Score: A-

Bleach is back once more! While the wait wasn’t impossibly long, I am glad to be able to get right back into this story. The episode certainly ends on one extreme note, although it wasn’t completely impossible to predict. The Quincy weren’t just going to sit around and let the other side go through a prolonged training arc. Regardless of what’s going on with Ishida, the Quincy simply had the absolute advantage here. It’s only smart to take advantage of that and try to finish things. It will be a good test though for the Soul Reapers who already have suffered catastrophic losses and likely just aren’t ready for this. I don’t even know what to say about the opening sequence. I guess that was the creation of Yhwach? No wonder he’s ridiculously strong if so many people poured their power into him.

Really leaning on shirtless Ichigo here

We didn’t get much of a look at what is going on with Ichigo so I can’t imagine he’s going to be participating in this current fight. His training is just getting started after all. I’m guessing he’s getting stronger partly by just being in that space considering what they showed of Renji and Rukia. But who knows. It sounds like the powering up Ichigo needs is to his pure physical ability and not so much about using his new swords. Honestly, I’d really like to see what those swords can do, but I guess that’ll have to wait.

I can appreciate what the show is going for. While Ichigo is getting powered up, so is Ishida. I can’t imagine taking in the blood of Yhwach is a good thing long term. There’s got to be some serious health issues there. But Ishida did end up getting whatever powerup the letter “A” is going to provide. Honestly if Ishida is pulling a long-term plan here that’s a decent gain for putting himself good and close to Yhwach. It’s not really clear what powers either are gaining through their respective situations, but I guess we’ll find out. We’ll probably find out sooner from Ishida considering he’s in the middle of a fight here, but Ichigo might take a while longer unless he bails on the training.

What is Ishida thinking?

It’s not outside of the realm of possibility that Ishida has been lured in. I just can’t say that with much confidence. Ishida just has better standards than that. And he knows Yhwach is responsible for his mother’s death. He just doesn’t have enough personal hatred for all Soul Reapers to sign up to work with the person he should also have deep hatred for. I’m sure he’d love to go and kill Mayuri, but that’s about as far as it goes for him. I just can’t see any real motive for Ishida to be doing all this. Being power hungry isn’t quite his thing either.

The more interesting thing is why Yhwach designated Ishida as his heir and is treating him special. I suppose it is fair to say it’s surprising that Ishida survived the process that ended up killing his mother. Of course, there are elements that I need to process. He says that Ishida surviving the Auswählen is why he’s considered special. So, his mother (and Ichigo’s mother) were considered impure due to their heritage or situations. I’m guessing Ishida’s father and grandfather weren’t killed due to being considered pure Quincy so they were left be. Uryuu wouldn’t have been considered pure so should have died during that. But he didn’t. Now is that because he’s special or did his family do something that managed to save him? I guess in the end will treat Ishida special unless he proves not to be.

What is wrong with this girl!?

No shock that the whole Quincy army is a bit shaken up by this guy walking in and getting awarded the title of successor. I do wonder who these people really are. Were they all hidden away in this place and they’ve basically built up a colony of Quincy? They’ve just sat around in that space for a thousand years waiting for Yhwach to revive? That place must have one weird society at this point. Regardless though these people aren’t exactly all eager to follow someone who just showed up. Though I’m sure Ishida will earn his place and force these guys to respect him in time. Though that won’t exactly settle the crazy that is clearly mixed into this group. I mean geeze, that Bambietta girl is nuts. Killing her own allies for stress relief?

Although I’d love to remind Yhwach that Ishida isn’t exactly the only Quincy on Earth considering his father isn’t dead. I mean sure on technicalities he doesn’t call himself one, but he can fight. Ishida and everyone else love calling him the last Quincy, but that title is both inaccurate and kind of silly.

I’m surprised they were informed about this

There’s a lot going on, but I do kind of like the concept being thrown out there that the nature of Ichigo’s growing power might become a problem. Him becoming crazy powerful is what they need so that’s not a big deal in and of itself. But the issue is that Ichigo’s power might change in a way that spending time in the real world would harm it. And even suppressing it might not help enough to allow him to live on Earth. That’d be a painful cost of victory if they go that way. But I’d certainly hope they don’t do that. While Ichigo can live just fine in Soul Society (certainly could be made a Captain if he wanted it), it would mean giving up on his real-world life for good. I’m sure those Soul Society tickets will come in handy, but hopefully not for their intended purpose.

This OP has style

I don’t often talk about OPs anymore, but this one was interesting. It did capture the kind of style Bleach has run with over the years in terms of visual impact. The characters are all running around in different outfits and the tone is a bit silly at points. But I think it does tell us a lot about what’s going to happen. We’re getting an Ichigo vs Ishida battle. That’s got to happen. But you have Ichigo probably trying to stop Ishida from going with Yhwach any further, Bazz-B might be fighting Toshiro, Bambietta might get a matchup against Shinji, etc. If they do go with those fights then that would be entertaining. The song was good too I thought.

This sequence got weird

This episode was solid. Obviously, they couldn’t just make the same crazy “wow” episode that started the return of Bleach. The story just isn’t at the right point for that and it would have ruined the flow of the episode. It did allow the episode to get people back into the story and set up a crazy moment at the end there! Soul Society “Round 2” is about to get going! I’m curious what will happen with Ishida. If he’s really on Yhwach’s side then he’d have to start killing Soul Reapers which would be a bit of a mixed thing for him. But if he doesn’t kill anyone then he’s going to lose the trust of those around him. Beyond that though…how are the Soul Reapers going to survive? Ichigo, Renji, Rukia, Byakuya (welcome back), and their new Head Captain (maybe) aren’t available. This is bad news!

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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