Bleach – 363
「激闘！死神ｖｓＸＣＵＴＩＯＮ！」 (Gekitou! Shinigami vs XCUTION! )
“Fierce Fight! Shinigami vs. XCUTION!”
The multiple fights happening concurrently make things fierce indeed, and I’m glad that they are not being dragged out, but the mechanics behind the whole set-up is just ridiculous. There’s no reason for Yukio to allow the shinigami to exit their alternate dimensions once they defeated their opponent, especially not if he could just erase them all together, as he tried to do to Renji. Given that he has close to absolute control over his dimensions, the way Yukio acted was simply irrational as there’s nothing stopping him from just pushing the “I win” button (he himself stated that he was the omnipotent god of his worlds). No explanation is given as to why he can’t just reduce the other shinigami’s strength to zero, boost his allies powers, or simply kill all the shinigami by pressing a couple keys on his arm. It was a bullshit ability in the first place, and now to prevent the battles from being completely trivialized, there’s a huge gaping hole left in the plot.
I suppose it could all be waved away by the fact that Yukio is just a really stupid brat, just like the other full-bringers, but this is again inconsistent with their meticulous strategies before with Ichigo. Of course now they are all drunk on Ichigo’s stolen powers, and reveal themselves to be over-talkative, arrogant assholes. It’s nice to see that most of the shinigami are stronger or at least act much cooler now and are able to take advantage of the Xcution’s folly. Everyone else pairs off with their natural opponents, the prime example being the brute-force muscle-heads Ikkaku and Sushigawara, who engage in a hilarious fist fight. Ikkaku hasn’t changed all too much and is still pretty much a miniature version of Kenpachi, able to take a lot of hits without too much problem. A quick clean battle is always good to watch, and the way he finished the fight with an epic headbutt was awesome too. Renji finishes his fight with Jackie pretty quickly too, though I was rolling my eyes at his “honor” and patriarchic attitudes.
With Yukio also trapped by Hitsugaya, that makes three battles down in one episode — pretty good progress given the usual pacing of Bleach. Most of the annoying speeches were quashed quickly, saving us from the torment, and we are left with the more significant fights (besides Rukia and Riruka’s). It’s quite fitting that Ichigo and Ishida get to fight Ginjou, but the fullbringers clearly are no match for the shinigami; the only person who’s really going to have trouble with their fight will be Byakuya, and that’s only because of the troublesome nature of Tsukishima’s ability.