Ikkaku’s apparent defeat enrages Yumichika, but he’s held back and knocked out by Shuuhei and Kira. Poww himself has sensed that Ikkaku is still hiding some power, and although Ikkaku isn’t quite ready to give up yet, he denies having such a power. Before Poww can kill Ikkaku though, Komamura steps in to save him with a punch, and Iba moves quickly to stop the return of the real Karakura Town due to the destroyed pillar. Poww responds by punching Komamura back, and he decides to transform via his resurrección. This grows him to gigantic size, and Iba drags Ikkaku away so that they don’t get killed. Poww still tries to crush them, but Komamura stops him and is able to throw him over his shoulder.
Telling Iba not to retreat, Komamura then initiates bankai and uses the giant he summons to deflect Poww’s cero. Poww proves to be no match for the giant that breaks through another cero and causes it to explode in the arrancar’s mouth. Komamura finally introduces himself right before he finishes Poww off. In the aftermath, Iba notes that there’s a world of difference between Komamura’s bankai and Ikkaku’s, thus signifying that he knew all along that Ikkaku had achieved bankai. What pisses Iba off is that Ikkaku wanting to hide his power caused him to fail his job of protecting the pillar. He thus stresses the importance of doing whatever it takes to win, even if it kills you, and he feels that Ikkaku needs to get more powerful if he wants to keep doing things his way. Meanwhile, Barragan’s gotten quite pissed off now that four of his fracción have been defeated.
That was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting quality-wise. Of course it wasn’t as awesome as last week’s episode, but it was still pretty good. It just so happens that the shot from the preview last week that had me worried was one of the worst ones of the episode (which begs to question why they would choose a shot like that for a preview that’s theoretically supposed to generate interest and excitement). Anyway, it was fun seeing Komamura show off his bankai, even if it was disappointing that he had to use it on a fracción. Despite what they say about the fracción being strong and doing whatever it takes to win, I still feel like it’s a waste for a captain to use his/her bankai (and thus the scenes where he/she gets to look cool) for anything less than an Espada. This is a shounen action series, and something like that makes Komamura seem like the weakest captain there at the fight.
I also think that Ikkaku got the raw end of the deal. Although their motivations were different, he and Yumichika were still in similar situations were they didn’t want to use their most powerful moves. The difference is that Yumichika lucked out with Cuuhlhourne, and Ikkaku didn’t. Were the situations reversed and Ikkaku could have fought without anyone else seeing him, then I suspect he would have probably swallowed his pride and used his bankai. On a slightly different note, all this talk about Ikkaku and bankai again made me wonder if Ikkaku will be wearing a captain’s uniform by the end of the series, whenever that is. I know he said a long time ago that he doesn’t want the position, and this episode showed that he’s probably not mature enough for it yet, but he could still be a prime candidate given the openings.