The Bleach manga culminated in what was an epic clash between the protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki, and the biggest threat that the heroes had faced until then, Yhwach, the Quincy Emperor. And while we don’t know whether Kubo plans to give us one final arc afer the recently released one-shot teasing a story connected to Hell, the fight between Ichigo Kurosaki and Yhwach will go down as one of the best, and certainly one of the most important ones in the series. In this article, we are going to tell you just what happened and how Ichigo Kurosaki was able to defeat Yhwach in Bleach.
The final fight between Ichigo Kurosaki and Yhwach decided the fate of Soul Society and the world. Yhwach, having usurped the powers of the Soul King and using his ability, the Allmighty, seemed invinicble, but with the help of Sōsuke Aizen’s skills and powers, Ichigo, who had reached the peak of his true powers, was able to cut down Yhwach and defeat him for good.
The rest of this article is going to answer several crucial questions. You’re going to find out all the details related to the fight between Ichigo Kurosaki and Yhwach, which you will see presented in the form of a retelling of the events that led to the fight, as well as the fight itself. Everything you ever wanted to know about this fight will be available in our article and that is why this article is going to contain a lot of spoilers so be careful how you approach it.
How did Ichigo defeat Yhwach?
Ichigo Kurosaki actually clashed with Yhwach twice and the Quincy Emperor was not able to defeat him on either of these occasions. The whole rivalry started when Ichigo went to Hueco Mundo to help Nel and the others fight of Quilge Opie, the Sternritter “J”. When Yhwach learns that Ichigo is engaged in Hueco Mundo against Opie, he takes advantage of it by summoning the Sternritter present in his palace to invade Soul Society.
While his subordinates sow panic, he runs into Kenpachi Zaraki, on whom he gets the better of him after a very short confrontation, to then order Stern Ritter “Y”, Royd Lloyd to take on his features thanks to his ability and to wait for his return: Lloyd will then fight Yamamoto for him while Yhwach visits Aizen proposing to join his army as a “special war potential”; Aizen, however, refuses, as Yhwach predicted.
The king of the Quincy reappears when the clash between Yamamoto and Royd comes to an end: reduced to death by the commander the Stern Ritter is killed by his sovereign who, after revealing to his old adversary what he had done in the millennium in which they have seen, he steals his Bankai and attacks him with his broadsword, cutting him in two and killing him shortly after with a discharge from Heilig Pfeil.
The fall of Yamamoto marks the fall of Soul Society itself: Yhwach in fact orders his soldiers to completely devastate the Seireitei and this is what happens a few seconds later.
At the exact moment in which he is about to leave, however, Ichigo manages to break through the passage that separated him from the Soul Society and immediately heads to him: during their brief confrontation, the ruler of the Quincy learns of the fact that Ichigo has awakened his Quincy powers but before being able to take him away with him he is recalled by the shadow of the Vandenreich who forces him to withdraw (influenced by Aizen’s power, in fact, Yhwach had miscalculated the time they still had available before having to leave ).
Together with his trusted right hand Jugram Haschwalth, the king of the Quincy takes his leave stating that sooner or later he will come to recover his “son born in darkness”: Ichigo himself. Yhwach then gathers his entire army for a very important announcement: he surprises Uryū Ishida and elects him as his successor by assigning him his own Schrift, the letter “A”.
After the end of the meeting, Ishida asks the reason for this appointment and Yhwach replies in turn with another question, namely why he survived the “Auswählen” carried out nine years earlier (being of mixed blood he should have died and instead he the only survivor): precisely because, according to the sovereign, the boy possesses a higher power than his, he deserves the title of a successor, while Haschwalth states that this appointment only served to throw havoc among his own ranks, making everyone more vigilant.
When the Vandenreich causes the Seireitei to disappear into the shadows, Yhwach is seen admiring the Soul Society from the Silbern, his headquarters, accompanied by Uryū and Haschwalth; on this occasion, he reveals the existence of a last verse of the Kaiser Gesang: after having regained his powers, he will take control of the world after nine days.
