With the Bount incursion into Soul Society underway, Commander Yamamoto puts Hitsugaya in charge of catching the intruders. Most importantly, he tells his captains that they are not to hesitate to obliterate the ryoka. Kariya and Koga meanwhile have made their landing in Rukongai. They are soon confronted by Second Division Vice-Captain Oomaeda and Seventh Division Vice-Captain Iba. Koga requests that Kariya leave this up to him and then summons Daruku. After he absorbs some spirit particles from the surrounding buildings and powers up Daruku, she is easily able to defeat all of the Shinigami soldiers and even Oomaeda with her metal balls. Iba tries to attack Koga, but the Bount stops his Iba’s zanpaktou with his fingers. Daruku then pelts Iba with her projectiles and forces him to the ground. Iba lands right at Kariya’s feet, so Kariya throws him through the nearby wall. With the battle over, the Bount start moving again. Hitsugaya arrives afterwards and finds all the injured men. Having just come back from the real world, Rangiku reports to him there. Unfortunately, they can’t detect the Bount by trying to feel their spiritual powers, so they just have to keep searching on foot.
Meanwhile, Ichigo and company have also arrived in Soul Society. Their goal for now is to get to Shiba Kuukaku’s home, but it seems that Kuukaku has moved again. With Yoruichi’s help, they do eventually find the place, but they hear a screaming coming from inside. It seems that Kuukaku is beating up Ganju because of how useless he was after being sent into the real world. After she also ends up taking her anger out on Ichigo for what she thinks is a snide comment, the entire group sits down to discuss the situation. Yoruichi recalls the story of how the Bount came to be thanks to the experiment Soul Society was doing and how the Bount now want revenge. For now, Yoruichi and the others need a place to stay while they figure out the Bount’s movements and plans. Kuukaku decides to lets them live here because she partially blames Ganju for the Bount’s invasion. Kuukaku then gets acquainted with Ririn, Claude, and Nova, who are going to be used to track the Bount. Yoruichi still has one more thing to ask: she wants Kuukaku to collect information about a man named Rantao, the leader of the researchers who created the Bount. Yoruichi still thinks that this person is alive after having been banished from Seireitei 1000 years ago; rumor has it that he’s living somewhere in the depths of Rukongai. If they could find him, they might be able to learn more about the Bount.
As the rest of the group goes off to eat, Yoruichi and Kuukaku have a private chat. Specifically, Kuukaku wants to know why Yoruichi isn’t going to Seireitei. Yoruichi reveals that the Bount have a shinigami working for them who has already broken into Seireitei. She’s sure that that shinigami – Ichinose – is responsible for tampering with Mayuri’s databases and getting the Twelfth Division captain interested in the Bount. This eventually led to Ishida getting his powers back and what’s happening now. Kuukaku figures out that by staying here, Ichinose can’t figure out what Yoruichi is up to. The next day, Ichigo’s group splits up to look for the Bount. Rukia is going back to her own squad for now, and Ishida also walks off on his own. Ririn, who went on ahead, suddenly gets a bad feeling that indicates that she’s detected a Bount. As she starts running back to alert the others, Rukia is meanwhile walking through a part of Rukongai. She stops at a dust cloud and sees a figure in front of her: Yoshi. The Bount calls on her Doll and it looks like Rukia is in for a fight.
So I was rather disappointed with this episode because I had been expecting a lot more fighting since we’ve now arrived back in Soul Society. Instead, there was one really weak battle with the rest of the episode featuring Ichigo and company running around looking for Kuukaku’s house and then Yoruichi and Kuukaku reviewing all the information on the Bount. I call that battle weak because it wasn’t interesting at all; it was just Oomaeda and Iba get defeated in a one-sided fight by Daruku’s same old moves. It certainly seems like they’re in no rush to pit our favorite captains against the Bount, though at this point I’m not sure how well those captains would fare. I’m also afraid that the introduction of this Rantao character means that they might be trying to drag these episodes out even more with another look at what happened way back then. I had originally thought that maybe they’d end the fillers at the end of this summer season (in other words, at the end of September), but that seems less and less likely. In any case, my outlook for Bleach isn’t so hot right now.
Karin and Yuzu in the special pic today.