Even with everything Grimmjow did, Aizen says that he’s actually not angry because of Grimmjow’s loyalty. Nevertheless, Tousen still wants to punish Grimmjow because he doesn’t approve of people disturbing the order. He feels that justice without moral law is just slaughter, but slaughter in the name of moral law is justice, and as he says this, Tousen cuts off Grimmjow’s left arm and burns it with a spell. Grimmjow gets ready to fight, but Aizen stops him by saying that if he attacks Tousen, Aizen won’t forgive him. Afterwards, he leaves his throne room and runs into Ichimaru who comments that Aizen is playing with his subordinates again. Ichimaru also points that they lost 5 Arrancar, but Aizen isn’t concerned because they were only Gillians. With his Vasto lorde-based Espada, Aizen feels that there will be no enemies in their path. Back in the human world, Ishida is training with his father, but he has doubts about being able to regain his powers. Ryuuken, however, believes that Ishida wills as long as this training doesn’t kill him.
The next morning, Yuzu goes to wake up her brother, but finds him gone from his room. Rukia also doesn’t know where Ichigo is, though she does remember the conversation with him after she had gotten completely healed by Inoue the previous night. At the time, she had taken responsibility for getting hurt and didn’t want him burdening himself. Rukia had also suggested that he go talk with Urahara about his inner Hollow, but Ichigo decides not to. He is instead, at this moment, revisiting the crater that Yammy and Ulquiorra left from their initial arrival. At school, Inoue notices that he’s absent, as are Sado, Rukia, and Ishida. Atop the school’s roof, Hitsugaya is sending a report to Soul Society about what happened when Matsumoto approaches him from behind. She’s quite happy with their victory, but Hitsugaya is disturbed about how much trouble they had fighting just Gillian-based Arrancar. Over at Urahara’s, Jinta is excited that Ururu is better. Urahara himself is surprised when Sado shows up and begs to be trained.
Ichigo meanwhile heads off to a warehouse district where he finds Shinji and the entire Vizard gang. Shinji thinks that Ichigo is ready to join them, but Ichigo says that he’s just here to use them – he wants them to teach him how to control his inner Hollow. Since Shinji isn’t going to teach him that easily, Ichigo brings on his Shinigami form and attacks. The two seem to engage in an intense fight, but Shinji’s Vizard allies notice that neither is trying very hard. They realize that Ichigo is afraid of his inner Hollow, so he’s holding back in order not to awaken it. Tired of watching the fight, Hiyori takes over by knocking Shinji out. She explains to Ichigo that they wanted him in their group, but it’s not actually his decision. They are the ones who get to decide, and so they have to see his strength first. When Ichigo refuses to show his Hollow side, Hiyori reiterates that it’s not his choice. With that, she brings out her Hollow mask and promises to drag out his inner Hollow. She then puts her mask on and appears in front of him with her hand on his chest, telling him to really die.
It’s been a really really long time since we’ve seen or heard from Ichimaru (well over a year ago anime-wise), and he’s the only one out of the three captains who didn’t really change his appearance. He’s still got those slits for eyes and that grin, and I do want to see more of him in both the manga and the anime. This episode also introduced us to many of the Vizard who are quite a colorful bunch. I noticed that the Vizards have quite an array of voice actors, including Sugita Tomokazu (who already voices Nova), Inada Tetsu (who already voices Capt. Komamura), and Kanda Akemi. In any case, I’m excited to see them and am looking forward to these next episodes. I’m really hoping that the animation quality is good for those.