Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War – Episode 02

In Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War – Episode 02, “Foundation Stones,” we get a brief glimpse into Yhwach’s personality. At the end of the last episode, Yhwach severed Luders Friegen’s right arm for bickering in his presence. Luders is understandably in pain. He’s lying down on the floor when Yhwach tells him that he “does not need to strain himself by attempting to sit up.” At first Luders is pleased but Yhwach claims that if he doesn’t need to stand he doesn’t need legs. Yhwach doesn’t have much sympathy for his subjects and are largely just tools for him. They seem to tolerate his brutality but they don’t have a choice.

In Karakura Town, Yuki allows Shino, Orihime, Sado, and Ishida listen to the urgent message from 12th Division 3rd Seat Akon. He explains the events from the previous episode, specifically the deaths of 116 people, one Shinigami, and Lieutenant Chojiro Sasakibe. Yuki and Shino are horrified that anyone could bypass Soul Societies defenses and kill Sasakibe. The next day, Ichigo is patrolling when he encounters Nel Tu. She tells him that “something terrible has happened in Hueco Mundo.” It turns out Yhwach and his Wandenreich invaded Hueco Mundo. It’s revealed that Tier Harribel ruled Hueco Mundo and was defeat by the Wandenreich and is now a prisoner of Yhwach.

Battle in Hueco Mundo

Of course Nel doesn’t need to ask Ichigo for aid he’s eager to help. However, Uryu isn’t allowed to help Arrancar and Hollows. Ichigo head to Hueco Mundo with Kisuke Urahara, Orhime, Sado, Pesche, and Nel Tu. They arrive and witness burning sands filled with bodies of Arrancar. The head of the hunting party the Jagdarmee, Quilge Opie, announces a selection competition for the captured Arrancar. The competition will determine which of them live or die. Opie will stab each Arrancar and for them to beg for their lives. By having the Wandenreich attack and oppress the Arrancar (former villains) Tite Kubo shows how evil and deprave they are.

Arrancar villains from the past appear and attack Opie. Loly Aivirrne, Menoly Mallia, and Harribel’s three Fraccion, Emilou Apacci, Franceska Mila Rose, and Cyan Sung-Sun. Loy and Menoly are quickly dispatched but the three Fraccion put up a greater fight. After defeating some Jagdarmee, the turn their efforts one Opie himself. He tells them to surrender and join Yhwach if they want “happiness.” They predictably refuse. Opie dominates the three Fraccion off scene shocking Ichigo.

As the combatants prepare for war, the Wandenreich show themselves to be a brutal occupying force. Do you think they are worst than Aizen and the Arrancar? Are they too cartoonishly evil? How do you feel about Yhwach?

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Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War – Episode 01

Bleach was a member of the Big 3, the top three manga Shonen series along with Naruto and One Piece. Personally, I didn’t care for Bleach (at least initially) and when I tried to read the manga the first time I hated Tite Kubo’s art style. After seeing Bleach consistently on top of sales charts and some art specifically around the 22nd volume, I decided to give the series another go. I wasn’t disappointed. I will admit however, that the Thousand Year Blood War Arc was a let down (I’ll explain why later in the season).

The Bleach anime however was underwhelming. The animation wasn’t that great (except for a number of episodes) and there were too many fillers arcs. I often watched the episode only after seeing the quality of animation. Despite this I was excited for the return of the Bleach anime. Hopefully, the quality of animation is consistent and high. I wonder if the series will expand on the fights or even add content especially regarding some of the characters Bankai reveals. Either way I’m going to give Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War anime a chance.

Reintroducing Bleach

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War episode 01 reintroduces us to the Bleach world and the main characters. This arc will cover the invasion of Soul Society by the Wandenreich, a Quincy empire lead by the tyrant, Yhwach. 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi asks 3rd Seat, Akon, the status of the Shutara Scale. Hollows have begun to disappear at high rates cause alarm. If this continues the boundaries between the Human World and Soul Society will collapse. Mayuri is certain that the Quincies are the only ones capable of such a feat.

In the Human World, two Shinigami, Ryunosuke Yuki and Shino Madarame begin the patrol. There purpose in this story is to remind us what Shinigami’s do and to be used as fodder to show off the power of Orihime Inoue, Ichigo Kurosaki, Uryu Ishida, and Sado. Yuki and Shino separate. The former encounters a Hollow and leads it on a chase throughout Karakura Town. He frantically calls Shino until he witness her being held bloodied and unconscious by a massive hollow. He hesitates to act and is quickly knocked out by the hollow that was chasing him.

Ichigo to the rescue

Ichigo and his friends each get to show their abilities. Orihime saves both Yuki and Shino with her Soten Kisshun. Yasutora Sado uses his Fullbring, Brazo Izquierda del Diablo to destroy several hollows, Uryu blows half of them up with his Licht Regen, and finally Ichigo activates his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, and wipes out the rest with Getsuga Tensho. Later Ichigo encounters the Quincy, Ebern, who provokes him into using his Bankai. Ebern becomes excited and attempts to steal his Bankai. He’s shocked that it didn’t work.

In Soul Society, Yumichika Ayasegawa and Ikkaku Madarame investigate the disappearances that occurred in the 64th district. They’re not sure what happened but Madarame suggests they “abducted each other.” Elsewhere, Captain Commander Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto encounters seven masked Quincies who public declares war. Yamamoto isn’t concerned but his lieutenant, Chojiro Sasakibe is impaled to the wall by a Reishi javelin. This seems to anger Yamamoto who attacks the intruders. However, the Quincy escape in the shadows. Chojiro wasn’t a character of much significance in the Bleach series so his death didn’t really matter to me.

If you read the manga like I have then there’s nothing new in this episode. That said, the animation so far is impressive. Like My Hero Academia, I think starting a season with action is a good way to start. I didn’t mind the slower start from Mob Psycho 100 but I’d admit I prefer action. So did you like Bleach before? What did you think of the Thousand Year Blood War?

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