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Bleach – 208


Though Hiyori resists, Urahara drags her towards the Maggot’s Nest and tells her about his background along the way. More specifically, he explains how Yoruichi controls both the 2nd division and the special forces and how he was in charge of the internment unit. This unit had a special job of taking care of the people who have joined the Gotei 13 but prove to be a problem in some way, and that’s what the Maggot’s Nest was for. Once inside the underground prison, Urahara leads Hiyori through the open area where the prisoners are kept, and he explains to her how all these people haven’t committed any actual crimes but have been deemed dangerous. He reveals that people aren’t allowed to officially withdraw from the Gotei 13 on their own will, and that withdrawing actually means this special internment. The reason for all this is that the Gotei 13 is a sophisticated organization, so they can’t let out people who have already been accepted but are incompatible. The reason Urahara is here now is because he thinks that, given the right environment, some of the these people might be able to go from being dangerous to being a great power.

Hiyori starts to protest against this last part, but she’s interrupted by the appearance of someone she once knew. This guy wants her help to get out, however while he’s talking, she gets attacked by another prisoner. Urahara saves her with his bare hands, and he’s able to easily handle all of the other prisoners who come after him. When Hiyori’s old acquaintance takes her hostage though, he lets Hiyori herself take care of the guy. With no one else willing to challenge them, the two move on and eventually arrive at a special cell belonging to one Kurotsuchi Mayuri. Urahara proposes that Kurotsuchi join him as the second in command of the new Technology Development Bureau, and he eventually convinces Kurotsuchi by noting that it would all be Kurotsuchi’s if he dies. Meanwhile, at the Kuchiki estate, a young Byakuya is practicing his swordsmanship when his grandfather brings Yoruichi over. Yoruichi is here to tease Byakuya by stealing his hair tie, and he angrily chases after her. Over at the 13th Division, Kaien is again refusing Ukitake’s offer to be a vice-captain. Ukitake then changes the subject to how there’s a young genius who’s joining the 5th division. Unbeknownst to them, Aizen is watching over this boy and his killing abilities, and it turns out to be none other than Ichimaru Gin.

The story now fast-forwards to 101 years ago when some affliction is overcoming three men while three others watch.


So they finally had an episode that covered more than one chapter (this was two) and because of that, it had minimal original material – the biggest things were that the explanation of Urahara’s background got reworked slightly and the part with this guy was added. The main reason I liked the episode though was the insights it gave to how Kurotsuchi, Byakuya, and Ichimaru’s characters came to be, plus it had a cameo by Kaien. It was a lot of fun in particular seeing Byakuya being such a hothead and Gin as creepy as ever. Incidentally, I thought that they might recast Byakuya for this arc since I’ve mainly heard Okiayu Ryoutarou in older, tough guy roles, but it was him voicing the young version as well, and I thought he did a pretty good job. They also didn’t recast Ichimaru.

In any case, I’m excited now that the stage is set for things to really heat up, though the anime might slow things down a bit to get the maximum amount of episodes out of this. I suspect there are four more episodes to go in this arc, and that’d put us right at when the spring 2009 season begins.

February 26, 2009 at 5:08 am
  • February 26, 2009 at 5:18 am7updnL

    yay i love it when its not filler :)

  • February 26, 2009 at 5:36 ambrianleung8912

    hate rukia’s sister for dying =.= turned byakuya all emo-ey =.=

  • February 26, 2009 at 6:28 amMegas

    I think Byakuya was destined to be an emo from the start. His strong sense of pride is nutz.

  • February 26, 2009 at 7:27 amene

    The animation looks stunning for this episode.

  • February 26, 2009 at 7:35 amHenry

    Good to see Gin again, haven’t seen him for ages!

  • February 26, 2009 at 10:07 amSaevel

    Byakuya was hilarious.. That slow slouch of the shoulder is awesome.. I wish he would be more laid back, but that wont happen.. One of my favorite characters,Kurotsuchi Mayuri.. I think he personality is brilliant. Also, Urahara is great as well. His laid back personality is a great front. I am wondering if he has something more planned againts Aizen later on..

  • February 26, 2009 at 11:20 amlohking

    bleach 208 sub can be watched at http://bleachshippuuden.com

  • February 26, 2009 at 11:30 amPanther

    They slightly reworked the bit about Byakuya, so amusing to see his hothead style against Yoruichi. That was a surprise though they kept the same seiyuu for him. A good change from his normal roles I guess, while Ichimaru is just…Gin.

  • February 26, 2009 at 12:41 pmmachan

    byakuya’s VA did a good job

    wait, so they fast forward a few years and it becomes 101 years ago…but Shinji was listening to jazz before, right? I think the timeline’s a little off

  • February 26, 2009 at 1:34 pmTori

    Hahahaha, young Byakuya was so awesome to see. xD

    Wow, I haven’t enjoyed a Bleach episode like this for a long time. I’m actually getting interested again. o_o

  • February 26, 2009 at 2:51 pmjlyn101

    it’s been a long while since i watched an episode with excellent animation. congrats to the animation director of this ep.

    the arrogant brat that is young byakuya is seriously amusing XD. didn’t think okiayu-san would voice him but hey, good job.

  • February 26, 2009 at 4:23 pmSeyary

    Excuse me… but if I’m not wrong, the Kaien part indeed happened in the manga, it wasn’t anime original either, because I remembered before he appeared all the things he was going to tell Ukitake, all about how he doesn’t want to be liutenant and all that. I think that actually did happen in chapter -105, or Turn Back the Pendulum 4… unless you’re talking about another cameo, but I didn’t see him anywhere else in this episode… just clearing things up…

  • February 26, 2009 at 5:30 pmTerra

    Urahara’s bare handed fight scene was class. AWESOME STUFF.

    People need to stop whining about how good or bad the animation is in some episodes. Be happy its even animated at all. You want to try and make a 25 minute animation that airs every week consistently. People don’t seem to understand the time, effort and money it takes to make something this scale and keep to deadline.

    Luckily ‘Turn Back the Pendulum’ is story based rather then action, so when the action does appear they can go overboard. But its not like its not done on the big sequences anyway.

  • February 26, 2009 at 5:47 pmSepiraph

    Looking forward to next episode, things are getting interesting!

  • February 26, 2009 at 5:48 pmJLaP

    I think it’s safe to say Hitsugaya’s one little bit will included if they’re stretching it out this much.

  • February 26, 2009 at 5:59 pmR. Ricketts

    good episode i think funniest scene had to be the scene in maggot;s nest but anyways so far bleach is doing a good job stretching it out at least we get to see other famous faces in the series hey i wouldn,t be suprised if they showed the real world the final scene was a suprise since i don,t read the manga Jin had been killing off other soul society members at that young age hopefully his former vice captain battles him .

  • February 26, 2009 at 6:38 pmk-tani

    maybe i’m just wrong, but if they returned 100 years and went forward 1, doesn’t that supposed to make the statement 101 years ago 99 years ago?… also i thought gin looked younger in the manga XD

  • February 26, 2009 at 8:20 pmarky

    @k-tani: they went 110 years back, now they fowarded 9

  • February 26, 2009 at 8:39 pmPhoenix Seikun

    Young Byakuya is so cute, this ep I liked the most.. XDD

  • February 27, 2009 at 1:43 amBROOKLYN otaku

    hated the pendulum arc in the manga, BUT REALLY ENJOYING it animated!…WHO KNEW?!

  • February 27, 2009 at 1:40 pmgazz

    Nice episode! and finally no more fillers lolx. nice screencaps! btw young Byakuya was so cute and is different from what he is now lol

  • February 28, 2009 at 12:02 pmLidksajd

    Really good episode, covered a lot, and the ending was errie at best.
    Looking forward towards the next episode.

  • February 28, 2009 at 12:45 pmRiceCakes

    Lmao They were no match for Urahara at all

  • February 28, 2009 at 3:00 pmillusion

    Turn back the pendulum is the best arc in bleach since the Rukia rescue arc IMHO.

    Oh, and Yoruichi teasing Byakuya was awesome, so was Hiyori’s spinkick in the nest.

  • March 2, 2009 at 12:23 amingelo

    Thank you, but the episode is a bit boring…