Although Zaraki is excited about fighting Byakuya, the arrival of Konjiki Ashisogi Jizou interrupts the battle and covers the entire area in poison. During this time, Byakuya makes his escape, and Ichigo isn’t able to give chase because Senbonzakura knocks him into the poison cloud. Soifon meanwhile struggles to match Suzumebachi’s speed, and she gets hit multiple times – albeit in different spots – until she finally just uses her shunkou ability to catch her Zanpakutou off-guard mid-attack. This gives her the victory, and shortly thereafter, she’s reunited with Yoruichi. Back at the main battle site, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizou has knocked out almost all the Shinigami there, but when it returns to its normal form, Yachiru and Zaraki grab it. Before Zaraki can do anything to it though, it explodes because Kurotsuchi has arrived and activated the bomb inside of it. Kurotsuchi then tries to administer his version of the poison antidote to Ichigo, but luckily for Ichigo, Unohana and her men arrive to save him. Much to Kurotsuchi’s disappointment, Unohana already has the antidote from having to treat Hinamori and the other vice-captains who had earlier caused Ashisogi Jizou to initiate bankai in the first place. Ukitake and Kyouraku arrive on the scene as well, as do Yoruichi and Soifon. Yoruichi in particular has a bit of juicy information: she knows where Yamamoto is. Unbeknownst to them, Muramasa is at this very moment leading Byakuya to that location.
This episode was great from both a story-wise and comedy-wise (the action wasn’t too shabby either). The hilarity came mostly from Kurotsuchi and Zaraki’s imaginations, but I was also amused by the expression on Soifon’s face when Yoruichi swept her off her feet. It was interesting as well to see the quiet rivalry between Unohana and Kurotsuchi, particularly because it reminded me of the banter between them in the manga chapter from two weeks ago. I did think that it was a shame that Byakuya didn’t get to stick around and continue to fight Zaraki, but I ended up liking how the episode finished with the reveal of Yamamoto. I had actually forgotten about him, and maybe Byakuya will try now to help him escape or something. It’s also promising that Ukitake, Kyouraku, and Unohana’s Zanpakutou look like they’re finally going to play a part in the story.