The latest TYBW episode of Bleach gets a new opening laden with symbolism!
Amongst the Big 3, Bleach has always made one ponder various philosophies surrounding life and death. That has been a critical component of Tite Kubo’s symphony since the beginning of the series and has finally received a worthy homage.
Potential Spoilers for Episode 2
Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Arc unveiled the latest episode yesterday. We got to see the fate of Ebern and how the Hollows had to struggle against an invasion. A familiar set of faces pop up, and Ichigo sets out to help those in need. Ishida refrains from joining in because of his value system as a Quincy. The Sternritter J., aka Quilge Opie, is also introduced amidst the bleak landscape of Hueco Mundo.
The opening theme is titled “Scar,” and the melodious voice belongs to none other than Kitani Tatsuya. Check it out here.
Squad 1: The Chrysanthemum Represents Truth & Innocence
Captain: Genryussai Yamamoto
Lieutenant: Formerly Chojiro Sasakibe
The First Division comprises the most formidable shinigami in all of Soul Society. Yamamoto has kept the peace in the heavenly region intact for 1000 years. They are always the first to jump into the fray when a battle occurs. Under Yamaji, they have reigned at the top of Gotei 13 for centuries.
Squad 2: The Okinagusa Or Pasque Represents The Tendency To Seek Nothing
Lieutenant: Marechiyo Omaeda
As an organization merged with the Onmitsukido, these individuals specialize in covert ops. Assassinations, detention, policing, and secret deliveries are carried out under darkness. Yoruichi Shihouin was the leader before her exile, and Sui-Feng subsequently got promoted.
Squad 3: The Pot Marigold Represents Despair
Captain: Rojuro Otoribashi, aka Rose (previously Ichimaru Gin)
Lieutenant: Izuru Kira
Ichimaru Gin’s life was filled with hardships. He took up the task of operating as Aizen’s disciple to take revenge on behalf of what happened to Rangiku when the two were young. He embodies the spirit of despair completely, even Kira (which is evident if one carefully observes the fight against Abiramma Redder).
Squad 4: The Rindo Represents Sadness & Self-Love
Captain: Retsu Unohana
Lieutenant: Isane Kotetsu
They are responsible for fulfilling duties as master medics i.e., doctors. Never shying away from attending to the wounds of friends (and foes), Unohana leads a special squad with unique duties who avoid fights entirely. Although Unohana’s association with sadness will be better explained once everyone watches TYBW, so I won’t spoil that for you.
Squad 5: The Ashibi Represent Sacrifice, Danger, & Pure Love; Also, Lily Of The Valley
Captain: Shinji Hirako (previously Sosuke Aizen)
Lieutenant: Momo Hinamori
Always led by great and fiery leaders, these soul reapers get plenty of training over time. Momo-chan is a sweet girl signifying her love for Aizen, and the enigmatic Sosuke is prepared to sacrifice his humanity to attain a higher level of consciousness.
Squad 6: The Camelia Represents A Noble Goal
Captain: Byakuya Kuchiki
Lieutenant: Renji Abarai
Byakuya Kuchiki places a ton of importance on nobility. This is clear in the first part of the manga series when Ichigo and his buddies reach Soul Society to free Rukia. Renji Abarai also uses ample reason in his battle against Byakuya and why he remains determined to aid his childhood friend after being convinced by Kurosaki.
Squad 7: The Iris Represents Courage
Captain: Sajin Komamura
Lieutenant: Tetsuzaemon Iba
Sajin is loyal to Yamamoto and is a great defender of Soul Society. He always rushes into fights for the sake of those close to him and helps Tosen when the latter is involved in a fight against Kenpachi. Sajin is kind-hearted and stays true to his cause throughout the series.
Squad 8: The Strelizia Represents The Need To Acquire Everything (Greed)
Captain: Shunsui Kyoraku
Lieutenant: Nanao Ise (previously Lisa Yadomaru)
Shunsui Kyoraku is a soft-spoken and benevolent shinigami. He was the most gentle of all opponents that Ichigo and his comrades faced while breaching Soul Society. However, his usage of shadow techniques helped to take down the No. 1 Arrancar, aka the Primero Starrk. We haven’t even seen the extent of his full power in the anime yet.
Squad 9: The Opium Poppy Represents Oblivion
Captain: Kensei Muguruma (previously Kaname Tosen)
Lieutenant: Shuhei Hisage and Mashiro Kuna
Their primary mission is to protect Soul Society from attacks. Functioning as the chief security force, these soul reapers are no strangers to preserving traditional culture and art. Tosen’s end is very fitting with what the squad symbolizes as he forgot who he was once his heart turned black.
Squad 10: The Narcissus Represents Ego & Mystery
Captain: Toshiro Hitsugaya (formerly Isshin Shiba)
Lieutenant: Rangiku Matsumoto
Led by the headstrong and caring Hitsugaya and the busty Rangiku, this unit has no special duties. Kurosaki Ichigo’s father served as the captain, and this mystery was solved only when he stepped into the battlefield to defend his son against Aizen. Both Toshiro and Shiba are shown to be egoistic and a tad bit overconfident. Remember Isshin’s finger move against Aizen?
Squad 11: The Yarrow Represents The Will To Fight
Captain: Kenpachi Zaraki
Lieutenant: Ikkaku Madarame
Not much is needed to clarify here. The members of this unit use swords and brute force to defeat their enemies. In fact, Yumichika Hasegawa only used his true Shikai against the Arrancar Charlotte Culhorne once the latter had hidden everything from prying eyes. Such is the desire to seek out thrilling battles and avoid Kidou. Ikkaku also wishes to follow in the footsteps of the madman Zaraki Kenpachi, who killed the previous captain before ascending to the throne. They are akin to the Spartans.
Squad 12: The Thistle Represents Strictness, Vengeance & Independence
Captain: Mayuri Kurotsuchi (previously Kisuke Urahara)
Lieutenant: Nemu Kurotsuchi
The home of advanced technology and rigorous research at the heart of Soul Society, this unit focuses on scientific achievements more than anything else. Mayuri’s relentless need to study Ishida in the first major arc of the story was enunciated clearly, and Kisuke played a key role in the defeat of Aizen Sosuke. The crafty, smartest, and craziest seem to always end up at Squad 12.
Squad 13: The Snowdrop Represents Hope
Captain: Jushiro Ukitake
3rd Seat: Kuchiki Rukia
This unit looks after Karakura Town, Kurosaki Ichigo’s home in the human world. Rukia helps Ichigo in his realm, and even though Ukitake is profoundly sick, his kind demeanor shines like the bright sun in the manga. Jushiro was prepared to fight Yamamoto alongside his pal Kyoraku during Kuchiki Rukia’s rescue. He is one of the only fellows who can wield dual zanpaktou.
Kurosaki Ichigo: Gloriosa Lily Represents Death & Rebirth
Historically, this flower has been associated with loss but is also included in events that involve celebratory occasions. Kurosaki will always be ready to defend his friends from enemies, no matter who gets in his way. As the savior and MC, this flower seems to have been used to depict him.
Aside from our favorite heroes, the domineering villains were also highlighted in the opening sequence.
What do you think about the imagery of flowers in this brand-new opening? Has Studio Pierrot stepped up its game? Let us know how you feel about the story’s progression, and don’t forget to visit averagebeing.com for more anime updates!