「ありがとう 」 (Arigatou)
“Thank You”

Summary:
Ichigo and Rukia fight hollows as usual, but Rukia begins to worry about Ichigo’s reiatsu. Kurumadani tells them not to do anything without permission, and she tells Ichigo to be more careful. He goes to school as usual, but begins to struggle when battling hollows in his shinigami form. Both Ishida and Rukia notice that Ichigo’s spiritual pressure is reaching its limit and they attempt to keep him from fighting.

Ichigo takes Rukia ice skating along with all their friends, but as they return home another hollow shows up. Ichigo is beaten back though and struggles to maintain his reiatsu. He realizes this, and musters his energy for one last Getsuga Tenshou, and defeats the hollow with Rukia’s help. Before collapsing, Ichigo tells Rukia that he had already guessed that she was trying to prevent him from fighting. He confirms his friendship with Her before passing out and when he wakes up, Rukia tells him he is passing through the second phase of the loss of his reiatsu. He comes to terms with the fact that his powers are disappearing, and says farewell and thank you to Rukia as she disappears.

 

Preview

Omake

Impressions:
Most of this episode was actually added material, but that’s not bad at all since it links everything from the previous arc and fleshes out some of the events. It also shows their regular human lives, and we haven’t seen them going to school or just hanging out in a long time in either the anime and manga. There’s a lot of focus on Rukia and Ichigo too and that’s always welcome in my book. They get some decent character development, even if it’s not strictly canon, and I found the change of pace quite enjoyable. From the way they address each other, this episode makes it pretty clear that they share a very close friendship together.

Both Rukia and Ichigo look better in casual clothes in my opinion as well, maybe because I’ve been looking at their shinigami forms for too long. I’ve always been a Ichigo x Rukia shipper, and they really do have pretty good chemistry together even if they are still in the friend zone. Kubo isn’t really pushing the romance aspect of Bleach so I’m not expecting much, but tender little moments like this are still nice. I don’t understand why their goodbye was such a big deal when Rukia could just use a gigai if she wanted to visit Ichigo, but ignoring that, this was a spectacular episode, and it was nice that they chose to expand the one chapter into a full 20 minutes. Seems there will be a little more of this regular slice of life next week, then it’s time for Ginjou and the Xcution to make their appearance.

35 Comments

  1. Really loved this episode. Kubo and few other staff of Bleach were hyping fans up towards this episode and I can tell why they did this. It was such a tender, amazing episode.

    To me if IchiRuki pairing won’t be canon no other pairing that involves Ichigo or Rukia won’t.

    And yes I agree. Ichigo and Rukia, especially Rukia looks better in human clothes.

    Corn
  2. I’m just glad to see that (from the preview) the next episode is going to be the time skip instead of some weird out of place filler (not that I don’t like the fillers perse. I love their mature looks

    Whispo
  3. When watching that video it almost-ed seemed/sounded like Rukia was sort of proposing to Ichigo somewhat when he said he was slowing her down or getting in her way. Rukia does look great in normal clothes.

    Max
  4. I believe Gigais are considered illegal, because they completely cut off your reiatsu so noone can track you. They were one of the reasons why Urahara got banned from Soul Society.
    Of course, that doesn’t explain why Renji, Ikkaku, Matsumoto and so on were allowed to use one back then when they came to the human world because of the Arrancar.

    Great episode, I really liked the soundtrack they used in the end (“Always be with me in mind” by Sagisu Shirou from the first Bleach movie) and the way everything was portrayed, especially the last moments.

    And now, we are back on track.

    virox
      1. Well according to Bleach Wiki, Gigais are ” an artificial body that allows Shinigami to remain in the Human World and interact with Humans”, and reiatsu wasn’t blocked in the first place. This filler is just about how some ridiculous people think of placing Mod Souls in Gigais…

        kaineng
      2. No, they are/were illegal.
        Rewatch “Turn back the pendulum”, Urahara created the first artificial bodies, and he first used them to hide himself, Yoruichi, and the later Vizards in the real world.
        You can also rewatch the part when Aizen takes the Hougyoku out of Rukia, he also says that Urahara was banished from SS because of the Gigais he created.
        (This filler arc was about Reigais anyway).
        I don’t know about the ones used by Renji, Hitsugaya etc., but the ones he created for himself and the others, and for Rukia, were definitely illegal.
        He created a reiatsu blocking Gigai for Rukia so she (and the Hougyoku) would never be found in the real world.

        virox
      3. They definitely did use Gigais quite regularly in the Bleach. But for the main cannon Bleach one could argue the 2 main instances.

