so politically and spiritually bound to Yhwach that he can't betray him even if he wanted to.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: However when Ukitake summoned Mimihagi and ruined Yhwach's plan, he was quickly able to recover from the setback and create a new plan that put him in an advantageous position.
  • You Have Failed Me: Even though they survived, he's far from happy that Cang Du and BG9 only survived from the lucky timing of their Vollständig activation. He therefore orders Haschwalth to punish them.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Yhwach only has limited use for anyone, even his most elite Sternritter. He kills Ebern for no good reason after Ebern tested how easy it would be to steal Ichigo's Bankai. He abandons most of the Sternritter once they've sacked Seireitei, stealing the powers of the ones left in Seireitei to empower the elite few he's taken to the Royal Realm. When he eventually defeats Ichigo, he steals the power from the last few Sternritter, including Haschwalth. Younger Sternritters are shocked whenever Yhwach turns on them, but older Quincies like Robert, who dies when Yhwach steals his power, have seen it happen before.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Yhwach must absorb the souls of his fallen minions and those who have come in contact with them in order to stay functionally alive. This adds up to a very large portion of the cast, including the Soul Reapers, as the first Vandenreich invasion was meant to build up this plan. He can also use his Auswählen to do it at will, which he uses against most of his Sternritters to revive his Schutzstaffel elites.


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