Bleach – 170
Ichigo’s classmates ask Rurichiyo all sorts of questions since she’s new, but Kenryuu does all the answering for her, and he gives vague responses. He pays special attention to Ichigo because he thinks Ichigo is rude to Rurichiyo, but Ichigo mainly sees all this as just a nuisance. When it comes time to go home, Rurichiyo wants to walk with Ichigo, but Kenryuu opposes the idea because he’s already planned out a route and bribes her with the prospect of candy. Ichigo knows that something is up because Kenryuu is being too cautious, but he’s nevertheless fine with just leaving them alone for a while. That night, he and Rukia both sense a spirit force coming from next door, and they see Kenryuu looking around on his rooftop. To their surprise, someone else suddenly appears in a flash of light and crashes through the roof. Though they follow this person into the house together, Kenryuu decides to leave things to Ichigo as soon as he sees Enryuu carrying Rurichiyo away to safety. The person turns out to be an assassin armed with a special sword, and when Ichigo prevents him from going after Rurichiyo, the two start fighting.
Ichigo almost gets hurt when the reflective surface on the hilt of the assassin’s sword flashes light into his eyes, and he’s left completely open for a moment. His reflexes are fortunately enough to get him out of a jam, and he helps Rukia too when she gets hit by the same technique. Ichigo quickly figures out that the reflected moonlight causes the assassin’s target to lose their senses for a moment, and he uses this to his advantage by reflecting that light right back at the assassin with the blade of his zanpaktou. He is thus able to easily disarm the assassin and attempts to find out afterwards why the assassin is after Rurichiyo, but the assassin tries to escape and lets himself get killed by Ichigo’s subsequent attack. Once the fight is over, Kenryuu and Enryuu return with the still sleeping Rurichiyo, and Ichigo decides to invite everyone over so that Kenryuu can finally explain what’s going on. When Rukia hears that Rurichiyo’s family name is Kasumiooji, she recognizes that as a house of high nobility from Soul Society. Kenryuu in turn is amazed that Rukia is from the Kuchiki family and bows his head to her.
Kenryuu goes on to explain that Rurichiyo is the legitimate heir to the Kasumiooji family, but both her parents are dead. There is a person named Kumoi who has been managing the house and has recently been trying to take over. Certain accidents have been happening around Rurichiyo, leading Kenryuu to think that Kumoi is trying to assassinate her, and so he brought her to the real world to protect her. Kenryuu now formally asks Ichigo to protect Rurichiyo as a bodyguard, and Rukia forces Ichigo to do it while deciding to personally help too. Once Ichigo reluctantly accepts, Kenryuu also reveals that Rurichiyo doesn’t know she’s being targeted, and they don’t want her to find out. Meanwhile, in Soul Society, Kumoi meets with the leader of his men and sends him to take care of Ichigo.
Bleh, maybe I spoke too soon last week about this feeling fresh. This episode doesn’t make me particularly look forward to this arc after all since it makes this seem like it is just going to be about some old guy coming after Rurichiyo with an army of ninjas, each armed with their own special zanpaktou. I can imagine a scenario where Ichigo and company have to fight each of the men in the organization, all of whom have different zanpaktou powers, and I just don’t think that’ll be all that exciting to watch. The fight this week was very uninspired (the reflecto-sword was so gimmicky) – you’d think that with Ichigo’s level of power, he could have easily taken care of a one-trick pony assassin like that. Maybe if they threw Hollows into the mix somehow, it’d get a little more interesting, but perhaps I should just not get my expectations up for any of this, and if it turns out to be good, then I can be pleasantly surprised.