Most Bleach characters are actually popular because they are canon or have been present in the anime filler episodes, gaining notoriety despite the criticisms directed towards these episodes. Still, the Bleach universe also contains several light novels that supplement the canon story, most of which have been (semi-officially) confirmed as canon by Kubo. But, this article will focus on the canon manga as we will talk about one specific character from the manga’s second major saga, i.e., Yhwach, the leader of the Sternritter and the father of all the Quincy. Yhwach was one of the most interesting characters in the series, and we think he deserves an article of his own.
The article is going to be divided into two major sections. The first one will represent Yhwach’s powers and abilities, while the other one will be a short comparison of Yhwach’s powers and abilities to those of other characters, divided into several subsections. These will not be detailed analyses, just brief comments so you can understand Yhwach’s position in the Bleach lore.
Yhwach’s powers were amazing, even without the enhancements that he has secured for himself during the second invasion
Yhwach is the Father of the Quincy and the emperor of the Wandenreich, with the designation “A” – “The Almighty.” He is the son of the Soul King and also the leader of the Sternritter, as well as the leader of the Quincy rebellion against the Shinigami. Yhwach is one of the most powerful characters in the series and is, by all means, almost invincible.
Yhwach is one of the most powerful spirit beings in the Bleach universe, recognized as being the most powerful Quincy. Already as a child, his power gathered people around him who considered him a miracle. He subjugated all of Quincy’s territories in less than 200 years single-handedly. History remembered him as one of the only opponents Yamamoto could not defeat and the only one to survive his Bankai.
He could kill the Captain-Commander of the Gotei 13 with amazing ease, destroy the Seireitei, and even invade the Royal Palace. Even Ichibē Hyōsube, the leader of the Royal Guard, who can be described as an invincible fighter with his many abilities, was defeated by the Quincy. During his final fight against Ichigo and Aizen, it took Yhwach’s power to be negated for a short time for King Quincy to be defeated.
Yhwach is able to use the whole plethora of Quincy techniques, both the basic techniques and those that only he masters. He can, of course, absorb spirit particles to move through the air, levitate, harden his body, create a spherical barrier, create a giant spirit bow, or even shoot arrows from his finger. His mastery of absorbing spirit particles goes as far as stealing power from the enemy through the Sankt Altar technique.
Even by Quincy standard, Yhwach possesses very strong spiritual power. This spiritual power is so powerful that it can annihilate the body of the Arrancars, yet covered with the Hierro. His Reiryoku reserves allow him to use Yamamoto’s Bankai, Zanka no Tachi, which dries up the environment and destroys the user’s body.
He can even make his spiritual pressure take shape under the guise of an overflowing aura. He can absorb the spiritual power of his opponents, without great difficulty, especially with the Sankt Altar. His powerful Reiatsu allows him to take a Getsuga Tenshō without taking any damage or exploding Ichibē Hyōsube’s body after a huge fight.
Even after his death, his spiritual power was strong enough to survive for ten years. He has also demonstrated immense strength on multiple occasions. He sliced Yamamoto’s body from left shoulder to right leg in a single blow, slicing him in half and condemning him to death. He stopped Ichigo’s first Bankai with his bare hands and even grabbed Aizen’s body with his arm.
His skill as a warrior is unparalleled. He was able to overtake Ichigo, yet in Bankai, tackled him to the ground and planted his sword in his neck without him being able to defend himself. He has considerable mastery of the sword, often using it as his primary weapon in battle, being able to face Ichibē Hyōsube on equal terms and overpower Ichigo in a two-sword duel. His pain tolerance is also very high, using gigantic arrows that pierce his body to allow him to gain momentum.
How powerful is Yhwach compared to other Bleach characters?
In this section, we will compare Yhwach to some other strong Bleach characters. These will be brief comparisons whose main goal is to give you a general idea of his powers and abilities.
Yhwach vs. Ichigo Kurosaki
Now, many of these fights depend on which version of Yhwach we’re talking about, especially since Kubo never objectively portrayed Yhwach due to the chaos surrounding the creation of the final saga.
Yhwach was powerful enough; while he was certainly beatable, he was difficult to kill. Ichigo Kurosaki, with a little help from his friends and Aizen, ultimately defeated the Quincy Emperor, but from an objective point of view – Ichigo was never on Yhwach’s level, even without the enhancements. Ichigo’s potential is enormous, but when compared to Yhwach’s, the young Shinigami wouldn’t really stand that much chance.
Yhwach vs. Kenpachi Zaraki
This is a great one to compare really, as Yhwach designated Kenpachi as one of the five special threats. This was due to Kenpachi’s power and his unpredictability. And while the fake Yhwach easily took care of Kenpachi, this was before Kenpachi uncovered his true potential, and since the Shinigami Captain basically has almost limitless Reiatsu, we assume that Kenpachi might even be able to defeat Yhwach in a proper fight, where Yhwach wouldn’t cheat.
Yhwach vs. the Royal Guard
And while Yhwach and his Schutzstaffel did defeat the Royal Guard, the fight was all but fair, and this is actually one of the best examples of how the manga’s final saga could have been better. From an objective standpoint, there is absolutely no chance that Yhwach could take on the four Captains of the Royal Guard together, nor would he be able to defeat Ichibei Hyosube.
And he was just about to lose to Hyosube, but he then miraculously activated yet another power that made him practically unbeatable, but we can agree that that is not an objective evaluation, i.e., the Royal Guard would win.
Yhwach vs. Sōsuke Aizen
Now, this is a tricky one. We know that Aizen helped Ichigo beat Yhwach, and we know that Aizen managed to mess with Yhwach’s perception of time, although he was sealed. We also know that Aizen’s powers affected Yhwach. Still, we also know that Aizen was careful around Yhwach. The two of them have roughly the same Reiatsu, and as we don’t know Aizen’s Bankai, we would like to declare this one inconclusive.
Yhwach vs. Jugram Haschwalth
As the leader of the Quincy who possesses all of the abilities inherent to the Quincy as a group, Ywhach is an exceptionally powerful character, but the thing with Jugram is that he actually shares part of Yhwach’s ability while he is asleep. For a reason, Jugram was Yhwach’s right-hand man, and while we don’t think he could defeat him, we think that Jugram would have a fair chance at doing so.
Yhwach vs. the other Sternritter
The Sternritter are a very diverse group, but even though the Sternritter have various powers and abilities, most of them have received their powers from Yhwach, who could also probably, take them away from them.
The only exceptions are Pernida and Gerard, who’ve had their powers even before Yhwach, and it is possible that Yhwach would have trouble dealing with them, although he has managed to rob Gerard of his life with his Auswahlen. It would also be interesting to observe whether Askin would be able to become immune to Yhwach.
Yhwach vs. Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto
On numerous occasions, Yamamoto said that he was the strongest Shinigami in two millennia and has proven that to be true. He has amazing skills and powers, and the things he managed to survive are absolutely amazing. We know that Yhwach was the only one who was able to defeat Yamamoto, but that happened in their second fight and only after he used a vile trick.
Before that, Yamamoto had wiped the floor with the impostor Yhwach with his Bankai, and we honestly think, like in Ichibei’s case, that Yamamoto is objectively more powerful than Yhwach, but that he had to lose because of plot-related reasons.
Yhwach vs. the Gotei 13
Would any of the Captains we haven’t mentioned yet be able to defeat Yhwach in a one-on-one battle? Kyoraku is a possibility, and so is Unohana and possibly Ukitake, but we don’t know how powerful the latter really was. The others? Not really, as they weren’t on Yhwach’s level then.