Episode 340

「霊骸VS原種、誇りをかけた激闘!」 (Reigai VS genshu, hokori o kaketa gekitou! )
“Reigai vs. Original, The Fierce Fighting for Gambled Pride!”

Summary:
Yushima announces that his goal is to destroy Soul Society. When he attempts to kill Rukia though, Ichigo intercepts the hit in his hollow form. Nozomi’s consciousness, which was still floating in limbo inside Yushima, suddenly wakes up and takes over Yushima momentarily. Ichigo’s then hollowfication dissipates and he loses his reiatsu again.

After regaining control, Yushima requests more fusion stabilizer, then states that he will kill Ichigo. Ichigo’s friends stand up to protect him however, and Yushima mocks them again for their friendship. They mount a combined attack against him and successfully bind him. Ishida then attempts to absorb his reiatsu, but by absorbing the reishi from his Seeleschneider, Yushima is able to negate it and fires a massive attack at Ichigo. Nozomi interferes again and causes to attack to miss, then she tells Ichigo to kill Yushima while he still can. Ichigo is unable to do it though, and Kageroza takes over again.

He derides the concept of friendship and boasts about his achievements alone, but Ichigo confronts him and tells him that he can’t do everything alone. Nemu shows up and hands Yushima the fusion stabilizer, but then reveals that she is actually Kon in a gigai. He explains that Mayuri faked his death, helped Urahara defeat his reigai and the reigai Nemu, and replaced it with Kon’s Soul Candy. Kon also brings back Ichigo’s completed Mod Soul Candy and restores Ichigo’s powers.

Elsewhere in Soul Society, the shinigami continue to battle the reigai, but they struggle against the reigai’s attack strategy. Byakuya figures out that they are switching off opponents, and so by standing together in a formation, the reigai don’t risk attacking. He speculates that the reigai take on Kageroza’s isolationism and therefore fight as such.

Omake

 

Episode 341

「侵軍篇、最終決着!」 (Shingun hen, saishuu kecchaku!)
“Invading Army Arc, Final Conclusion!”

Summary:
Ichigo releases his bankai and attacks Yushima. Kon, Rukia, Renji, Ishida, and Chad also join in the fight to help him. In the end, he is able to land a direct hit on Yushima with Getsuga Tenshou in his hollow form and badly injures him, allowing Nozomi to take control once again. Before Ichigo can severe his Soul Chain though, Kageroza blocks the hit, refusing to give up. He uses his zanpakutou to summon a large structure that destroys large parts of Sereitei, intending to take down everything along with himself.

Both the reigai and shinigami are surprised by this turn of events, and the reigai turn against Kageroza, aiming to protect Soul Society. They charge the structure, but are destroyed along with it. Badly injured, Yushima recalls his past and goes into a rage against Ichigo, but is quickly defeated. He separates into Kageroza and Nozomi again, and the former soon dissipates. As Nozomi begins to disappear as well, she states she will teach Kageroza the value of friendship, then thanks Kon and the others, and bids farewell.

Preview

Epilogue

 

Impressions:
I felt that these two episodes were of fairly poor quality overall, which is surprising since they are the final episodes of this arc. Especially in the second to last episode, fights looked pretty bad and the animation was subpar. Many of the scenes, especially in the reigai fight, consisted of panning over still shots, with very little actual movement. Though towards the end things stepped up and there was a lot of impressive looking attacks and explosions, framerate still felt choppy and detail was lacking, leaving me with a bad final impression.

As for what actually happened, I was even more so left unsatisfied. Too much time was spent bragging and talking with opponents; for example Yushima spent 2 minutes explaining Ishida’s technique and how he figured it out. It’s a recurring flaw, but becomes more annoying every time. It also doesn’t seem believable that all of Ichigo’s friends were able to get up and launch an all out attack against Yushima after getting defeated so badly in the last episode. Things become somewhat better as the story approaches the climax, and the final scenes of episode 340 were pretty exciting with “Number One” blasting in the background. We finally get to see Ichigo’s bankai in a more impressive light, showing off its speed and power and looking almost as badass as it did when it was first introduced. Yushima really is quite skilled too though, able to hold his own against that many opponents, but in the end a maxed out Getsuga Tensho to the face at point blank is still too much to take.

