Bleach – 294
After defeating most of the captain and Vizards, Aizen states that he won’t kill them, but will let them watch the battle as his plans unfold. Yamamoto then releases his shikai, but Aizen says it is too late. He reminds him of his hypnosis powers, but Yamamoto uses his experience with spiritual power to determine that his injury is real. He uses Ennetsu Jigoku to summon pillars of fire in order to kill Aizen and everyone else in the area, including himself. However, Wonderweiss appears from behind and attacks Yamamoto, extinguishing some of Ryujinjakka’s flames. Aizen reveals that he was created to seal away Yamamoto’s abilities, sacrificing his other powers including speech, intelligence, reasoning, and memory. Yamamoto uses his Ikkotsu and punches a hole through Wonderweiss, but he regenerates. He maintains his advantage over Wonderweiss however, and destroys him with his Double Bone attack. Wonderweiss then explodes with all the flames he has sealed inside himself, and Yamamoto seals the explosion to prevent destruction of the town, sacrificing his body. When Aizen steps in to kill him, he uses Itto Kaso to blow up his arm, and Ichigo, seeing a chance, attacks Aizen in his hollow form.
Yamamoto Genryusai is rarely seen fighting, but when he does, it is a real treat to watch. No doubt, he is pretty bad-ass: he’s got over a thousand years experience under his belt and he knows it. There is a lot of crap talk in Bleach, but Yamamoto’s is among the best, dissing his opponent’s age and naivety. Aizen is incredibly powerful, but it would be a pain even for him to fight the Captain-Commander. He himself admits that Yamamoto’s fighting power is greater that his own. I’d like to see more of him dealing with Aizen’s absolute hypnosis powers, but only a bit was mentioned. The Captain-Commander had also been doing some pre-planning himself, setting up his pillars of fire while the other captains were fighting.
Unfortunately though Aizen has prepared everything far ahead and knows exactly what to do, and events largely go according to his plans, perhaps in part because Yamamoto stepped in the battle far too late. Regardless of this disadvantage, I was cheering for him all the way. Even after Wonderweiss shows up and renders his shikai useless, he takes on the arrancar barehandedly in an epic boxing match. Wonderweiss’ multiple arms are not close to enough, and Yamamoto rips his limbs off before shattering him into little pieces with a double punch. After he contains the flames of the explosion with his own body, he finally falls. I wonder why he didn’t let the explosion run its course and destroy Aizen however; he was willing to sacrifice the shinigami to kill Aizen, plus they are still in the fake Karakura town. It’s understandable that he doesn’t want to sacrifice the innocent, but on the other hand, stopping Aizen also saves the lives of a lot of innocent people.
As Aizen steps in the finish off Yamamoto personally, he reveals that he’s still kicking, grabbing on to his leg and using a sacrificial spell. I do believe he is the first of Aizen’s opponents to successfully restrain him (on more than one occasion). Take that Aizen.
Aizen gets some credit too however for being able to defeat an opponent much stronger than himself. Ichigo too, makes a good use of his second chance to attack Aizen right as he is coming out of his previous fight. I rank this episode’s fight among the best, with the excitement maintained through every step. It was a good contrast from last week’s fights as this was no walk in the park for Aizen and it is always cool to see two powerful and experienced characters do battle. The inferno of fire is fun to watch as well, and Yamamoto himself got some nice shots.