Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War Episode 5: Wrath As A Lightning.
Animated by Studio Pierrot.
Created by Kubo "God of Character Design" Tite.
Last episode, on the greatest Shonen Series, everything went to hell in a handbasket, as Ichigo charged to the rescue of his friends in Soul Society, only to get locked in a box by Opie, who revealed that his title is "The Jail".
Then, over in Soul Society, the Wandenreich just... freaking TORE through the combined forces of the Shinigami. It was utter savagery. So, naturally, the captains did what the captains always do, when things get rough; they released their fearsome Bankai!
This turned out to be something of a mistake. It seems that the Wandenreich don't just have the ability to seal Bankai, as we previously thought. They actually STEAL them. Yup. We just gave the enemy a whole bunch of really powerful abilities.
Don't worry, though. This week I'm sure things will work out, for all our favourites!
This week, once again, is absolute chaos. As Byakuya and Renji Vs As Nodt continues, in the wake of Byakuya losing his Bankai last week. Ichigo grows increasingly frustrated in his attempt to escape Opie's Jail ability. And the only captain that couldn't care less about losing their Bankai, Zaraki Kenpachi, finally joins the fight!
But, with a number of their most powerful captains unable to fight effectively, after losing their Bankai... do the Gotei 13 have what it takes, to stop the seemingly unstoppable might of the Wandenreich?
I'm afraid they might not. In fact, I'm just afraid!
I know I've said this about basically every episode so far, but this really might be my favourite episode yet, from this season. That said, based on the preview, I'm 100% sure that NEXT episode is going to be my favourite, too. So, yeah.
Here's why I love THIS episode, though:
Not only did we get a REALLY great little history lesson, for one of the most underrated Vice Captains in the Gotei 13; meaning that all your anime only types will now know why I love him so much...
Not only do we see the origin story for Yamamoto's forehead scars...
But we get one of the COLDEST freakin monologues in anime history.
As Nodt, Sternritter F, The Fear.
Last scene ruining Kuchiki Byakuya's day, by stealing Senbonzakura Kageyoshi.
This week, he delivers a truly excellent monologue, explaining his abilites.
I know what you're thinking: But... it's just your standard "I am a strong bad guy, here is why I'm so strong!" monologue, that will inevitably turn out to be a lie, when the good guy wins.
But it's different, this time. Because he's not just talking about his powers, he's making a comment on the fundamental nature of warriors, and the one great weakness that they all share, because at the end of the day, they're all still human.
Yeah, it's not one for the faint of heart.
This is dialed up to 11 by the fact that the animation is clearly working overtime this episode. The quality of animation, the blend of 3D and 2D styles, of realistic artwork clashing with some fairly psychedelic imagery... It's all SUCH a treat for the eyes, you don't even notice that it's basically five minutes of straight up NIGHTMARE FUEL.
And all of that is just the opening half.
I was a little worried that they were going to rush these opening clashes a little. From what I'd seen of rumours, chapter to episode conversions for this first four, I really felt like they were trying to fit too much in. I'm quite glad to see that I'm wrong, though. So far the pacing has been pretty solid for this first major showdown, and I have a feeling that the best is yet to come.
Because next week... Yama-ji has a few choice words to share with his enemies.
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 entirety, 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!
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.