Skip to main content
Anime & MangaAnime Reviews

‘Bleach: TYBW’ review: The fashion of “Marching Out the Zombies”

By September 11, 2023September 17th, 2023No Comments5 min read
Kurosutchi beams in his outfit made of bright lights in "Marching Out the Zombies"

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War took a week off after bringing Ichigo and the gang back to the forefront of the war, but its return signals that it won’t be long before we have to say goodbye to the main heroes again. Instead, the cour is moving into the next stages of skirmishes between the Quincy and Soul Reapers. Now that the pieces are all properly in place and Uryu’s heel turn has become known, the series has decided to indulge a bit and have some fun. As a result, “Marching Out the Zombies” ends up having an unintentional thematic introspection going on about the design that Tite Kubo put into his characters. Which is great because it means I can spend some time pondering a specific question: What the actual hell is Orihime wearing? 

Now there’s nothing inherently wrong about fanservice, and the rest of this review is going to be much more gracious towards Kubo because the man knows how to make characters look good. That said, Orihime’s new battle outfit is bonkers and it’s very obvious why – her chest. The poor girl’s spent a not insignificant amount of Bleach objectified and her silhouette feels more at home over in One Piece but this particular outfit is the kind of thing you’d have a hard time explaining to your mom if she walked in on you. It’s an outfit that’s so visually inconsistent with other outfits she’s been depicted in both the manga and the anime, and the anime has literally had her and Rukia doing the short skirt high school girl thing in an OP. Bleach is no stranger to hot anime characters of various gender expressions, so it’s hard to ignore how much of a miss this particular design is. 

At least Orihime isn’t the only one who’s showing skin; Chad’s also got a bare chested look and he’s unsurprisingly killing it. Chad is one of those characters who’s very important when it comes to designing diverse characters in anime given his mixed heritage and Kubo has always done a great job reflecting that in Chad’s clothing. Chad’s outfit makes Orihime’s stand out more because of how much better his is, showcasing a bit of his heritage and the origins of his powers as a Fullbringer. Both their outfits are color shifted away from Ichigo’s primarily black Soul Reaper uniform – again indicating how much different their powers are from his and how much closer they are to Uryu’s. 

Talking so much about character design really wasn’t my idea for this review – it’s the idea of “Marching Out the Zombies.” Multiple chances are given to soak in and even directly discuss how everyone’s looking. Briefly the episode checks in on Komamura and showcases how much more like an average sized wolf he is, reminding us of what his actions earlier this cour have cost him. Renji and blazing Quincy Bazz-B have a chat about cool hair and eyebrows and Renji accidentally insults Bazz-B’s mohawk to set up their fight. It helps that in all these cases, Studio Pierrot has accurately recreated these looks to make sure all the observations and gags land. This gets really dragged in the spotlight – pun intended – as Kurosutchi finds an opponent worth his time in Gisele, the bearer of “Zombie.” The two trade barbs about Kurosutchi’s gaudy outfit of lights, but he gets the scathing line “I toned down my greatness so even an ordinary person like you can see me.” 

Like Kurosutchi’s previous bouts, his fight against Gisele is more about proving his superiority than actually winning. It’s not enough to know how Gisele’s powers work. Instead he has to show off, revealing he has his own gaggle of zombies in the form of some deep cut former antagonists – leading to one more funny exchange about beauty between a couple of former rivals. While Gisele doesn’t look like a good match for Kurosutchi, a character who’s design could only be summarized as “like some kind of a freak,” it turns out that she’s almost too good of a match. Both have a certain lack of ethics and a whole lot of disrespect for the dead, and Gisele seems to get a high from turning the formerly alive Bambi from “Heart of Wolf” into a subversive tool. 

Things take a heated turn when Gisele reveals that she wasn’t just making zombies out of background Soul Reapers but also defeated captains as she calls out Hitsuguya to fight on her behalf, now clad in a Quincy uniform. The sight is genuinely unsettling, a horrible subversion of a fan favorite character and up against someone who’s not quite interested in their well-being on a good day. This sets up the first multi-episode fight in quite a while; which is a bit frustrating given that other fights could have used this same length. However, the final reveal of the fallen captain is definitely a great cliffhanger. “Marching Out the Zombies” is a surprisingly jam-packed episode that manages to have a little bit of fun. While not a massive stand out, it maintains a streak of balanced episodes in a cour that has been up and down a bit.                                   

Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is available on Hulu. 

Featured image ©Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV TOKYO, dentsu, Pierrot


  • 'Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War' - "Marching Out the Zombies" - 7/10
Travis Hymas

Travis Hymas is a freelance writer and self appointed Pokémon historian out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Known to be regularly obessive over pop culture topics and gaming discourse, he is a published Rotten Tomatoes critic and has been featured on sites such as Uppercut and The Young Folks

No Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: