Bleach, usually referred to as one of the “Big Three,” with the others being Naruto and One Piece, came to an abrupt end on 27 March 2012. It had poor ratings partly because of its filler saturation, but nobody saw the end coming.
Lingering feelings of disappointment and frustration disappeared when Shonen Jump announced in March 2020 that the last manga arc would be animated. Later in 2021, the first trailer was shown at the Jump Festa, and the release date was confirmed to be 10 October 2022. After ten years, six months, and 13 days, Bleach has returned to give us the final arc, according to the manga.
Well, it’s time, and Bleach is finally here and has been listed with 52 episodes! This final arc focuses on the conquering of the three worlds by Wandenreich, a hidden empire of Quincy, under the leadership of Yhwach, the father of all Quincies and the arc’s main villain. Who exactly is Yhwach? How instrumental is he to the story? What does he want to achieve?
The Reveal of Yhwach in Bleach
Now, the long-awaited arc of Bleach opens with a prophecy about the sealed Quincy King. The prophecy goes like this: “After 900 years of being sealed, he would regain his pulse, after another 90, he would be able to think, and after 9 more years his strength would return to him.”
The prophecy is cut short as a hand reaches out to grasp the Quincy cross, signifying the resurrection of Yhwach.
The episode hints at the beginning of the war and preparations made by Quincy. It shows the arrival of a Quincy in Karakura Town and the visit of a group to Head Captain Yamamoto’s private chambers. This Quincy group delivers the message that Soul Society will be annihilated in five days.
Inside the shadows that consume the Quincy and cause them to disappear, a structure is revealed, and we see the Quincies gather, and a figure is on a chair. He exudes an imposing aura and tells his squabbling subordinates to stop the dispute and give their reports on the preparations. This concluding scene of the episode is where Yhwach is shown fully for the first time.
The History of the Quincy King
Yhwach, the Quincy King and the Soul King’s son, is an instrumental figure in Bleach, a historical antagonist that returns to wrap up a war he began a thousand years ago.
As a baby, Yhwach existed in a bordering state between life and death. He was alive, but not truly, as he could not hear, speak or even move. Regardless, people were drawn to him because laying hands on this mysterious child brought about healing and a sort of completeness to them. Yhwach achieved this by sharing parts of his soul with these people, and though they got what they wanted, their lives ended shortly after. When this happened, the parts of his soul shared and imprinted with different aspects of the receiver would return to him.
Following the continuation of this act, Yhwach gained the ability to function normally. He heard the people call the name “Yhwach” in the form of reverence to their god and took the name for himself.
About 200 years later, Yhwach built the Quincy kingdom known as Lichtreich by sharing his soul with his subjects. Following that, he conquered all the nearby nations and began preparations to conquer the Soul Society.
He engaged Soul Society in war and fought toe to toe against Genryusai Shikugeni Yamamoto, the Head Captain of Gotei 13. Neither of them could deal the definitive blow to the other until Yamamoto used his Bankai, and Yhwach lost his powers and was sealed.
What Does He Seek to Achieve?
Yhwach seeks to destroy the three worlds—Hueco Mundo, the World of the Living, and Soul Society to create a world without the fear of death. To achieve this, he has to defeat the Soul King, but that isn’t the only reason he wants the Soul King dead. He despises that his father has become an entity that simply exists to stabilize the world and promises to put an end to his father’s “endless humiliation.”
Notwithstanding his absence for most of the series, Yhwach’s existence is crucial to the anime as he holds extremely crucial positions. He is the final and deadliest villain in the history of Bleach, and this arc is filled with great content!
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