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Schutzstaffel
Ep390SchutzstaffelAppears
Kanji 親衛隊 (シュッツシュタッフェル)
Romaji Shuttsushutafferu
Organization
Founder(s) Yhwach
Headquarters Silbern, Wahrwelt
Leader(s) Lille Barro[1]
Other Members Gerard Valkyrie, Pernida Parnkgjas, Askin Nakk Le Vaar (promoted),[2] Uryū Ishida (newest appointee)[3]
Affiliation Sternritter, Wandenreich
Purpose Protecting Yhwach, defeating the Royal Guard[2] & later crushing all remaining enemies in Wahrwelt[4][3]

The Schutzstaffel (親衛隊 (シュッツシュタッフェル), Shuttsushutafferu; German for "Protective Echelon/Squadron", Japanese for "Elite/Imperial Guards")[5] are Yhwach's elite personal guard, comprised of the strongest Sternritter of the Wandenreich.[2][3]

Overview[]

When the Schutzstaffel was formed is unknown. While Yhwach founded the Sternritter order as a whole 1,000+ years ago in preparation for the Lichtreich's invasion of Soul Society,[6] if the Schutzstaffel already existed by then or played a role during said invasion is unclear; at least some time prior to 1,000 years ago, Yhwach already had a coterie of Quincy bodyguards serving him, at least three of whom participated in (but did not survive) the invasion.[7]

Among the present-day Sternritter, the five (originally three) strongest and most elite ones form the Schutzstaffel: Yhwach's elite guard (親衛隊 (しんえいたい), Shin'eitai).[8] Thus, they enjoy the most elevated status among Yhwach's army, first displayed when they were permitted to stand at Yhwach's side during his public naming of Uryū Ishida as his successor;[9] the Schutzstaffel also do not attend meetings with the lower-ranking Sternritter.[10] Though Jugram Haschwalth appears to outrank the elite guard as the Sternritter Grandmaster and stands closest to Yhwach as his second-in-command, adviser, and "other half",[11] he never explicitly issues orders to the Schutzstaffel, who answer directly to Yhwach, nor was Haschwalth aware of their every action in Wahrwelt.[3]

Sternritter "X", Lille Barro, is the Leader (リーダー, Rīdā) of the Schutzstaffel; as the first Sternritter ever bestowed a Schrift by Yhwach, his status is uncontested.[12][1] The other two pre-established Schutzstaffel members are Sternritter "M" Gerard Valkyrie and Sternritter "C" Pernida Parnkgjas, the Soul King's heart and left arm respectively.[13][14] While Pernida came into Yhwach's service 1,000+ years ago, before the Lichtreich's fall,[7] when and how Gerard came to follow Yhwach is unknown. Out of all the Sternritter, Gerard and Pernida are the only Quincy whom Yhwach never gave power via a proper Schrift, instead assigning them letters in recognition of abilities that they have innately held since they came into existence. Thus, rumors as to Gerard's and Pernida's true identities were always abound among lower-ranked Sternritter,[14] yet both of them, despite their status as incarnated parts of the Soul King, have firmly self-identified as Quincy.[15][16]

Lille, Gerard, and Pernida were not seen participating in either the first or second invasion of the Seireitei. In preparation for Yhwach's assault on the Soul King Palace and the battle against the Royal Guard in which the Schutzstaffel were to aid him, Sternritter "D" Askin Nakk Le Vaar was selected as the fourth Schutzstaffel member, being the sole Sternritter promoted from among the lower ranks[17][18] and thus spared from Yhwach's eventual second Auswählen, which stripped all Sternritter left in the Seireitei of their power in order to revive and power up the Schutzstaffel during their battle against the Royal Guard.[19][20] Following the Royal Guard's defeat by the Schutzstaffel, Yhwach's absorption of the Soul King, and the formation of Wahrwelt, Uryū as Sternritter "A" was accepted as the Schutzstaffel's fifth and final member at Yhwach's behest.[3]

As with some lower-ranking Sternritter, there appears to be a sense of mutual respect and camaraderie present among the Schutzstaffel, with the original members seeming to share a history together in their service to Yhwach.[21] As the only Sternritter "brought up from below", Askin stated that he was going to have to make a good showing to earn respect, with Gerard agreeing and promising to personally cut him down if he fell behind in battle.[22] At the same time, Gerard was willing to aid fellow Schutzstaffel member Pernida when it was in danger of falling off the Soul King Palace,[23] gleefully acknowledged Uryū as part of their group when the latter explained his method of protecting Yhwach,[24] and was also not above berating his leader Lille or teasing him about his abilities failing.[25] Lille, in turn, seems to acknowledge Gerard's strength and so was shocked at the sight of him being defeated by Ōetsu Nimaiya with a single sword stroke.[26]

