Summary:
When we left off last time, Hitsugaya and Matsumoto had just entered the Central 46 Chambers. Much to their surprise, everyone is dead. Hitsugaya realizes from the dried blood that they were killed days ago, meaning that all of the recent orders have been fake. Kira suddenly calls out to them from the doorway and then disappears. The two give chase until Kira tells Hitsugaya that Hinamori already broke free and has been following them. The captain quickly turns around, leaving Mastumoto to continue the chase. As soon as he sees Hitsugaya gone, Kira stops and draws his sword. Matsumoto parries all of his attacks, but Kira explains that his zanpaktou’s special ability is to double the weight to whatever it hits, each time it hits. Her sword having suddenly gotten a lot heavier, Mastumoto releases her own zanpaktou, and the blade turns to ashes.
Meanwhile, Hinamori also sees all of the bodies in the Central 46 chambers. Ichimaru appears behind her, and she follows him to the residential area, where he reintroduces her to an old friend: Captain Aizen. Hinamori sheds tears of joy as Aizen embraces her. But soon after he thanks her for being his subordinate, Aizen, with Hinamori still in his arms, impales her with his sword. Aizen and Ichimaru leave the dying girl on the floor, and walk out to find Hitsugaya, who has just arrived. The tenth division captain is shocked to see Aizen, but then realizes that Hinamori is inside. After seeing her body, Hitsugaya learns from Aizen that he and Ichimaru have been working together since the very beginning. When asked about betraying Hinamori, Aizen replies that someone who admires you is easy to control. Furious by now, Hitsugaya initiates ban kai, but his one attack fails, and Aizen deals him a fatal blow.
Captain Unohana has also entered the scene by this point. She figures out that Aizen has been staging the entire thing, including his death. Aizen shows her that he didn’t use a doll for his corpse – it’s the power of his zanpaktou. Aizen explains that it allows him to completely hypnotize anyone after they’ve seen its release. He also notes that since the blind are immune to this effect, it means that Captain Tousen has been working under him this entire time. Speaking of which, Tousen has stopped Renji from running and has transported the two back to the Soukyouku, where Aizen and Ichimaru meet them after escaping from Unohana. Like everyone else, Renji is shocked to see the dead captain, and even more so when Aizen asks him to hand over Rukia.

After all this fighting between ideologies, the true culprits finally show themselves. Ichimaru is understandably still a bad guy, but, the first time I read through the story, Aizen’s return just blew me away. Obviously the surprise is gone for me in this animated version, but Aizen’s return is pretty much everything I expected.
This week’s episode covers four chapters: 168 to 171. I didn’t notice any distinct changes from the manga, though Hinamori getting stabbed was played down a bit by their use of dark lighting. The one thing the animation does better than the manga for me is to show what Hitsugaya’s ban kai is. From the manga, it looked like an ice crab or something, but today’s episode made me realize that those were wings of ice sprouting from him. In any case, Aizen’s hypnosis effects and general power easily defeats it. This of course raises the question of how powerful Aizen is compared to everyone else, but that’s a question best left for another day.
We’re getting closer and closer to the end of this arc, with probably only three more episodes left in Soul Society. It’s about time to start wondering what’s going to happen once this arc is over…

30 Comments

  1. Hello amigos 😉
    So Aizen is still alive… but what are his plans?
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I sincerely hope to have spoiled you for good… ahahah ^_^
    Ahh Ikkaku will have a bankai too!

    Edited by Omni for spoiler tags

    Spoiler Lover
  2. The rue colors of Aizen’s death is probably the most shocking bobshellever shown in anime. It just totally blows you away. 😀 They had no hint of it whatsoever so anybody who hasn’t read the manga before hand would never see it coming, and yet it still fits into the story like a glove. 😀 The closest thing they got to hinting that Aizen is a bad guy is the letter he wrote to Hinamori, which the staff wonderfully made the viewers believe was rewritten by Ichimaru through Hitsugaya’s thoughts, rather than it having been the original right from the start. 😀 B;each rocks!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Shinji103
  3. Bwahah- I’ve been waiting for this ep. forever!! When I first read the manga, I felt so stupid for not predicting this sooner! Aizen’s appearance is probably my all time favorite part of Bleach XD
    ~
    I don’t mind fillers too much, as long as there aren’t 22 weeks of them. Though..I’m hoping the filler stories are better than what a third grader could come up with…The naruto fillers are truly disgusting, well atleast most of them.

    Jen
  4. Fillars arn’t bad if they arn’t done like Naruto >.> Well I was spoiled 2 weeks ago about Aizen (bastard) but the shock factor was still there at the very least. Preview shows a black sword so I’ll assume Ichigo enters the fight, this should be good >:D

    Anza
  5. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this, as a manga reader who loved this when it came out in manga form in February.

    Best. Twist. Ever.

    What makes it the best twist ever is that it makes perfect sense if you go back and reread all the “conspiracy”-related chapters or watch the episodes that deal with Aizen’s “murder.” I was kicking myself for not seeing it coming, as it seems so obvious in retrospect.

    The anime is really reproducing the manga panel for panel, isn’t it? Not that I’m complaining. The problem with animating Bleach is that you can’t really leave anything out or change anything significant, because it’s all tied together. I’m kind of dreading the filler arc, because there’s very little the writers can do without completely torpedoing Bleach continuity.

    MRain65
  6. i’m quite new to bleach but i’m hoping i get to see 61, 62, and 63. i was really suprised that the dude with the glasses is alive. i wouldn’t want to stab myself to fake a death, nor take over soul society. i also saw a picture of full hallow ichigo vs. zaraki kenpachi on http://www.theotoko.com or google search under bleach wallpapers. there are many googd pictures that i like but my favorite would have to be……half- hallow ichigo.

    james schaeffer
  7. it pisses me off that hitsugaya was beaten with his bankai in pretty much one hit. seriously i know aizen is powerful with his complete hypnosis but if hitsugaya couldnt beat aizen shouldnt he have beaten the sheit out of ichimaru gin. in the earlier episode he was beating gin and he didnt even have bankai out yet. i think that hitsugaya should have been able to fight a little better considering he has the most powerful elemental ice/water zanpaku-to. we shall see what happens. ichigo better get even more powerful. i hope he learns that kuroi getsuga, because that looked pretty powerful. oooh ime so excited i just had a joygasm.

    dan
  8. I was actually a little dissapointed with this episode. The could have made it cooler. I’m scared of the filler arc. I don’t want them to make Bleach stupider. (Not that I think think it’s stupid, it’s just that I have a friend who only likes the more serious types of animes, to watch Bleach and if they make even more silly stuff, he’s definitely not going to like it. I’m glad that the manga is sort of getting more serious. Maybe someone will actually die. I hope it’s Gin, because I hate him so much that I’m starting to like him.) By the way, does anyone know what the 6th ending will be? I love Life, but I’m a little tired of it now.

    spookia
  9. I haven’t read the manga…so everything in this episode was a surprise for me….and man it was ALL good…..can’t wait to see what comes next…..but being me..:-)…i can’t help but throw out a few things…..Renji is all healthy again in the span of what ?..an hour?….and Ichigo just barely won the last fight/tired and beat up and spent and it seems from the preview that he will be fighting again..(by the way did you all forget that he spent the last 2days training like a mad dawg! I love Ichigo but does this guy get tired???!)….as one of the fan’s indicated and we have seen…he is part hollow so i am going to use that to justify anything incredulous that he does…but Renji has no excuse..:-P….
    The plot congeals!! :-D…and we wait with baited breath…

    Kurik

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