Summary:

As the fights around town rage on, Ikkaku challenges his Arrancar opponent to pull out his zanpaktou, but the Arrancar doesn’t think it will be necessary. It’s not until Ikkaku strikes with an attack of such force that the Arrancar is forced to do so. Watching them from the sidelines are Yumichika and a horrified Keigo. Yumichika calmly explains that Ikkaku is the second strongest in the 11th Division and then points out how happy Ikkaku is in the fight. He knows that he shouldn’t help out and that if Ikkaku dies, then that’s Ikkaku’s desire. Back in the fight, the Arrancar is figuring out Ikkaku’s attacking patterns and strikes when he gets an opening. However, Ikkaku surprises him by switching his zanpaktou and his sheath between his hands, thus creating an opening to strike at the Arrancar’s face. It is only after getting slashed that the Arrancar realizes that Ikkaku had intentionally been using a predictable pattern and is actually fighting recklessly for his own enjoyment. Because of this, the Arrancar decides to release his zanpaktou so that Ikkaku will learn that fighting an Arrancar isn’t fun. Ikkaku is shocked to see that the Arrancar’s zanpaktou Volcanica’s release actually covers the Arrancar’s arms and has made them massive. Now that he’s powered up, the Arrancar finally introduces himself as Arrancar No. 13, Edorad Leones.

Meanwhile, Rukia is noticing that Grimmjow’s spiritual pressure is much higher than D-Roy’s. Grimmjow demands to know whether Ichigo or Rukia is stronger, and since they don’t immediately answer him, he stabs Rukia in the gut with his hand. As she collapses, an infuriated Ichigo charges at his new opponent. Back at Ikkaku’s fight, Edorad explains that the Arrancar’s zanpaktou release, unlike a Shinigami’s, releases their true power and true forms. Volcanica is Edorad’s true power, and he demonstrates it by nearly incinerating Ikkaku. Seeing this, Yumichika contacts Soul Society to have them freeze the area around here since there’s chance a large number of souls could be affected. In addition, he also asks them to make preparations for Ikkaku’s funeral. At that moment, Ikkaku is being beaten left and right by Edorad’s Volcanica powers. He manages to release his own zanpaktou Hoozukimaru, but is then met with Edorad’s fist in an attack that breaks Ikkaku’s zanpaktou. Ikkaku, however, refuses to give up and uses his own body to withstand the force of one of Edorad’s fists. Thinking that the other Shinigami must be so preoccupied by now that they won’t notice what he’s about to do, Ikkaku initiates ban kai.

Emerging from the smoke and dust is Ikkaku wielding several large blades that he identifies as Ryuumon Hoozukimaru. With it, he is able to slice through Edorad’s fist and puts the Arrancar on the defensive. Edorad realizes that Ikkaku’s ban kai is simply a solidification of massive power, but it leans so heavily towards offense that it’s too fragile to withstand an attack. Feeling that he can win, Edorad decides to use overwhelming force to crush Ikkaku, however he then notices that Ikkaku’s power is increasing. Ikkaku explains that his Hoozukimaru powers up as the fight goes on until the dragon symbol on it turns completely red – that’s when his power is at its highest. As it turns out, the fight has been going on long enough so that this dragon is already red, and the two opponents charge at each other in a final attack.

Preview

Wow, that was so much better than even I had expected it to be. They must have increased the animation budget quite a bit because some of the parts this week, such as Edorad releasing Volcanica, looked amazing. It’s rare for me to say this, but this was done way better than the manga just because we got to see all that detail of him transforming. And that’s not even counting the fact that Ikkaku got to show off his ban kai. That was something that caught me by surprise when I had read the manga, and it was no less impressive here. Ikkaku himself made it all the cooler because of how he was almost reluctant to use it since he wanted to keep it a secret from the other Shinigami. One of the things I did notice was that the dragon-filling-in-red on Hoozukimaru was a lot more evident animated than it was on paper (but that’s not really a complaint).
I can’t help but think to myself now that this was well worth the wait, even through the Bount stuff. And it only gets better from here, so I’m now even more excited about what’s to come. Next week will be a little back-story on Ikkaku and Zaraki Kenpachi, and it will hopefully get to the next part of this battle with Renji.

62 Comments

  1. Awesome!!!! Seeing this fight really is better animated. I can feel Ikkaku’s fighting spirit!!!~ It’s intense, and it’s on fire, it’s everything I was hoping for last week!!!!

    mangamaxx
  2. You mean best episode ever. I can’t remember an episode directed/animated this well as this one. It was just perfect IMO. I really got my hopes up for Bleach. If they keep this up, it’s gonna be very amusing to watch. Unlike some other shounen I know that is just getting worse and worse.

    Haohmaru
  3. The part where Edurado was talking before he punched Ichigo hard was GREAT. Dude had some crazy lip action. Wonder why they put that much effort in that part (not that I’m complaining).

    radiokon
  4. I was like this: O_O ….

    Seriously, this has got to be the most visually stunning episode of Bleach yet, movie-quality almost. I had to go back and watch a couple scenes for a second and third time just because they were so freaking gorgeous. This is 10x better than the manga chapter ever was, I have to admit.

