In the last episode of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, the Sternritters annihilate the Soul Reapers until Chief Captain Yamamoto arrives.
In a shocking turn of events, Captain Byakuyais severely subdued. Even after discovering the truth behind Sternritter F's ability, he can't win the fight. When the arrows hit him, he shows a clear change of attitude. With his Bankai stolen and his chances of winning dashed, fear takes control. The arrows themselves trigger the instinctive fears of their target on contact. Sternritter F shows how sadistic he is as the fight continues.
Using the medallion, Sternritter F unleashes Captain Byakuya's Bankai, Senbonzakura, against him. After about a minute of relentless attacks, Captain Byakuya and Renji collapse and are in critical condition. Rukiais also shown being beaten by one of the female members of the Sternritters. What is most frightening about this scene are the dark images shown: Rukia's face begins to melt, revealing muscles and bones, and Captain Byakuya's body begins to be infested with thousands of flies.
Ichigo Kurosaki, the main character of the series , is trapped throughout the episode in Quilge Opie's ability, The Jail, which is a Reishi construct that traps its target in an undetectable area. Ichigoreleases his Bankai, Getsuga Tenshō, with no chance to escape. Later in the episode, however, there seems to be a glimmer of hope. After sensing the defeat of Captain Byakuya, Renjiand Rukia, his body releases streams of green light. Unfortunately, the audience will have to wait for the next episodes to find out what this ability is and if it can help him to escape.
Unlike the other squad captains of Gotei 13, Kenpachi Zaraki is unusually strong. In the time it took the other squad captains to fight one Sternritter, Kenpachikilled three. Taking their corpses to Sternritter B and Yhwach, he announces that he is only interested in fighting the Quincies king himself. In a series of flashbacks, each of the three Sternritters is briefly shown being outmaneuvered by Kenpachi with a single strike.
Sternritter O, The Overkill , is the Sternritter responsible for the massacre of Lieutenant Sasakibe in a previous episode. He was proud and arrogant, revealing his special ability without a care in the world. Apparently, with each person he kills, he gets stronger and stronger. After killing 100 Soul Reapers in the first attack and killing another 100 Soul Reapers in this attack, he actively rejoices in his strength.
Just before he kills another member of the squad, Chief Captain Yamamoto arrives on the scene. Since Sternritter O was the person responsible for the death of Lieutenant Sasakibe, he has full control over his Bankai, Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū. By unleashing the Bankai on Chief Captain Yamamato, Sternritter O believes he has won. For future reference, Sternritter O's Bankai releases a swarm of purple lightning. Chief Captain Yamamoto easily survives the attack and burns Sternritter O to a crisp burned using his fire-based abilities.
In the middle of the episode, a flashback sequence reveals the history between Chief Captain Yamamoto and Lieutenant Sasakibe. In his youth, Lieutenant Sasakibe sought out Chief Captain Yamamoto to become his right-hand man. Not wanting to copy him, Lieutenant Sasakibe refused to study with him as a student. However, taking Chief Captain Yamamoto's words to heart, he trains and unlocks his Bankai, Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū.
During a one-on-one fight between them, Lieutenant Sasakibe unleashes his Bankai, Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū, and leaves a permanent scar on Chief Captain Yamamoto's forehead. In a strange series of events, Chief Captain Yamamoto's nickname begins with Eijisai, then becomes Jujisai after receiving the scar. Due to Lieutenant Sasakibe's stubbornness, however, Chief Captain Yamamoto creates the name Genryūsai in his honor.
Although labeled as one of the special threats in the Vandenreich's Daten, Kenpachi is no match for the all-powerful Yhwach. Unlike his success in defeating the other Sternritters, Yhwach is about to kill him. This is only because of the appearance of Chief Captain Yamamoto in the area who delays his death. What this tells the audience is that even one of the most powerful Soul Reapers is not enough to defeat the King of the Quincies. Whether it is Chief Captain Yamamoto or Yhwach, the audience will have to wait and see who survives as the victor.
An important detail mentioned by several squad captains and lieutenants is the anger of Chief Captain Yamamoto. Not only does his spiritual pressure lift the spirits of all the Soul Reapers in the Soul Society, but it also reveals a part of his personality. As one of the Soul Reapers mentioned, even when he fought on the front lines, it didn't evoke as much emotion. These scenes are as scary as they are exciting, as the battle between Yhwach and Chief Captain Yamamoto is strongly hinted at and will reach its climax in the upcoming episodes.