        1- Rukia was in trouble so she needed a Gigai to recover her lost spiritual power after Ichigo drained it all. Urahara’s was special and happened to be designed to deplete her power further though.

        2- The rest of the Shinigami’s did visit the living world when Karakura was the main target of Aizen’s insurrection. It wouldn’t be a surprise to assume that desperate times forced Soul Society to make exceptions to the general rule and place a standing force there in case Arrancar attacked, which they did.

        In any case normal Gigai’s aren’t illegal. There’s a legal limit to how long you can stay in the real world, based on your assignment or if you go missing. By Rukia’s words Gigais are typically used to speed up recovery of weakened Reapers. Urahara’s were custom made for specific purposes since he and the Vaizards were already outlaws and he had a specific goal in mind.

        synkronized
      4. It’s still a little strange, since back then in Turn back the Pendulum, it was pretty much stated that Urahara created the first Gigais, he told Hiyori about it and stuff. And when he was about to be put in custody, he escaped and used them to hide their reiatsu, and was banned for it, as Aizen said.
        So I guess we have to assume that Soul Society/Kurotsuchi later continued development of those bodies with the research team, after Urahara was gone.

        virox
    1. I agree, this is what Bleach was to begin with. But what Ichigo wants is nothing if Kubo wants to push battles over plot, even if it was a questionable move when we look back.

      And let’s not mention how Bleach has nowhere to go unless it introduces yet more characters to push the story along. I can still hope though… that Kubo can make something happen from what’s already out there, like Aizen still being alive (in hell) and escaping to finish his soul king plan. I mean, we can’t just let that go after Kubo mentioned a king…

      1. I did like Bleach when it incorporated more of the high school life meets the after life. Then Ichigo fought and won against a demi god.

        I know Bleach had to expand but Kubo’s ability to render compelling characters made Bleach amazing. Ichigo as a lowbie Shinigami rocked. Here we had a relatively intelligent guy but not a total bastard or a pussy, he hit just the right chord to feel really refreshing against the bland stereotypical protagonists we usually get.

        synkronized
  5. I’ll start watching bleach again when the orange haired girl is killed off and I get some good Rukia x Ichigo action.

    unfortunately I don’t think any of that will ever happen 🙁

    Foofiebeast
    1. I think in the beginning he really was pushing for IchigoXRukia, but I’m guessing once the popularity really starting growing he didn’t want to risk it anymore, which seems absurd to me, but whatever.

      Foofiebeast
  6. RukiaxIchigo was one of the main reasons I originally started watching Bleach. This was before I realized how overblown the series was going to become, and thought that it would actually end with conviction. Still, even though I don’t keep up with the anime (only read the manga now) this episode looks good and reminds me of the good old days. Yay RukiaxIchigo.

    innerchihiro
  7. Eh. Maybe it’s because I already spoiled myself on the manga so I’ve already enjoyed the emotional goodbye scene that I didn’t really care much about this episode. The ending goodbye part was still good, but I was annoyed with the larger part of it. I really didn’t care for 15-20mins of Ichigo going “ooooh, I’m so weak, I can’t do anything…help me Rukia”

    koager
  8. Anna: Exactly 😀 Besides, because they pretty much have a strong relationship in the manga anime-team can give them something like this. It’s not out of the blue or anything. So even if it is a “Filler” it just pretty much shows how an IchiRuki relationship should be seen.

    Corn
  9. I loved the ichiRukiness of this episode, but please, people, it doesn’t make them any more canon than they already are in the manga. They’re still “more than friends, less then lovers”.

    I understand your “What’s the deal?” about their farewell, but quite honestly, Rukia getting a giai would only scratch on the surface of the problem. Ichigo has lost his powers and seeing Rukia would be a constant reminder of that loss. Furthermore, Rukia can only go into the living world, if she has a mission to do so. There’s no need for a gigai, if she’s only doing some “normal” shinigami-work. That’s why their farewell IS a big deal 🙂

    SummelBaerli
  10. I do agree they look better in casual clothing. Oh God!Why doesn’t Kubo already declare them a couple instead of making such fillers and making IchiHime fans like me wait in despair for an IchiHime moment to turn up in the series but I know the fact that Bleach has no space for romance in it!!

    rachel
  11. ^ Bleach do have space for romance. But its just not the focus of the story 🙂 Other wise Renji wouldn’t have had a crush on Rukia for over 40 years, or Orihime on Ichigo, Gin and Rangiku wouldn’t of had that bitter moment and Shunsui wouldn’t be chasing after Nanao XD

    Corn

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