Ichigo suddenly arrives in the Fake Karakura Town, and immediately attacks Aizen repeatedly with Getsuga Tensho. Due to a barrier behind Aizen’s head however, his attacks are ineffective. Aizen reads Ichigo’s thoughts perfectly in that he should have used his hollow mask. However even with the mask, he is unable to land a hit and Aizen claims that Ichigo’s blade will never reach him. He states that because he has no hatred towards Aizen, he is only fighting out of a sense of responsibility and is therefore weak. The rest of the captains and vizards step in and state that they will all fight together, and they attack Aizen. Hitsugaya tells Aizen that captains only fight because of duty, and he retorts that Hitsugaya himself holds hatred because of what Aizen did to Hinamori. Hitsugaya is furious and swears that he will kill Aizen.
The new opening sequence was pretty good. The song by SID is average, but the style is one I like (especially the chorus about midway through), and the animation is unique too. The art is a bit bland compared to previous openings, but the high contrast shading and various video effects give off a grundgy and more intense feel. For me, the new sequence spiced up the mood and the rest of the episode felt more lively and engaging. Most of the main characters in the upcoming portion of the story are featured; we also see what seems to be the Hougyoku in the beginning, and Ichigo’s longer hair in the end. I’ve noticed that Bleach OP’s often feature Ichigo in the final shot, but it is still a nice aspect. The ending is generic, showing Ichigo running and the cast of characters scrolling through.
Riding off the momentum of Tousen’s battle last week, this episode jumps right into the action again and it is quite exciting. Ichigo relentlessly attacks Aizen and does not waste his advantage of surprise. His impressive barrage of attacks are unfortunately useless. Because he is so damn well prepared, Aizen effortlessly dodges or blocks everything, and there was more audience head-bashing at how ridiculously strong he is. He isn’t just powerful, but is also a smart guy — his intuition is spot-on in reading Ichigo’s situation, thoughts, and even motives. Ichigo is completely intimidated and has no more will to fight, and I’m sure the viewers can understand his shock and fear. Aizen’s long and arrogant monologues help build suspense, but as usual they drag on too long, interrupting the flow of the story. Unfortunately attacking him during his speeches is absolutely useless as he is able to react quickly anyway. The ridiculous power difference is somewhat to be expected however, and in the case for manga readers, very annoying. It is obvious that Aizen will be defeated in the end, and there is a feeling of “what’s the point?”
When all the good guys finally band together and decide to work together to attack Aizen, one can’t help but wonder what took them so long. Even Aizen himself acknowledges the wisdom of fighting together. However, this battle can’t be ending anytime soon. Flaws aside, recent episodes have been getting more exciting to watch. With Hitsugaya going mad with rage and summoning his bankai (again), only one thing can happen — we will be watching him get fucking pwned.