Amidst all the battles going on, Soifon is able to handle both Gonryoumaru and Tenken just fine, but she runs into a little trouble when she’s attacked by Suzumebachi as well. Yumichika meanwhile is getting beat up by Ruri-iro Kujaku, and unlike Yumichika, his Zanpakutou has no qualms about releasing his power in public. Isane and Iba are also having difficulties against Ashisogi Jizou, especially after Tobiume and Haineko come to help it. The Shinigami luckily get their own help when Rangiku and Hinamori show up as well. Elsewhere, Ichigo isn’t making much progress against Senbonzakura, but on the other hand, Renji and Zabimaru have already been defeated by Byakuya. At the same time, Kira is able to outsmart and capture Kazeshini, but he’s then ambushed by his own Zanpakutou Wabisuke. Ichigo sees this and really wants to go help, but Senbonzakura continues to be in his way. What interrupts everything though is a great light suddenly emanating from the center of Soul Society because Zaraki is here and powering up.
Although it’s still growing on me, I didn’t come away liking Anima Rossa as much as I initially did for Shoujo S, and the new opening sequence isn’t as stylish as the previous one either. I prefer the new SunSet Swish ending song a lot more, but more importantly, the new ending sequence appeared to have a potentially big spoiler by showing Byakuya with Senbonzakura’s mask on. I certainly did a double-take on that shot, and it looks like he might be fighting alongside Ichigo in that manner too.
This was a fairly good action episode, but they skipped around a lot and didn’t make too much progress in any particular fight other than Kira vs. Kazeshini. You’ll notice that I don’t include the fact that Byakuya beat Renji already, mainly because it was done off-screen. I actually had a good laugh about that because it seemed to say that Renji isn’t even worthy enough to show being defeated in an anime original arc. In any case, I had a fun time watching Soifon fight, though Suzumebachi ended up being a tad annoying, and I was also fairly impressed with what Kira was able to do this episode (this face he made was hilarious). I’m very curious now to see how he gets out of his current jam, assuming Ichigo never gets around to helping him. Hopefully the answer is not just Zaraki showing up and wtfpwning all the Zanpakutou. Maybe Zaraki will get to fight Byakuya instead, which, now that I think about it, would be a little ironic given what’s going on right now in the manga.