Summary:

Ichigo awakens in his inner world to find Zangetsu asking if he can hear something. Ichigo can’t though, so Zangetsu lets it go. Meanwhile, in Soul Society, several of the captains and vice-captains have been noticing their Zanpakutou acting oddly, such as Byakuya when he’s sparring with Renji, and Hitsugaya when he tries to summon Hyourinmaru. It’s not until Yamamoto calls a late night emergency meeting that it all comes to a head. After almost everyone else has gathered, Yamamoto’s vice-captain Sasakibe shows up and collapses from cardiac arrest, but there’s still no sign of Yamamoto himself. Instead, a new figure appears, and he claims that Yamamoto isn’t coming.

Komamura immediately tries to get this person to say what he did to Yamamoto, and when there’s no answer, Komamura attacks. He even initiates ban kai, but to everyone’s surprise, his giant attacks him instead of the new enemy. Komamura is barely able to dodge, and he then has to fight the human form of his own Zanpakutou. This leads to his defeat, and when the other Shinigami try to release their own swords, none are successful. The new figure explains that he’s freed their Zanpakutou from them, and to make matters worse, some of those Zanpakutou are already wreaking havoc all over Soul Society. The Shinigami are powerless and can only watch as each of their respective Zanpakutou join the person who introduces himself as Muramasa. He then declares that the rule of Shinigami over the Zanpakutou is over and that from now on, the Zanpakutou will rule over the Shinigami.

ED Sequence

ED20: 「Mad Surfer」 by 浅井健一 (Asai Kenichi)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

The new ending song opens up sounding very similar to the current opening song, but the actual song is quite different, and I didn’t really care for it. At least the new animation is pretty colorful and shows off all the new characters with their respective Shinigami.

As for the episode itself, it turned out to be a good start to the new arc. I’ve set my expectations rather low, but just the fact that they’re focusing on Shinigami and their respective Zanpakutou already makes this much more interesting than a bunch of vampires or a bratty little girl. And this episode was particularly good because it had a battle between Renji and Byakuya, some cute Hitsugaya and Rangiku moments, and some fairly nice animation quality for the rest of the episode.

I did think that the new villain Muramasa’s character design looked kind of silly, and I don’t see him as really threatening yet since my initial impression was based on how he’s voiced by Nakamura Yuuichi, which immediately reminded me of Alto from Macross Frontier. None of the zanpakutou’s physical forms are cooler looking than Zangetsu either, but these are all pretty minor complaints. What’s important is that the new arc is off to a promising start, and I’m already wondering what happened to Yamamoto and where the Muramasa got his own sword. Those two things could even be connected if, when he said that the Zanpakutou will rule over the Shinigami, Muramasa meant that he’s able to turn Shinigami into swords or something. In any case, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a good arc (there was no preview this time for next week though), and maybe they can get through it without Ichigo needing to come save the day.

124 Comments

  1. I had low expectations before so I got pleasantly surprised by this first filler episode.
    Also I think this was the first time Yamamoto had a “I just shat my pants and it’s not because of my age”-expression on his face 😉

    AnonX
  2. I actually am willing to follow this filler cos it has a good idea. It also focuses on the actually characters and their relations. Good when we don’t want new characters that will never appear again.

    Cherubium
  3. Funny how the only constant release zanpakutou captain didn’t come to the meeting. Does this mean he will play a key role? Also when I heard the villain say his name was Muramasa I instantly thought Samurai Deeper Kyo.

    ssj4jw
  4. lol cmon! its me or did Ikkaku and Yumichika just said that Kenpachi nor Yachiru will be seen in this arc? that sucks! kenpachi is the only one who dont need his Zanpaktuo to fight!

    Arky
  5. SO PREDICTABLE OF A PLOT
    I mean seriously they just pulled the we won’t be used by u any more act, and gonna try to rebel. seems like none of the Zanpaktou ever wanted to be with its owner then, im saying nto much from just one episode but shit haha didn’t like Hyourinmaru choose Hitsugaya in one of those extra chapters. what ever happened to that. anyway the best thing to do is Skip Watch, watch the good parts for lil action lil talk, lil fav characters, and lil whatever u want.

