OP Movie Preview:
Kariya is ready to kill Rantao, but he remembers something from his past as he’s attacking. He had been a child in the Bount community that Rantao had helped and had met her once before. She had encouraged him and he had helped the others construct their town. Their hopes were with the Shinigami, but then the Shinigami force came and started killing everyone. Kariya ran away until he was by himself in the caves and was eventually found by Rantao. She took him to safety and gave him the metal item, leaving him with a message to live on as she went to face the other Shinigami. Kariya and a small group of survivors ended up in the desert, but they were then attacked by Hollows. Being slashed by a Hollow is where Kariya got the red mark that’s currently on his face. Right as he was about to be struck down, the metal item activated and Kariya was able to defeat his enemy. He rose up and the item disintegrated, but a crest appeared on his body at the same time. With his doll, Kariya fought the Hollows and dreamed of creating a paradise for the Bount. However, as he grew older, he began to disagree with the other Bount who wanted to go to Soul Society via Quincy powers. They didn’t believe that they could create a paradise here and wanted to return to where they originated. The ensuing battle had the Bount fighting the Quincy, but the Shinigami came and slaughtered them. Kariya wasn’t able to help, but he did survive the fight. Unable to forgive the Shinigami, Kariya gathered the strong Bount to go destroy Soul Society. By establishing a way to create dolls, Kariya tested the remaining Bount and formed his group.
Ready to destroy everything now, Kariya attacks Rantao, but someone quickly comes in and saves her. That person is none other than Ishida, who had sensed Rantao earlier. Kariya doesn’t take Ishida seriously until the Quincy uses his speed to catch Kariya off guard. It seems that Ishida has figured out how to use the accessory as an amplifier for his own power to focus spirit particles. When Kariya asks about Ishida being an ally of the Shinigami, Ishida makes it clear that he’s here only to stop the meaningless fighting. He remembers how Yoshino told him that Kariya not only hated the Shinigami, he hated the Bount too. She believed that this hate would lead to the destruction of their kind and knew that what he was doing was meaningless for them. With Ishida vowing the stop Kariya, the Bount readies his wind power, but Ishida breaks through it with an arrow. He surprises Kariya with his rapid speed and firing, piercing through Kariya’s body several times. However, Kariya can heal himself and quickly strikes back. He sees that Ishida’s bow is cracking and doesn’t think that the Quincy can defeat him before it breaks. Ishida responds with a particularly powerful shot, but Kariya recovers from it and notes that Ishida doesn’t have much time left. Seeing Ishida starting to struggle against Kariya, Rantao pulls out another metal item and tackles Kariya – she is apparently using the Joukaishou’s power to raise her own power. After stabbing the Bount, she orders Ishida to shoot without regard for her. Though he refuses at first, Ishida is eventually convinced to do so.
The explosion sends Rantao’s body flying, but she’s caught by Ishida. Unfortunately, Kariya still lives and Rantao realizes it’s because Ishida intentionally held back in the attack. They see spirit particles moving towards Kariya, so Ishida goes to finish him off, but something starts happening to Rantao that causes her much pain. Ishida thinks that it’s a reaction from the Joukaishou’s power and recalls that he can use his bow to control the spirit particles. His plan is to use it to save Rantao, but she doesn’t want him to break his bow and instead wants him to defeat Kariya. Remembering how Yoshino had died in his arms, Ishida refuses to let Rantao die too, so he directs a large blast up that that dissipates in the air. This saves Rantao, but breaks his bow and causes his Quincy garb to disappear, leaving him powerless. By this point, Kariya has recovered and won’t let Ishida and Rantao escape. When the angry Bount tries to kill them with his wind power, an energy attack suddenly appears from above that destroys the wind. That attack came from Ichigo, who has arrived on the scene to save them.
ED Movie Preview:
They replaced the OP and ED sequences this week with previews for the upcoming Bleach movie, Memories of Nobody, due out in theaters on December 16th. I found it a refreshing change, meaning that I actually watched through the entire ED for the first time in a long time. This preview certainly did its job in getting me excited about the movie, especially if we get to see things like Ukitake fight and Rukia release her zanpaktou. I also wonder if the new girl Senna will become somewhat of a love interest for Ichigo…
The movie preview got me all excited about Bleach, but a lot of that was lost in the first half of this episode. I didn’t find Kariya’s background very interesting since it felt like much of his motivations had already been covered in previous episodes. That being said, the second half with Ishida and Rantao vs. Kariya was quite fun to watch because of all the action. Given that Rantao and Yoshino look basically the same, it made sense that Ishida would flashback and do everything in his power to not let her die. Of course, it was also pretty predictable that Ishida wouldn’t be able to finish the job against Kariya so that Ichigo could come save the day.
It seems that only a few more episodes remain in this arc. The countdown to the new season should also be the countdown to something new in Bleach.