The reigai are all disposed of conveniently in one fell stroke as they all suddenly decide to be good guys again and sacrifice themselves in a suicide charge. Utterly implausible, but I suppose there’s few other methods to get rid of two dozen filler characters within three minutes. Kageroza and Nozomi’s end was also fairly predictable, though Yushima didn’t quite redeem himself in the end like I had half expected him to. As always, friendship runs as the main theme to the very end, and concludes with a tearful goodbye between Kon and Nozomi. If it wasn’t for the extremely flawed relationship and character development throughout the series, that scene could actually have quite a bit of tearjerker potential, but as it stands this arc was mostly only good for the battles. That aside, this decent but ultimately forgettable filler arc has finally come to an end, and it looks Ichigo will be bidding farewell to his shinigami friends in the next episode as his reiatsu fades away. I’m not particularly anticipating the Xcution arc, but the preview art is looking good.

57 Comments

  1. I thought the final episode’s animation and fight quality was pretty impressive. And I’m also really looking forward to the new arc starting up because the manga up to this point has been pretty insane!

    firelogic
      1. Correction it’s typed as:

        Quality or quality (normal letter case) which actually means the real deal.

        QUALITY is used when you know.. Herp… Derps.. and what not… *looks at SHAFT*

        megalith
  2. i thought they blew whatever budget they saved on the finale. The part where Rukia’s Ice pillars became part of the landscape and Kageroza stabbed his blade into the ice pillar to brake his backward motion looked much better animated than most episodes.

    Ending was cliche and the reigai captains turning against him was kind of DUH. If they wanted to protect Soul Society, they should simply have ambushed killed him while he was spilt in two (particularly the time the 2 parts of him was floating in the tank and the time the tower exploded when the reigai removed their bracelets).

    Writing was all over the place with a good beginning but terrible and self confused middle and silly ending

    Zaku Fan
      1. Eh? Because at about 14:13, reigai Toshiro gives some speech about “we are going to use OUR way to protect Soul Society” followed by reigai Ukitake saying “Only a mod soul canstop an out of control mod soul”.

        Zaku Fan
  3. You know, Bleach only has at most 46 chapters of original meterial. And considering the fullbringers arc is still incomplete, the still do enough material for 18 episodes. Unless they slow the pace down to like 1 chapter an episode, which will be quit hard to watch.

    Shez
  4. Are you telling me that this looked shitty?
    They hired a bunch of professional animators just for this episode (341, and next week’s episode, too).

    Shinichi Kurita
    Hironori Tanaka
    Hideki Kakita
    Yoshimichi Kameda
    Yuki Hayashi

    Now I wonder what character next week’s ending will feature. Rukia, probably?

    virox
  5. If you guys look carefully frame by frame at the scene where ichigo and kon are watching kageroza/yushima summon the green fortress thingy and just before there is this big green explosion, u will see that at one frame, there are animation notes left behind by the animators…

    DarklynerZ
  6. I just finished watching 341 twice.

    Not so much for the story, but for the incredible action and explosion sequences…Really made my day!

    I just wish they saved some budget for the canon episodes…I mean, if they are only going to air a few episodes of manga material before putting filler arcs, you’d think they want those episodes to be simply incredible, at least animation-wise. That way, people who drop the show because of fillers would always want to go back once fillers are over, since they either want to see the story progress or the goody animation.

    Instead, most of the best fights I can recall from Bleach are from fillers…

    Justinnnnnn
  7. (sigh) well it’s off to the part where Ichigo LOSES his powers. I really hope Kubo could make some interesting drama if he really plans to make a scene, that is only worth about 7 pages, into a good episode long section.

