Summary:
Hitsugaya attacks Aizen with his bankai stating that he won’t let him get a chance to use Kyoya Suigetsu. Gin, observing from the side, comments that he has misunderstood Aizen’s power. The other captains and vizards attack Aizen as well, but he fends them off easily. Komamura, Love, Rose, and Lisa are defeated quickly. Ichigo stands on the side, frozen in fear. Soifon then faces off against Aizen, and with the help of Hitsugaya, lands two hits on him with her shikai. However Aizen reveals that his spiritual power is so great her abilities have no effect on him. Kyoraku stabs him through from behind and Hitsugaya, seeing a chance, charges in with Shinji reversing the direction. He apparently impales him through the chest, but then suddenly the illusion is revealed, and it is actually Hinamori who was stabbed. Aizen then cuts down Kira and Iba in one blow and states that he has been using Kyoya Suigetsu from the very start. Hitsugaya goes into a rage at the revelation that he had impaled Hinamori, but Aizen defeats him, along with Soifon, Kyoraku and Shinji.

 

Preview

Impressions:
Aizen could probably hold his own against all of his opponents without releasing. Hell he doesn’t even seem to be trying and yet fights just fine against all the good guys going all out on him. It’s pretty ridiculous seeing their best attacks getting smashed while Aizen barely flinches. Considering he is not using any kidou or powers, it is a sad sight to see. Komamura and his bankai were cut down in two swipes and his performance is not much better than his face-off against Aizen back in Soul Society. The vizard, even with their hollow masks, seem incredibly weak and they too are cut down quickly. All of Soifon’s trash talk didn’t help her either as even her powerful two-hit kill ability doesn’t work simply because— you are reading this correctly— Aizen is too strong. I think the main point why people find this so annoying is because of the lack of explanation for his strength. There is no reason why he would be this insanely powerful, and suspension of disbelief breaks down.

While Hitsugaya does remind one of Justin Bieber, I don’t consider myself a hater, but yet in this episode I could feel no sympathy for him as he was completely dominated. When he finally seems to defeat Aizen, the ironic twist is revealed. All the good guys are just about to celebrate their victory when Ichigo screams at them asking what the hell they were doing. The illusion breaks and they find out that Aizen had used his illusion to swap places with Hinamori who had been lying injured on the ground. He was quite smart here to activate his powers before the battle then let them kill each other unknowingly. Aizen is so overpowered, but I found myself cheering at the scene— perhaps because of the foolishness of the good guys. Combined with the ominous music playing, I was getting Death Note vibes as the rest of the shinigami and vizard got dispatched one by one within a matter of fractions of seconds. Really, it is only reasonable here if they all died. Next week, the Captain-Commander finally goes into action, which should be a treat to watch.

48 Comments

  1. “I think the main point why people find this so annoying is because of the lack of explanation for his strength. There is no reason why he would be this insanely powerful, and suspension of disbelief breaks down.”

    Thank you for bringing this up, because “just ’cause” doesn’t work all the time. You can only do it so many times before it gets ridiculous, and then you have to start actually scaling characters’ abilities for the sake of good action pacing.

    Anonymooo
  2. I don’t read the manga, but this episode couldn’t be any more obvious.

    It was clear from the get go that, considering Ichigo wasn’t involved in the fight, everyone else would fail. I guessing there will be another drawn out battle with Ichigo where he deliberates and all seems lost, until he finally goes full Hollow mode – which still probably won’t be enough if Aizen releases his bankai, is capable of Hollowfication or just simply manages to hypnotise Ichigo.

    Still, the episode was somewhat entertaining, but with the apparent “deaths” and loss of limbs (i.e. Soifon and Komamura) I’m waiting for the deus ex machina type reset or Inoue to bring everyone back.

    Duh
  3. You gotta admit, this episode was ingenious and a god send. We had to watch the defeats of all the espada and arrancar over the course of two years, and in this one episode, 7 captains lvl and 4 lieuteints lvl go down within a matter of 20 minutes. This is way better than watching someone get defeated once every other episode.

    Siege
  4. This was this the first episode in a while that was animated in a way that made me entertained by watching it.

