Saturday, September 30, 2023
HomeentertainmentAnime NewsReaper: Millennium Blood War Season 2 - Episode 16

Reaper: Millennium Blood War Season 2 – Episode 16

How do you evaluate the

Tokyo) Community Rating: 4.2

© Kubo Obito/Shueisha・Terene・denttsuu・ぴえ 1133.png Let’s take a moment to talk about how handles fights. I think this season is going to be a good 90% fight, so I think it’s a good idea to address this topic in a broad sense as Phase 2 of the war begins. 1133.png 1133.png Anime and general media have a lot of different ways of dealing with fights. Sometimes it’s for the spectacle, and sometimes it’s for the development or emphasis of character drama, and the most memorable and beloved fights tend to be both. Think of Ichigo and Byakuya in Dead Souls – a climactic battle in which both sides flex their coolest and most destructive powers, and Ichigo’s victory is not just a victory, but represents the overthrow of the strict authoritarianism of his opponent at the time. It’s considered one of the series’ highest moments because it delivered something meaningful and exciting. That’s not the case for every battle, but even the “smaller” ones can thrive with a solid base of action and a firm sense of dramatic aim. The point is to bring tension and a level of stakes to every fight – if the outcome or consequences don’t matter, you’ll end up with something that looks cool but won’t appeal to the audience. 1133.png Been trying to figure this out as things go. It has so many characters, with so many different powers, that it simply can’t resist giving some of them a chance to show off, even if it means pairing them with one-off opponents with relatively small stakes. This can make some fights feel less tense, especially as the series develops a mode of ending confrontations in which the good guys demonstrate new powers or techniques to win. Eventually, it became a convention of the series’ storytelling mechanics that you could always tell who would lose by who revealed their second form first. That’s why Aizen was such an irritating antagonist at the end, when the entire cast sold out all their tricks and he walked away almost unscathed. When it feels like half of a fight is being overtaken — you just don’t know it yet — watching fights becomes a chore. 1133.png That’s more or less the problem we have with this episode. Removing Bian Kai from the equation seems like an attempt to take away the narrative crutch, but in reality, it’s stage magic that makes us think our heroes can’t pull off the same old tricks, only to reveal Bian Kai has been hiding behind our ears! As far as sheer spectacle goes, it was pretty cool to see Soi Fon and Hitsugaya win (Soi Fon’s final attack delivered a delightfully hellish explosion.) But these are also forces we’ve seen in action before, taking down villains who barely have any personality other than “is a robot”… I don’t remember what Cang Du’s personality was. So we end up spending an episode and a half fighting what feels like an anti-climactic fight – especially when it turns out it’s all part of Ywach’s plan. 1133.png Yep, it turns out Ywach not only considered the possibility of the captains canceling nerfing himself, but stealing the Bankai nerfed Stern Ritter in the first place. Now they can take out their Voll Stern Dich and go to town, which… honestly, begs the question of why they bothered with the first plan. The most benevolent reading is that stealing Bian Kai is a conservative plan A, hoping to wipe out the Reapers when they don’t have a trump card, but it’s too reminiscent of what Aizen revealed that everything is secretly working according to his plan. Like the one-sided fights where you wait for the hero to pull out his secret weapon, when the villain seems so complete and impossible to control, it makes the whole narrative feel like it’s killing time until Ywach reveals his true hand. 1133.png

If this was the first time the card was drawn, this might not be the case, but it’s a frustratingly familiar move that makes so many battles with Aizen feel like a waste of time and effort. If there’s no tension, no awareness that the heroes might beat their enemies, then all we’re left with are some cool fights that don’t mean much. Combine that with our large roster of fighters — and there’s almost Stern Ritter to overcome — and suddenly the war feels a lot more tense than it did a few weeks ago. Frankly, this sucks, so to avoid that worry, I do want to point out some interesting bits and pieces in this episode. I liked goofy Luchador Quincy before I knew he was coming with his bell-ringing pals, and it was nice to see him shout out that Hisagi, Ikaku and Yuma had hidden their powers. He’s right, boys, it’s a war! Stop being so damn proud/loyal and get those secret Shikai/Bankai out! For that matter, it’s nice to have Shinji’s anime original showcase here, and I also love how they portray his division’s abilities against Bambieta – complete with reverse audio. The music for that standoff was an odd choice, but it at least got my attention. The scene lasted a little too long, but it was fun to see Urahara pissing off Mayuri as she explained how to return to Byun-kai — and seeing the mad scientist pissed off because there was someone smarter than him in the room was fun in itself. it’s great. I’m also intrigued by what we know about Ichigo’s training with One, although explaining why would involve a pretty serious spoiler – for now, suffice it to say that it’s trippy and surprising compared to Ichigo’s past training sequences. 1133.png 1133.png Still, as charming or entertaining as these individual moments might be, it’s hard to focus on them when the tension of this larger arc subsides. I guess my hope now is the same as it was last week – with the playing field leveling out, we can at least have some cool individual competition. I just cling to that hope more firmly now. 1133.png Rating:


1133.png Season 2 is currently streaming on Hulu.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS