Although he survives the hit from Hiyori, Ichigo still gets hurt and his Hollow side slowly starts to take over. Hiyori urges him to go ahead and initiate ban kai, and she knows that he’s afraid he’ll lose control. Claiming not to care if he uses his ban kai or not, she attacks him with her mask on again. As Ichigo is getting beat up, he wonders how Hiyori is able to put on the mask and retain control. He tells himself that that he won’t surrender his soul to his Hollow side, but the darkness soon covers his eyes and that side emerges. It immediately grabs Hiyori’s throat, breaking part of her mask, and starts choking her. Things aren’t looking so good for Hiyori until all of the other Vizards spring into action and pin Ichigo to the ground in order to save her. Shinji breaks off Ichigo’s mask and tells Ichigo, who has turned back to normal, that he can’t control his Hollow side with just his body and willpower alone. In any case, he decides that Ichigo passes and promises to teach Ichigo how to control the Hollow. Back at the Kurosaki house, Yuzu is crying because of her brother’s disappearance, so her father tries to cheer her up. When Rukia gets home, she reports that she wasn’t able to find Ichigo either, and later that night, she wonders where he went since she can’t sense his spiritual pressure.

Ichigo spends most of the next day on a special exercise walker while the Vizards lounge around going about their normal lives. He finally gets so pissed that they’re making him do this that he kicks the machine at Hiyori, though she grabs Shinji in time to take the hit. Ichigo and Hiyori start fighting about what she’s making him do until she throws the machine at him and tells him to paddling until he passes out. Shinji steps in to diffuse the situation by explaining that the Hiyori Walker is the foundation for the training. How many days Ichigo can continue paddling decides the level of training – for Shinji to teach him how to control the Hollow, Ichigo has to do it for at least 3 days. In anger, Ichigo reveals that he’s figured out that the machine drains his spiritual power so that the Vizards can see what his maximum is. He thinks that he can go five days on it, but there’s no point to it, and he’s running out of time. Shinji, however, feels that Ichigo shouldn’t be talking about time when he doesn’t even know the Hougyoku’s awakening period. Ichigo is shocked that Shinji has known for many years about the Hougyoku, the Arrancar, and Aizen, and the next surprise comes when Shinji decides to go ahead and let Ichigo proceed to the next step. As he knocks Ichigo out with a power from his hand, Shinji tells him not to regret this.

Shinji then instructs the Vizard Hacchi to put up a barrier around the building and opens up a passageway to an underground training area. Telepathically, Shinji tells the unconscious Ichigo that he’s going to become completely Hollow, so he should eat instead of be eaten. Once underground, Shinji has Hacchi put up another barrier and also seal off Ichigo’s body. Ichigo meanwhile finds himself once again in the sideways world facing his white Hollow self. When Ichigo asks where the old man Zangetsu is, the Hollow replies that he is Zangetsu as he pulls out a blade that mirrors Ichigo’s zanpaktou and attacks with it. With the inner fight started, Ichigo’s body – still in the training area with the Vizards – takes on its Hollow form and breaks through the seal that Hacchi placed. Because of this, the Vizard who introduces herself as Yadoumaru Risa squares off against the fully Hollow Ichigo. Back inside the sideways world, the Hollow Ichigo has to reiterate that he really is Zangetsu. He and Zangetsu have always been one and the same, and both are Ichigo’s strength. The Hollow Ichigo used to be a part of Zangetsu, but it’s a matter of dominance. As the Hollow side got stronger, it got control and Zangetsu thus became part of it. Thus, the more Ichigo tries to draw out the Zangetsu’s power, the easier it is for his Hollow side to control his soul.

Having heard this, Ichigo concludes that if he defeats his Hollow side here, then the old Zangetsu would return as the core of his power. His Hollow side thinks that it’s impossible for Ichigo to do this, so Ichigo goes into his ban kai stance. In response, the Hollow Ichigo takes on the same stance, and the two initiate ban kai at the same time.


This is such a great shot. I liked it when I saw it in the manga and I like it here too. Part of it is because the shot emphasizes how closely knit a group the Vizards are and part of it is because we get to see all the Vizard zanpaktous and their hilts. It also shows that it takes more than just one of them to restrain Hollow Ichigo, and that makes me wonder how strong the Vizards are in comparison to the other characters (such as any of the Arrancar). With the way Hollow Ichigo caught her off guard, it doesn’t seem that Hiyori would be the strongest of the group. I’d guess probably Shinji is the strongest, particularly since he seems to have been around for a long time and knows about Aizen and the Hougyoku.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing next week what I hope is a really cool fight between Ichigo and his Hollow self that, from the preview, looks like it’ll be very black vs. white.


