After having effectively taken control of the Kasumiooji family by using Kannogi as a figurehead, Kumoi meets with the recently defeated Hanza and has him display his determination to take care of Ichigo and Rurichiyo by fusing with the mirror sword. After doing so, Hanza gets Kumoi’s consent to give three more special weapons to three other men he’s recruited for the job. Back in the real world, Ichigo and friends gather at Rurichiyo’s house to discuss what’s going on, and Rurichiyo suspects that they’re all there to protect her. Kenryuu makes up an excuse to avoid telling her the truth, but Rurichiyo doesn’t challenge him on it and decides to get some rest. She doesn’t actually go to bed though, and Ichigo finds her sitting on the rooftop by herself a little later. When the two start talking about how everyone is worried for her safety because she’s a princess, Rurichiyo remembers how people had lost their jobs after she got scraped up once while trying out archery. She admits that she would have been a better girl if she had known that others would get punished for what she did, and even though she recalls fondly how Kenryuu and Enryuu had raised her, something still bothers her.

Suddenly, Ichigo and his friends sense a great spiritual force arrive in the real world. Hanza is here with his men and sends them to take care of everyone else while he personally goes after Ichigo. After Hanza makes quick work of the barrier protecting Rurichiyo’s house, Ichigo goes out to face him, and all this confirms Rurichiyo’s suspicions that she was being targeted. Ichigo and Hanza agree to fight away from the house, but after they leave, one of Hanza’s men appears and faces off against Rukia, Kenryuu, and Enryuu. Ishida and Sado are also challenged with separate fights against the remaining two members of Hanza’s party, and high above the city, Ichigo begins his battle by initiating ban kai.


Well, the first two-thirds of this episode were pretty boring, but the last part when the action was about to begin woke me back up. I say boring because, while it’s nice that Rurichiyo gets more character development, they’ve already established pretty well that she can be both bratty and introspective about her thoughts and actions, so I didn’t get anything new out of those segments this episode. The most interesting aspect was the new villains and the battle match-ups, but even that was watered down a bit because there’s no actual fighting this week (unless you count Hanza breaking through the barrier). Hopefully the upcoming battles will be more inspired than the ones in recent weeks, and maybe our heroes will finally use some of the new abilities from the Hueco Mundo arc.

Speaking of which, there are going to be two episodes next week, both of them probably fighting episodes since there are four separate ones to cover here. I find that a little odd because Bleach has historically gotten time off whenever new television seasons come around (i.e. in early January, April, July, and October), but on the other hand, I think it’s been like two years since the last double episode, so maybe it’s about time.


  1. >>>”Hopefully our heroes will use some of the new abilities they showcased in Hueco Mundo.”

    I’ve kinds gotten the impression that the current arc is independant of the Hueco Mundo Arc, and that as soon as the current arc is over, we’ll be right back where we were at the end of episode 167, with no real transition. What that boils down to is that, while they obviously are using some techniques they didn’t have until reight before they left for Hueco Mundo (I reference Ishida’s current bow) they may be ignoring the whole Hueco Mundo thing (and everything that happened there) for this arc.

  2. in the end of the day we all know that the bad guys would be dead! and most probally luichiyo will survive pfft… and she will take her place on the throne pfft.. why cant ichigo go vizard and just kill everyone will save so much time!

  3. Man with last episode when Ichigo was stuck and kept telling his body to move I was really hoping for his hollow to bust out. Hope that we get to see something like that in this arc (kind of doubting it though)

  4. @themajor
    manga-wannabies should go die in a hole.

    Seriously, No matter the quality of episode or anything there will always be these who go “zomgz manga super” and bash the anime original arcs. I guess its not surprising, thinking about the age of people who do that >__>

  5. surely these fights are just a matter of time until the heros bust out their super moves and win? there’s no way these schlubs are arrancar level.

    i’d like to see some smart tactical fighting for once. let’s have Rukia use some kidou for a change!

    panda monium
  6. It’s really odd that in the end of the episode, when the match ups of the goods and bads, the animation quality goes up higher than usual. When it comes to talking in these filler episodes, the animation quality goes to smoke.

    I hope this double episode will be full blown action, hopefully. I don’t see how the 3 villains that are helping him will be of any help, some of the katanas that were given to them were already used. (The slash sword where it turns to rock.)

    Blah, this episode was good, for my standards, I usually like filler episodes. This arc is going up and down for me, since it’s swaying away from the premise of Bleach.

    Hopefully, this arc won’t go for long. I’ll like to see the continuation of the Hueco Mundo arc. Although I know what they’re saying that the anime is going close to the manga now.

  7. The reason why people hate anime original arcs is because they all want the arcs to conform to the manga. Which isn’t that easy to do, having to come up with new material and all, at the same time trying to fit into the manga storyline. So, no, it is NOT EASY to do filler arcs.

    On the other hand, if there were no anime original arcs, the same people will also be screaming and asking why the anime people couldn’t slow things down in the anime.

  8. Anyone read the manga, at least thats still good! It definitely makes up of what the filler is lacking. I really hope that they come up with something surprising in the end of the day.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  9. The thing is now that the Pendulum mini arc is over, they can (in the anime) finish up with where the Hueco Mundo Arc ended (ie. Noitora arrives till Aizen leaves and starts war), and then they (in my opinion) should take their sweet old time with the Pendulum series, maybe give them some filler side missions. You know you’d like to see that. But this filler could be worse, it could be Bount.

  10. @Jon
    Oh please, Bount stuff was my favorite fillers (after the fma filler fest that is) ever, I just loved the villain designs and the very principle of them, why? Maybe I am just not biased against anything anime-original…

    Overall, no They can not go to Pendulum so soon, knowing Studio pierrot, they will wait till the actual confrontation ends.


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