When Ichigo arrives to save Inoue, Ulquiorra draws his sword because he sees Ichigo as a target that has to be destroyed. While those two start fighting, back in the real world, Barragon takes command of the Espada since Aizen is surrounded by Yamamoto’s wall of flame. Barragon reasons that if the four pillars around town are destroyed, then Karakura Town will return to the real world, and he has four giant Arrancar ready to attack the pillars. Fortunately, the Shinigami are ready for this and have posted Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kira, and Shuuhei at the four spots. They made easy work of the Arrancar, so Barragon sends four of his fracción after them.
This results in Ikkaku facing the large Poww while Shuuhei gets to face Findor who promises to fight with strength suitable for a vice-captain. Yumichika, on the other hand, gets to fight the effeminate Charlotte Cuuhlhourne, but he refuses to look at someone so ugly, so Cuuhlhourne slaps him, and the two start arguing and fighting. Finally, Kira gets to face the fracción named Avirama who tries to get him to engage in a shouting match before the fight. Kira doesn’t get worked up until Avirama mentions Ichimaru and how it makes sense that he abandoned Kira. Kira reacts by cutting off a piece of Avirama’s mask and by telling Avirama not to mention that name so carelessly in front of him.
This was a surprisingly fun episode to watch. There were some great action shots, I was really amused by all of the Yumichika and Cuuhlhourne stuff (even though I already knew what was coming from the manga), and it was nice to see Kira get pissed off and kick some ass. The Kira stuff actually reminds me of all the development he got during the last anime original arc, but it’s just so much better to see him active in this setting. Speaking of which, there was also a minimum of anime original material this episode – I think they might have added a line here or there in addition to Kira’s flashback – but the recap portion in the beginning seemed extra long. It keeps them at the two-chapters-per-episode pace though, and I’m not going to complain because it means we’ll get to see manga material animated until at least the end of this season. In any case, I’m looking forward to next week since it should be Yumichika’s turn to shine.