Summary:

Having just dispelled Renji’s bankai, Szayel explains that Renji can’t use it in the room that they’re in. Szayel knows everything about Renji’s bankai and was able to create a way to seal it off, but Renji is confused because only someone who’s been directly hit by it would have that information. As it turns out, Szayel is the younger brother of the Arrancar named Yylfordt Granz that Renji had defeated previously, and he had put a special parasite inside of Yylfordt that gave him what he needed to know. Regardless, Szayel now pulls out his zanpaktou and asks Renji not to struggle because he wants Renji to die in as undamaged a form as possible. Renji doesn’t give up so easily though and goes back on the attack. For a moment, Renji thinks that he has the upper hand on his opponent, but Szayel then gets serious and makes it clear that he was just checking to see the extent of Renji’s abilities. He finds them disappointing, and he’s able to easily parry all of Renji’s subsequent strikes while he successfully lands several counterattacks.

Their fight is soon interrupted by two of Szayel’s underlings who have come to report that Aaroniero is dead. Szayel also finds out that Aaroniero and his opponent killed each other, and he reveals with much relish that that it was Rukia who died. Renji responds immediately by attacking, and though Szayel blocks it, he is unprepared for Renji unleashing a small explosion of power. Unfortunately for Renji, this isn’t enough to injure Szayel in any significant way. At around this same time, Ichigo senses what happened with Rukia. Shortly thereafter, Ulquiorra appears behind Ichigo and claims that Rukia is dead. Ulquiorra explains how her body was pierced by Aaroniero’s trident, and because Ichigo still doubts him, Ulquiorra reveals that Aaroniero possessed the ability to pass along all the information from his fights to his allies.

Ichigo nevertheless decides to go save Rukia because he believes that she’s still alive, and he explains that he has no reason to fight Ulquiorra since he believes that Ulquiorra hasn’t personally hurt any of his friends yet. Because of this, Ulquiorra reveals that he was the one who brought Inoue to Hueco Mundo, and this elicits an instant response from Ichigo in the form of an attack. Seeing Ichigo angry because he now realizes that Inoue really didn’t come here on her own free will, Ulquiorra comments on how Inoue’s friends had some doubts about it. With a reason to fight Ulquiorra now, Ichigo decides to go all out and initiates bankai.

Preview

So what I don’t quite understand here is Ichigo’s priorities. He knows that Rukia is seriously injured and could be on the verge of dying, yet he turns around to fight Ulquiorra for Inoue’s sake. Ichigo has no idea how long this battle could take, and Rukia could die in the meantime, yet he decides to fight anyway. To me, that indicates that Inoue’s honor (her being considered a traitor) means more to him than Rukia’s life. I don’t know if that means anything in the long run since Bleach isn’t the kind of series where relationship pairings are that important, but this one decision is telling of how Ichigo might feel.

As for the episode, it’s still following the manga and covered another two chapters worth spread over chapters 265, 269, and 270. One of the things I noticed is that, while it didn’t bother me in the manga, Szayel’s smirk in the anime makes me really want to punch him or something. I think that’s a testament to how well animated this episode was – it was for the second week in a row too. The preview for next week doesn’t look quite so good, but they appear to still be sticking with the manga storyline, so I really can’t complain.

52 Comments

  1. The beginning of the Ichigo/Ulquiorra fight looked EVEN MORE exciting than in the manga. And that is one of my favourite parts in the whole HM arc, by the way. I can’t wait for next episode. This fight is gonna kick ass

    Izuru
  2. The reason why Ichigo fought Ulquiorra is to get the battle done quickly so he can get to Rukia, not because Inoue’s honor means more to him, he believed that Ulquiorra would not let him go without a fight, so he immediately went Bankai in order to win as soon as possible, he gave up the mission to save Inoue in order to save Rukia, notice he didn’t go to save Chad when he went down.

    Elijah
  3. //So what I don’t quite understand here is Ichigo’s priorities. He knows that Rukia is seriously injured and could be on the verge of dying, yet he turns around to fight Ulquiorra for Inoue’s sake. Ichigo has no idea how long this battle could take, and Rukia could die in the meantime, yet he decides to fight anyway. To me, that indicates that Inoue’s honor (her being considered a traitor) means more to him than Rukia’s life. I don’t know if that means anything in the long run since Bleach isn’t the kind of series where relationship pairings are that important, but this one decision is telling of how Ichigo might feel//

    You’re missing some points here..even though ichigo attacked ulq when he knows of rukia death but he continues to say that he’s in hurry “WHY” because he wants to go back to rukia as soon as possible..he tried to avoid the fight and abandon the mission for rukia sake at first but he says ulq seems he won’t let him to pass, that’s why he pulled out all of is power at once to finish the battle as soon as possible..

