After bungling a Toujuu hunt and having to be saved by Senbonzakura, Zabimaru goes to the Technology Development Bureau with the broken sword. Since no one seems to be there, the two try to sneak in and run into Senbonzakura who had also broken in. The three proceed to the room where the Toujuu are stored, but Senbonzakura starts to play with one the remote controls, causing an alarm to go off and trapping the three inside a container. Senbonzakura immediately tries to blast his way out, but that doesn’t work, so Zabimaru tries to have him to wait for the return of the guys who work there. Senbonzakura has very little patience, but luckily Ashisogi Jizou shows up, and although Ashisogi Jizou can’t hear what they’re trying to tell him, he eventually picks up the dropped remote control. Ashisogi Jizou, however, ends up breaking the remote, pissing off Senbonzakura and causing him to initiate bankai. This breaks the group free but also does tons of collateral damage and sets off another alarm.
The three escape down a hallway to a control room, and they find that they’ve now got remote access to all of the surveillance and equipment in Soul Society. Senbonzakura’s random pushing of buttons causes Renji’s bath to overheat, the urinals to explode, and various other accidents. To make matters worse, Ashisogi Jizou shows up again in bankai form, and Senbonzakura decides to fight him right then and there. He thus initiates bankai again, and this frustrates Zabimaru enough to initiate bankai as well. Zabimaru’s subsequent attack blows up the entire building, but Senbonzakura somehow manages to get out of it unscathed. When the captains and vice-captains arrive on the scene, Renji immediately blames Zabimaru because he saw his bankai flying around earlier. Zabimaru in turn tries to pin blame on Senbonzakura, but they can’t get anything to stick, so they get stuck with all of the paperwork and punishment. When Zabimaru later mentions Senbonzakura’s quick temper, Kyouraku and Ukitake reveal that Senbonzakura is actually very close to Byakuya’s true nature, and they recount how young Byakuya had a similar attitude. Meanwhile, back at the Technology Development Bureau, Kurotsuchi is shocked to find a crater where his buildings used to be.
Given how bad the recent episodes have been, I think it’s pretty easy to say that this is the most entertaining episode of Bleach I’ve seen in a while – even the after-episode segment was funny. Zabimaru and Senbonzakura made for a great comedic pairing, with Zabimaru as the straight man and Senbonzakura as the funny man, as odd as that may sound. I loved how they related Senbonzakura’s attitude back to young Byakuya at the end too since it makes total sense and is amusing in its own way. The animation quality was also pretty good this week, and there were some pretty funny facial expressions as a result: Renji looked like he was ready to have an aneurysm, and Kurotsuchi’s reaction alone was worth watching the episode. Of course, another reason the episode was good was because there was relatively minimal Toujuu involvement, so there was less of a monster-of-the-week feel to it. Hopefully that’ll be true next week as well in what looks to be a Katen Kyoukotsu episode.
As you may have heard, I am retiring from anime blogging at the end of this season, but I’ll be covering one more episode of Bleach before then. Please limit your comments on this post to those that are Bleach related.