Without a doubt, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6 explodes onto the scene this week to provide the best episode of the season. If last week’s episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War was the small glimmer of hope that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel, this week is the inevitable darkness that the Wandenreich brings with them to the Soul Society. If you are not a manga reader, throw out all expectations because it is clear that we are in for an unpredictable roller coaster ride of emotion and action.
Over the last couple of weeks, viewers have gotten some answers to the powers that the Wandenreich possess. Many of the Steinritters attest to the Quincy King giving them letters that give them their special abilities: mimicry, killing-induced empowerment, fear inducement, etc. Their ability to steal and use Bankai is limited by their own power and understanding. The more powerful the Bankai, the most powerful the Quincy has to be. To this point, only Ichigo has been able to resist the ability. However, he is still locked away in the Garganta and unable to make it to the Soul Society. While powerful, the Sternritters are not unbeatable. With enough raw power, they can be defeated.
After seeing the great and powerful Kenpachi Zaraki have success against not one but three Sternritters from the Wandereich army in last week’s episode, things were looking up for the Soul Society to fend off the Quincies invasion. While it was uncertain if Zaraki would be a match for the Quincy King Yhwach, seeing Head Captain Yamamoto unleash his firey power gave viewers at home and Soul Reapers alike hope that the conflict would be resolved soon. The rematch between Yamamoto and Yhwach has been 1,000 years in the making and Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6 delivers on the hype.
The superb animation from Pierrot is on full display in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6. Despite Yamamoto’s elderly appearance, it is clear why he is the Head Captain. His firey Bankai with multiple forms provides for some of the most awe-inspiring and terrifying scenes to this point in a season filled with new abilities and action. Further, their banter, or rather Yamamoto’s almost villain-esque exposition, is superimposed with flashbacks to their battle over 1,000 years which adds layers to the already intense battle. With flames that burn over 15 million degrees Celsius, it is hard to think how Yamamoto could ever lose a battle. However as has been made brutally apparent throughout this season, the Quincies are not to be underestimated.
There are still many questions for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War to answer after episode 6. The conflict between the Wandenreich and Soul Society is over 1,000 years old. Yamamoto and even Uryu Ishida’s, Ichigo’s Quincy friend, research says that he killed Yhwach and his subordinates during their invasion of the Soul Society. Further, the Soul Reapers would go on to wipe out the remaining Quincies 800 years later. So, how are they here? How have they been able to close off the Garganta to prevent Ichigo from stopping them? What power does Ichigo possess that allows him to resist losing his Bankai when even the most powerful Soul Reapers could not? Is there anyone who can stop Yhwach?
Whether these questions are answered next week or weeks from now, I trust Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War to provide the answers at the right time. Ichigo doesn’t even make an appearance in the episode and it is still the best episode yet. Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6 shows that the series can still subvert expectations and surprise viewers in a way that feels authentic to the story. Even when it seems like the tension is finally ready to break after weeks of build-up, Pierrot delivers a gut punch that flows perfectly in the moment because it was set up earlier in the episode. The care put into this decades-old series is astounding. Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is one of the best shonen anime running today and Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6 all but solidifies that.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 6 is streaming now exclusively on Hulu with new episodes every Monday.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War' Episode 6 — "The Fire"
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is one of the best shonen anime running today and Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6 all but solidifies that.