In Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 5, Ichigo is imprisoned in the black void between Hueco Mundo and Soul Society, allowing fan favorite side characters to have precious screen time.
The fifth episode of Bleach Thousand Year Blood War focuses on the Shinigami in Soul Society, showcasing multiple fights against the Quincy. Meanwhile, Ichigo remains strapped in the black void known as Garaganta, the zone between Hueco Mundo and Soul Society.
Ichigo’s absence allows the Shinigami Captains’ scenes to feel more personal, providing precious screen time for the previously neglected side characters.
Once again, the pacing in the episode is phenomenally fast, skimming past various plot points and thereby allowing for maximum engagement. But by speeding up the pacing, Thousand Year Blood War episode 5 vastly simplifies fights which could have been amazing spectacles.
A quick spoiler warning below for Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 5!
Byakuya Kuchiki’s courageous stand
Captain Byakuya faces off against the Quincy who stole his powers in the previous episode. This Quincy’s name is Äs Nödt.
While staring his opponent down, Byakuya can’t help but shake in fear, which is uncharacteristic of the stoic captain. The enemy reveals his powers allows him to feed fear to his opponents, essentially poisoning their mental.
This power isn’t anything innovative, and is actually a rather lackluster moment in the manga. But in the anime, the production quality pretty much carries the scene through, quickly moving past it and leaving Byakuya impaled in the process.
At this moment, one of Soul Society’s strongest captains falls to the ground, increasing the intensity of the war.
Yamamoto Genryuusai’s burning rage
Captain Yamamoto’s fury is easily the highlight of Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 5.
He runs into the enemy who killed his Vice Captain, Sasakibe Chojiro. The Quincy’s name is Driscoll Berci, and he strikes the leader of Soul Society with Chojiro’s Bankai. Yamamoto takes the full forced of it without flinching, then proceeds to kill Berci with a single flaming strike.
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Berci’s body burns away, revealing his skeleton briefly before disintegrating into ash. The fire erased the villain’s existence so fast that Berci couldn’t even register that he was being killed.
The wonderful fire animations alongside quick flashback accentuate his anger, making for an incredibly satisfying revenge scene.
After killing Berci, Yamamoto storms across the battlefield. Others, motivated by his spiritual pressure, prepare to battle to their fullest potential.
Kenpachi Zaraki’s introduction reveals a glaring flaw
After Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 5’s opening, a random shot of Kenpachi shows up on screen. He’s carrying with him the body of three dead Quincy. This single frame is very alarming, since it completely skips a lot of the background context surrounding his fights.
Later on in the episode, the teased scene debuts.
The scene lacks to give a proper recap of the intense fights, and instead flashes back only for a couple of seconds to show Kenpachi massacre his foes.
This was clearly a strategic move to keep up with the pacing present in the previous episodes. Though they successfully push the plot forward, animation studio Pierrot omit big fights which were clearly intended to hold plot relevance.
Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 5 will premiere on November 15
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10