In Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 9, Ichigo and Renji practically go on a vacation, which masquerades itself as a training arc.
Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 9 continues the pacing set from the previous episode, providing some much needed breathing room between the intense fights which characterized the newest season of Bleach.
Despite the almost slice of life tone, the episode cuts no corners — providing a thoroughly enjoyable viewing alongside excellent background context for one of the key side characters.
A quick spoiler warning below for Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 9!
Ichigo and Renji’s training arc begins
Both Ichigo and Renji enjoy their time in a hot spring, which is supposedly a healing spring that also tests the limits of the spiritual and physical body.
Tenjirō Kirinji then randomly punches Ichigo, sending him flying into some rocks: “You’re all healed. If you weren’t, that punch would have killed you,” the hot tub master tells him.
But what isn’t shown initially is that Ichigo managed to counter his attack by instinct, leaving Kiriniji’s hand shattered. Kirinji is known for his amazing speed, but since Ichigo’s movement wasn’t shown in the animation, this means the main protagonist is even faster than Kirinji.
Renji then stands up, and takes a punch to the gut without flying. The two then proceed to the next destination, where they enjoy a spiritual energy refilling meal prepared by the one and only Kirio Hikifune.
Once again, they’re shown relaxing. At this point, even Ichigo becomes self-aware and asks himself if he should really be relaxing at this point in time. Hikifune then walks in, suddenly slim and busty, stating the “relaxation” has all been part of the healing process, preparing them for what is sure to be a hellish training session.
Hot springs and amazing looking food are both staples in anime, often making their appearances in series focusing on school life. Therefore, their appearance in Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Episode 9 is rather welcome, showcasing the less serious aspects of the series while keeping true to the narrative progress.
In essence, the fact that this is still helping them replenish their energy and grow stronger is a great precedent which doesn’t derail the story.
Kirio Hikifune then sends the two to meet with Ōetsu Nimaiya, the creator of the very first Zanpakuto.
Kenpachi versus Unohana
While Ichigo and Renji are taking baths and eating lavish foods, Kenpachi and Unohana face off in a sparring match, where Unohana completely overwhelms Kenpachi.
Retsu Unohana, previously known as Yachiru Unohana, was once known as a blood thirsty killer, and served as one of the original thirteen Captains. This plays in stark contrast with her current persona, but also makes sense seeing as how she avoided conflict in the past. She likely wanted to live a life of healing, rather than spreading bloodshed as she did in the past.
She actually held the position of Captain of the 11th Division, and set the precedent for the battle craved theme of the division.
For those who don’t keep track of each individual Division, Zaraki Kenpachi is the current Captain of the 11th Division, a position he earned by killing the previous Captain.
Unohana takes it upon herself to train Kenpachi, who Soul Society fears. But after the results of the Quincy Invasion, various members realize increasing Kepnachi’s powers is a necessary evil.
The action animation here is incredibly well done, providing intense fighting cinematography which helps showcase Unohana’s brutal fighting style. This scene also makes sure there’s enjoyable action to watch, while the main protagonist lives it up in what is essentially a holy haven.
Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War Episode 10 release date is on December 13.