Summary:
As Rukia’s execution gets underway, Captains Hitsugaya and Ukitake and their subordinates work separately to stop it. At the execution site, Commander Yamamoto agrees to honor Rukia’s plea to let Ichigo’s group go home, allowing her peace of mind even though he has no plans of fulfilling the request. As the Soukyoku is released, Rukia is lifted to the top of the stand and held in place. The Soukyoku transforms from a spear into a giant flaming bird, the Kikou. Rukia feels content and wishes everyone goodbye as the stand goes up in flames. When it all clears, she is amazed to find it herself still alive, with a familiar figure before her: Kurosaki Ichigo. Everyone below is stunned that one person is able to stop the power of Soukyoku. The Kikou comes in to strike again, but two large ropes latch onto it. Captains Ukitake and Kyouraku are the ones who are responsible; they use a seal with the symbol of the Shihouin family to dispel the bird. Ichigo then takes the opportunity to destroy the structure holding Rukia. He takes her and tells her that he plans on getting everyone out of there, defeating anyone who gets in their way. Renji arrives onto the scene at this point, so Ichigo throws Rukia to him, ordering him to take Rukia away. Renji bolts out of there, with three vice-captains in pursuit, but Ichigo defeats them all without even using his zanpaktou. However, he quickly grabs it so that he can swing around to block the attack of Captain Kuchiki. It seems that Ichigo can now read Byakuya’s moves.

As the execution scene climaxes, Rukia is saved by none other than Kurosaki Ichigo. His appearance must mean that his training is done, and he’s a lot more powerful now, able to defeat three vice-captains without using Zangetsu, and able to block Captain Kuchiki’s opening swing. And of course you could tell that it is ass-kicking time because they started playing Number One. The most unexpected part of this story for me is the fact that Ukitake and Kyouraku are the ones who stop the Soukyouku, instead of Ichigo fighting it head on (not that I don’t think he could).
Everything is shown just like it is in the manga, from the Zaraki vs. Komamura fight being interrupted all the way to Ichigo and Byakuya clashing swords. We cover about 3.5 chapters this week, including the rest of 149 through the end of 152. The only noticeable change is the return of Captain Unohana during the execution (she left to heal Renji in the last episode). The animation is somewhat lacking at the beginning but gets better by the middle. I suspect that their budget for this episode went to making the giant bird and Ichigo look cool. The one other complaint that I have is that there is too much repeated, including the minute spent at the beginning re-showing the end of last episode and the part before and after the interstitial that basically shows the same sequence twice.
The end of this episode receives special mention because instead of an introduction to a character, we got a condensed version of the Karakura Super Heroes omake from volume 10 where Rukia’s replacement is stepped all over by Don Kanonji and friends.
Next week starts several fights, including the one between Ichigo & Captain Kuchiki and one involving Commander Yamamoto himself.

Closing Thought: For all the damage he took, Renji shows up remarkably fast to the execution, though not in perfect condition. You would think that even with good healing, he would be incapacitated for several days. Still, it was fun to see that bit of humor between him, Rukia, and Ichigo in the middle of all the action.

31 Comments

  1. Bankai won’t be here for another few episodes. Things that still need to be covered are: Ukitake and Kyouraku vs. Yamamoto Genryuusai , Soi Fon vs. Yoruichi, and another few odds and ends. They might even pull a filler episode just for Ikkaku vs. Iba.

    Kira Takuto
  2. We will most likely get some filler mini arc so that the anima doesnt catch up to the manga too much. There are 46 more manga episodes and at this rate, that translates to around 10~15 episodes of anime max.

    I would love to see this Oh-So-Awaited Bankai of ichigo, hope its in next episode :p.

    Mike
  3. no it will not be in the next episode man. Bankai isnt until chapter 162 or so right now they were on 152 so thats 10 chapters away. Bankai wont be here until a few weeks later. That if they dont extend the captain fights which i hope they do cause in the manga we had no winner of the captain fights.

    Fury
  4. OMG! im not into anime, but i saw the first few episodes of bleach and some how got addicted. since then i havent missed a single one and DANG this was my all time favorite. it even made me cry. i thought she was gonna die for a moment n bam….her knight in shining armor…..wow….im still in awe 🙂 i cant wait for the next one. oh and i hate those filler episodes! haha. but at least they keep me excited for the next.

    andrea
  5. I dont know about you guys, but i find a number of things strange about this episode. Some of you have read the manga and understand or accept what’s going but i would like to hear what you guys think.
    1. Renji have been critically injured several times in a very short space of time and yet he is carry ppl around and running. Not cool. Like the dude but this is getting silly now. Plus, i am waiting to see guys get killed and stop coming back every other episode after they butt gets kicked ( can you say Dragon ball Z/GT)
    2. Guys, guys – i know the Ichigo is a special fellow, latent talents and skills and all waiting to emerge…but he battle that captain (spiky hair one with the patch…can’t remember his name) who was touted as the strongest and drew. Now he is fighting the Soukyoku which is suppose to be the most powerful thing known (they said it themselves in this episode : it has the explosive power of 1MILLION zanpakutou) and he was able to stop it. If he is able to do that. Then there is literally NO ONE : no captain or anyone else that can beat him. Everyone after this episode should be a walk over. I dont think they should have implied he was this powerful. Starting to remind me (again) of Dragonball Z/GT where the power levels began to get ridiculous. I love this show but they are killing me with these mishaps in the story.

    I pray that they start treating getting back to grass roots in this show. It gone pretty well so far and i must admit that this is the best episode so far as well. Time will tell.

    Kurik
  6. Kurik, the makers never follow the manga page by page(bad in my opinion) clearly evident in mai hime manga vs. anime there was a BIIIIG differance. (back to bleach) but i agree on the second part about power. its like some one has no chance of beating a person and BAM a new THING is up for grabs that makes some one powerfull!! its gonna suk if it turns out to be sumthin like Dragonball(worst anime ever btw)

    JT
  7. hey i think you guys dont understand….he was aided my the mantel…. have a closer look at it and see the symbol……it is similar to the shield that destroyed the Soukyoku…you gotta look closely man….i realized it when i saw it the second time,,,

    Animez foreva
  8. Yeah. i saw teh mantle as well and based on what they said in the preview for the next episode it seems like he borrowed the outfit. Regardless…he disposed of 3 highly skilled vice captians in a 10secs: Byakuya shouldn’t take 20secs!…but alas…:-)…we will just have to wait and see…..:-P…the coming episodes are going to either make me continue to watch this anime or not depending on how they deal with the power levels. I am keeping my fingers crossed…and toes…

    Kurik
  9. YAY! I finally get to see Rukia cry. I don’t know why, but I’ve really really wanted her to cry. And one tear trickling down was so cute. Now I want Ichigo to die then she will really cry.

    Spookia

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