"True fear occurs without reason, without bounds. It is like a swarm of insects crawling up the body. We cannot escape from our instincts."
Äs has long, black hair and dark eyes with visibly light pupils. His attire is a variation of the Sternritter's typical white uniform, consisting of the order's signature hooded cloak, an ankle-length trench coat with many buttons on its front and sleeves, and black boots. He wears a dark mask, which obscures the lower half of his face and features five spikes running down its center. He has dark fingernails. Beneath the mask, Äs has no lips, leaving his teeth and gums exposed.
During the second invasion of Soul Society, Äs wears a different trench coat that features even more buttons, as well as black fingerless gloves with spikes on the wrists. In addition, his mask has only four spikes.
Äs believes irrational fear is a force which one cannot overcome, unlike rational fear. Because of this, he has the utmost confidence in his special ability. Äs is not above chastising his own allies, such as when he chided Mask De Masculine for not stealing 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai's Bankai when he had the chance. Äs is quite arrogant, declaring that the stolen Senbonzakura was his own and stating that he felt lonely without it. Äs also takes delight in his ability to cause fear in foes, and often laughs menacingly. During battles he has a habit of going on long, philosophical tangents regarding the nature of fear, often while rolling his eyes and turning his head in a disconcerting manner. Äs has a twisted sense of humor, such as when he made light about his evisceration of Byakuya Kuchiki, even going so far as to joke that Byakuya 'looked trim', as though he had been forced to have a new diet.
Äs is a religious man, who believes in the existence of heaven and hell. The possibility of dying and going to hell scares him more than anything else, because he believes that going there would cause him more pain than what he felt in life. Likewise, he states that his only fear is to be scolded by Yhwach and have his very existence taken from him.
A survivor, hospitalized and close to death, Äs thought living was painful. Remembering what he had been taught about heaven and hell, he hoped to go to heaven where it would not be painful, but he was afraid of going to hell, where everything would be even more painful. At his deathbed, he was approached by Yhwach, who offered him power.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc
Once there, Äs and the other Sternritter create pillars of blue flames prior to engaging the Shinigami in battle. Indiscriminately massacring numerous lower-ranking Shinigami, who are unable to injure him, Äs is intercepted by 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai. While Äs effortlessly blocks Renji's strikes bare-handed, they are interrupted by the arrival of Mask De Masculine and 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki. When Äs' hand is severely cut by Byakuya, Mask berates him for allowing his Blut to be broken so easily. After Äs' comrade is neutralized, Byakuya activates his Bankai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, only for it to be stolen by Äs' medallion.
Wounding Byakuya in the ensuing battle, Äs asks Byakuya if he is aware how, rather than being poisoned, he has been infected by fear. Commending Byakuya's resilience in not dying instantly like most of his victims do, Äs explains the fear-inducing ability of his Spirit Weapon, which causes victims to doubt everything and lose control of all rational thought. After receiving a blow to the chest, an uninjured Äs declares Byakuya's heart is already stricken by fear towards the Sternritter despite Byakuya's remarkable willpower. Striking the motionless captain, Äs describes how, unlike fear which comes from reason, true fear is instinctive, and so cannot be escaped. Evading Byakuya's subsequent assault, Äs attacks with the stolen Senbonzakura Kageyoshi, causing Byakuya to fall amid a torrent of blood.
As Byakuya lies heavily injured, Äs tells him it was obvious he could not win against his Bankai with only his Shikai. When Renji attempts an ambush from behind, Äs negates the strike with Blut Vene. Moving to attack as well, Byakuya is overwhelmed by the blades of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi and is smashed into a wall, grievously wounding him. When Mask prevents an enraged Renji from activating his Bankai by attacking him, Äs chastises Mask for not waiting, for they could have stolen it as well. When Mask is surprised by this, Äs tells him he should go home and review the Daten which Yhwach had provided.
Later, when Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto confronts Yhwach, Äs, NaNaNa Najahkoop, and Bazz-B ambush him from above. Before they can attack, Yamamoto scorches them with Ryūjin Jakka. Äs survives this attack and is subsequently present when Yhwach names Uryū Ishida as his successor, which shocks him.
During the Wandenreich's second invasion of Soul Society, Äs notices the stolen Bankai being taken back by the Shinigami and the defeat of Cang Du and BG9. In the morning following Rukia Kuchiki's return to Soul Society, Äs confronts her, stating how lonely he is without Senbonzakura. Explaining that he is aware of who she is, Äs asks for the location of her brother. When she refuses to answer, he asks if Byakuya would arrive if he killed her, and then proceeds to attack. In spite of Rukia's attempt to block his thorn with ice, Äs manages to infect her with his fear. Äs gloats at her attempt to protect herself, but reacts with confusion when an unaffected Rukia asks what he is afraid of.
