The rain allows the two Bount – Hou and Ban – to continue their attack against Ichigo and friends. While he is attempting to fight the Dolls, Ichigo has Sado and Inoue run away with Ishida. Ichigo, Renji, and Rukia then get surrounded by water, but the two boys let them go because chasing Ishida is more important. The Bount and their dolls quickly catch up to the run-away group. Inoue’s powers are no match for the dolls, but Sado does buy them some time by going directly after the boys instead of their dolls. However, the Bount catch up again and this time they get their hands on Ishida. They hold him hostage this time in order to prevent Sado from attacking. Ichigo and the rest finally arrive too, but the entire force is no match for the doll when it splits and forces itself into everyone’s bodies through their noses. They’re saved by Nova using his powers of manipulating space to separate the two boys. Ichigo cuts Ishida free, but Hou reforms his doll and attacks again. This time, it’s a blast through the wall that breaks the stalemate: Ganjuu and Hanatarou have come. Ganjuu uses a bomb to destroy the dolls, which in turn also kills Hou and Ban.
Inoue notices that Ishida is now gone. He walked off while the others were fighting, but the effect of his fever soon overtakes him. Yoshino finds him lying in a puddle of water on the street and takes him in. She tells him later that she helped him because he had lonely eyes. During this time, Kariya Jin has gathered a group of Bount for the task of finding Ishida. As it turns out, one of those Bount is a former member of the eleventh division. In Soul Society, Yachiru identifies him as Ichinose, a man loyal to the previous captain, the one that Zaraki had defeated for the position. Meanwhile, Yoshino starts to tell of her past to Ishida. Since she never aged, she became a standout and was even accused of being a witch. But before she could commit suicide, she was found by Jin. He had declared eternal love for her, but that’s not the case anymore. Yoshino admits that there might not even have been love from the beginning. Jin is power hungry and she is now out to stop him. Ishida wants to help, but Yoshino just wants him not to be caught. When he says that he doesn’t have any strength, Yoshino responds by saying that he’s got the power of a Quincy sleeping in him. She goes to leave, but Ishida stops her to tell her that he wants to become her strength. Outside the building, one of the other Bount approaches.
This episode reminds me of Otome with the green sparkles and the maki-maki lol. Anyway, I didn’t particularly like this episode all that much. There were some decent action scenes in episode 73 (though the inclusion of Ganjuu and Hanatarou was too convenient), but the second half had a bit too much exposition. It may be necessary for the story, but I got bored watching it. They also introduce a whole slew of new Bount villains. I’m once again not that impressed with the character designs, but I’ll reserve further judgment until I see them in action. This also means that this arc will be going on for a while yet. The most promising part is probably Ichinose, whose appearance might signify that Zaraki and Yachiru will get involved in this.
I think I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: the whole IshidaXYoshino thing is going to end in tragedy. The more they build up a relationship between those two the more it’s doomed for failure, at least in my opinion. And the talk about Ishida becoming her strength makes me once again wonder if they’re going to screw with the manga storyline (in terms of Ishida trying to regain his powers).
Next week, another one hour special, though it’s airing 27 minutes later than usual because of the double episode premiere of Gintama (which I’m not watching btw). The week after that is a normal single episode, and then they’re taking another week off (meaning no Bleach on April 18th).