Ririn is very concerned about Nova and Claude after they all got defeated by Ichinose, but the two are actually ok. In the main room, Ichigo and Ichinose are fighting their battle. With the use of his rainbow haze, Ichinose is even more powerful than Ichigo, especially since Ichigo seems unable to see Ichinose’s attacks. However, Jin steps in and takes over because he’s interested in Ichigo’s spirit – he suggests that Ichigo should join them. Ichinose remembers back when Zaraki defeated his captain. He and Captain Tousen couldn’t stop the fight, and Tousen had commented on how he felt that Zaraki was dangerous. When Ichinose confronted Zaraki later, the new captain had challenged Ichinose to hit him. But when Ichinose drew his sword and prepared his rainbow haze attack, Zaraki just knocked the sword out of his hands. Zaraki had compared him to ivy that can’t grow without entwining itself around a large tree, and had advised him to stand for himself.
After having left Soul Society, Ichinose wandered around until he came across a village under attack by a Hollow. He had saved a little boy, but the Hollow was more powerful than he was. The only thing that saved him was the appearance of Kariya Jin. Jin had the ability to restrict an enemy’s movement using only one of his fingers. He had allowed Ichinose to finish off the Hollow, and then had recruited the shinigami. Back in the present, Jin continues to try to sway Ichigo, but to no avail. Jin uses his one finger to hold Ichigo in place, and flicks him into the wall. Ichigo is not done for yet, but the house suddenly comes under fire because Jinta and Ururu are shelling the mansion. Yoruichi arrives and takes Ichigo, and elsewhere in the mansion, Rukia and the others save Ishida and Yoshino. Everyone then makes their escape. Jin doesn’t seem to mind that he’s lost his two captives because he knows that they’ll be back.
So Jin seems a little overpowered now and Ichigo a little underpowered. After having gone through so many fights in Soul Society, Ichigo is now unable to do much other than take swings at the air. And Jin can stop people with one finger. I guess this, coupled with the fact that Ichigo technically can’t do ban kai, is supposed to create a challenge for him, but it’s still rather disappointing.
Ichinose’s past is interesting, if nothing else than to show that Tousen didn’t like Zaraki from the beginning. Zaraki also gets to say some words of wisdom with comparison of Ichinose to ivy. It’s a shame Ichinose didn’t take his advice, since he’s now following Jin. I’m still hoping that Zaraki will show up sometime before this arc is over and get involved in the action.
Animation quality of this episode is pretty across the board. The beginning and end looked good, but some of the middle parts were rather lacking.
And they appear to have changed the schedule again. There’s now no Bleach for the next two weeks, meaning that it’ll return on May 2nd.