With Ichigo back home, family life in the Kurosaki home returns to normal. At school, everyone is returning from summer break, and Inoue almost spills the beans to Tatsuki about what happened in Soul Society. After class starts, Ichigo hears a voice from outside calling his name: Renji’s. Ichigo rushes out and tackles Renji into the bushes. It seems that Renji is now in charge of Karakura City, though Ichigo makes fun of him for getting a demotion since he’s supposed to be a vice-captain. Their argument is interrupted by the arrival of a Hollow, which Ichigo dispatches before it gets to the school building. Renji is actually staying at Urahara’s though they constantly make fun of him over dinner for being a freeloader.
In the evening, Inoue and Sado are still training themselves up, wanting to get stronger. Of course that’s put to an abrupt end when Sado accidentally punches a hole through the wall, and the two have to run away. At home, Inoue dreams of when she was young and still with her brother. She wakes up and remembers Rukia with Byakuya, which brings tears to her eyes. Surprisingly, the doorbell rings, and it turns out to be none other than her brother himself. He reassures her that he won’t return to being a Hollow, and he seems to know about her trip to Soul Society and about the dream she just had. He then opens the window and a gate appears outside. Renji gets a notice on his cell phone and rushes off to get Ichigo. They, along with Sado and Ishida, arrive in time to see Inoue pulled into the portal. Ichigo tries to slash at it, but it’s too late – Inoue is gone.
ED6: 「マイペース」 (My Pace) by SunSet Swish
I love the new ED song, but the animation for it is a bit weird. And the dancing things…I don’t even know what the heck those are… Like I feared last week, the new villains don’t look very original, but I guess we’ll see how it plays out. For the record, the single is due out March 1st, 2006.
This episode isn’t entirely original material, as they’re using some of the everyone-back-to-normal material from chapter 183 of the manga. That’s probably the only manga stuff we’ll see for a while. As for the new stuff, it’s not a bad start to the new arc. This episode shows these are still the same main cast with the same goals and character relationships. And it introduces some new villains to get the story started. I definitely didn’t expect them to use the Orihime’s-brother angle again, though it remains to be seen if she will be the central character this arc. The preview does show Inoue back with the group again, so I kind of doubt that this is going to be a “rescue Inoue” arc.
So basically, the new arc had a decent first episode and a great new ending song. Definitely still worth my time to keep watching (and blogging). My wishes for this arc are: get Aizen somehow subtlety involved so that this arc doesn’t seem out-of-place in terms of the whole Aizen betrayal, get some more Captains and VCs involved, and don’t screw anything major up (like Rukia in relation to how the next manga arc is supposed to go). Oh, and again, I hope that the villains are better than they look, though the female one is kind of cute in the ending sequence.