In Soul Society, Commander Yamamoto assembles the remaining captains and tells them about the efforts being made to find Aizen and the Hougyoku. Ukitake and Kyouraku are talking later about Renji, and Kyouraku mentions that he heard a rumor about that. Meanwhile in the real world, the group is trying to figure out what happened. Ichigo had talked to Tatsuki about Inoue, but she had no idea who Inoue was. They decide to go investigate Inoue’s home again and enter through Ishida’s lock-picking skills. Inside, the find the two cups across from each other on the table from when Inoue was with her brother. Suddenly, Renji’s cell phone rings with a girl calling on the other end. This girl wants to play a game and promises to return Inoue if the guys win.
First, they are told to get to the park within three minutes. After running there, they find a ringing public phone. The girl then tells them to get to the supermarket in three minutes. From the phone there, they are told to go to Urahara’s shop. At Urahara’s shop, they get one last call telling them to show up at Inoue’s home that night at 8PM. With no choice, Ichigo (in shinigami form) and the rest show up at that time. From Inoue’s window, they see a light, so they rush up to investigate. Much to their surprise, Inoue has returned, though she has no memories of what happened this day, only the day before. While sitting around her home, they feel something hit the building. Violent winds kick up and Inoue suddenly starts to choke Sado. As it turns out, Inoue is actually a new face, Kurodo (Cloud?), in disguise. His partners are Nova and Ririn, the latter of which is the girl who’s been calling them. Ichigo and Renji’s attacks are ineffective in hitting their new foes, and so Sado is taken through the gate.
I had hoped that the friend-being-kidnapped storyline was just for one episode, but it seems that Sado is now a victim too. I hope they can make something more of it next week than just taking away Ishida or something. The animation quality is overall going down, but the episode has its share of good shots with the bad ones. The episode feels like its trying to strike a balance between the comedy and the drama like in previous arcs, but the comedy seems to be coming on a bit too strong.
Aside from kidnapping Sado, this episode introduces three of the new characters (who still remind me of Black Cat rejects). Nova (hooded guy) is voiced by Sugita Tomokazu (Rin from SHUFFLE!) while Cloud (guy with hat) is voiced by Tobita Nobuo. But like man others, my favorite out of the three is Ririn, voiced by Kakazu Yumi.
From the preview, looks like next episode has our heroes going to a museum (which I imagine is probably a trap).