After a decade, one of the most enthralling Shonen anime series has returned with its conclusion, and yes we are talking about Bleach. In the latest adaptation of the final arc of the series known as the “Thousand Year Blood War Arc” , the Shingami’s arch nemesis i.e. the Quincy have returned who are now being led by the powerful Father of the Quincies, Yhwach, ready to seek vengeance on the Soul Society.
Although they have returned to the frontlines with powerful reinforcements at their disposal, they are packing a deadly surprise. Now, with the help of their new found technology, they are able to steal the Bankai of the Shinigami, which has shown its use in the recent episodes. But despite their innate strength, why would they want to steal Bankai at first place? Let’s find out.
Spoiler Warning for the manga of Bleach, so read at your own risk!
Who are the Quincy and why are they attacking Shinigami’s in Bleach TYBW?
Before we get in to meaty topics, let’s revise our syllabus. Quincy are ‘spiritually aware’ humans who are actually alive and breathing, unlike the Shinigami of the Soul Society. Like their counterpart, they can sense hollows and spirits alike and can also use the spiritual energy in the atmosphere but their command over it is superior as they are able to animate weapons, especially bows out of spiritual energy alone and use a variety of fighting techniques.
Donning white garbs and uniform, their main ideological differences come from their action of exterminating hollows as to the Shinigami cleansing them and letting them live in the Soul Society.
This is because hollowfication is like poison for the Quincy, who are completely dependent on soul.
As the act of exterminating hollows threatened the disbalance of the world, the Shinigami were forced to wipe out the Quincy race 1000 years before the main story started. Now they have come back stronger, seeking revenge.
Why do Quincy Steal Bankai Of Shinigami’s In Bleach TYBW?
As mentioned above, the Quincy now own a way to steal Bankai, by using a Wandenreich Medallion. Bearing the Quincy cross, their holy symbol, the medallion releases energy which can suck out Bankai. Despite losing Bankai, the victims can still use the Shikai transformation but this surprise from their enemies affected the Shinigami heavily. We will try to explain why the Quincy steal Bankai with examples from the storyline of the manga.
The Quincy managed to steal quite a few Bankai, and some of them were significant. The first one to lose it was the lieutenant of the first division, Chojiro Sasakibe who unfortunately meets his demise. But this was just the beginning, as they managed to steal the Bankai of four of the Gotei 13 captains; namely Byakuya, Komamura, Soi Fon and Hitsugaya. That is a massive setback when you realize how important these individuals are. But despite them being so strong, why do the Quincy resort to such supposedly underhanded tactics?
It is important to know that Bankai always gives an edge to the Shinigami who have mastered it. It is the strongest skill one can learn and use during battle. When the Quincy saw that this was the most important thing to be worried about, they quickly decided to make a counter measure.
They were also shown to be desperate to steal Bankai, as Quilge Opie was visibly frustrated when Ichigo asked him whether they were scared of Bankai. Also the fact that Yhwach himself was waiting for his Almighty powers to return, there was a chance that history would’ve repeated itself if they didn’t take action against the Shingami’s trump card.
Looking at Yamamoto, he is individually capable of defeating the Quincy army and if the older captains had released their Bankai during the first invasion, it would’ve ended right there.
Yhwach steals Yamamoto’s Bankai after Royd Lloyd was able to stall him. He also confirms the fact that a Quincy needs to be strong enough to steal the said Bankai as he was the only one who could possibly contain Zanka no Tachi.
Not to forget, if the zero squad would have gotten involved during the invasion itself, after Yamamoto’s death. Those 5 shinigami’s alone could have taken down entire Shinigami army and one of the 5 who is also a special war potential, almost killed Yhwach.
And one of the zero squad members, killed all 4 Schutzstaffel, the personal body guards of Yhwach, in a single strike of his unreleased sword. Yhwach had to revive them stronger than earlier with his powers in order to continue fighting.
Also, just the temporary containment of one of the 5 special war potentials i.e Ichigo, whose bankai cannot be stolen urged the quincy army to invade soul society.
So that alone tells us how much the Quincies were scared of Shinigami’s bankai’s.
In simple terms, the quincy steal bankai of Shinigami’s so that they can have a fighting chance against majority of the Captains who are an absolute beasts in themselves when it comes to battle in the Gotei 13.
Although the Bankai stealing plotline can be considered dangerous, they were able to bring it back thanks to Urahara. The captains then proceed to fight the strongest foes and come out as the victor. If you have anymore doubts regarding Bleach anime and manga do let us know we will try to answer all of them.