    Chimasternmay
  6. I was kinda mad at this, the reason being after seeing all the Zanpaktou’s human forms I couldn’t wait ot see more of Wabisuke. Now it’s the first episode of the arc sure, but he’s not even in the new ending! I checked twice and I didn’t see him at all. however Suzumebachi (my favorite shikai but not my favorite in human form.) Managed to get in the ending several times. That mad me kind of upset about that, also I don’t understand why Zabimaru is a woman, I hope they explain that later on.

    Shadowhatchi
  7. @ Shadowhatchi

    About Zabimaru as a woman… I think Renji requested it in one of the Shinigami Illustration.

    To Be honest I kinda want to find out the Zampaktou’s true form (or it seems it’s their human form) and possibly their origins and how they came to be. Its cool that there is some similarities and contrasts of characters between the Shinigami and the Zampaktou (Cool and collected Hisagi and his wild and rampant Kazeshini is one good example) Here’s to hoping that this will be a good filler.

    Unknown-Man
  8. I think Muramasa is the Commanders spirit and most likely its the Commander that is not trapped inside the sword. At any rate only Ichigo, Kenpachi and his VC Yuriri (sp)seem to not be affected and are not there. They have to be involed. Would be weird to have a arc running for months and the main character not be in the thick of things. I really think its a cool premise but how are they gonna resolve the fact that each zanpakutou hated to be enslaved and rebelled? At the end of the arc how are they going to get them all to flip back the other way and go back in their sword?

    Perhaps each spirit is being controled or brainwashed into thinking they were slaves of some kind. Time will tell.

    Splash
  9. I’m betting that Muramasa is Kenpachi’s zanpakto. I mean, no wonder he would be pissed at being ignored all the time.
    Also, Isane’s zanpakto looks pretty cool, kind of bird-like.

    Interwolf
  10. Probably the best filler out there, and best filler it will be till this anime ends. I also liked the new ending.

    Oh and i too think that Muramasa is Kenpachi’s zanpakuto.

    pabucumunsatanisti
  11. i actually like this filler arc and i dont see anything wrong with nakamura yuichi voicing muramasa. in fact, this is better instead of voicing tesla which didn’t very much appeal to me. oh and what happened to yamaji’s zanpakuto?

    baka~
  12. Ok I read on who Muramasa was in real life. He was a swordsmith aka made swords. Those swords had his seal and they were said to be cursed. It was said that the swords once released they will always draw blood in one way or another before they are put back. So I’m just thinking what if that Muramasa guy is the maker of the swords and he is back to free his own creations?

    “It has also been told that once drawn, a Muramasa blade has to draw blood before it can be returned to its scabbard, even to the point of forcing its wielder to wound himself or commit suicide.[3] Thus, it is thought of as a demonic cursed blade that creates bloodlust in those who wield it.”

    So it might be Kenpachi’s sword or it might be the person that made the swords and gave them the individual seal. Thats why he has control over them.

    Discuss

  13. @Muzai: The one next to Tobiume should be Minazuki.
    https://randomc.net/image/Bleach/Bleach%20-%20230%20-%2034.jpg

    To be honest, I do not expect any new or previously unknown Soul Slayers to be revealed (aka Kenpachi, Yachiru, Nemu) unless they are directly consulting with Kubo while they work on this arc. I doubt anything significant will happen with these swords in the main arc, so it is probably fine, but it is not a risk I have seen animes take.

    Kaus
  14. Kenpachi zanpaktou lol it be really good to see its human form…. then kenpachi would have a bitchfit and say why dont you ever listen to me, i want to be stronger, i want bankai haha!!!

