|Base of Operations||Wandenreich HQ|
|Spirit Weapon||Reishi Sword|
Yhwach is a tall man, whose long face has a broad chin and pronounced cheekbones. He has long black hair, which reaches to his lower back, and reddish-brown eyes with thin eyebrows. He has well-kept mutton chops which connect with a mustache, but is otherwise clean-shaven. His usual attire consists of a white, double-breasted trench coat, which has the Wandenreich symbol on the middle, with large buttoned cuffs and lapels, white trousers, and trench boots. Over this, he wears a tattered, ankle-length black cloak, which has a red ribbon near the neck and is fastened to the left with a single large button. As noted by Ōetsu Nimaiya, the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers heavily resembles Yhwach's appearance from 1,000 years ago. During the Wandenreich's second invasion, his black cloak is replaced with a white version.
Yhwach is a proclaimed lover of peace, hating conflict and believing that painful battles should be ended as quickly as possible. He holds the first generation of the Gotei 13 in great respect, for they were Shinigami who could strike fear into his heart. He especially admired Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, whom he called a demon, treating his subordinates as expendable ashes. Yhwach despises values like justice and honor, which is why he hates how the Gotei 13 became weak during the 1000 years of his absence. He was extremely disappointed seeing how Kenpachi Zaraki, whom he considered a Special War Power, was far weaker than him.
Yhwach treats his subordinates and the Quincy very differently. He is very fond of some of them, calling them his sons. He puts great effort into forcibly recruiting them into his empire. Yhwach can show mercy and appreciation, thanking Royd Lloyd for his hard work and sacrificing himself in a suicidal mission.
In front of his subordinates, Yhwach is a man adamant in his disapproval of infighting, though he will not hesitate to "stop the conflict" using the most brutal methods possible. Yhwach's contempt for Arrancar is apparent, mercilessly wounding and slaying even those who have sworn allegiance to him when he deems them to have fulfilled their use. After his awakening, Yhwach heartlessly robbed "impure" Quincy of their powers, causing many to die. Yamamoto states this same disregard extends to all of his underlings, regardless of species or position, and is an attitude which he has allegedly always possessed.
Yhwach is credited with being the progenitor of the Quincy. He is their king, and his blood flows in every Quincy. At some point during his history he was given the letter "A". About 1,000 years ago, under unknown circumstances, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto failed to kill him. Sometime around or during the course of this event, Yhwach witnessed the capabilities of Yamamoto's Bankai, Zanka no Tachi. After his battle with Yamamoto, Yhwach supposedly lost his powers. Quincy folklore spoke of him as "The Sealed King": after 900 years of being sealed, he would regain his pulse, after another 90, he would regain his intellect, and after 9 more years, he would absorb the power of every "impure" Quincy to make their abilities his own. With Auswählen, he did this to Kanae Katagiri, killing her, and to Masaki Kurosaki, who died during her fight with Grand Fisher due to the loss of her powers. All "impure" Quincy were killed except for Uryū Ishida. It is revealed that this song is called "Kaiser Gesang" (German for 'The Emperor's Song') and that there is another verse stating that "The Sealed King" would also regain the world after 9 days.
At some point during the seventeen months after the defeat of Sōsuke Aizen, the Wandenreich conquered Hueco Mundo, and Yhwach personally defeated its ruler, Tier Harribel. Imprisoning her, he claimed the territory of Hueco Mundo for the Wandenreich, regarding it as another foundation stone for the invasion of Soul Society.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
As punishment for arguing with Asguiaro Ebern upon his return to the Wandenreich base, Yhwach, stating he dislikes conflict, severs Luders Friegen's arm. After Luders declines his offer to lie down before him in exchange for his legs, he questions the latter's estimate of five days being required for them to prepare for the war with Soul Society. Asking Luders if he is a prophet, Yhwach, hearing the other's denial of this title, asks why he had been talking about the future, for he only wanted to know about what was happening at the present point in time, kills Luders. Turning his attention to Ebern, Yhwach, having no reason to praise or blame Ebern, for he effectively delayed Ichigo Kurosaki, states his role is over, and in death, he will be a foundation stone for peace. As Ebern erupts in a torrent of blood, Jugram Haschwalth asks if it is alright to kill the Arrancar, for they do not need to be taught how to fight. Dismissing this, Yhwach, climbing newly-formed stairs to a room behind his throne, states they can acquire as many as they need, thanks to Hueco Mundo already being their dominion, as he looks at the imprisoned Tier Harribel.