  1. FINALLY!! Inverse Ichigo is finally going Bankai! I have been waiting for this for a long time now since reading the manga! Hehe my fiance did Inverse Ichigo at Oni-Con 2006. Man putting on that white make-up is a drag!

  2. I was wondering if it was a mistake in the animation… picture 2 shows that the black shadow for the eye is spreading from the left(ichigo’s right) eye. and in picture 7 shows that it finishes off his right(ichigo’s left) eye. I don’t remember the shadow thing in the manga at all… but w/e

  3. whoo! this is the part of the manga i’ve been waiting to be animated! especially the part when all the vizards stopped ichigo on killing Hiyori. can’t wait for the subs! 🙂

  4. Woa!! Woa!! Woa!! it Asesome! i can’t wait enter i see Ichigo vs. Hollow Ichigo and iwant to found out the musice bleach, pretty good sound but it call “Alones- Aqua Timez”.

  5. A little fast, but awesome! But it won’t be long until they catch up again and again with fillers…

    But if they could,I wanna imagine that they put Bleach in temporary hiatus and focus on animating Tite Kubo’s previous work Zombie Powder in its place, but its not possible cause he discontinued after recieving bad critics…

    Not that i’m complaining about fillers cause they have to make room for more chapters and its all about the timing and I do feel kinda bad for Kon since he’s the only mod soul in the manga, but at least he’s got company in the anime even though they serve almost no purpose.

  6. 🙁 crap. this episode was need more quality. especially third picture’s scene. in manga this scenes more excitited to me :(. i think animators wasting excitement of manga 🙁

  7. @ Kaplan
    Unfortunately you are right. I have absolutely no idea how they waste all their money on episodes. It seems as if they have the lowest budget for an anime on air. Bleach has a lot of merchandises; if they act less greedy the anime quality will jump to the highest levels. I gave up on the quality long ago. It annoys the hell out of me and ruins the entire excitement of the Manga but I’m starting to care less and less. It sometimes gets to some ridiculous levels in which the characters are hardly identifiable; you’re barely able to see who is who by their voice acting. That’s pathetic.
    My advice to you is not to be too sensitive with the animation, the more you think about it the less enjoyable the episode becomes.

  8. Looks excellent. These episodes are based on some of my favorite chapters in the manga..

    Here’s to hoping the Ichigo vs. Hichigo fight will be just as well-animated as Grimmjow’s fight; Grimmjow’s fight was amazing.

  9. @GStrike,
    The eye shading thing was part of the manga, I dont know if it was part of this particular scene but it definately was in the fight with Grimmjow, though it didn’t really seem as prominant in the manga. It’s on his right eye because both his eyes were black with yellow pupils and that picture is of it receeding to the right side and eventually disappearing.

  10. What they might do instead of automatically drop into filler is extend some of the fights–Ichigo vs. Hollow Ichigo wasn’t that long in the manga, but if they make this fight longer (and some of the later, shorter fights), that’ll draw out the storyline and give the manga time to get ahead more, kinda like what Naruto Shippuuden is doing.

  11. I wish Shonen shows would just have seasons instead of being constant. The quality could be at a constant Episode 121 level, or even better. And we all know how much Episode 121 rocked (except for that weird pointy art during the conversation after Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou).

  12. An even three manga chapters were used this episode. I’m getting worried about the pacing now. Once the latest Bleach chapter comes out we’ll only have a gap of 55 chapters. Sure as the weeks go on more chapters will be there to extend the time, but the anime is gaining fast.

    random passerby
  13. It’s interesting how they colored the zanpakuto of the vizards. They’re half white and half black, just like ichigo’s in initial release. But theirs look like they’re still sealed. Are they colored this way in the manga?

  14. Could care less about how average the episode was animation wise in comparison to the content in this episode!

    Even the word ‘awesome’ can’t describe how kickass it was.

    Great stuff!

  15. I agree about extending the fight with Ichigo vs. Hollow Ichigo as long as they make it more exciting then the extended fight with Grimjaw… I mean come on, random flash-backs? and Ichigo just being punched alot… Even I could think of a better filler fight scene.

  16. I agree with those who think the anime budget is too tight making the quality of the animations too low compared to what is seen in the manga. The next episode really should be great because the chapter was great. Nevertheless it was still a reasonably good episode.

  17. They changed Lisa’s porn mags to swimsuit mags? Aww.

    Also, I agree, the animation is getting too inconsistent. I’m looking forward more the Naruto for my shounen fix now, instead of Bleach. It used to be the other way around.


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