Bleach – 127
Rangiku arrives at Keigo’s home to find Ikkaku wearing a very uncharacteristic shirt that he’s putting up with because he’s getting free room and board. She’s here to tell them about the key, but first she has to handle Keigo coming after her. Over at Urahara’s, Yoruichi brings Inoue to the training area where Sado and Renji are fighting. Having been informed about the key by Rangiku already, Urahara thinks that there will be many casualties when the time comes, and so they’ll need more fighters than ever before. Inoue wants to get stronger too, but to her surprise, Urahara asks her to stay out of this. He cites one of the reasons to be Tsubaki, her offensive ability fairy that got completely destroyed by Yammy. Sado objects to this because Inoue fought with them when they were in Soul Society and because she has healing abilities, but Urahara thinks the Fourth Division would do a better job with that. When Urahara states that a soldiers who’s lost his power would just get in the way, Inoue excuses herself and runs out. She unexpectedly encounters Rukia on her way out and breaks down in tears. After listening to Inoue’s story, Rukia takes her side even though Inoue now seems resigned to the fact that she’s too weak. Rukia feels that it is unfair for Inoue to be excluded now, but Inoue sees the situation different.
Inoue knows that she’d be lonely if she were unable to fight with everyone, however she hates getting in people’s way even more, so she’s okay with being lonely. Rukia responds to this by saying that it’s not the people who don’t have strength that get in the way during a battle but rather those who lack determination. She feels that there must be something Inoue can do and proposes that they find out what together. Suddenly, their conversation is interrupted by Hiyori jumping between them and carrying Inoue off because Hachigen wanted to talk with her. Hiyori brings Inoue back to the Vizard training area where Hachigen introduces himself and examines her hairpin. He thinks its something similar to a zanpaktou and offers to heal it for her since they have similar types of abilities. True to his word, Hachigen makes Tsubaki appear again, and Inoue is overjoyed. However, Hachigen also suggests that Inoue not fight because their abilities aren’t fit for battle. Since Inoue still wants to fight despite everything, Hachigen advises her that what’s important is not how she should but rather how she wants to. With these words in mind, Inoue steps out of the warehouse and finds Rukia waiting for her. Rukia doesn’t require an explanation from Inoue because she can feel Ichigo’s spiritual pressure here and is content knowing that he’s safe. As she leaves with Rukia, Inoue thinks to herself that she’s going to move forward without looking back. When she meets Ichigo again, hopefully she’ll be able to fight without hiding behind him.
Meanwhile, in Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra pays a visit to Yammy who is currently getting his arm reattached. Yammy isn’t happy with it, but Ulquiorra reminds him that at least they were able to bring it back and have it reattached unlike Grimmjow who got his completely destroyed. Grimmjow had been stripped of his Espada status as a result, but Yammy still retains his ranking as the number 10 Espada. To test out his arm, Yammy immediately smacks the Arrancar nurse who healed him into the nearby wall, and still he complains about it. Aizen meanwhile is watching video of Inoue from the previous battle with Ulquiorra and Yammy and finds her powers quite interesting.
For better or worse, there were some changes in this episode compared to the manga. I noticed that they slightly toned down what Yammy did to the Arrancar nurse by having him smack her into the wall (with bloody results) instead of smashing her entire body with his fist (with even bloodier results) from the manga. Also, by sticking in small bits of extra dialogue (like in this scene), they managed to cover only two chapters worth, leaving us at the point right before things start heating up again. All that didn’t bother me because those things didn’t impact the plot much, though it looks like they’re going to be taking advantage of a lull in the story to put in some Rangiku filler for next week. I hope this isn’t the start of a whole new set of fillers because we’re on the verge of a chapter I’ve really been looking forward to seeing animated (chap. 237), and I’d hate to see that pushed back indefinitely.