Bleach’s new sequel kicks off with the opening of one of the most thrilling arcs of the manga, the Thousand-Year Blood War. As Ichigo fends off a strange masked man called Ebern, Captain-Commander Yamamoto Genryusai is surrounded by a group of mysterious Quincies donned in white robes at his office, declaring war.
As many of the fans might have guessed, the people in white robes who corner Captain-Commander Yamamoto are the Wandenreich, a hidden Quincy empire that lost to the Shinigamis in war 1000 years ago, led by Emperor Yhwach.
Though the Shinigami have always emerged victorious whenever they have fought against the Quincies, the Wandenreich is a deadly threat that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Check out how this invisible empire of Quincies ends up being one of the most powerful foes the shinigami have ever faced by wielding the terrifying power to destroy Bankai.
Who are the Wandenreich?
The Wandenreich is a militaristic Quincy empire that was defeated by the Soul Society, a group of shinigami, around 1000 years ago.
To avoid getting wiped out completely by the shinigami, they fled from the Human World and ended up in the Seireitei, since they believed it was the most unguarded and safest place for them.
The Wandenreich spent nearly a thousand years building up their power after the shinigami defeated them. To build their strength, they used Reishi, which is found only in the Soul Society, as the source of their power. Their current headquarters is located in Silbern.
Members of Wandenreich are easily recognizable through their long, white, double-breasted trench coats as their uniform. The organization is divided into certain military ranks. Their ranks are namely:
- Sternritter: The knights of the organization who excel in combat. Some of the Sternritter are enlisted as Emperor Yhwach’s guards, called the Schutzstaffel. These guards wear a hooded coat instead of the regular coat as their uniform.
- Jagdarmee: A hunting group who are tasked with capturing Arrancar to serve the Quincy empire.
- Soldat: Ordinary soldiers of Wandenreich.
- Arrancars with no ranks were also forcibly enlisted in the organization. Most of them were obtained from the annexed Hueco Mundo.
Certain members of Wandenreich carry medallions, a round palm-sized device, which has the ability to steal Bankai. This device is the secret weapon that the Wandenreich plan to use in their war against the shinigami.
How big is the Wandenreich?
The Wandenreich is believed to be as big as the Seireitei. However, it might be larger than Seireitei since it annexed Hueco Mundo recently, which is believed to be as big as Earth itself.
Who is the leader of Wandenreich?
Emperor Yhwach is the head of Wandenreich. He is the son of Soul King and he is also referred to as the ‘Father of Quincy’. He has the ability to bestow people with powers as well as steal their powers from them. Yhwach can manipulate Reishi as well, and this power of his helps him to rebuild the Quincy empire after its defeat.
How can the Wandenreich steal Bankai?
The Wandenreich can steal Bankai by using a medallion, which is a palm-sized round device. This device can steal any active Bankai in its immediate vicinity by emitting streams of dark energy which disintegrate the concerned Bankai.
The disintegrated Bankai is then absorbed in the medallion and the Bankai’s original user loses their connection to their Zanpakuto.
The stolen Bankai can be used by the owner of a medallion to wield that particular Bankai. This stolen Bankai can be used by the one who owns the medallion even after the death of the original user of the concerned Bankai.
This device might seem quite powerful, but fear not! It seems that the medallion has its own set of limitations.
Firstly, the stolen Bankai is relatively weaker than the original user’s Bankai. The medallion owner has to train themselves with the Bankai to wield it more effectively.
Secondly, the one who controls the medallion and steals the Bankai must be powerful. Hence, not every member of Wandenreich possesses a medallion.
Furthermore, all hope is not lost since the original Bankai user can reclaim their Bankai in the future, though it’s quite challenging to do so.
About Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is the final arc of the Bleach franchise. It premiered on October 11, 2022, and its 52 episodes are streamed by Hulu.
The arc deals with Yhwach, the leader of the Quincies, who has declared war on the Soul Society. Ichigo and the Soul Reapers will face this despicable enemy.
Hollows and Soul Society residents are disappearing, and Ichigo needs to defeat Yhwach before he lays waste to the entire universe.