Yukio may just be a wannabe Aizen, but it’s still good to see someone cutting him down a few notches, both physically and verbally. Just as it was with Aizen, I always get a high amount of satisfaction seeing an arrogant person being put in their place. Hitsugaya is so much cooler too than he was the last few times we saw him, and I like how he offered to spare Yukio’s life in exchange for closing the pocket dimensions. It’s probably going to devolve into a battle of wills between them, but I can’t see Yukio giving in easily with his personality, unless he’s broken further. It would be nice if Hitsugaya actually killed him though, because at the moment he’s just giving Yukio more chances to pull tricks.
There’s more ass-kicking dealt out by the shinigami all around, as Ikkaku shows he’s not in the 11th squad for no reason. I swear he’s a miniature Kenpachi, and his brute force antics are just as amusing to watch (just look at that headbutt). Sometimes it feels like they enjoy getting hurt as long as it means they get a decent battle. It’s not clear how Ikkaku managed to “outluck” Shishigawara’s jackpot ability (as he explained, its effectiveness may have dropped as he used it repeatedly) but it was still a pretty good fight. Watching the two of them made me realize how violent Bleach actually is though, and I think some of that is lost because it’s drawn as manga. There’s an awful lot of coarse language too, and if this was a live-action movie, it would be solidly inside the R-rated region. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but I do wonder if I’m getting too bloodthirsty watching these action series, always hoping to see bloodier, more violent, and more intense battles. I’m also rather curious as to what the average age group that reads/watches Bleach, as the shounen manga demographic includes those in the early teens.