Summary:
Fourth division captain Unohana instructs her VC Isane to tell all of the captains, vice-captains, and even Ichigo’s group about what just happened and what they learned from Aizen. After hearing her message, Ishida and Ichigo realizes that above all, Aizen wants to kill Rukia. Back at the Soukyouku, Renji is adamant about not giving up her up, so Aizen attacks and injures Renji’s arm. Their conversation causes Renji to understand how much Aizen was manipulating people. Renji releases Zabimaru on him, but Aizen blocks the first hit and catches the second one in his hand. After slicing through Zabimaru’s released form, Aizen tells Renji that he was always the problematic one, which is why Aizen had him placed away from the fifth and third divisions. When Aizen goes in for the kill, everyone is surprised when a black sword parries the attack – Zangetsu.
After a brief bit of comedic catching up, the Ichigo and Renji turn to face Aizen. Renji uses the broken pieces of Zabimaru for a special attack that theoretically leaves an opening for Ichigo. However, when Ichigo closes in, Aizen stops Zangetsu with a single finger and counterattacks by almost cleaving Ichigo in half. He then finishes off Renji and takes Rukia. Ichigo struggles to get up, but can’t; Aizen tells him that it’s not possible for him to get back up and that his duty is over. Apparently Aizen predicted their every move and used Ichigo and company as pawns in a diversion from his own movements. The one thing Aizen guessed incorrectly is that Ichigo is working under Urahara. When he learns that Ichigo isn’t, Aizen goes on to explain his goal in all this: extracting a substance called “Hougyoku.”
When he used to be a captain, Urahara researched and developed a way to hybrid Shinigami and Hollow, which allows the person to achieve new limits of power. Urahara realized how dangerous his research was, so he tried to destroy it. Failing that, he decided to hide it in Rukia through the gigai he provided her. It was a special gigai that weakened a shinigami’s spiritual power until it transformed the shinigami into a human. That way, he could hide the Hougyoku forever. Just as Aizen gets to the part in the story where he kills the Central 46, the large shadow of Captain Komamura appears behind him. Komamura’s sword comes down and creates a large explosion.

This episode showcases just how much ass Aizen can kick. Granted both Ichigo and Renji were already injured, but Aizen uses almost no effort to stop them. We learn what Aizen is after – the ability to surpass a Shinigami’s limits – and how he plans to do that – by merging Shinigami and Hollow using Urahara’s creation. Of course, we must be reminded of what happened to Shiba Kaien, and how Ichigo is already somewhat of a Shinigami/Hollow hybrid (and note how quickly he became this powerful). I’m reminded of how well the story ties together when they bring back and use plot elements (Rukia losing power, using Urahara’s gigai) from so long ago. The Bleach storyline seems quite well planned and written.
We’ve gotten far enough into the plot now that I feel comfortable linking an interesting article explaining the Ichigo/Hollow/Shiba Kaien connections. It’s not a bad read, even if you’ve already read the manga.

35 Comments

  1. You know, Mayuri looks somewhat like Gaulun from Full Metal Panic. O_O

    It doesn’t really feel good to see Ichigo’s ass be kicked so easily after he defeated Kenpachi and Byakuya ~_~

    Rasmiel
  2. They didn’t show how Mayuri has no ears. Plus, did they have Aizen explaining what he was researching when Urahara was researching Hougyouku. That’s a pretty big part of the story.

    EliteF22
  3. shouldnt Bleach be getting a new ending in about lets see 4 Episodes since 62 makes 10 and that leaves 63,64,65. so a new ending should be comming in 66 which is about when this arc will be over.

    Fury
  4. Darn! Bleach has gotten so much interesting and I can’t even talk about it in a forum like Asuki.

    Wondering what Aizen’s reaction would be if he knows about Ichigo’s hollow ability. Ichigo matches what Aizen described as Hougyoku would make a shinigami invincible by achieving it. So I suppose it’s fair to assume we are in for another Hollow-Ichigo treat where Aizen’s jaw drops. May be he will show his Bankai too even though my appreciation for Bankai has waned after so many displays of Bankais. It would be so cool is Aizen calls his Bankai the Implosion of a Neutron Star. hehehe..

    Anyway, the episode itself is enjoyable not because there was snippets of fighting and what not, but because of all the conversation that lead to discovery of Aizen’s ultimate goal. Hey, he is very well could be the Itachi of Bleach if the mangaka for Naruto gives Itachi a similar story. You know what, Aizen is loads better at the moment. What a villain! Not to mention, what a Bishi! lol!

    And I feel a lot better too after letting it all of these out of my nagging brain. XD

    monir
  5. People who only watch the anime and not read the manga should start reconsidering. Since the fillers will appear soon, its best to read the manga and get ahead to see whats to be animated. Latest chapters are quite good IMO. Its reasons like fillers that make you read the manga, at least, thats why I did it for Naruto, and its way better reading new chapters with the story going instead of poopy fillers, 😛

    Gooble
  6. There isn’t any given reason to think there will be filler inserted just when the SS arc is about to conclude. No, I think the animators for Bleach will continue to stick with the manga till the arc is over. We may see filler afterward where the filler try to stay away from the manga altogether. After the great handling of the Bleach story by the animators so far, I think it’s easy to give them the benefit of the doubt that whatever course they might want to take to continue with the Bleach story, it won’t be as crappy as Naruto.

    Let’s just wait and see. Until then, let the great story continue for few more weeks at least.

    And no, Aizen’s ability is not cheap unless there is a solid reason most of us have missed out on. ^^

    monir
  7. That makes sense Omni. The animators for the Bleach has handled the series on par with the manga almost to perfection. Hopefully Bleach will serve as an example to other longer running series (current or upcoming) as to how to handle a series that is an adaptation of a manga.

    monir
  8. Abolutely loved this episode!!! :-D…..and i am very pleased that ichigo and renji got their ass kicked…..keeps my coming back for more when i know my star isn’t a steven seagal…:-P and can take it as much as he can dish it. Aizen seems to be a unstoppable foe….but there is a balance to the universe so i will patiently wait until ichigo heals up and releases his hollow completely….can’t see anyone else dealing with him at the moment..:-)….until next near….

    Kurik
  9. Hmm so the rest of the ep will come after jan 10? i hope there will be more cos rem that old geezer Commander General Yama? he’s not defeated yet=D and will ichigo have enuf strength to fight Aizen i mean he said Hollow and Shinigami toghether he doesnt noe Ichigo has the hollow and Shinigami 2geter hope ichigo will turn to half shini and half hollow again the form he used to fight with byakuya after getting hit and cant move hope the sooner they release the better “Desperately Waiting For Next Episode -.-“

    Kurosaki Ichigo

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