ANIME & MANGA - Article
13:25 - 6th April 2013, by Matt Kamen

Bleach Season Two: The Entry

In our continuing refresher course of the first four seasons of Bleach, the anime, we concentrate on the second season of the show.

After season one, the next 21 episodes detail the first half of the still-loosely formed team's assault on Soul Society itself. The cast expands again, developing Rukia's family - briefly introduced in season one with her close friend Renji and her stoic brother Byakuya sent to capture her - as well as the diverse captains who command the 13 squads of premier Soul Reapers. Ending up separated from his partners, Ichigo teams with the initially aggressive Ganju, a civilian resident of Soul Society who bears a strong hatred for the Reapers. Elsewhere, Rukia waits in silence, her execution approaching ever faster.

Season two essentially forms a training arc, as the core cast expand their power sets while approaching the centre of Soul Society. Ichigo unlocks new powers within his Zanpakuto - the mystic and symbiotic weapon each Reaper wields, unique to the bearer - while Orihime and Chad become more proficient in the use of their new-found defensive and offensive talents, respectively. Uryu, already the most familiar with his abilities, gets a bit more character focus, softening his view towards Ichigo and Rukia if not other Reapers.

Thankfully, the training and development is woven into the fabric of the story of the heroes' progress, rather than lengthy breaks in narrative where people train for the sake of it.
The murder of the kind-hearted Soul Reaper Captain Sousuke Aizen mid-season is the key event, and the impact and legacy he had on his peers and subordinates also plays an important part going forward.

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