Ichigo and Renji arrive at a large cavern and find Yumichika’s body. Ichigo becomes aware of the waves of eyeballs following them, so the two can’t get to their ally because they’re being kept busy. Ugaki is meanwhile preparing to unleash what he calls the true Gesell. By casting shadows on five large pillars, Ugaki brings forth a giant monster with no eyes and a large mouth. It grabs Yumichika’s body and throws it across the room, but fortunately Renji makes a diving catch. A barely conscious Yumichika remarks that he can’t go back and face his captain after this defeat. Renji wants Ichigo to leave the doll up to him. He reminds Ichigo of how defeat and death come together, and feels that he has something to prove because he couldn’t protect that child.
And so, Renji initiates ban kai to bring forth Baboon King Zabimaru. Ugaki arms Gesell with axes, but Renji is able to use Zabimaru’s bone segments to negate the attack. The Bount then decides to make Gesell disappear, but it’s actually just hiding in the shadows, popping out to hit Renji before he can react. Ugaki suddenly notices that Nemu has contacted Ishida, which he reports to Kariya. He then reveals Gesell again and prepares to destroy Renji. However, Renji separates all the segments of Zabimaru and sends them crashing into Gesell, piercing through the doll. Gesell starts going berserk and the room around Ugaki crumbles. In a final message, Kariya tells Ugaki good work and then farewell. A raging Gesell then turns on its master and crushes Ugaki’s body. When Ugaki dies, Gesell disappears in an explosion.
With everything in the room coming down, Ichigo becomes separated from Yumichika who went to go get Renji. Ichigo then comes to a room populated by Kariya and the other Bount. Ichigo accuses Kariya of abandoning his friends, but Kariya says that it wasn’t his plan. Their schedule merely got a little rushed. When Kariya mentions the Bount’s preparations to leave this world, Ichigo remembers how Kariya supposedly wants to connect the Hollow world with this world and he concludes that they must be like Aizen. Kariya doesn’t reply and instead address the other Bount, telling them to start the preparations. Koga recites a chant and summons a senkaimon (the gates that connects the living world to Soul Society). Kariya, who has been powering himself up with human souls, decides that now is a good time to test out his power.
Ichigo charges Kariya, but the Bount is able to stop a slash with just his arm. He pulls Ichigo in and hits Ichigo’s forehead, sending Ichigo tumbling across the room. Next, it’s Kariya’s turn to charge. A bloodied Ichigo tries to stab him, but Kariya is once again able to stop the sword – this time with just two fingers. Kariya plunges his other hand right into Ichigo’s gut, causing Ichigo all sorts of pain. He follows this up with two kicks, one which sends Ichigo airborne and the other which knocks Ichigo into the nearby stairs. Kariya isn’t happy with Ichigo’s performance, asking why he didn’t use his ban kai. He says that he knows Ichigo is the only one in this world who can initiate ban kai without any limits on his power. Ichigo tries to reach for his zanpaktou, but he’s so injured that he can’t get to it. Kariya decides to tell Ichigo their true objective: the Bount are not aiming for Hueco Mundo, but rather Soul Society. It is for revenge to the place they were born.
Not a bad fighting episode. We got to see Renji kick some ass with his ban kai, and Ichigo get his ass kicked by Kariya. I’m glad that another Bount is now dead, because it’s at least a small indicator of progress through this arc – progress that’s been so far rather slow. But anyway, the story got more interesting at the end of this episode with the revelation that Kariya and the Bount aren’t aiming for Hueco Mundo, but rather Soul Society. Assuming that they succeed in getting there (no reason to think that they won’t), this means that we’ll probably get to see some of our favorite captains duke it out with some buffed-up
vampires Bount. There’s hope for this arc yet (maybe).
I can’t help but be more excited for next episode, which (as you can see above) will have Zangetsu (the man), Ichigo going ban kai, Ishida with his powers again. I’ll try to stay cautiously optimistic about Bleach for now.
Oh yea, the special screen from the OP this time is a nice pic of Byakuya.