Take an already solid formula and inject it with a whole lot of backstory, a bit of special manga inspired filler and a tense build up. What you end up with coming out of the oven is a delicious and very progressive segment to the overall spanning story that is Bleach. I thought I was impressed with the first ten episodes, but these latest bits come in swinging a baseball bat with such might and such grace that I am out of the stadium! Honestly some of the best character development and progression that I have seen in a series thus far! It is frankly quite exciting to watch; no matter how oddly paced it feels. The fighting between both Ichigo and Kenpachi is honestly my favorite to date and really shows that the art in the show is capable of expressing and showing. So much color and vibrancy and yet we also are clutched by fear and the draining of color in many scenes, which I am positive has a thematic reflection on the tone that currently hangs over the headquarters of the Soul Reaper’s.
Ichigo’s character development is odd in the essence that while it meshes in with what is concurrently happening, it feels a bit out of place. Sure it is there to help him grow and keep up to snuff with his adversaries, who are essentially idiots for allowing him time to have those reflective sessions and to learn from them. Fighting form and shady opponents aside, his training interactions with Zangetsu and Alternate Ichigo who has become a pale NEET is interesting and a fun breakaway from to usual fight slightly stronger Soul Reaper and progress to the next stage sort of formula. I do enjoy more of the sword play and learning more about how special each Zanpakutou is in the vein of their importance to their wielders and to their true forms and wants. I look forward to seeing if we get to see other Zanpakutou manifest their corporeal forms and desires later down the road with our Bleach run.
Chad or Sado was a nice presence to see on screen and while it was mostly him just punching, a lot. It was still better than nothing. We even got a bit of character development from him too! It was awesome to see how intertwined his past was with Ichigo and how his childhood had a massive reflection on the person he would grow up to be. Although I was sadly more interested in the captain that he was fighting, Shunsui Kyouraku. His style and composure was drastically different and less creepy than the other Soul reaper captains. Sure he gushes after his underling, but beyond that his fighting style is as elegant and effortless as a cherry blossom drifting through the air. Granted Chad loses this fight quite quickly and we are left wondering as to what he is up to. We know that he is alive and that squad four was to be called for his retrieval, but that remains to be seen.
From what I have seen thus far I am strongly pleased with this progress and pacing. It was quite off putting to run into a semi-filler episode (Semi in the sense that it was actually a manga special) in the middle of the last five episodes for our ten episode cur and I am utterly excited to see what becomes of the next few episodes! If you would like to track our current view progress, feel free to follow us over on Kitsu.io!
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