Matsumoto Rangiku, vice-captain of the tenth division, visits a still grieving Hinamori in jail. After some scolding, she hands Hinamori Captain Aizen’s final words. After Matsumoto leaves, Hinamori discovers that he wrote something very disturbing. Meanwhile, Ichigo, Ganjuu, and Hanatarou are where we left them, feeling the spiritual pressure of Zaraki Kenpachi, the captain of the eleventh division. Zaraki uses his powers to single out Ichigo and then makes him think that he was stabbed. Once Ichigo recovers from the illusion, Zaraki introduces himself. The two get ready to fight, but Ichigo realizes that Hanatarou isn’t faring too well from the pressure. He tells Ganjuu to take Hanatarou and run. In the middle of this, Zaraki’s vice-captain, Kusajika Yachiru pops up and we get her introduction. After Ganjuu gets away, Ichigo does some powering up. Zaraki, being the type of person that he is, offers Ichigo a free shot. Ichigo charges, but can’t even scratch the captain. As he charges for another attack, the episode ends.
While it makes sense how they are approaching this, I feel like Bleach is going way too slow to complete in 52 episodes. They’re on course for more like 65 or so episodes at this rate (to finish the SS arc). This episode in particular made the Matsumoto/Hinamori scene particularly long with flashbacks and extra dialogue; a scene which took all of four pages in the manga. Not that that’s a bad thing, I just hope that they won’t try to cram the rest of the arc so that it fits into 52 episodes (which would be a bad thing).
I really like the Yachiru/Kenpachi odd couple. It kind of makes you know that Zaraki can’t be all that bad if he has Yachiru as a VC. I do hope they expand on the backstory of those two a bit more (than the manga). But I hope this for all the captains and their backgrounds.
This week’s ED featured captain of the first division, Yamamoto Genryuusai and his vice-captain, who still has no name (nor in the manga, as far as I remember). I was cheering when they put in a scene of a young Ukitake and Kyouraku training with him. I swear, the EDs make so much more sense after you’ve read the manga.
Edit a few minutes later:
For those of you who have a hard time remembering who’s who in Soul Society, here’s some useful pics that hi no ken Jebus of the AnimeSuki forums made:
Captains and Vice-Captains
Captains and VCs from the ED
End of Episode Single Introductions