Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 8 as fans finally get to witness Squad 0 in action. For the unversed, Squad 0 are the five captains assigned to protect the Soul King Palace as their strength itself rivals the whole Gotei 13 itself. With the Soul Society in ruins, it's finally time for them to show themselves.
The previous episode saw Ichigo finally entering the Soul Society as he tried to stop Yhwach from leaving. Unfortunately, Ichigo was quickly defeated, but not before the King of the Wandenreich gave him some hints about his Quincy ancestry. If things weren't too bad for him, Sternritter Grandmaster Jugram Haschwalth even proceeded to destroy Ichigo's Bankai before leaving.
Squad 0 gets introduced in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 8
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 8, titled The Shooting Star Project (Zero Mix), opens with the Shinigami finally treating the wounded after Yhwach and Quincy left the Soul Society. After Ichigo receives some first aid, he receives an update about Urahara, Orihime, and Sado's whereabouts, soon after which Captain Hirako updates Ichigo about Rukia and Renji's condition.
When Ichigo goes to have a look at them, he shares a conversation with Rukia, which makes her feel that something was wrong with him. However, Ichigo couldn't wait long as Kurotsuchi Mayuri had called upon him to give him an update about his Zanpakuto.
Elsewhere, the Court Guard Captains were left shocked by the Captain-Commander's death when they received a report on Byakuya Kuchiki and Zaraki Kenapachi's condition, and how both of them were able to escape death. However, they may not be able to resume their captain duties. This triggers Soi Fon into causing a commotion which only dies down after Shunsui Kyoraku appears in the office.
Meanwhile, as Kurotsuchi Mayuri was explaining to Ichigo that his Zanpakuto was beyond repair, he received word of the arrival of Squad 0 and invited Ichigo to join him. They both head to the walls as Squad 0 drops down from the sky. While all their names weren't revealed in the episode, they were all shown to have unique personalities. Something notable was how one of them named Tenjiro Kinrinji happened to be Retsu Unohana's teacher.
They wanted to take Byakuya, Rukia, Renji, and Ichigo to the Soul King Palace. While Ichigo rejected the idea, upon learning that Urahara, Orihime, and Sado were fine, he decided to go with them after learning that his Bankai could be reforged in the Soul King Palace.
Something notable about these parts was how Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez made his cameo appearance, followed by the Fullbringers, who were now staying at Kukaku Shiba's home.
While Ichigo did reach the Soul King Palace, he was left confused after remembering Aizen's plans to create the King Key to enter the palace. This is when the head Royal Guard revealed to him that the King Key were the Royal Guard's bones that were upgraded by the Soul King.
Ichigo was then sent to Tenjiro Kinrinji's headquarters, Kirinden, where he, Rukia, Byakuya, and Renji started receiving treatment through White Bone Hell and Blood Pond Hell.
Final thoughts on Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 8
The end of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 8 saw the Soul King make an appearance as he finally seemed to have gotten up from his slumber. While the reason behind him having chosen Ichigo to come to the Soul King Palace is yet to be revealed, it seems like it has something to do with his lineage, as revealed by Yhwach.
Given how the episode saw Ichigo enter Kirinden to be healed, future episodes may see him visit the headquarters of other Squad 0 captains as well. While their specialties are yet to be revealed, it could be predicted that they might train Ichigo or help him reforge his Zanpakuto.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War episode 9, titled The Drop, will be released on December 6, 2022, at 12 am JST.