Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War 1×03 Review: “March of the Starcross”

March of the Starcross Bleach Thousand Year Blood War episode 3 review
Orihime keeps everyone behind her shield as Ichigo gets ready to fight in ‘March of the Starcross’ (Screengrab: Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War Anime Episode 3)

Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War anime episode 3, titled ‘March of the Starcorss’, offered a bunch of answers while raising the stakes higher.

‘March of the Starcross’ opened with Ichigo getting ready to face Quilge Opie. Even though Ichigo was confident, their fight made it clear that defeating someone like Quilge Opie wasn’t going to be easy. That dude kept on revealing new powers to keep Ichigo on his toes. Even though our main lead has had experience with facing a Quincy, due to Ishida being one, Quilge Opie was on a completely different level. Also, the fact that Ichigo was fighting someone who knew everything about him also didn’t help matters.

The leader of the Wandenreich had put Ichigo under the “special war potential” category and he wanted Quilge Opie to end him. Or, from what His Highness decided to do during the final moments of the episode, at least delay Ichigo from reaching Soul Society for as long as possible.

I liked how the writers handled the fight sequence. Even though the two didn’t cross their blades too often, Quilge Opie’s abilities were enough to give Ichigo a tough time. He activated his ‘Quincy: Vollstandig‘ (which was stronger than the ‘Quincy: Letzt Stil’) to transform himself into an angelic-ish being. Quilge Opie also activated his power of Biskiel (more specifically ‘Sklaverei‘) which allowed him to absorb Reishi from his surroundings by enslaving it, including Orihime’s Sotenkisshun and anyone close to him. Also, the fact that he’s able to recover after a beatdown from Ayon cemented his incredible durability.

With Kisuke Urahara making his way to the battlefield, after rescuing Dondochakka, I’m looking forward to seeing Urahara lend Ichigo a hand.

March of the Starcross Bleach Thousand Year Blood War anime episode 3 review
Quilge Opie’s transformation after absorbing Ayon in ‘March of the Starcross’ (Screengrab: Bleach – Thousand Year Blood War Anime Episode 3)

As for the Captains in Soul Society, Yamamoto not trusting the Wandenreich promising to attack in five days made a lot of sense. There was no reason for Yamamoto to trust such people would remain true to their word. He wanted the Captains to prepare for war ASAP. The upcoming fights featuring the Captains are going to be epic!

We also got an answer to the mystery concerning a whole bunch of people disappearing from Soul Society. It was revealed that Kurotsuchi had taken it upon himself to eliminate those souls (28,000 citizens!) to help prevent the barrier between the Soul Society and the human world from breaking. Of course, Yamamoto didn’t appreciate Kurotsuchi going over his head to execute such a plan. But then again, the entire thing was in character for Kurotsuchi. Also, Kurotsuchi calling Yamamoto out and basically blaming the current situation on him made for an intense moment. Yamamoto and Your Highness had history. And I’m looking forward to seeing the writers share more details.

Ishida Uryu also did some research while staying behind in the human world. The writers used Ishida going through old books and Kajomaru Hidetomo talking to Shino and Ryunsoke to explain the difference between the Shinigami and Quincy communities. Turns out, after continuous talks fell through, the Shinigami decided to eliminate the Quincy community approximately 200 years ago to protect the human world and Soul Society. Your Highness leading a powerful Quincy army as revenge was, in a sense, understandable.

Things are heating up and I can’t wait to watch the next episode! The Captains won’t be holding back to protect Soul Society while Ichigo and his team try to reach there in time to help.

Some other thoughts:

  • Quilge Opie being surprised that Ishida’s Heilig Pfeil was weaker than his and how that shouldn’t even be possible is going to come up again down the line. Ishida has a very interesting journey to go through in the current arc.
  • Ishida’s grandfather, Ishida Souken, was namedropped by Quilge Opie. Ishida Souken had refused to join the other Quincies in their “evolution”.
  • Poor Kira!
  • I still remember the first time I read the manga chapter where Quilge Opie began absorbing the Reishi from Orihime and Chad. I was shooketh!

What did you think of ‘March of the Starcross’?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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