Later, as Ichigo reaches the Seireitei, Yhwach alerts Ishida and Haschwalth of their impending move. The sovereign commands Haschwalth to call forth “the key” during the fight between Ichigo and the Sternritter “T,” Candice Catnipp. The Quincy then starts to speak to Ichigo, thanking him for his work and even describing him as the one who would have “guided them towards the light,” since he managed to arrive at the Seireitei unharmed as he was in possession of a special dress made with the bones and hair of the Royal Guard, or the Ichigo then realizes Yhwach’s purpose and makes a hasty effort to fulfill it, but is unsuccessful.
Shortly after Yhawach, Haschwalth and Uryū arrive at the Royal Palace but are blocked by Tenjirō Kirinji who, once the Soldat have been defeated thanks to its thermal waters, is preparing to attack Yhwach himself, who however continues his advance without the Shinigami being able to hit him not even once.
At this point Senjumaru Shutara blocks his way and Yhwach is attacked by some “black guards” who accompany Shutara herself, but even their attacks are unsuccessful despite Yhwach not dodging any of these: the Stern Ritter “W” then appears from his shadow ” Nianzol Weizol, who is revealed to be responsible for the failure of the previous attacks, who is defeated by Shutara.
Yhwach is then forced to call from his shadow his elite corps, formed by Stern Ritter “M” Gerard Valkyrie, Stern Ritter “C” Pernida Parnkgjas, Stern Ritter “X” Lille Barro and newly promoted Stern Ritter “D”, Askin Nakk Le Vaar. After Oetsu Nimaiya defeats the elite corps, Yhwach activates the “Auswählen” and steals the power and life force of the Sternritter present in the Seireitei, resurrecting the fallen four, who rise even more powerful than before; once Kirio Hikifune’s “Cage of Life” is destroyed, Yhwach heads to the real Royal Palace which had been hidden by Ichibei Hyōsube.
The confrontation with the leader of Division Zero seems to turn for the worse for Yhwach but in reality, it is not like this: Haschwalth states that it is impossible to beat him since his power is to understand anything his gaze rests on, as also testified by his Shrift , or the letter “A” which stands for “The Almighty”.
Yhwach notices Ichibei’s amazement and explains how his power allows him to see future events and understand them so that every ability of his opponents becomes totally useless: defeated Ichibei the king of the Quincy finds and pierces the Spirit King with his sword, to whom he addresses as a father, taking his leave with a farewell.
Yhwach is joined by Ichigo’s group and after a short dialogue the latter desperately tries to remove the sword of the King of Quincy from the body of the King of Souls but Yhwach, thanks to his powers, forces him to cut it in two and kill him permanently. All dimensions slowly begin to lose their stability, and as disaster strikes Earth, Soul Society, and Hueco Mundo, Yhwach engages in brief combat with Ichigo.
After Yoruichi Shihoin immobilized him with a technique, the Quincy king noticed that the destruction process had mysteriously stopped and realized that it was the Soul King Mimihagi’s right arm that had prevented it. Wondering why the latter is obstructing him since it should have been on his side, Yhwach tries to remove the arm from the Soul King’s case but is stopped by Ichigo, who tries to keep him occupied until Yoruichi can reconstruct everything.
In another brief confrontation with Ichigo, the king of the Quincy begins to explain to him how he has always fought for him when, suddenly, Yoruichi is hit by a Heilig Pfeil in the shoulder which disrupts the stabilization process: the arrow belongs to Ishida who, under Ichigo’s astonished gaze, begins to hinder him and his group.
Yoruichi is thrown away from the Royal Palace and the dimensions begin to lose their stability again, thus making the death of Jushiro Ukitake (who sacrificed her life to become Mimihagi’s go-between) in vain; the same fate of Yoruichi soon after also touches Ichigo and the remaining members of his group.
Now free from nearby enemies, Yhwach decides to absorb the King of Souls so as to be able to create a new world, the Wahrwelt, which sees the Quincy at the head of the spiritual system: the Royal Palace is restructured with a five-pointed cross and all reishi of the Reiokyu are subdued by the Vandenreich, thus creating a battlefield that is clearly favorable for them.