    Ugg, it still doesn’t make any sense though. I’ll just assume Aizen used his bakai which literally manipulated reality to get hinamori there. And ichigo didn’t say anything sooner because Aizen made them unable to here Him.

    derp...
    1. The consensus seems to be that he was yelling at them but they couldn’t hear him. Of course this in no way explains why he didn’t grow a brain and physically intervene but when you consider what happens in the next few episodes this will seem positively sane in comparison.

      Grant
      1. In re. to Arky: this is the same character who only a few episodes ago revealed that his powers had reached ludicrous levels. Also this is the same guy who consistently goes after opponents he already knows are too strong for him. I somehow can’t see him being too worried about getting attacked by people who are too idiotic to have Mayuri pull an illusion-dispelling device out of his rear before this fight started.

        Grant
  5. After watching it the first time and seeing the events unfold. I decided to watch it a 2nd time but this time in Ichigo’s perspective. I don’t think he was frozen in fear it seemed more like shock with a side of WTF.

    Anyway, I do have to admit it’s been so long since Bleach had me intrigued.

    Qwerk
  6. Yeah, great episode but my question is this. Based on Ichigo’s perspective, since hes the only one viewing things normally, when did Aizen do his “replacement jutsu” on Hinamori and change places with her. Since Ichigo attacked and had a conversation with the real Aizen, it had to have been done sometime between the first attacks and after taking down those first Vizard/Captains. Since I doubt Hinamori would be able to do that 😛

    Namzor
    1. I agree, but there is also the fact that Hinamori wouldn’t have been able to survive Soifon’s death in two strikes, so Aizen probably illusioned the whole thing from the beginning. He made an illusion so it seems like he isn’t using Kyoka Suigetsu when he actually is, and just before he got stabbed by Hitsugaya, Aizen switched places with Hinamori. I think that it what happened.

      Yogo
  7. A lot of heroes DO wind up losing limbs through this fight … Soi Fon to Barragan, Uryuu to Ulquiorra, Komamura and (apparently) Hitsugaya to Aizen. It’s always the left side, too, ever notice that? Looks like Shiro-chan lost his foot on that side too. Maybe it’s always the left because they’re blocking heart strikes? I dunno.

    Romi Paku did a great job with Hitsugaya’s scream of rage and despair, reminding me why she’s my favorite seiyuu.

    Next episode, the old man FINALLY stops standing around and fights! Hope it gets expanded, too.

    Guardian
  8. i don’t know if anyone mentioned this but he did NOT activate his powers before the battle because ichigo attacked him initially knowing it was really him. Secondly, this battle really irks me because if ichigo had seen this stuff before hand he should have said something much sooner, so I feel this battle, no matter how strong Aizen is.. to be very implausible.

    linh
  9. Aizen’s switching before the battle makes no sense. If he had switched before the battle then when Ichigo came out of the Gargantua he should’ve seen that the person he attacked wasn’t Aizen. Unless, as someone mentioned, it’s more like a replacement technique from Naruto where it’s instantaneous. That would also why it seems Ichigo is mentally retarded. “Hey everyone is attacking Hinamori but I’ll just stand here and watch. I’ll start screaming AFTER they kill her”.

    koager
  10. This makes me wonder when he switched places with Hinamori. Before Aizen seemingly got stabbed in the chest or in the beginning of the battle. The line where Hitsugaya says “You don’t even look like you want to fight” makes me think it could’ve been then but I don’t think Hinamori could take down A captian and three vizards o_o…

    Layfon
    1. the only explanation i see is time-space kidou or some kind of switching places kidou placed in hinamori by aizen, or having hinamori really close to him, flying near by since soifon appeared, leaving a dummy in the floor then switching, its all possible with complete hypnosis, just before the second half of the episode a friend of mine and me were talking about how everyone and their mother were more afraid of Kyoka Suigetsu than Aizen.

      arky
  11. wow, good episode
    finally the capitains where not just standing around watching a 1 on 1 fight!
    at any given moment someone was on Aizen’s face except Yamamoto ( fuck him!)
    the only thing that bugs me a bit (just like everyone here) is when did Aizen trade places with the girl?

    at least in naruto they show us when a substitution occures!
    besides that, this was a good episode

    goukison

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