Surprised at the sight of Ichigo’s mask and at how powerful Ichigo is, Ulquiorra is forced to use both hands to try to stop a Getsuga Tenshou attack, but it still overwhelms him. Ichigo’s mask falls off soon afterwards, and he finds that Nel is in tears because she was so worried about him. The battle, however, is not yet over because a relatively uninjured Ulquiorra stands back up and is disappointed at what he concludes must have been Ichigo’s full power. Ulquiorra then fires off a Cero that knocks Ichigo and Nel out of the building, and he follows it up by kicking Ichigo into a different structure. As Ichigo struggles to get back up, Ulquiorra observes that Ichigo had earlier pulled out his mask for an instant to protect himself from the Cero. He knows that Ichigo can’t do it again and urges Ichigo to give up, but Ichigo tries to stab him in the chest. Ichigo believes that Ulquiorra is the top Espada and thinks that beating him wins the battle, however Ulquiorra quickly proves him wrong by revealing that he’s actually the Number 4 Espada.

Ulquiorra then plunges his hand into Ichigo’s chest and says that Ichigo can’t defeat him. He thinks that even if Ichigo could, then there are three more even stronger Espada, and all this has proven to him that he overestimated Ichigo. Walking away, Ulquiorra tells Ichigo to leave here if he can still move, and if he can’t, then he should just die. Ichigo reverts out of bankai form moments later, and across Las Noches, Inoue senses what just happened. She’s in disbelief that both Rukia and Ichigo could have been defeated, but she doesn’t get too much time to think about it because Loly and Menoly soon show up in her room to play with her. The two girls are jealous of how Aizen seems to favor her and how there are five people here to save her, so they start throwing her around and stomping on her head. Meanwhile, Renji continues to struggle against Szayel and can’t seem to do much damage to the Espada, though he does finally get Szayel to move. Having grown tired of this because he’s learned pretty much everything he wants to know about Renji, Szayel decides to end things and summons a horde of Arrancar.

Szayel explains that these Arrancar are known as Fracción and are subordinates who are of Number 11 and lower. Some Espada choose only one, and others choose many, though Szayel’s are unique because he modified them before Aizen turned them into Arrancar. In any case, he feels that Renji isn’t worth personally finishing off, so he sends one of his Fracción to do it. Renji manages to cut this Fracción’s hand, but that only serves to drive the Arrancar berserk, and Renji finds himself moments away from being smashed into the ground. Fortunately, a blue arrow suddenly pierces through the Fracción’s body, and Renji realizes that Ishida is here after having sensed the spirit power from three walls away.


So Ulquiorra is the Number 4 Espada, and by my count, even in the manga, the current top three spots are still unknown. It’s split somehow between Stark, Halibel, and the old guy. And depending on which direction the story goes, we may not find that out for a long time. I think that ultimately the question is (essentially what Ulquiorra said) how Ichigo gets strong enough to fight any of them or even Aizen if he can’t even defeat Ulquiorra. Just putting on that mask for longer periods of time doesn’t seem like it’ll cut it. I’m sure Kubo Tite probably has something planned out – I just hope it doesn’t approach DBZ levels of ridiculousness. For the time being though, we continue forward with the manga story (two more chapters covered this episode), and next week looks to have the return of Grimmjow.


  1. Ulquiorra is by far my fav espada…

    the fact he matches up to Ichigo with mask already says a lot and Ulquiorra still has a sword release on top of that.

    The fight with Grimmjaw will probably be dragged out a few episodes but I don’t mind since this is a good and worthwhile fight.

  2. There was a scene in this episode where V-Ichigo’s reiatsu looked like it could’a belonged to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. =D

    Again, seeing the anime gives us the intended sense of how powerful an attack is… V-Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou looked totally wicked, especially when it made contact with Ulquiorra. I am a bit disappointed, however, with Ulquiorra’s Cero… they’ve always been red – from the Menos to “Don Panini” to Yammy. I guess that’s the way Kubo wants it… even Ulquiorra’s “Bleach: Heat The Soul 5” counterpart has a green Cero.

    Loly & Menoly = HATE
    Grimmjow = PWNS
    PWNS = we like

  3. @YamadaShun

    Well for Blue Cero. its understandable. They probably wanted to depict it as “hotter”. ITs common knowledge in physics that after flame reaches a certain temperature it changes into intense flame or “blue flame”, which is way hotter and more condensed than red flame.

    Unknown Voice
  4. I cannot wait to see Orihime getting beaten *.* God, how much I love those girls! (This is just a payback for those who IchiHime fans who bashes some other fans in the comments of the episode 160.)

    Anyway, I wish the animation quality were higher honestly… That mask is drawen awesomely in the manga! But still GJ looks so hawt *.* My fav espada is still GJ!

    I have an inklink feeling that Ulquiorra will be the one who betrays Aizen. That’d be quita dramatic after his loyal behavious against Aizen!

    The last thing is, I wish Aizen would win! A sucker like Ichigo… meh… Aizen ftw, Ichigo ftl!

    IchiHime is the Worst
  5. ichigo will probably get another power up when he meets his inner hollow self again. if you look back at the manga or anime, after he defeats his hollow self, it says if ichigo really wants to use hollow ichigo’s full power, stay alive until they meet again. that’ll probably be ichigo’s level 3 power-up, level 1 being bankai, 2 hollow mask.

