Summary:
Soifon fires Jakuho Raikoben at Barragan inside the barrier Hachigen set up, but he survives again. Barragan counterattacks viciously, stating he is king of Hueco Mundo and his opponents are worthless. Respira starts to erode Hachi’s hand, but he teleports his arm inside Barragan and dissolves most of his body. Before he dies, he cries out against Aizen and throws his axe at him, but it shatters before it can touch him.

In a flashback, it is revealed that Barragan was indeed ruler over the hollows. He was however bored due to the lack of an enemy to fight. Aizen, Tosen and Gin show up, offering him greater power by blurring the distinction between hollow and shinigami if he would obey them. Barragan refuses and attacks them, but Aizen uses Kyoka Suigetsu to create illusions and destroy Barragan’s army. Even though he joins Aizen’s ranks as an Espada, he still harbors hate against him and swears to exact revenge someday.

 

Preview

Impressions:

I think the characters of Bleach could do well to learn that nobody dies unless you see them disintegrate. However, Soifon’s nuke did manage to take out part of Barragan’s face, but it didn’t hinder his abilities at all (if anything, his Respira got even faster). In the end though, Hachi just sacrificed an arm and turned his hacks powers on himself. As smart of a move as that was, I couldn’t help but scream the whole time he was explaining his rationale for his strategy; just kill him and don’t risk him doing a last minute save. He should have pulled his funky hollow mask earlier as well, but in this case it didn’t really do anything besides act as a one time shield. Most of the vizard’s masks don’t seem to increase their strength by as much as Ichigo’s does, but it’s possible this is just because the current enemies are so strong.

It turns out all of Barragan’s shit-talking was just his way of dealing with the bitterness of being dethroned as king of Hueco Mundo. For all his evil villain laughing and boastful talk he ended up getting crushed by the ants he looked down upon. Pride goes before a fall… it’s cliched but still true. He’s just a cookie cutter villain whom nobody cares about when he dies, character or audience- a fact Starrk noted. On another note, seeing how Aizen completely crushed him and his army with almost no effort but he still ended up as the second espada, I really wonder why Aizen needs so much small fry as his subordinates, especially considering Kyoka Suigetsu’s “complete hypnosis” would make his goals quick and easy to attain. What he’s doing now is just a waste of time and energy. Try to have too much fun and you won’t be successful in your main mission. Also, I found Barragan’s voice acting to be lacking- it came off as a hollow, flat voice with too much reverb added.

37 Comments

    1. Probably because no one besides Hachi has means of teleporting objects, and because they were trying to AVOID the giant black cloud of DEATH rather then get caught and DIE.

      da5id
    1. Because more manga chapters = more money. Mangakas are paid by the page / chapters iirc.
      IMO, Kubo is running out of ideas, and needs to stretch the chapters/ story as long as possible. Ever notice how Bleach chapters feel dissapointingly short?

      Try reading the latest Bleach chapter, there are at least 7 face shots of Aizen’s emotionless “IM IN GOD MODE” look.

      Right now, i think Bleach is just running on the popularity of the earlier arcs

      kentaiyoshimi
  1. Espada should have know that Aizen is just using them as a tool.. Oh man, hopefully Aizen death will be horrible.. XDD

    Thank you so much for the screencaps and the summary~ 🙂

    Claire Phoenix
  2. You hit the nail on the head with Starrk, Prooof. I’m really hoping he sticks around and that the anime gives him some extra scenes, because he really seems to be the only Espada who completely understands just how little Aizen cares about them. He’s a better person than a lot of the shinigami, so I’m hoping Kubo does the smart thing and make him switch sides.

    Anyway, the downhill slide is still continuing for the manga, so kudos for making your reviews more interesting than the chapters/episodes themselves.

    caramel_cod
    1. Especially when you consider how hyped they are. These are old school captains and lieutenants with a serious grudge against Aizen and a century of training specifically to beat him. Then when you consider that their accomplishments so far have just barely beaten one overconfident Espada and will Show Spoiler ▼

      Grant
  3. I haven’t seen Bleach in a long time, and randomly decided to watch the beginning of this episode. All I’ll say is that the animation quality is ridiculously lower than the last time I saw it. It’s pathetic how bad it is.

    Adam
  4. Barragan is pretty stupid. If he hates Aizen that much as as the high ranked espada, he should have taken action to get the Hogyoku out of Aizen’s hands and maybe how he could use it against him.

    King of Hueco Mundo, probably clown of Hueco Mundo isore appropriate

    Zaku Fan
  5. If you’re still wondering, Prooof, I’m pretty sure the whole gathering a hollow army was to be an even match for the soul society. Pardon my reasoning, but I’m pretty sure 3 captains (IE Aizen, Gin, Tosen) wouldn’t be much against an entire large city populace of soul reapers.

    da5id
    1. This is a series where if a captain lets their energy loose they can effectively incapacitate every low level opponent around them. Aizen is stated to have at least twice the power of a regular captain. An army would be a waste of time.

      Grant
  6. Ah man, poor Barrigan… it was so sad, so depressing to hear about his past and then see this. Wrested from power by the likes of Aizen, played and dicarded like a poor hand of Cribbage, and ultimately amounting to nothing — being crushed by those you always thought you looked down upon (but whom you really never intended to fight in the first place)…

    It’s been a long time since a Bleach character has truly earned such profound trust and respect from me. It was especially moving to see Barrigan’s failed desperate attack on that asshole Aizen in the end, especially on the heals of the beautifully played revelation that he was never talking to Hachi/Soifon (the “ants”) when he screamed out his agonizing but ultimately fruitless vengeance…. He bore the “ants” no ill will, and after re-watching his episodes, I can see that for all his truly empty “shit talking,” he might have even harbored some degree of respect toward those he fought against.

    Quite the irony that Barrigan was the closest thing to a true king I’ve yet seen in an anime. And the way he went down…it was just too sad, too cruel. I’ve never been so enraged at Aizen. So many plot twists these last few episodes, all contributing to the tragedy. *sigh* I know it’s little consolation, but at least it’s nice to see Bleach getting so dramatically intense and emotionally evocative while inexplicably *STILL* managing to do the impossible — injecting hilarious slapstick into nearly every scene without dampening the impact of any.

    This is why I hate sad animes! 🙁 :'(

    hoiut
    1. Trust me, Aizen would find some loop hole to counter that, or he’ll pull the ILLUSION HACK.

      What I want to know is why the hell didn’t Barrigan just use his aging powers on Aizen a long time ago… or infact then despite disintegrating. It’s much more effective then throwing an axe that can be blocked through the world of epic blocks or catches or shields.

      Sora no Kaze
  7. Wow, haters gotta hate, I guess …

    This was one of my favorite parts of the Espada battles, and watching it animated was a pleasure. I enjoyed the fact that it was more fleshed out as well, though some purists might consider anything added as “filler”. It’s boring to watch every scene on the screen unfold exactly as it did in the manga in exactly the order it happened there. Most of what got cut doesn’t make much sense–like Ishida not losing his hand even tho Orihime could grow him a new one in a jiffy–but everything that’s been added I’ve enjoyed.

    I don’t think Shinji v Gin even happened in the manga, did it? After Shinji tried to attack Aizen, he just seemed to stand back staring at everyone till after the Tousen fight. Kudos to the animation team for doing a better job that Kubo at remembering where everyone is!

    Guardian

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