After dismissing Sode no Shirayuki, Muramasa proceeds to lecture Ichigo on how Zanpakutou are souls born inside the heart of the Shinigami. Muramasa feels that the Zanpakutou aren’t part of the Shinigami though and are their own separate entities, and he also reveals that he used Rukia to lure Ichigo here. When Ichigo tries to fight him, Ichigo finds that he’s unable to land any hits, and Muramasa counterattacks by casting a disorienting spell. With Ichigo unable to do anything, Muramasa is able to separate Zangetsu from him, and Ichigo barely has any time to defend himself before Zangetsu attacks. Just as it looks like Ichigo is finished though, his Hollow side pops out and launches a furious assault. He’s able to match Zangetsu move for move, and when Zangetsu appears to hurt him, Ichigo just becomes even more Hollowfied. After Hollow Ichigo overwhelms Zangetsu with a cero blast, Muramasa re-enters the fight, but his attack is quickly healed up. Hollow Ichigo seems ready to take on Muramasa, however Ichigo refuses to give up his body to his Hollow side, and he fights to regain control of himself. He succeeds, but he’s too exhausted to fight afterward, and he collapses in front of Muramasa.


There was a considerable drop in animation quality in the middle of this episode (the scene between Nemu, Isane, and Unohana in particular looked horrible), but it didn’t bother me later on, and I have to say that I really enjoyed watching the Hollow Ichigo vs. Zangetsu fight. Admittedly, a lot of it is redux from the last time Ichigo became so Hollowfied, but that was so long ago and against different opponents, so this still felt fresh. It’s a damn shame though that Ichigo decided to regain control of himself before his Hollow side could take care of Muramasa. Without Zangetsu, it’s the only other thing he had going for him, and yet he throws away the advantage. It doesn’t look like Muramasa is going to kill him though. From the preview, it seems as if Muramasa is instead going to make an appeal to Hollow Ichigo or something inside Ichigo’s inner world.


  1. Yeah, the drop in animation quality is to be expected during such scenes, but it really is necessary. It’s best that the studio invest more effort during high-motion moments anyway instead of spending it on conversation scenes, which is why it’s never bothered me much. Overall the episode was awesome and had a great cinematic feel to it.

    Looking forward to Muramasa’s negotiations with Hollow Ichigo.

  2. I just saw it lmao all i could kept saying during the fight was put him back in, put him back in… rlly now wouldnt it be easy just to kill ichigo cause trying to sweet talk his hollow side is only gonna get ur self hurt

  3. “Without Zangetsu, it’s the only other thing he had going for him, and yet he throws away the advantage.”

    But that right there is an entire summerization of Ichigo’s battle’s. Ichigo begins to lose, and no matter how strong the enemy is his Hollow form is 10x stronger. Once Hollow Ichigo cripples the enemy to the point where they can’t fight back, Ichigo struggles to valiantly regain control, and then proceeds to bitch about how he won’t let the fight be decided like that because of his hollow.. wash, rinse, repeat.

  4. Who ever thought of this as a filler was pure genius. Seriously, this story could go on for a LONG time and not get boring. I only hope that at the end they don’t just pull a, “Oh… Muramasa was just controlling all the Zanpakutou against their will. It’s all sun shine and rainbows now that hes dead.”

    Burnt Toast
  5. I can’t believe this but I think I’m starting to like this filler. I always wanted to see that full trans in action (since all it did was throw a damn cero the last time). This hollow stuff really got me thinking about just how nutz Ichigo can get. He has his wimpy human form (shikai-bankai bs) & the mask, then he has that full transformation & that uber 2nd release form. If he has something higher than that then this really will approach DBZ levels of ridiculousness. Too bad Ichigo can’t control neither of those forms…

  6. I can’t help but face palm every time I see Muramasa, damn, it’s really out of character in terms of the name. I don’t know if the development team just thew in the goth gay look just for the fun of it or something. I have a hunch who his owner is, although I may be wrong; I’ll keep it to myself for now and watch how things turn out.

  7. Serves Zangetsu right,getting his ass handed to him for betraying Ichigo.I was laughing the whole time.Muramasa was probably about to wet his dress right about the moment when Ichigo was going to go after

  8. I’m starting to love this filler.
    My only concern is how on earth they are going to set up a final fight whenever the time comes, as surely Ichigo’s Hollow aspect was the only way he could stand against them?
    Also, I thought they could have done much more to make the full transformation seem more badass, rather than just doing the same attacks over and over.
    None the less, best filler for any show I have ever seen. Even better than One Piece.