  6. u guys r wrong nel isn’t number 3, no anymore anyway
    she’s an Ex-Espada, so even if she’s number 3, there are those that r stronger than her even those that were weaker than her r stronger than her now

  7. anyone noticed that every time ichigo goes bankai and puts on his mask he starts lookin like one of those gillian hollows

    white skulled face, black coat sounds the same to me

    all he needs is a holes, and he’s got one right now!

  8. my bad! dbl post but …Hmmmmmmmm……..them girls got HOLE’S in their SKULL’S…….Hmmmmmmmmmm??? *wink* *wink* …….C O M E ON!!! i know i aint the only one thinking it!! then again,maybe i am

    BROOKLYN otaku
  9. “I just hope it doesn’t approach DBZ levels of ridiculousness. ”

    Me too… my worst nightmare would be something like :

    Ichigo: Eh.. I haven’t showed my full power yet…
    Random guy : wh.. wh… what ?
    Ichigo : Shut up and watch… BANKAI… 2 !!!!

    T_T -_-

  10. It’s interesting..i was talking with a friend of mine about Bleach today and saying that I have been hoping the series would wrap up soon…been a loyal fan…but the similarities to DBz and the power ups is really making it become dull…The power difference between Ulquiorra and Ichigo is insane and he is only a number 4. Aizen would be akin to a God in that world. The saving grace is characters like Ulquiorra who is my fav Espada and as someone else said…he seems to walking closer to the line of righteousness…. 🙂

    Sad things is too much is unresolved for the series to end soon..(ichigo’s fathers background for one)….

  11. The power difference between ulquiorra and ichigo is not as much are people are making it out to be considering ichigo only lasts 11 seconds with a mask…I’m pretty sure unlimited mask time ichigo would be a good match for ulquiorra

  12. episode was kinda ruined by the laggy RAW DB used… couldn’t wait for V2 but I’ll rewatch it if they release it. If you can wait a bit, don’t download DB V1, it’s really laggy.

  13. I just wanted Inoue to slap one of those skanks cos it annoyed me that she was all weak and feeble when they started beating her. Shouldn’t she get angry cos her friends are being taken out and the skanks are mocking her?

  14. ^
    I guess she feels responsible for what is happening to her friends so by letting them beat her up, it’s like she’s punishing herself. But wait, that’s Bleach we’re talking about? No need to find excuses for the fights. 😉

  15. @curls on Diabolikul- Why the hell do you think theres SPOILER TAGS??

    And now a comment.
    Personally i think for Ichigo to turn more powerful he’s may turn into a full hollow instead of just the mask. Maybe gain some hollow abilities? I dont know, and personally i think that Urahara may possibly know something.

  16. Well, remember that Ichigo is still a n00b with his Hollow mask, he still doesn’t know how to use the Cero blast like Shinji did. I’m pretty sure that the other vizard are more powerful than him so far, if he practice more with them, he’ll be more stronger and will improve alot. Anyway, all these battles serves him for experience, it’s a matter of time for him to be able to stay with his mask for a longer period of time.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  17. For those who don’t know, which I am guessing is most, fillers will be back in April. They will be taking a break from the main story to focus on an anime original arc about the new captain of the 3rd squad. I kid you not. It was in the new SJ and was posted over at bleach asylum.

  18. I’m guessing somewhere along the way, Ichigo is probably gonna trade spots with his hollow self. Afterall… his inner hollow did say that if he ever became too weak… the king and the horse would switch places.

  19. I just have to say that the first few minutes had very high production values ( the animation and art quality in the Ichigo Vs Ulquiorra was really excellent )… if they can keep up such quality production i think Bleach is really gonna get interesting ( not forgetting the main reason which is the story of course ^_^ )

  20. “and Ulquiorra still has a sword release on top of that.” – Slade

    You’re forgetting that Ulquiorra didn’t even unsheathe his sword. I’m wondering if the top Espada has bankai too or some hollow version of it.

  21. This was probably the best episode in a while. Out of the Espada Ulquiorra Schiffer and Grimmjow Jeagerjacques have the largest camps amongst Bleach fans. Hardly anyone cares about the other 8. Nnoitora Jiruga is the only other one I’m mildly interested in so it was good to see Ulquiorra one of the two most popular Espada and Bleach characters in general get some serious air time against Ichigo no less.

    What I liked most about this episode featuring Ulquiorra v. Ichigo though is this:

    Whether you’ve read the manga avidly, somewhat, or not at all, I think it’s been a well known spoiler that Ulquiorra Schiffer is number 4.

    The degree of the spoiler is debatable but I personally think/thought it wasn’t enough of a spoiler to disinterest someone from further reading or watching Bleach.

    Naturally I was rooting for Ichigo BUT…

    …I couldn’t help but cheese with the biggest of grins on my face when Ichigo came to the FALSE CONCLUSION:

    “If I beat Ulquiorra, then all of Aizen Sousuke’s plans are shattered along with him.”

    I thought to myself: “I’ve got news for you Ichigo…”

    My smile only widened when Ulquiorra revealed the tattoo on the left of side of his chest that reads the number “4”.

    I was all like to myself:

    “Yeah, that’s right Ichigo.

    Ulquiorra is ONLY NUMBER 4. So even if you beat him, you’ve still got 3 more guys (2 guys and one girl technically) who surpass even him PLUS Aizen Sousuke himself.”

    Let alone the fact that Ichigo DIDN’T win this fight.

    Definitely a must see episode and I have the feeling it’s gonna take the upcoming fight with Grimmjow Jeagerjacques before I get equally if not even more juiced.

    Ulquiorra is the sh**, >=D!!


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