Bleach Day 10/2022

It is the day that I have been waiting for about 8 years. 10 years for people that had been watching it in real time. No one is more hype than me. It is like a real holiday. Today was an emotional watch day but not particularly for any bad reasons. Bleach has just been in my heart since it came to me in my time of need. And now it is back. I have been hype since the announcement last March… and getting that glimpse at Jumpfest…

So for those who have not been around while I have been spilling my guts… I will reiterate it. I waited for the announcement of the rest of the show for as long as I could. I admit I lost a little faith every day. But I was pushing into reading the Thousand Year Blood War arc since I had already bought the whole manga collection. It is funny… because I was just holding onto it because I didn’t want it to be over. I was so satisfied with the last arc that it only renewed the vigor in my heart for the final arc to be brought to life on screen.

Back in the day… I had a lot of shit that wasn’t going the way… I had a terrible break up, my job was crappy and I didn’t see the point in a lot of things. I am older now so I know this was a depressive episode… I had no desire to get out of bed, much less the want to reengage with my hobbies. Most of my friends had moved away… out of state so there was no one to make me engage either… Thankfully… there was one person left… I met up with an old friend and he wanted to show some me some shows that he enjoys. He started with One Piece. And while I never miss an episode of One Piece… It did have a slow start. I love that show but it wasn’t what captured me right away. My friend then switched it up and said… Bleach may be more my speed particularly for where my mind was at during that time. And he wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t that deep into my anime dive at that point… but it was the first time I saw a main character that was happy go lucky. Nothing against… Goku, Luffy, Natsu…. (All shows which I love and they all have developed in different ways.) But Ichigo was the first main character (Shonen Protagonist) that was dealing in guilt and anxiety and I knew what that was like. He had to push those things aside… rely on his friends to move forward not only in his life but in his training. I know what that is like too. So needless to say… it was the first time in a while that I was interested in where a show or a story was going… where I was motivated to do something other than just sleeping. I don’t think my friend knew what he was doing.

The great thing about Bleach being away for 10 years… is that I have connected with some great people on Twitter over our shared love of Bleach and I started going to Comic Cons (Prior to the pandemic and now afterwards…) I am grateful that we all got to share in the experience together. I spent the whole day squealing at them about every damn scene. Many of my friends have checked up on me and wonder how I felt.. and I was overwhelmed. But let’s jump into it. So you know… Spoilers…

  1. The Blood Warfare – The 367th episode…. It picks right up where the last anime left off… In the right spot in the anime… and I remember reading it about 2 years ago… The peace is suddenly broken when warning sirens blare through the Soul Society. Residents there are disappearing without a trace, and nobody knows who’s behind it. In other areas, Hollows are continuing to disappear. The boundary between the Human World and Soul Society will be at risk of collapse if this continues to occur for a few more days. Mayuri watches several red dots disappear from a map of Japan on the monitor in front of him and affirms that only they could be capable of completely erasing Hollows like this. We all know who he is talking about don’t we?

  2. Poor Yuki and Shino – In Karakura Town, a figure crushes and disperses a capsule of Hollow bait on the roof of a building prior to departing (???) as a Senkaimon opens in the air below and Ryūnosuke Yuki and Shino Madarame emerge. They are obviously green and too young to be out and about without a more experienced Soul Reaper. Yuki points out that the rate of Hollow appearances in Karakura Town is high, which makes him question whether he is the right person to be sent in here in addition to the area already having a strong Substitute Shinigami protecting it that leaves him wondering why he is even here. (I too wonder why they are there… It is like lambs to the slaughter to me.) After the two separate, Yuki hears a loud crashing noise and looks up to see a large, mono-eyed Hollow with four legs grinning down at him while the traffic lights on the nearby streets change from green to red, prompting a screaming Yuki to leap down to the ground below and begin running while the Hollow drops down behind him and begins chasing after Yuki. Calling Shino on his Denreishinki and frantically telling her that a Hollow is here but she doesn’t respond.  Yuki hauls ass away from the hollows while continuing his attempts to reach Shino, only to stop in shock upon reaching the roof of the building, where he sees a bloodied and motionless Shino being held by another large, ape-like Hollow, who is flanked by two others and stares down at a terrified Yuki.