    ForeignUtopia
  15. hmm, duno leh, looks like if one fights with the soul 1 episode, we should get this to last till end of 2009! and this somehow means that there’s no BLEACH movie this year? haiz…

    cute animations, ending sound promising (but kinda far from FRIENDLY that I heard b4), and… looks like this CAN make me get interested in the anime than only in manga…

    man hitsugaya hasn’t got this cute, and shinigami’s haven’t been that clumsy on their katana…

    kaineng
  16. Strangely enough, I don’t feel so comfortable about Mayuri’s zanpukto like that. So my guess is that Zangetsu will have to resolve everything and nearly convince the others to return. Honestly, most of these fillers are bothersome, especially the one where Ichigo had to help that kid…

    theburntshadow
  17. I cannot see anyway that Muramasa can be Kenpachi sword. You gotta remember this is a filler and the fact that Kenpachi does not know the name of his sword is still a big deal and a big mystery of the series. I do not see something like that being reveled in an anime only story line.

    That is also the reason why Kenpachi will probably not show up in this arc, unless somehow his sword is unable to be set free because of the fact that he doesn’t know its name and he comes in to help save the day at the end.

    Skizzit
  18. I’d find it an interesting twist if Muramasa turned out to be Zaraki’s Zanpakuto due to his treatment and such (also, the tale of Muramasa seems like a fit for his personality). I’m surprised that they’ve introduced the kind of original content that kind that wouldn’t dissipate as soon as the arc’s over. This might be the best idea for filler yet, but of course I hope the execution won’t be cliche.

    ignosco
  19. @Kaus, Advice Wolf: I think Minazuki is the hooded figure sent to take care of Yamamoto, because it makes sense to have Unohana’s zanpukto, as the second oldest, go with Shunsui and Ukitake’s. Also, given that all three of those older haven’t yet fought with full power in the manga, sending their swords to Yamamoto is probably a way for the writers to get them out of the upcoming one-on-one fights so they don’t have to avoid showing the bankais KT hasn’t revealed yet.

    Also, the thing on the one next to Tobiune’s back is for storing tea leaves, so it’s probably Yamamoto’s VC’s zanpukto.

    girogiro
  20. @girogiro
    I was thinking that the one that’s next to Tobiune looks like a traveling medicine salesman from Tokugawa Shognate era Japan. That would make him a healer of sorts, which fits Minazuki.

    name required it says
  21. That seem interesting ! The first episode was catchy ! But why Renji zanpakuto is a girl with big boobs T.T in the shinigami arc when he talk with Zabimaru … zabimaru had a male voice … that sucks >< but in the end I will loved the character.

    Sorry for my bad english !

  22. Guys, Ichigos 2nd Zanpakto, will thrown his Rider from his back, if he has the change, some Episode where he has to fight this Chaos Zanpakto form inside his Sword (White and Black Stuff)

    Perhaps the same here, the Zanpaktos gained a “mind wash” that they are stronger then his Master, and because of that they overthrown them now…

    But, for me it’s a Full Stop. Don’t fit in the Flow.. A Comrade in Battle, who you trust with your life. Betrays you now? Come on.. Thats a full Break with back gear on Full Speed…

    Germanguy
  23. The one with the box-like object on his back is the zanpakuto of Sasakibe (the 1st Division vice-captain). You can see it turn into his sword at 1:16 in the streaming ending sequence.

    hoshi
  24. Haha. I’m expecting Zaraki Kenpachi to appear suddenly and save the day haha.
    Hyourinmaru was so cool looking >o< and I loved seeing Hitsugaya!
    I loved how each Zankpaktou looked a bit like their characters. haha.

  25. I think when it comes to character design, the one that stands up the most is shunsui’s zanpaktou. The eyepatch, the skeleton head accessories equals a real winner. Btw, soifon zan reminds me of twinklebell from peter pan

    deathdakid
  26. if anyone bothered to check the animesuki link they will find that the one standing next to tobiume with the box on its back is unohana’s zanpakuto, and the weird looking bird like one is yummichika’s (sp?)

    funnily enough isane’s zanpakuto is completely absent from the lineup

    blind_dead_mcjones
  27. @girogiro:
    I agree, the one next to Tobiume is likely Yamamoto’s VC’s zanpukto . Upon examination of the ED (specifically near the end of the ED), the coloured silhouette that corresponds to the zanpukto in question (i.e. the one next to Tobiume in this screen cap) fades to a fencer’s sabre, which is Yamamoto’s VC’s shikai.

