Bleach TYBW: Who stole Byakuya's Bankai, explained

Bleach Thousand-Year Blood War
Byakuya Kuchiki as seen in Bleach TYBW episode 4 (Image via Studio Pierrot)

With Bleach TYBW featuring the beginning of the war between the Shinigami and the Quincy, fans can finally watch the long-awaited battle between the Gotei 13 and the Sternritter. However, as soon as the war began, the Soul Society saw the deaths of over 1000 Shinigami in just about seven minutes.

With the situation getting worse by the minute, Gotei 13 had to depend on their higher-ups, such as the captains and lieutenants, to deal with the threat of Sternritter. However, the captains themselves weren't able to deal much damage using their Shikai and had to rely on their Bankai.

Upon doing so, four Gotei 13 squad captains lost their Bankai as the Sternritter used their medallion to not seal the Bankai, but steal it instead. Among the four captains was the 28th head of the Kuchiki Clan and squad 6 captain Byakuya Kuchiki, whose Bankai was stolen by Sternritter F Äs Nödt.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the Bleach manga.


Bleach TYBW: Who is Sternritter F Äs Nödt?

Sternritter F Äs Nödt as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Sternritter F Äs Nödt as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Äs Nödt is a Quincy and a Sternritter in the Wandenreich army. Yhwach designated him the Schrift F, which means "The Fear." He is a religious man who believes in the existence of heaven and hell and was thus scared of the possibility of dying and going to hell.

However, he has claimed that the only thing he feared was being folded by the Father of the Quincy, Yhwach.

After going through several hardships in life, Äs Nödt was hospitalized and bedridden for a while. Although he believed that life was meaningless, he feared passing away, as he thought that going to hell would hurt him more than any pain he felt while living.

Äs Nödt as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Äs Nödt as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Fortunately, Yhwach approached him on his deathbed and offered him power, thus designating him with Shrift F - "The Fear." This was in tune with Äs Nödt's beliefs, as according to him, irrational fears were much stronger than rational fears, given how the former was difficult to overcome.


How did Äs Nödt steal Byakuya Kuchiki's Bankai?

The Sternritter stealing Bankai from four Gotei 13 Captains in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)
The Sternritter stealing Bankai from four Gotei 13 Captains in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Äs Nödt stole Byakuya Kuchiki's Bankai by using his Wandenreich Medallion. The Wandenreich Medallion is capable of stealing a Shinigami's Bankai or an Arrancar's Resurrección, which can later be used by the wielder of the medallion for their own benefit.

He appeared alongside Yhwach and the other Sternritter during the conquest of the Soul Society as he faced Squad 6 of the Gotei 13. While Äs Nödt was set to fight Lieutenant Renji Abarai, Captain Byakuya Kuchiki came to his aid and decided to fight him on his own.

Byakuya Kuchiki as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Byakuya Kuchiki as seen in Bleach TYBW (Image via Studio Pierrot)

During their battle, Byakuya Kuchiki was only able to do a little damage to Äs Nödt using his Shikai. Thus, he was forced to use his Bankai. While he did know that the Sternritter carried a threat to his Bankai, he, similar to other captains, believed that the Sternritter could only seal away their Bankai.

However, when Byakuya Kuchiki used his Bankai Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, Äs Nödt stole it, using his medallion.