OP Sequence

OP: 「アフターダーク」 (After Dark) by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
Watch the OP! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Mirror 3

Summary:

Ichigo, Sado, and Ishida burst into Hueco Mundo and find themselves inside a building that’s not quite what Ichigo imagined. Against Ishida’s judgment, Ichigo feels that it doesn’t matter if they make noise because then they can catch an enemy and find out where Inoue is. Ishida then inadvertently activates a booby trap that causes the floor to fall out, and he and Ichigo have to save Sado from falling into the hole below. Further down the hallway, Ichigo activates another trap, this time in the form of a giant rolling ball, but Sado shatters it with his punch. Shortly thereafter, the three are discovered by an Arrancar, but instead of facing him, Ishida and Sado run away, dragging Ichigo with them. Ishida has realized that they’re underground, so they can’t risk collapsing the building by fighting in the narrow hallway. Fortunately, they soon arrive in a huge circular room, though Ishida is still more interested in the exit on the far side. He never reaches those stairs up because a second Arrancar appears in front of him, and the first one soon arrives behind them.

Ichigo is ready to fight these Arrancar by himself, but Sado elbows him and insists that Ichigo be the one who steps back. Both he and Ishida think that Ichigo should save his strength until they find Inoue, and Ishida also reveals that he learned what they know about the Arrancar. Their opponents are the small and fast Iceringer and the large and strong Demoura, and in the beginning, Sado fights the former while Ishida battles with the latter. Demoura uses a technique that gathers surrounding spirit energy into his palms for attacking, and this prevents Ishida from gathering spirit energy to construct his own weapon. As Ishida is wishing that he could get more distance between himself and Demoura, he notices Sado having a hard time hitting Iceringer due to the distance between them. Because of this, Ishida stops moving and lets Sado punch Demoura instead. Ready to counterattack against a foe he’s better matched against, Ishida forms his new bow called the Ginrei Koujaku and fires off a volley.

Iceringer manages to get out of it with only a shoulder injury, but Ishida matches the Arrancar’s speed and reveals that he’s not a normal human – he’s a Quincy. His opponent responds by unleashing his Uña Tirotear attack that can rapid-fire 108 shots. This doesn’t bother Ishida at all though because his Ginrei Koujaku can do 1200, and this easily overwhelms Iceringer. Sado meanwhile has to deal with Demoura’s deadly tongue attack, however he’s able to stop it with his arm. He doesn’t like finishing off opponents who have lost their will to fight, but he realizes that this isn’t the time to be like that, so he powers up his arm for an attack he calls El Directo.

ED Sequence

ED: 「種をまく日々」 (Tane wo Maku Hibi) by 中孝介 (Atari Kousuke)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Mirror 3
I liked both the new opening and ending songs (ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION’s OP a bit more than the ED), but honestly it’s the animations that go with them that get me the most excited because of all the hints of stuff we’ll be seeing in the new arc. I find it particularly interesting that the ED has shots of Szayel and Aaroniero – maybe we’ll manage to get that far in the story before ED changes again in 13 or so weeks.

Preview

So this first episode of the Hueco Mundo arc starts with a little anime-original material (probably to kill time) of the guys handling some traps, but the majority of the episode was the first battle in Hueco Mundo, just like it was in the manga. These are relatively weak opponents, but it’s still cool to see Ishida and Sado get to show off some of their new powers given how we’ve been getting a lot of Ichigo and Shinigami action lately. Manga readers know though that this is only the beginning since there’ll be more special techniques for both of them in later fights.

As excited as I am about all this, the animation quality for next episode looks a bit weird or worse than usual (see the shots of Aizen and Ishida in the preview). This wouldn’t normally concern me very much since the show has its ups and downs, but next week’s episode is going to be giving the first looks of the anime versions of the rest of the Espada, and I’d rather they not all look like crap.

63 Comments

  1. Bounto opening? you mean, “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” by Beat Crusaders?
    i guess everyone’s got a different opinion on things… anyway…

    i’ve listened to the “After Dark” mp3 and i didn’t expect it’d fit okay with the anime. will take some getting used to though… it seemed like “Alones” was Bleach’s OP theme for forever. now, it kind’a has that video game-feel. but the Espada scenes are enough to wet non-manga readers’ appetites. =)

    YamadaShun
  2. man i like the op, been waiting for a badass one for awhile, alones was ok, but not for me. it just sounds fun, or more of a FU type of song, even tho i don’t speak japanese lol

    reggie
  3. The new OP is… okay. Though I didn’t like how Alones was all about Inoue and didn’t include any Vizards and only showed the Espada for like three seconds, I think that it was the best one since the music and the images went so well together. This one looks very plain in comparison.

    On the other hand, this is the best ED we’ve had in a while. At the very least, the song isn’t annoying.

    Can’t wait to watch this ep.

    N
  4. The Op is okay…It can’t compare to that of Alones OP,but I like it!Especially the hints it will give to those who don’t read the manga!So go out and read the manga STEP UP YOUR GAME!!!

