Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 4 review: Soul Society crumbles

Terry Oh
Bleach Sennen Kessen-hen

In Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War episode 4, the Quincy proceed to decimate Soul Society, slaughtering many of the lower-ranking Shinigami.

The fourth episode of Bleach: Thousand Year Blood war paces itself similarly to the other episodes. In other words, the story moves forward at almost disorienting speeds, uncharacteristic of anime within its genre.

Thus far, each episode of the season has more content than five separate episodes of other Shounen anime, such as Naruto and One Piece. This very much plays to the series’ strengths, increasing engagement episode to episode while providing an incredibly high production value.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 4 review – spoiler warning!

The Captains make a big blunder

During the initial invasion, various captains face off against their own respective Quincy. They quickly realize these opponents aren’t to be taken lightly, prompting Captain Hitsugaya, Kuchiki Byakuya, and the doggo character, Sajin Komamura, to unleash their bankai.

Upon calling on their ultimate techniques, the Quincy steal their bankai, resulting in three of the thirteen Shinigami Captains losing their powers simultaneously. Information spreads throughout Soul Society, and the remaining captains are left crippled by the Quincy’s bankai stealing contraption. The only character who can use their bankai properly appears to be Ichigo Kurosaki.

This plot point comes directly from the manga, and received tons of controversy during the serialized weekly releases. The anime’s interpretation of this is faster-paced and better executed, but still feels like a cheap nerf to many of the community’s favorite characters, all in order to accentuate Ichigo’s importance in the plot.

Ichigo attempts to travel to Soul Society

After being contacted by Akon, the Vice-President of the Shinigami Research and Development Institute, Ichigo quickly departs Hueco Mundo, attempting to head to Soul Society.

But before reaching his destination, Quilge Opie, the Quincy Ichigo was fighting, blocks the path off. He shoots a couple more arrows, which close off the opening, trapping Ichigo in the alternate dimension.

This prevents Ichigo from reaching Soul Society, and providing them with the emergency support they required.

This opens up the story to give other characters more spotlight, but also feels like a typical stall that prevents the main character from showing up on time. The narrative itself isn’t all that innovative or commendable, yet it doesn’t take away from the episode’s quality production.

Despite minor narrative issues, Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War episode 4 still shines thanks to its excellent action choreography, pacing, sound design, and animation.

Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 5 will premiere on November 8

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

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