The Quincies are a terrifying force to be reckoned with and the arch-nemesis of the Shinigami who are responsible for maintaining the balance between the spirit and human world.
Despite their apparent disappearance and annihilation by the Shinigami, they managed to survive for a long time behind the scenes as their ruler Yhwach comes back with his Wandenreich army in the last arc of Bleach, waiting for The Almighty to reactivate after a thousand years.
The Quincies and the Shinigami have a long history between them but are the Quincy actually stronger than the Shinigami in Bleach?
Despite multiple attempts of subduing them, the Quincy have always come back stronger than before and this is where we are going to answer the question presented to us. Sit back and hold on tight as there is a lot to discuss!
Spoiler Warning: Potential spoiler warning if you are not caught up with the manga so read with your caution!
Why Are Quincies & Soul Reapers/Shinigami Enemies?
Quincy and Shinigami (also known as Soul Reapers) are potent beings with different purposes, despite their common origin.
Shinigami are spiritual beings tasked with maintaining the balance between the human world and the afterlife. They also purify hollows that do evil in order to keep the cycle of life and death.
Quincies on the other hand are actual living beings who can sense spiritual energy or Reishi and can also detect hollows. They believe in the complete eradication of hollows as it is poisonous for them.
In essence, they are the two sides of the same coin but the Quincy ideology was a threat to the balance between the worlds.
Thus, the Quincies were slaughtered by the Shinigami just so the balance could be maintained but the Quincy do not do it just for fun as they cannot go through Hollowfication like a Shinigami.
They will die once affected by hollows so they do not have a choice.
Also in their origin story, we see that the five noble clans took advantage of the powerful yet stationary Soul King and mercilessly mutilated him, leading them to commit the Original Sin of the Soul Society. To know more about the Original Sin read the blog below:
In this act of committing the first sin of the world, Yhwach didn’t take it lightly and then he goes on to take revenge. This also is a driving force for the Quincies to hate the Shinigami.
Quincies vs Shinigami: Are Quincies Stronger Than Shinigami In Bleach?
Quincy and Soul Reapers possess different abilities and powers which make them competent enough to go against each other.
Shinigami wield Zanpakuto, which are sentient swords that can release devastating spiritual attacks. Soul Reapers can also use various techniques such as Shunpo (flash step), Kidō (spiritual spells), and Bankai (the ultimate form of a Zanpakuto).
They are proficient in close-quarters combat and have immense spiritual power and with enough training, they can increase their spiritual pressure to enormous levels. They also live for centuries and have high levels of endurance and durability.
Quincies have the natural affinity to manipulate spiritual energy or Reishi.
They primarily use bows called Spirit Weapons and have unique techniques such as Blut, Hirenkyaku, and the ability to absorb Reishi.
They can also use Letzt Stil to gain a massive boost of power although with severe shortcomings and can use Vollstandig.
Vollstanding is their most powerful ability which is equivalent to Bankai.
Quincies are skilled in long-range combat and possess powerful abilities to counter and manipulate spiritual energy. Their defensive abilities are also a force to be reckoned with.
If we were to talk about their overall strength, we can divide this debate into multiple parts: Base form and Strongest Form.
Let’s talk about the base form of both races. A Quincy with his spirit weapons and A Shinigami with his Zanpakuto. For more context, we can take evidence from the story itself.
Firstly, it is known that Shinigami were disposing of Quincies in the past just to maintain balance which makes it a clear point of discussion.
A Shinigami’s ability to just exert spiritual pressure can prove difficult for a base Quincy to deal with, but things get different when we talk about powerups.
If we were to compare a Quincy using Letzt Stil, we get a whole new story in our hands. As shown by Uryu Ishida in the Soul Society Arc, after removing his Sanrei Glove in order to use Letzt Stil, he was able to go up against a full-on Shinigami captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi, almost defeating him.
Quincy powerups are way more dangerous as we have more evidence to talk about.
In the Thousand Year Blood War arc, Yhwach and his Sternritter proved to be miles ahead in terms of a challenge for the Shinigami.
Standard Quincies along with a powerful Schrift were able to overwhelm not only basic Shinigami but captain-level characters.
Along with their Schrift and the ability to steal Bankai (thanks to Quincy technology), the Shinigami were not ready for this change.
Even Royd Lloyd in the form of a copy of Yhwach was able to stall General Yamamoto who was using his Bankai, which is arguably the strongest Bankai ever.
Even after getting time to recuperate, the fight was not over.
The Schutzstaffel proved to be a different story as at least two of them, being Gerard Valkyrie and Lille Barro were literal gods and were unkillable.
They only were defeated when a special Zanpakuto that could deflect Vollstandig was used and when Yhwach himself decided to interfere but before that, it took the power of multiple of the strongest captains using Bankai to just defeat their Vollstandig forms.
In fact in the final battle between Ichigo and Yhwach with the power of Soul King, had Ryuken Ishida not arrived with the Still Silver arrow that Uryu shot at Yhwach, Ichigo could honestly not have defeated him, even with Aizen at his side, whose power limits are still unknown to readers.
We can easily conclude that in base form, a Shinigami can overpower a Quincy but at their respective strongest forms, Quincies take the upper hand with their variety of abilities and technologies, despite the raw strength of the Bankai user.
Quincies and Shinigami are both strong races and have the ability to deal lots of damage to each other. Although originating from the one and only Soul King, the actions of the Shinigami and the ideology of the Quincies were incompatible with the working of the world and hence began the ever-lasting war between the two.
We can clearly see from the evidence provided in the story that Shinigami can defeat Quincies at base forms of each other but when comparing their strongest forms and respective strongest individuals, Quincies deem to be much stronger with their enhanced powerups and guidance.
Even the Soul King accepted Quincy as the friendly party despite being the lynchpin of balance between the worlds.
What do you think? Can there be more comparisons of power or maybe you do not agree with the comparison? Do let us know in the comments below as we try to learn more about the intricate world of Bleach, together!