Ryou holds the human woman hostage until Ishida steps up to take her place. Ichigo motions the others to act when Ryou tries to eat Ishida’s soul, but the snake holding Ishida smashes his head into the pavement. Ryou has a taste of Ishida’s blood, but then a fireball comes out of the sky. Because Ryou was forced to drop Ishida in order to block the attack, Yoshino gets her hands on Ishida, but then disappears behind the flames. Once the flames clear, the group is still left with Ryou and his snakes to fight. Fortunately for them, Renji brings Tessai, Jinta, and Ururu to help and ward off Ryou with a barrage of weapon’s fire. However, Ririn has now lost track of Yoshino’s spiritual power. At this time in Soul Society, Captain Kyouroku is trying to sneak into Captain Kurotsuchi’s room and get some Bount data. However, he’s caught and Kurotsuchi insists on the formal procedure for requesting information. Kyouraku pisses Kurotsuchi off enough that the twelfth division captain tries to delete the Bount data, but gets denied access by the computer.
Ichigo wants to go find Ishida, but Urahara stops him. He relates the Bount to the tunnel being created between this world and Hueco Mundo (the Hollow world). Meanwhile, Ishida wakes up, having been saved by Yoshino. He tells her about losing his powers and how he’s the last Quincy. She tells him that her family had a law not to consume the soul of the living. If they do this, then they can obtain a powerful energy and be able to influence space. Doing so would destroy the balance of the world, so no one has tried until now. That person is Kariya Jin. He seems to have his sights specifically on Ishida, and Yoshino refers to the Quincy as the key person. Ishida blacks out at this point. Ichigo and company learn that Ishida is at the hospital. They go to see him and he tells them about what Yoshino had said. After everyone leaves, Ishida is reminded of how Yoshino’s face was like that of his mother, who always seemed to be crying. Meanwhile, Jin promises Ryou that things are being done about Yoshino. Two new faces smile from behind him.
I like how they’re working this arc so that Ishida is becoming more and more like the central character. Of course I’m curious how this is going to relate to Ishida not having powers and the current manga storyline, but hopefully it’ll work out. The fact that Ishida relates Yoshino to his mother (which I think is the first time we’ve seen his mother) seems to be setting him up as potentially having feelings for her (ok, yes, wishful thinking on my part). But maybe we’ll learn more about Ishida’s mother in the process.
I guess in order to make Jin a more epic-quality bad guy, they had to involve the Hollow somehow. And with the absence of Yoshino, he’s now got new assistants in the form of the two boys, one of whom seems to have the same hairstyle as Ishida. The cast list is so big that they seem to be giving Soul Society characters cameos throughout this arc. At least we get to see Captain Kurotsuchi get pissed off again (in all of his clown-like creepiness).
Next week, the enemy attacks the hospital. The week after that (March 21st), there’s no Bleach. And then the week after that (March 28th), there’s a double episode.