Well this episode was an improvement on the past couple of episodes of Bleach. Still this episode continues to show the problem with the Bounts not being very interesting outside of Kariya and the deceased Yoshino. The big problem might lie that it each fight versus the Bounts is taking two or three episodes to defeat which should only be one at most half of two not three episodes. Mabashi is a perfect example of this because his doll is not very interesting to start of with but with a two episode focus on Mabashi and his doll Ritz have just annoyed the shit out of me. The only saving point for this episode is Lieutenant Hisagi appears who gives this episode the necessary badass Bleach has been missing since Ichigo is being used as a punching bag, Renji was taken out quickly, and Uryu still doesn’t have his powers so Hisagi, mostly from his character design, feels like a nice addition to this arc.
I will say that it was great to see Rukia back in her Soul Reaper gear again since the first episode of Bleach. Hopefully Rukia will start fighting as a Soul Reaper instead of using her gigai to fight. It was nice to also see Orihime finally coming out of her shell and show a much stronger will since her power fluctuates when she hesistates, which is how she has been since the show started, and hopefully Orihime will start acting more confident in future episodes like she did here. It was these two factors and the addition of Hisagi, as well as a promise of the other Soul Reapers sent to the real world, made this episode feel average and berable.
Episode Rating – 6.8/10
For people that are expecting answers to a lot of the questions that haven’t been answered about this series in the past 24 episodes of this series will be disappointed by this episode. In truth this doesn’t really answer anything about any of the characters and instead mostly sets up this series for the second season of this series, called R2, especially with the cliffhanger ending, which I will talk about a bit later. I will say that this episode was not as good as the past three excellent episodes but I felt it did its job in getting me excited to finding out what is to with R2.
One of the important thing we find out, and really only thing we do, is how important Zero is to the Black Knights and that without Zero the Black Knights would have all died long ago since they are a bunch of terrorist. As soon as Lelouch leaves the battle field and turns control of the Black Knights to Todou the battle soon gets to out of hand for Todou to handle the second Lelouch cuts all of his contact with the Black Knights to save Nunally. This helps reinforce how important Lelouch is as Zero not only as a strategist but also a symbol of hope to all the Black Knights and the Japanese. Seeing how quickly the Black Knights were overwhelmed and confused I can see Lelouch as Zero having more influence with other nations that oppose Britannia for R2.
This episode also had some great scenes involving all secondary characters that were gathered at the Ashford Academy. Nina was perfect with how psycho she has become in willing to blow up the whole school in order to kill Zero for killing Euphimia. It was great seeing how Milly, Shirley, and Rivalz reacted in this scene when they finally realize how crazy Nina has become. But the real star of this scene, and one of the best characters of the series, was Lloyd. He perfectly played up his intrigue that Nina was able to finish her bomb as a scientist while still worried about his own life. I hope that Lloyd gets much more scenes in R2 since he felt like the most underutilized character in the series.
Now for those Lelouch-CC shippers you do get your moment with CC kissing Lelouch and Lelouch entering CC memory to see her past. I don’t really have much to say about these scenes since I don’t see this series as a romance show since this show has always been more about the action and strategy of war and think of this show as a cross between Deathnote and Gundam Seed.
The cliffhanger ending to this episode definetly had it suprises. First of I did not expect Kallen to be involved in the “final” confrontation between Lelouch/Zero and Suzaku since she has been more of a secondary character to this point. With her finding out Lelouch is Zero it seems the writers are going to have a much bigger role for Kallen now that she knows Lelouch’s secret when R2 starts.
It is also interesting to see how much Suzaku has changed from how he started the series also nice and optomistic to blinded by revenge for Euphimia’s killer. And Lelouch falls in the same category since he is so blinded by saving Nunally he doesn’t see how insane he has become. The screen turning black and a one gun shot heard is a nice mystery of who was the one who fired the shot. Was it Lelouch? Suzaku? or Kallen? Also what are the intentions of the mysterious VV for kidnapping Nunally in the first place? All this helps build excitement for R2 that starts on Saturday though I still wish Cartoon Network and Adult Swim would air this series at a more resonable hour than 5am since I have to wait till it is uploaded on YouTube to watch the episode since I don’t have a Tivo. But still this was a great episode and bring on R2.
Episode Rating – 9.2/10