    Though I still had time to come make a complaint. Wasn’t Rukia actually bleeding after Grim stuck his hand in her gut? Like, bleeding a lot? I wonder why they censored it. But you know, her “urghhh…” after he did it was pure gold.

    And I think Ikkaku is my new favorite character. The guy is such a badass.

    N
  5. That was some really impressive animation and direction right there. Altough Ikkaku’s fight was great and something to behold, my personal favourite would be Grimjow’s entrance scene. The atmosphere of power was incredibly well captured. His slow descent and the powerwave as he touched the ground along with the creepy background music just spoke volumes. Best Bleach episode I’ve seen in a long (really long) while, as it actually delivered what the manga promised and wasn’t watered down in one way or another.

    Ouroboros
  6. kyaaaa~!!! fan girl scream

    the quality level this episode is definitely the best or one of the best (when’s the last time bleach looked high budgeted? when renji+byakuya first appeared? xD)

    next episode…PLEASE BRING THIS!!!!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    mewmew
  7. @Omni-sama: I am honored to have shared these similar feelings. Comparing Fukuyama’s previous roles to the character he portrays as Lelouch is interesting, and the comparison to Yumichika’s character in the olden days of Bleach just baffles me. ^^;

    random passerby
  8. yea, this is Ikkaku’s bankai is better in the anime than the manga. I guess that’s why we watch the anime… so we can see the action in color, and in style…

    psychohare
  9. hehe ya Ikkaku’s bankai is pretty bad ass but its over with already, rengi’s battle next along with white haired ice boy, lol.

    Poor Rukia chan, she shouldnt have turned her head for a second to worry about ichigo. Not with the limit thing on for all shingumi but ichigo. Thats why grimjaw beat her so easily.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    chaosdemon06
  10. That’s some impressive action scenes there, am glad that they are getting serious with the animation quality. This arc is going to be increasingly interesting, really eager to see the other characters in action as well, 🙂

    shojo
  11. @N
    Yes Ikkaku is a badass, wat do you expect from the guy being the 2nd strongest of squad 11. He’s bassically captain-level.

    Ikkaku is a badass, his zanpaktou on the other hand is a lazy ass. XD-

    Kurosaki Ichigo
  12. The animation is really great in this episode..i didn’t ikkaku’s fight that much in the manga..but know I have to admit it’s one of the best fight in the anime so far..

    Too bad next week no episode >_> we have to wait the week after

    hananon
  13. @fugue. Just in case i put it in spoiers.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Kurosaki Ichigo
  14. @Kurosaki Ichigo
    Actually Espeda-class Arrancars are at a much higher level then Shinigami Captains, like how the anime explained it, although there isn’t any Captain vs Espeda fights yet huh?

    Chavenz
  15. Good Episode, I don’t know about Baldy’s Ban Kai though…. matches him but…has anyone noticed that the people that have achieved ban kai have not not been offered captaincy…

    _>…>_

    iMpuLse::
  16. This is one of those episodes that gets so cool you can’t help but have a huge grin on your face and giggle every now and then.

    I always thought Ikkaku’s bankai was badass, but this episode made it ten times how I remember it. The fight itself was several times better.

    And the Grimmjow scene was so well directed I can’t stop thinking about it.

    Huzzah for Bleach’s insanely increasing animation quality! Has someone been pitching some funds their way or something?

    Heiae
  17. @Chavenz: Actually, it hasn’t been specifically mentioned that espada arrancars are more powerful than shinigami captains. If this were true, Yammy wouldn’t have taken so much damage from his “first” visit to the real world. Hitsugaya has only mentioned that the vasto lorde menos class is stronger than a shinigami captain.

    @ Kurosaki Ichigo: Ichigo is DEFINITELY not a “captain level vizard” if that’s what you wanna call it. He may be a captain level shinigami but as far as vizard goes, he’s still a noob. It took Ichigo bankai AND his mask to overwhelm Grimmjow. Shinji was able to do the same thing with only his mask and his zanpakuto not even in shikai.

    Hyper
  18. Oh yeah. They are so tough. Maybe even Chad or Orihime would have a chance? I mean seriously. I still admit it’s cool but it seems unlikely. I’m still waiting for the captain having trouble with them while two shinigami, not even vice-captain class, took down one each. I can almost understand Ikkaku since he’s 11th squad though.

    Viking
  19. The man is bloody crazy. O__o Look at his eyes! He’s mad. A freaking nutcase.

    Btw, at this rate, I wouldn’t be suprised if next episode Orihime squeals out, “Ooooers! Bankaaai~~! (o’_’o)v”

    Ahem. Sode no shirayuki = Sexy my mexy. I heart you long time Rukia. =]

    Allie_
  20. For me to be an Ikkaku’s fans, i am really looking forward to see more of him in the future, this is definitely one of the best animated episode in recent time, thumbs up!

    ady6.nai
  21. So here is something that i have been wondering. Doses that mean that Ikkaku defeated a Arrancar while having his seal in place. That means he is way more powerful than i had imagined.

    joeanime2000

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