Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War Episode 4: Kill The Shadow.
Animated by Studio Pierrot.
Created by Kubo "God of Character Design" Tite.
Last episode, on the greatest Shonen series. We got a bit of a history lesson, as those two annoying Shinigami they keep using for exposition got a brief lesson in the Shinigami/Quincy war, and why it was all in fact totally 100% the Quincy's fault, and the Shinigami were totally blameless in the whole affair. Then, Ishida Uryu snuck into his dad's office to find the secret hidden book of Quincy Family History that was hidden there, and learned... something, that seemed to leave him pretty shocked. This week, chaos is unleashed, and things get SO bad, SO fast.
Last episode ended with Izuru Kira, 10-time winner of Seireitei's saddest resident finally embracing his destiny... by getting shot through the chest and collapsing dead on the floor. This episode basically picks up right from that scene, and what the actual frak, it's non-stop chaos.
Honestly, there isn't really a plot here. If you're looking for deep storylines, with clever twists and strong characterisations, this is NOT the episode for you.
This one is for the Shonen Chaos fans. This whole episode is just fights and a surprising amount of gore.
The Shinigami are NOT ready, for the Wandenreich.
DAMN this episode was freakin savage. We've had a few relatively low key episodes up to this point. There's been the odd light scrap, and Ayon had a chance to really cut loose last week, but mostly the first three episodes were about bringing people up to date with all the important information they would need, to get them prepared for this episode.
But, much like the Gotei 13, we were not prepared for THAT. From the first scene, to the last, the episode is absolute CARNAGE.
One thing I do really appreciate, is that it's not just the fancy captains showing up, though. I mean, yeah, we get to see the old favourites come out to play. But we also see a number of the rank and file Shinigami step up to defend the Seireitei.
I mean, they all get brutally murdered in seconds. But bless them, they really do try.
It's a stark reminder that while we see the Captains doing really impressive things quite frequently, there's a very good reason that those people hold the positions they do. Their power is ORDERS of magnitude higher than the general soldiers that make up the majority of the Shingami.
And even still... their power isn't CLOSE to enough to stop even a handful of Wandenreich.
Is it a particularly original episode? No, not really. In fact, it's almost a trope at this point, to have the new big bad guys show up and wreck a few important people, to show that they're a threat unlike anything we've faced before, yadda yadda yadda...
But here's the thing about tropes. They BECOME tropes because they're great plot points that get overused. Just because a bunch of other series have tried to pull scenes like this and not quite managed it, doesn't mean when someone who knows what they're doing pulls one off, it's not a GREAT scene that can leave you genuinely scared for the survival of characters that you've come to know and love over years of story.
And I've got to say... I'm pretty worried, right now.
If you want to see why I'm scared, check out Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War on Hulu/Disney+ streaming NOW!
Or, if you want to start the journey from its very beginning, you can now watch the series in its entirely, also on Hulu/Disney+!
Or, if you want to cheat and read ahead, check out Chapter 480 onwards, of the Bleach Manga, on the Shonen Jump App!
What I'm saying here is: You've got a lot of great Bleach content to enjoy!
Taheg Gloder is a Freelance Copywriter from England. Obsessed with comics and Manga since his teens, he now splits his time between writing comic reviews and retrospectives for POP, and doing reactions on his YouTube Channel, The Dragon & The Hound. He lives alone, because he’s a hermit.