Bleach – 349
「次の標的、織姫を狙う魔の手！」 (Tsugi no hyouteki, Orihime o nerau ma no te!)
“Next Target, The Devil’s Hand Aims at Orihime!”
Ichigo is able to manifest a weapon in the form of his zanpakutou’s hilt with his substitute shinigami combat pass, and Ginjou explains that even though he lost all his powers, the combat pass remembers his battles and experiences. Ichigo battles the transformed Mr. Pork, but his weapon has no cutting power and cannot leave his hand. By remembering the sensation of Getsuga Tenshou however, he is able to fire off a ring of reiatsu and knock out his opponent. Riruka releases him from the box, and the sword hilt vanishes. However, Ichigo suddenly hears Rukia’s voice from the combat pass as Ginjou looks on. Later, the Xcution tell Ichigo to go home and rest before continuing his training.
As Inoue returns home after delivering bread, a delinquent called Shishigawara confronts her, but is unable to attack when he sees Inoue’s beauty. Although she is unsure of what’s going on initially, her demeanor suddenly changes when Shishigawara mentions the attack on Ishida. However, the man the book, Tsukishima Shuukuro, suddenly arrives and states that he was the one who attacked Ishida. He orders Shishigawara to back off, and transforms his bookmark into a sword, explaining it as his fullbring the “Book of the End”. Inoue steps in between them and demands an explanation from Tsukshima.
Chad feels something wrong with her reiatsu and alerts Ichigo.
Somehow, Ichigo’s fight with Mr. Pork felt a whole lot more epic than it did in the manga. The BGM, flashbacks, and attacks were timed nicely, making it more exciting especially as Ichigo gains his fullbring. His fullbring by itself isn’t very impressive or interesting (it’s pretty much just a hilt), but they are treating it as just an intermediate step to regaining his shinigami powers anyways, and it’s not really clear if he can see ghosts or feel reiatsu yet. Overall though the developments aren’t bad and I thought there was a pretty good balance of humor as well, including Riruka going all-out tsundere mode (complete with a triple baka). Most of the other fullbringers have been pretty silent on the other hand, and if nothing extra is added we won’t really get to know them until they fight.
There’s an extra plot twist with Inoue getting into some trouble near her home, though it was pretty funny seeing her defeat Sushigawara with just her beauty and her cluelessness. There was sudden change in mood when he mentioned Ishida however, which was pretty well done with the BGM shift and all. It shows a side of Inoue we don’t see often, and Tsukishima also finally makes a proper appearance. I’d say it completely makes sense that he uses his bookmark for his fullbring since he’s been shown reading his book pretty much all the time, even when running from Ishida. Unfortunately it’s not that interesting seeing so many fullbrings transforming objects into weapons. While this is an action series, I can’t help but feel that this power could have much more potential than just for fighting; but that’s probably going beyond the scope of what I want to discuss here.