In a meeting with all of the captains, Amagai tries to make the case that the divisions lack coordination between themselves and proposes holding joint exercises. Zaraki ridicules the idea until Ukitake points out how Aizen, Ichimaru, and Tousen had made use of those openings and differences, but despite Ukitake’s support, the idea gets rejected. Word nevertheless gets out about the joint exercises, and Kibune thinks that the others will change their minds about it. Kira meanwhile is still caught up over how he saw Kibune enter the Kasumiooji estate and asks about it, but Kibune claims that Kira must have seen wrong. Before Kira can push the subject, an emergency alarm is broadcast throughout Soul Society about a Menos invasion. Kibune and the rest of the Third Division want to go fight, but Kira wants to wait for the return of Amagai who is currently out drinking with Kyouraku and Ukitake. Kibune argues that they’re enough by themselves and suggests that Kira doesn’t think they can do it, and since the men are eager to act, he leads them out.
By now, the men of the other divisions have also taken to the streets, but they clash with the divisions other than their own and generally just don’t cooperate. Kibune and the Third Division men arrive at the area where the Menos should be, and after they don’t find anything there, Kira appears and suggests pulling back. The men resist this, and Kibune even goes as far as to say that Kira should refrain from speech and conduct that will disrupt the unity of their group. Kira responds by threatening to physically stop those who want to continue on, and Kibune decides to take the challenge. Before the two can fight though, Amagai arrives on the scene, and he both supports Kira as the second-in-command and warns Kibune not to overstep his position. The Menos then appear, and since all the Shinigami make a dash for them, they end up getting clogged up in the narrow alleyways. Unlike the others, both Kyouraku and Ukitake think something strange is going on, and Ukitake suspects that it’s all fake. To Ukitake’s surprise, Genryuusai suddenly shows up and reveals that it’s his own doing so that he could see how each division would act in response to false information.
Genryuusai also wants to see what Amagai will do in this situation, and at this very moment, the new Third Division captain is organizing his men with the other divisions and giving very specific directions on how to face the threat. The Menos are quickly defeated, but Kira notices that instead of fighting, Kibune is watching the battle and appears to be streaming data through his glasses. In the aftermath, Genryuusai decides to authorize the joint exercises, and the men of the Third Division are quite happy with how things turned out. Amagai himself, however, promptly falls asleep. Kira meanwhile happens to be walking around outside when he comes across Kibune suspiciously releasing a Hell Butterfly.
Well that was interesting in a Soul Society politics sort of way. What strikes me as a little odd about all this is that you’d think that there’d be respect for the chain-of-command in a place as structured by rank as Soul Society. I realize that Kira is pretty weak-willed, but Kibune’s still guilty of insubordination and should probably be punished for it. Then again, maybe I’m too biased against Kibune because of how he’s pretty clearly being portrayed as a bad guy. The fact that it’s so obvious kills any surprise later on if he betrays the 3rd Division (unlike, for example, what happened with Aizen). For that reason alone, I want to say that he’s not really a bad guy and that someone else unexpected is (like Amagai), but I don’t think the writers of Bleach – when it’s not following the manga – have the finesse to execute that kind of story.
In any case, the focus switches back to Ichigo and Rurichiyo next week, and according to the pe’zmoku website, their new ED should start then too, so that’s something to look forward to.