Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 21 Review

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Yhwach Opens His Way to The Soul King Palace

The hero finally returns as Ichigo stands tall against the ambush of four Sternritters before a blue light pillar shines into the sky and gives entrance for Yhwach to enter the Soul King Palace. A tragic reunion that also serves as farewell happens when hurried Ichigo is stopped by the arrows of Uryu who now becomes the successor of the Quincy Emperor.

The Deathberry is Back To The Ground

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Ichigo Returns After His Training

This episode marks the closing of the first act in this arc, where Ichigo’s return becomes a double-edged sword that allows Yhwach to go after his true target, Soul King. It has been a while since the last time we saw Ichigo get into a real fight, and once we finally have the chance to see him back in action, his handicapped battle against four female Sternritters at once delivers pure satisfaction and thrill with his new double swords and greater strength.

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Ichigo Unleashes Getsuga Juujisho

Although once again the presentation is kind of rushed, especially when Ichigo draws his swords and swings his Getsuga Juujisho (Moon Fang Cross Blast), which is supposed to be one of the main highlights of the episode, there is no denying that the visual and audio for those moments make everything become so iconic and epic.

Ultimate Rumble! Gotei 13 VS Sternritters

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Liltotto, Giselle, Meninas, & Candice

A big praise must be given to Pierrot who has prolonged and given more spotlights for Candice, Meninas, Giselle, and Liltotto in this anime adaptation. Pierrot has given these four female characters something missing from the manga, and that is distinct and clear uniqueness aside from the basic different characteristics and abilities.

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Ichigo is Surrounded by Sternritters

Every fighting sequence in this episode is not just incredibly amusing, but more importantly gives chances for everyone involved in the battle to shine in their way, both Ichigo and the Sternritters.

Another well-done adaptation is the moment where Ichigo is surrounded and outnumbered by the remaining Sternritters who obviously make Ichigo their primary target. Added to the sudden rush by Yhwach’s escape, Ichigo’s tension and impatience to not only avoid fighting but also move away from the battlefield can be genuinely felt, and luckily, he gets some help from his friends and allies.

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Survived Members of Gotei 13 Protect Ichigo

Reunion and Farewell

This episode is full of iconic moments from the first act of this arc, and the one that ultimately becomes the climax of it is the infamous reunion between Ichigo and Uryu, who now stand in separate ways and must fight each other.

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Uryu Shoots Licht Regen to Stop Ichigo

It is a shame that the anime could not improve this scene, unlike Ichigo’s battle that we discussed above, because this moment is supposed to be one of the most dramatic moments in this series, just like Orihime and Rukia’s goodbye. Once again everything feels rushed, both in the anime and manga, so the clash and shock between Uryu and Ichigo who is joined by Sado and Orihime are not impactful enough to devastate the audience.

Final Verdict

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Sado & Orihime Come to Soul Society and Shield Ichigo from Uryu’s Arrows

While many things are presented in such a hurry and rush, it does not change the fact that this episode is arguably one of the best episodes in the entire Bleach series.

The turmoil and thrill from Ichigo’s powerful return, Sternritters’ back-to-back Vollstandigs, the brawl between Soul Reapers and Quincies, and eventually the painful friendship farewell that leads to a bigger threat and danger above the sky, these all are the pivotal moments in Bleach, both as a closing for the current chapter and a new beginning for the more dangerous chapter.

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Uryu Leaves Soul Society Together with Yhwach & Jugram

Added to the constant tremendous animation quality by Pierrot, this anime adaptation of the Thousand-Year Blood War incredibly has surpassed any kind of expectation and standard for many Bleach fans who waited nearly a decade for the anime to return. Regardless of the pacing issue which might not disturb many people, it marks one of the rare sequel adaptations that works well and perfectly satisfies the fans.

Until the next episode, check out our news, episode reviews, and rankings!

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