Weakened by the poison, Soifon sees the culprit die and realizes that there may be others under the Bount’s control. Indeed there is another person, and he starts single-handedly defeating all of the other troops. Although Soifon manages to get away for now, Ichigo, Renji, and Sado aren’t so lucky and have to fight other Shinigami under Rizu’s control. In her weakened state, Soifon still encounters and has to fight the Bount behind all of this: Mabashi. She realizes that she has to end this quickly, so she releases her zanpaktou and gets behind him. However, she gets caught in a moment of pain that allows him to get away. In chasing, Soifon is barely able to land a hit on Mabashi’s chest, causing the butterfly symbol to appear. But with Soifon now lying on the ground, the Bount reveals that he knows about her power and decides to go hide while she slowly dies from the poison.
Captain Komamura and vice-captain Hisagi are also fighting mind-controlled Shinigami, and decide to consult Captain Unohana of the fourth division about this. She thinks that they need to get the person in control so that they can confine his actions. Soifon meanwhile is trying to figure out what to do as she lies on the ground thinking about Yoruichi. Staring at her blade, she realizes something and stabs herself. On the other hand, Mabashi is relishing the fact that Rizu can infinitely split now that he’s powered up. He decides to go see Soifon again right before she dies and is able to find her seemingly limp body. Soifon is still alive, and Mabashi is considering using her against the other Shinigami. And when she appears to be saved by her men, she finds out too late that Mabashi controls them too. He prepares to send Rizu to take over Soifon’s body, but she powers up and pushes all her men and Rizu back. Capitalizing on the surprise, Soifon lands a second hit on Mabashi’s chest, right in the center of the butterfly. She reveals that she counteracted his poison by stabbing herself in the arm with her zanpaktou – by using it, she can possess and control poison.
The defeated Mabashi tries to use the Rizus from Soifon’s troops, but the plan backfires because they all attack him instead. Soifon had heard if the person in control’s power becomes weak, their doll will turn on them. And with the power of her zanpaktou’s poison, Mabashi is done for and turns to dust. This causes all of the mind-controlled Shinigami throughout Seireitei to collapse after being released. Both Yoshi and Sawatari sense that Mabashi is gone, but the old man also has noticed that Mayuri is following him. The twelfth division captain reveals himself and is actually more interested in Ichinose, but that ex-Shinigami is gone. For now, Mayuri plans to have Sawatari compensate for his embarrassment.
Well it’s good to see that Mabashi is finally gone. I never liked his character or his ability/doll. And it seems like it’s been so long since we’ve seen one die, not since Ugaki back in episode 90. Speaking of episode numbers, this week marks the 100th episode of Bleach. I find it almost hard to believe that it’s been over two years already since this show started.
Anyway, most of this episode is dedicated to Soifon facing off against Mabashi. It ended up being not so much a match of who is stronger, but rather a match of wits and fast thinking. I’m sure that Soifon could win at strength against Mabashi, but weakening her through poison showed that she could win in other ways too. Still, I kept expecting Yoruichi to appear and save her, though that never happened (probably for the better).
Next week is Mayuri vs. Sawatari. I’ve seen enough of the old man and his fish, so I hope Mayuri can defeat him. But somehow it feels weird cheering for someone who was shown as such a bad guy in the Soul Society arc.