“Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War” - Episode 2 Review
“Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War” Episode 2, entitled “Foundation Stones” maintains the top notch animation seen in Episode 1, while also reintroducing some familiar faces and laying the foundation for the central conflict of the anime’s newest arc.
After his battle with Ebern, Ichigo returns home to his friends; Orihime, Uryu and Sado, along with their newfound companions Ryūnosuke and Shino.
Shortly after Ichigo’s return, the ensemble learns about the assault on Soul Society that the audience witnessed in the latter half of Episode 1.
The crew is deeply saddened by the news, however they don’t have long to mope as they are suddenly reunited with Nel, who has come to the world of the living to request Ichigo's help after a brutal attack on her home, Hueco Mundo.
Nel is the young Arrancar who helped guide Ichigo and his friends to Las Noches during their conflict with Aizen and the Espada during the Arrancar arc.
Not long after Nel’s appearance, we are reintroduced to another familiar face, Kisuke Urahara, who arrives via Ichigo’s bedroom window to offer his assistance by granting the gang access to Hueco Mundo.
Ichigo, Orihime, Sado and Urahara accompany Nel on a journey to her realm to reclaim her homeland and save her friends.
Episode 2 is expertly paced. In a mere 24 minutes (including the opening and end credits) the audience is reintroduced to multiple characters, given more information regarding a new enemy faction and treated to a little bit more of the stellar action that was abundant in Episode 1.
Fans were floored by the impeccable animation on display from veteran company Studio Pierrot in last week's premiere episode and this level of quality is maintained in Episode 2.
The series is stunning even in its slower moments thanks to its smooth animation, lifelike lighting, attention to detail and vibrant color palette. Seeing the updated artstyle and modern animation in these first 2 episodes almost makes it jarring to go back to the first sixteen seasons of the show.
“Bleach” is infamous to many for its overabundance of stagnant and often dialogue heavy fights, but that’s not the case here. The action scenes in “Thousand-Year Blood War” are fluid, fast paced and filled with jaw dropping choreography.
Another standout aspect of the episode is its music. Shirō Sagisu, who composed the music for all sixteen seasons of “Bleach” from 2004-2012 returns in “Thousand-Year Blood War” in glorious fashion.
His music elevates every scene it plays in, by adding ambience to slower paced moments while raising the gravitas of the action scenes. The theme for the mysterious group of villains known as the Sternritters in particular stands toe to toe with the greatest tracks from the series original run.
Episode 2 of “Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War” may not be quite as action packed as its premiere episode, however it lays the groundwork for this arc's main conflict, while also reintroducing several characters and setting up a bombastic battle to take place in next week's episode.
Will Anderson is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact him, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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