With the premiere of the final season of Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War on October 11th, we were introduced to a new antagonist, Ebern. The anime has returned more than ten years later to adapt the final arc of Tite Kubo’s manga.
In Ichigo Kurosaki’s bedroom in Kurosaki Town, a tall man with red hair, wearing a long white coat apears. Covering his left eye is the fragment of a Hollow mask. Who is this arrogant man who introduces himself as Asguiaro Ebern and challenges Ichigo to a fight in the first episode? Read on to know more.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the manga and anime Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War
Who is the Arrancar-Quincy named Ebern in the first episode of Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War anime?
Asguiaro Ebern’s identity explained
Asguiaro Ebern made quite an appearance in episode one of Bleach‘s new and final season, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. He first appears uninvited in Ichigo Kurosaki’s bedroom in Karakura Town and is kicked out the window; then, after a chase scene, he fights with Ichigo in which things do not go well for him.
Ebern then attempts to steal Ichigo’s Bankai with a Quincy medallion and narrowly escapes after failing. Finally, he is shown kneeling before Quincy King Yhwach, thus revealing his alliance.
It is a little confusing to understand Ebern’s identity and motives in the first episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War. Ebern is clearly an Arrancar, as Ichigo and Uryu Ishida notice early on.
However, when questioned, he denies it and gives a disgusted look. He appears to distance himself from Arrancars, instead taking pride in being a Quincy. He continues to use Quincy powers during his fight with Ichigo, and later on in the episode, he submits to Yhwach.
This is an unusual scenario because, according to a folklore, the Quincy and Arrancars do not share a good history. The Arrancars are Hollows, who have become like Shinigami after removing their masks. The Quincy, on the other hand, were determined to permanently eliminate all Hollows. To maintain the balance of souls, the Shinigami had to intervene.
In the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, there is also a war between the Quincy and the Arrancars. The Wandenreich, ruled by Yhwach, conquers Hueco Mundo, the dimension where Hollows and Arrancars usually reside, along with Tier Harribel, their ruler. Halibel is imprisoned in order to instill fear and obedience in the minds of Arrancar.
Why did Asguiaro Ebern join the Quincy?
The Quincy are recruiting Arrancars as troops for their army, according to Chapter 487 of the manga. They take their swords and replace them with Quincy crosses. This provides some context for how Ebern came to work for the Quincy.
There is also another reason for the recruitment of Arrancars. The Quincy medallion, which can steal Bankais, is useless against Ichigo because his Bankai is imbued with Hollow power.
However, because Arrancars are partly Hollows, Yhwach most likely gave Ebern the medallion, hoping that Ebern will be able to steal Ichigo’s Bankai. Otherwise, Ebern or any other Arrancar is not important to Yhwach, as evidenced by his ruthless killing of Luders Friegen.
Despite the wrongdoings with his kind, Ebern identifies as a Quincy as it is likely that Yhwach honored him by bestowing Quincy powers upon him. This leads him to despise and reject his Arrancar race.
The second episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War titled Foundation Stones is set to air on October 17, 2022.