In Soul Society, Zaraki continues to battle Tenken, Yoruichi continues to battle Tobiume and Haineko, and Yamamoto, Hitsugaya, Ukitake, and Kyouraku continue to try to get out of Ryuujin Jakka’s flames. Over in the real world, Ishida and Sado engage in battle with Muramasa, however Muramasa has Senbonzakura on his side. He is able to incapacitate Sado by entering his inner world, but shortly thereafter, Rukia arrives to help. Muramasa opts to keep them busy by bringing forth a group of Hollows, and he personally makes his way to the tree where his master is being kept. He’s able to free Kouga, and Ichigo doesn’t show up until it’s too late to stop the process.
All things considered, I thought this was a pretty good episode. Like I mentioned last week, I’m still not thrilled that more time is being spent on Yoruichi and Zaraki fighting what I think are fairly pointless battles, and seeing Tenken like this only reinforces my belief that Komamura has a relatively weak bankai, which is notable given what’s going on in the manga right now. But I liked watching Ishida, Sado, and even Inoue as they got back into the thick of things. Their battle against Muramasa was a nice change of pace since it’s been a while since we’ve seen them in action, and Ishida in particular fared better than expected against Senbonzakura. It was also interesting to see what Kouga looked like, but even more interesting was how the preview appeared to indicate that what happened in the past with Byakuya’s grandfather is behind why Byakuya is helping Muramasa now.