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EP. REVIEW: Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Season 2


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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 1126
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 10:10 am Reply with quote
Yeah, the bait and switch was something I have never seen ever in any media before.

-"Oh, so you thought I was gonna try being clever and interesting there for a second, lol".
-"Now see how I return the status quo immediately".

Plasing the characters in a situation that force them to be clever it's quite normal in manga, the most famous it's probably Greed Island and Yugi-OH made a franchise with multiple series out of using a sole type of game and constantly changing its rules.

Here we have an intent of doing that and then in immediately turn around, its so weird... imaginate a Yugi-OH series where we use most of the first and second episodes explaining the new rules, just for the other to say "Nah" and summon 3 Blue Eyes without tribute and smash his opponent, or Gon refusing to use the cards in Greed Island and just beat down everybody in sight.

It's almost like admitting you are a bad writer/just don't care what you are doing.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 1942
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 10:45 am Reply with quote
While I appreciate Soifon using Yoruichi's moves from the first arc, it's a shame it was useless as heck. Hyonimaru's shikai being close to bankai and the bankai return feels like the biggest writer's block ever. Even Byakuya's survival felt like a big cop out considering how big was such scene where he talked with Ichigo. Also, it feels like they are giving Ichigo the Goku treatment, cos they are making him stronger over the course of the several episodes but in two cours?
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 12292
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 10:56 am Reply with quote
It's nice to have the show back and to see the animation and quality of adaption are as on-point as the last cour. Hopefully they keep it up for the rest of this fight-heavy cour.

You always need at least one Bleach OP/ED that's just everybody in drip (designed by Kubo himself in fact).

I'm glad they kept that Bambietta scene and it's great seeing the female Sternritter all animated and voiced. It's also nice to see Ayacchi and Aoi Yuki together again. And Nao Toyama as a bad guy.
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db999



Joined: 23 Dec 2017
Posts: 307
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 11:05 am Reply with quote
tintor2 wrote:
Also, it feels like they are giving Ichigo the Goku treatment, cos they are making him stronger over the course of the several episodes but in two cours?


Yeah thats exactly what they do, and the annoying thing is they do it too many times in the same arc. First he's stuck in Hueco Mundo and the tension is can he break out and get there in time before the Captains die, then he goes for training and we get the exact same thing. Can he complete his training and come to help before everyone dies, and then don't read if you don't want huge spoilers seriously this will probably be where this stretch of episodes ends. spoiler[Ywach gets to the soul kings palace to kill him and we think the final fight with Ichigo is gonna happen. But then ichigo gets kicked off of the soul kings palace down to the soul society and you know the drill, can he make it back to Ywach and beat him before everyone dies.] Its completely infuriating. That being said the fights are really cool but it's annoying how Kubo stalls the main story while they happen.
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Unculturedman



Joined: 01 Apr 2022
Posts: 57
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Bleach is legitimately all about the fights. That’s the entire premise of the series. The actual plot is pretty superficial. Entire volumes will be spent on fights between side characters and one dimensional villains. That’s been the entire series since the Arrancar saga. It’s a 74 volume series but the actual plot events could be summarized in a couple paragraphs. What exactly are fans looking forward to this season? Fights. You can see this in the Hueco mundo arc especially, where essentially nothing happens for half a dozen volumes in terms of plot development because Kubo is focused on showing all the side characters fight each villain while Aizen does nothing, only to prove that he was so strong that he quite literally needed no help. It’s awful writing, but the fights are still cool right?
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freebird1994



Joined: 12 Dec 2022
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Is it wrong that I consider Mayuri to be the best character going right now? Like far too many of the other characters we have seen so far in this arc have been very bland and generic (both the soul reapers and the quincys) in terms of their attitudes towards any given situation. And then there's Mayuri who takes the situation given to him and uses his mad scientist qualities to respond to them in a way only a mad scientist could think of. Creating a suit and lab of bright lights to prevent shadows is so over the top in its effectiveness that you almost have to admire it. spoiler[ and then there how he has adapted his bankai but that comes later and is a spoiler so i won't ruin it here. ]

