Bleach: What Happened to the Seireitei & How Did Yhwach Make It Disappear?

Bleach: What Happened to the Seireitei & How Did Yhwach Make It Dissapear?

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Bleach is finally back with its second cour of the Thousand-Year Blood War anime, and the fight between Quincy and the Shinigami is finally heating up. In this article, we will tell you about the event that signaled the start of the second invasion – the sudden disappearance of the Seireitei. What happened to the Seireitei, and how was Yhwach able to make it disappear and replace it with Silbern? Was the Seireitei actually destroyed or not? Well, in this article, we are going to answer this question, as well as some others, as you are going to find out all the answers you need about the disappearance of the Seireitei.

No, Yhwach did not destroy Seireitei. He simply replaced it with his Silbern so that he could fight there for an extended period of time. When Yhwach was defeated 1,000 years ago, Quincy moved to a secret area of the Soul Society known as the Schatten Bereich. It existed alongside the Seireitei, but it was in the shadows (hence the name) and was undetectable by the Shinigami, which is why it was named Wandenreich (Invisible Empire). Yhwach was there for 1,000 years along with his Quincy, and once he gained enough of his original power, he simply replaced the Seireitei with Silbern using these shadows.

The rest of this article will explain the relationship between the Soul Society and the Schatten Bereich, focusing on how Yhwach seemingly made the Seireitei disappear. You’ll find out how it was possible and what actually happened to the Seireitei after Silbern replaced it. The article will be highly interesting, as it will explain a rather complex phenomenon from the series. Be careful, though, as we will bring you numerous spoilers, so approach the text with care.

Yhwach did not destroy the Seireitei, he simply replaced it with Silbern

Now, before we actually provide you with a proper answer, let us first see how Quincy survived, as the answer to the disappearance of the Seireitei is closely related to that fact. After the Quincy were defeated in battle by the Shinigami 1,000 years prior and faced complete annihilation, some survivors fled to what they believed to be the safest place for them at the time: the Soul Society itself.

Using their ability to control Reishi, they created a hidden area within the Soul Society, which consists entirely of Reishi, called the Schatten Bereich. The Schatten Bereich is actually located in the same location as the Seireitei but in a different dimension, separated from the usual environment by shadows.

In this world, undetectable by Soul Society, they built a kingdom, the Wandenreich, in secret for a thousand years and gathered strength to take revenge on the Shinigami. At an unknown point in time, Sōken Ishida clearly opposed the ideology and objectives of the Wandenreich. He fled to the World of the Living, where he lived with his family until his death as the “last Quincy.”

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The main base in Wandenreich is called Silbern. This is a large palace accessed by a staircase at the front. The second level of the palace is supported by a few thick pillars, and the third level above by a multitude of thinner pillars. Several square towers surround the palace, some with pointed and flat roofs.

To the left and right, in front of the palace entrance, are two high, thorn-like structures that curve towards one another and represent a kind of arch-like monument in front of the palace. Inside are, among other things, Yhwach’s throne room, behind which a staircase made of Reishi leads to a curtained room in which Tier Harribel is imprisoned and several sun gates, via which the Quincy invaded Soul Society. It is also possible to enter the human world through these gates.

The entire Wandenreich consists of particles of reishi, which the Quincy collected from Soul Society during their millennial stay in the latter’s shadow. It also turned out that Yhwach could only leave the Wandenreich for a limited time before having to return. Now that we have explained the overall structure of the Wandenreich, allow us to tell you what happened, as the Quincy Blood War started from there.

Sometime after Sosuke Aizen’s fall, the Wandenreich finally sprung into action. His army soon took over Hueco Mundo, overthrowing and capturing the ruler of the Hollows there, Tier Harribel. The Wandenreich established a base in Aizen’s former dominion and enslaved the Arrancar with its Jagdarmee. The prisoners were offered the opportunity to join the Wandenreich or be killed. As a result, the Wandenreich also recruited some Arrancar as its members.

At the same time, a “delegation” was sent to Captain Commander Yamamoto to declare war on the Seiretei. Waiting for Ichigo Kurosaki and Kisuke Urahara, two of the five “Special War Powers,” to be in Hueco Mundo, the Wandenreich then launched its first assault on the Seireitei with the Sternritter army, inflicting heavy casualties on the ranks of the Gotei 13. However, Captain-Commander Yamamoto’s death and Ichigo’s arrival from Hueco Mundo signaled the end of the invasion, and Yhwach, unable to remain outside the Schatten Bereich any longer, ordered a temporary retreat.

After Ichigo and a few other Captain-level Shinigami then made their way to the Royal Palace, the Wandenreich launched its second invasion of the Seireitei, where things became interesting.

A large shadow first engulfed the Seireitei, and suddenly, the whole scenery started to change, with the buildings and structures of the Seireitei being replaced by those of Silbern. Under Akon’s direction, the Research and Development Department started getting unusual readings everywhere as the Seireitei slowly disappeared and was completely replaced by Silbern. It was unclear what had happened at this moment, but we soon received a proper explanation of Yhwach’s doings.

Namely, we have explained how the Quincy hid within the Schatten Bereich, and since they were able to move between the realms, there was no reason why they couldn’t move the whole Wandenreich, as Yhwach was powerful enough to do it. And that is why he did… he simply opened the “gate” and let the shadows do their thing, completely replacing the Reichi of the Soul Society with the Reishi of the Wandenreich. It was literally as if the shadows simply switched the two worlds.

So, to answer the main questions. No, the Seireitei is not destroyed; Yhwach was not powerful enough to do that – in fact, the guy had a very limited time during which he could be outside of the Schatten Bereich, which is why he had to replace both the Seireitei and the Soul King Palace with Silbern and Wahrwelt, respectively.

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The Wandenreich simply covered the Seireitei as a classic switcharoo, so – just like before – both worlds continued to exist, but the Wandenreich was, for a moment, the primary one.

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