Renji’s Zabimaru wakes him from his rest and tells him that they’re ready to fight again, especially against Zangetsu. Renji says that Ichigo isn’t the enemy anymore, prompting Zabimaru to ask who is. On the bridge, Yoruichi has arrived to save Ichigo from Byakuya’s Senbonzakura. Byakuya immediately recognizes and identifies Shihouin Yoruichi as a famous ex-commander of Soul Society. Ichigo asks Yoruichi to move aside so that he can beat Byakuya, but Yoruichi immediatly stabs Ichigo in the gut with her hand, knocking him out with a tranquilizer. Byakuya closes in threateningly, so she performs several moves to evade him, but Byakuya manages to get a hit in anyway. It barely fazes her and she ends up on the rooftop, promising to make Ichigo stronger in three days. As she jumps away, Byakuya also leaves the bridge, saying that he has lost interest. Ukitake and his number three seats are left to clean up. After telling his subordinates to contact the fourth squad for medical help, Ukitake tells Hanatarou that he helped them because they tried to save a member of his squad. Meanwhile, Ishida and Inoue have donned Shinigami garb and are now masquerading as Shinigami to avoid being caught. Inoue is worried about Ichigo, and the two of them decide to keep moving. In the shadows, Captain Kurotsuchi Mayuri emerges from spying on them. Back at her hideout, Yoruichi keeps watch over a recovering Ichigo. When he wakes up, Ichigo immediately grabs Yoruichi and asks why she only brought him back, saying that his friends could be dead already. Yoruichi tells him that he can’t defeat Byakuya in his current state, but promises to make Ichigo strong enough in three days time so that he can go back and rescue everyone. She brings Ichigo to a training field below Soul Society and tells him that there are two levels of release for a zanpaktou: shi-kai and ban-kai. Every captain is able to do ban-kai with one exception, Zaraki Kenpachi, who relied on his own strength. However, learning ban-kai usually takes ten years, so Yoruichi has decided to take a riskier method so that she can teach it to Ichigo in three days.

They covered a bit more than I thought they would, going from chapter 118 to midway through chapter 120. The rest of the chapter (and the volume for the matter) covers the Ishida vs Capt. Kurotsuchi fight. This episode concluded the bridges scene, then started the Ishida/Inoue arc and the Ichigo training arc. But we really don’t go back to the Ichigo training stuff until the Ishida stuff is done.
I really enjoyed the Byakuya vs. Yoruichi fight (if you could call it a fight), probably because Yoruichi just kicks so much ass. And to think, just a few episodes ago, she was just the cat.
The Orihime and Ishida scenes were funny, with Inoue as her usual airheaded self. Unfortunately this is the most we’ll see of her for quite a while, though from the look of the preview, they might expand on her story/training a bit.
I had forgotten that Yoruichi introduced the idea of ban-kai so early, but it fits considering where we’re at in the story. She mentions Zaraki as the only captain to have never achieved ban-kai, which makes sense since a) he doesn’t know the name of his sword and b) he didn’t use it. I really can’t wait until we get to see Ichigo’s ban-kai, but that is soooo far off.
Next episode will cover to at least chapter 122, when Kurotsuchi pulls out his zanpaktou (which was shown in the preview). I rather liked the Ishida fight in the manga, so I have high hopes for the animated version.


  1. I imagine Bleach is going to keep going as long as they have material to work on, Naruto-style. I originally thought 2 full seasons worth, but after reading the manga, I really don’t think they’ll be able to cover the entire Soul Society arc in that time, so it really has to be longer than that, probably 60ish just to finish Soul Society. By that time, we’ll be a good 30 chapters or so into the next major arc.

  2. I believe Bleach and some of the other recent Anime are begining to bring back some of the Luster to Anime. For a while, the quality of stories, animation and sound work were pretty
    poor. Bleach has a great Manga to pull from , good voice actorsm and agreat animation style. Im hoping they keep this series going for 6 or 7 seasons if the story quality can keep up.

  3. Definately dude and trust me you aint seen nothing yet, where i am at in the manga now is just so freakin awesome that i would say that Bleach’s manga has surpassed that of Naruto.

  4. I would have to agree, the Bleach manga is very good. I also think Bleach manga is better than Naruto now, all these twists and turns that you didn’t see coming, really make you want to read more and more.

  5. I just hope that the anime keeps following the manga so closely, word for word and frame for frame almost.
    Heck, one of these days, I should compare a chapter of the manga with the episode it appeared in…

  6. Naruto isn’t comparable to Bleach. It’s only here that you see fights that aren’t as extended as DBZ or Naruto, and yet as equally animated well, even better. I despise Naruto. I love Bleach.

    Bleach will probably end the same episodes as Rurouni Kenshin did, I think, because there are three major arcs so far, and this last arc, I think, is the conclusion, the final fight among the many factionns in Bleach.

    I still think the Ishida vs. Mayuri fight will definitely rock, though. 2 episodes from now, I think it will finish … and that’s when there’ll be more Ishida fans , I guarantee you.

  7. wow…in the 60’s and just the Soul Socitey story…about 20 more episodes!!!
    randomn question: how many bleach manga vol came out? im still in the beginnng so i don’t know…

  8. In Japan, there are currently 17 released volumes of Bleach (v18 goes on sale August 4th I think). The weekly manga (which is what most people follow) is up to chapter 189, easily in the twenties (in terms of volumes), but they don’t publish the tankoubon as fast as they put out weekly chapters.

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