Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War 1×06 Review: “The Fire”

The Fire Bleach thousand year blood war anime episode 6 review
Yhwach tries to defend against an angry Yamamoto in ‘The Fire’ (Screengrab: Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War Anime Episode 6)

Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War episode 6, ‘The Fire’, showcased Yamamoto’s immense power as he fought against His Highness. However, there was one major twist involved!

‘The Fire’ opened with a scene featuring Ishida reading about the history of the Quincy vs Shinigami war. He got to learn that a huge battle to exterminate the Quincy occurred 1000 years ago. That incident was followed by a war that occurred 200 years ago, to exterminate the remaining Quincy.

It was understandable for Ishida to wonder if the Quincy and Shinigami could ever live in harmony. Yes, Ishida’s close friends with Ichigo. And he’s also traveled to the Soul Society to help the other Shinigami. However, there’s a difference between the Shinigami being okay with having a single Quincy, like Ishida, around and allowing the Quincy to grow in number and put the balance between the human and spiritual worlds in jeopardy.

The anime is setting Ishida up for a very interesting journey about self-discovery and cementing where his loyalties lie. It’s going to be fun. Emotional. But fun.

Talking about the fight currently occurring in Soul Society (Yes, Ichigo’s still trapped in the energy prison), the episode focused on Yamamoto holding nothing back to defeat His Highness or Yhwach the same way he did 1000 years ago.

The animation team did an awesome job of visualizing the tremendous power emanating from an angry Yamamoto. His Bankai, the Zanka no Tachi, is a force to be reckoned with. The flames that Yamamoto was controlling were so intense that every drop of moisture evaporated from Soul Society. The double-edged nature of wielding such incredible power meant that he needed to finish the fight quickly or else risk destroying the entirety of Soul Society.

A major twist was involved during Yhwach vs Yamamoto. Truth be told, for some reason, I had completely forgotten about said twist from the manga. Which, in a sense, was a good thing, because I was genuinely surprised when it happened during the anime adaptation.

I did have my suspicions about the version of Yhwach that Yamamoto was fighting when Yhwach got very emotional due to being forced to face his dead comrades as Yamamoto called upon the dead (from 1000 years ago) through his ‘ Kaka Jūmanokushi Daisōjin’ ability. Like, why the heck was Yhwach crying?

I think Yhwach being so emotional should have raised a red flag for Yamamoto. But oh well. The plot has to go on.

After Yamamoto disintegrated chunks of Yhwach’s body and waited for him to die, that’s when the mystery was revealed. Turns out, the Yhwach that Yamamoto was fighting was actually a Sternritter named Royd Lloyd, the identical brother of Lloyd Lloyd (whom Kenpachi had killed). Both were given the letter ‘Y for Yourself’ as they shared the ability to turn into other people.

The real Yhwach appeared after the battle and was now ready to take on a weakened Yamamoto. We got to learn that the reason Royd Lloyd was unable to steal Yamamoto’s Bankai was that he wasn’t powerful enough to contain the Zanka no Tachi. But the real Yhwach was and of course, he stole Yamamoto’s Bankai.

Now one can assume that the fact a couple of Yhwach’s soldiers weren’t able to steal Ichigo’s Bankai in the previous episodes could mean they weren’t powerful enough to do so. But let’s see what the actual answer ends up being.

As for the battle between Yamamoto and the real Yhwach, well, it wasn’t much of a fight. The real Yhwach took his exhausted opponent down with one slash of his sword. He did that after telling the weakened Shinigami Captain-Commander that he had been busy paying the villainous Sosuke Aizen a visit.

Yamamoto’s death will surely deal a huge blow to the morale of Soul Society. Our heroes were already having a tough time. I’m looking forward to seeing the anime dealing with the fallout, including Ichigo experiencing guilt and wondering how many deaths could have been avoided if only he had managed to arrive sooner.

What did you think of ‘The Fire’?

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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