  9. What annoyed me about this episode was the fact that Ichigo was still using his sword in Shikai form even though Zangetsu had already separated from his body. Minor plot hole but it still bothered me a little.

  10. @duh In the previous hollow Ichigo scenes the hollow soul has always made it seem as if he has mastered all of Zangetsu’s abilities, from that the way I see them doing this is by having Ichigo regain all of his skills at some point, by using the hollow soul as the source of his zanpaktou’s power, then beating everyone until Zangetsu is willing to re-combine with him.

    The fact that they still had hollow Ichigo throw out a black Getsuga Tenshou against Zangetsu really makes me think that this is the route they will take, and it seems to makes sense if Muramasa is going into the inner world to try and convince hollow Ichigo to join him.

  11. looks like muramasa gonna offer freeing hichigo like he did with zanpaktou @@?! but i cant imagine hichigo accepting the offer, as 1) he wud like to take over ichigo’s body 2) he probably wanna fight muramasa 3) hows ichigo gonna win anything without zanpaktou or hollow form 🙂

  12. @ Megas something higehr OH YEAH there is… if you’;ve read the manga you already know.
    I would assume hichigo would be rather upsey some guy comes and styeals his Zanpakutou so i dont really see andy deals being made but who knows

  13. How can Mayuri be so fascinated about all this when even his own Zanpaktou has turned against him? He treats everything like its a science experiment. I hope Ashisogi Jizō beats Mayuri up to the point where none of the experiments he performed on himself will help.

    What will happen between Ichigo and Zangetsu? Will Zangetsu return to Ichigo willingly and it all turn out that Muramasa is controlling the Zanpaktou or have the Zanpaktou really turned against their own Shinigami partners.

    Matt Gross
  14. @Espada

    I’ve watched the Bleach anime from the beginning but not read any of the manga. It’s my understanding that Ichigo’s power is so great/can’t control it or something, that his sword is permanently in shikai form.

    However isn’t a zanpakutou’s shikai/bankai form determined by it’s soul? So if that soul was removed (in this case Zangestsu is out of Ichigo), then his sword wouldn’t be in a shikai state. This is the same reason why any of the other captain’s and shinigami can’t use their bankai or for the case for someone like Rukia, her shikai.

    I presume they’ve not shown Ichigo’s plain sword (non shikai) in the manga which is why they’ve just left it as it is in the current anime arc. The same reason a lot of the captains are conveniently sealed away or missing because their bankai’s have yet to appear in the manga.

  15. Remember Zangetsu is a constant-release type. No matter what it will always be shikai. I believe this is because of Ichigo’s power and that he can’t control it. The same should happen to Kenpachi if he ever comes. He also can’t control his power and also has a constant-release type.

  16. Well, Kenpachi has some kind of “Break” on his Power. His EyePatch. So he can Enjoy the Fights longer… Ichigo is more of a Person where his Power flow he can use 20-30% so far. If you saw Bleach from the Start, the Scene where he Duels Ichida and this Big Mendos appeared say it all. Even his Sword goes in wired Transformations.

  17. @ssj4jw

    “Remember Zangetsu is a constant-release type. No matter what it will always be shikai.”

    Exactly, /Zangetsu/ will be shikai, but remove him from Ichigo and his zanpakutou is just a katana, there is no shikai form – which is the point I’m trying to make.

  18. why doesn’t Zangetsu use bankai because all the other zanpakutou that know bankai can use their it, unless that ichigo bankai is not really a bankai but the power hichigo and not zangetsu,and bankai are usualy bigger than shikaiand his is smaller. Also if the black getsuga is a bankai move he shouldn’t be able to use it in shikai.

  19. I hope same thing that happened to Zangetsu and the other Zanpaktou doesn’t happen to Ichigo’s inner hollow. He is the last source of power that Ichigo has. I wonder what that cero blast did to Zangetsu? If Mayuri is the one trying to figure out what happened to the Zanpakou spirits, than the Shinigami are all in trouble. Mayuri doesn’t care about the problems caused by the situation. He just cares about learning about Muramasa’s ability and using it for an experiment.

    Matt Gross
  20. I like this guys take on the swords background….

    I was thinking the sword had transformed into this one…..
    after Ichigo learned how to bonkai
    I was under the impression that the sword transformed into that based upon Zangetsu’s bonkai form.
    THe sword went back to the original form when Zangetsu left Ichigo.

