Summary:

Renji and the other captains find it hard to believe that Byakuya betrayed them, and Ukitake has to break the news to Rukia. Things only get tougher when they learn that Zanpakutou cannot return to normal if they are destroyed by anyone other than their owner. Byakuya meanwhile arrives with Muramasa back at the Zanpakutou hideout, and everyone is suspicious of him. In order to get him to prove that he’s on their side, Senbonzakura challenges Byakuya to kill Sode no Shirayuki, and to their surprise, he does so after a brief battle, breaking her blade in two. Given this, Muramasa decides to give Byakuya a special task. Back at the Sixth Division, Rukia dozes off thinking about her brother, and she senses him when she wakes up. The entire place is a mess, and he appears to be responsible for it. Even more devastating for Rukia though is when Senbonzakura tosses her the broken Sode no Shirayuki. Fortunately, Renji comes in to save Rukia, and Zabimaru comes to help Renji. Thus, while Renji tries to fight Byakuya and figure out what he’s doing, Zabimaru fights against Senbonzakura. Both Renji and Zabimaru eventually get defeated though, and Byakuya warns Rukia not to get involved. A group of the other Zanpakutou then show up to finish what Byakuya started, however more Shinigami led by Soifon arrive as well, including Ichigo.

Preview

I actually enjoyed this episode. They’re doing a good job making it look like Byakuya is going all-in on the Zanpakutou side, but you can tell that he’s still holding back a little in terms of Rukia herself. Certainly his willingness to attack and break Sode no Shirayuki was a little surprising, but because this is an anime original arc, you just know that there’s going to be some way to return her to normal in the end, so that takes a lot away from the plot twist. Regardless, his fight with Sode no Shirayuki was interesting to watch if for no other reason than because he’d normally never have to face those ice powers. The Renji vs Byakuya and Zabimaru vs Senbonzakura fights weren’t bad either, but they were a bit less interesting in the end because of how predictable the results were. I’m excited though to see that the battle isn’t over yet and that Ichigo and others have shown up, meaning that next week’s episode should be packed full of action.

48 Comments

  1. The animation team working on the fillers here should just make the entire filler arc take place outside during the night. The animation quality is like 100x better during the night time scenes then it is when the scenes are indoors or during the day

    E
  2. I actually enjoyed the battles today, especially how senbonzakura finishes of zabimaru’s bankai form. It looks so overwhelming.

    To bad you didn’t get a screenshot of Byakuya use white thunder to blast through Sode no Shirayuki’s Hakuren technique.

    Cherubium
  3. Anyone notice that Byakuya’s “#4 Pale Lightning” sounds almost exactly like his name (Byakurai)? And that spell cut through Sode no Shirayuki’s Hakuren! And he casts “#61 Six Rods Prison of Light” binding spell in less than 3 seconds! Makes me wonder if he could cast the “#90 Black Coffin” Aizen used on Komomura long ago.

    samu
  4. they put a lot of effort in this filler arc, that its actually more interesting than the current manga arc, seriously! And it looks like the quality will remain in the next episode too.

    Karis
  5. Didn’t surprise me at all that he cut Sode no Shirayuki. It’s not as if he was killing Rukia herself, and he will cut anything that stands in his way. Remember, we’re talking about the man who would easily sacrifice his own hand and leg for betraying him. Why would he find it hard to sacrifice his sister’s Zanpaktou for whatever purpose he has right now?

    Michael Chandra
  6. Byakuya’s reason for doing this is ridiculous he hasn’t really killed anyone yet he is just playing mind games with both parties if Rukia is his pride then he has a bad way of showing it. Has anyone noticed that kyouraku’s zanpakutou hasn,t appeared since the first episode, it seems to me that she is not interested in fighting her master i wonder why she even bothered to join the rebellion anyways.Although the preview looks interesting, im sure Muramasa would break up the fun soon enough.

    CornerBoyz
  7. This filler arc is leaving me more and more surprised each time. I think I’m finding it hard to get used to the idea that I’m actually -enjoying- Bleach again.

