Bleach – 82
Jin sends the other Bount out, knowing that Ichigo and company are now on the move. In the park, Renji has defeated some of the flying dolls, but collapses as the rest fly away. Ichigo and Rukia are met on the street by Ururu and Jinta, who hand over Urahara’s new Bount sensor. Ichigo puts the helmet on and it immediately starts dragging him towards the Bount. He’s taken all the way to a construction site where he finds several of the dolls sucking on his friend Keigo. He stops them before they can absorb all of Keigo’s soul, but then he gets attacked by Koga and Daruku. Daruku is now sporting a different body and appears to have grown significantly stronger. Ichigo is able to deflect most of her bullets, but the helmet/Bount sensor gets shot off his head.
Rukia, Ururu, and Jinta locate Inoue and Claude in the middle of some warehouses, however none of them can tell where Renji is because his spirit power has disappeared. Before they can go their separate ways to search, the group comes under attack by Yoshi, the female Bount armed with a fan and a sword. Rukia wants Ururu to go find Sado and Nova, and she wants Jinta to find Renji. She tries to attack Yoshi with a spell, but it misses. Rukia manages to dodge the sword counterattack, but is about to be hit by the fan when Inoue steps in and protects her with a shield. Inoue, Claude, and Rukia thus decide to team up against Yoshi.
Back at the construction site, Ichigo is having a lot of trouble trying to handle Daruku. She launches several waves of projectiles down at him, but he manages to not get hit and also to protect Keigo’s body. Keigo opens his eyes and mutters Ichigo’s name, a signal that he can see Ichigo. Koga says that being able to see a Shinigami means that he’s close to death and unsavable. He goes on to explain that the Bount are absorbing souls to power themselves. Keigo mutters that Ichigo should run and then blacks out. Seeing his friend like that, Ichigo powers up and uses a Getsuga Tenshou on Daruku, slicing her in half. However, Daruku isn’t finished just yet and wraps Ichigo up with her rope-like arms. But Ichigo once again explodes in power and frees himself. Meanwhile, in the park, Ururu has found Sado and Nova. However, all three are soon confronted by Sawatari, the elderly looking Bount.
Ririn wants Ichigo to run away, but Ichigo is bent on saving Keigo. Daruku spins a metallic web inside the building and whips Ichigo until he drops his zanpakutou. She then grabs it and rushes forward to stab him with it. Ichigo blacks out, but his hand still grabs the sharp end of Zangetsu and takes it back. However, it’s not Ichigo under control anymore, it’s his hollow side. He has no problems stabbing through Daruku and cutting her in half again. Hollow Ichigo starts laughing maniacally, but suddenly stops and starts trying to remove the mask. Normal Ichigo succeeds in ripping it off and then falls onto the ground. Koga says that a strong power requires a strong heart – Ichigo doesn’t have that strong heart, so he couldn’t control the strong power. He prophesizes that Ichigo will destroy himself in the near future because of this incomplete power. Koga then calls forth Daruku again to finish Ichigo.
In the park, Jinta finally finds Renji lying on the ground with the little boy still in his arms.
Well that was certainly unexpected, very much in the wtf type of way. After Ichigo was tied up in Daruku’s web and had been whipped until he dropped his sword (she’s into the S&M lol), the obvious thought is “How are they going to save Ichigo this time?” I thought maybe one of the vice-captains from last episode would step in, but boy was I wrong. Instead, Hollow Ichigo appears and takes charge, in the very crazy, Joker-like way. That was a real eye-opener, and I think his appearance makes this filler arc all the more interesting.
I really liked what Koga said about Ichigo’s power eventually destroying him. That can be considered to be big foreshadowing for what’s going on in the current manga arc (I won’t say anymore though for those of you who aren’t manga readers). It also shows to me that these fillers aren’t entirely wasted. Maybe it’ll be through Hollow Ichigo that Ichigo will regain his ability to ban kai.
So overall, the episode was quite enjoyable, if for nothing else than the big wtf-surprise that came with Hollow Ichigo :)