Äs states it is impossible for anyone to resist fear, prompting his opponent to invite him to attack her again. Äs once again attacks Rukia, but his thorns are stopped and frozen. Äs then listens to Rukia explain how she had to run away before so that her body would have time to adjust itself to the true power of Sode no Shirayuki. Saying that freezing the thorns won't stop the fear because it doesn't enter through the wound but rather through the initial touch, Äs proceeds to make a speech about how all living beings fear something and death is what everyone fears in the end, meaning that as long as Rukia is alive she will feel fear. Confused by Rukia responding that it won't work on her because she is not alive, he asks what this means. After Rukia explains her Shikai's true power of lowering the temperature of her own body below zero, Äs says it is impossible. As he stands still repeating that what Rukia said is impossible, she appears next to him and cuts him with a blade at minus 18 degrees. Äs is then once again cut by Rukia at a temperature of minus 273.15 degrees. As he is completely frozen, Äs wonders if what he is experiencing is "fear".
As Rukia slowly returns her body temperature to normal, Äs proclaims he only fears punishment by his majesty and losing his body completely as his mask crumbles, revealing a decaying mouth. Äs activates his Quincy: Vollständig, gaining a halo in the shape of a Wandenreich emblem, two streams of blood pouring from his eyes, and a cloak with a line of stitches down the middle. When Rukia realizes she cannot move, Äs reveals she is finally experiencing fear because she is looking at him and reveals his ability to be Tatarforas before explaining how she can no longer escape his gaze. As Äs tells Rukia to finally experience fear, Byakuya cuts through Tatarforas.
As Byakuya steps forward, Äs immediately starts mocking him about the injuries he inflicted on him during the last invasion. When Rukia calls out to her brother and tells him to avoid eye contact with him, Äs exclaims it's too late as he surrounds Byakuya with eyes. After Byakuya destroys his eyes using his Zanpakutō, Äs, noting he must have surrounded the area with his Bankai, says he really would have liked to keep it. After Byakuya explains he's using Shikai, Äs becomes enraged when the captain thanks him for stealing his Bankai and giving him the opportunity to understand his Zanpakutō better. Äs begins transforming as he declares he will not kill Byakuya but rather make him experience such terror he will wish for death. After transforming, Äs, now in a monstrous form, tells Byakuya the end has come. When Byakuya says Rukia will kill him, Äs tells him to stop insulting him. As he thinks about his fear of death and Hell, asking His Majesty to forgive him, Äs is frozen and killed by Rukia's Bankai, Hakka no Togame, his body shattering and falling apart.
Medallion: Äs possesses a round device which is roughly the size of a person's palm and has the Wandenreich insignia etched onto its surface. When activated, the device can steal a currently released Bankai in the immediate vicinity, as evidenced when Äs used it to take 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki's Senbonzakura Kageyoshi. The medallion's owner can use the stolen Bankai's power at will. Since Hollow powers are poisonous to Quincy, the stolen Bankai were returned to their original Shinigami owners when the Bankai were Hollowfied by the Shin'eiyaku. Being in possession of a Bankai prevented Äs from activating Quincy: Vollständig.
Powers & Abilities
The Fear: Despite the considerable attack strength of Äs' spirit weapon, the true power of the thorns lies not in their offensive capability, but instead in their ability to induce limitless fear in those who are struck. Just a single wound is enough to inspire a deep-seated fear towards Äs, causing victims to doubt everything, lose control of all rational thought, and see visions of their deepest fears. While this would typically result in instantaneous death due to a person's heart being unable to bear such intense shock, an individual's experience and willpower can be used to resist this fear to an extent, though Äs is confident all would succumb to it eventually. When the thorns strike an object a black substance of fear begins to spread. It can even move through the objects to induce fear in a foe. The thorns can induce fear in their target through simply touching them, so it is not necessary for the foe to be wounded for the fear to infect them.
Reishi Manipulation: As a Quincy, he primarily absorbs spiritual energy from the atmosphere, and combines it with his own spiritual energy to form weapons. He has an easier time collecting this energy in environments with higher concentrations of Reishi such as in Soul Society or Hueco Mundo.
- Hirenkyaku Expert: Äs is a considerably fast combatant; he was able to move behind Rukia Kuchiki, a Shunpo expert, before the latter could even react.
- Blut (血装 (ブルート), burūto; German for "Blood", Japanese for "Blood Guise"): An advanced Quincy technique which grants one inhuman defensive and offensive capabilities by making Reishi flow into the user's blood vessels.
- Blut Vene (静血装 (ブルート・ヴェーネ), burūto vēne; German for "Blood Vein", Japanese for "Stilled Blood Guise"): While Äs' defensive form of Blut is strong enough to negate attacks from Renji's Shikai, it is not absolute, and can be torn using sufficient power, as evidenced when Byakuya's Senbonzakura managed to cut Äs' hand. However, he was able to withstand being frozen to the point of "absolute zero" (-273.15 degrees Celsius) by Rukia's Shikai and managed to break free from the ice, with only a few minor frostbite injuries.
