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Quincy Race Info

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on Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:09 pm

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The Quincy are a line of spiritually aware human warriors. Originally a mixture of survivors of Hollow attacks and those who had lost loved ones to Hollows, the Quincy developed a variety of supernatural powers to hunt and kill Hollows before they attacked humans (and to destroy those who already had), including the ability to control Spiritual Energy. The Quincy are unique as far as races go in Bleach, because unlike the Hollow or Shinigami, Quincy are still technically human and reside in the world of the living. The Quincy are nearly extinct due to extermination by the Shinigami about 200 years before the main Bleach story-line. At present, the only known living Quincy are Uryū Ishida and his father, Ryūken Ishida

Unlike the Shinigami, who use a sword as their primary weapon, the Quincy's weapon of choice is a bow. It is constructed from spiritual particles drawn from their surroundings, also unlike the Shinigami, who rely on their own innate spiritual energy (as a reflection of this, Quincies have white spirit threads like normal humans, while Shinigami have red spirit threads.) Flashbacks in the anime show earlier Quincy using longbows or crossbows and firing spiritual arrows from them. Quincy bows are summoned using an artifact called a Quincy Cross. The only limit to a Quincy's ability to create and fire arrows is their own stamina and ability to absorb ambient spirit particles. Quincies also have various tools and battle aides that can increase their power or serve as secondary weapons.

Another contrast between the Shinigami and the Quincy are their methods. While Shinigami purify Hollows, thus preserving the balance of souls between the two worlds, the Quincy destroy hollows, former soul and all. In doing so, the balance between the worlds is slowly tipped towards one side, endangering both worlds. This danger led to a Quincy-Shinigami war, which ended in victory for the Shinigami and the deaths of many Quincy. The Quincy line was closely monitored over the decades, as their numbers continued to dwindle. Later Quincy advanced the idea that since they were already among the living and still more numerous at the time, they could act as "first responders" to Hollow attacks, protecting humans until the less-numerous Shinigami could send a representative to finish the Hollow off. Embittered by the recent war, the Shinigami refused to participate, opting instead to allocate their limited resources to reacting to the most dangerous hollows and current Hollow attacks. This caused great enmity towards Shinigami by Uryū Ishida, Ichigo's classmate and a Quincy, whose grandfather (the last advocate of the Quincy plan) had been slain by a team of Hollows before the Shinigami could arrive.

The final point of contrast between Quincy and Shinigami is their respective choice of uniform. While the Shinigami wear traditional, black, flowing hakama, the Quincy wear white, form-fitting, high-collared tunics. These bear some resemblance both to Mandarin Chinese dress and to the cassocks of Catholic priests. This gives the Quincy a distinctly "foreign" or "Western" style compared with the Shinigami. One peculiar recurring motif of Quincy is that of a cross, which appears frequently on their uniforms and artifacts. The cross is not the same shape among all Quincy (e.g. Uryū uses a Celtic cross, while Ryūken uses a pentacle). There is also a six-pointed cross that appears on the back of Uryū's Quincy tunic. While the differences between Quincy and Shinigami in costume and iconography are minor compared to the differences in weaponry and ideology, a few chapter cover images have exploited the black/white contrast to create a yin-yang motif, most notably chapter 189, "Resolve".


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