Tessai brings Hanatarou to Urahara’s shop to treat Renji and the kid he saved. On the battle front, the fight between Yoshi and Rukia’s group has paused because Yoshi’s doll wants to take a break. Yoshi tries to attack them again as they’re running away, but Mabashi shows up and interrupts her. Mabashi summons his doll, Rizu, which is a small plant and fox hybrid. It goes after Yoshi and stabs her in the neck. Yoshi decides to leave the battle, allowing Mabashi to finish off Rukia and the others. After terrorizing them by doing some fast flying around, Rizu then goes into a more powerful form that’s even faster than before. Rizu circles around Inoue until Rukia smacks Rizu with a pole, but then reappears and enters Rukia’s body. Rukia’s eyes become lifeless, a sign that she’s become possessed.
At the construction site, Kira faces off against Daruku while the injured Ichigo takes on Koga. Of course, it’s not until after she’s locked blades with Kira that Daruku starts feeling the effects of Kira’s Wabisuke, which double the weight of whatever it hits, every time it hits. Nearby, Ichigo is trying to handle Koga wielding a steel beam. Ichigo cuts the beam in half, but Koga slams him into the ground. Ichigo continues to resist him and it’s Ichigo’s resemblance to Kane that stops the fight. Seeing Daruku weighed down so much and facing two Shinigami, Koga decides to recall his doll and walk off. His parting words tell Ichigo and Kira that there is nothing shameful about valuing life. Ririn, who ran away from the construction site, bumps into Kon on the road. She rids him like a horse to Urahara’s store.
Back at the other battle, Mabashi is having Rukia choke Inoue. On his order, Rukia then throws her into the air. Fortunately, Inoue is saved from the fall by the activation of her fairies. When Rukia starts blasting her, Inoue uses her shield to protect herself. But because Rukia is using so much power in those blasts, Rizu pulls out Rukia’s shinigami form. Inoue can only defend herself with her shield against Rukia’s zanpaktou because she’s too reluctant to hurt Rukia. Meanwhile, on the road to Urahara’s shop, Ichigo’s wounds get the better of him and he’s unable to continue on with Keigo on his back. Kira tries to help, but Ichigo says that Keigo is his friend. Kira explains that he’s not the enemy and that their common enemy is the Bount. He admits that although it’s different from a friend, he has also lost someone irreplaceable to him (Ichimaru), so he does understand Ichigo’s feelings. Kira takes Keigo on his back and offers his hand to Ichigo. Ichigo takes it and the two continue on their way to Urahara’s. Upon arrival, Ichigo collapses after asking Urahara to save Keigo. Hanatarou thinks that Keigo might be saved if he gets an injection of Ichigo’s spiritual power.
After a particularly powerful blast from Rukia, Inoue slowly gets back to her feet. Claude convinces her to attack Mabashi, but Mabashi uses Rukia as a human shield. Rukia then makes a quick strike at Inoue, however it’s blocked by the vice-captain of the 9th Division, Hisagi Shuuhei. Inoue tells him that Rukia is being manipulated, so Hisagi thinks that he has no choice but to kill her. Mabashi doesn’t care what happens to Rukia and is already planning on having Inoue possessed next. Rukia temporarily regains control of herself and tells Inoue to attack her. Inoue of course can’t do it, and Rizu soon regains control. Finally gaining some resolve, Inoue decides to face Rukia herself. She gets close to Rukia by using her shield, and then hugs and heals Rukia. The effect of it also removes Rizu from Rukia’s body. Mabashi tries to have Rizu enter Inoue next, but Hisagi gets in the way. Before Mabashi and Hisagi can attack each other, Ichinose arrives on the scene, blocking Hisagi’s attack and knocking Mabashi out. Ichinose then quickly escapes with Mabashi’s body. Rukia, who is back to normal, thanks Inoue.
Overall episode had its ups and downs. It was cool seeing Inoue get powerful again, but it was cheesy at the same time (I was very much reminded of the latest manga chapters). Same thing goes for Rukia getting possessed – it was interesting at first, but all she ended up doing was using the same demon art over and over again. There really wasn’t anything more than Mabashi using Rukia as a cannon and Inoue refusing to attack her friend. In that sense, I think they spent a bit too much time on Inoue angsting about whether to attack or not. They did give me a scare there by bringing out Rukia’s Shinigami form. I thought she was going to use one of her newer moves, but she fortunately didn’t (yes, I want them to save the best stuff for when the next manga arc comes along).
The Kira parts were more enjoyable, probably because it’s been a while since I’ve seen him. I was just waiting for Wabisuke’s effect to kick in. I also think that the line reflecting on his loss of Ichimaru was probably one of the better ones of this episode.
There’s still one more battle to go, the one between Sawatari (the old Bount) and Nova & Sado. From the preview, it looks like Rangiku will be the one helping them.