Like the lower-ranking Sternritter, the Schutzstaffel (save Uryū) are loyal to their emperor Yhwach and hold him in high regard. Due to their status as Yhwach's elite guards, they take great pride as his closest followers, even referring him as "God".[27][28] However, similarly again to lesser Sternritter, the Schutzstaffel members differ in their degree of loyalty and zealotry; the leader Lille is the first Sternritter to receive a Schrift and consequently believes he is the closest to Yhwach, holding great confidence in his power and telling Senjumaru Shutara that the Soul King Palace was doomed as soon as he arrived.[29][30] Gerard holds Yhwach in similarly high regard, as he loudly berated Lille for killing and leaving Senjumaru's corpse in Yhwach's path and ordered him to clear it up immediately, and believes it would take an army to stop him.[31][32] When Yoruichi Shihōin was attacking Yhwach, Pernida appeared instantly on Yhwach's command and warped Yoruichi's arm with The Compulsory.[33] Askin's loyalty seems comparatively less fanatic, as he explained to Kisuke Urahara that he follows Yhwach due to knowing that he would be one of very few people to change the world and wanting to see the kind of world he would create.[34] The only Schutzstaffel who never was loyal to Yhwach was Uryū, due to the Quincy King being responsible for the death of his mother, hence Uryū joining the Wandenreich in order to get close and find a way to kill him.[35]

As with the rest of his followers, Yhwach sees even the Schutzstaffel as expendable, ultimately proven once he successfully absorbed Ichigo Kurosaki's Quincy and Hollow powers, where he proceeded to use Auswählen for a third time on the sole surviving Schutzstaffel member Gerard (Uryū was spared due to his immunity to Auswählen) to strip him of his power and life, declaring that he had no further use for any of his subordinates.[36]

Hooded Coat

The Hooded Coat.

The Schutzstaffel members all started out wearing a distinctive Hooded Coat (フーデッドコート, Fūdeddo Kōto)[37] over their uniforms; this white, ankle-length, sleeveless cloak is fastened at the front with three buttons bearing the Wandenreich insignia and features a large, red Hagal rune on the left side.[38]

Members[]

Schutzstaffel
Letter & Epithet Name Unique Ability Quincy: Vollständig Special Status
A: Antithesis[39] Uryū Ishida (defected) Event Reversal Unknown Crown Prince[40]
C: The Compulsory[41]
(False Schrift)[14]
Pernida Parnkgjas Evolution Governance & Auto-Nerve Manipulation Unknown Unknown
D: The Deathdealing[41] Askin Nakk Le Vaar Lethal Dose Control Hasshein[42] Unknown
M: The Miracle[43]
(False Schrift)[14]
Gerard Valkyrie Miracle Manifestation via Probability Manipulation Aschetonig[44] Unknown
X: The X-Axis[43] Lille Barro Spatial Piercing & Spatial Phasing Jilliel[45] Schutzstaffel Leader[1]

Trivia[]

  • The Schutzstaffel (SS, German for "Protective Echelon/Squadron", Shin'eitai (親衛隊) in Japanese) was a paramilitary under Germany's Nazi Party, originally founded by Hitler in April 1925 as a personal guard unit and later, under Heinrich Himmler's leadership, expanded into an elite national corps that was active throughout German-occupied Europe during WWII. This fits into the Wandenreich's overarching German motif.
  • According to Tite Kubo, the Schutzstaffel's motif is "war" across different eras: ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary (古代・中世・近代・現代の各時代の「戦争」, kodai, chūsei, kindai, gendai no kaku jidai no "sensō").[46] While Kubo has not specified which Schutzstaffel member embodies which era, based on their ways of fighting one might extrapolate as follows:
    • Pernida Parnkgjas — represents the ancient era, i.e. fighting with one's bare hands.
    • Gerard Valkyrie — represents medieval sword-and-shield combat.
    • Lille Barro — represents modern warfare with firearms, since the gunpowder revolution.
    • Askin Nakk Le Vaar — represents contemporary chemical warfare (i.e. poison).
Ep380SternritterAssembleYhwach

The Schutzstaffel seen standing beside Yhwach.