    And didn’t ichigo just doubt orihime’s loyalty? That’s why he was irritated at ulq because he made him looks like a jerk ..

    hananon
  4. OOOOooooooH CANT WAIT! yo is it just me or does renji have the weakest looking bankai??
    i mean that thing is always getting slapped away..BABOON BLADE!?!? or something like that??
    POOR RENJI. me thinks he’d look better with a axe or a hammer or a spear!! yeah a spear!!

    BROOKLYN otaku
  5. If you read the manga you know that Ichigo had to fight Ulq because he blocked the way back to Rukia. He weny bamkai, striked Ulq down and picked Nell and immediately make his way back to get to Rukia. Unfortunately for him, Ulq pawned him big time. No he did not consider Orihime more important, note he never asked Ulq WHERE Orihime is, IF SHE IS SAVE and Alive, it’s already been established earlier on that Ichigo canot sense Orihime like he can with Rukia and Chad, so Orihime could be dead or tortured, but did Ichigo care? So dont get your little ichi-hime heart all fluster over nothing. It was also make clear that Ichigo doubts Orihime, he though that there was a possibility that she was a traitor. Later he told GJ he will take RUKIA, Chad, Ishida, Renji and Orihime home with him. Please analysed things more carefully and avoid falling into those rose tinted airhead Ichi-hime fans, although they do provide endless entertainment for me and my friends. Critisms aside, thank you for the update.

    Bleachfan
  6. Quality work there, Bleachfan, dissecting a 400 word blog-post about a show that aired, what, today? As a fan of Retsgip, I am not a big fan of Inoue, but you sure did impressive work. Do you have a blog that I can visit where I can read longer discussions about the difference between “where” and “if?” I ask this because none of the other blogs I can find seem to be as virulently and absurdly critical as you.

    Spatterjay
  7. Blah blah blah, yada yada yada… we can discuss the whole IchiHime, IchiRuki thing all day long… The animators did a great job. They paralleled Renji’s reaction for Rukia with Ichigo’s reaction for Orihime.

    Awww… THE Ulqui-gasmn. XXXXXXDDDDDDDDDD~

  8. @Spatterjay — Sorry no blog, but I hang around Bleach Asylum, they have a great FC for characters/pairings as well as section (spamage) where you could debate about one pairing vs another. Also the earliest translated spoilers goes to BA first usually, they already have some on ch311, check it out.

    @Nightseer — Yes except Ichigo was not going to Orihime. He was going for Rukia just like Renji.

    Bleachfan
  9. “So what I don’t quite understand here is Ichigo’s priorities. He knows that Rukia is seriously injured and could be on the verge of dying, yet he turns around to fight Ulquiorra for Inoue’s sake. Ichigo has no idea how long this battle could take, and Rukia could die in the meantime, yet he decides to fight anyway. To me, that indicates that Inoue’s honor (her being considered a traitor) means more to him than Rukia’s life.”

    I disagree on this point because I think that Ichigo thinks that Rukia is also a soldier. He trust her as he trust his other friends that joined the battlefield. She is strong and she knew that she would possibly be seriously injured by being in Hueco Mundo to rescue Inoue. All of them are here to rescue Inoue and to fight Aizen and they all swore to not die.
    P.S : sorry for my bad English T__T I hope you will understand me^^

  10. First off: Linilette…….HOT!!!

    Second: Ichigo was going to save Rukia. Uly said what he said becuase he didn’t want Ichigo to go. If it would have failed, he would have found some other way to make Ichigo fight him. Bottom line, Ichigo was never ging anywhere with Uly there.

    DmonHiro
  11. “To me, that indicates that Inoue’s honor (her being considered a traitor) means more to him than Rukia’s life.”

    Maybe because he’s pissed at Ulquiorra for kidnapping Inoue to HM?

    Jarred
  12. The funny think is that ichigo keeps on saying that he is in hurry after hearing what happened to orihime. .isn’t orihime’s honor is more important than rukia’s life or I’m just hearing things XD he’s in hurry but he wants to fight ulq for orihime honor “HOW” explain that o me..

