First Impression: Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

Something wicked this way comes…and it’s not the Hollows. No, in fact, this new threat is exterminating Hollows, much to the chagrin of the Soul Reapers at the Shinigami Research Institute, though as Kurotsuchi walks through the halls, looking a bit like angel arriving at NERV headquarters (matching the font used for this new arc!), he seems to know precisely what they’re dealing with. Meanwhile, in Karakura Town, Squad 13 officers Shino and Ryuonosuke are newly assigned and immediately encounter a huge group of strong Hollows, though, you know, there may be several powerful humans around to assist, accompanied by the usual kickin’ soundtrack. Don’t remember them? Don’t worry, pauses in the action are just long enough to reveal profile cards for each. It’s almost as if we haven’t seen these guys in ten years. But hey, Hollows are nothin’. What we viewers need is an enemy to pop up who’s really strong, and not only will one come to test Ichigo (though really he’s there for someone else), Soul Society itself will come under attack! But not for five days! These masked Wandernreich seem to be really nice that way, giving a full work week before the battle (though Sasakibe probably doesn’t think they’re so nice). Also, here’s a tip to all the Soul Reapers, true or substitute, as you prep—keep your bankai hidden. Keep it secret. You probably should carefully guard your limbs, too, because the big baddie seems to be in a foul mood after 900 years without a pulse, though he does look pretty regal up there on his throne. I am the Quincy King! (Hey, it is Nightmare Before Christmas season now, after all!) – Twwk

Bleach was one of the first shonen anime I ever watched, starting years ago with some friends. We would gush over the episodes, what happened, and the characters, and predicting what was to come. Once the announcement was made that this new season would cover the final arc of the manga, I couldn’t have been more excited to enter again into the world of Kurosaki Ichigo and his crew. As Twwk already mentioned, this episode pushes the series forward without taking a breath, except when Ichigo gets to have some bread for a moment before another fight begins. The art style pushes further than in the previous seasons, as it appears more detailed and mature, making the threats more real and dangerous than before. It seems that bringing in Tomohisa Taguchi (Akudama Drive, the upcoming The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes) to direct was a good choice. I was on the edge of my seat, rooting for the heroes while jamming to the old theme of Number One which always played during epic battles in previous arcs. There’s new life now in an anime that had left many viewers with a bad taste from the previous series’ final episodes (which were all filler). With what seems to be a glorious war on the horizon, things may turn out better this time. You can definitely catch me every week watching the newest episode. I’m all in and I hope that whether you’re a longtime fan or are new to Bleach, you come along for the ride too! – Samuru

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is streaming on Hulu.


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