This episode was action-packed and full of shocking revelations. The name of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 18 is “Rages at Ringside”.
This episode marked the comeback of Renji Abarai, lieutenant of the 6th Division and Rukia Kuchiki, lieutenant of the 13th Division, into the Soul Society to fight against the Quincy Army.
In this episode, we also were hinted at the true identity of the series’ antagonist Yhwach, although it was not revealed yet.
In this article, we will attempt to answer any questions that the fans might have after watching Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 18.
How Powerful is Mask de Masculine? What is the true name of Renji’s Bankai? All these questions will be answered by us, along with the recap of this episode.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 18 Recap: How Powerful is Mask de Masculine?
The episode starts with the Department of Research and Development accessing their losses and devising a plan to overcome the Quincy forces.
They have recovered Seireitei’s topographic map, which was changed due to Wandenreich’s invasion. 42% of their forces are still alive, including the injured.
Their military strength is estimated to be less than 30%. Squad 2 Captain Soi Fon is also injured, and Lieutenant Omaeda is transporting her to the first-aid station. Squad 10 Captain Hitsugaya’s Spiritual Pressure has disappeared after his battle, and Lieutenant Matsumoto’s condition is unknown.
Squad 11 Captain Zaraki is not responding to their calls. Squad 3 Captain Ōtoribashi and Squad 9 Captain Muguruma are okay and are currently assessing the situation in the surrounding areas. After listening to the report, Mayuri Kurotsuchi contacts the Head Captain, Shunsui Kyōraku and gives him the report.
He then connects Shunsui Kyōraku to all the remaining Soul Reapers on the battlefield. He provides a new map for the Post-Invasion Seireitei and tells them to regroup at the Barracks nearest to their location.
We then see the Captain of Squad 9, Kensei Muguruma and the Captain of Squad 3, Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi battle with Mask de Masculine. Captain Kensei Muguruma activated his Bankai “Tekken Tachikaze” and easily blocked Mask de Masculine’s kick.
He then punches Mask de Masculine in the stomach which causes Mask de Masculine a lot of pain. Captain Kensei Muguruma then explains his Zanpakutō ability.
His Tachikaze is a Zanpaktuo that can cause its sword trajectory to explode, and his Tekken Tachikaze is a Bankaithat, cramming the force of those explosions into his fists.
That explosive power will assault his enemies endlessly as long as his fist stays in contact with his enemies.
Captain Kensei Muguruma then blasts Mask de Masculine away and thinks he has won the battle.
Mask de Masculine’s fan, James, starts crying and keeps asking him to get up and fight.
Then Shūhei Hisagi tells Captain Kensei Muguruma that he has to get rid of the little guy (James) first.
After that, Mask de Masculine suddenly gets up, and the star on his mask starts glowing.
He then punches both the Captains present there and sends them flying. After that, Mask de Masculine introduces himself as “Stern Ritter – S – The Superstar – Mask de Masculine”.
Captain Kensei Muguruma tries to attack Mask de Masculine but Mask de Masculine counters Captain Kensei Muguruma with his “Star Eagle Kick” and “Star Headbutt”. Captain Kensei Muguruma tries to attack Mask de Masculine with his explosive fists, but it does not affect him.
Maks de Masculine then beats up Captain Kensei Muguruma and defeats him, but at the same time, Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi stabs James in the back, the source of Mask de Masculine’s power.
Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi then activates his Bankai – Kinshara Butodan. Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi’s Bankai is a dance troupe of death, and the piece of admission is Mask de Masculine’s life. Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi’s First Program is known as “Sea Drift”, where it attacks Mask De Masculine with huge waves of water.
For the Second Program, Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi chooses “Prometheus” which attacks Mask de Masculine with enormous flames.
Mask de Masculine is shocked by Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi’s Bankai ability and claims that no Zanpakutō can manipulate both fire and water at the same time and that this is some deception.
Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi agrees with Mask de Masculine and tells him that deceptions are what always captivate the hearts of others. Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi’s Bankai enables him to control “music”.
