Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is the anime’s final and biggest story arc. Sosuke Aizen may have been defeated in the fake Karakura Town, but now another, even greater threat looms, one that the Soul Reapers never thought they’d see again. The Quincy tribe is back with a vengeance, and this means war.
While the Quincy have extensive data on their Soul Reaper enemies, the Soul Reapers know rather little about how the Quincy operate. The main characters and Bleach anime fans alike must learn about the Quincy as they go, from their combat technique to their hierarchy, strengths and weaknesses, and more.
The following contains minor spoilers for the Bleach manga.
10 The Quincy Have A German Military Theme
While the Soul Reapers are based on traditional Japanese culture and the Hollows and Arrancars have a Spanish naming convention, the Quincy empire in TYBW has a German theme. Their overall organization is the Wandenreich, or invisible empire, and they also use terms like Voll Stern Dich, daten, Sankt Zwinger, and blut vene.
This overall theme continues in the Quincy army, with the soldiers having the rigid discipline and crisp uniforms worthy of any mortal soldier. They also carry military standards, or their symbolic flag, during campaigns such as their incursions into Hueco Mundo.
9 Quincy Uniforms Are The Opposite Of Soul Reaper Robes
Aside from white cloaks that billow like a Soul Reaper Captain’s haori coat, the Quincy uniform is totally different from a typical Soul Reaper outfit. The Soul Reapers have black robes with white sashes, while the Quincy uniform is tight-fitting and white, aside from a black belt and optionally, black boots.
These Quincy uniforms also have a Western feel, contrasting once again with the Japanese-style Soul Reaper robes. Oddly, the Quincy uniform design is similar to that of their other enemies, the Arrancars, since both uniforms are the inverse of Soul Reaper uniforms.
8 Quincy Can Use Blut Vene & Blut Arterie
The Quincy can use spirit energy, or reishi, in ways that the Soul Reapers cannot, such as blut vene and blut arterie. These techniques require a Quincy to flood their blood vessels with spirit energy, with blut vene hardening the skin against enemy attacks and blut arterie boosting offensive power.
There is only one major restriction: a Quincy cannot use blut vene and blut arterie at the same time. In combat, the fearsome As Nodt used blut vene to protect himself from Renji’s shikai, and Ichigo also used it by instinct when Yhwach attacked his neck during their duel.
7 The Quincy Empire Is Hidden In Shadows
Some bases of operation are in plain sight, such as the massive Seireitei in the Soul Society and the enormous fortress Las Noches in the Hueco Mundo desert. Meanwhile, the Quincy army’s headquarters is the castle Silbern, which is completely hidden from its enemies.
Silbern and all its inhabitants are concealed in the shadows, meaning the Soul Reapers will struggle to ever launch a counter-assault on their Quincy foes. This also means the Sternritter and other Quincy can appear and disappear via shadows, like a quicker version of Senkaimon Gates.
6 Elite Quincy Can Use Hirenkyaku To Move Quickly
For all their differences with Soul Reapers and Arrancars, the Quincy warriors still have a few similar techniques, such as for mobility. Soul Reapers like Byakuya Kuchiki and Yoruichi Shihoin can move faster than the eye can see with flash steps, while Arrancars use a similar technique called sonido.
The Quincy have a very similar version called Hirenkyaku, which involves a slippery disk of spirit energy under their feet to glide around the battlefield. Quilge Opie, for example, used it to get behind Ichigo Kurosaki during their Hueco Mundo duel.
5 The Quincy Now Use More Than Just Bows & Arrows
During the Hueco Mundo story arc, Uryu Ishida the tsundere archer told Cirucci that Quincy only use bows and arrows to fight, but the Wandenreich in TYBW is proving him wrong. To achieve maximum firepower, the Quincy branched out into other weapon types, including swords.
The explosion-using Bambietta Basterbine, for example, fought Sajin with a sword, and Jugram Haschwalth and even Yhwach have swords, too. Some Quincy foot soldiers were seen carrying spears, too. Still, any Quincy can materialize a token bow, at least, for ranged combat.
4 The Quincy Can Use Stolen Bankai Via Medallions, But With Restrictions
The Wandenreich’s members use a variety of remarkable items and abilities, including the never-before-seen medallions. Not even Uryu and his Quincy family members had them, but the Sternritter do. With these medallions, the Sternritter can steal a bankai once it’s activated.
Several Sternritter did this, including As Nodt, Cang Du, BG9, and Bambietta Basterbine. However, the stolen bankai are somewhat weaker than their original versions, and the medallion’s owner cannot use their Voll Stern Dich/Vollstandig until they release the stolen bankai.
3 The Quincy Can’t Stand Any Hollow Spirit Energy
Soul Reapers and Quincy both fight Hollows, but for different reasons. Soul Reapers purify Hollows with their zanpakuto and send them to the Soul Society, but Quincy will destroy a Hollow completely. This is done not just to avenge fallen Quincy, but for self-defense.
For Quincy, Hollows are incredibly toxic, and they cannot withstand Hollow spirit energy at all. So, Quincy take the safe route and utterly obliterate any Hollows they see. Kisuke Urahrara later took advantage of that and Hollowfied all stolen bankai, forcing the Sternritter to abandon them.
2 The Sternritter Have Unique Letters From A To Z
The Espadas represented different aspects of death and had unique abilities, while the Sternritter all have a unique letter of the English alphabet. These are the schrift that Yhwach gave them, and each is phrased as “The (ability name).” Only one letter is shared, with Loyd Loyld and Royd Loyld both being Sternritter Y.
Some early examples have already appeared in the anime, including As Nodt’s The Fear, Bambietta’s The Explosion, Driscoll Berci’s The Overkill, and Quilge’s The Jail. This means that many more remain to be seen, ranging from The Thunderbolt and The Heat to The Power and The Compulsory.
1 Yhwach Can Redistribute Quincy Power With Auswalhen
The Quincy have their own leader to match Captain Yamamoto and Sosuke Aizen, but unlike those two, Yhwach can actually redistribute spiritual energy among his underlings. This makes Yhwach Bleach‘s version of All For One, except he can rearrange Quincy powers from a distance.
Yhwach didn’t need Auswahlen’s power in the initial Soul Society invasion, but he will do it later, after several Sternritter fall in battle. Yhwach will even fatally absorb some Sternritters’ power so he can bring others back to life.
NEXT: The 15 Longest Arcs in the Bleach Anime, Ranked By Episodes
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