Great Spiritual Power: Äs' spiritual power is on a level comparable to or greater than that of a captain-level Shinigami, proven when he swiftly defeated 6th Division Captain Byakuya Kuchiki. His Reiatsu can unsettle an enemy by making them believe someone is touching them.
Enhanced Strength: Äs possesses great physical strength. He blocked several attacks from 6th Division Lieutenant Renji Abarai's Zabimaru with just his Blut Vene-enhanced arm and impaled Byakuya with his hand.
Reishi Thorns: Using his abilities as a Quincy, Äs can concentrate both spirit energy and particles in order to transform them into weapons. His favored weapon manifests in the form of several luminous thorns floating in close proximity to his person, which are used to viciously impale victims and can pierce the body of a captain-class Shinigami with ease. The thorns can be fired at an enemy at high speeds.
Tatarforas (神の怯え (タタルフォラス), Tataruforasu; Japanese for "Afraid of God"; Viz "Fear of God"): Äs activates his Vollständig by rolling back his left eye, revealing a Wandenreich emblem on the inside of his eyeball. In this form, he gains a Heiligenschein in the form of a star-like Heiligenschein encircled by barbed wire, a stream of blood pouring from each eye, and a cloak with a line of stitches running down the middle. His wings are barely visible and resemble circles of barbed wire attached to his back. The cloak is very tight-fitting, revealing Äs' gaunt torso. His eyes are completely rolled up, and his forearms are covered in a black substance.
- The Fear (Enhanced): In this form, Äs' The Fear ability is greatly enhanced. Rather than inducing fear by grazing his opponent with his thorns, Äs simply has to be seen by his opponent in order for them to feel fear because the fear penetrates them through their optic nerve. As an extension of this, Äs can create a dome around himself and his opponent covered with innumerable big eyes with the iris tilted up, preventing them from ever escaping his gaze, in order to keep them constantly feeling fear. One glance is enough to induce the limitless fear, as closing one's eyes afterwards is useless, since fear remains within one's memories and mind.
- Transformation: At will, Äs can cause the stitching down the front of his body to burst open, exposing an immense face of his own likeness. As his body absorbs the numerous eyes created by his Fear ability, this larger version of himself tears its way out of his body and grows to massive proportions. In this form Äs' ribcage is exposed, and his lower torso consists of a tentacled mass instead of legs. His face is severely deformed, some teeth are missing, its skin sagging and his eyeballs melting out of their sockets. The tattered remains of Äs' upper body hang down from his chin.
Indomitable Will: With high levels of willpower an opponent can be capable of overcoming fear.
Death State: The Fear has no effect on those who have bodies that are in a deathly state. This coincides that only those with "living" bodies meeting the standard requirement of the term are capable of being immune.
- In the second best bout poll, Äs's fight with Rukia Kuchiki ranked 3rd, his fight with Byakuya Kuchiki ranked 41st, and his fight with Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto ranked 77th.
- (To Byakuya Kuchiki) "Fear can be overcome through experience. Those who know battle often come to believe this. 'Fear that comes from reason' is kind. It can be conquered through force of will or through experience. It is possible to suppress such reasoned fear by severing it at its source. But true fear is without reason. It is not an emotion, but an instinct. True fear occurs without reason, without bounds. It is like a swarm of insects crawling up the body. We cannot escape from our instincts."
- (To Rukia Kuchiki) "All human beings have things that cause them to feel comfort, and things that cause them to feel fear. When they enter a place that causes them comfort, if questioned as to why they feel comfortable there, they cannot form a clear answer, merely saying things such as 'because I do'. But when they enter a place that causes them fear, even the dullest of fools can identify the causes of that fear. Darkness, cold, height, confinement, pain, contamination. People can list any number of reasons to be afraid. This is because at the most fundamental level, 'comfort' leads to 'life', whilst 'fear' leads to 'death'. While people cannot give a clear answer why they want to live, they can give any number of answers why they do not wish to die. This does not only apply to sentient beings with emotions. It is in the nature of all life to avoid death, and therefore, to avoid 'fear'. All living beings go through life for the purpose of evading fear. It is to better escape fear that they train themselves. It is to better escape fear that they grow and evolve. Thus, it is impossible to be unaffected by fear as long as you are alive."
- "Fear. The power of fear. Is this the power of fear? NO. This is not fear. This does not even approach fear. My only fear is to be rebuked by His Majesty! To be rebuked by His Majesty and have all of this body taken from me! Compared to such terror, mere battle can hold no fear, no pain, nothing!"