    EatAtJoes
  28. Ok my guess into the blue:

    Commander Captains zampakto: https://randomc.net/image/Bleach/Bleach%20-%20230%20-%2018.jpg

    And we know this Captain “Son” of him: https://randomc.net/image/Bleach/Bleach%20-%20ED20%20-%2005.jpg

    And this one is from the other “Son” of him: https://randomc.net/image/Bleach/Bleach%20-%20ED20%20-%2003.jpg (no wonder he is so a Ladykiller!). And here i missed the Zampaktou of his Vice. We only saw a glimpse of her, in the Season One start of the Fight against the Commander Captain (assassin type)

    But hey, now a total different Story then the Manga flow, interesting…

    Germanguy
  29. And the Story Writers, should not oversee some little but important Thing. Rukias Zampaktou, and his/her Power. Because of his “Nii-san” she stays Vice-Captain. But she is capable of more.. so think about it

    And, strange… Why did Ichigo saw the “old Man”, should there not be his “Maniac/hollow” Forum inside of this World? Is this a Flashback somehow?

    Germanguy
  30. It certainly seems to be a step up from the last filler arc, but I’m worried that the basic plot can be predicted with at least 75% accuracy. Aside from that I wish that they had made the zanpakuto less hominid.

    Grant
  31. really good filler this time!I’ve enjoyed watching from the start till the end. I wish for inner hollow ichigo to show up again…cause if everybody lost their zampakuto, why not also ichigo?cause it’s not a normal zampakuto?i don’t think muramasa could be kempachi’s zampakuto, cause kubo must have though about it, so that name cannot be leaked in a simple filler.

    Actarus
  32. Episode preview is on the bleach official website. ^^

    SoS Ko’s Rukia, Ichigo comes to save her, but it looks like he gets his ass kicked and the next episode for the following week its Rukia vs SoS

    This arc is already the best thing Bleach has had since the Soul Society arc.. ^^

    chaosdemon06
  33. They really outdone themselves for this filler. For some reason the quality felt like a movie instead. My prediction? Murasame is Lelouch. He died and went to Soul Society. Used the Geass power and brainwashed the Zanpakutous to start the Revolution. Haha. I’m delusional. Haineko sorta look like Kallen.

    raii
  34. i gotta say this is a pretty solid idea for a filler, and it’s way better then the bountos arc or narutos random ass shit arc. My fav zanpaktous so far are senbonzakura and wabisuke. I also disagree with you about zangetsu because i think a lot of them look cooler then zangetsu tho theyre prob not as badass as him.zangetsu just looks to ordinary while these new ones look like they’re designs were actually thought out more also murmasa looks sick in my opinon. =P

    p.s. its not gonna be ichigo saves the day…. its gonna be kenpachi saves the day he doesnt even use his shikai or bankai lol

    Sean
  35. for a filler, this looks like it has potential… kinda interesting bringing some huge plot twist into the anime without introducing anyone (person) new into the anime… betcha anything Zangetsu can’t be affected by Muramasa and Ichigo saves the day… I wanna see Senbonzakura’s human form and Shirayuki’s

    Rise-N Seraphim
  36. What could have Muramasa done to cause the zanpaktou to turn on their shinigami? Zanpaktou are supposed to be a permanent part of the shinigami’s being! Could the same thing have happened to Zangetsu? And where is General Yamamoto?

    Matt Gross
  37. Is it just me or does the one next to Tobiume (presumably Yamamoto’s VC’s zanpakuto) look like Nnoitra from that angle? just a thought.

    That being said, I’m curious about this filler arc. Normally, I just stop watching til the fillers are over and then pick up again, but this one looks truly interesting. All the zanpakuto are easily recognizable, at least the ones we know a bit about anyway. The only ones that really threw me for a minute was the samurai-ish looking one with the mask, which I’m going to assume in Senbon Zakura, and the big monkey-ish looking one (not the female with the kid chained to her, that ones Zabimaru) but the one next to her, which, judging from the ending, is Hozukimaru.

