Yhwach is the main villain of Bleach‘s final arc, the Quincy War, whose anime adaptation is titled The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc; this is a well-known fact among fans of Bleach. The evil Quincy Emperor and his Sternritter wanted to eliminate the Shinigami and the Hollows and then combine all the worlds into one new world where death would be obsolete, meaning that people wouldn’t fear death anymore. Now, while some might have agreed with him or were curious to see what Yhwach would create, his plan was, luckily, stopped, and despite becoming the most powerful being in the world, Yhwach was ultimately defeated by Ichigo and his allies. But is he permanently dead, or is this just a repeat of the situation when Yamamoto defeated him but failed to kill him? Keep reading to find out.
After being defeated by Ichigo and his allies, Yhwach did permanently die, although the last traces of his Spiritual Pressure disappeared a good ten years after his downfall; this was, ironically, confirmed by Aizen while he was in Muken, as he felt, with relief, that Yhwach completely disappeared. So, as far as we know, there is no way for Yhwach to return to the series, as he has been wiped out of existence permanently.
The rest of this article will focus on Yhwach and his fate in the Bleach series. Yhwach was a powerful antagonist and a much-despised character in the Bleach lore, and it only makes sense that the fans want to know what happened to him after his defeat at the hands of Ichigo and his allies, so we have decided to compose this article. This article will contain some spoilers from the Bleach manga, so be careful how you approach it.
Yhwach is, luckily, permanently dead, but it took him ten years to disappear completely
Being the second major antagonist of the series, Yhwach has, of course, been a hot topic of debate among the fandom. He was powerful but also quite evil, which ultimately made him both intriguing and frightening.
A thousand years before the current timeline, Yhwach was defeated by Yamamoto, but the powerful Shinigami could not kill him. At the end of the Quincy Blood War, Yhwach was defeated again, this time by Ichigo and his allies. So, is he dead now, or will he come back again after a millennium? We shall summarize Yhwach’s final defeat and tell you what happened afterward.
After Yhwach entered the Soul King Palace and absorbed his father’s powers, he seemingly became the most powerful being in existence. He then proceeded to create the world he wanted but was stopped by Ichigo after he made one fatal blunder in the process – he freed Aizen.
After plunging Ichigo into total despair, Yhwach steals his Quincy powers fused with Hollow powers and those of all his subordinates still alive, after which he descends into the Seireitei to crown his ultimate goal: to unite the Soul Society and the human world.
Upon entering the Soul Society, Yhwach finds himself in front of Aizen, who greets him and welcomes him to “his” Soul Society. The Quincy king strikes the former captain, but he escapes unharmed and even expresses gratitude to him for liberating him from the “infernal chair.”
Before the two can begin fighting, Ichigo and Renji arrive, but Yhwach once more destroys Tensa Zangetsu, which had been restored by Shukuro Tsukishima, thanks to his might. Renji then activates the Bankai and charges the attack but is quickly dispatched without meriting a second glance.
Aizen intervenes to defend Abarai as the king of the Quincy continues to assert that all Bankai had already been exterminated. The former captain claims to have always disliked cowards, and Yhwach makes fun of him for it, but Aizen answers by performing the Hado 99, Goryuutenmetsu, the strongest of destruction spells, against him without even reading the formula.
As the entire Soul Society is decimated, Aizen attacks Yhwach, but Yhwach warns him that Kyoka Suigetsu has already been broken; when Aizen realizes this, he is stopped by a powerful blow to the abdomen; shortly after, Ichigo, who had attempted to hit the King of the Quincies from behind, is also stopped.
After saying goodbye and punching a hole in his chest, Yhwach turns his whole power against the Soul Society. The Quincy king is suddenly informed that he is actually engaged in combat with Aizen and not Ichigo, who had been deceiving him the entire time by using his Zanpakuto. Then, the real Ichigo’s Getsuga Tensho rips Yhwach in half as Tensa Zangetsu slices through him from side to side.
Yhwach claims that because he can change the future, he can also change the moment of his death, and when it seems like all has ended, he utilizes his power to rise from the grave.
Yhwach stopped Ichigo’s attack after consuming Aizen, and he started planning to unite the Soul Society with the human realm. The Quincy king, whose victory now appears assured, is suddenly struck by Ishida (the only person immune to his magic and hence invisible to prophecies) with a unique arrow that can negate his powers in time for Ichigo to grasp his now-shattered Zanpakuto and battle him.
As he extends his hand to block the stab, the Quincy king knows that his vision was not merely a dream but a gash of the future provided to him by Haschwalth. Tensa Zangetsu abruptly disintegrates, and the original Zangetsu emerges in his stead. Yhwach, who is defeated and close to dying, tells Ichigo that he is to blame for blocking the door to a world free from fear and that people will always be afraid of dying.
Ten years hence, after briefly manifesting itself again, the power of Yhwach would be ultimately destroyed by the son of Ichigo and Orihime, Kazui Kurosaki.
And this was the end for Yhwach. The Quincy ruler was finally killed for good this time, as Ichigo and Aizen succeeded where Yamamoto failed thousand years prior, as Mayuri scolded him when the invasion began.
Yhwach was an intriguing character with a very complex philosophical background; the essence of the quarrel between the Shinigami and the Quincy could be found in his own philosophy. So, how do we know that Yhwach was actually killed for good this time? No one mentioned him for a thousand years, but he came back and wreaked havoc, so how do we know he is not going to do the same thing again?
Well, we actually have confirmation that Yhwach did die this time, which is more than the Gotei 13 could have said a thousand years ago (remember, Mayuri directly blamed Yamamoto for failing to kill Yhwach, which, in his words, led to the Quincy Blood War).
How do we know it? Although he was dead, Yhwach was such a powerful entity that traces of his Spiritual Pressure lingered on for a while after his death. Whether that could’ve been enough for Yhwach to come back to life is unknown, but it doesn’t even matter now, as we know that he died fully.
Namely, ten years after his defeat, Aizen, while still imprisoned in the Muken, sensed that the last traces of Yhwach’s Reiatsu disappeared. Even Aizen, who was as powerful as he was, was relieved to sense that Yhwach had disappeared. This was also referenced in the light novels; we can confirm that Yhwach is permanently dead.
As far as it is known now, there is no way for Yhwach to return to the story. We don’t know what role Hell plays in the death of the Quincys, but as Yhwach basically disappeared from existence, it probably won’t be an important factor; we don’t know if there’s any difference, but we doubt that Yhwach will play a major role in the future of the series if Kubo decided to continue it.