When told Ebern's medallion was used, but was unable to seal Ichigo's Bankai, Yhwach cites a special plan would be needed to do so. Declaring that "hot-blooded fools" could be useful at times, he instructs Haschwalth to have the Jagdarmee of Hueco Mundo collect "a few idiots" alive. Later, when told of Ichigo's ongoing battle with Quilge Opie, he, noting this is the perfect opportunity to invade Soul Society, orders all the Sternritter to be notified. Having already bypassed the Shakonmaku, Yhwach, appearing in the air above Ryūnosuke Yuki and members of the 13th Division as they ready themselves for battle, states thinking they will attack from one of Seireitei's gates makes sense, saying war is always a bitter affair. When this group loses their composure in the face of Hidetomo Kajōmaru's defeat, he permits Haschwalth to spare the others if he thinks it is the benign choice.
Later, as Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto realizes his opponent was not Yhwach, but was instead his subordinate Royd Lloyd, who had used his abilities to mimic his potentate's disposition, memories, and appearance, the 1st Division barracks are destroyed. Appearing behind the Captain-Commander, Yhwach, thanking Royd for his service, incinerates his remains. When asked what he had been up to this entire time, he, asking about what lies beneath the 1st Division building, explains how he had gone to the Central Great Underground Prison to speak with Sōsuke Aizen, though his offer to join their army was predictably declined. Continuing, Yhwach questions if Yamamoto has exhausted his power engaging his decoy.
When Yamamoto attempts to use his Bankai again, Yhwach, stealing it with his medallion, reveals it is not that they were unable to take Yamamoto's Bankai, but that his power is too enormous for anyone other than Yhwach himself to handle, so he ordered Royd not to do anything regarding this until he had returned. Goading the Captain-Commander by asking if he should use Yamamoto's Bankai to resurrect the dead Shinigami, Yhwach manifests a second weapon from above. With a wave of his sword, he, bidding Yamamoto farewell, attacks him.
With Yamamoto's torso severed, Yhwach, deriding him, attempts to leave, only for Yamamoto to grab hold of his cloak in his final act. Cutting off the Captain-Commander's arm, Yhwach reveals he had not listed him as a "Special War Power" because of his foolish reluctance to exploit others, which had made him grow weak. Stating the original Gotei 13 was a group to be feared, and Yamamoto did whatever it took to win, he says Soul Society will die soon, but unbeknownst to Yamamoto, the Gotei 13 died 1,000 years ago. Unleashing innumerable arrows from an outstretched finger, he completely obliterates Yamamoto's body.
After ordering Haschwalth to inform the Sternritter that they are to demolish Soul Society, he observes the ensuing devastation in the wake of the advancing Soldat. With the Seireitei and the main forces of the Gotei 13 decimated, Yhwach, intending to declare a retreat to await the Royal Guard's inevitable arrival, is startled by an explosion in the air above him. Agreeing the Reiatsu is indeed Ichigo's, he, denying Haschwalth's request to eliminate him, states they are leaving. As Tensa Zangetsu is thrust into the ground before them, they are intercepted by Ichigo.
Though unaware of exactly how he had accomplished this, he congratulates Ichigo on escaping Quilge's jail, questioning if he is really intending on fighting with his body's current condition. When asked if he is the "enemy's" leader, Yhwach states he both is and is not, confirming he is responsible for the current state of Soul Society. As an enraged Ichigo emits a large amount of Reiatsu, Yhwach is left with no option other than to crush him. Unaffected by a Getsuga Tenshō, he, pinning Ichigo to the ground, subdues him by stabbing him in the throat with his blade. Affirming he is still breathing, Yhwach orders Haschwalth to bring Ichigo back to their castle, where they can recruit him into their army. When Ichigo awakens, Yhwach, deducing the pronounced veins stopping his sword are in fact Blut Vene, is engulfed by Ichigo's attack.
