When Renji and Zabimaru arrive in the real world to capture another Toujuu, Zabimaru’s snake half enjoys his newfound freedom too much and ends up getting in the way of the battle. The Toujuu escapes with an injury, but Snake Zabimaru runs into him again when they split up to search. Using this to his advantage, the Toujuu convinces Snake Zabimaru that being by himself is great and is thus able to get away again. This causes Snake Zabimaru to rebel against his other half and Renji and then go off on his own. Although he enjoys his freedom, he also finds himself hungry, and that leads to some run-ins with Karin and Yuzu, which ultimately ends in him going home with them. They feed and entertain him, and Ichigo returns home later that night to find them all asleep. When Ichigo tries to confront Snake Zabimaru, the kid runs away again and encounters the healed-up Toujuu. Although Snake Zabimaru is strong enough to fight on his own, the Toujuu turns the tables by taking Karin hostage. Fortunately, Renji and Zabimaru’s other half arrive to help and finish the battle. In the aftermath, having realized that not being alone is fine too, Snake Zabimaru brings the unconscious Karin to Ichigo, and he returns to Soul Society with Renji.
This was pretty much what I expected and dreaded based on the preview from last week: an episode with Zabimaru’s snake half going off on his own, with Yuzu and Karin thrown in. I generally don’t mind character development episodes, but I loathe this type because the plot tend to be predictable and because the bratty characters are always annoying. It didn’t make sense either why it took Ichigo so long to arrive on the scene when he should have been right behind Karin. The only bright side is that the animation quality has remained fairly good, but that’s a small consolation. Here’s to hoping that next week’s episode with Nanao, Ikkaku, and Hanatarou is better…