Bleach – 314, 315
Kon complains about being cooped up in the house, and when he sees a girl with large breasts walking by he tries to jump out. Ichigo restrains him and gives some directions to her. He then transforms to his shinigami form to fight hollows, but is seen by the girl. Later Kon sees the girl seemingly about to jump off the bridge and tries to stop her, but falls into the river himself. Later he talks with the girl, who says that she has always seen weird things (such as Ichigo flying), which resulted in her boyfriend breaking up with her. She wants to kill herself, but when Kon tries to stop her again he gets knocked out by a soccer ball. As Ichigo is looking for the hollow, he bumps into Rukia, who has discovered a corpse lying in an alley, and she says the there have been several such incidents lately. Ichigo goes looking for the attacker.
Elsewhere, the girl meets a man who claims he will grant her wish to die. Because of her spiritual ability she sees the true hollow form behind the body he had taken over, and the hollow attacks her. Kon jumps in and kicks the hollow off the cliff, but Ichigo and Rukia lose track of it. The girl (Haruko) tells Kon that he should have let her die, but Kon says he’ll protect her. Haruko’s boyfriend Ken suddenly shows up however and tells her that he wants to make up with her and Haruko gladly agrees. Ken turns out to be possessed by the hollow and he takes over Haruko’s body. Kon punches her hard enough so that the hollow is expelled, but he counterattacks and knocks out the soul candy from Ichigo’s body. Ichigo arrives just in time to save Kon from getting eaten, and Haruko hugs Ichigo (not knowing he’s not Kon), and states that she loves him. Annoyed, Rukia erases Ken and Haruko’s memory, and they get back together.
Kenpachi randomly chops down trees and Yachiru plays around nearby. In the forest, a woman, Mayu, prays for her parents, but is attacked by the hollow which killed her family. A shinigami saves her and tells her his name, Masayoshi. Yachiru encounters them and recognizes Masayoshi and she talks with him from a bit. Masayoshi says that he has been on a hollow hunting squad. He explains how a hollow had killed his wife, causing his hate for hollows. Yachiru returns to Kenpachi, who has cut down a large portion of the forest. She tells him of his encounter with Masayoshi and reminisces about their past, but Kenpachi tells her of his true nature. The next morning she heads off in the forest to visit him again.
By the river, Masayoshi wakes up from a nightmare and Mayu gives him some food. Yachiru arrives, but she asks him what he had argued with his wife about, he runs off into the forest feeling a hollow nearby. He kills it, but another hollow observes them from the forest. Later in the evening, Mayu asks Masayoshi if she could be with him, but Yachiru takes her away and tells her not to get too close, then leaves. Mayu is caught by the hollow and Masayoshi is baited into a trap. He kills all the hollows, but collapses temporarily with his eyes turning black. Yachiru comes and says that he is actually slowly transforming into a hollow. Yachiru tells him that he was the one who killed his wife after a hollow possessed him. Masayoshi had retained his consciousness, but his memories and parts of his personality had begun fading. He suddenly starts transforming, but sacrifices himself to save Mayu from another hollow.
These fillers were very predictable as usual, and the plot flow always seems pretty similar, making me wonder if a stock formula is used every time, just featuring different characters. I do enjoy seeing some of the characters that are less seen in the manga, but nothing significant happens, maybe in an attempt to prevent deviations from the canon. Characters are flat however, and it’s hard to care about them at all. This results in little to no emotional impact during the more dramatic scenes, and there are usually several in each mini-story. It’s good there isn’t any pathetic humor that has plagued some of the previous fillers, but I still feel these one-shot standalone episodes could be more interesting.
Both episodes revolved around a character possessed by the hollow, which as far as I can remember is a novel idea in the series. I actually liked the first better, but some parts were in bad taste, such as the parasite scene which was rather gross. Gore is fine but most of the stuff here was just dull, the same reason the emotional scenes fell flat. I was happy about seeing more of Yachiru and Kenpachi in the latter episode, but they got no development at all. A multitude of story elements were just reused, with different characters and a different setting plugged in. The plot isn’t inherently bad, but I can’t say it’s interesting at all. I’m hoping, but not expecting that the filler arcs will be more substantial.