Ichigo and Renji spend the entire night training underground. They emerge for breakfast and Renji finally learns of the joys of coffee. While no one is looking, Ishida sneaks out, but Ririn catches him outside. Because she can direct him to where Yoshino is, he grabs her and then runs off. Yoshino has actually already arrived at Jin’s mansion to settle things. Jin tries to appeal to her once more, but she summons Geitei and asks if he wouldn’t mind dying here with her. Geitei understands and attacks Jin, but he’s too fast for the Doll’s attacks. Ishida arrives soon after the fight starts, and Ririn warns Ishida that he’d only be getting in the way. Back at Urahara’s shop, Claude fumbles through an explanation, eventually saying that Yoshino, Ishida, and Ririn are gone. Urahara advises Ichigo and Renji to go on ahead using shunpo, but also suggests that they avoid having to fight.
At the mansion, Yoshino almost gets injured by one of Geitei’s blasts aimed at Jin – she’s clearly not in good shape. Jin warns her that as Bount, they wield considerable power, power which is controlled by their crest. However, if they lose their balance, their power will run wild and attack the user. Yoshino doesn’t really care about the consequences because she’s bent on stopping him at this point. Jin goes on to explain that her doll’s relationship with her is not one of master and servant, but rather one of love and affection. The Bount cannot have children, and Yoshino is the only one to have the power of motherhood. Jin then calls out Ishida, who’s been watching the fight. Ishida asks what Jin is planning, and Jin replies that he has no use for a powerless Quincy. But he does want Ishida to see something: Jin disappears and grabs Yoshino from behind.
By now, Ichigo and Renji have arrived on the estate grounds, but are met by Ichinose and Koga. They aren’t allowed to pass any further because an important ritual has started, according to Koga. Renji ends up fighting Koga and Ichinose fights Ichigo again. Nearby, Jin explains to Ishida that Yoshino has the maternal power. It seems that Jin can’t reach the power level he wants by just absorbing living human souls and actually needs Yoshino’s power in order for him to absorb power more efficiently. Jin tells Yoshino that she should be happy because she’s going to be a mother – he’s putting her life into a new Doll. He then crushes Yoshino’s finger guard – her crest. Geitei’s flames start cracking through his body, but he restarts his attacks on Jin. The flames burn off Jin’s clothing, revealing a crest on his chest; it seems that Jin fused himself with his doll.
Even though Yoshino knows she was being used and knows that she probably won’t win, she knows that she must be stronger to challenge Jin. She raises her arms and calls to Geitei. The doll turns blue and makes a diving charge at Jin. Jin is easily able to dispel the body of Geitei, but the blue turns back into flames, flames that go to Yoshino and enter her body. The considerably stronger Yoshino-Geitei fusion attacks Jin, but is still unable to land a hit. At one point, Jin grabs her throat, but she manages pushes him back. The two make a final charge at each other, and Jin’s hand pierces right through Yoshino. Ishida rushes over to her body, which has fallen to the ground. Yoshino says that she is ok with dying like this. Her final words say thank you to the one with honest eyes, the one filled with pride – the last of the Quincy. With that, Yoshida disappears in a sea of green sparkles.
Those same green sparkles don’t fade away though. Instead, they start gathering at Jin’s feet. He recites a chant that creates a red seal under him. According to Jin, Yoshino’s life is now being newly reborn. Below, Ichinose and Koga disengage Renji and Ichigo. The two Shinigami watch as dozens of eggs emerge from the seal and hatch into insect-like creatures. The glasses-wearing Bount is very excited that a new Doll is being born. Jin then disappears, along with all of the insects.
This was probably one of my favorite Bleach episodes in a long time. There was a great mix of drama, action, and plot development along with some really superbly animated fight scenes. I also laughed really hard at the coffee scene with Renji.
Yoshino does indeed die (in a very HiME/Otome way), but her death was quite touching, quite powerful. I’d probably rank Yoshino’s death as one of the best scenes in this entire arc so far. I can’t help but feel bad for her and Ishida, since their relationship was doomed from the start. The whole fusion thing reminded me a bit too much of DBZ though. I kept thinking “she’s going super-saiyan!” It does add a new angle to these fights though, allowing the Bount to achieve higher levels of power.
Jin’s plot to absorb power more efficiently makes me wonder if the new Dolls are just insects that can absorb human souls and send their power directly to Jin. That way, he can cover many times more souls than he could otherwise manage by himself. That’s just speculation though, and we’ll have to see what happens in the next episodes. I’ve got my fingers crossed, hoping that they can keep making good episodes.