Ever since Uryu Ishida introduced himself as a Quincy in the first arc of the manga, we knew that the Quincy hated… well, basically everyone. But while the reason for their hatred towards the Shinigami was clear – the Shinigami eradicated almost all Qunicy, Ishida did not know that they had a very good reason to do so – the reason for their hatred towards the Hollows was less clear. Most people deduced that the Quincy simply hated them because of their Puritan views (i.e., the Hollows were evil, so they had to be eradicated), but that was not the actual reason. The actual reason behind this intense hatred, which led to Quincy eradicating the Hollows, was discovered much later, and we will explain it here in this article.
As Urahara discovered while he was researching Hueco Mundo, the Quincy did not hate the Hollows simply because they considered them impure and dangerous, hence the need to eliminate them. They actually hated them because the Hollows’ Reiatsu was toxic to the Quincy, and they hated them because of that. The Hollows were the polar opposite of the Quincy, and their mere presence was harmful to the Quincy, so they opted to eliminate it completely rather than absorb or purify it.
The rest of this article is going to dig into the complex relationship between the Quincy and the Hollows. What seemed to be a logical explanation was completely wrong, as Kisuke Urahara ultimately discovered the reasons behind the Quincys’ hatred for the Hollows. We are going to bring you all the necessary details in this article, which will ultimately help you understand this complex relationship, but we have to warn you that the article is going to contain a lot of spoilers for Bleach, so be careful how you approach it.
The Quincy hated the Hollows because the Hollows were harmful to them
Before we explain this properly, allow us to go back in time a bit to the story’s first arc. Not long after Ichigo Kurosaki gained his Shinigami powers from Rukia, his classmate, Uryu Ishida, introduced himself as a Quincy.
Ichigo, of course, had no clue what a Quincy was, whereas Rukia thought that they had been eradicated. Ishida explained that he hated the Shinigami because they killed the Quincy, but he did not know that the Quincy were ready to disrupt the balance of the realms just to pursue their ideals, and their ideal was that the Hollows should be eradicated completely, rather than purified (this would, of course, disrupt the balance of souls between the realms and after negotiations and talks failed, the Shinigami had to eradicate the Quincy).
At that moment, based on Ishida’s words, we thought that Quincy hated the Hollows because they were impure monsters and simply thought they did not deserve a second chance in Soul Society or even Hell. And for a long time, this was considered to be the truth, but when everything changed once Yhwach launched his invasion.
What happened then? The first strange thing was that Asguiaro Ebern, an Arrancar, worked for Quincy, although Yhwach would get rid of him easily. The second strange thing is that the Quincy, under Quilge Opie’s command, gathered powerful Arrancar willing to serve Yhwach, who had invaded Hueco Mundo earlier, kidnapped Tier Harribel, and killed numerous Hollows. So, on the one hand, Yhwach was a pragmatical tyrant, but on the other – what the heck?!
Well, the story again skipped over this like it wasn’t there, and it was only later, when the second invasion began, that Kisuke Urahara returned from Hueco Mundo and explained everything. With him, Urahara brought the Shin’eiyaku. The Shin’eiyaku is a very interesting invention.
Namely, after physical consumption, the Shin’eiyaku causes the user of a Bankai to temporarily Hollowfy, which is why it effectively acted as a form of poison for the Quincy. Urahara used his knowledge of the Quincy and the fact that they could not absorb the Reiatsu of Hollows without having their Souls destroyed in the process to come up with this interesting little pill.
Namely, as we know, Urahara was in Hueco Mundo during the initial invasion. He went there with Icihgo and the others to save Hueco Mundo from Quincy, led by Quilge Opie. After Grimmjow helped them kill Opie, Urahara remained in Hueco Mundo and continued his research on the Quincy.
There, he discovered the real reason why Quincy exterminated the Hollows, as he explained to Mayuri when he returned. Namely, it was initially thought that it was simply hatred, as the pure Quincy detested the impure Hollows, but it was much more than that, as we have said.
Namely, as it turned out, the Hollow Reiatsu was actually toxic to Quincy. Just like the Quincy were the opposite of the Shinigami, the Hollows were the opposite of the Quincy, and their Reiatsu was poisonous to them. This is why they could not absorb it without being killed (stronger ones could do it, but not for long), so they simply eliminated the Hollows.
So, using these new discoveries and Grimmjow’s assistance, Urahara used Hollow Reiatsu, and his knowledge of the Hollowfication process allowed him to create the Shin’eiyaku pills. As we’ve said, the pills would infuse the Shinigami with Hollow Reiatsu and would temporarily Hollowfy them.
This would, in turn, make stealing their Bankai impossible, as stealing them would kill the Sternritter, as the Bankai was now toxic to them. As for those who already had the Captains’ Bankai, since the Bankai is tied to the Shinigami in more ways than one, the stolen Bankai also got Hollowfied, and the Sterntitter using them began to bleed and suffered the consequences of being poisoned with Hollow Reiatsu.
This is why they had to return the Bankai immediately, or they would have died. So, as many times before, Urahara killed two flies with one strike – he helped the Captains and explained an issue that had been intermittently present from the very start.