Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Ep 7: Born In The Dark TV REVIEW. Please: Protect The Soul Society

Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War Episode 7: Born In The Shadow.

Animated by Studio Pierrot.

Created by Kubo "God of Character Design" Tite.

Last episode, on the greatest Shonen series, Yama-ji finally released his Bankai and showed us all why no captain has been able to replace him, in the last thousand years. It was an absolutely horrific, yet majestic display. As the fire of Zanka no Tachi consumed everything in its path, the other captains were filled with the energy to keep fighting against the previously seemingly impossible foe. All things considered, it was a well-timed boost to morale.

Which made it all the more crushing, when the episode finished with the REAL Yhwach showing up, and splitting Yama-ji in half, like an overripe melon. This week, we try and fail to recover from that brutal ending.

Did you think you were fighting Yhwach? WRONG! It was me DIO! Bamboozled again.

This episode was pretty brutal, honestly. And for all the wrong reasons. Last episode, we got to see why no one has replaced Yama-ji in the last millennium. This week, it was a chance for Yhwach, leader of the Stern Ritter, to show why HE has remained the unchallenged king, this whole time.

It was a lesson that no one in the Seireitei is likely to forget. No matter how much they might want to...

Kubo's success rate for character design is 100%

Okay, so, here's the thing: I WILL talk about this episode, but we need to take a slight detour first. Because, during the week, the mean old man Kubo san decided to casually blow up Twitter, when he released the above picture in a Japanese magazine.

This picture, for those that don't know, is the ORIGINAL Gotei 13. Although, that is where any resemblance to the current Gotei 13 ends. Because this original line-up were all utter monsters, who slaughtered everyone before them without hesitation.

And here's where this connects to the anime: When this arc first came out, in the manga, the panel where Yama-ji discussed the Original Gotei 13, or OG13s, as I'll be calling them from here on, were vague shadows. Some vague hints towards outline, but very little in the way of detail.

So, when he dropped this image, it's safe to say Bleach fans were... rather excited.

And then this episode drops, and we get a whole opening sequence, showing these absolute monsters doing their monsterous thing.

And it was great. A REALLY strong opening to an episode which once again showed us just how much the animation budget has increased for this show. Slick, fast, butter-smooth combat sequences fill the shortest 20 minutes of television I've ever sat through!

But, that DOES raise one rather large question;

Would Kubo REALLY update all these designs, spend time and effort to release them to the public, if all we were going to see of them was one two minute sequence at the start of one episode?


Calling it now. Either as a spin-off season, at the end of the TYBW's airing time, or possibly as a midseason filler in one of the cours, we're going to get an extended flashback arc, showing how brutal the OG13 were.

Pretty much since they were first teased in the manga, people have been asking for a flashback arc about the first Shinigami/Quincy war... I can't help but think that Kubo showing off the fancy new designs for the roster is his way of letting us know that our request has been heard.

Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. Only time will tell.

But what we know for sure, is that Bleach TYBW Episode 7 was a brutal, heartbreaking follow up to the glory of "The Fire", packed with excellent action and a couple of rather interesting reveals, that I can't wait to see expanded on!

So, if you were born in the dark, or merely adopted it, 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!

Oh look, Ichigo is battered, bruised, and covered in blood. Must be Tuesday...


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.

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