Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War just premiered and the first episode has already taken the internet by storm. Fans have waited 10 years for the return of Bleach and it already seems like it’s been pretty worth it.
Episode 1 saw the return of our favorite characters, and also some new ones who seem like they’re here to break the peace at Soul Society.
Soon after Ichigo and gang save the two new Soul Reapers Yuki and Shino from attacking Hollows, the character of Asguiaro Ebern makes his first appearance. If you’re wondering who this guy is and what he wants, I’m here to tell you.
Asguiaro Ebern is a member of Wandenreich, which is a hidden Quincy empire at war with the Soul Society. He is under the service of Yhwach, the Quincy king. Ebern was sent to Ichigo to steal his Bankai with the help of a special Medallion. But he ultimately fails to do so.
Is Ebern a Quincy-Hollow hybrid? Why does he hate being called an Arrancar?
Ebern is an Arrancar by race and blood, which means he is part Hollow and not a Quincy.
When Ebern mysteriously appears on Ichigo’s bed, Uryu suggests that he might be an Arrancar because of the fragment of mask on his face.
After Ichigo transforms into his Shinigami form to fight Ebern, he questions whether he’s an Arrancar and what he wants from him.
In response, Ebern simply summons his Spirit Weapon, a Quincy Cross, from which he produces the Quincy weapon, Reishi Cannons. This is what confuses Ichigo, because the mask should indicate that he’s Arrancar. Ichigo notices that cross bracelet looks similar to the one that Uryu wears.
Ebern is not a Quincy though, but is an Arrancar who can use Quincy powers because of Yhwach.
Ebern is also visibly pissed at being called an Arrancar. Ebern is an arrogant and proud guy, and being a lowly Arrancar is distasteful to him.
He previously served as a cup-bearer to the Espada Rureaux who offered him a chance to live in exchange for hailing Aizen as his God. After Aizen’s defeat, he was given the opportunity to join the Wandenreich which totally ruined his reputation.
He became labelled as Ebern the Honorless and even though he pretended the opinions of others didn’t matter to him, they sure did. He came to hate being associated with the Arrancar and totally takes to becoming a Quincy instead.
As a member of the Wandenreich, Ebern is seen to wear traditional Quincy attire, with a buckle that even has a Quincy design.
Why wasn’t Ebern able to steal Ichigo’s Bankai?
Since Ebern had the Medallion capable of medalizing Shinigami Bankais, he should have been able to steal Ichigo’s Bankai.
In chapter 509 of the Bleach manga, Yamamoto says that he failed because Ichigo’s Bankai is incomplete and that Ichigo hasn’t mastered it yet. The Bankai’s power was unknown and thus couldn’t be harvested or medalized with Ebern’s Medallion.
Some people think that Ebern couldn’t steal Ichigo’s Bankai because Ichigo is actually a Quincy, but this isn’t possible because Ichigo only awakens his Quincy powers later.
[For those of you wondering, Ichigo’s mom, Masaki, was a pure-blood Quincy while his father’s a Soul Reaper. Ichigo will awaken his Quincy abilities in the latter part of the arc, so be ready to be flabbergasted.]
Some fans also believe that Ichigo’s Hollow interfered with the process since the Medallion is Quincy. I think this might be possible since, even though Ebern is part Hollow, the Medallion itself is Quincy; it doesn’t matter who is wielding it.
It could also be that Ebern couldn’t steal it because he couldn’t handle the power of Ichigo’s Bankai. In chapter 510, Yhwach tells Yamamoto that stealing Bankais were never an issue but because the power of the Bankai is so great, only people who are capable of controlling them can use them.
Later, Yhwach is almost unsurprised that Ebern failed the mission. This proves that he didn’t have high hopes of him acquiring Ichigo’s Bankai in the first place because he knew that in all probability, Ebern wouldn’t be able to handle it.
Ebern, though, was completely stunned when his Medallion failed to steal Ichigo’s Bankai.
Is Ebern captured after his fight with Ichigo?
After Ebern tries to steal Ichigo’s Bankai with his Quincy Medallion, Ichigo fires a Getsuga Tensho, breaking through the Medallion’s columns. Ebern is still reeling as to how Ichigo’s Bankai hasn’t vanished yet, but knows that he has lost.
He uses the Quincy Shadow technique to teleport away and escapes being captured and interrogated.
What is the shadow that hides the chosen ones?
Ebern escapes using the Shadow, which looms up before them. He tells Ichigo not to worry since the Shadow only hides the “chosen ones”. The Shadows can be used only by Quincies, which act as a doorway between dimensions and allows them to teleport.
These Shadows connect the Wandenreich, the Soul King Palace, and one’s Zanpakuto, letting the users use shadows in a particular room to aid in their teleportation.
The “chosen ones” phrase used by Ebern could refer to his innate pride at being a part of the Wandenreich, since it is only members who have pledged themselves to Yhwach who can use this ability.
Bleach is a Japanese anime television series based on Tite Kubo’s manga of the same name. The anime series adapts Kubo’s manga but also introduces some new, original, self-contained story arcs.
It is based in Karakura Town on a 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki who becomes a substitute Soul Reaper when Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper, puts Soul Reaper powers in Ichigo. They barely manage to kill the hollow.
Although initially reluctant to accept the heavy responsibility, he begins eliminating some more hollows and also discovers that several of his friends and classmates are spiritually aware and have powers of their own.