Bleach fans will undoubtedly that Ichigo is the only character in the series that has access to the powers of all major groups – the Shinigami, the Quincies, the Fullbrnigers, and the Hollows. This is due to his lineage, as he has inherited all of his powers from his father and his mother. Now, while the question of who Ichigo’s parents are is well-known, Yhwach’s most recent remark caused some confusion among the fans, as Yhwach referred to Ichigo as his son. In this article, we are going to explain why he did that and whether Ichigo really is his son in Bleach.
No, Ichigo Kurosaki is not Yhwach’s soon, but according to the story, as the son of an Echt Quincy, i.e., his mother Masaki, he has some of Yhwach’s blood in him, as all Echt Quincy do. This is a trait, but not any direct relation, especially not such a close one. Ichigo Kurosaki’s father is Isshin Kurosaki, and Yhwach was just an enemy whose powers Ichigo inherited through his mother, who was also not directly related to Yhwach.
The rest of this article is going to explain the nature of the relationship between Ichigo and Yhwach, as well as the meaning of the phrase uttered by Yhwach when he realized Ichigo had activated his Quincy powers. The details revealed in this article will be revealed later in the anime series, so there are going to be spoilers in this article.
Is Ichigo Yhwach’s son?
In the previously released episode of Bleach, Yhwach calls Ichigo “his son, born in the dark”. And while the latter part wasn’t all that intriguing, Yhwach calling Ichigo his son was a shocking moment that definitely demanded some explanation. Namely, we already know Ichigo’s family history. Ichigo Kurosaki was the son of former Division 10 Captain, Isshin Shiba, a Shinigami, and Masaki Kurosaki, an Echt Quincy. When Masaki was infected by Aizen’s Hollow White and almost turned into a Hollow herself, Isshin sacrificed his Shinigami powers to save her, thereby “tarnishing” her status as an Echt Quincy.
Masaki was saved and she and Isshin soon became a couple. A year or two later, Isshin and Masaki had Ichigo, and later Karin and Yuzu. Masaki passed away when Ichigo was 9 years old. They were walking together when Ichigo saw a girl who seemed to be in danger, but this was just a trap set by the Hollow Grand Fisher who wanted to eat Ichigo, but Masaki was protecting Ichigo and was killed by Grand Fisher.
Officially, Masaki was run over by a car. At first, Ichigo blamed himself for her death, until the day he found out the Hollow was responsible. Almost two years later, Isshin told Ichigo that someone else was to blame for Masaki’s death and it was Yhwach. He had used his “Auswählen” technique at the time to restore his lost powers, stealing the powers of all “impure” Quincys. Normally, Masaki would have survived Grand Fisher’s attack with no problem. However, through Yhwachs’ interference, her powers were also taken away, which led to her death.
So, this story confirms that Ichigo is, indeed, the son of Isshin Shiba and Masaki Kurosaki, but why did Yhwach refer to him as his son? Well, this reference has a very religious context. Namely, as Ichigo inherited Quincy powers from his mother, he was actually a descendant of Yhwach’s. In a way. Namely, as it was explained later in the story, all Echt Quincy supposedly have a fragment of Yhwach’s blood in them and are, in a sense, related to him. This is no direct relation (Yhwach never actually had a child, as far as it is known), but a symbolic one as they share Yhwach’s powers.
This means that Masaki Kurosaki also had this fragment and was “related” to Yhwach, but also that she passed it down to Ichigo. This is how Ichigo was able to awaken his dormant Quincy powers, which Yhwach was aware of. That is also why Yhwach had some special plans for Ichigo later in the story. So, when Yhwach called Ichigo his son, he was actually referring to the fact that Ichigo had Quincy powers and is, through them, related to Yhwach.
Now, as we’ve said, all of this has a major religious context, which makes sense because the Quincy were presented as a group of somewhat eager zealots. Yhwach was presented as the son of the Soul King, i.e., God, and was thus, in a symbolic way, a deity himself. This is why all of his followers, as well as those who shared his power, were – in a symbolic way – his children, just like religious people think of themselves as children of God.
How can Ichigo use Blut Vene?
Blut is a powerful Quincy technique, granting them inhumanly strong offensive and defensive strength. By sending particles of Reishi directly into the blood vessels, the user is able to drastically increase their offensive and defensive powers. Although this technique is a great danger for the opponent, Blut has a major weakness. Since attack and defense techniques work in two different Reishi systems, they cannot be used at the same time.
Blut Vene is Blut’s defensive form, granting the user superhuman defensive capabilities. It is characterized by a faint pattern on the skin that follows the user’s veins. However, this is only visible in areas that are under attack. When deliberately kept at full power, the user can use it to fend off even a Shinigami’s Bankai. Despite the incredible defense, this ability doesn’t seem insurmountable and can be breached with enough power.
Although manga readers knew that already, those who’ve only seen the Bleach anime only just recently found out that Ichigo Kurosaki was also able to use the Blut Vene technique, although he did it unconsciously; this happened when Yhwach tried to stab him in the neck, but Ichigo simply rejected the blade through the use of this technique. This is when Yhwach revealed to Ichigo that he was actually a Quincy (although not an Echt one, as he was the child of a Shinigami and a Quincy infected by a Hollow, see below), which shocked the protagonist, but did not alter his alignment, as he still refused to go with Yhwach.
Yhwach then explained that he had a completely different plan for Ichigo, i.e., that he wanted to take him to Wandenreich at a later point and then slowly “bring him back”, meaning that he wanted Ichigo to join his Sternritters. Of course, Ichigo would have refused anyhow, but something happened and Ichigo woke up his Quincy powers earlier than anticipated, which is what shocked Yhwach a bit. As Yhwach explained it, this happened because he came in contact with Quilge Opie’s spirit particles while he fired his Getsuga Tensho inside “The Jail”.
“The Jail” was a powerful technique that could keep anyone inside, save for Quincy. Ichigo’s Quincy powers were dormant at the time, but as Getsuga Tensho hit the boundaries of Opie’s techniques, the latter spirit particles began to scatter around and were reabsorbed into Ichigo, thereby awakening his dormant Quincy powers. Once that happened, “The Jail” simply broke, as it is not designed to keep a Quincy inside. This is how Ichigo actually managed to use Blut Vene without actually knowing it.