With the battle over, Urahara appears and wonders if Isshin had his revenge. He asks how Isshin feels being in a Shinigami body after 20 years and if Isshin was able to clear his mind. Isshin admits that he didn’t have as big a grudge as he said against the Hollow, but if he had a regret for the past 20 years, it’d be his own powerlessness in being unable to save his wife Masaki on that night. When Urahara then raises the subject of Ichigo, Isshin already knows that the Vizards came in contact with his son. He also knows that the Vizard are a group of ex-Shinigami who try to gain the power of a Hollow. Both Urahara and Isshin realize that since the Vizard contacted Ichigo, that must mean they are preparing for some sort of battle – just like them.
The topic then turns to the Grand Fisher, and Isshin notes that the Hollow was different from the pseudo-Arrancar they’ve encountered before. The pseudo-Arrancar hadn’t developed much these past decades, yet since they suddenly went up so much in power level, the person responsible must be Aizen Sousuke. After coming in contact with the pseudo-Arrancar, Aizen is now trying to create real Arrancar with the power of the Hougyoku. Isshin thinks that Aizen sent out an incomplete Arrancar to collect data on how well it can fight, and once Aizen finishes his research, he’ll bring true Arrancar along the forces of Menos to destroy the world. As for what they will do, Urahara thinks that it’ll be something – in this situation both friend and foe will be on the move. This includes the Vizard, them, and even Soul Society. In fact, at that moment in Soul Society, Commander Yamamoto has convened a meeting with all the captains.
The next day at school, Ichigo is thinking about how Shinji wanted him to join the Vizard, unaware that Ishida is sitting nearby thinking about his father’s offer. Shinji and Inoue come in at the same time to greet Ichigo, and former starts quite a scene when he hugs Inoue good morning. Before his classmates can do anything to Shinji, Ichigo drags him out to have a talk. Ichigo thinks that Shinji came to school to recruit him, so there should be no more reason for Shinji to come anymore. Shinji, however, isn’t going to give up so easily and promises to keep bugging Ichigo. In fact, he claims that Ichigo is already a Vizard, whether he likes it or not. Shinji thinks that Ichigo’s inner Hollow will devour him and end up destroying everything, including his friends and himself. Ichigo’s inner Hollow is rapidly getting much stronger, and Shinji is offering a way for him to control it.
On his way home after school, Shinji gets kicked into a telephone pole by a girl with a sword. This girl, who Shinji identifies as Hiyori, starts knocking him around for being too slow with recruiting Ichigo. While she’s assaulting him, the pair are approached by Inoue and Sado. Inoue knows that Ichigo wouldn’t have told her what was going on, so she came to ask what Shinji and Hiyori are and what they want with Ichigo. Hiyori introduces herself as Sarugaki Hiyori and learns who Inoue and Sado are, but she then prepares to kill them. Before this can happen, Shinji carries her away and Sado keeps Inoue from chasing because he feels that they could really get killed if they did. Shinji ends up running through the sky with Hiyori as they argue, but they both eventually quiet down. When Hiyori admits that she hates humans and Shinigami, Shinji says that that’s why he wanted her to wait. Meanwhile, Ishida arrives at Ryuuken’s hospital and informs his father that he wants his powers back. Because of this, he swears that he won’t have anything more to do with the Shinigami or their friends.
I’m kind of impressed that they managed to stretch a little over two chapters into an entire episode. Granted, I’m sure it helped that there was a lot more talking and a lot less action compared to last week. And they still managed to involve Ririn and company in the form of Nova writing out the Japanese spellings for Vizard and Arrancar.
Hiyori was about what I expected her to be in terms of how her seiyuu (Takagi Reiko) voiced her. I actually don’t remember closely reading the part in this episode where Shinji carried her off (even though it was all in the manga), so the end of the episode actually felt new to me. I got a rather poignant feeling from that scene, something that I definitely don’t remember feeling when I first read it. The part where Shinji stuck his finger up Hiyori’s ass was pretty funny too.
Next week, the arrival of Ulquiorra and Yammy! I knew Ulquiorra’s eyes were green, but that’s a much different shade than I originally thought – not that I’m complaining though.