Although Rukia saved Ichigo, the threat of the Bount’s Doll still looms. But as it charges up another fireball, numerous snakes appear and entangle the doll. The doll and the snakes disappear, and the female Bount (named Yoshino) identifies this as the doing of the male Bount (named Ryou). Ryou uses his snake/Doll, Furido, to bind up Yoshino so that he can take her back. When Ichigo speaks up, Furido turns some nearby metal rods into snakes and uses them to attack. With Yoshino as his captive, Ryou makes his escape. Sado and Inoue arrive, and the group welcomes back Rukia. After she tells them that she’s been appointed to this world again, Rukia notices the plushies. She ends up loving Inoue’s Claude/rabbit plushie.
At the Bount hideout, Yoshino is taken in front of the third Bount (named Jin). For acting on her own, he punishes Yoshino by locking her up. Meanwhile, Ichigo and company are in Ichigo’s room discussing the Bount situation. Ichigo asks Rukia if Soul Society knows anything about them, but Rukia is unable to help. After Renji shows up and subsequently starts arguing with Ichigo, Rukia mentions to Inoue and Sado how it’s a little strange that there are now three Shinigami present since it’s normally one per fifty thousand people. Ichigo then asks Rukia what she’s going to do about the next day, and of course it is Rukia’s intent to go back to school. With the use of the handy device that allows her to manipulate her classmate’s memories of her, Rukia has no trouble re-assimilating into school life.
During lunch, Ririn senses something and so Ichigo takes the entire group and finds Ryou feasting on some humans. The Bount refuses to answer Ichigo’s questions, but he does wonder how delicious a Shinigami’s soul is. While keeping Ichigo and friends at bay with Furido and the snakes, Ryou notices Ishida and becomes interested in how the Quincy would taste. Back at the Bount hideout, Yoshino breaks free of her prison
It appears the Bount don’t exactly get along so well with each other. The power hierarchy seems to be Jin > Ryou > Yoshino, and the fact that Yoshino and Ryou are particularly hostile to each other is likely to come into play again later. Ryou’s snake powers leave much to be desired, but he and Furido remind me a lot of Flame Hazes and their Crimson Lords from Shana, especially with the way Furido talks.
The big story of this episode is supposed to be Rukia’s return, and a lot of the time is spent showing her return to normal life. It’s good to have Rukia back, even if we’re mostly seeing comedic moments for now. The focus for the next episode seems to be shifting to Ishida and Ryou’s interest in him. But, there’s no Bleach next week. Episode 71 airs on Tuesday, March 7th.
Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention that Hanatarou gets a cameo!