Last week’s episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War sent many anime fans, myself included, back to the early 2000s. Pierrot has done a fantastic job of recapturing the magic from the anime‘s original run while adding a flare that makes the animation feel more in line with modern anime. More importantly, for a long-standing anime with decades of world-building, Bleach wastes zero time establishing the conflict. The Quincy King has stepped out of the shadows. Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 makes it clear that no one, not the Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, or Ichigo and friends are ready.
One of the most important things in shonen anime is establishing how much of a threat the new antagonist is. With over 300 episodes of Bleach, we have seen Ichigo face some pretty impressive adversaries. Byakuya, Ulquiorra, Ginjo, Aizen, among many others all showed to be formidable in their own ways. Being relatively known entities in the universe, there was at least some expectation of how tough the battles would be for Ichigo and friends. However, the mysterious leader of the Quincies is, at least at this point, is clearly on a different level. The fear that this new group is able to instill in the Soul Society establish is in the very first episode and Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 builds upon that fear.
Last week, fans saw the Soul Society rocked as the Wandereich, the empire of Quincies, easily attacked and decimated Squad 1. Fans may remember that Squad 1 is led by Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, the strongest of all the Society Society captains. The Quincies had zero fear of stepping into Yamamoto’s office, throwing his Lieutenant battered at his feet. Talk about an entrance! But they are just getting started. Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 continues that decimation of known powerful characters in the universe.
During the attack on the Soul Society, the Quincies also invaded Hueco Mundo. Despite having some of the most powerful Arrancar and hollows, including the great and powerful Tier Harribel, meet a similar fate to Squad 1. There are many familiar faces to see in this episode but it makes it even more tragic and terrifying that they are no match for this threat. It is now up to Ichigo and friends to protect the very beings that they had so much conflict within arcs passed.
Further, we learn more about the Quincies’ plans and meet one of the captains Wandenreich, Quilge Opie. Quilge alone makes Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 one to watch. The Quincy King’s calm demeanor is juxtaposed with a brutal leadership style that makes him terrifying in his own right. However, it does seem like he enjoys killing and pain in the same way that Quilge does. Voice actor Koichi Yamadera absolutely nails a smug, authoritative, and barbaric character. Quilge is surely one to watch as the season progresses.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 starts the timer for the conflict to come. The Quincies’ destruction of souls has led to an imbalance between the Soul Society and the Human World that threatens to destroy all in five days’ time. Now with the attack on Hueco Mundo, there is no doubt that they are coming for absolutely everyone. Even then, there are still questions to be answered. Why now? Why are they taking captives? Why are they implementing Arrancars if they are Quincies? How truly powerful is Quincy King? All questions I am excited to tune in week to week for all. The stage is set and I am all in.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 airs new episodes every Monday exclusively on Hulu.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 — "Foundation Stones"
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 2 starts the timer for the conflict to come. The Quincies’ destruction of souls has led to an imbalance between the Soul Society and the Human World that threatens to destroy all in five days’ time. Now with the attack on Hueco Mundo, there is no doubt that they are coming for absolutely everyone…The stage is set and I am all in.