Captain Hitsugaya gets a report that hooligans have started cutting down trees in the Kusajishi Forest. He suspects Bount involvement and decides to go see Renji. Ganjuu is meanwhile discussing with the Kusajishi Bull about how the Bount are accumulating men and how this must be one of their various schemes. Ganjuu plans to stop them in order to help Ichigo, and he gets the Bull to help too. Back inside Seireitei, Kyouraku, Ukitake, and Nanao are discussing the Bount while watching the construction repairs when Captain Kurotsuchi joins them. Kurotsuchi seems to think that this was all a diversion, but then realizes something and rushes off. Over at Rantao’s place, Ichigo wakes up from a nightmare to find Rantao back up and a meal ready. After eating, Ishida raises the topic of her face and how it’s the same as Yoshino. Rantao thinks that Yoshino was a copy of her. It seems that back then, they had used their own souls as bases for artificial ones for their experiments. And so the reason they are so powerful is because they have Shinigami souls as bases. Rantao also explains that this led to them developing Modified Souls, making the Bount distant relatives of Ririn, Nova, and Claude. After Ishida tells Rantao that Yoshino ended up being killed by Kariya, Ichigo declares that they need to stop the Bount.
At that time, over at the 11th Division, Kenpachi leaves to go see Ichinose since they’ve found where he is. And at the 13th Division, Kurotsuchi is figuring out that Ichinose was the one who snuck in previously and orchestrated the destruction. He thinks that Ichinose must have altered the database, but then realizes that Ichinose planted the data about the Quincy accessory that led Kurotsuchi to giving it to Ishida. Back inside the forest, Ichigo and Ishida prepare to leave Rantao, who claims to have some preparations to make. As a final question, Ichigo asks Rantao how long she thinks Ishida’s accessory will last. Although she doesn’t know, she does warn them that it could accidentally discharge and blow up. As the night goes on, Koga reports to Kariya that they’ve finished their preparations for the surprise attack on Seireitei. Ichinose then reports that there are Shinigami coming, so he volunteers to stay and fight them. Those Shinigami are Hitsugaya, Matsumoto, and Renji, but the three of them only find Ichinose waiting for them. Hitsugaya clashes with the ex-Shinigami as he tries to get some answers, but Ichinose only reveals that he saw justice in Kariya’s goals. He feels that there’s no justice in Soul Society anymore, so Kariya is purging it. Ichinose suddenly falls back when he senses more people coming – Ichigo and Ishida. They are quickly joined by Matsumoto, Renji and then Sado, Inoue, Ganjuu, Bull, and his followers. They’ve all noticed that there’s a lack of people here, and Sado suddenly remembers that one of the Bount can manipulate space like Nova can. Ichinose tells the group that they’re too late because Kariya and company are already on their way to Seireitei. Indeed, two of the Gate Guardians are facing against the Bount at that very moment, and they both fall to the Bount power. Using Sawatari’s powers, the Bount side then transports in all of their men along with several large wooden gate openers.
After a string of fighting episodes, this was an action-light set-up episode. In other words, it was fairly boring until maybe the last few minutes. Still, they do hint at some interesting stuff coming up, including how the Shinigami are going to deal with the enemy army and who’s going to get to fight Ichinose. Given the preview and the title of next week’s episode, it looks like that honor will go to Kenpachi. I did enjoy seeing Captain Kurotsuchi sweat a little and shake Nemu when he realized that he had been used.
Incidentally, Aizen is the special pic today, in his future-manga-arc form.
Also, there is no episode next week. Bleach returns – probably with new OP/ED – at it’s new time and day of 19:26 on Wednesday, October 4th.