「瀞霊廷奪還へ！隊長たち、動く！」 (Seireitei dakkane! Taichou tachi, ugoku!)
“Recapture Seireitei! The Captains’ Move!”
Urahara makes preparations for Hitsugaya, Byakuya, and Komamura. He explains that Kageroza doesn’t control the Cleaner, but instead manipulates the time inside the Precipice World. However his control isn’t absolute, and therefore the shinigami have a short window to travel through. Ichigo returns to the Urahara shop with Nozomi, and Kenpachi shows up with Yachiru. They then meet up with the other shinigami to travel to Soul Society behind the Cleaner. The Restrictive Current inside begins to flow faster however due to their high spiritual pressure. In Soul Society, Unohana talks with Inaba, who reveals that he can manipulate the time around the Restrictive Current. Komamura stays behind and uses his bankai to slow the flow, but he gets swallowed up. Hitsugaya, Byakuya, and Kenpachi/Yachiru make it through and split up to find Kageroza.
Kenpachi finds his reigai and they fight, both cutting each other up. Eventually the reigai cuts him down, but after Yachiru comes to him he stands up again. Both of them charge each other using a two handed attack, and Kenpachi manages to defeat the fake. Yamamoto also continues to battle the fake Ukitake and Kyouraku, giving them a difficult time. Elsewhere in Soul Society, Unohana tells Inaba that they are too strong to be defeated. However, Isane reveals herself to be a reigai, and Unohan’s own fake shows up as well.
Like Yamamoto, I still also find it amusing how the fakes talk, act, and fight like the real ones; the only difference is in their motives. As usual, watching strong characters in a battle is always fun and the purpose of this arc seems to be just that. Of course Yamamoto, Ukitake, and Kyouraku are among the strongest shinigami and they showcase a lot of their powers here. Yamamoto’s fire did seem weaker, but that could just be due to the rain dampening its effects.
Naturally, Kenpachi vs. Kenpachi was pretty exciting as I had thought, but it was also pretty funny at the same time. Something about two violence-prone muscle-heads smashing each other and enjoying the process is really rather amusing. There was the usual “stay standing for half a minute after taking a fatal hit” stance/final words too. I guess that was put in on purpose, to make his fight somewhat parallel the one with Ichigo a while back. It’s no masterpiece, but still is good fun for fans of the characters.
By the way, this week’s Illustrated Shinigami featuring the fake Isane and Unohana was absolutely hilarious and is definitely worth a watch.