Summary:
With the battle about to start, both captains urge Kira to get away, but he’s frozen in place. Instead, he gets to witness a fight between two captains that culminates when Hitsugaya’s summons Hyourinmaru, a dragon of water and ice. Hitsugaya uses his freezing powers to catch Ichimaru’s arm, but Ichimaru shoots Shinsou at point blank range. Hitsugaya narrowly dodges it, but Ichimaru then aims it for Hinamori. Hitsugaya doesn’t have enough time to stop the blade, but Matsumoto appears just in time to block it. Meanwhile, as dawn breaks, Yoruichi wonders if Ichigo can progress fast enough to prevent Rukia’s execution. While Yoruichi thinks about timetables, Rukia learns that her execution date has once again been moved up. Back at their own division, Hitsugaya and Matsumoto tend to a still unconscious Hinamori. The battle earlier ended when Ichimaru turned around at the sight of Matsumoto and disappeared, telling Hitsugaya that he should take care of Hinamori instead of chasing. Hitsugaya thanks Matsumoto for coming, then wonders to himself how much of Aizen’s letter was changed. When a hell moth appears and tells them that the execution time has been changed, Hitsugaya decides to go and stop it. At the training grounds, Renji makes a loud entrance and finds Ichigo training for ban kai. Renji is also there to train, revealing that time is limited since the execution time is now noon of the next day. Yoruichi feels that the situation may be hopeless, but Ichigo is determined to achieve ban kai by that time. In the tower, Rukia reflects on her fate, deciding to try asking for the safe passage of Ichigo and company back to the real world as a last request. She doesn’t feel sad over her execution, remembering what she did one night very long ago – a night where one man, Kaien, lay dying in her arms.

I was initially quite worried about the pacing of this episode. Chapters 134 through 136 cover the Kaien story, so I assumed they would finish this episode before they got there, which is exactly what ends up happening. To fill some space, a bit more is added to the fight between Ichimaru and Hitsugaya before Hitsugaya uses Hyourinmaru, as is a brief scene where everyone in Soul Society learns about the new execution time. I’m glad that they decided to do it this way because it allows us to see the Rukia and Kaien story in its entirety in one episode (since this week only teases at what happened).
And so this episode only covers two chapters, 132 and 133, with the most notable changes being the ones I already mentioned. The animation had me a little concerned to start, as parts of the beginning of the Ichimaru and Hitsugaya fight look rather rushed. However, it soon gets up to par once Hitsugaya uses Hyourinmaru, and the rest of the fight (and episode) is fine.
All of the worrying Yoruichi does about having enough time turns out to be for naught. With Rukia’s execution only a day away, Ichigo has to pull off a near miracle to achieve ban kai in time. And it just now hits me that the span of the next 30-40 chapters covers only a little over one day’s time, but it’s one helluva action-packed day. In fact they don’t really even cover the current day very much at all, since after this next mini-arc we’re going to go straight to the next morning – the morning of the execution (assuming they follow the manga in that respect). Anyway, this next episode will first give us a little of Rukia’s back story, a tale of her and one Shiba Kaien.

16 Comments

  1. funny you mention how the next 30-40 chaps cover only one day, since I just re-read those and whatever chap aftewards has been scanlated by manga-rain yesterday. I’m curious where they plan to end the anime, whether they go for an open-ended ending or change it to an anime original.

    I’m sort of hoping for the open-ended one. I really want a 2nd season of Bleach once they have enough material in the manga to use, so… And if they do go open-ended, I guess they *could* end it right before the big plot-twist. Can’t wait to see how all of this is gonna end! 😀

    moyism
  2. They wont end the anime:-p it doesnt end with rukia saga first of all. It will continue and its just like how naruto went and besides the next 30-40 chaper is about another 20 episodes if you look at it with the manga rate.

    Fury
  3. so basicaly it will be like the gaara saga like how it ended at 80 in naruto and still continued. Rukia saga will end around hmm lets see 70 or so and around 78 is when Bleach will get its 4th opening and we might see some filler episodes to bridge the cap between the manga.

    Fury
  4. I can’t wait for next week, I think the whole Rukia-Kaien flashback was the only flashback I liked. It has been rumored, too, that this anime will finish after the soul society arc, but I highly doubt that. There are so many things that needed to be cleared, like, what kind of… “creature” is Ichigo, really? It also seems that the anime is almost catching up with the manga. If ever the anime do catch up, hopefully they wouldn’t do a bunch of off-plot fillers, just like in Naruto, because that would be pure torture. XD

    Nika
  5. lol some of the naruto fillers arent all that bad like the Hinata one cuase im a BIG NarutoXHinata fan:-p. But the bleach fillers might have to do with hollow hunting when he gets back to karapika town or some other things JUST before they get into the new arc.

    Fury
  6. Yet another great episode brought to us by the good folks up at TV Tokyo. Hitsugaya is extremely powerful! He did so much damage during the fight, and thats only the Shikai form of his Zanpaktou!! God help whoever forces him to use Bankai. Question though from the above comments i am getting confused. People say that bleach is only 50 episodes long? But what i heard is that the Soul Society Arc is what is suppose to be50 episodes long. So the 50 episode long SS arc + the first seasons episodes would be more like 75 episodes. Some one help me out here and let me know if they plan to end it after the SS Arc finishes, because they could end it there with out to many lose ends. I personaly hope they animate it as long as there are manga chapters to pull from, because this new arc seems to be really getting good.

    Zexion
  7. IYou wrote that you were “concerned” by the animation at the beginning of the fight, but I found its nonstop kineticism to be very well done. In general, “Bleach” doesn’t seem to have quite the animation quality of “One Piece” or “Naruto”, but IMO really goes up a notch in that fight.

    Was Ichigo _intentionally delaying_ his powerup because he was enjoying fencing with Zangetsu?

    Zexion –

    Over at Moon Phase, a second season of “Bleach” is now listed as starting on 10/04 at 19:30 on TV-Tokyo:
    http://www.moonphase.cc/Html/anime.html
    Since seasons of their shounen fighting shows seem to run for an entire year, I’d guess “Bleach” is currently planned to run 100 episodes.

    dbm
  8. I think it will run to 100 episodes,it wont just end with the current situation with 50 episodes.

    I find that japanese anime always ends at 49-52 episodes,so i think the next target is 100.

    Taurus
  9. But the Bleach Anime is on its way to get bigger than Naruto, and naruto has currently realesed 150 episods. So it won’t suprise me if the Bleacha Anime altso reaches 150 episodes… or am i wrong?? (exuse my bad English, im a swede)

    Pro-Jounin Hitsugaya

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