Summary:

When Ichigo sees that Inoue appears scared when he has his mask on, he tells her not to worry and promises to end things quickly. Grimmjow, on the other hand, is ecstatic to see the mask and immediately releases his zanpaktou. This changes his body into a more feline look, and he quickly gets to work beating Ichigo up. Ichigo, however, isn’t so easily defeated and counters with a Getsuga Tenshou attack. Meanwhile, watching this battle from a building in the distance are Halibel and her three Fracción. When her Fracción get uneasy over the power Grimmjow is displaying, Halibel tells them that she doesn’t blame them for being scared because this is a primordial fear. What she doesn’t say is that, with Ichigo as Grimmjow’s opponent, she feels like she’s watching a fight between two Espada. Back in the battle, Grimmjow observes that Ichigo is able to maintain his mask for longer than before, and he doesn’t want it breaking again mid-fight. Ichigo proves that it won’t be a concern by grabbing Grimmjow’s hand while it’s in mid-attack and countering with a sword slash. The two then begin a series of ferocious attacks back and forth, and as she continues to watch, Inoue wonders if the person she’s seeing is really Ichigo.

Grimmjow eventually fires off a set of projectiles from his arm, and though Ichigo dodges them at first, he quickly realizes that they’re going to hit Inoue instead. In order to save her, he uses his own body as a shield and takes gets hurt pretty bad even though he claims that he’s okay. Seeing Ichigo facing towards her with his mask on reminds Inoue of her brother’s Hollow form, and after he notices the shocked look on her face, Ichigo turns back to the battle. He is now breathing heavily and cracks have begun forming on his mask, but he doesn’t give up and charges at Grimmjow again. Inoue meanwhile is trying to tell herself not to be scared, however she can only think of Ichigo’s blackened Hollow eyes and how they remind her of her brother’s from back then. Beside her, Nel is shocked for a different reason: this is the first time she’s seen Ichigo losing while he has his mask on. However, she then notices how Inoue is trying not to watch the battle by keeping her eyes closed. This causes Nel to decide to cheer Ichigo on, and she tries to get Inoue to do the same. She makes Inoue realize that Ichigo is doing everything for her sake and cites how he had attacked Ulquiorra only after hearing her name.

Remembering how she had originally come to Hueco Mundo because she wanted to protect everyone, Inoue admits to herself that she had been happy when she heard that they were coming to save her. She had been scared upon seeing Ichigo’s mask because she thought that they might not have been there to save her after all, but she now knows that she was wrong. With this in mind, she yells for Ichigo not to die and tearfully tells him that he doesn’t have to win or keep trying his best – she just doesn’t want him to get hurt any further. Ichigo is surprised to hear this, and when he sees Grimmjow charging at him to try to deal a finishing blow, he catches Grimmjow’s arm. Apologizing to Grimmjow, Ichigo explains that he can’t get hurt anymore, and he proceeds to slash through the front of Grimmjow’s body.

Preview

For an episode that consisted mostly of fighting, this was pretty well animated (as have been, historically, most of the episodes that come after Bleach takes a break). I did, however, have some problems the consistency of character designs – Inoue’s face in particular looked different with every other shot of her. I got distracted by Grimmjow’s ears too, but that’s not as much a problem with the animation as it is just with me not being used to seeing him with furry green ears like that – they stood out a lot less in the manga.

I also have to say that my favorite moment this week was definitely at the end. As much as Inoue’s angst can be annoying at times, it was really cool to see Ichigo stop Grimmjow’s attack because Inoue didn’t want him to get hurt any further. In a more romance-oriented series, that’d be the kind of thing that leads to a hero and heroine finally hooking up, but since this is Bleach, we probably shouldn’t expect that (or any relationship pairing for the matter). In any case, the fight with Grimmjow ends next week, and on that note, I’m fairly confident that the new OP and ED will start the week after that (on April 23rd). The question, of course, still remains how they’re going to jump from the middle of the Hueco Mundo arc into something new without horribly screwing everything up. Keep your fingers crossed…

65 Comments

  1. InouXIchigo foreva!~~ 😛

    Overall, great episode, loved the animation quality, although Grim-release designs could have looked better in anime…

    worried about fillers…

    Unknown Voice
  2. hmm, the animation looks good – surprisingly nice fight scenes…i still think the change from hueco mundo is gonna seem way too abrupt, it was in the manga (like 3 pages lol)

    Gynok
  3. Amazing AMAZING AMAZING!
    I was waiting forever for this episode and boy, it didn’t disappoint! I wish they could keep it like this, exciting story with fantastic animation. Manga is in an interesting period as well. Not going to spoil anything but it’s giving a lot of answers in the recent chapters!