But there is still an aspect of his character that prevents him from feeling like the typical "i have a counter plan for everything you could do/know exactly what you will do" because he doesn't have all the information necessary to come up with the correct counters. Even in his fight with Espada #8 he still needed to see the guy's ability before making a counter to it. He just has the personality and character traits that honestly, I'm more interested in what he has cooked up apart from pretty much everyone else (also I have read the manga, so I know what's coming)

Also, another question what is this desire to see Uryu fight Mayuri again? Is this just your personal desire to see them fight again or is this a big part of the fandom in general. I mean i get it, there's the revenge aspect of it all but I thought the story already did that? They fought during the soul society arc and Uryu won. Yes he didn't kill him (Which is partly cause mayuri fled and partly cause spoiler[I'm pretty sure no named character died in the soul society arc.]) but it still closed out their conflict right? Uryu has, in a way, "avenged his grandfather" by defeating his killer.
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lossthief
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 4:09 pm Reply with quote
freebird1994 wrote:
Also, another question what is this desire to see Uryu fight Mayuri again? Is this just your personal desire to see them fight again or is this a big part of the fandom in general. I mean i get it, there's the revenge aspect of it all but I thought the story already did that? They fought during the soul society arc and Uryu won. Yes he didn't kill him (Which is partly cause mayuri fled and partly cause spoiler[I'm pretty sure no named character died in the soul society arc.]) but it still closed out their conflict right? Uryu has, in a way, "avenged his grandfather" by defeating his killer.

Because the entire drive behind this storyline is the Quincy returning for vengeance after nearly being wiped out by the Soul Reapers, and outside of Yamamoto - who was actually there for the attempted extermination - Mayuri is the most relevant representative of the side of Soul Society that would commit genocide. Last cour we established he killed hundreds of Soul Society residents for the sake of maintaining to balance of souls.

More pertinently, there's just a lot of dissonance to the idea that winning a fight is enough to resolve something as grotesque as Mayuri purposefully causing Soken's death and then experimenting on his soul/body. Especially when he's allowed to maintain his place in Soul Society and - by all appearances - keep up the human (well, "human") experimentation. With Uryu now on the side of the forces trying to make Soul Society answer for its past crimes, it just makes dramatic and narrative sense to allow him - the one Quincy with genuine sympathy from the audience - to at least explore the idea of getting rid of the "Good Guy" side's version of Mengele.
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Unculturedman



Joined: 01 Apr 2022
Posts: 57
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 4:29 pm Reply with quote
freebird1994 wrote:
Also, another question what is this desire to see Uryu fight Mayuri again? Is this just your personal desire to see them fight again or is this a big part of the fandom in general. I mean i get it, there's the revenge aspect of it all but I thought the story already did that? They fought during the soul society arc and Uryu won. Yes he didn't kill him (Which is partly cause mayuri fled and partly cause spoiler[I'm pretty sure no named character died in the soul society arc.]) but it still closed out their conflict right? Uryu has, in a way, "avenged his grandfather" by defeating his killer.

The problem is that Uryu never grapples with his emotions or perspective after the Mayuri fight, and the most interesting aspect of his character (his dislike of Soul reapers and sadness over the death of Soken) was thrown away after the fight in a completely artificial way. He loses his powers, and the only thing on his mind is that he needs to get them back so he can help Ichigo. The entire scenario with Mayuri should’ve pushed his character to go into interesting places, examining the truth of Soul Society, his own beliefs, and feeling genuinely conflicted about assisting Ichigo and company. Instead he becomes an extremely flat character whose only real trait is that he’s Ichigo’s buddy. Everything interesting about his character completely evaporated and I thought it was insulting to have him interact with Mayuri the way he does in the arrancar saga. It shows me that Kubo didn’t even take his own narrative or characters seriously.
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BluesPro



Joined: 09 May 2023
Posts: 99
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 4:52 pm Reply with quote
lossthief wrote:
Because the entire drive behind this storyline is the Quincy returning for vengeance after nearly being wiped out by the Soul Reapers, and outside of Yamamoto - who was actually there for the attempted extermination - Mayuri is the most relevant representative of the side of Soul Society that would commit genocide. Last cour we established he killed hundreds of Soul Society residents for the sake of maintaining to balance of souls.

