「禁断の研究…望実に隠された秘密！ 」 (Kindan no kenkyuu…Nozomi ni kakusa reta hitmitsu! )
“The Forbidden Research…Nozomi’s Hidden Secret!”
Kurotsuchi attacks Kageroza and explains that he had switched places with his reigai after killing it in the Precipice World. He says he is waiting for Ashisogijizo to take effect, then approaches Kageroza and stabs him. Kurotsuchi then reveals that with his first attack he had injected a drug that interferes with thoughts. Kageroza becomes frustrated and destroys the reigai Isane and swallows her Mod Soul candy, which splits him into two, transferring the Mod Soul into the drugged body. The other reigai then regroup with him, and Kageroza states that he was the one who developed the Mod Souls. He became embittered after the project was scrapped and the Mod Souls destroyed. He hid the data in the Dangai, then spent the next few years looking for it. Kageroza then releases the true power of the reigai, and also brings back the previously defeated ones.
Ichigo suddenly wakes up back in the world of the living, and Nozomi questions why he didn’t defeat Kageroza. Ichigo wonders about the mysterious shinigami he saw in the Precipice World, and Urahara says that he’s not sure how Ichigo was able to escape the Cleaner. He then says that Kageroza was looking for information hidden in the Dangai, specifically about the Mod Soul development. Rukia explains about the Mod Souls and Project Spearhead, and Nozomi reveals that she knew about what Kageroza was up to. Kon asks if that was why Nozomi had been slighting him, but she says that she was actually the first Mod Soul created.
Kurotsuchi pulls a fast one on Kageroza, pretending to be a reigai by using contacts and a bracelet. I found his antics highly entertaining as he used various little tricks to outplay Kageroza, to which the latter actually admits. He’s quite the awesome mad scientist is up there in my list of favorite captains. Unfortunately Kageroza, the creator of Mod Souls, is also able to use them to their maximum potential, and so the many years of research and planning take the lead for now. The captains have run into a lot of trouble now with Kageroza reusing the defeated Mod Souls, and they’ll probably be needing a rescue party. Yamamoto is noticeably missing too, and for now we can only assume that he was defeated.
We finally do get some of the back-stories and motives of the characters, and nothing is incredibly surprising. Obviously Nozomi knew what was going on with Kageroza all along, but she still seems reluctant to discuss her past, which was probably not without emotional trauma. She also seems to be developing feelings for Ichigo, but with her status as a Mod Soul she would be better off with Kon — yes he’s a pervert but he’s done quite a bit for her too and is the type that will stick around to the very end if necessary.
Judging from the preview, it looks like there will be a more light-hearted episode next time, which isn’t exactly what I was expecting; maybe the final battle will be put off for a bit.