Summary:

Unlike Ichigo and Inoue who have become concerned now that Nnoitra has sprouted two more arms for a total of six, Zaraki actually relishes the challenge. The two fighters go at it yet again, and even though Nnoitra is the one scoring most of the hits, Zaraki doesn’t seem intimidated and doesn’t let up. It’s not until Nnoitra cuts Zaraki’s neck that the captain realizes that he could actually die. This leaves him with no choice but to use something that Yamamoto taught him a long time ago: kendo. More specifically, he knows that swinging a sword with both hands is more powerful than with just one hand, and he demonstrates this power by using a two-handed blow to bring Nnoitra down.

Although Nnoitra survives, Zaraki considers him defeated and starts to walk off, but Nnoitra insists that it’s not over and gets back up. As the two face off for the final time, Nnoitra remembers how Nel once lectured him for wiping out a bunch of Hollows in their search for a Vasto Lorde. She had called him a child, but she had later saved him from what she called suicidal actions. Since Nnoitra was confused as to why she stuck with him even though she knew that he hated her, Nel explained that it was because he was weaker than her. The pity really pisses Nnoitra off, and he vows not to show mercy to anyone, but these feelings aren’t enough to allow him to beat Zaraki. The captain finally finishes the Espada off, and the last thing Nnoitra sees as he’s falling is Nel waking back up.

ED Sequence

ED18: 「Sky chord ~大人になる君へ~」 (Sky chord ~Otona ni Naru Kimi he~) by 辻詩音 (Tsuji Shion)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

Ummm, wow. I know Bleach has had spoilers before in the OP and ED, but I think showing all the Turn Back the Pendulum characters was a little excessive. It takes a lot of the surprise out of that arc. Having said that, it’s still exciting to see them there because I’ve been itching to see that arc animated (apparently it’ll begin episode 206). As for the song, I liked how it started and how they made it look like Inoue was singing, but I kinda cringed whenever the words “sky chord” came up. That part just didn’t work for me.

Preview

Save for a couple of minor things, I enjoyed episode. They did a fairly good job animating the conclusion to the battle and this arc in general, but there was that mysterious lack of blood spurt (even though the sound of it was clearly there) in this scene. That made the scene confusing until Zaraki started clutching his new neck wound. Nnoitra also should have been a lot more bloodied up in this scene that instead made him look like he just got the wind knocked out of him or something. The story meanwhile made Nnoitra into a bit less of a murderous jackass and a bit more of a tragic figure, but what I found interesting was that, despite all the talk about pity and mercy and pride, there was so much emphasis on his relationship with Nel (especially with the way the episode ended) that it just seemed like he was completely obsessed with her.

In any case, now that this fight is finally over, we’re heading into the next big story development next week and then the flashback arc in episode 206. However, it looks like episodes 204 and 205 will be anime originals, and as I mentioned last week, I suspect we’re getting pretty close to the point where the anime will have to break off again for another completely original arc.

37 Comments

  1. Zaraki’s sword couldn’t cut him before, yes. But because he’s uber psycho and he likes to power up at the last moment, he was able to poke him to death. So secretly, he was able to cut him all along. Zaraki just wanted some play time because Ichigo was used up by Grimmjow. 😀

    ZarakiPOWAR!!

    Squanto
  2. @Squanto
    i couldn’t help but think of the hellsing ova when i saw this pic.

    having the “turn back the pendulum” arc next is really great ( if they won’t unnesessary pump it up too long ) but the new ending… well… normal by now… ^^

    Nightflame
  3. I always thought Nnoitra had a crush on Nel. Looks like the anime emphasizes on it even more.

    They openly stated(?) that the Amagai Arc isn’t canon. (‘Cause you know, Ichigo is seen magically back to Karakura town and all.) It’s made in a way something more like… a bonus performance by Bleach characters (which it is). If they’re planning a new anime-only arc, I won’t be grudging to watch it. But please… draw Ichigo’s mask properly.

    Starshade
  4. Due to contract reasons the studio probably can’t do this, but they should follow one piece’s example and simply stop airing for two or three weeks between arcs. It would give the mangaka time to get further ahead and the writers time to come up with a filler arc that doesn’t totally blow. Too bad they probably can’t.

    anon234
  5. actually i think Nel had a crush on Nnoitra because there were many other Espadas weaker than nel at that moment but her just wanted him, Nnoitra just wanted to prove he was the strongest and i bet there were other espadas/arrancars doing worst things that nnoitra and nel didnt even care (Aporro gants, arrioniero for example)

    arky
  6. i think most people ar misunderstanding Nel and Nnoitra’s relationship, to me i think it was a sibling relationship after all they are espadas everyone knows Nel is stronger than Nnoitra i guess u can say she looked down on him and considered him her baby brother who never grows up i couldn,t help but laugh when he said why and she said that it was because he was weaker than her. she knew him better than anyone of course one would be upset if someone pointed out ur weakness but u can,t do the same thing that person.

    Peter Rice
  7. Since october they are fighting with the same guys. I’m tired of this.

    This Nnoitra is not a good character. He is just cliche and boring. And, in the next episode, we will have more of him. LOL.

    André
  8. When I read the manga, I really hated Nnoit at the start for being a sexist murderous asshole. However, my opinion of him changes through out the fight between him&Nel + him&Kenpachi. He is still quite an asshole, but not as bad. I think there is greatly ‘something’ between him and Nel, however, his attitude+somewhat-tsudereness twisted it. This may be just my opinion, but I believe that he surely doesn’t look down on her and hate her gut like he always claims.

    Kaitune
  9. Yeah the song was nice, but that “Sky Chord” thing was really dumb.

    Nel and Nnoitra just had a clash of philosophies, I think. Nel saw his reckless behavior as being animalistic and probably followed him around out of some sense of duty toward the Espada and also to keep him out of trouble. Nnoitra wanted to die in battle, and that sort of explains why he kept trying to antagonize espada who were ranked higher than him. Nel he hated in particular because he thought she took pity on him for being weak as well as refusing to finish him off whenever he challenged her.

    mirrormirror
  10. I hate Inoue.

    Anyway, I wish Bleach fillers would always been alternate universe like the Amagai arc, except less horrible. It would give them free reign, at least. Hell, they could go and kill characters.

    Adam
  11. Alright, for anyone who doesn’t like the ED,it doesn’t really matter if it’s a MAJOR spoiler for the next arc, it’s your own fault that you don’t read the MANGA. I’ve already knew this a long time ago, and besides, 4 more episodes until the next arc isn’t that long, that just means your impatient. :*(

    Besides, I like the ED, I have no complaints with Orihime singing, and I found nothing odd with her singing it, especially the odd “Sky Chord” line, I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS IS FUNNY, EITHER THAT OR YOU PEOPLE ARE perverts :/

    anon
  12. “it doesn’t really matter if it’s a MAJOR spoiler for the next arc, it’s your own fault that you don’t read the MANGA.”

    O_o Seriously?! LMAO!

    That’s like telling someone the ending of a movie and saying it’s their fault for not watching it.

    WTF?!

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