  3. The Substitute Shinigami and His Crew – Yuki is out of his depth and that was evident from the very beginning. A trembling Yuki reaches for his own Zanpakutō and mentally asserts that he has to do this for her, but is interrupted when the first Hollow attacks him from behind, drawing a large amount of blood and resulting in Yuki slamming into the railing at the edge of the rooftop. He wonders if he is going to die while the Hollow rears over him and prepares to attack once more. However, the Hollow is cut in half when a Getsuga Tenshō hurtles across the rooftop. As the other Hollows turn to look at this, a Heilig Pfeil rockets through the air and cuts off the hand holding Shino and Orihime technique is seen healing both Shino and Yuki. (Healers deserve more respect.)  Orihime informs Yuki that she will finish healing them when the battle is over as Ichigo confidently walks forward to join his friends with Zangetsu, over his shoulder and declares that they should finish this quickly, leaving Yuki speechless. ( Me. He left me speechless also.) In response to this, the remaining three Hollows roar loudly, which results in dozens of other large Hollows emerging from between the nearby buildings and approaching the rooftop that they are located on. Orihime responds to one of them reaching for her by initiating Shiten Kōshun in front of herself, stopping the Hollow in its tracks and blowing it back into two others with the rejected force. Upon seeing this, Sado leaps up with his Fullbring, Brazo Izquierda del Diablo, and performs La Muerte by punching the Hollow hard in the stomach.The Hollow and the two others behind it are blown back several hundred meters into the side of a building, where they are destroyed on impact as a massive skull forms in the wall they hit. When two other Hollows attempt to attack Ichigo, Uryū destroys them with a single Heilig Pfeil each and skates around with Hirenkyaku as he obliterates several more before running up the side of a billboard, leaping into the air, and firing Licht Regen downward while upside down, resulting in half of the remaining Hollows being blown apart. (He was always trying to outdo people. I had a friend that loves her some Ishida…) An awestruck Yuki fails to notice a Hollow reaching for him from behind, only for Ichigo to intercept the Hollow’s hand with Zangetsu and promises to take them all on prior to activating his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, in a large explosion of Reiatsu and firing a black Getsuga Tenshō that engulfs the remaining Hollows in a massive explosion. In the aftermath, with Yuki questioning who he is, Ichigo introduces himself as a Substitute Shinigami. Some time later, Yuki loses consciousness. I was hype to see everyone and the music in the background does it for me. I still love it. It is like when I first watched it all over again.

  4. The Kurosaki Clinic – Everybody heads to the Kurosaki Clinic at one point or another. Gotta love Ichigo teasing Orihime about her bread. An old running gag is everyone gathering in Ichigo’s bedroom. Upon finding himself resting in Ichigo’s bedroom at the Kurosaki Clinic, Yuki looks over to Ichigo, who tells him that he is free to leave if he is awake. Orihime shows up with Sado and Ishida… crowding Ichigo’s bedroom and it doesn’t take long before Ishida and Ichigo get into an argument. An initially dazed Yuki screams in astonishment once he recognizes Ichigo as the Substitute Shinigami he met last night, with Ichigo deducing that this delayed realization is why he was so unresponsive until now. (Leave it to Kurosaki to be nonchalant about a man who is just coming to.) However, Ichigo clarifies that their first meeting took place two days ago and that Yuki has been asleep for over a day, leading Yuki to frantically ask him about Shino’s condition before Ichigo hands him a plate of breads to sample. Yuki explains that he does not have time for this and inquires once again about Shino’s condition just before the latter walks into the room. Suddenly, when Ichigo asks for Yuki’s name, Asguiaro Ebern lands on Ichigo’s bed and introduces himself. (Sir… who are you? Who let you in here? WHY ARE YOU ON MY BED????) Ichigo demands that Ebern get off his bed and repeats this at Ebern’s request, only for Ebern to refuse. Upon hearing this, Ichigo kicks Ebern hard in the face, sending him flying out of the window that Orihime quickly opens behind him as Sado questions who he was and Uryū infers that he is probably an Arrancar due to the mask fragment on his face. Grabbing his Substitute Shinigami Badge, Ichigo promises to drive Ebern away and enters his Shinigami form. (Dude deserved to be kicked in the face.)

  5. Arrancars? Quincies? Ichigo? Ishida???? – I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS… or I would if I hadn’t read what happened. In an intersection below, Ebern clutches his face and questions why Ichigo kicked him before the latter calls out to him from the air above since Ichigo assumes Ebern is here for him. Though Ebern calls him arrogant for this assumption and claims that Ichigo must be curious about who he is, Ichigo denies this (He should have known better.) and asks Ebern if Uryū was right about him being an Arrancar, to Ebern’s annoyance. With Ichigo inquiring about whether he came with anyone and why he is here, Ebern expresses irritation at being called an Arrancar and moves into the air in front of Ichigo. The fight is about to go down. In response, Ebern flicks out his hand, revealing a Quincy Cross, and creates a set of Reishi Cannons from the air, leaving a startled Ichigo to identify this as a Quincy weapon while Ebern asks him if he sees something familiar. What the hell is going on here? Of course it is about Ichigo…. He is the main character.

  6. Spirits missing from the Gotei 13 – In the west 64th district of the Rukongai, 11th Division 5th Seat Yumichika Ayasegawa comes to a halt in a village and muses that there really is no one here while 3rd Seat Ikkaku Madarame asserts that no one from the Rukongai could simply disappear under the Gotei 13’s surveillance, leading Yumichika to note that there were still a few left when they received the report. When Yumichika comments on the entire village disappearing like this being almost supernatural, Ikkaku refuses to accept such an explanation prior to one of the subordinates bringing them to a set of footprints in the dirt that converge and suddenly cease. After confirming Ikkaku’s observation that there are only marks of bare feet and sandals, Yumichika deduces that the residents of this village abducted each other. While these two have no clue what is happening.. I am sure that at least 2 people have figured out what is going on here. (Bleach characters tend to have long histories and know why things are occurring without letting us know.) Mayuri views a large screen displaying several zones of the Rukongai marked as clear.