Emerging almost unharmed, Yhwach states he had made a mistake in using a pure Quincy to stop Ichigo, for this awoke the memories in his Reiatsu. He reveals in trying to escape Quilge's jail, Ichigo absorbed some of the surrounding Reiatsu, which awoke the memories deep within his soul and allowed him to escape, for the jail cannot trap a Quincy. Stating Ichigo knows nothing about himself, not even about his own mother, Yhwach threatens to drag Ichigo to the Wandenreich and tell him everything there. As the two clash, just as Yhwach is about to stab Ichigo, shadows appear below him. When told his time outside of the Schatten Bereich is up, he, realizing Aizen had confused his perception of time while they spoke, turns to leave. When Haschwalth intercepts Ichigo's attack, Yhwach departs, declaring he will return for Ichigo.
Several days later, he asks Haschwalth where the subject is. When Haschwalth states he is here, Yhwach, greeting newly recruited Uryū Ishida, proclaims they will fight together. Yhwach is later saluted by the Sternritter as he announces that he has information for them. He announces that Uryū will become his successor, much to the dismay and shock of several Sternritter. He states that if they have a problem and doubts, they can see his power for themselves in the upcoming fights.
Later, in his chambers, he tells Uryū that the ceremony is over and states Uryū's power will soon awaken. Yhwach says that he will give him a Schrift, before bestowing Uryū with the letter "A", just like that of himself. When Uryū asks why he specifically was chosen as his successor, Yhwach asks why he was alive, much to Uryū's shock, and states all mixed blood Quincy died during Auswählen - all except for him. Proclaiming he named Uryū his successor because in all of history he was the first one to survive it, Yhwach surmises he possesses a power which can surpass his own, which is why he was chosen to succeed him. Stating he never has to question anything, Yhwach tells him to come with him. Shortly after Seireitei vanishes, he states that the invasion was complete. He proceeds to ask Uryū if he knows the song "Kaiser Gesang", Uryū states he does and recites it. Yhwach comments that there is another verse, that after 9 years of regaining his powers, he would regain the world in 9 days. He instructs Haschwalth and Uryū to come, as the world will end in 9 days. He later elaborates on how the Wandenreich managed to make Sereitei vanish. He explains that after the Quincy lost the war 1000 years ago, they escaped into Seireitei, the area left most unguarded by Shinigami forces and using the Reishi in Soul Society, they created a space in the shadows, hence why the Wandenreich is called the "Invisible Empire".
When the Shinigami reclaim their Bankai by using the Shin'eiyaku invented by Kisuke Urahara, Uryū asks whether Yhwach had expected it to happen. Yhwach replies that he had indeed predicted it, but that in spite of this, the Sternritter seem to be reveling in the fact. As numerous Sternritter across Seireitei proceed to use their Quincy: Vollständig, Yhwach proclaims that "real despair" starts now. Later, at the Wandenreich HQ, BG9 and Cang Du sit tied up before Yhwach, who says he is going to judge the Sternritter who lost. As Yhwach has Haschwalth step forward, BG9 begs him to wait and admits they lost before pointing out how the activation of their Quincy: Vollständig resuscitated them. As BG9 states they can still fight for him, Yhwach says they should be grateful for having survived.
Quincy Cross: Yhwach carries a version of the Quincy Cross which consists of five points, which forms part of an elaborate, circular medal which features a number of stars and a descending striped ribbon. This is attached to the left breast of his trench coat, so it is often concealed beneath his cloak.
Medallion: Yhwach possesses a round device which is roughly the size of a person's palm and has the Wandenreich insignia etched onto its surface. When activated, the device can steal a currently released Bankai in the immediate vicinity. Yhwach used it to take Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's Zanka no Tachi.
