While the battle outside is still going on, Ichigo finds himself inside of the world where which Muramasa resides. Muramasa still wants to settle things with him, so the two start fighting, and although Ichigo initially has some trouble, he’s able to overcome Muramasa’s abilities thanks to Zangetsu’s help. Through it, Ichigo comes to understand what it means for Shinigami and Zanpakutou to acknowledge and accept each other’s existence. This inner world then starts crumbling, so Ichigo tries to make Muramasa realize that he has no reason to fight given how Kouga claimed he didn’t need him and how it was Muramasa’s own desire to understand Kouga that drove him. Ichigo then expresses his own connection to Zangetsu and declares that the Shinigami and Zanpakutou are irreplaceable to each other. Since they’re running out of time, Ichigo and Muramasa charge at each other, and Ichigo wins. Ichigo saves Muramasa though, and all this causes the giant dome to disappear in the real world. All that’s left are Ichigo and Muramasa, and Muramasa finally understands what Ichigo was talking about. He then breaks and disappears, and in the aftermath, all of the Zanpakutou return to their respective Shinigami’s weapons, and Byakuya is grateful towards Ichigo.


So I was pretty neutral about this episode after watching it. It wasn’t a horrible conclusion by any stretch, but it didn’t really have any particularly good highlights either. Case in point, the animation quality and fight choreography was decent for the most part, however the battle never really felt exciting to me. Instead, by the end of it, I was just getting tired of Ichigo’s preaching even though I understood that it tied in with the themes of pride and the Shinigami/Zanpakutou relationship that have been all over this story arc. I had actually been hoping that Kouga would make another appearance for one final plot twist or something, but obviously that never happened. I’m just glad now to see the arc finally over given how it’s been downhill since the Byakuya vs. Kouga fight a few episodes ago. The anime isn’t returning to the manga storyline quite just yet though, as the extra segment at the end of this episode alluded to, and unfortunately there’ll be some more anime original episodes going up until at least April.


  1. This anime-original arch was epic. I really can’t believe the studio pulled of something like this. I don’t care if we never go back to the manga arch if they keep this up. The story was so fulfilling and interwoven with complex themes. This really amazes me.

  2. i think personally given whats going on in the manga, everyone just wants the show to get back to the main storyline. this filler was good at the start and quite interesting but it just slowly became less and less interesting and went downhill. more fillers until april i’ll reserve judgement until i see them.

    ∞ ARIES
  3. Yea Pretty stupid episode, should have ended it on a highnote with Byakuya fighting Kouga, that was great, episodes after were dreadful. The new Arc looks terrible “the demon swords and the collapse of the Kuchiki House”. New antagonists look stupid, looks like a mix between bount and the amagi fillers, which were shite. Well atleast the manga is running well. I want to see Gins Bankai!

  4. They should just blow all of their remaining budget on the Ichigo vs Ulquiorra fight, and that wasn’t even that interesting or even well-done in the manga. What it does have, though, is the potential for some great visuals. The rest of the manga from then on just falls even further into shit, and I assume the anime will be worse in trying to drag it out.

  5. a decent way to end the arc, at least better than the previous originals.
    put it this way: hopefully by the time the upcoming arc’s over, there should be enough manga materials to animate.

  6. I’ve no idea why the studio execs are making us wait so damn long for the Ulquiorra fight, the suckfest Espada fights are going to take forever to animate and by that time Aizen will probably be defeated or will have pulled out whatever hax he’s gonna pull on us. I enjoyed the ending of the Zanpakuto arc and all, but more fillers? WHY??? And why go to the trouble of unsummoning all the Zanpakuto if they’re just bringing Shirayuki back next episode?

    Sigh. I did enjoy the zanpakuto arc, even as aggravated as I was that I was being denied The Lust, but I don’t know if I can wait until April to finally see Show Spoiler ▼

  7. cav: I never said anything about hating this story arc. In fact, it’s probably the best anime original arc we’ve had. The ending was just nowhere near as engaging as the climax of the arc.

    ssj4jw: It’s on my list of things to do which also includes Katanagatari and Kobato.

  8. Oh gee whiz, some pointless badly animated fighting, some pointless screaming, some pointless mid-fight conversations, some pointless cutscenes/flashbacks, some completely pointless getsuga tenshos (has Ichigo EVER killed or hurt ANYONE with a getsuga tensho? If so then it’s been one of the episodes that I spent ~30 seconds with. Is that attack supposed to be good or something?) and it all ends up with some serious bawww-ing or emo-ing, and don’t forget the Sat. AM cartoon -level moral teaching (“So, remember to eat your veggies and brush your teeth!”).

    I think I’m starting to understand the script for every single anime original episode. It’s starting to get a bit old at this point, yet still I keep on watching the new episodes thinking that MAYBE this time it’s better. It’s not, it never is. Someone give me a call when we get back to the real storyline.

  9. more fillers, damn boring. but as shonen jump website says it’s “2010 BLEACH YEAR”, so let’s hope the manga story can continue plenty ahead this year… until vaizards arrive? that would be good…

  10. Finally this arc is done? For the pass few weeks i’ve been waiting this would end already. I liked it when its first started, but it got boring around the middle and end. Hopefully the next original arc or whatever won’t drag like this one did.

  11. I think it was a pretty nice touch that Haineko wondered what rain is. Remember back to when Zangetsu said that when Ichigo is sad, rain falls in his inner world. So apparently Rangiku is never sad 🙂

  12. Why do most of you dislike the bounto arc?
    that one and this one where one of the better ones since the bount arc looked like it would logically fit with the storyline while this one had very good animation and fights until after the byakuya vs kouga fight. (it is at least by far better then that bakkoto arc)

  13. This filler arc had its ups and lows but overall and think it had a decent ending hopefully next arc doesn’t disappoint especially with the way the animation has worsened since Byakuya and Kouga’s fight.

  14. I’ll just stick to the manga until the anime catches back up to it, i’m getting tired of all these fillers. This one was pretty good in the beginning but it felt like it dragged on way to much near the end.

  15. Not that bad. Muramasa was an interesting antagonist, part Aizen, part Ulquiorra. I was hoping that Ichigo would get to use him in a later filler/movie like Jaden and Yubel, but I suppose not.

    Shad P
  16. @starss

    There were several fillers featuring the Arrancar mid way through the Arrancar arc, including the 3-4 episodes about the boy Matsumoto was defending and the two parter with Patros.

    They slotted into the main story fairly seamlessly, and were (mostly) inoffensive.

    This episode wasn’t bad. It was a decent conclusion to the story arc, though I think it would have played out better if it aired immediately after the Byakuya / Kouga fight, to keep that pace going. Muramasa got a good send off, though, and the last scene with Byakuya was beautifully done.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what is in store next, if I can get my half hour of switch off brain entertainment from it then it’ll be good in my book.

    Sol Fury
  17. @brianleung8912
    Exactly what I was thinking. Wabisuke was also killed by Kenpachi and inexplicably came back. This was a decent filler arc, but nevertheless, Bleach is the king of plot holes.

  18. This is why I hate fillers in Bleach, they talk about crap that we already know about. As good as they are, I’ve heard them several fucking times before! I don’t want to hear them again! It’s like telling me that candy tastes sweet every day! I hated the bounts and wanted to see Kariya die a painful death like the others, I did not want to see Ichigo baby sit some kid and would have preferred to have her beheaded, along with every antagonist in that arc and this one was not too bad, but listening to the zanpakto is annoying as hell. Not to mention Byakuya’s zanpakto does not resemble him at all, unless you count the one from a hundred years ago…


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