「恋次ＶＳルキア？！仲間との戦い！ 」 (Renji VS Rukia?! Nakama to no Tatakai!)
“Renji vs. Rukia?! Battle With Comrades!”
Kon wakes up and finds the green haired girl awake. She calls him a pervert and refuses to tell him anything. Several shinigami arrive to pick her up, revealing her name to be Nozomi Kujo, a shinigami, but she escapes. However, Inaba catches up and immobilizes her and Kon, and Ishida shows up to save them.
In Soul Society, Ichigo has been arrested because his shinigami badge was found in the Precipice World. Rukia sneaks into where he’s held and breaks him out, and they attempt to escape. The shinigami have mobilized for an emergency and Ikkaku and Renji intercept them. Yourichi arrives and seals them however, and they are able to get away. She tells them that the people they fought were not the real Ikkaku and Renji, but rather actually Reigai, which retain the powers and personalities as the original. She says someone in 12th squad was probably involved. Ichigo and Rukia sneak into the R&D development to check on the records, and find that Nozomi Kujohad had passed through.
As some people suspected last week, a lot of the shinigami are actually fakes, “Reigais”, which brings up the question where the real ones are. Kira and Nana were probably Reigai’s as well, and it’s pretty clear that Inaba is the villain, though whether or not he’s the big mastermind controlling everything is yet to be revealed. Whatever the master plan is, it also includes taking out Ichigo, as usual. Of course, there’s also the question of who Nozomi is and why she’s wanted by the bad guys, though I honestly would not have guessed she’s a shinigami. While she does seem to possess decent skill even without a zanpakutou, it’s very likely that she’ll be requiring a lot more saving in the future, which is unfortunate since I would have liked to see more kickass characters. And indeed, Ishida has to come save the day in the end, hinting that the ED isn’t just for show and maybe he’ll be able to shine a bit in this arc. I’m also happy to see Yourichi back and in action, and I’m holding my breath for some cool fights soon.