With the appearance of Lunuganga again, Rukia prepares to use her zanpaktou’s second released ability, but she forgets that she’s riding on Bawabawa and hurts him while trying to do this. Lunuganga then sends them into another sand pit, and Rukia gets thrown off of Bawabawa in the process. The entire group gets sucked under the sand, and they fall into an underground cavern. Around them are giant trees similar to the ones they saw on the surface, and Ishida realizes that the ones on the surface are simply the top parts of these trees poking through the sand. Nel and her companions call this the Forest of Menos, and Ishida is reminded of how he saw a large group of Menos in the distance as they were falling into the area moments ago. He reasons that the Espada and Arrancar inhabit the surface while the Gillians and other Hollows live underground, and Nel confirms this. Unfortunately, Nel hasn’t been here before and thus doesn’t know the way back up to the surface. She starts crying because she thinks they’ll all die, but Ichigo reassures her that it’ll be fine, and Ishida suggests that there has to be a path that the Hollows use to come and go from here.

Renji then notices that Rukia isn’t with them. As it turns out, she landed in a different part of the forest and soon finds herself surrounded by Hollows. No matter how many she defeats, more show up, so Rukia starts running in search of everyone else towards a source of light in the distance. However, when she reaches the clearing, Rukia finds two Menos waiting for her, and one of them prepares to fire a Cero blast. Rukia is saved when a masked figure suddenly appears and grabs her, and he proceeds to destroy both Menos with what appears to be a zanpaktou. He then carries her through the forest and ignores her request to be let go. She manages to get free from him at one point, but he proves to be faster than her and quickly recaptures her. When she questions what he intends to do, he asks her to be patient and reveals that they’ll soon arrive at his hideout. Unbeknownst to her or to Ichigo’s group, a group of Hollows meet on the surface to discuss the disturbance in the Forest of Menos, and they find out more from Las Noches.

The masked figure soon arrives at his cave hideout, and Rukia realizes that he’s a Shinigami after all. He doesn’t respond to her question of which Division he’s with, making her think that he had left his Division. What he does reveal is that his name is Ashido, and that this is the Forest of Menos – a world where Menos reside that is nowhere near the rules of Soul Society. He then surprises Rukia by attacking her, and it quickly becomes apparent that he’s stronger then her. Ichigo and company meanwhile have started searching for Rukia, and since they can’t find her, Bawabawa suggests climbing up one of the trees to get a look from above. Ishida and Sado go up with Bawabawa, but they don’t see Rukia anywhere. They soon come under attack by hordes of Hollows from both the ground and the air, and these are followed up by several Menos. When one of the flying Hollows carries away Nel, Pesche, and Dondochakka, and Ichigo can’t immediately save them because even more Menos appear. Back at Ashido’s cave, Rukia wonders if he brought her there just to kill her. When he corners her, she throws some sand at him and uses the chance to strike, but he disappears and reappears behind her, thrusting his sword at her.

For an anime original, this wasn’t too bad. The animation quality was solid, and there’s enough interesting things going on at once with the mysterious Shinigami, all the Menos, and those above-surface Hollows that I didn’t feel like this was just wasting time (compared to some of those episodes that took place before all this, such as episode 134 with the baker). I assume the masked Hollow has good intentions and that he’s really just testing Rukia to see if she’s strong enough or something. The real bad guys for the arc would then be those sinister looking Hollows, and there’s probably a gimmick of some sort to either make them more powerful or to make Ichigo and company weak enough so that they’re not pushovers. Overall, this was a decent start to the mini-arc, though of course I hope it doesn’t go for too long. There was no preview for next week this time because they aired a promo for the upcoming movie instead, but (like I mentioned last week) the future episode titles indicate that this will last until at least the end of the this month.


  1. perhaps KT felt that the manga’s storyline moved too fast… the fillers would assert that if you do invade enemy territory, you’re bound to have your hands full before getting to where you intend to go. (the manga features Arrancars, almost exclusively)

    also, this is pretty much a foreshadowing of events to come in the manga. (introducing a supposed Shinigami here would somehow set the stage for Rukia’s encounter with you-know-who#9)

    knee-jerk reaction to mysterious Shinigami = Aizen in disguise (green hilt-wrap on Zanpakutou) Ichinose’s hilt-wrap was purple…

  2. I don’t think this Acid dude is Aizen. Aizen had a hexagon-shaped hilt on his sword, while this guy has a rectangular hilt. If anything, this guy reminds me of the picture that came up when Urahara was talking to Isshin about vizards. That would explain how he’s stronger than Rukia, and how he apparently isn’t in a squad.

