After the remaining captains have Ichigo explain what he learned, they bring in Renji, but Renji doesn’t know much because his Zanpakutou spirits don’t remember anything. Ichigo then goes to visit Rukia who’s still recovering, and he knows that she’s worried about Byakuya, so he tells her to leave it up to him. Around this time, Ikkaku finds Ichigo and wants to talk with him. Elsewhere in Soul Society, Oomaeda finds some guards knocked out, but before he can investigate, his men get beat up by two Zanpakutou spirits. One of them is his own Zanpakutou, Gegetsuburi. The two start arguing and are about to fight when Ichigo and Ikkaku arrive, and they accidentally knock Oomaeda out in the process. It turns out that the other Zanpakutou spirit is Ikkaku’s Hoozukimaru, and the two immediately start fighting.
While those two battle, Gegetsuburi turns his sights on Ichigo since Muramasa had told the Zanpakutou spirits earlier that he’d like to capture Ichigo alive. Ichigo, however, is easily able to handle Gegetsuburi and knocks him out. Ikkaku meanwhile has a hard time against his Zanpakutou after Hoozukimaru initiates bankai, and he doesn’t want Ichigo’s help. He’s unable to continue their battle though after Soifon, Ukitake, and Kyouraku suddenly show up with a group of men. As a result, Hoozukimaru creates an explosion around him and escapes during the confusion. The Shinigami are still able to capture Gegetsuburi though, and Ukitake sends him to Kurotsuchi. Ichigo doesn’t stick around and instead tries to pursue Hoozukimaru, but he gets stopped when a wave of Senbonzakura’s blades come flying at him. Ichigo is able to defend himself by using his own bankai, and afterward, he sees Byakuya standing on a nearby rooftop.
They spent a bunch of time this episode on jokes and comedy, so things didn’t really get exciting until the final third of the episode. That latter part had some nice choreography in the Ikkaku vs. Hoozukimaru battle, and I laughed when Ichigo was able to take care of Gegetsuburi with one attack (I transferred my dislike of Oomaeda onto him). At least Ichigo was fighting at his appropriate level of power there, since often it feels like he’s fighting at the level of the opponent. Along those same lines, it was also nice to see him be able to fight through Senbonzakura’s blades with his bankai speed – I wish we saw that kind of speed more often. Speaking of which, it looks like they’re trying to portray Byakuya as maybe a traitor or at least as someone working with the Zanpakutou spirits, but I’m sure there’ll be a good reason for it since he’s too liked a character to be an antagonist for long. I’m more curious about why they show Menos Forest Gillians in the preview for next week – maybe Muramasa has some connections to Hueco Mundo after all, perhaps even to the previous anime original mini-arc.