Bleach – 111
Demonstrating on the Hollow, Ryuuken shows that all Ishida needed to do was destroy it before it could regenerate. Uryuu is more amazed at the fact that his father has Quincy powers since he supposedly hated Quincys. Ryuuken, however, remembers that what he had told Uryuu a long time ago was that he had not interest and that Uryuu had no talent – unlike his son, his own powers don’t disappear so easily. Bringing out his Quincy Cross, Ryuuken explains that he inherited every technique and power from Ishida Souken and was called the last Quincy. When the other Hollow suddenly attacks, Ryuuken is able to react immediately and destroy it with one blast. He then shocks his son even more by proclaiming that he can restore Uryuu’s powers. However, he has one condition: Uryuu must swear to never again have anything to do with the Shinigami.
Meanwhile, Kon is being chased across town by the Grand Fisher who doesn’t know that it’s not really Ichigo in that body. In avoiding the fist of the Grand Fisher, Kon falls off the side of a building, but he is saved by Nova and the other mod souls. After Kon gets teased by Ririn, the Grand Fisher finds him again and sends him on the run. The mod souls decide to help some more by creating an illusionary world around the Grand Fisher and having Claude transform into Ichigo’s Shinigami form. Claude tries to fight the Grand Fisher, but ends up getting knocked back into Ririn and Nova. This causes the illusion to end, and so Kon flees again, this time alone. Getting tired of waiting for Kon to turn into a Shinigami, the Grand Fisher catches Kon and is about to crush him when a force field stops his hand – one generated by the protection charm. It is at this moment that Ichigo’s father Isshin shocks Kon by appearing in full Shinigami garb.
Across town, both Shinji and the real Ichigo sense a powerful spiritual pressure. Shinji can tell that it’s a Shinigami, but he doesn’t know who, and while he’s thinking, Ichigo jumps away. When Shinji tries to stop him, Ichigo affirms that he’s a Shinigami – not one of the Vizard’s comrades – and then continues on his way. With Ichigo gone, Shinji calls up someone named Sarugaki on the phone and explains that he failed his mission. The person on the phone starts to yell at him, but Shinji then says that it’s only a matter of time, so they should be patient. Back at the Grand Fisher, Isshin has formally introduced himself and now tosses Kon the charm again. He even refers to Kon as “Kon” and reveals that he knew Kon wasn’t Ichigo from the very beginning, pointing out that he never once called Kon “Ichigo.”
The Grand Fisher then smashes his fist into the concrete and says that he has no interest in Isshin. The Hollow only wants to kill Ichigo and demands to know where he is. Claiming that he doesn’t know, Isshin tells the Hollow that he’s going to kill him even if the Grand Fisher doesn’t have any interest. Hearing this, the Grand Fisher unleashes his full power and grows into an even bigger beast than before. When the Grand Fisher calls himself an Arrancar, Isshin knows that it’s a group of Hollows that have tried to remove their masks to gain Shinigami powers. The Grand Fisher then pulls out his enormous zanpaktou and boasts that the size of the sword represents a person’s spiritual power. Arrancar and Shinigami swing at each other, and in the aftermath, Isshin explains that all Captain-class Shinigami can control the size of their zanpaktou because otherwise everyone would have swords the size of buildings. As a tear forms across the chest of the Grand Fisher and the Arrancar falls, Isshin finishes the battle by saying that one can’t measure his opponent’s strength by the size of their zanpaktou.
I was so excited to be able to see Isshin finally as a Shinigami, but that mood was instantly killed when I saw Ririn and company being involved in the story. I had thought that their involvement would have ended last week, but that’s clearly not the case. If I had to guess, I would say that they added them to increase the length of the arc so that they don’t catch up to the manga as fast. Case in point, this episode manages to cover only two chapters with the addition of the Mod Soul parts instead of the three manga chapters they normally get through.
Animation quality was across the board too, though that’s not reflected in the screencaps since I tend to choose ones that look better. It started off really well with Ishida and his father, but the entire chase scene with Kon looked like another animation team was working on it, and it didn’t really get better until Isshin appeared.
Having said all that though, Isshin was still very very cool. I can still remember how much this twist surprised me back when I was still casually reading the manga over a year ago (casually means not reading it weekly). The revelation that Isshin knew who Kon was all along just made it even more impressive and also made me wonder how far ahead Kubo Tite planned this story or if it just worked out perfectly this way.
Next week, the introduction of Hiyori!