  7. War is Declared on Yamamoto and the Gotei 13 – These intruders just come into this Captain Commander’s house declaring war and killing people and ish… Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto stands in his office, where he notices a flash of energy from the Seireitei outside and recognizes it in astonishment as the power of his lieutenant, Chōjirō Sasakibe. Suddenly, a Shinigami attempting to report to Yamamoto is decapitated, leading Yamamoto to turn around and find seven masked individuals standing across from him at the other end of the room. What kind of people run up on Yamaji? Are they nuts? They state that they have come to declare war…. points out how easy it was to infiltrate the office of the Captain-Commander and questions if Yamamoto’s security is lax, but Yamamoto simply proclaims that there is no greater security than his own presence, which they acknowledge. They are interrupted when Chōjirō is impaled and pinned to the wall by a massive Reishi javelin.  assures him that he does not need to mourn for Chōjirō, who has demonstrated the fate of a hopeless death following a desperate struggle that is destined for all of the Shinigami, before proclaiming that the Wandenreich will annihilate Soul Society in five days. They infer that Yamamoto wants to know who they are and refuses to tell him since he should already know prior to Shadows enveloping him and the other six individuals. Even with knowing what was going to happen here, I was still shocked at the way it unfolded for some reason… They really brought to life what was on the page.

  8. Ichigo vs the Quincy – Ebern fires several blasts of Reishi at Ichigo, who evades and cuts through them with Zangetsu as he mentally struggles to reconcile Ebern using a Quincy artifact despite looking like an Arrancar. He wonders what the hell is going on… Ichigo continues evading blasts from Ebern, who pursues him around and underneath the central bridge as he questions if this is really the extent of Ichigo’s power. Noticing that Ebern has been taunting him like this and encouraging him to use his Bankai, Ichigo stops to cut one of the blasts in half, leaving them to explode in the air behind him, and decides that he has no choice but to play along since he does not know who Ebern is or what he wants here before readying Zangetsu. Bankai it is… I mean what other choice does he have? Ichigo prepares to activate his Bankai, to Ebern’s delight.. (he was too delightful for my liking…) and this scene is cut between what is happening with Yamaji… And that has to be the best way to do it. The audience hears something and knows something that Ichigo doesn’t… It builds suspense. As Yamamoto sees that the individuals got away and a badly wounded Chōjirō reveals that there is something he must tell Yamamoto…Chōjirō tells Yamamoto that the enemy can do something to their Bankai just as Ebern pulls out a Medallion and activates it, releasing a surge of energy around him that forms a massive X in the air, which he declares will be the end of Ichigo’s Bankai. After activating Tensa Zangetsu, Ichigo is startled by the activated Medallion, which releases several beams of light to envelop him while Ebern begins reciting a chant in German. However, despite the left arm of his longcoat beginning to crack and break off into the air from the effects of the Medallion, a yelling Ichigo manages to destroy the beams of light with a slash from his sword, to Ebern’s disbelief, and fires a Getsuga Tenshō directly at Ebern, engulfing him in a gigantic explosion. In the aftermath, a badly burned Ebern emerges from the smoke and demands to know why Tensa Zangetsu did not disappear. When Ichigo demands answer… Ebern escapes from his fight with Ichigo by creating a Shadow to transport himself. He leaves Ichigo to wonder what this was since it was not a Garganta. Oh… It is gonna be on and popping… Soon.

  9. Ywach… and the Sternritters – Here’s the big baddie of the arc… Luders walks into the main hall alongside his six companions and notices Ebern kneeling nearby, which he mockingly commends, though Ebern quickly clarifies that he would never bow before Luders. However, an aggravated Luders is interrupted when Yhwach cuts off his right arm, causing him to collapse and scream in agony while Yhwach reminds him that they are not to argue in his presence since he dislikes conflict before requesting that they relay their report for peace. Seems a bit much… and at the same time… The man NEVER moved. Just removed his subordinates arm and kept talking. This is going to be bad… for the Gotei 13… But I am along for the ride.

Check out the introduction to the crew.

I may have watched this a few times.

Also… when you enter someone’s bedroom… Don’t stand on their bed.

There was no opening or closing credits this episode. I am looking forward to new tracks to bang over and over. HOWEVER… we did get a special flashback ending, entailing a compilation of all the previous arcs in Bleach. And this is where things got emotional for me. Somewhere in my mind… I was transported back to where I was when I watched it the first time. It was great. I appreciated it too much.

So no Rukia this episode… But I am looking forward to see all my people again. I CANNOT WAIT to see Kisuke again… Also… What does Ishida know about what is going on… How does he fit into all of this? What did you all enjoy about the episode? What scenes are you looking forward to seeing on screen? Let me know.

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