Bleach Thousand Year Blood War review: A magnificent return to iconic series

Terry Oh
Bleach Thousand Year Blood war review

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War marks Ichigo’s glorious return after years of hiatus. The series vastly surpassed expectations and lands itself as one of the highest quality animations ever created.

Despite having a controversial manga source material, Bleach Thousand Year Blood War impresses with its incredibly strong execution.

Part 1 of the season, in essence the first 13 episodes, is jam packed with content, creating an exceptional viewing experience unparalleled in animation quality and pacing unforeseen in its genre.

This review will not include spoilers for the series, but rather talks generally about Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Part 1.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War’s pacing is unmatched for its genre

Though only 13 episodes are out thus far, with the second part set to release in July 2023, there’s been enough content covered to span well over 50 episodes of a “typical” shounen anime.

Shounen anime are known for their slow pacing, utilizing superfluous filler to spread out the gap. This occurs for a myriad of reasons: it allows the source material to keep charging ahead, and elongates engagement.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War is void of this flaw, jam packing movie-level action animation into every episode. The fights aren’t drawn out, and are incredibly exhilarating to watch. And once one fight concludes, another has already begun — keeping the audience constantly engaged and wanting more.

As for the story itself, it’s as well executed as can be considering the source material. The anime does a far better job of sharing all the plot points of the manga, while presenting in a way which creates the least amount of controversy.

Those familiar with the manga likely know which plot points this refers to. But for those who are not, don’t read too much into it. Instead, enjoy the masterful presentation of the Bleach story as shown in Bleach Thousand Year Blood War.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood war review
The season skips many side characters fights

The narrative is very intentional with the way it transitions and presents information, opting for concision. This allows the important plot points to seamlessly interweave with one another, while mixing in action in just the right places to maximize thrill.

The animation quality for the action scenes is amazing and very consistent. Less important fights are intentionally brushed over, allowing the main skirmishes to truly shine. Thanks to the action cinematography alongside expression of power through lore, the power scalings and matchups are quite easy to follow, which is essential for Shounen anime.

Bleach’s minor flaws

In regards to the series’ flaws, it’s arguably a little too fast paced, which may seem contradictory to the praise sung earlier. Side characters’ fights are brushed over, and their thoughts and struggles often neglected. This slightly takes away from the world building, but is very much a necessary evil to execute other elements as well as the animation studio did.

The story is still full of some logical holes, which is inevitable considering the source material. These logical inconsistencies, which many fans have labelled as “lazy storytelling”, are unavoidable. They cannot be changed since they serve imperative to the overarching plot.

Bleach Thousand Year Blood War rating: 5/5

Watching and knowing the story prior is imperative to fully appreciating the new installment. But as a whole, Bleach Thousand Year Blood War does so much right that the barrier of entry alongside flaws can be overlooked.

Here are Dexerto’s Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episodic reviews:

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12