The world of Bleach has always been extra, beginning with Ichigo and not ever ending. Whether it’s a newly introduced character or an old bud, Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 3 proves that the extraness isn’t going to flatter away.

Amidst all that extraness, we do get some light on the complexities that make the philosophy of Bleach a little complex. Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 3 faired well. But the most naive of such moments is the battle between Opie and Ichigo. Here’s what we mean by that –

Bleach Thousand Year Blood war battle dynamics are pretty linear and shonenish

Bleach TYBW Episode 1
Yhawch cuts off one of his Hunting captain’s arms off in Episode 1, courtesy of Spectre Anime Youtube channel

There’s a certain charisma to characters that overswing their daily quota of power-ups only to unveil newer forms of powered-up forms. There is also something about the villain king chopping down the arms of his underling general just because he happened to argue with another similarly powerful underling. These are all the things that make Bleach ‘extra’.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War knows how to appeal to a younger audience

Bleach TYBW Episode 3
The charismatic appearance of the protagonists in Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 1

It is simple fanservice mechanics. Begin the greatest anticipated anime by first showing a few weak side characters. Introduce them as the new support in the series, and show that they are almost about to die with their asses whipped and guts almost sponged. Then have the original cast make an epic return and massacre some hugely unreasonable amount of Hollow’s gathering.

Do this to refresh the viewers on why Bleach is the coolest anime ever. Also add English songs to appease the English audience, which Bleach has always done – appease the west. Also, add full-throttle German terminology to describe a previous power that people thought was dead but isn’t.

Analyzing Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 3 Opie vs Ichigo battle

Now before you take this as criticism, take this as a friendly review. I love Bleach, who doesn’t? That doesn’t mean we can ignore its extraness. By extraness, I simply imply the fanservice that it has to throw butter the plot into understandable bits and pieces. This is especially astounding in Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 3, where Quilge Opie of “the Jail” faces Ichigo.

The episode is full of things that don’t make sense, but things you chip down because it’s anime logic.

  • For instance, Ichigo blabbers to himself if Opie is even a Quincy. Even before our protagonist can finish, the executioner jumps up and starts to explain what Quincy really is.
Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 3
Ebern’s first appearance. courtesy of Spectre Anime
  • This was previously done in the first episode also. When Ichigo faces Ebern and wonders if he is an Arrancar. Which again offends Quincy. But boy, I don’t get why the villains are so concerned about whether the protagonist understands the difference between the Quincy as understood by Ishida’s powers and the new ones.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood Wars’ desperate attempt to separate Quincy under Yhawch from Ishida

  • Of course, to establish to the audience that Opie’s powers are different than the Quincy powers of Uryu, there needs to be some point where the series mentions it. Bleach does this when the hunting captain of Quincy King makes his attempts at the “Special War Potential” Ichigo Kurosaki.
  • This doesn’t just end there, as Opie describes his distinction from the Quincy known to Ichigo before. It seems too easy to think that Opie knows the underlying confusion of Ichigo. He also knows Ishida so much that he could address both the hero’s and the audience’s concerns. The concern is simply – How is Quincy under Yhawch any different from Ishida?

Bleach TYBW Episode 3 proves why the series is starting to overuse transformations in Opie vs Ichigo battle

Opie's first form in Episode 3
Opie’s first form, Quincy Vollstanding!

It is known knowledge that the hunting captain of the Quincy will be flattened to the curve by our hero in a few episodes. But this will not happen before Opie feels content with his share of power-ups being animated. Beginning with his new blue-winged angelic form which he says distinguishes him immensely from Ishida Uryu. The name again has to be in German. Opie calls his form Quincy Vollstanding, pardon my lack of German knowledge.

Opie's second form in Bleach Episode 3
Opie’s second form, courtesy of Crackalicious Anime Youtube channel

If this wasn’t to Opie’s content, he is forced to yet again change his form. Opie vs Ichigo ends up revealing the second form that he can attain by forcing concentration of his Reishi. The second form is the opposite of his first and almost demon-like. Very ironic for Quincies who sought Peace in the world and are supposed to be holy angels.

Concluding

Yhawch as seen in the first episode of Bleach Thousand Year Blood Wars Episode 1 Premiere
Yhawch as seen in the first episode, courtesy of @bleach_fan20

I mean I don’t expect Attack on Titan’s level of genius storytelling. And after a decade and more of watching Bleach, I have come to accept its cheesiness as part of the deal. You just put that judgemental brain off and enjoy the episode as it comes out. Though one of the most anticipatingly interesting aspects of the episode is Ishida finding out that he isn’t the last of his bloodline.

Of the war that has been declared and is about to get bloody, Ishida is about the only one standing in the middle. As such the multifaceted sides of war can beautifully be explained through this one character. Ultimately in war, there’s hardly a good and bad side. War is often the battle of ideologies, each claiming its own righteousness in some way. More of that soon.


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Rhytham is a Philosophy graduate who founded a state-level organization that promotes anime and Japanese culture in his home state of Assam India. The org is named Assam Senpai Society. He is also an ardent writer, poet, musician, vocalist, graphic designer, and photoshop artist. He has worked on multiple state and national level conventions. Other than anime, catch him watching western series that really have in themselves the solidity to catch his attention.