REVIEW: ‘Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War,’ Episode 7 – “Born in the Dark”

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Thousand Year War Episode 7

Bleach now crests the season over the halfway point of the thirteen-episode run. With the absolute explosion of action and tension built by last week’s episode, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7 had a tall task. After the fall of Head Captain Yamamoto at the hands of  Yhwach, the Quincy King, things had never looked bleaker. This week something had to happen to keep viewers invested after watching our strongest heroes quickly, easily, and laughably defeated by the Wandenreich. In this, ‘Born in the Dark’ more than accomplishes its goal. After the credits rolled, I had never wanted to run to a manga faster.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7 opens with a flashback to the fabled battle between Yamamoto’s Soul Society and Yhwach’s Quincies. While there have been many flashbacks to the event throughout the season, this sequence provides the most context to what really happened on that fateful day. There has been a mystery behind the true intentions of the Soul Society in the conflict. Yamamoto painted the picture last week that it was his overwhelming force that allowed him to defeat Yhwach. However, the Head Captain’s victory was anything but honorable, and it provides context that makes Yamamoto’s defeat in episode 6 that much more impactful. Further, the original 13 Squad Captains were nothing like the noble stewards that the current captains are, or rather were. Their smiles and brutality during the flashback portray the Soul Reapers as even more ruthless than anything we have seen from Wandenreich this season.

In the present day, Ichigo has now been trapped in Garganta by Quilge’s jail for multiple episodes as all the Soul Reapers close to him are being cut down. Finally, the battered and desperate Ichigo can escape in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7, setting the stage for his showdown with the Qunicy King. The solemn music and the darkness that covers Ichigo’s face add a tremendous amount of weight to the words being spoken and the nonchalance of Yhwach. How Ichigo carries himself as he enters the Soul Society is chilling and gives the err that somehow, someway, our protagonist can prevail. However, if this season has proven anything, it is don’t trust to hope.

While not as action-packed as last week, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7 still hits hard. Chinks have been shown in the Quincy armor over the last couple of weeks, and ‘Born in the Dark’ continues that trend. Yhwach and the rest of the Stein Ritters are undoubtedly powerful but not invincible. Further, revelations were made this week that shakes the foundation of Ichigo’s character. The questions shift from, ‘How is Ichigo going to defeat the Quincy King?’ to ‘Will Ichigo even want to defeat the Quincy King?’. Even more chilling, ‘Can the Soul Society recover from this?’.

Throughout the season, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War has given viewers a reason to come back every week. Now, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7 offers viewers a reason to see it through to the very end. The animation, the music, and the brief character moments all work together to make every moment in the 22-minute run time feel like the most significant moment in an anime movie. There is a lot of season left. If the back half of this roller coaster is anything like the first, fans will be on the edge of their seat for five more episodes.

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7 is now streaming on Hulu.


Bleach: Thousand-Year War Episode 7
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Throughout the season, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War has given viewers a reason to come back every week. Now, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 7 offers viewers a reason to see it through to the very end. The animation, the music, and the brief character moments all work together to make every moment in the 22-minute run time feel like the most significant moment in an anime movie.

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