As Byakuya and Ichigo face off, Byakuya asks Ichigo why he wants to save Rukia, but Ichigo counters with why Byakuya doesn’t want to save her. Byakuya decides that he’s just going to have to kill Ichigo and execute Rukia himself. Renji, carrying Rukia, tells her that he and Ichigo got strong to protect her, and that she should depend on them and stop blaming herself. In the main group, Soi Fong is taking out Ukitake’s officers, but when Ukitake moves to help, Commander Yamamoto steps in his way. Captain Kyouraku grabs Ukitake and jumps off the cliff, saying that someone else is there to save Ukitake’s third seats. Sure enough, none other than Yoruichi tackles Soi Fong off the cliff. Somewhere inside the city, Ukitake and Kyouraku decide that they have run far enough and are ready to face the commander. Nanao, who followed them, is completely paralyzed by Yamamoto’s gaze, so her captain quickly takes her to safety before returning to the fight. The commander is quite disappointed that his most promising and strongest disciples decided to turn against him. He takes off his outer garbs, revealing a stunning physique undernearth, and then releases his zanpaktou which turns into a fiery sword.

I’m glad this episode decides to consolidate some of the parallel storylines because otherwise it would have been jumping around all over the place. This episode focuses on the Yamamoto vs. Ukitake/Kyouraku aspects for the second half, while the first does do a lot of that changing point of view. Nothing really to complain about since it’s a welcome change for greater story coherence.
And since they changed stuff around, certain parts of the manga aren’t included: they cover chapters 153 to 155, minus the Soi Fong vs. Yoruichi parts of chapter 154. I guess that’s less than normal, but they make up for it by showing a lot of Yamamoto’s buff body (which feels really unnecessary, but maybe that’s just me).
The three battles developing now are the commander vs. the two captains, Yoruichi vs. Soi Fong, and Ichigo vs. Byakuya. If they go at their current pace, next week will cover the rest of the first fight, and should cover all of the second fight. That leaves Ichigo vs. Byakuya for episode 57 and on.

Closing Thought: I hope the Karakura Super Heroes bit at the end becomes standard (much like the character introductions were). Today’s little bit covered the other half of chapter 88.5 – the fighting half.


  1. !!!! this episode looks so cool but i think should have a bit more of the battle between ichigo and Byakua in it.
    (i no i posted this before but no 1 answered so i will say it again: is the manga still on the soul-society arc?)

  2. shouldnt ichigo be able to kill byakuya in like a flash since his sword is so strong and powerful+ he stopped that fire bird with the power of 100 of those swords and nun of the other captains can do that!?!

  3. Does anyone know how long the anime will be? I wonder if they’ll end the anime before the manga. Maybe that’s why they took out that part with Grand Fisher. Can’t wait till the anime gets to the part that the manga’s at.

  4. No one will know how long Bleach will be since it will probably become like One Piece and Naruto, long running animes that follow the manga good with tons of filler eps, lol. About Bleach 54, is anyone mad how the animation company edited out Yamamoto’s scars all over his body? Personally, I thought he looked cooler with scars, now he looks plain naked.

  5. Byakuya is the strongest individual in his families history he and Ichigo square off and end up beating the snot out of each other. If things keep going on pace the arc will probably continue for the next 13 episodes before hitting the Hybrid arc. While I’d personally like to see Bleach keep on moving along forever I hope that Kubo Tito won’t milk for all its worth and end it after the storyline goes stale. That being said I think that the series has a bare minimum of another whole season with the material that’s already out.

  6. With the speed the anime is catching up to the manga I hope it doesnt become a filler fest, It would be better just to stop the anime for a good 6 months or a year then have to suffer fillers.

  7. would be nice to “end” this series after this rescue Rukia arc. and then all of a sudden in a years time or half a years time, out of no where, boom! bleach season 2 out ;).. well at least thats better than fillers imo

  8. Bleach is just full of nods to other SJ-titles. Of the really noticeables, the first one was the Renji vs. Byakuya battle having familiar executions to that of Hiei vs. Bui fight. Now, the Yamamoto show-off reflecting Muten Roshi from the original DB.

    Well, there are others too, but it’s just great seeing them in the series.

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