This episode was amazing. It really is, so wonderful. I’ve praised BLEACH: The Thousand-Year Blood War, Part 2: The Separation a few times for its tendency to radically improve the quality of the source material, even beyond the improvement that would have come from adding new characters. audio-visual part into 2D drawings. Usually, that comment is in the context of heightening the emotional intensity of a scene through music, voiceover, etc. Today’s episode is similar, but instead of heightening the suspense of a scene, the fear in a character’s voice or an expression tied to a character’s performance, which feels like an uplift in how great these scenes are purely from the perspective of a satisfying fight . On top of that, this episode has some extremely important scenes that weren’t in the manga at all, adding massively to the overall plot of the series and (in my opinion) completing some things A deeper foundation is needed.
All of this is a welcome improvement on last week’s episode. The previous BLEACH episode was a continuation of the battle between zombie user Giselle and zombie stealer Kurotsuchi Mayuri. Their fight was definitely interesting and seeing a cold-blooded Hitsugaya (no pun intended) was great. However, for me, the energy was gone and I dropped the episode thinking it was good but nothing special. This episode is much different from this one.
Spoilers ahead for BLEACH: The Thousand-Year Blood War , Part 2: The Separation episode 11 Too early to win Too late to know
Another Anime-Continuity Addition
Let’s start where the episode begins, with a flashback to the meeting between Squad Zero captain Ichibe and Yhwach. This meeting probably took place 1000 years ago or more before the war between the Soul Reapers and the Quincy. Ichibe offers (sort of) a truce with Yhwach. This was a non-interference pact in which Yhwach would be left to his own devices along with his followers as long as he did not interfere with the management of the flow of souls between the three different parts of the world of Soul. Society. Obviously Yhwach refuses this offer, but I think the structure of that refusal is very important. Yhwach appeals to the version of the world that existed before the Soul King, revealing that the Soul King was his father and that he resents the way the world is currently structured. He blames the Soul King for creating fear of death and desperation to avoid it by separating life and death, something that did not exist before the Soul King’s rule. Because he absorbs the memories and emotions of those who have pieces of his soul, he becomes simultaneously selfish and altruistic in this ambition.
This is actually very important for a few reasons. First, the manga does not give Yhwach the opportunity to clearly state his goals at this time. It’s important that before someone says I’m somehow spoiling something, this is not a comment on the content of the manga or anything Yhwach did in it. Rather, what I’m saying is that this particular scene doesn’t exist in the manga and conveys his goal at a chronological point in the series that I think makes sense. In my opinion, that is the most reasonable ambition among the ambitions of the villains throughout BLEACH. Every other major villain in the series (Ginjo, Aizen) rebels against something they feel incapable of subduing themselves. In Aizen’s case, this is also the Soul King, but his pursuit of power seems relatively indiscriminate; it’s not that he particularly hates the Soul King, but more that he hates the idea of blindly following a “thing” when he has the potential to overcome it and become a being worthy of living beyond someone’s control.
All of this along with the additional scenes of Ichigo’s training makes me think that BLEACH will make a clear effort to devote more screen time to developing the lore surrounding the Soul King, especially regarding to the events of the current section. Much of that lore and expansion is only found in a few BLEACH novels that take place chronologically after the manga and are of questionable canonicality. Combining those things together here would actually make the story more cohesive and make Yhwach feel less constrained by his ambitions. Also, this is just a side note, but I find it quite interesting that the Quincy spirit weapon 1000 years before the series started (obviously 2001) was a submachine gun.
Oestsu’s incredible skill
Now the good part. Oetsu is truly a dream to watch fight and the anime really gives him the treatment he deserves. This part of the anime is almost a panel-for-panel adaptation of the manga with one minor change. In the manga Tenjiro Kiriji (the hot spring guy) fights first, followed by Senjumaru Shutara (the fight happens in the anime the same as in the manga). Senjumaru certainly fought well (and I’m a sucker for anime warriors that use cloth, string, string, etc.) but Oetsu stole the show. His walk after taking down Lille Barro might be my favorite scene in the entire anime.
The first thing that occurred to me about him had to do with translation; The Viz translation of the BLEACH manga has some of his dialogue sounding a bit choppy for my taste, with a lot of sentences sounding a bit awkward in translation. Oetsu tends to speak almost lyrically using a combination of English and Japanese. This section is then combined with short speaking passages with very direct and even word choice. In both the Viz translation and even the original Japanese, this is not always expressed in the clearest way. The voice acting makes it incredibly clear, and the transition from a cheerful, high-pitched voice to a deeper, more serious one when he delivers the killing blow really adds to the fighting style. his. The second has to do with sound and timing, both of which show how fast he is and how cool his sword is. At various points, there is a noticeable delay between Oetsu slashing someone and blood pouring out of the wound, almost as if he cuts them so fast that their body doesn’t immediately notice it. His sword also has a pretty unique sound effect that I didn’t see in the English translation of the manga. This is a pertinent issue but is consistent with some translations of BLEACH; Tite Kubo has some very unique sound effects, and translations often remove them completely or translate them to the point where they become new sounds entirely.
Overall, while it’s clear that the fight isn’t over (anime characters never start at full power, after all) I enjoyed it immensely. Some of the coolest Sternritter, some of the coolest Soul Reapers, two cool Black characters, and a huge battle with wild abilities. On top of that, next week’s finale will be a one-hour special. What more could we ask for?
Featured image and screenshots via Hulu.
© TITE KUBO/SHUEISHA, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot