Bleach – 217
Inside the wall of flames that Yamamoto trapped them in, Ichimaru senses Kira getting angry and is actually glad that he’s doing well. At that moment, Kira’s opponent Avirama is responding to Kira’s attack by changing into his released form. Elsewhere on the battlefield, Cuuhlhourne and Yumichika are busy fighting and insulting each other’s looks. Cuuhlhourne eventually decides to get more serious and uses some of his signature attacks, but while this overpowers Yumichika, he’s quick to recover. He counters by cutting off part of Cuuhlhourne’s hair, and this enrages Cuuhlhourne so much that he releases his zanpakutou.
Cuuhlhourne’s released form is so ridiculous-looking that Yumichika can’t help but laugh, however Cuuhlhourne is now significantly faster and more powerful. After nearly getting taken out by Cuuhlhourne’s cero, Yumichika gets head-butted, and Cuuhlhourne prepares to finish him off. Cuuhlhourne uses a technique that surrounds them with briers which prevent people on the outside from seeing or sensing what’s going on inside, with the reasoning being that Yumichika will now die without anyone seeing him. Unfortunately for Cuuhlhourne, this turns out to be a good thing for Yumichika because it means that he can now show his own zanpakutou’s true form. Doing so allows him to ensnare Cuuhlhourne, and Yumichika is able to drain the Arrancar of spirit power.
I don’t know if my expectations for this episode were too high or what, but I found this episode to be a little on the disappointing side. The first half of it was rather forgettable, and part of the reason I didn’t like it is because the stuff they added to the episode on top of the original material dragged it out instead of contributing anything. The bigger problem though may have been that I just remembered this part of the story to be better than it actually was. Still, I was amused by how Cuuhlhourne’s transformation had a mahou shoujo-esque feel to it, and his cero scene was pretty funny as well. And in the end, it was a nice seeing Yumichika’s hidden technique animated, and it made me curious what Yumichika’s bankai would be like. I’m not sure we’ll ever get to see it though at the rate the manga is going. In any case, this only settles this one battle, and there’s three more to go before the story can move on.