Bleach – 138
In Las Noches, Ulquiorra and Yammy arrive in a room as Aizen about to complete an Arrancar using the 50% awakened Hougyoku. Despite its state, Aizen knows that he can temporarily fully awaken the Hougyoku by fusing it with someone who has twice as much spiritual pressure as a captain – someone such as himself. It is through this method that he finishes creating a young-looking Arrancar who identifies himself as Wonderweiss Margera. With this done, Aizen sends Ulquiorra to execute the instructions he gave a month ago, and although he lets Ulquiorra choose who he wants to take with him, Aizen personally asks Grimmjow if he wants to go. Back at the Vizard camp, it’s been one month since Ichigo started his training, yet he’s only able to maintain his Hollow form for only 10 seconds. With two months left, Shinji feels that time is running out. Meanwhile in Soul Society, Hisagi finds Ukitake watching Inoue and Rukia train after Rukia had come to him personally to ask him to open up the training area. He’s glad that Rukia has a friend even if it is with a human, though he admits Inoue isn’t any normal human. As for Hisagi, he’s here to give Ukitake a magazine since he’s taken on of more captain duties in the absence of so many people. After Hisagi leaves to take care of other business, Ukitake thinks about little time they have and hopes that this temporary peace can last a little longer.
In the real world, Yumichika is getting quite frustrated with his zanpaktou while the others are trying to having a quiet dialogue with their swords. Soon after Ikkaku notices how fast the clouds are moving, all of them sense the arrival of four Arrancar. Among this group is Grimmjow who flies off as soon as he realizes that Ichigo isn’t here, and though Yammy tries to get him to stop, the Arrancar named Luppi thinks that it doesn’t matter since Grimmjow isn’t an Espada anymore. As Yammy leaps down to fight, Hitsugaya meets him halfway and the two introduce themselves. Luppi, the new No. 6, meanwhile faces off against Ikkaku and Yumichika while Rangiku tries to fight Wonderweiss, but the boy is too intrigued by the nearby birds to care. Across the city, Ichigo has also sensed the Arrancar’s arrivals and wants to head out, but he’s held back by Love and Kensei. To their surprise, Shinji lets Ichigo go, and Ichigo rushes off. News of this has also reached Soul Society, but Inoue can’t go back to the real world until she can get safe passage through the dangai since she doesn’t have a Hell Butterfly. After saying that she’ll be waiting for Inoue, Rukia hurries towards the gate thinking about how it’s too early for the Espada to have appeared.
By now, Ichigo has reached Grimmjow and almost immediately initiates ban kai. Grimmjow isn’t impressed, but Ichigo reminds him that the scar he has is from an attack Ichigo did while in ban kai. When Ichigo then asks Grimmjow about his absent left arm, Grimmjow claims that he threw it away and doesn’t need two arms to kill Ichigo. As Grimmjow starts to power up, Ichigo gets ready to put on his Hollow mask, knowing that he has to finish this fight in the 11 seconds he can stay in that form. Over at Urahara’s shop, Renji tries to keep Sado from leaving to go help in the battle, but Urahara wants both of them to rest and decides to go personally in their place.
This pretty much follows the manga with a little bit of rearranging and an added part between Inoue and Rukia, though it didn’t have any extra Hitsugaya vs. Yammy scenes like previously thought based on the episode title. The one thing that I always wondered with this part of the story was how Luppi replaced Grimmjow in the number six Espada spot. If they were already ranked correctly, then all of the Espada under Grimmjow should have moved up and whoever was the 11th strongest would have become the new number ten. Instead, Luppi replaced Grimmjow in the number six spot, and the only thing I can think of is that he was created right around the time Grimmjow was demoted, and he just happened to be around the same overall strength.
In any case, this episode didn’t have too much action in it (the extra Inoue and Rukia training scenes didn’t quite cut it), but next week should have plenty as several major fights get started, included Ichigo’s 11-second battle.