Unaware that he’s being watched, Ichigo runs through a hallway until Nel catches up and tackles him because she wanted to see him. She thinks that Dondochakka and Pesche are right behind her, but panics when she realizes that they’re not. Before anything else can happen though, Ichigo senses someone hiding nearby and yells for this person to reveal himself. Indeed, there is someone in the rafters above them, but this person accidentally slips and falls down in front of Ichigo and Nel. Attempting to make a flashy entrance, this Arrancar introduces himself as No. 103 Dordonii and vows to crush Ichigo. When Ichigo hears the large number, he doesn’t think much of Dordonii and guesses that Dordonii is pretty weak. In response to this, Dordonii proves he’s got at least some moves by dodging all of Ichigo’s swings. That doesn’t make Ichigo take him any more seriously though, especially after Dordonii trips on a rock.
Meanwhile, Tousen is watching the movements of each member of Ichigo’s party when he’s paid a visit by Ichimaru. Upon entering, Ichimaru notices that Wonderweiss is hiding nearby and comments on how Wonderweiss seems really attached to Tousen. The former ninth division captain explains that pure people are drawn to each other, though he hasn’t been able to figure out what Wonderweiss’ pureness is yet. This leads to Ichimaru now understanding why Wonderweiss doesn’t get along well with him, though Tousen feels that any normal person would be wary of Ichimaru. Tousen then turns Ichimaru’s attention to the fact that Ichigo and company have split up, and Ichimaru comments on how doing so decreases their chances of winning. Both of them realize that the group is headed for an interesting place: the Tres Cifras. Since Wonderweiss doesn’t know what this is, Tousen explains that the three digit numbers are a proof of someone who’s had their rank stripped. All of those who have three digit numbers are known as Privaron Espada.
Back at the fight, Ichigo is now realizing that his opponent is stronger than he looks since Dordonii was able to draw first blood. Dordonii reveals that the ones with three digits – including the two that Ishida and Sado are now facing – were all previously Espada. He then proceeds to kick Ichigo around the room and even through a wall. Unimpressed, Dordonii urges Ichigo to initiate ban kai, but Ichigo refuses because he doesn’t want to use it on enemies who aren’t even Espada. He vows to win without it and then tries to counterattack, but Dordonii catches Ichigo’s sword and decides to release his own zanpaktou Giralda. This transforms him and, in his new form, Dordonii is able to create two large twisters from his legs. He goes after Ichigo with these twisters and continues to use his legs to smack Ichigo around. Watching the battle in horror from the nearby hole in the wall, Nel thinks that Ichigo is going to die, and a light begins to shine from the broken mask on her head.
Well it’s good to see that the advertising for the next Bleach movie is in full force (the OP and ED this week were changed to be essentially movie trailers). It’s a shame I probably won’t ever see it – I still haven’t had the time or motivation to watch the first Bleach movie. Anyway, this episode did a good job introducing Dordonii as the kind of character you just can’t hate because he’s got that playful quality to him. Yes, he’s beating Ichigo up all over the place, but he’s not very evil, at least not compared to the likes of Nnoitra or Luppi. I had some minor issues with his voice actor Ishii Kouji doing this role, but that’s mainly because I can’t listen to him anymore without thinking of Montague from RxJ.
This episode actually only covered two chapters of the manga, which was less than I thought it would be given that most of it is fighting (in the old days the anime would just fly through these kinds of chapters). With the right amounts of anime original stuff – like the extra battle scenes this week – they can probably stretch the Privaron Espada episodes all the way into early January.