    Pata Pata Patapon!
  4. @Hei

    I concur, then they’d have time to work on making the animation better. But then they wouldn’t have any money to fill their pockets with, from all these fillers they’re creating. And it’s just a way to keep us glued to the screen.

    Keiotic
  5. i usualli dont watch bleach raws but couldnt help downloading it, its been forever since ive seen such a great fight (last one was prolli ichi vs byakuya) good animation, fast pace. been forver since ive had this feeling while watchin bleach, reminded me y i loved bleach in the first place

    gfire
  6. I gotta say that I’m very happy with this episode, been waiting for it for a long time. It actually made me go “oh shit” on the same scenes in the manga haha. Overall a good fight and a long overdue one to add. I just hope the next big fight(not gonna spoil) won’t dissapoint hehe *grin*

    darkkodiak
  7. #
    Cafard at 3:02 pm on April 9th, 2008

    Inoue orihime= yoshida kasumi=useless.

    yea a god like character is really useless… being able to reject all injuries and even death is utterly useless… oh and healing Ichigo so that he can fight again is SO useless… wait why is orihime useless again?

    realtears
  8. “Sorry Grimjaw I can no longer take on injuries” How bad ass gives me chills thinking about it. You know what Ichigo has in him right? Its that marble thing that Aizen sama uses to make the Espata. You havenet seen anything yet. Of course this is my theory. I do not read the manga

  9. wow…what an amazing ep…all good things this week! hehe i think this is the best fight with ichigo to date…he really has become powerful, but i can’t help wondering if he will get even more powerful than just his hollow mask, because as uliquira (sp?) said a few weeks ago, with him in his present state, how can he possibly hope to defeat aizen? that said, i was surprised at grimmjows ressurection form…i really had no idea that the espada could do that, and it makes me wonder what the other espada will look like…lol

    the one thing that i really like about bleach is that its very unpredictable, i really have no idea how this anime will end…and i also kinda like the fact there are no real pairing in bleach…partly cause it keeps the fights from getting cheesy, and also cause i son’t really like any of the girls in this anime. Inoue always gets on my nerves,and this week was no exception..it took nel for gods sake to get her to get her act together! jeez i mean really, yay ichigo looks scary in his mask (not to mention freakin cool) but he is obviously fight for the dumb ditz…oh well at least she finally started to cheer him on..although i hope that ichigo does just totally stop the fight just cause inoue told him not to get hurt anymore…

    anyway i am really looking forward to next week to see how this all ends…and i am REALLY not looking forward to the fillers…i am very interested however on what infact they will do for the fillers? the only thing i can think of is that all of the shinigami in hueco mundo randomly fall into a hole full of traps and crap while they are all injured so since they can’t use their full powers it takes them forever to get out…other than that tho..haha…i think that the fillers are going to be very boring and lame…i almost wish they would just take like a two month break and get the suspense up that way…

    Whatchamini
  10. I can’t wait for more anime shows like Nijuu Mensou no Musume, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, Golgo 13, Soul Eater, Wagaya no Oinari-sama, Zettai Karen Children, Blassreiter, Itazura na Kiss, Kurenai, To Love-ru, Allison & Lillia, RD (Real Drive) Sennou Chousashitsu, Crystal Blaze, Kaiba, Toshokan Sensou, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, 20 Mensou no Musume, Kyou Kara Mao 3rd Season, Kirarin Revolution Season 3, Neo Angelique Abyss, and Himitsu: Top Secret. I hope you get all these anime shows on this SOON Omni…

    Monochrome Factor Fan
  11. Ichigo’s state of mind is really important. When he is fully motivated he can do anything. It must had been hard to see Orihime afraid of him, finaly she take it of and cheer him up.

    force
  12. Wow, best episode in a very long time. They did drag out a bit too much at times, a few rehashed scenes but man, the fighting was quite amazing. I just pity myself that fansubs direct from TV don’t have that great quality to it, the color depth was seriously lacking.

    I also noticed that Inoue looked slightly different with each clip. I think they added more and more wrinkles to her face :p Soon she will look like an old hag XD

    For some reason does Grimmjow’s released form remind me of Zora Link…
    http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/pikalink/img3/Majora_s_ZoraLink.jpg

    Is I guess, an okish pic. I guess it was his green ears that reminded me so much of Link’s equally green fins 😛 I didn’t like that they did minor changes to the storyline (normally they are generally true to the manga except when they censor something, like in the episode where Grimmjow for example tears off Loli’s leg). With changes I mean the projectiles that Ichigo blocked that really were stone splitter. I guess they did the change to make it more dramatic and then showing it off by having Grimmjow shooting away one more at one of those pillars to show the destructive powers and adding the effect that “Ichigo took 5 of those”.