- (To Byakuya Kuchiki) "I will not kill you. I will not kill you. I will not kill you! Under no circumstances will I bring about your death! I will not allow you to lose consciousness or even your sanity! I will submerge you in an ocean of pain and fear, and cause you to live out an eternity wishing for the bliss of death!"
- (While in the hospital) "I'm not dead yet. Breathing is such a painful act. To think that it is impossible to live without suffering this pain constantly... Life is such an inconvenient state. I was taught that after death, we either go to heaven or to hell. Perhaps in heaven, it is not painful to breathe. Perhaps in heaven, my body and my head would not ache so. That would be nice. And hell...is there even more pain there than I am feeling right now? If so, that's a little frightening. I don’t want to go there. I'm scared. I'm afraid. I don't want to go to hell."
- (Dying thoughts) "Your Majesty... I'm scared. Am I going to die? Will I go to hell? Forgive me, Your Majesty. Don't be angry. I'm scared. I don't want any more pain. I'm scared of the pain. I'm scared, so scared, so scared, so scared, so scared, so scared, so afraid. So afr-"
Battles & Events
|Fall of the Seireitei||Chapter 495, 496, 497, 501, 502, 506||None|
|Rise of Uryū Ishida||Chapter 544||None|
|Äs vs. Byakuya Kuchiki||Chapter 495, 496, 497, 501, 502||None||Win|
|Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto vs. Royd Lloyd||Chapter 506||None||Incapacitated|
|Äs vs. Rukia Kuchiki||Chapter 566, 567, 568, 569, 570||None||Loss|
- Bleach manga; Chapter 495, page 8
- Bleach Volume 57; Chapter 501, end-of-chapter sketch
- Bleach manga; Chapter 496, page 5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 494, page 16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 495, page 14
- Bleach manga; chapter 568, page 8
- Bleach manga; chapter 566, page 11
- Bleach manga; chapter 567, page 13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 13-14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 502, pages 11-12
- Bleach manga; chapter, 566, pages 11-12
- Bleach manga; chapter 566, pages 18-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 569, page 2
- Bleach manga; Chapter 570, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, pages 3-5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 570, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 490, pages 1-3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 494, pages 16-19
- Bleach manga; Chapter 495, pages 7-10
- Bleach manga; Chapter 495, pages 15-18
- Bleach manga; Chapter 496, pages 4-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 4-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 502, pages 1-15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 506, pages 4-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 543, page 4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 554, page 6
- Bleach manga, Chapter 566, pages 8-17
- Bleach manga, Chapter 567, pages 1-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, pages 1-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 569, pages 1-10 & 12-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 570, pages 3-4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 496, pages 14-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 15-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 552, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 554, page 4
- Bleach manga; Chapter 554, page 16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 8-14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 566, pages 16-17
- Bleach manga; Chapter 567, page 6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 49, page 3
- Bleach manga; Chapter 547, page 11
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, page 9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 495, page 15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 496, pages 6-7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, pages 4-6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 499, page 5
- Bleach manga; Chapter 502, page 14
- Bleach manga; Chapter 566, page 8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 501, page 12
- Bleach manga; Chapter 495, pages 7-8
- Bleach manga; chapter 566, pages 15-16
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, pages 6-7
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, pages 10-15
- Bleach manga; Chapter 569, page 9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 569, page 13
- Bleach manga; Chapter 501, pages 8-9
- Bleach manga; Chapter 567, pages 9-14
- 13 BLADEs., page 255
- Bleach manga; Chapter 567, pages 7-8
- Bleach manga; Chapter 568, pages 2-6
- Bleach manga; Chapter 569, page 9
- Bleach' manga; Chapter 570, pages 1-2
- Bleach manga; Chapter 570, pages 3-4
|Members||A: Yhwach (Sovereign) • Argola • Hubert • Zeidritz • Arrancar: Asguiaro Ebern • Luders Friegen Artificial creation: Guenael Lee|
|Schutzstaffel||A: Uryū Ishida • C: Pernida Parnkgjas • D: Askin Nakk Le Vaar • M: Gerard Valkyrie • X: Lille Barro|
|Sternritter||B: Jugram Haschwalth • E: Bambietta Basterbine • F: Äs Nödt • G: Liltotto Lamperd • H: Bazz-B • I: Cang Du • J: Quilge Opie • K: BG9 • L: PePe Waccabrada • N: Robert Accutrone • O: Driscoll Berci • P: Meninas McAllon • Q: Berenice Gabrielli • R: Jerome Guizbatt • S: Mask De Masculine • T: Candice Catnipp • U: NaNaNa Najahkoop • V: Gremmy Thoumeaux • W: Nianzol Weizol • Y: Loyd Lloyd • Y: Royd Lloyd • Z: Giselle Gewelle • ?: Shaz Domino|
|Related||Wandenreich • Jagdarmee • Sternritter • Quincy • Arrancar|