Bleach – 239
Hinamori and Rangiku are having trouble against their respective Zanpakutou, and Tobiume even tries to turn Hinamori against her friend. The Shinigami girls, however, outsmart their Zanpakutou spirits with a combination of teamwork and spells. Hinamori is able to capture both Tobiume and Haineko, and afterward, she talks about how she wants to grow older and wiser. Meanwhile, Hitsugaya tries to assert that Hyourinmaru belongs to him, but Hyourinmaru doesn’t believe it because Hitsugaya is just a child. He wants proof and attacks Hitsugaya to see how strong he is, and Hitsugaya has trouble against the ice powers. When Hitsugaya questions what Hyourinmaru’s instincts say, the Zanpakutou reveals he’s seeking where he belongs.
This reminds Hitsugaya of many years ago when he had felt similar because he had been ostracized by people who were afraid of him. Back then, he had a recurring dream of an ice dragon calling out to him, and one night, Rangiku had visited him because his powers had been uncontrolled while he slept. She had been the one who told him to become a Shinigami, and he had left his grandmother to do so. With these memories, Hitsugaya now summons the ice dragon and attacks with it, freezing both him and his Zanpakutou spirit in ice. He then reminds Hyourinmaru that it was he who heard the Zanpakutou’s voice, and Hyourinmaru realizes who he is. Ichigo emerges from his own ice prison just in time to see all of this happen, and he watches as Hyourinmaru carries Hitsugaya back to the ground.
At around this same time, somewhere in the Menos Forest, Muramasa fights against a shadowy figure and then does something with the body.
There was no real preview this week.
This turned out to be a surprisingly good episode, especially considering how I wasn’t really interested in Hinamori and Rangiku’s respective battles. The Hitsugaya half of the episode was very well done, both animation-wise and story-wise, and I loved how they worked in chapter -15 of the manga into it. My only real complaint is that they made Ichigo look silly again by having him be trapped in ice for so long in his bankai form without being able to break free. Given how much he uses it, Getsuga Tenshou should have been the first thing he tried. Anyway, they’re obviously now setting up for something in the next part of this arc with what Muramasa was up to in the Menos Forest. Based on the silhouette, it looked like he was fighting and maybe absorbing a Vasto Lorde class Menos, and I wonder if he’s trying to replicate Ichigo’s power or something.
On a slightly different note, the new OP and ED were announced earlier this week. The OP will be Anima Rossa by Porno Graffitti, and the ED will be Sakurabito by SunSet Swish. The songs, however, won’t premiere until episode 243 on October 27th.