The following contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War “Foundation Stones” streaming now on Hulu & Disney+.
Bleach: Thousand Years of Blood WarThe highly anticipated second episode couldn’t have come sooner for fans. The second episode, Foundation Stones, reveals the intricate connection between Hueco Mundo’s Arrancars and The Quincy’s Wandenreich.
As a brief synopsis, episode one of Bleach: Thousand Years of Blood War, The Blood Warfare, introduced the audience to brand new characters, such as Soul Reaper team members Shino Madarame and Ryunosuke Yuki, as well as brand new antagonists, the King of The Quincy, Yhwach, and members of The Wandenreich, Asguiaro Ebern and Luders Friegen . In addition to new characters, mysterious technological devices such as the Medallion and Shadow are introduced, which help steal Bankai and teleport Wandenreich members.
The Fate of Luders and Boars
At the end of the first episode, the King of Quincy, Yhwach, cuts off his subordinate Luder Friegen’s right arm after complaining about Ebern’s failure to defeat Kurosaki Ichigo. The beginning of the second episode continues the conversation between Yhwach and Luders leading up to Luders’ beheading. After Yhwach compliments Ebern’s success in holding off Ichigo for so long, Ebern is slaughtered by him as well.
These two deaths come as a shock to straight anime viewers, as the first episode sets up Ebern and Luders as fairly formidable opponents of Ichigo and potential antagonists for the season. These scenes aren’t all shocking though, as it’s revealed later in the episode that Yhwach used Arrancars from Hueco Mundo as fronting members of The Wandenreich. As speculated, Boars and Luders turn out to be two of these recruited arrancars, and their deaths are a reminder of how much The Quincy Hollow despises and arrancars.
The Fate of Lieutenant Sasakibe
In the first episode, Squad One barracks is attacked by a group of seven called The Wandenreich. In episode two, Ryunosuke receives a call from his soul phone and turns the volume up loud enough for Ichigo and his group to hear the message as well. One of Mayuri Kurochi’s subordinates at the R&D center informs all members of the Soul Society team that fifty-seven minutes before his announcement, the unidentified group attacked the chief captain’s office and mortally wounded Lieutenant Sasakibe, resulting in his eventual death.
Some other important information is reported, showing that the group of attackers who entered and exited Soul Society used an unknown route. At the same time, an unidentified intruder slaughtered all 116 of Squad One’s 116 Soul Reapers in a 182-second battle at the Kokuryo Gate. With the death toll and the decimation of Squad One of the Gotei 13, Soul Society is on high alert. After the conclusion of a meeting between the Gotei 13’s captains, a cremation ceremony is held in honor of Lieutenant Sasakibe. His death is staggering as he was a loyal subordinate to Genryusai Shigekuni Yamamoto and served him for over a hundred years.
The Fate of the Arrancars
Ichigo falls from the sky and is attacked by Nel Tu, a former arrancar and member of Aizen’s Espada. With her arrives Pesche, one of Nel’s brothers and protectors. After their first reunion is over, Pesche begs Ichigo to save his friend Dondochakka, who was captured by The Quincy during their takeover of Hueco Mundo. During a flashback, it is revealed that the current ruler of Hueco Mundo, Lady Tier Harribel, was captured by Yhwach and that the other residents of Hueco Mundo were either slaughtered or drafted into his army.
Although the arrancars were one of the main antagonists in the original bleaching series, Ichigo doesn’t hesitate to help them save them. Ishida, a member of The Quincy, tells Ichigo that since hollows and arrancars are his natural enemies, he can’t help him. With the arrival of his mentor, Kisuke Urahara, Ichigo and his friends, excluding Ishida, go through the Garganta to get to Hueco Mundo. When they arrive, the situation is exactly as Pesche described it. The lands of Hueco Mundo are littered with the corpses of arrancars and the remaining survivors are taken as slaves, either drafted into Yhwachs’s army or slaughtered.
The Fate of the Tres Bestias
During the unilateral slaughter of the Arrancar survivors, a three-man team called the Espada Tres Bestias worked as Aizen’s subordinates during the main action bleaching Series, arrive and defeat the minions of Quilge Opie (or Sternritter J), senior hunt commander of The Quincy. Unfortunately, the three don’t prove strong enough to win against Sternritter J. And when Ichigo arrives at the scene, the bodies of Tres Bestias are scattered among the rubble. However, the episode neither confirms nor denies their deaths, so hopefully episode three will reveal whether or not they survived the battle.
The Espada, Aizen’s helpers in the fight against Ichigo and Soul Society, were a group of powerful arrancar fighters who were the subject of an entire arc in the original series. Although only three of them showed up to fight this episode, Sternritter J’s complete dominance over them in terms of sheer strength strongly suggests that Ichigo’s current abilities may not be enough to fight him or the rest of The Wandenreich’s core members .
Regarding the main conflict, episode two of Bleach: Thousand Years of Blood War confirmed that the masked invaders calling themselves The Wandenreich are in fact the members of The Quincy believed to be extinct. In addition, it is known that Yhwach has some plans affecting Hueco Mundo’s arrancars, particularly their ruler, Lady Tier Harribel; although there was no indication in this episode what that might be. The ending of this episode also alludes to it a fight between Star Knight J and Ichigo which could lead to another training arc for Ichigo to become stronger to fight The Wandenreich. Finally, much like episode one, the studio continues to produce stunning artwork and smooth transitions.
MORE: Bleach: How the Thousand-Year Blood War Debut Is Everything Fans Were Hoping For
https://gamerant.com/bleach-thousand-year-blood-war-episode-2-review/ Thousand Year Blood War Episode 2 Review