Powers & Abilities
Swordsman: During his short battle with Ichigo Kurosaki, Yhwach displays a certain amount of proficiency with his sword, landing a direct hit on Ichigo's arm, despite the latter's proficiency in swordplay and wielding of Tensa Zangetsu, and nonchalantly clashes with and repels the same opponent twice while only using a single arm.
Immense Spiritual Power: According to Quilge Opie, Yhwach has power surpassing that of an Espada. He defeated the 3rd Espada Tier Harribel easily, while the former Espada was "utterly powerless" before him. As a further testament to his power, by his own claim, among the Wandenreich, only he possesses enough power to actually steal and wield Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto's Bankai.
Auswählen (聖別 (アウスヴェーレン), Ausuvēren; German for "Select", Japanese for "Holy Selection"): After 990 years of being sealed away, Yhwach used this ability to restore his lost powers. By making a "selection" of Quincy whom he deems impure, including those with mixed blood, he can steal their powers and make them his own. This process is fatal to its victims, particularly those who are already weak.
Enhanced Strength: During his short fight with Ichigo, Yhwach displayed impressive physical strength. When he stabbed Ichigo in the neck, his strength caused the ground to shatter.
Reishi Manipulation: Yhwach can collect Reishi and solidify it at will. He creates an intricate throne, which he later deconstructs with ease, and reconstructs it into a set of steps in order to ascend to a higher level of his HQ.
- Hirenkyaku Master (飛廉脚; Flying Screen Step/God Step, Viz: "Flying Bamboo-Blind Leg"): After destroying the 1st Division HQ, Yhwach was able to move a great distance and appear behind a powerful Shinigami such as Yamamoto without being noticed. He overwhelmed Ichigo in his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, which endows Ichigo with immense speed.
- Blut (血装 (ブルート), burūto; German for "Blood", Japanese for "Blood Guise"): An advanced Quincy technique which grants one inhuman offensive and defensive capabilities, generated by making Reishi flow into the user's blood vessels. The independent forms for attack and defense cannot be employed simultaneously.
Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Aside from his Quincy skills, Yhwach possesses a certain level of proficiency in hand-to-hand combat. He quickly subdues and pins down Ichigo before the latter, who is using his Bankai and is a very adept martial artist in his own right, can react or defend himself properly.
Reishi Sword: Using his Quincy Cross, Yhwach can gather both spirit energy and particles and transform them into weapons. Unlike the bows displayed by most other Quincy, his particular weapon manifests in the form of an ornate sword, reminiscent of a Dadao, with a relatively long handle and a cross-guard shaped like a bird.
- Heilig Pfeil (神聖滅矢 (ハイリッヒ・プファイル), Hairihhi Pufairu; German for "Holy Arrow", Japanese for "Sacred Destruction Arrows"): By collecting more Reishi, Yhwach can form the spiritual arrows which are typical of other Quincy bows. He can generate them without the need of a Spirit Weapon, instead forming and firing them with just an outstretched finger. These arrows appear as simple blasts of Reishi shaped like the Quincy Cross, though they still retain enough force to create deep cavities in the ground. He can fire them in rapid succession as a continuous barrage, which can destroy an adversary as durable as Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.
- Reishi Broadsword: With a simple, horizontal cutting motion directed at the sky, Yhwach manifests an enormous bow in the air above himself, which in turn fires an arrow back towards the ground in front of him. The length of this arrow is comparable to Yhwach's own height and, by gripping it near the base of the shaft, he can wield it in a manner similar to a large broadsword. Two protrusions jutting out diagonally on either side form the sword's cross-guard which, alongside the handle, form a shape reminiscent of the Wandenreich insignia. The blade of this weapon can effortlessly bifurcate an opponent, including one as powerful as Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto.
- (To Asguiaro Ebern and Luders Friegen) "How many times do I have to tell you? I will tolerate no petty bickering in my presence. Conflict does not please me."
- (To members of the Thirteenth Division) "Conflict is always such a bitter affair."