The allied troops made up of humans, Shinigami, Hollow, and rebel Quincy still take little to launch the counteroffensive, and then Yhwach orders the Schutzstaffel, his Royal Guard, to intervene and exterminate all enemies; he subsequently personally defeats Liltotto Lamperd and Giselle Gewelle, his former subordinates, before going to sleep and leaving The Almighty to his trusted right-hand man Haschwalth.
After having dreamed of his own death at the hands of Ichigo, Yhwach wakes up and notices with pleasure that the latter, his “son born in darkness”, has finally managed to reach him; after a series of provocations, the boy pounces on the King of the Quincy by hurling a Getsuga Tensho against him which however does not have the desired effect.
Up until Ichigo fully releases his strength, which transforms him into a hybrid form similat to the Hollow one taken in the battle with Ulquiorra, Yhwach appears to have the upper hand with ease. After receiving a full hit from a Gran Rey Cero, Yhwach decides to use The Almighty, returning ahead of Ichigo and compelling him to use Bankai. Oddly, though, Tensa Zangetsu is already broken at the exact moment it is released, and Ichigo suffers a crushing defeat in a matter of seconds: The Almighty’s power is not that of foretelling the future, but rather the ability to alter it.
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.
Once in the Soul Society, Yhwach finds himself in front of Aizen, who welcomes him to what he calls “his” Soul Society; the king of the Quincy attacks the former captain, who nevertheless comes out unscathed and even thanks his opponent for having freed him from that “infernal chair”. Just before the two can actually start fighting Ichigo and Renji arrive, but Yhwach again destroys Tensa Zangetsu – repaired by Shukuro Tsukishima – thanks to his power; Renji then activates the Bankai and throws himself into the attack, but is defeated without even being worthy of a look.
The king of the Quincy then states that all the Bankai have already been destroyed in the future and, shortly before giving the final blow to Abarai, Aizen intervenes in his defense: Yhwach taunts him, as this represents a weak attitude that the former captain claims to have always detested, but Aizen, in response, uses the Hado 99, Goryuutenmetsu, the most powerful of destruction spells, against him, without even reciting the formula.
While the entire Soul Society is destroyed Aizen throws himself against Yhwach, who however points out that Kyōka Suigetsu has already been broken: when Aizen realizes it he is defeated with a violent blow to the abdomen, and immediately afterward Ichigo is also stopped, who had tried unsuccessfully to hit the King of the Quincies from behind.
Yhwach bids him farewell and gives him a hole in his chest, then unleashing all of his power on the Soul Society; suddenly, however, the king of the Quincy realizes that he is not facing Ichigo but Aizen who, thanks to the power of his Zanpakuto, had deluded him for the duration of the fight. Tensa Zangetsu then passes through him from side to side and Yhwach is cut in two by the real Ichigo’s Getsuga Tensho.
When everything seems to be over, Yhwach resurrects thanks to his power stating that being able to change the future he can also change the moment of his death and, after swallowing Aizen, Yhwach also stops Ichigo’s attack and prepares to merge the Soul Society with the human world. When his victory now seems a certainty, the king of the Quincy is suddenly hit by Ishida (the only one immune to his power and therefore invisible to forecasts) with a particular arrow able to cancel his powers in the time necessary to allow Ichigo to grab his now shattered Zanpakuto and attack him.
Yhwach reaches out his hand, convinced that he can stop the thrust, but suddenly Tensa Zangetsu shatters and old Zangetsu comes out in his place: at that moment the king of the Quincy understands that the vision he had had was not a simple dream but a gash of the future shown to him by Haschwalth.
Defeated and dying, Yhwach tells Ichigo that the road to a fearless world has just been closed because of him, as living beings will continue to live with the terror of death. Ten years later, Yhwach’s power will manifest itself again for a brief moment before being completely eradicated by Kazui Kurosaki, the son of Ichigo and Orihime.