  • In the manga, the Schutzstaffel's existence is first alluded to by Askin wondering if he will have the luck to be "chosen" while watching Yhwach prepare to ascend to the Soul King Palace,[17] with the group's proper introduction coming once Yhwach summons them to the palace via his shadow.[2] In the anime, the group (then only Lille, Gerard, and Pernida) are introduced much earlier following the Wandenreich's first invasion of Soul Society, standing beside Yhwach on a stage as the latter makes his announcement that Uryū is to become his successor.[9]
  • All four Schutzstaffel members (beside Uryū) have proven themselves immortal and/or nigh-unkillable one way or another:
    • Askin has alluded to his innate inability to die from normally fatal injuries,[47] even surviving the loss of his heart for some time.[48] His The Deathdealing allows him to acquire immunity to abilities, even to someone's Reiatsu itself, making it all but impossible to kill him in a fight if he is given enough time to adapt to his enemies' powers.[49][50]
    • Pernida, being able to regenerate, managed to reform itself even after its entire body had been blown to pieces.[51]
    • Lille has claimed that no weapon in the world can kill him as long as he renders himself intangible via The X-Axis.[52] Eventually, he survived even Shunsui Kyōraku's Bankai, losing his head while in his Vollständig form yet recovering,[53][54] and was ultimately defeated only upon having his godlike power reflected back onto him, which destroyed most of his body yet still failed to end his life.[55][56]
    • With The Miracle, Gerard can convert all physical damage he sustains into increases of his size and strength, allowing him to even revive upon being killed.[57][58][59][60]
  • In Ryōgo Narita's novel Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World, Haschwalth's aide confirmed the deaths of the entire Schutzstaffel (minus Uryū)[61] at the end of the war, with the confirmation of Lille's weakened form being eliminated during his confrontation with Izuru Kira.[62]

  • In his comments from Sep. 25 on his fansite "Klub Outside" (about Ep. 24–26 of the final arc), Kubo mentioned that he personally added a new character to the elite guard (親衛隊), indicating that Yhwach's bodyguards seen during his meeting with Ichibē Hyōsube 1,000+ years ago were indeed the precursor to the current Schutzstaffel.[63]

  • References[]

    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bleach manga; Chapter 656, page 3
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Bleach manga; Chapter 599, pages 5-10
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Bleach manga; Chapter 630, pages 6-8
    4. Bleach manga; Chapter 629, pages 1-2
    5. Bleach manga; Chapter 620, page 8
    6. Bleach manga; Chapter 631, pages 16-17
    7. 7.0 7.1 Bleach anime; Episode 390
    8. Bleach manga; Chapter 599, page 6
    9. 9.0 9.1 Bleach anime; Episode 380
    10. Bleach anime; Episode 381
    11. Bleach manga; Chapter 626, pages 7-16
    12. Bleach manga; Chapter 646, page 14
    13. Bleach manga; Chapter 637, page 9
    14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Bleach manga; Chapter 656, pages 3-4
    15. Bleach manga; Chapter 640, pages 8-11
    16. Bleach manga; Chapter 668, page 15
    17. 17.0 17.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 582, page 17
    18. Bleach manga; Chapter 599, pages 9-10
    19. Bleach manga; Chapter 603, pages 13-17
    20. Bleach manga; Chapter 604, pages 1-9
    21. Bleach manga; Chapter 600, pages 3-4
    22. Bleach manga; Chapter 599, page 10
    23. Bleach manga; Chapter 620, page 7
    24. Bleach manga; Chapter 620, page 12
    25. Bleach manga; Chapter 600, pages 2 & 14
    26. Bleach manga; Chapter 601, page 9
    27. Bleach manga; Chapter 646, page 14
    28. Bleach manga; Chapter 670, page 11
    29. Bleach manga; Chapter 646, page 14
    30. Bleach manga; Chapter 599, pages 15-17
    31. Bleach manga; Chapter 600, page 2
    32. Bleach manga; Chapter 620, pages 7-8
    33. Bleach manga; Chapter 619 pages 12-13
    34. # Bleach manga; Chapter 664, pages 8-10
    35. Bleach manga; Chapter 565, page 13
    36. Bleach manga; Chapter 680, pages 13-16
    37. Bleach manga; Volume 66, page 150
    38. Bleach Official Digital Colored Edition; Chapter 599, pages 6-7
    39. Bleach manga; Chapter 679, page 8
    40. Bleach manga; Chapter 543, pages 2-6
    41. 41.0 41.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 599, page 9
    42. Bleach manga; Chapter 663, page 17
    43. 43.0 43.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 599, page 8
    44. Bleach manga; Chapter 670, page 11
    45. Bleach manga; Chapter 646, page 16
    46. Bleach manga; Volume 73, author's notes
    47. Bleach manga; Chapter 601, page 19
    48. Bleach manga; Chapter 666, pages 2-6
    49. Bleach manga; Chapter 658, pages 1-2
    50. Bleach manga; Chapter 662, page 2
    51. Bleach manga; Chapter 643, pages 4, 11
    52. Bleach manga; Chapter 646, page 13
    53. Bleach manga; Chapter 649, pages 12-17
    54. Bleach manga; Chapter 650, pages 1-2
    55. Bleach manga; Chapter 653, pages 15-17
    56. Bleach manga; Chapter 654, pages 6-11
    57. Bleach manga; Chapter 655, pages 3-11
    58. Bleach manga; Chapter 668, page 2
    59. Bleach manga; Chapter 670, pages 1-7
    60. Bleach manga; Chapter 672, pages 1-6
    61. Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World I, Chapter 3
    62. Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World I, Prologue The Second
    63. Klub Outside official site

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