    Kuroshini
  38. This episode was very interesting indeed. I am anxious to see what happens next. Finally a filler arc that is exciting at least. As far as the Zanpakuto go, this arc seems like it will be heavily carried by Kenpachi, Yachiru, and Ichigo. Maybe we’ll actually get to see Yachiru’s shikai, in fact it is almost destined to happen in this arc i’d say. Kenpachi has the advantage of not relying on his zanpakuto’s power so his combat skills far surpass most others. And Ichigo’s zanpakuto is always released so it will be interesting to see what becomes of zangetsu. I just hope that Chado and Ishida don’t have a large role in this at all, they’ve had enough screen time i’d say

    Aeous
  39. ok i have seen the new ep…

    my analysis…
    this well become like pokemon…

    they will befriend with one zakpaktou per episode…
    then the next then the next….
    until they fight and find out how marumasa is powerful hence its name as the “cursed sword”…

    Espada
  40. I have to say I like how this Arc has started. The Zanpakuto’s rebelling is a good idea, but it could be hard to explain when it goes back to the real story “they were under a spell and didnt have free will” or something like that, hope the explanation is good. I really liked the antagonist tho, not by appearance, but by name. Muramasa is a really appropiate villan to have for this situation. Given the real Muramasa, he is probably the first one to create a Zanpakuto. Check out the real Muramasa online, pretty cool shit.

    John G
  41. I’ve never seen this many comments on a Bleach episod here before! I don’t know what happened, but I congratulate the studio! Great work. Here’s hoping you can at least keep it consistent.

    starss
  42. Sigh, this entire arc reeks of a rehashing of Ichigo’s trial by fire to acquire his bankai, in which case, Espada’s analysis is spot on. After all, they all gradually domesticated their Zanpakutous, whereas Ichigo proved himself to Zangetsu through painstaking trials. The process of gradual domestication on the part of the Shinigami probably wouldn’t engender respect from the Zanpakutous. The biggest foreseeable problems with the arc are that Shinigami will receive unwarranted help, from Ichigo and possibly Zaraki, in gaining the respect of their Zanpakutous, which should ultimately have the opposite effect, and only a few of the Shinigami actually have the talent necessary to defeat their Zanpakutous on their own.

    It is amusing that old Yama could be defeated by the Zanpakutous of his star pupils, but said pupils couldn’t defeat Yama with the aid of their Zanpakutous.

    p.s. Kazeshini’s was the only manifestation that I liked.

    Kaliayev
  43. I have to say that this is my first time to enjoy the filler and I really mean it because most of all sucks and disappointed me from times to times. But the theme for this filler is well-designed and we will never know how the plot will be like normal arc because we have already known in manga, right? As someone posted here that we are going to know about the relationship between Zanpakuto and the wielder. THIS CAN BE USEFUL TO KILL TIME WAITING FOR THE FIGHT WITH ULQUIORRA THOUGH

    tobiasguild (Thailand)
  44. Kubo work on all the filler, film and videogames of bleach, chara design and scenario, the Amagai arc was planned as an special chapter of the manga, the forest of the Menos was planned in the manga.
    The Bount are based on the first design of the Visard and the story of the arc was writed by Kubo.
    Even the three mod soul was originally planned in the manga after the fight against Gran Fisher in the volume 3, but the edition did’nt like them, so Kubo have create the story with Don Kaonji.

    kraken
  45. This filler actually looks interesting :U
    I shall follow Bleach for a little bit I suppose.
    LOL, this Marumasa person seems so visual-k/emo xD When he started crying tears of blood, we were all “OMG EMO TEARS XDDD”

    Lalala
  46. Kivnel: It’s the tag for basically anything that qualifies as an episode review.

    Shante: Maybe he just won’t be in this arc at all. Or maybe he’ll come in the middle or at the end to save the day. It’s hard to say this early on.

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