Bleach: The Thousand Year Bloodwar Review


The new poster for Bleach: TYBW

Yama Panjshiri

The last episode of Bleach, an anime television series based on a manga written by Tite Kubo, aired in 2012. Fans were disappointed when the news broke out that a new season wasn’t promised. Finally, after 10 years, the final arc of Bleach has been animated, and the fans of the famous series couldn’t be happier. Bleach’s final arc is called The Thousand Year Blood War.

The series tells the story of a boy named, Ichigo Kurosaki, who becomes a human soul reaper, a race of spirits that governs the flow of spirits into the Soul Society, which is a heaven-like world that is home to spirits. The Soul Society also houses the Gotei 13 Captains, the strongest among the soul reapers with major power and prowess that lead the other soul reapers. The goal of Soul Society is to pass hollows, spirits turned into monster-like creatures, onto Soul Society while keeping the balance between them and Earth.

The final arc’s main plotline circles around Ichigo and The Soul Society versus (vs) Yhwach and his Sternritters. Yhwach is the son of the Soul King (God) and the creator and emperor of the Quincy, which are a race of humans that hunt down hollows, like soul reapers. However, instead of passing them on to the Soul Society, the Quincy completely exterminate the hollows. A thousand years prior to the current events of Bleach, Head Captain Yamamoto, ordered the original Gotei 13 Captains to exterminate the Quincy because of the hollow killings. This resulted in Yhwach leading a thousand-year vendetta and a very entertaining story. A fan of the show, Murtaza Ahmed, says that this plotline was “the most engaging part of the series.”

Yhwach leads The Sternritters to destroy the entirety of Soul Society. The Captains prepare for war. The Sternritters are the strongest of The Quincy, and are on par, if not, stronger than, The Captains of Soul Society. The story goes on as we get introduced to many new characters from Squad Zero and The Sternritters, as well as many new Soul Reapers. New and anticipated Bankais are revealed in this arc. Many battles are fought and the climax of the story is just around the corner. Everyone from every previous arc has rallied to defeat the evil villian Yhwach. Questions on whether Ichigo will be able to beat the Almighty or whether Yhwach can destroy The Soul Society are expected to be answered this October when the full version of the final arc is released.

This story line of the final arc is a very “edge-of-your-seat” story. The unpredictability of the plotline keeps readers hooked. Reading this story and hearing about such a powerful villain can leave readers wondering if his defeat is even possible. On top of this, to see The Quincy world being expanded and becoming one of the focal points of the show intrigues viewers by opening a new perspective up to them. The individuality and complexion of each character in the story ties the show together. Every character is focused on temporarily and in that minuscule amount of time their backstories, intentions, and philosophies are explained in crystal clear detail and show how attentively Tite Kubo crafted the scenes.

To transition, the artwork in the show has altered the mood and tone given off by the interactions of the characters. The once bright and colorful scheme has turned to a darker tone, which gives a more bloodier and more gruesome feel.

Anime fans all around the world are anticipating the arrival of the final arc. The series has a large fan base with over 900 million copies of Bleach manga being sold in Japan alone. According to IMDb, the show has an 8.2/10 overall rating, which is exceptional for an anime. The leading anime streaming service, Crunchyroll, has a critic rating of 4.8/5, an amazingly high score. A gtrboy318, a user from Crunchyroll states, “This anime is amazing; there is a reason why it is so popular. Before you know you are watching it day and night and crying for the next episode. So many characters and abilities to follow, and a ton of episodes. I’ve watched all [the] arcs including filler, and never got bored.”

The new arc of Bleach has brought so much attention to the show that had previously lain dormant for the past 10 years. The hype has only been accumulating since the announcement in December of 2021. Many new and old fans have come together to celebrate the return of this popular piece of media. The first episode of the final arc of Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War will be available on October 10 to stream on Disney+.