  3. well, bleach seems very interesting in the chapter hueco mundo, but i guees there so much fillers in the anime, well afterall its quite of amazing , what else , someone has the email of the master of this website i wana talk to kim, my msn is plz add my msn if u want to talk or waste time justo to avoid homework

  4. Hey but at least it was an interesting filler!!
    I was asking all the time ” WHO WAS THAT SHINIGAMI ???? ”
    Let´s use the same final words from the critical gourmet in ratatouille for the animators:

    ” COME ON IMPRESS ME !!!! ” 😀

    Tensai Otaku
  5. Is it just me, or is Bleach becoming a chore to watch?

    I don’t know, the first couple seasons were amazing, I was so hooked on this show. The Soul Society arc was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. But after that it seemed to go downhill. I know there was that period of infinite fillers, which were horrible, but even now that it’s getting back to the plot I don’t even find myself interested anymore. I keep getting each new episode as it comes out, but it’s almost more of routine than enjoyment. I think to myself ‘Oh, another bleach episode, let’s just watch it now and get it over with.’

    I don’t know, I just wanted to see if anyone else felt the same way. I know the manga’s probably way better, but I haven’t read it yet. The anime’s disappointing me though, it’s just way too damn long.

  6. “Unbeknownst to her or to Ichigo’s group, a group of Hollows meet on the surface to discuss the disturbance in the Forest of Menos, and they find out more from Las Noches.”
    Here’s a little theory for you all: Those Hollows on the surface are actually Adjunas (no idea how to spell that). I doubt anyone from Las Noches would bother with regular Hollows, and they are too intelligent to be Gillians. Nel, Pesche, and Dondochakka were taken away by order of those Hollows from the surface and they’ll use them as hostages to prevent Ichigo from using Bankai – but will get very surprised when he puts on his mask. When Nel sees Ichi’s mask she’ll be happy that he’s not a bad guy after all since he’s different from other Shinigami.

    And that concludes my crazy predictions for some of the events that’ll take place in future episodes. 🙂

  7. One of the better episodes in a long time!

    Anyway regarding the unknown Shinigami, I just thought of the Shinigami that Rukia saw when she was smaller…in the SS arc…is it him? He gave Rukia something to eat when she fainted in front of his house in Rukongai…

  8. NOT FILLERS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!
    bleach anime is starting to get real boring man….
    where i’m from the local translate of the manga(in volumes) is way ahead of the anime
    Show Spoiler ▼

  9. @dada
    And what would happen if anime would reach that fight when it is not finished yet?

    As far as its known this one is to expand Hueco Mundo a bit, to give more screentime for Rukia and to let Kubo finish the current arc.

    I am fed up with trolls and their ignorance. Anime original stuff does not necessarily means bad.

    Unknown Voice
  10. Fillers eps are fine as long as they include rukia ^_^ they just become enjoyable whenever they introduce rukia within them at least that’s for me =>

    The mysterious shinigami is kubo’s design with the forest..i think he has something to do with the fillers plot..anyway can’t wait to see the rest XD

  11. This filler was actually .. erm… cool. Along the way I’ve learned that there can be good filler episodes (like One Piece) and bad filler episodes (like… take a wild guess -_-‘). Bleach is more good than bad so I don’t see a reason to complain… that much :P. Anyway.. it would be cool if that guy was “I am your father” or Kaien or any other thing as long as they don’t screwup at the end. What can I say except: Bleach developers.. ENTERTAIN ME!!1

  12. Ah, I came to like Ashido quite a bit. In fact, Ashido’s a real character that Tite himself designed, but had to abandon because he had no time. I wasn’t expecting his voice to be that deep though. But butchering Menos-class Hollows without even executing Shikai… Don’t you thing that’s WAY too strong? Nearly as strong as Ichigo, perhaps. I’m sad that he isn’t about to return simply because he now exists only as an anime-only character. Except perhaps eventually in the anime.. but that doesn’t count.


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