After Shuuhei gets injured, Kazeshini is ready to finish him off, but Kira steps in just in time to save him. Kira doesn’t stick around to fight Kazeshini though and instead traps him with a spell before escaping with Shuuhei to safety. Elsewhere in Soul Society, Renji is able to fight his Zanpakutou spirits more effectively now that he has the shikai form of his sword, but they respond by initiating bankai. This turns the tide of the battle back in their favor, and when it becomes clear that Renji is no match for this, they decide to leave him. Renji, however, decides to try to use some kidou spells against them. At first his blasts are ineffective, but he finally succeeds after he using a spell to shatter his own sword and then having those sword pieces slash his Zanpakutou spirits from all directions. Their defeat results in them returning to their original sword form, and the entire fight has Renji vowing that he’ll keep trying to get stronger.
Ichigo meanwhile finds himself fighting Zangetsu again, and Zangetsu claims to want to know which one of them is truly strong. To do this, Zangetsu initiates bankai and uses a super powerful Getsuga Tenshou against Ichigo. Ichigo is unable to do the same, so he’s forced to rely on his own abilities and the help of his Hollow side. Even though he doesn’t bring out his mask, it is those Hollow powers that allow him to overcome Zangetsu’s Getsuga Tenshou, and the defeat returns Zangetsu back to his sword form. Afterward, part of Muramasa’s body starts to phase out, causing him to decide to withdraw. With Muramasa gone, Zangetsu explains to Ichigo that Muramasa was brainwashing them and manipulating them through their instinct. Knowing this, Ichigo is still determined to go after him.
That wasn’t so much a new Getsuga Tenshou as the episode title had suggested, but it was interesting enough, and the episode itself was pretty exciting. It was cool seeing the Zanpakutou wield the bankai versions of themselves, and it was even better seeing Ichigo and Renji overcome them. I do have to say though that the ending of the Renji battle was sort of weak. He only beat Zabimaru after they stopped using their bankai form, and him going around shooting off kidou spells like that made me feel like I was watching DBZ or something. I was seriously expecting him to yell Kamehameha at this point. Ichigo’s victory was much more impressive, both visually and from a story point of view, but I guess I do have to give Renji some credit for being the first Shinigami to get his Zanpakutou back. As for Muramasa, I noticed that he looked kind of like Ulquiorra when his eyes were bleeding, but more importantly, he started to phase out as if he was disappearing. It’s too early for this arc to end though, so I doubt Muramasa’s going to leave anytime soon, and future episode titles seem to suggest that the focus will turn to each of the other high-level Shinigami and their respective Zanpakutou.