More pertinently, there's just a lot of dissonance to the idea that winning a fight is enough to resolve something as grotesque as Mayuri purposefully causing Soken's death and then experimenting on his soul/body. Especially when he's allowed to maintain his place in Soul Society and - by all appearances - keep up the human (well, "human") experimentation. With Uryu now on the side of the forces trying to make Soul Society answer for its past crimes, it just makes dramatic and narrative sense to allow him - the one Quincy with genuine sympathy from the audience - to at least explore the idea of getting rid of the "Good Guy" side's version of Mengele.

Or you can just leave parts of Soul Society morally reprehensible or ambiguous. Not everything needs to devolve into a morality fable where everything is nice and clean by the end of a story.
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lossthief
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 1426
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 5:02 pm Reply with quote
BluesPro wrote:
Or you can just leave parts of Soul Society morally reprehensible or ambiguous. Not everything needs to devolve into a morality fable where everything is nice and clean by the end of a story.

It's got nothing to do with morality and everything to do with having an interesting, emotionally charged opportunity for the narrative. The often murky morality of the Soul Society - and how it effects our main human cast like Ichigo and Uryu - is an extremely interesting question that the show has brought up on several occasions, but never really explored. Now, it's in a position to do that, to delve into how Uryu feels about his own lineage with the Quincy, his complicated relationship to Ichigo as a Soul Reaper, etc. Mayuri is just the most obvious example of how the show could delve into these ideas while still keeping up the action.
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 1126
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 6:10 pm Reply with quote
There is something people seems to forget about Mayuri... the series actually never forgave him for what he did and even kind of set him up as an antagonist... but then forgot about it.

Remember the little discussion he had with Shunsui during (after?) the Hueco Mundo Arc?

He tells Mayuri, something like "You are not a good guy either, exactly" and kinda hints he will investigate him later.

The moment it's actually kinda tense and for a second you think Mayuri is going to attack him... You can't make that set up and then do nothing with it, yet, here we are and still it hasn't paid of.
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NeverConvex
Subscriber



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 2402
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2023 6:18 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
There is something people seems to forget about Mayuri... the series actually never forgave him for what he did and even kind of set him up as an antagonist... but then forgot about it.

Do people forget this? I feel like it's central to some of the criticisms in this thread. Bleach is one of those series that has very short-term memory when it comes to anything that might force it to engage in thematically meaty writing instead've just kind of superficially hinting at it and then returning to battle formula.

The battles can be pretty cool, though, especially with the production values being pretty decent. If there's enough of them, I'll still enjoy the ride.
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kurichan69



Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 115
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2023 1:43 pm Reply with quote
Something I haven't seen discussed: The BGM in this season. Really distracting and inappropriate. I keep waiting for Skeletor to appear. I'd almost rather hear Number One (and I am so tired of that song!).
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KaidoYuji8Shinji



Joined: 15 Mar 2016
Posts: 120
Location: Manchester, NH
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2023 6:27 pm Reply with quote
Different sound director it seems. Makes a huge difference I think. The other one was able to perfect placement of the music. This one doesn’t seem to be able to do it as well….
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BluesPro



Joined: 09 May 2023
Posts: 99
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2023 3:52 pm Reply with quote
They couldn't even bother to tell us what BG9's schrift was lol. The absolute bare minimum of additions and they dropped the bal.

That, and with how lame they made Shinji's bankai in execution (nice pans over still shots) after hyping it up, so far this season is doing nothing to elevate what was already the worst part of the arc.
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