Bleach – 120
Although Ikkaku’s fight has ended in victory, there are still several other battles going on across the city, and things don’t look so good for Hitsugaya, Renji, or Matsumoto. Hitsugaya and Renji in particular have both already initiated ban kai, but both still struggle with their Arrancar opponents. While these battles are going on, Ururu is having a hard time sleeping in Urahara’s shop and wakes up to see Renji fighting outside her window. Already watching the battle, Ririn and the other mod-souls decide to help and start by making Renji disappear from the Arrancar’s vision. Claude then disguises himself as Renji and starts attacking with Nova’s help. Unfortunately, the Arrancar powers up a bit and is able to disable all of them. Ururu meanwhile gets on top of Urahara’s rooftop where Jinta already is standing and then launches into the sky before he can stop her. She appears suddenly behind the Arrancar and kicks him in the face right as he turns around to face her. Ururu then starts choking him and utters some words about him being danger, danger being an enemy, and enemies being eliminated. After being repeatedly punched, the bloodied and extremely angry Arrancar gives himself some room by slashing at Ururu. He then releases his zanpaktou and transforms into a large bull-like creature, stabbing Ururu soon after the smoke clears. When he flings her now body away, Jinta comes to save her and tries to smack the Arrancar with his bat. It doesn’t hurt the Arrancar at all, and he rushes towards Jinta to skewer him too, but fortunately Renji comes to the rescue by allowing one of the skeletal links of his Hihiou Zabimaru to take the hit instead. Although this gives Jinta enough time to get away with Ururu, the Arrancar is able to break through the skeletal link and hit Renji. He then introduces himself as Arrancar No. 15, Ilfort Grantz.
Ilfort’s zanpaktou release is noticed by Shawlong, but the other Arrancar is busy fighting Hitsugaya. The captain attempts an attack that he follows up with his ice tail, but it only freezes Shawlong’s hand and zanpaktou, and Shawlong quickly breaks the ice off. He sees that Hitsugaya is steadily losing the ice flowers that are floating behind him and theorizes that Hitsugaya’s ban kai is still incomplete, so it will disappear when all the ice petals disappear. Hitsugaya only has three petals left, but Shawlong decides to respect him by destroying the captain with his full power. Shawlong’s released form grants him long claw fingers and a tail, and he immediately gets to work slicing Hitsugaya up. Having dealt some damage, Shawlong formally introduces himself as Arrancar No. 11. The two then charge each other again and Shawlong slices up Hitsugaya’s wings. The young captain is able to avoid any major damage and grows the wing back, but he then pauses to ask Shawlong a question. Hitsugaya wants to know if the No. 11 designation means that Shawlong is the 11th strongest Arrancar, but Shawlong reveals that the numbers are assigned according to order of birth. However, this does not apply to the Arrancar numbered 1 through 10 because those are ranked according to their slaughtering ability. These Espada as they are called have their numbers written on their bodies, and Shawlong reveals that there is actually an Espada here with them: the 6th Espada Grimmjow. At that moment, Grimmjow is engaged in a fight with Ichigo, but Grimmjow isn’t really trying very hard. He urges Ichigo to initiate ban kai, so Ichigo does.
It is around this time that Matsumoto finally gets a message from Soul Society telling her that she has permission to lift the limit. Because of this, she is able to stop her opponent from stepping on her and informs Hitsugaya and Renji of the good news. All three of them reveal black symbols on their chests that light up as they lift their power limitations and proceed to power up.
I came into this episode really excited because I knew Ururu would get to kick some ass with her Genocide mode (which wasn’t specifically mentioned). There’s nothing like seeing a tiny girl in her pajamas beating up a grown man. She still was able to do so, but the addition of Ririn and company in the scene before that was a real damper to my enthusiasm. We had gone so long without seeing them that I had forgotten they were still around, but here they were trying to go head to head with an Arrancar. I dunno why it took Ilfort Grantz as long as it did to beat them down. He should be so far above them in power that tricks like that wouldn’t work, and he should have been able to stop Claude immediately.
Past that though, it was a pretty good episode. There was a little less violence than the manga (Ururu didn’t quite get skewered), but overall I enjoyed it, particularly the end when the tide of the battle finally turns. Next episode should have the rest of these battles plus Grimmjow vs. Ichigo fight. It should also be the introduction of the new opening song by Aqua Timez and the new ending song by ORESKABAND. Unfortunately, there’s no new episode next week, so episode 121 will air April 11th.