    EzMac
  5. YEAH! cant wait to see the LEFT ARM OF CHAD!!! as far as fillers…its probobly gonna be some wacky adventures with those zany skull-head numbskulls and a chibi nell in hueco mundo.u know. save a village,turn a bad guy good, and a few random morals

    BROOKLYN otaku
  6. *sigh*

    The Bleach episode blogs are always filled with the most haters. 😐

    OP kicks butt (Asian Kung-Fu Generation FTW), I especially like the scenes with Aizen and the Espada – it looks almost as if it were taken directly out of the manga.

    I’m interested into how studio Pierrot is going to incorporate the anime-original storyline. I know Kubo has at least helped with the designs for it, so it’ll be intriguing to see how it turns out.

    nowhere man
  7. WOW I loved that opening!

    The animation style was top notch and the song rocked, I can’t wait to hear the full version.

    and why is everyone going on about a filler “arc” who said anything about a whole arc of fillers, there is one anime original episode coming as far as we know of. Just because some idiot changed the wikipedia episode list doesnt meen its true, besides its been changed back to normal.

    The current arc is called the Hueco Mundo Sennyu Hen (Hueco Mundo Sneak Entry Series, check the DVDs thats what I go by) and it began at episode 132 and probably wont end for another 10 more episodes.

    Blackdevil
  8. You guys seriously like the opening? I have to say its pretty boring. How should i put it… Basically not much action, flame background credits popped out way too much.(Couldn’t they at least change it up a bit instead of repeating same thing again?)The song didn’t do anything to me either.(Unlike rewrite and haruka katana). We have already seen all the espadas gathered at the table in last opening. They should have put like part of the grimjaw vs ichigo fight round 3 in it

    Bleach123
  9. @Blackdevil
    Its official, that atleast 5 ep long anime-original arc called “Forest of Menos” will be included before they actually enter into Las Noches.
    Kubo Tite actually helped designing characters and making up the story for this upcomming anime-original arc, so i doubt we could call it “fillers”.

    Unknown Voice
  10. Oh ok my bad.

    I didn’t know that. If that’s the case then hopefully it’ll be good, excpecially if Kubo Tite helping out.

    BTW has anyone seen the new Nintendo DS game, that’s all orignal material and it looks cool. It’s called Bleach: The 3rd Phantom http://bleach.sega.jp/3rd/
    I wish we got filler charecters like that.

    Blackdevil
  11. I WAAAAY liked this new opening!!!, it’s really a breath of fresh air after all this Oreta, awaii tsubasaaaa kimi wa suk…. well, whatever… and it fits more to bleach than Alones did!

    The ed… well, its still and ending.. and not the best one!, but.. still, its not bad at all! Way to go!

  12. Badass opening for an overall decent storyarc. And Naruto’s had some decent openings–Yura Yura, Re:member, and Haruka Kanata were all solid OPs–in fact, two of those were the only good things about the filler. XD

    Anonymooo
  13. OMNI I really think you do need some glasses pal!!!
    This was the MOST horrible episode ever animated in history!!
    And with BOZO like jokes…just like american cartoons!! T_T WTF x 1000000000000000!!!
    space ghost coast to coast STYLISH LOLLLLLLLLL!!!
    Congratulation pierro studio no mina san!! You reached the level NAX of POOR QUALITY ANIMATION EVER MADE SOOOOOOOO FAR!!!
    And as a bleach fan I must say that you could easyly match the worst episode from a naruto filler!! 😀 ” SO NO NANIMO NAI HAIRETA CHIKARA….OMEDETOU !!! “

    Tensai Otaku
  14. I thought the OP is going to be a LOT shitier so I’m not that disappointed. Nonetheless it is a piece of shit with annoying music rhythm and terrible vocals.

    oh, about the next episode, RELAX! there is no other ways but to get used to shity quality animation; Something that bleach has been enjoying in the last 40 episodes or so. It’s not like the animators care about their fans or anything.

    M.K
  15. not bad, but should have shown some of the fight sequences between ichigo and ulqiourra/grimjow and the rest of the espada. i think the last part of the op was really nice, with ichigo trying to stab aizen.

    they could have done a better job….

    yakuzaboy
  16. Well I’ve just finished watching the OP and I didn’t think tha it was as horrendously craptacular as sum of ya ppl think. ALONES is for me, the undisputed BEST of the BLEACH OPs but the again… at least this one had more Espada screen time 😛

    Pking
  17. Rofl, I knew I should have dropped Bleach a long time ago. The new opening – sorry, but burning background x 10, poorly animated black&white scenes and boring music don’t do it for me – is the worst so far, and the visual quality is also very poor since a longer time now.
    Since the SS-Arc has ended this show has been spiralling downwards and is now not much more but another average weekly Shounen-Anime. Animation quality (was never too good to begin with) has dropped, openings and endings are getting worse and we’re just shown the same fights over and over again with no result at the end. Not only are five minutes of plot stretched across one freaking episode, there’s just not much to look forward to atm – especially with a new set of “anime original” episodes on the way. One more week, if they screw up the appearance of the remaining Espada, I’ll just stick with the manga and forget about this anime series. Sad to say this as I was a huge Bleach Fan until the Bounto Arc started, but this just isn’t worth the time anymore.

