Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War 1×07 Review: “Born in the Dark”

Born in the Dark Bleach thousand year blood war episode 7 review
Ichigo is prepared to fight Yhwach in ‘Born in the Dark’ (Screengrab: Bleach – Thousand-Year Blood War Anime Episode 7)

Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War episode 7, ‘Born in the Dark’, gave us an awesome flashback and a major revelation about Ichigo’s heritage.

‘Born in the Dark’ opened with a flashback showcasing the first confrontation between Yhwach and the Gotei 13 during the Shinigami vs Quincy war 1000 years ago. Even though the previous version of the Gotei 13 was covered in shadows, you could still see their murderous intent. No wonder a younger Yamamoto was able to defeat Yhwach during their first battle. He and the rest of the Captains were out for blood, willing to do anything to put an end to their enemies.

The animators did an awesome job of visualizing the brutality from the Gotei 13 as they sliced through foes with ease. There was even a scene where a Captain bashed two heads together into bloody mush. The screen had body parts flying around. I loved it! Yhwach and his minions stood no chance against such might and bloodthirst.

But things were much different in the present. Years of peace had softened Yamamoto. A majority of the past Gotei 13 members had been replaced by the familiar faces we first saw during the original Bleach anime. While stern, most of the current Captains could be reasoned with and were kind. Not only that, but Yamamoto’s ego had also worked against him.

I liked the scene where Yhwach told a dying Yamamoto that he should have asked the humans for help. Orihime, someone capable of reversing time to heal injuries, could have easily regrown the arm Yamamoto lost during the events of Bleach. He also didn’t want to get Ichigo involved.

According to Yhwach, the younger Yamamoto would have used anyone he could to fulfill his goals, even if meant sacrificing his allies. In Yhwach’s opinion, Yamamoto becoming kinder with age led to his defeat and the current destruction of Soul Society.

The devastation present in the recent episodes has just been wow. Yhwach’s all about killing every single Shinigami. The scene where he brought in more of his foot soldiers to massacre the remaining Shinigami really hit hard, especially with Ichigo crying out loud because he could sense the numerous deaths and was worried about the fate of his close friends Rukia and Renji.

With Ichigo finally being able to reach Soul Society, I really liked how he didn’t waste time by letting Sternritter Shaz Domino finish introducing himself. Ichigo wanted to take down Yhwach ASAP! The scene where he suppressed his Spiritual Pressure to the shock of the remaining Sternritters was nice. I love a serious Ichigo.

Coming to a gripe of mine, I don’t know if the conversation between Ichigo and a gravely injured Byakuya was necessary. We have already seen Byakuya go through the character development of trusting Ichigo and he knew Ichigo would do everything in his power to save Soul Society. So their interaction felt redundant to me.

As for the fight between Ichigo and Yhwach, our exhausted hero was not yet ready for such a Boss Battle. Yhwach was easily throwing around Ichigo and he would have been seriously injured if his true abilities didn’t kick in at the right moment, to Yhwach’s surprise.

‘Born in the Dark’ revealed that Ichigo was able to activate Blut Vene, a Quincy ability. Yhwach realized that he had made a mistake by sending Quilge Opie to delay Ichigo. Due to being trapped in Quilge Opie’s prison, Ichigo released a whole of lot Spiritual Energy to break free. And while absorbing that energy back, his body also absorbed Quilge Opie’s Quincy energy that triggered memories in Ichigo’s Spiritual Energy that he wasn’t aware of.

Quilge Opie’s jail was for capturing enemies. Not Quincy! And that meant that… dun, dun, dunnnn… Ichigo was also Quincy!

Yhwach wanted to capture Ichigo from the start and reeducate him. But he didn’t have the time to do so. So, he resorted to kidnapping Ichigo by force in the current episode. And he would have succeeded if it wasn’t time for Yhwach to leave Soul Society (thanks to Aizen being a messy Queen!).

Yhwach did tell Ichigo that he will be back to get him and even called Ichigo his son who was born in darkness. So, the next episodes with Soul Society recovering from a brutal attack and Ichigo going through an existential crisis due to his mother’s genetics are going to be fun to watch.

Our heroes really need to level up big time and take the fight to the enemy!

What did you think of ‘Born in the Dark’? What are your thoughts about Ichigo also being a Quincy?

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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