REVIEW: ‘Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War,’ Episode 3 – “March of the Starcross”

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Thousand-Year Blood War episode 3 - But Why Tho

The last two episodes of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War have done an excellent job of building the mystique around the Soul Society’s oldest foe and most dangerous rival, the Quincies. The destruction Wandereich has sown has affected the Soul Society, the World of the Living, and even Hueco Mundo in drastic ways. With the Quincies’ sudden appearance and their aversion to giving any details to their foes, the number of questions has been slowly building. Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 3 begins to answer many of those questions, but one thing is abundantly clear: the Quincies are going to be a problem.

“March of the Starcross” starts right as Ichigo faces off with Quilge Opie, one of the captains of the Wandereich. The barbarous Quincy’s easy defeat of Tres Bestia more than established him as a match for Ichigo. The problem, which will surely become more and more relevant as the series goes on, is there isn’t much known about the Quincies. Sure, many of the captains are aware, as they likely battled with them over 200 years ago in a great war. However, the newer Soul Reapers as well as Ichigo and friends have no basis for the group’s true power. Thankfully, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 3 provides some much-needed exposition alongside some awe-inspiring action.

If you are unaware of the conflict between the Soul Reapers and the Quincies, or just don’t remember every detail of this decades-old franchise, “March of the Starcross” has you covered. To this point, the only real connection to the Quincies in Bleach is through Uryu Ishida. Uryu was previously thought of as the last of the Quincies and even the introduction of his father Soken Ishida was a surprise to everyone. Now, there are dozens of them with powers that dwarf many of the strongest characters in the Bleach universe. It is quickly established that Uryu’s skills are archaic compared to the true might of the Quincies. Quilge Opie alone shows a truly terrifying ability to manipulate Reishi, the main component found in souls and spiritual matter, in ways we haven’t seen before.

As the overarching conflict is confirmed, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 3 brings forth interesting moral arguments for who we as fans are going to root for. The Quincies and the Soul Reapers have their own ways of dealing with the Hollows that wreak havoc on the World of the Living. The Soul Society is dedicated to maintaining the balance of souls when Hollows are defeated. The Quincies want nothing more than the destruction of the monsters. However, the checked destruction of Hollows has led to an imbalance that threatens to destroy both worlds. Whether an imbalance will truly lead to even more destruction is currently unclear, but the Soul Society is not willing to allow it to happen. The Soul Society is even taking extreme measures to maintain the balance which brings into question their own morality.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War continues its build. Every episode answers questions while more arise. When I think I know what is going to happen next based on the hundreds of Bleach episodes, I am pleasantly surprised as the brutality of the Quincies coupled with the lack of villain speeches provides a scary adversary for Ichigo and friends to battle. Now that we have established the stakes, I would love to see more of Ichigo and friends figuring out how to overcome the Wandereich. To this point, they have essentially been experiencing the threat we have as viewers but I am ready for Ichigo to dial it up to 11 and how us why he is one of the best shonen protagonists in anime and manga.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 3 is streaming now exclusively on Hulu with new episodes every Monday.


Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 3

TL;DR

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War continues its build. Every episode answers questions while more arise. When I think I know what is going to happen next based on the hundreds of Bleach episodes, I am pleasantly surprised as the brutality of the Quincies coupled with the lack of villain speeches provides a scary adversary for Ichigo and friends to battle.

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