Bleach – 185
Kira manages to defend himself against Kibune’s blade, and despite the repeated attacks taking their toll, Kira remains active. He is sure that Amagai knows about Kibune now and suggests that Kibune has no future, but Kibune doesn’t care because the ultimate goal is for the Kasumiooji family to create a new world using the Bakkoutou. As the two continue fighting, Kira starts turning the tide of the battle by channeling his feelings of responsibility for protecting his comrades in the third division. When he shatters part of Kibune’s blade, Kira realizes that the reason Kibune is able to cancel out Wabisuke’s weight-doubling ability is because the Bakkoutou is covering Kibune’s zanpaktou. Having part of his blade broken weakens Kibune’s power, and he’s forced to call upon more with the help of the Bakkoutou, but it completely overwhelms him, and Kira is able to defeat him in the next strike.
Elsewhere in Soul Society, Amagai and Ichigo catch up and take out Rurichiyo’s kidnappers, but they discover that these particular kidnappers had tricked them by carrying a doll that looked like her. The real Rurichiyo is still in enemy hands, and for the time being, Ichigo and Amagi head to the arena and see the aftermath of Kira’s battle. When Renji shows up as well, Amagai sends him to Yamamoto with a piece of the Bakkoutou as proof of the Kasumiooji family’s treasonous actions. Amagai, Ichigo, Rukia, and Shuu then head to the Kasumiooji family estate, but they find Hitsugaya and Rangiku waiting for them. In order to allow Ichigo to get inside and find Rurichiyo, Amagai fights Hitsugaya while Rukia fights Rangiku, but the battles are interrupted when Yamamoto makes an announcement broadcast throughout Soul Society that the Kasumiooji family is suspected of treason, and he orders everyone to storm the Kasumiooji estate to find evidence.
Of the two marquee fights this episode, the Kira vs. Kibune one wasn’t bad, but no one pulled out any new powers, so it felt more like a rehash of what we’ve already seen, except with Kira winning this time. Hitsugaya vs. Amagai, on the other hand, was a blatant attempt to pit two good guys against each other (the former of whom is a very popular character), but at least in that case there was an interesting fire vs. ice dynamic, plus we’ve seen relatively little of Amagai’s zanpaktou in its released form. I would say that all the other captains getting involved now makes things more interesting, but what’s actually exciting is that everything – including Ichimaru in the after-episode special segment – is pointing to this arc ending soon and a return to the Hueco Mundo storyline.