Somewhere in the Hollow world, a familiar-looking Hollow breaks free of his mummification and utters the name of Kurosaki Ichigo. Having returned to the real world, Ichigo is reunited with all of his friends, including Tatsuki. She notices that he’s wearing something and asks about it, so Ichigo assumes she’s talking about the charm his father gave him. However, she’s actually referring to the Shinigami combat license that humans aren’t supposed to be able to see. But before they can talk about it further, their teacher comes in and starts class. As their teacher is talking about a new transfer student, Ichigo’s license suddenly detects a Hollow. When Ichigo, Sado, and Inoue all take off from class to go fight it, Tatsuki sees Ichigo leaving school in his Shinigami garb. After destroying the Hollow, Inoue notices that Ishida didn’t come with them, but Ichigo feels that she doesn’t have to worry about him. In any case, the group returns to class in time to hear the introduction of new student Hirako Shinji, though Ichigo leaves again soon after because the license goes off again with a Hollow detection.
With Ichigo and the rest at school during the day, Ririn and the other Mod-Souls have taken up residence over at Urahara’s shop since their job as Bount Sensors is over. Later that night, Ichigo is alerted to another Hollow, so he goes out in Shinigami form and puts Kon in his body for the time being. After finishing off the Hollow, Ichigo is confronted by Kurumadani Zennosuke, the substitute Shinigami in charge of Karakura Town. Ichigo tries to show him the combat badge, but someone suddenly appears behind him: Shinji. Ichigo acts quickly and is able to block Shinji’s attack, but the guy tells him to be quiet and keep down his spirit power lest someone sense it. However, at this moment, two Hollows have appeared in the world: one near Ishida and another near Ichigo’s real body. The latter one wears a familiar mask and has his sights on Ichigo’s body, not knowing that it’s actually Kon inside. Upon being attacked, Kon identifies his enemy as none other than the Grand Fisher.
Ichigo is meanwhile demanding to know who Shinji really is. In response, Shinji pulls out a Hollow mask and points out his own zanpaktou, explaining that he is a Shinigami who went into the world of the Hollows. He calls himself a Vizard and since he feels that Ichigo is the same, he asks Ichigo to come with him. During this time, Ishida has started attempting to fight the Hollow after him with some special tools he kept on him that he can still use without his Quincy powers. He manages to blow off the Hollow’s left arm with special canisters, but the Hollow simply regenerates. Ishida then tries to use some trees to swing around, but finds that the top half of the Hollow has disappeared. With the Hollow actually behind him, Ishida realizes too late the two halves of the Hollow are actually two different Hollows. He’s about to get hit with the upper Hollow’s tongue, but someone suddenly fires and shoots that tongue off. This person, who refers to Ishida by his first name Uryuu, calls Ishida’s appearance unsightly. Ishida recognizes this person is Ryuuken, and his father comments on how Ishida hasn’t changed because he still calls his father by his first name.
ED10: 「桜日和」 (Sakura Hiyori) by 星村麻衣 (Hoshimura Mai)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1 Mirror 2
The new ending is song is a rather nice ballad that pairs perfectly with all the sakura imagery they show in the ED sequence. Obviously there’s some spoilers in there for people who aren’t acquainted with the manga, but I thought it reflected what’s in store for this arc very well.
Oh yea, I should note that they returned to using the original animation sequence for Rolling Star in this episode.
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been this excited about Bleach. There’s just so much good story that’s upcoming, and I don’t even remember all of it because it’s been so long since I read this part of the manga. This episode follows the manga pretty well, but there are of course some changes. One of the main ones is the addition of Ririn and company to explain what they’re doing (basically nothing) while all this is going on.
Shinji is everything I imagined he’d be, from his Kansai-ben (voiced by Onosaka Masaya) to that creepy grin of his. Ryuuken meanwhile is someone we’ve seen before, but not like this. Aside from his entrance that shows he has Quincy powers, they changed back his hair color to a lighter blue – compared to the darker color it was last time we saw him.
The preview for next week only shows Ishida and his father, which is a good thing because it doesn’t spoil what else is coming. 🙂