    I also didn’t like when Grimmjow was talking to Ichigo when he was pushed up into a wall and asked what would have if Ichigo lost his mask during mid-fight. Originally, he did trying to tear the mask off saying something like “what if I remove that mask?” or similar and Ichigo stopped his hand replying back that if he wanted to fight Ichigo at full power, he should not try to remove it. Well, it just looked stupid trying to make it look like an attack just making the original reason why he moves his hand (or rather paw) towards Ichigo’s face obscure.

    The ending was incredibly powerful. I also liked how they let the To Be Continued text fade for a few seconds after Ichigo struck Grimmjow down, as to let the viewer actually comprehend what truly happened. I also liked how secure they made Ichigo look like when he stopped Grimmjow’s hand mid-air with his own hand when Grimmjow was about to deal the killing blow. This was also the very first time I thought the ED to truly fit the series. It made a sort of strange sense back to reality hearing that happy j-pop tune which in turn, added to the effect even more.

    Some scenes were all in all very innovative although a bit too much “moving around in dust” was used which all in all, don’t add much to the actual fighting more than giving us a sense that they actually fight. Well, I guess they needed to do that as to use all the episode space just like they added a few additional lines to Nel etc, as well as flash backs for Inoue that truly never happened either.

    It won’t be the Byakuya fight. That one will be very hard all in all to beat. I guess what let this episode down some was the fact that there was hardly any plot movement between the fighting they could fill up some episode space with like they did to the Byakuya fight. While not having any breaks between fighting moments does add more to the overall suspension, I am not sure adding scenes that show very little will have that effect either.

    All in all, I guess it was partly an experimental episode as such but did show some truly great fighting scenes, especially midway through. It was well worth the additional waiting time. I guess the reason why they hesitated to publish this episode the next week after the last one was because they wanted to really put down some real energy into the fighting (some scenes have a very strange camera angle and aren’t that easy to draw) plus, having to wait for this eyecandy did add an additional suspense, so it was a win-win situation both ways.

    Let’s hope they can keep this up with the upcoming episodes that should be as interesting since this arc is finally coming to an end.

    LeaT
  13. OMG I took a hiatus from the show when they put all the filler crap in, but this epidsode just brought me back. That ending, where ichi stopped grimm kitty((yea I said it)) was just sweet…I don’t follow the manga since I want to be surpirsed by the animation more and well…hell, that episode was a surprise.

    Blumann
  14. i don’t really understand why the hell ichigo was suddenly able to stop the attacks when before he was getting the shit beaten out of him. why the hell does just somebody saying something suddenly makes somebody uber.

    ULTRA MAN
  15. i have a few questions about fillers…somebody mentioned that their were filler episodes recently?? and another thing is when is the new filler gonna start? and what is it about if you know.

    Torim
  16. Wonderfully awesome is all I have to say to this episode. The animation was superb and all the episodes should really be like this if they had the time to work on it more.

    Lost-Wisdom
  17. they say that they t\will introduce a filler arc to fill in the story gap left after the story reverted to the past in the manga. if n the manga it is only shown that Aizen will go and destroy Karakura town for making the king’s key and the Flashback chapter, “Turn Back the Pendulum” where he is shown as the lieutenant for fifth division.Sahme that they cannot follow the normal course of the plot.Sucks.

    nejibana17
  18. LOL it’s so obvious they hired a totally different team to animate this episode. Just notice Orihime’s face in the recap and then as soon as the recap is over and the episode starts… totally different chara design. I was laughing to death.

    Still a superb episode. Oh, and I’m going to be putting myself out there for termination by saying this, but OrihimexIchigo FTW

    SOSAnimeBoy
  19. thought grimmjow wuda been something better than a panther…. either way… all good… fillers coming tho 😀 kinda looking forward to it…. been at HM for too long.. wanna see wagwan in SS (H)

    brianleung8912
  20. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that horrible animation. It was terrible! Grimmjow looks like an idiot drawn like that. Not to mention Halibel’s fraccion. Overall it was a good episode but don’t ever use that animating style again.

    jimmy
  21. IchiHime, yay! Why are ppl bashing Orihime just ’cause she was afraid of Ichigo for a couple minutes?! She got reminded of her brother who tried to kill her, it’s understandable. And enough with this ‘die Orihime’ crap. I’m not a Rukia fan and definitely not an IchiRuki fan, but you don’t see me squeeling Die Rukia…

  22. Authentic great animation…finally ^^ I was surprised when I saw it, I didn’t expect the quality like that (used to the fillers, compared to them this has got the animation level of Samurai champloo or Escaflowne, that means one of the best ones)
    Besides the music played when Grimmjow turns into “Pantera” is very epic!!

    Mashmaro

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