    Ichirin no Hana/Rolling Star and Houki Boshi/Life are still the best OP’s and ED’s btw, imo.

    Neara
  18. Rofl, I knew I should have dropped Bleach a long time ago. The new opening – sorry, but burning background x 10, poorly animated black&white scenes and boring music don’t do it for me – is the worst so far, and the visual quality is also very poor since a longer time now.

    Agreed, the opening totally blows. Can’t believe that some people even think its the best bleach opening. Any past openings>owns the new one, so this is pretty much the most boring bleach opening ever.

    Is the animation that bad in this episode? I thought it has been pretty consistent in arrancar arc so far. I haven’t seen the episode yet, so I’m only judging from the screen shots. You can’t deny though that the yami vs ichigo and grimjaw vs ichigo were really well animated(If not, the best animated fights in the series so far). Personally, this is pretty much the point where the series goes downhill. It’s like dragonball or SS arc all over again. The sad part is that I’m not really sticking with the manga anymore. From now on, the only reason that i would ever watch an episode if the fight is well animated. Otherwise, I’m not going bother.

    Bleach123
  19. Wow! I love the Opening! I don’t see how it sucks, just because “Alones” preceded it. Both are fairly catchy songs that suit this anime quite well, so stop complaining people! Asian Kung-Fu Generation is awesome! Lol, well, to each his own. The ending is also quite nice! I can’t help but feel that I have heard that singer before…I envision a middle-aged man with a dress-shirt and a guitar. Lol.

    Konata-chan
  20. ” oh, about the next episode, RELAX! there is no other ways but to get used to shity quality animation; Something that bleach has been enjoying in the last 40 episodes or so. It’s not like the animators care about their fans or anything. ”
    I agree with you but it´s better than nothing…….
    YEAH???well, I PERSONALY just don´t wanna be like a retarded whatching an inanimated page from a manga and get the image moving in my head saying stuff like:
    ” WOW THIS SEEMS TO BE NICE…THIS SPECIAL EFFECTS AND THE MOTION CAPTURE IN THIS PAGE IS AWESOME!!! LOOK THE CHARACTER IS SCREAMING….HOW REALISTIC IT´S LOOKS WITHOUT THE SOUND!!”
    LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
    That´s why I hate mangas….and I do love to use paper…..after my meditation on the toylet( If you all now What I mean! T_T )

    Tensai Otaku
  21. Not a book person, are you, “Tensai?”

    As a visual medium, animation actually requires fluidity in order to look right. Most anime is very high-res, but moves very poorly–Bleach has been like this as of late, barring a few rare cool moments in random episodes. I’d like to see the animation pick up, especially since we’ll be going into canon stuff after a short filler arc, so it’d be nice to see animation on-par with the Soul Society arc work.

    But in terms of storytelling? Comics > animation for me, always. A single picture with usage of lighting and properly-placed dialogue balloons can deliver stronger impact than a scene with sound, much like how a well-written passage can deliver stronger impact than a drawn scene.

    Anonymooo
  22. ” Not a book person, are you, “Tensai?””
    I have changed the books for the WEB for a long time ago!!!As I can read them on my monitor or my psp PDF software!! ^_^

    But I have to disagree with you my friend….animes like HAGANE NO REIKENJITSU have a better version animated than on manga…THAT´S FOR SURE!!

    ” But in terms of storytelling? Comics > animation for me, always.”

    BUU…BUU!!! wrong….I mean just look at how many lost phrases you have animated that you´ve lost on your precious mangas!!! That´s pretty much ALOT of texts that completes the plot to give you the whole story……I know …I know….You´ll say:
    ” but my mommy always tells me a book story before I sleep!!!” Take your milk forget your mommy and sleep alone, because you already has hairy balls man!! ^_^

    ” with usage of lighting and properly-placed dialogue balloons can deliver stronger impact than a scene with sound ”

    TSC…TSC…TSC….I really don´t think so!!! we Live on a world full of sounds all the time… very very rich on every on it´s details……so if you are not a deaf person you very much knows what I mean!!!Even when you were born, my friend , you had to put your mounth on the world so say to your mother that you needed protection from that EVIL DOCTOR that slaped your ASS!! LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    Sorry I got overreacted on the last one!!! 😀

    Tensai Otaku
  23. I think the OP song is a good song..omy ne of favs now..It’s was as expected from AKFG..Only people wh0s don’t like music won’t enjoyed it..

    Also, did any0ne notice the current arrancar Ishida & Chad has being fighting in this episode don’t have hollow hole on their body ? Even espada also have hole..What happening eh ? Is it the animator fault or what ?

    []{uroro

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