Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12 review: The season finale

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 12VIZ Media

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12 concludes the return of the series, while preparing the setting for what is sure to be another action packed arc.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12 is the season finale.

Rather than ending the season with a bang, the episode goes through some necessary lore to set up for the next battles. Therefore, it definitely makes for a bit of a lackluster finale, but ties some loose ends in the story.

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A quick spoiler warning below for Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12!

Ichigo’s true Zanpakuto

According to this episode, the Zanpakuto Ichigo believed to be his Zanpakuto wasn’t actually his, but can be as long as he accepts it within his heart. Yeah, it’s super convoluted and weird and is, frankly, one of Bleach’s weakest plot points throughout its entire run as as series.

This episode pretty much reveals that the old man Zangetsu, who the audience alongside Ichigo completely believed to be the physical embodiment of his Zanpakuto, was actually his Quincy powers taking the form of Yhwach, the king of the Quincy from a thousand years prior. And the purpose of the Yhwach’s form was supposedly to hinder Ichigo’s Shinigami powers.

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Yhwach, or Zangetsu ( it’s hard to really put a name on this “character”), tells Ichigo his hollow form was actually the real Zanpakuto this entire time, and Yhwach was meant to stop Ichigo from fully realizing his potential. But Ichigo pretty much just ignores all of this, and goes “you’re both my Zanpakuto,” and it somehow rings true.

This doesn’t make much sense, since it literally ignores the plot points that the Zangetsu Yhwach tells him, but Ichigo just decides to believe in Yhwach even though he literally tells him he’s been deceiving him this whole time, which then allows Ichigo to wield both sides of his powers.

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This plot point essentially spits on the rest of the series and Ichigo’s hard fought battles, but is also essential to moving the story forward and cannot in any way or form be ignored to progress the narrative. Therefore, Bleach Thousand Year Blood War must cover this weak plot point. The anime does its best to present the plot point in a way which at least makes emotional sense for Ichigo’s character development, but the logic is still very inconsistent.

The anime still does a much better job of this than the manga, which believe it or not, made even less sense.

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While Ichigo goes on this journey of self discovery, Shinigami in Soul Society go on what is pretty much their own training arcs, where they unlock more power within themselves.

The conclusion which doesn’t conclude anything

The season finale is easily the worst episode of the series thus far, since it’s used to go over the very necessary and poorly written plot points which plagued the manga during its original serialization. But there’s good news — the following sequel to this series has been announced, and the story is not over quite yet.

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Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 12 concludes nothing in regards to narrative, but rather sets up for a continued anime serialization which is sure to be jam packed with action and fun.

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Part 2 continues in July 2023.

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11

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