The deceptive melody that echoes in Mask de Masculine’s ears will captivate his heart, and when his heart is captivated by Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi’s spell, he will burn and die.
Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi is about to start his Third Program, “Ein Heldenleben,” but Mask de Masculine ruptures his eardrums and launches a powerful attack from the Star on his mask that makes a Star-shaped hole in Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi’s chest.
As Mask de Masculine was about to deal a final blow to Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi, Renji Abarai, lieutenant of the 6th Division, and Rukia Kuchiki, lieutenant of the 13th Division, intervene and save both the Captains.
This shows just how powerful Mask de Masculine is, as he was able to defeat two Captains of the 13 Court Guard Squad with ease.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 18 Ending Explained: What is the true name of Renji’s Bankai?
Renji tells Rukia to take both the captains to safety while he handles Mask de Masculine. After that, we see that James is still alive and is cheering for Mask de Masculine.
Due to this, all the injuries that Mask de Masculine had, including his ruptured eardrums, are healed. Renji then beheads James again while Rukia carries both Captain Kensei Muguruma and Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi to the first-aid camp.
Renji is fighting Mask de Masculine, and he is able to tear Mask de Masculine’s mask a bit. James again emerges from his dead body and starts cheering for Mask the Masculine – The Superstar. Suddenly, a lot of James appears and they all are cheering for Mask de Masculine, which enables Mask de Masculine to complete his power-up.
Mask de Masculine uses “Special Kill – Star Lariat” against Renji and sends him flying. Mask de Masculine keeps on attacking Renji without giving him any time to act with attacks like “Star Rocket Punch” and Star Murder Punch”.
He then activates his Winged Form, which was used earlier by Bambietta Basterbine and launches a huge attack called “Star Flash Supernova” which also hits James, but since both Mask de Masculine and James are one, James will not die due to this.
Although, Renji is unaffected by Mask de Masculine’s attacks and activates his Bankai. Mask de Masculine is shocked after seeing Renji’s Bankai.
In a flashback, when Renji is inside the Castle of Soul King, we see Ichibē Hyōsube telling Renji that “Hihio Zabimaru” is not the true name of his Bankai. More precisely, that’s only half of its name. This means that Renji’s Zanpakutō only partially acknowledges him. Renji asks how Ichibē knows about this.
Ichibē reveals that he came up with the name “Zanpakutō” as well as “Shikai” and “Bankai”. He was the first to name every phenomenon that occur in the Soul Society. The name given to Ichibē by the Soul King is “Manako Osho”, which means “Speaking the True Name”.
Ichibē tells Renji that he will reveal the true name of Zabimaru’s Bankai, but he must prove his strength to Zabimaru to summon it by that name.
In the present, Renji calls out the true name of Zabimaru’s Bankai – So-Oh Zabimaru and activates his True Bankai. Mask de Masculine determines that Renji’s Bankai is dangerous. Renji uses “Hihioh” to grab Mask de Mascuile with the help of his Bankai and crushes him with tremendous pressure.
Renji then uses “Orochioh” and stabs Mask de Masculine in his stomach. Renji uses his final attack, “So-Oh Zabimaru: Zaga Teppo”, which burns Mask de Masculine to a crisp, and his ashes disappear with the wind.
Renji Abarai, lieutenant of the 6th Division, emerges victorious against Ster Ritter – S – The Superstar – Mask de Masculine.
In the post-credit scene, we see Yhwach realising that James is dead while he absorbs his ashes.
Yhwach then disappears inside the shadow and from that same shadow, Jugram Haschwalth appears in front of Uryū Ishida.
Only while he sleeps can he return to being the father of Quincies to build up his strength; therefore, his sleep must not be interrupted. Haschwalth further explains that Yhwach is connected to all the Quincies.
Haschwalth then asks Uryū if he knows why Yhwach possesses such powers and what sort of being Yhwach is.
He claims that not even Uryū’s grandfather, Sōken Ishida, was able to figure it out. Haschwalth decides to tell Uryū the truth since he is Yahweh’s successor.
To learn more about Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War arc episode 18, read Chapter 561 from Bleach Manga Online.