Summary:
Hitsugaya finds Matsumoto at the Women Soul Reaper Association New Year’s Party. They discuss and argue about the various New Years cards that the squads are passing out. However it ends up into a debate between the men and women and they decide to have a showdown with a karuta tournament. At first all the cards are about Ikkaku, and he gets kicked from the game for arguing. Then, Hisagi is removed from the tournament after suffering a nosebleed from looking at Matsumoto’s chest. The remaining members resort to violence to obtain the cards, destroying much of the building as they fight. For the final card, Soifon releases her bankai and the blast results in a large crater in the middle of Soul Society.

In Karakura Town, Inoue is spending her New Years alone. She spots Ichigo chasing his sisters Karin and Yuzu, and also sees Keigo shopping with his sister and Ishida with his father. She meets Renji and Rukia, and they take her to the Urahara shop where they are having New Year’s festivities. They end up picking on Renji, though Inoue has a good time. After they leave, Rukia takes her to a shrine and Renji brings Ishida, Ichigo, and Chad so Inoue wouldn’t be alone.

 

Preview

Impressions:
This week Bleach has some sort of New Years special episode, and yes it is filler as the anime is getting very close to the manga story. The whole thing was divided into two parts, with the first taking place in Soul Society. It was just a comedic one-shot story, but I actually found it pretty funny in several parts which is a step up from the humor usually found in the anime. It felt a bit like several omakes strung together, and the result wasn’t terrible to sit through.

Saying the segment was over-the-top is putting it mildly, as exaggeration was the whole point here. The guys vs. girls tournament quickly degenerates into an all-out battle with both kido and zanpakuto being pulled out, probably breaking every Soul Society rule there is. Mass fatalities and injuries would have occurred, but luckily this isn’t canon as Soifon’s nuke would have dealt out a lot more pain than just a few scratches.

The second half was more serious and it focused on Inoue and her lack of family. It was a bit sentimental as her parents and brother are all gone, and she can only watch everyone spend their New Years with their families happily. The story flows along fairly predictably, and in the end Rukia and Renji get all their friends together to keep her company. Renji is around mostly as a comedic punching bag, but the poor guy does manage to help conclude the episode happily. Quality was so-so, but Inoue and Rukia both looked nice in their kimono.

Fillers continue next time, and from the preview it looks like it will be based on the Halloween spread in the manga from a while back. All the characters will be in various costumes, so that could be something to look forward to (e.g. neko-maid costume).


17 Comments

  1. This wasn’t too bad. I usually don’t like Hitsugaya, but I actually sympathized with him in this episode as the only one to keep his cool. Little fillers like this work well, as long as they don’t come in Naruto-sized doses.

    caramel_cod
  2. Mmmm, much to my surpise, Ishida actually spends time with his dad, despite their current animosity with each other. Well, it looks like Halloween is comming early for Bleach. Hopefully, Ichigo would get some more screen time this time.

    Code fanboy
  3. Was a nice change of pace. I don’t mind these holiday themed episodes once in a while, just don’t overdo it. Speasking of overdoing it…

    Naruto’s are good too but it appears they are making a whole arc out of 1 and 2 shot episodes that delve into the past of the hidden leaf and now they are getting lame and boring. Its plainly obvious they are just milking it to stretch out the space between the current arc and the manga.

    Karmafan
    1. …that’s sort of the entire purpose of fillers, painfully obvious or not. Its not like they just stick them in there for the hell of it, its so they buy time until they have more material to animate.

      Dammit, Japan! Haven’t you ever heard of a hiatus?!

      Da5id
  4. This WAS pretty nice… at least better than the main story. I usually skip the anime since it’s just a drawn-out version of the strangled manga plot ~_~

    Besides, it’s not like Kubo killed the plot, right? Right?

    -cricket-

    Luxorcist
  5. This sounds like a mighty fun, lighthearted and hilarious episode. To be able to say that about a filler of ANY anime makes me supremely happy.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode with tremendous levels of excitement. No small part due to Hitsugaya in that shoutalicious wolf get-up, I will not lie. The rest of the gang in similarly fanservicey Halloween garb is just icing on the proverbial cake.

    Bring it on!!

  6. How did Ichigo, Renji, Chad, and Uryu all know Orihime was feeling lonely and all came to the shrine at the same time… AFTER IT WAS CLOSED?! We don’t see any indication that they knew! She said she didn’t even use her cel phone! Deux ex machina.

    starss

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