Updated: Oct 20
Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War Episode 2: Foundation Stones.
Animated by Studio Pierrot.
Created by Kubo "God of Character Design" Tite.
Last episode, on the greatest shonen series: The Gotei 13 were in a panic. Hollows were disappearing from the World of the Living, seemingly having been destroyed, rather than purified as Shinigami are trained to do.
Then, things got far worse, as a group of mysterious foes calling themselves The Wandenreich stormed Seireitei, and declared war on the Shinigami. This week things get worse still, and the identity of our new (but actually VERY old ) foes is revealed!
After his confrontation last episode, with a mysterious new foe, Ichigo does what Ichigo does best, and goes on patrol. While there he runs into old friend Nel (picture above, raining tears and snot on everyone), who gives him some terrible news. Hueco Mundo, home of the Arrancar, has been invaded and destroyed!
Naturally, Ichigo can't let this go. So he gathers the troops, and goes to save the Arrancar!
Meanwhile, in Seireitei, mad-scientist-in-chief Kurotsuchi Mayuri has come to the only logical solution, as to the identity of The Wandenreich!
Damn... is it just me, or did that episode FLY by. It felt like I'd just sat down to watch it, and the end credits rolled. But, somehow, in what felt like half a second of show they packed in some GREAT moments.
As you would expect from a Shonen series of Bleach's standing, we get a couple of VERY strong fights. Menoly and Loly, Aizen's former aides, do their best against the sadistic "Sternritter J" Quilge Opie (pictured above), but find themselves quickly outmatched. Thankfully, they're not the only ones left to fight, and their rescuers give us a far better show! But, of course, this IS Bleach, so while the fight has started... it's far from over.
BUT, the highlight of the episode for me wasn't actually the fights, for once. After the absolute massacre last episode, this episode sees the first funeral of the series, as Sasakibe Chōjirō becomes the first named character to fall (but will he be the last?). I've always had something of a soft spot for Sasakibe, and I was really hoping that one of the 'expanded fights' that Kubo promised us for the Anime would be his final battle. Sadly, that wasn't too be... but at least we get a very well done funeral scene. I can't lie, I got a little emotional, when the background went all white, and the scene became totally silent.
For a show with SUCH amazing music, sometimes the most impact comes when you remove all sound, and let the scene speak for itself.
Then, the all too short seeming episode wraps up with everyone's favourite madman Kurotsuchi revealing the true identity of The Wandenreich... which, if you know your Bleach lore, shouldn't come as too big of a surprise ;).
But if you've not already worked it out, find out the answer by checking out Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War on Hulu/Disney+ streaming NOW!
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.