    If he wanted to make ulq regretful of what he have done to orihime, the best way for that, to take his time, beating him up till he loses his breath or energy like what he have done with his fight against byakuya when he was fighting for rukia’s pride..

    hananon
  13. to bleachfan and elijah. FUCK-YOU! you are just retard ichiruki fan. ichigo never mention about he fight Ulq so he can reach rukia fast. and nel confirm that you sucka!
    remEmber this is shonen manga AND NOT SHOJO YOU FAG!

    jin
  14. Oh sweet, another “my pairing is more love than yours” debate. Seriously (especially jin), use proper language or do the flaming somewhere else please, noone here gives a flying fuck about that ridiculously overheated fanboyism posts. Grow some balls and stop making yourselves look like idiots, gawd.

    Neara
  15. The animation lately has been surprisingly good, and consistently so.

    “I don’t know if that means anything in the long run since Bleach isn’t the kind of series where relationship pairings are that important, but this one decision is telling of how Ichigo might feel.”

    I’ve always had a problem with how Bleach kind of half-asses it–in One Piece, they basically disregard them entirely and don’t even mention romantic relationships, whereas in Naruto they treat them as very important and constantly focus on them. With Bleach, they’ll mention them every now and then, but will then disregard them for future happenings and act like they never existed. I kinda wish they’d pick a side–either way is fine, but this kind of wishy-washy attitude leads to wacky fan debates like the one we’ve seen here.

    Then again, Bleach doesn’t have (much of) a point to it all yet, so hopefully that’ll change soon too.

    Anonymooo
  16. Stark reminds me of that one shiftless Shinigami captain with the two swords, flower kimono, and straw hat who likes to sleep asleep; forget his name. I guess Stark goes for the lolis judging by Lilenette, heh.

    KaminaLives
  17. And Orihime’s near-breakdown. That was probably the best show of emotion in the entire series in my opinion, even above the fist-pumpingly awesome “I swore it to my soul” deal.

    Anonymooo
  18. orihime want save Rukia. but rukia die. orihime cry. and Ulquiorra tussle tell Ichigo she is die. Ichigo want go but need save orihime. but i knew rukia will live. who save to rukia???? sorry i cant tell you. i knew.

    op
  19. Oh my god…Ichigo came to rescue Orihime, right? And not to save Rukia. She can save herself, she’s a death god too. It’s all about Ichigo and Rukia? It’s obvious, they’re the main characters. The hero and the heroine. They’re partners and not lovers. It’s a shounen anime with fight, blood and bishounens, and not shoujo.XD Well, it’s my own opinion, you can say whatever you want. (I’m not an IchiRuki fan, and I don’t believe they’re end up together. It’s impossible…XD)

    p.s.: Sorry for my bad english.XD

    snowbunny
  20. This may be really old, and probably won’t even be read, but I was just passing through when I saw this: “Ichigo has no idea how long this battle could take, and Rukia could die in the meantime, yet he decides to fight anyway. To me, that indicates that Inoue’s honor (her being considered a traitor) means more to him than Rukia’s life. I don’t know if that means anything in the long run since Bleach isn’t the kind of series where relationship pairings are that important, but this one decision is telling of how Ichigo might feel.”
    I don’t think you fully understand Rukia and Ichigo’s relationship (I dunno if this is because maybe you’re a RukiaxIchigo fan), but the two of them have a very different level of relationship, they both have ultimate trust in each other as warriors and respect for each other as warriors. Yeah, Ichigo had to save Rukia at one point, but that wasn’t because she was just some typical cute anime girl that he had a crush on. Rukia was his friend, and ‘sides he owed her a favor for saving his and his family’s life, as well as for for accidentally stealing her powers. When Rukia signed up to to go with him and save Inoue, it was as comrades. The point of the mission was to save Inoue, and I think Rukia herself would NEVER EVER forgive Ichigo if he came back to save her and let Inoue die. In my personal opinion, if the two were going out (though I really don’t think it possible), it would be the same. If the two of them being in a relationship would lower Ichigo’s respect for Rukia, I think RukiaxIchigo fans should probably give up because, THAT’S never gonna happen… (I hope). Just my 2cents! =^^=

    Ranguvar
  21. Oh yeah, (me again)! If Ichigo did lose all his respect for Rukia and they went out, 1. I would NEVER EVER forgive Tito Kube and 2. I would stop watching the show. It’s probably because of this partnership between them why I continue to watch Bleach (well, besides all the sexy guys, too). This is what makes Bleach different from any other anime, for the most part men and women are pretty much on equal terms. I have no patience for hentai, or other degrading types of anime. LONG LIVE BLEACH!!!!

    Ranugvar

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