All Bleach fans know that the Quincy are the final major opponents of Ichigo and the Shinigami. Led by Yhwach, the Quincy have returned to fulfill their plan and to initiate the Collapse of the Worlds in order to merge Soul Society with the Human World, just as their leader wants it, thereby erasing the boundaries between life and death. Now, it’s quite obvious why the Shinigami would oppose such a chain of events, but when the Quincy attacked the Gotei 13, their powers initially proved to be very uneven. This is due to numerous techniques, among which is Blut Vene, a technique that Ichigo is – surprisingly – also able to use. In this article, we are going to explain what the Blut Vene is and why Ichigo can use it.
Blut Vene is the defensive form of Blut, which grants the user a superhuman defensive barrier, and is characterized by a faint pattern on the skin that follows the user’s veins. 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. Ichigo can use it because his mother was a Quincy and he inherited the powers from her, awakening them early after being exposed to Opie’s “The Jail”.
The rest of this article is going to provide you with all the information you need to know about the Blut Vene. You’ll find out what it is, how it works, and what it can do, as well as how it’s used in the series. We are also going to dedicate a special section to why Ichigo can use it, as we are going to explain the origins of this power in his case. There might be spoilers in this article, so be ready.
What is 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.
Blut Vene Anhaben is a variation of Blut Vene in which a barrier forms around the user, protecting them from attacks like the Blut technique. However, a very strong Kido can break through the barrier. It also has the special ability to spread along the surface of objects or enemies it touches, bringing them under the user’s control. However, through extreme body control, an opponent can expel the foreign “Blut” from his body and regain control.
Blut Arterie is the offensive form of Blut, granting the caster inhuman strength. This technique is the only one capable of ensuring that a Quincy’s attacks will injure a Bankai user.
How and why can Ichigo use Blut Vene?
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. But why does Ichigo have Quincy powers in the first place?
The story of who Ichigo is, is an intriguing one primarily because he, as the protagonist of Bleach, actually has a unique blend of powers that are not seen in any other characters, even if they do present a combination of certain traits. Now, Ichigo is primarily a Human, that much is known, but he is not an ordinary human. Namely, from the very beginning of the story, we know that Ichigo is able to see and talk to ghosts; his younger sisters Karin and Yuzu are also able to do it, but to a lesser degree, although their powers do increase with time. Their father, Isshin Kurosaki, seems to be the only one who cannot see Ghosts.
But, we were in the dark for almost the whole manga. Namely, the origin of Ichigo’s powers was wrongly thought to be his father, who turned out to be a former Shinigami and the former Captain of Division 10 of the Gotei 13, where it was actually his mother who gave Ichigo his powers. This was revealed during the Quincy War Arc.
Namely, Masaki Kurosaki, Ichigo’s mother, was the last of the Kurosaki family, which was one of the few “pure” Quincy families. She was adopted into the Ishida family by Ryūken Ishida’s mother, which is why she always called Ryūken’s mother aunt from then on. During a rainy night, Masaki felt two great Reiatsu converging in the vicinity. She couldn’t sit idly by and wanted to see if she could help. Ryūken initially wanted to stop her but couldn’t. Masaki encountered the wounded Captain Isshin Shiba of the Gotei 13’s Division 10.
This was in a fight with the Hollow White. With her abilities, Masaki was unable to hit the Hollow, so she let him attack her. White bit Masaki’s shoulder and Masaki took the opportunity to kill White with an arrow. Isshin thanked his rescuer, who introduced herself as Quincy. Both then returned to their homes but still thought of each other for days.
They would later meet after Kisuke Urahara noticed something odd about Masaki, who was actually slowly turning into a Hollow after being bitten by White. Isshin wanted Urahara to help her, but he couldn’t do it without Isshin sacrificing his powers, which the latter did without hesitation. Masaki was thus saved, but Isshin stopped being a Shinigami and went to the Human world, where he would end up marrying Masaki.
Masaki was thus a Quincy with Hollow powers and she transferred those powers to Ichigo after his birth. This is why Ichigo was able to see ghosts even before he became a Substitute Shinigami, but he did not know about his heritage so he did not know how to use his Quincy powers and abilities before the final arc.