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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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