In her released form, Nel takes on a centaur-like appearance, and she throws her lance weapon at Nnoitra, nailing him in the chest. Meanwhile, Szayel has no trouble stopping Bawabawa, but Pesche surprises the Espada by pulling a sword called Ultima out from his crotch area and slashing Szayel with it. When Szayel tries to counterattack by sending his minions, they are defeated by Dondochakka in one swing of his mace. Dondochakka and Pesche then perform a joint Cero attack that fuses their two Ceros, and the blast envelopes Szayel. Unfortunately, Szayel emerges unfazed because he had managed to separate the two Ceros since they weren’t perfectly mixed together. He feels that Pesche and Dondochakka’s mistake was giving him so much time that he was able to measure everything about them, meaning that they should have used their Cero technique at the very beginning of the fight. Knowing that they’re out of tricks now, Szayel decides to finish things.
Elsewhere in Las Noches, the Espada Zommari Leroux finds Aaroniero and Rukia’s bodies. He thinks that Rukia should be dead, but to make certain, he draws his sword so that he can tear off her head. The Exequias meanwhile have found Sado and Gantenbainne – both of them down but still alive – and their leader starts what he calls an extraction. Back at the other fight, Nel prepares to drive her lance into Nnoitra, but at the last moment, she reverts back into her child form. Realizing that the tables have turned, Nnoitra punts Nel aside and then slams Ichigo into the ground when Ichigo tries to help. Nnoitra feels that it’s over and switches places with Tesla so that Tesla can finish the battle. Tesla subsequently transforms into a giant beast, and he starts crushing Ichigo and tossing him around like a rag doll. Inoue can only cry as she watches Ichigo beaten to a pulp, and when he tries to lift his sword because he sees her, Tesla snaps his right arm. Tesla then raises his fist to deliver the final blow, and though Ichigo is powerless to stop it, a certain someone else is not. Everyone is shocked to see that 11th Division Captain Zaraki Kenpachi has suddenly appeared, and he’s holding up Tesla’s fist.
Now that was a pretty good episode. Zaraki’s entrance was as dramatic as I’d hoped it’d be, and seeing the “WTF?” look on Ichigo’s face was priceless. In terms of action, I liked how Pesche and Dondochakka got to show off their abilities, though it’s disappointing that Szayel wasn’t the least bit affected. Pesche pulling Ultima out of his pants and the joke around that was hilarious as well. On the other hand, the Nnoitra and then Tesla fight was a lot less exciting because Nel only got to use one move before she reverted, and the rest of it was just a drawn-out sequence of Tesla beating up on Ichigo. I did notice however that they really seemed to be emphasizing Inoue’s reactions during that scene, more so than the manga did. It’s not clear if that’s because they needed to kill time or because they’re playing up the connection between her and Ichigo. In any case, next week should be a fun episode since Zaraki has shown up, and there should be a few more surprises for anyone who hasn’t read the manga.