    Based upon this….. I wonder if the sword has another form based upon the ‘theoretical’
    bonkai of the other soul residing in ichigo since he had two souls.
    ala the hollow soul (evil) and the Zangetsu (good) soul
    I was thinking the sword took the thin black shape because Ichigo learned to
    derive more of his power from the ‘good’ soul Zangetsu

    However…. its interesting to note….
    during Ichigo and Zangetsu’s battle..
    they both used the same sword

  21. The Zanpakutou are easily mind-controlled whelps, or simply big whiners. Either way, it doesn’t shine favorably on them – it makes them all look pretty lame! Dare I say it, the only way to end this arc and have the Zanpakutou save face is the old “It was all a dream” line. I do believe the writers have painted themselves into a corner!

  22. Ichigo can still draw his power form the hollow hence his sword stays at shikai.

    Has any one considered the possibility that some of the zanpakutou are only pretending to side wif muramasa, I get a feeling that Senbonzakura is still on Byakuya’s side, it would explain why wouldn’t Byakuya(obviously his not dead) die from his zanpakutou’s atk

  23. “Ichigo drawing his power from his hollow side” as a reason to why his sword is still in shikai form is a pretty lame explanation imo. Zangetsu = his sword’s form (be it shikai or bankai), with him completely removed from Ichigo, there’s no why it’d still be in shikai form. His hollow side is not Zangetsu, it’s just a hollow, so whilst it may give him tremendous power, it won’t enable him to use his sword in a shikai state.

    Plot holes are plot holes, as long as the action and story keep up the pace, no one will care or remember.

  24. I don’t think Zangetsu is actually against Ichigo. I’m getting this vibe that he’s just going along like that to train Ichigo or something.. I mean he doesn’t have that hatred look on his face and doesn’t talk smack towards Ichigo like the others

  25. I don’t know if anyone ask this, but isn’t it possible that Muramasa is the Zanpakutou of Kenpachi Zaraki?

    >Muramasa’s hatred of shinigami not accepting their zanpakutou as a different entity, and,
    > the “pride of the shinigami” (his experience of Kenpachi’s pride) of oppressing the zanpakutous
    > Kenpachi hasn’t shown up yet

  26. WHAT THE FUCK?! That’s not supposed to be here! I don’t like watching the anime, but this saga got me interested, for a filler. But seriously, why….? Why Ichigo’s hollowfication? Isn’t this kind of a spoiler for the anime since it hasn’t shown up in the regular eps, or has that passed already? Again, I haven’t watched much of the anime for a long while now so I don’t know…

  27. @Quentum: one of the more obvious theories, it’s been mentioned a few times. I’d be disappointed if this was the answer though.

    @Sissy: it has already been shown in the anime to an extent, in the Vizard’s hideout long-ago when they were trying to help Ichigo suppress his Hollow.

  28. is it just me or did they fuck up the hollow transformation during the middle of the fight.

    at one point the tail looked great and good in place and at the other moment it was like a ding stuck out of the middle of his back instead of it being a normal tail.

  29. Lol, Mayuri… First you cut your ears off, second you wear freakish makeup and now you’re piercing yourself? I thought you were supposed to be smart? As good as this filler is, I cannot say that it’s too interesting. It’s only an opinion so don’t bash me, but I kinda find this war bewteen the shinigami and their zamnpukto a little stupid…

    the burnt shadow
  30. Zangetsu stated that he hates Ichigo’s inner world because there are no plants or trees in it and yet he never anything about it to Ichigo until now. Could it be that Muramasa is using the Zanpaktou Spirits’ own disdain towards their Shinigami partners to cause this revolution? Are they gonna continue to create stories within the anime that do not occur within the manga every few episodes or are they finally gonna focus on the original story after this?

    Matt Gross
  31. duh<—agree with that guy. Ichigo’s sword is wrong period, unless in the next ep they tell us specifically why it’s still released. Yes, I’ve seen every ep, any argument you try to make up is pure speculation to try and cover an obvious writer mistake. The hollow has nothing to do with his sword.

    Matt Gross<—–The comments made by Zangetsu after the ep can’t be taken seriously, all those things are suppose to be funny not necessarily fact. They’ll go back to the manga once the manga gets further ahead and this arc is over. I see this arc being long tho since the manga and anime are so close together. I can see this arc going 30-40 eps but who knows.


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