As Senbonzakura explains to Ichigo and Rukia, Byakuya had returned him to normal long ago and had known all along about Kouga. He had pretended to join with Muramasa in order to find out where Kouga was sealed, and Byakuya now intends to kill Kouga for disgracing the Kuchiki family. Kouga, however, is intent on fighting with his own power and goes as far as to break Muramasa’s blade in half. This causes Muramasa to lose control of his power, and all of the Menos that he had inside of himself appear. Ichigo and Rukia decide to take on those Menos since Byakuya has to fight Kouga, and thus the battle begins. Kouga is initially able to match Byakuya attack for attack, but when Byakuya starts to use Senbonzakura, Kouga makes use of his own special ability to manipulate his opponent’s five senses. Fortunately, Senbonzakura is able to come to Byakuya’s rescue, and Byakuya initiates bankai. Kouga now finds himself on the losing side of the battle, and Senbonzakura and Byakuya explain that it’s because they fight together and that Kouga doesn’t understand the essence of power. Since Kouga won’t listen, Byakuya gets ready to end things with the Hakuteiken form of his bankai, and their two powers collide


I assume this was the climax of the story arc because it was one helluva episode where clearly a lot of the budget went. The fight choreography between Byakuya and Kouga when they were trading blows and spells was very impressive, and the animation quality was just as good. Byakuya’s Hakuteiken looked so much better here than it did when he used it against Ichigo all those episodes ago, and I loved the silhouette and petals effect when Senbonzakura saved him. If only all the episodes could be like this.

Anyway, I noticed that Kouga’s ability to manipulate senses was a bit like Aizen’s Kyouka Suigetsu and its hypnosis, and that combined with what happened in this episode made me think that they should just have Byakuya fight Aizen when the time comes. Of course Kouga is kind of an idiot for breaking Muramasa and nowhere near as devious as Aizen, so maybe not. Speaking of Muramasa, the preview was really interesting because it showed a Hollow, and the title of the episode indicates that we’ll be seeing Muramasa’s true form.

Oh and there was no new ED this week. I suspect that a new one will start up once this story arc ends in a few weeks.


  1. Don’t forget that Muramasa absorbed a hollow a few eps back after his first encounter with Ichigo. The Hakuteiken looks better probably cos animation has advanced in the last few years. I completely LOL at the animation quality in the preview, it looks horrible.

  2. finally, it’s getting to the end. it may be a better filler compared to maybe the bount arc, but it’s still filler nontheless. story was a bit weak, especially in the middle. and i vaguely remember rolling my eyes when kouga came out, thinking “typical bleach filler storyline.”

  3. wow what a nice show, isn’t very disappointing, and definitely the animation team is running out of ideas, that some things looked so familiar, with similarity to aizen, or even other anime?
    any shana fan remember something like this?

    and yeah, why didnt the kido get recognised in numbers? oh because this was a filler…

    next would be good, muramasa also has a hollow form? damn sounds like baishin to me…

  4. so far this is the best filler i’ve seen. I just hope Ichigo doesn’t go save the day again at the very end. I am leaning towards Byakuya finishing the arc but who knows

  5. kaineng: Different ways to cast a Kido spell, remember? Name, number and name, full incantation, whatever else I’m missing.

    Of course, let’s face it, people will never be satisfied. Following the story, ridiculous filler, downtime, serious filler, high quality filler, no matter what they do people will be criticizing it.

    Michael Chandra
  6. man that was a great episode. Love anything with kuchiki family politics involved.

    Honestly though, why is Ichigo my least favorite character in the whole series? Seriously, I like everyone but him! I really hope they do an anime original arc just once and not have ichigo at all. Just have him focus on his school studies for once and leave him the hell out. Everyone…but HIM.

  7. Originally I really liked this Arc but somewhere along the way the story became a mess and now I just want it to end. Kuchiki attacked his own people and put everyone thru all that he did just so could restore his families honor? Has bleach ever given us any indication that the Kuchiki family was a low class family or a shamed family of any kind? If they did then I missed it.

    I always thought the Kuchiki family was one of the great houses of Soul Society. So why would he put so many people’s lives on the line just to be able to fight Kouga and “restore” his familys honor? He should be stripped of his Captain’s rank for being so reckless. I liked this arc alot better when they were fighting their own spirits to try and get them back.

  8. i think we all wish the animation was this good for every episode of every series. but never the less this was a great episode, for once i don’t view byakyua as just an arrogant prick, he actually had a real good purpose for fighting like the time that esparda was going to kill rukia

  9. Nice episode, but they were really out of ideas. kouga’s power was basicly aizens mixed with the power of that other person with a sense controlling ability that im not going to name here for the sake of the anime only readers. Next episode does not look very good quality, which is sad because i had thought about Muramasa having a resurricion, and wanted it to look good. after all, he’s the origonal villan of this filler. this filler has really been the best one yet! not as good as cannon, with its plot holes about byakuya’s betrayal, but almost!

  10. So going by what tman said the main story won’t return until April? And the summer break
    usually start at the end of June. So there will be 12 canon episodes give or take if they have a 20 minute recap episode after they usually end a filler and go back to the main story.

  11. Great episode although lack of creativity for Kouga’s powers.
    Animation was superb though. Hopefully they can do the same for future canon eps.
    As for the Murumasa Hollow, if we remember a while back he seemed to absorb a high level Hollow of some sorts, possibiliy Vasto Lord, so that could be the final fight with Ichigo ending this arc.

  12. if muramasa somehow turn into a hollow ~”~ i presume ichigo is gonna be the one to fight him…. after all a shounen anime arc cant end without the main character beating someone’s ass 😀

  13. “Oh and there was no new ED this week. I suspect that a new one will start up once this story arc ends in a few weeks.”

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Bleach ED22 : Tabidatsu Kimi e by RSP, start aring Feb. 2nd (eps 256-)

    Hum I wonder if it will be as good as Kansha …
    I would have like more Orange Range to Bleach, maybe this year a comeback ! =)

    *Sorry for my bad english ! >_<

  14. “Leo at 7:00 am on January 6th, 2010

    And about Rukia, without a zanpakutou ? I am curious about how she will recover her sword.”

    I was more curious about the fact that she was fighting menos grande withouth any significant power xD Go! Everyone may now be able to defeat them!

  15. “NII-SAMA!!!”haha, love rukia’s response to anything her brother says. wow that was a great ep! i agree with everyone else, best filler ever on bleach! all i know it that when that resurrected dude picked up dem golden axe weapons i was like “YEAH MOTHERFU#KER!! COOL!!” and then he impressed me again by using the fu#ker so expertly. NAH omni, its probably a good thing that every episode isn’t this well made, we would all surely become spoiled rotten.. well that might not be too bad either

    BROOKLYN otaku
  16. Yeah back in episode 238 when muramasa was walking through menos forest. Eventually he absorbed a couple weak hollow, which is obviously what hollow do to get stronger. Though I severely doubt the strong hollow that he finds in episode 239 was any where near a Vasto Lorde, most likely an arrancar level hollow.
    But anyway, the animation level in this episode was outstanding, Byakuya’s Hakuteiken was especially impressive.
    Kouga’s power definitely reminds me of Aizen’s zanpakuto, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they are linked in some way.
    Great episode either way

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