    I’ve loved the overall quality of this arc, and as others have mentioned it’s right on par with a manga storyline. I wish the other shitty fillers we had were this good, then my interest in Bleach overall wouldn’t have plummeted so much.

    Tori
  8. It wldnt surprise me that in future episodes they reveal that Byakuya had already fought and won back Senbonzakura(they did disppear for a while) and that Senbonzakura is working together with Byakuya to protect his pride (Rukia) from harm by faking Sode no Shirayuki’s death (I still have no idea how they did it).

    Afterall, it was Senbonzakura who ‘suggested’ Byakuya to kill Sode no Shirayuki…it might have been their plan all along! Protect Rukia (No Zanpakutou = no fight) + earn Muramasa’s trust…kill 2 birds in 1 stone@!

    zeroless
  9. Hey, guys, you all are forgetting something. Rukia has her third dance, Shirafune. She can reforge Sode no Shirayuki once she remembers. That or Byakuya used his Onimitsukido training by Yoruichi to fake everything.

    Either way, we will get Sode no Shirayuki back.

  10. As was stated by another user, episode #244 is entitled “The Long Awaited… Kenpachi appears!” My only hope is, that’s not a lemon to tell everyone “Hey kids, this arc will be over in the next 3 episodes!” and then it turns out, that his reappearance occurs after Muramasa is defeated, and he has no place whatsoever in any of the arcs.

    But more than likely the current belief that if a zanpakuto is defeated by someone other than its owner is false. I’m more inclined to believe that a zanpakuto is restored to its owners use after a victory, but can only be returned to normal (without heightened ‘instincts’) through the breaking of the blade. It may be that Byakuya cleaved Sode knowing something that we don’t, and that in actuality he’s enabled Rukia to become one with her zanpakuto once more without needing to fight her.

    Abd Al-Azrad
  11. Hmm, if this is the case episode 244 is something to watch out for. When I heard about this new arc, I’ve always wondered how Kenpachi would play out. Thanks for the answer Abd.

    Jon Chong
  12. Been actually expecting Sode no Shirayuki to break/become injured so they could show off her third dance, Shirafune. I’d bet that has something to do with how Rukia repairs her sword and maybe even the reason Byakuya was so willing to destroy SnS in the first place.

    Avalon85
  13. What is Byakuya Kuchiki thinking? Doesn’t he realize that if he kills the Zanpaktou of other shinigami, those shinigami might not be able to reclaim their lost Zanpaktou? What could have happened that caused Byakuya to turn against Soul Society?

    Matt Gross
  14. I personally thought the fight choreography was extremely well done this week. The animation quality was great, but the choice of angles and the way things all fit together was on a whole a notch or two above the average.

    This arc is definitely the most enjoyable the series has been in a while, there’s genuine dramatic twists and turns that the main series has been crying out for, quite frankly.

    Sol Fury
  15. This episode was actually surprising good principally because the fights (Renji v Byukuya and Zabimari v Senbonzakura) took place simultaneously and in the same place. It made the fights feel more fluid, instead of the usual hard cuts to completely different areas, as well as allowed the effects of each fight to influence the results of each other.

    So Very Odd
  16. my only complaint with this episode is that there really going all out to avoid showing blood or serious wounds in the fights. i mean come on, the first time we saw byakuyas bankai defeat someone (renji) it tore him to shreds! nearly killed him, and he was covered in blood. this time when Zabimaru loses nethier of them were scratched. Renjis defeat had the same problom, they could have had byakuya shoot him threw the back with that spell like he did in his fight with ichigo(although with ichigo he shot him in the shoulder). insted the spell hits his sword, sends him flying and suddenly he is to weak to fight? come on man show some blood in these fights! other then that this episode was great! looking forword to some epic fights next week!

    TakashiD
  17. Aeran: “Hey, guys, you all are forgetting something. Rukia has her third dance, Shirafune. She can reforge Sode no Shirayuki once she remembers.”

    I’m glad someone else remembered that too. That was the first thing I though when I saw the sword “just” snapped in half.

    Artsi

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