In the aftermath of the battle with Grimmjow, Ichigo makes sure Inoue isn’t hurt and carries her down from the tower. Grimmjow isn’t dead though and threatens Ichigo again, but he’s injured so badly that he can’t maintain his transformation. Ichigo is able to stop Grimmjow with his bare hands and tries to convince his opponent to quit for now, but Grimmjow doesn’t listen. However, before Grimmjow can attack again, he gets hit from the side by a giant blade. It belongs to the Espada Nnoitra, and when Nnoitra sees that Grimmjow still isn’t dead, he tries to finish Grimmjow off. Ichigo protects Grimmjow though, so Nnoitra turns his attention to Ichigo and starts overpowering him. When Inoue tries to help Ichigo, Nnoitra calls forth his Fracción Tesla to hold her back. Nnoitra then reveals the Number 5 mark he has on his tongue and explains that he’s higher than the guy Ichigo just finally beat. Meanwhile, Renji, Ishida, Dondochakka, and Pesche attempt to escape from Szayel, however they arrive right back at the same room they started in, and Szayel is there waiting for them.
It feels like forever since we’ve had a new Bleach OP, and Aqua Timez doesn’t disappoint. Actually, I was even more impressed with all of the cool shots of the Gotei 13 Shinigami in the OP and would love to see more of that style. The new ED isn’t bad either, though it again reminds me that Ririn and company are still aroundd.
So I was all excited that Bleach was returning to the manga story, and the new OP really helped fuel that further. Imagine my disappointment when the first 3/4 of the episode turned out to be pure recap of episodes 161 through 167. To make matters worse (or laughable), they even had it in the old 4:3 aspect ratio and switched back to 16:9 once they hit the new stuff. At least the transition was smooth without any of that holding-hands-and-staring-at-the-distance stuff from episode 167, and the rest of this episode followed the manga pretty closely. I’m not exactly looking forward to the rest of the Szayel fight since I feel like it goes on for way too long, but I am excited about Nnoitra and what happens in the fight with him (particularly Nel’s involvement). And as I said last week, hopefully there’s enough material to keep this going for a while before having to go back to anime original episodes again.