Ishida recognizes Nemu as the vice-captain from Soul Society who provided him with the antidote after the fight with Captain Kurotsuchi. To his surprise, she immediately starts to attack him. Meanwhile, Ichigo and company have entered the cave, but Ririn still can’t sense the Bount. From his hiding place, Ugaki surrounds them with his doll Gesell. The entire group starts destroying the eyes, but there seems to be an endless supply of them. Inoue defends Rukia from the eyeballs, but is then too late in warning Rukia about the hand coming out of the shadows behind her. Rukia gets knocked back, though Renji catches her and takes the brunt of the impact against the wall. Sado then helps them by blasting all the eyeballs headed for them. As Ichigo starts fighting a sword arm, another arm with a wheel saw appears behind him. It’s Inoue once again to the rescue, but then Ugaki changes the sword arm into a rope arm. The ropes tie Ichigo and Inoue up and start pulling them in. The others can’t help because they’re pinned down by swarms of the eyeballs.
At the waterfall, Nemu has used these attacks to confirm that Ishida has indeed lost his powers. She asks Ishida if he desires power. Remembering how Yoshino died in his arms, Ishida says that he doesn’t want things to end with him not being able to do anything. Nemu says that she understands and that she will lend him some power. Back in the cave, Ichigo’s dire situation is helped out by the arrival of Rangiku who uses Haineko to cut him and Inoue free. She also destroys the rock pillar and explains the whole shadow concept. Following her suggestion, the entire group starts destroying anything in the cavern that could be used to make a shadow. Rukia is quite injured, not only from this fight, but also from her previous encounter with Mabashi where she took some damage to her soul. Just as they are discussing this, Ugaki interrupts them over an intercom and introduces himself. He explains how the Bount are using Bitto to get souls to absorb in order to amplify their own powers. But Ugaki considers the Bount to be humans, not monsters. Though they have slightly different abilities than humans, they were persecuted.
This sob story gets Renji really pissed off. He thinks that the Bount deserve no sympathy because of how they took human lives. Remembering the kid he saved, Renji vows not to forgive them. Ichigo decides that just he and Renji will go after Ugaki. Inoue will stay behind to treat Rukia and Rangiku’s wounds and Sado will guard them. As the two shinigami move forward, they destroy all the things that can make shadows sticking out from the ground. However, they forget that their own bodies can also create shadows, which is what Ugaki uses to bring forth two sword arms. Luckily for them, Hisagi and Kira come to help. The four keep moving until Ugaki cuts down the stalactites from the ceiling. Because he dives out of the way, Ichigo ends up surrounded by stalagmites, meaning numerous shadows around him. Kira helps him fight off the spears that appear, and Wabisuke’s doubling weight ability once again becomes useful. He also uses this power against a giant ball and chain mace. Seeing this, Ugaki orders Gesell to retreat for the time being. However, in all the fighting, Ichigo & Renji became separated from Kira and Hisagi. So when the ground starts to tremor and parts of the ceiling start to fall down, the two groups go their separate ways.
Still at the waterfall, Nemu pulls research material 9-141, which is a Quincy battle accessory from many hundreds of years ago. She shows him what appears to be a bracelet, and says that if he’s a true Quincy, this will be helpful.
I wasn’t too excited about this episode. It was a lot of Ichigo and company struggling against Ugaki/Gesell and not nearly enough Nemu with Ishida. It seems pretty obvious that they’re stretching out the important parts of the story as long as possible with fights that aren’t really leading anywhere. I found it particularly odd this episode because some of the facial expressions during the fights made them almost comical in nature, as if they weren’t very important.
And by giving Ishida a physical accessory, they’re trying to have the best of both worlds by giving Ishida his powers back temporarily and probably taking them away again before this whole Bount arc is over. Maybe the accessory will break or maybe Ishida will have to give it back. Having said this, I start to question what good it will do for Ishida to get his powers back. In other words, I don’t see any room for progression for Ishida if he only gets his powers back temporarily.
Next week, still looks like not much (if any at all) of Nemu and Ishida. The preview showed Renji using ban kai and Ichigo getting his ass kicked by Kariya again.