The Sternritter is a group of villains in the final arc of the Bleach manga. Possessing powers and skills either equal to or greater than a Captain-level Shinigami, they’re a force to reckon with. They were specially created by Yhwach himself, a millennium ago to enable a successful invasion of Soul Society.
Within a short span of time, they were able to wipe off many Shinigami and ensure the complete invasion of Soul Society. So, let’s try to understand what made them have such a powerful edge over the Shinigami. Also, let’s look into how their organization is structured.
The Structure of The Sternritter
The Sternritter got their unique powers from having consumed Yhwach’s blood, which allowed him to carve a small part of his soul into them. This allows them to get a special ability, which is summarised by a letter. For example, Äs Nödt, the Quincy who fought Byakuya Kuchiki, has the letter F for “The Fear”.
The Sternritter are a highly organized group that works together efficiently. They have a Grandmaster called Jugram Haschwalth, who acts as the right-hand man of Yhwach. Another four members of the Sternritter, Lille Barro, Gerald Valkyrie, Askin Nakk Le Vaar, and Pernida Parnkgjas constitue Yhwach‘s Schutzstaffel.
The Sternritter have unwavering loyalty towards each other, as proven by their law not allowing fellow members to fight each other.
Their Bankai-stealing Medallion
During the initial phase of the invasion, the Sternritter were granted a medallion, which could steal Shinigami captains‘ Bankai. This medallion is a round circular device, approximately the size of a palm, which has the Wandenreich insignia. This has been used by multiple Sternritter in stealing the Bankais of Byakuya Kuchiki, Toshiro Hitsugaya, and Soi Fon.
Byakuya suffered life-threatening injuries after the Sternritter, Äs Nödt used Senbonzakura Kageyoshi against Byakuya. This medallion allows for the Bankai to be used in battle even after the owner passes away. However, there is proof that the Sternritter are unable to use it fully because they don’t have the required training.