    Mmmm, if I recall correctly, Naruto changed it’s name to Naruto Shippuden after the time skip. I am wondering if the same would go for Bleach and One Piece now that both of the anime are going into a time skip. Seeing how both are in the top three, it is possible.

    Code Fanboy
    1. Yes that’s a big mistake but you would never really notice it if you just watch the episode normally. Besides that doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the better looking bleach episodes. I just can’t wrap my mind around how Proof could possibly think the animation quality was terrible.

      Bblood
    2. I’m surprised that someone actually noticed that. It lasted a few milliseconds and that scene was immediately followed by a white flash so it’s pretty much unnoticeable.

      Fling
  8. Yay the filler is over and now we can get onto the arc that honestly could have been filler but was actually in the manga. The entire next arc READS like filler in the manga as a boring arc of “lets give ichigo his powers back somehow with stupid villains” Insane power fluctuations from characters all over the place. And there is no way they will finish the arc without cutting in mid season with another series of fillers.

    Really bleach is going from filler into filler interrupted by filler then finish filler.

    bijyu
  9. I thought I can look forward to Anime showing us the epic action that comes out from Manga of Kubo or just some good fillers. But no, the animation team STILL wants us to imagine further ourselves…

    Great it’s gonna be over, and we’re getting to the Fullbringers’ Arc, no? So I wait, and hope the animation quality doesn’t deterioriate. Time for them so get some action…

    VOMIC September 2011 was good, hope this can be better… *pray*

    kaineng
  10. Wow, the animation was totally kick ass. It completely overshadowed the lame plot and ending. Reminds me of the sudden Naruto vs Pain animation change except it wasn’t an utter mockery and complete travesty to what was going on. Who approved that crap? Anyway, nicely done with Bleach 341…previews of the next episode *ugh*…it’s like they just kept getting shinier and shinier.

    Bouda
    1. And he said this about episode 309 :

      “Art quality I feel is still lacking however, and a more detailed environment could contribute so much and enhance everything. It’s fun seeing things getting smashed and blown up but the animation is too simplistic to enjoy.”

      LOL

      Wanda
  11. When you’re spoiled in seeing Ghibli quality animation then seeing this type of animation won’t win you over. When talking about animation quality it is how well the character moves not how they are drawn. If they move smooth and move right then the animation is good but if it’s choppy and moves aren’t right then that’s bad animation. Most people confuse animation with drawing. Quality drawing is in the art department.

    conyo985
  12. What episodes were you watching Prooof? 341 had some of the most brilliant animation that I have seen in Bleach in quite some time. I swear, the fact that you’re constantly late with your posts as well as you’re minimal knowledge with Bleach and inability to appreciate how hard they worked on this episode shows that you are by far the worst blogger on RandomC. I miss when Omni was the one blogging Bleach. He did a much better job at doing this than you. Well everyone, enjoy waiting a whole week for Prooof to blog about ONE episode of just one of two anime that he needs to blog about. Can’t wait for him to sum everything up in a couple short paragraphs about how he doesn’t like what he’s seeing rather than actually providing a thorough review. You suck Prooof. Omni or Divine can do a much better job than you.

    LaughingMan
  13. I haven’t watched Bleach in a while since the beginning of this filler arc, and after looking at these screen shots I couldn’t help but notice that the art seems to have changed. The characters’ facial features look a lot rounder…

    Yukie
  14. Poor animation ? Damn biggest fail review ever. Episode 341 had the BEST animation in all of bleach including the best art. AND not to mention the backhand getsuga tensho was badass enough I dont know if you like the art of bleach in it’s eariler episodes especially the fillers cause those sucked and werent consistent. One minute it’s great, the next it’s tolerable, and the minute after that it sucks donkey ass.unless you like art and most likely suckish animation like this !!!! https://randomc.net/image/Bleach/Bleach%20-%20172%20-%20Large%20Preview%2001.jpg

    Backhand Getsuga

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