After a long filler arc Bleach finally returns to the story being told in the manga. This first episode was packed with a ton of plotlines for fans of Bleach to look forward to.
Unlike almost every episode of “The Bount” arc this episodes does a great job using character development, action, and comedy that Bleach is known for. Kon was used perfectly as the comic relief in this episode from his complaining to being stuck in the body of a doll to when Ichigo puts him in his body to take care of and him saying how he isn’t going to get Ichigo arrested but he sure will have fun. With the Grand Fisher, in his new Arrancar form, it should be interesting to see if he will try and fight or run. And speaking of the Grand Fisher it will be fun to see how much more powerful the Grand Fisher has become as he was already powerful as a Hollow but now his power should be doubled or tripled.
Along with the introduction of the first Arrancar we are also introduced to the first Vizard in Shinji. He definitely made his presence felt from joking around in his introduction at school to how introduced himself to Ichigo by trying to strike him while Ichigo’s back was turned. With Shinji not only having a Hollow mask but also having knowledge of Ichigo also having a Hollow mask it brings to question how much knowledge he has about what has been going on and were he is getting all of his knowledge.
In the last bit of introduction we got the first appearance of Uryu’s dad, Ryuken Ishida. Up until this point he has only been mentioned in passing but in the few seconds he appeared in at the end of the episode gives the viewer the idea that he may be one of the strongest characters in Bleach. It should be interesting to see what kind of dynamic Ryuken and Uryu share as we know that Uryu does not like his father.
Overall this was a great start to the “Arrancar” arc and is a nice return to form for Bleach as there is a lot to look forward to what should be an excellent character and action driven story.
Episode Rating – 8.5/10
In the second new episode we got on Saturday Bleach continues its return to form. Continuing from were the last episode left off Ryuken comes in and save his son from getting eaten by two Hollows. And if this episode is any indication, Ryuken may be one of the strongest characters in Bleach with how he was able to take out the two Hollows in three shots, one to save Uryu and two to defeat the two Hollows. Also up until now Uryu has been seen as one of the most powerful Quincies there has ever been with what Captain Mayuri said but with how powerful Ryuken is it looks like Uryu still has a long way to go before coming close to his father’s power level. It will be interesting to see the method Ryuken uses to give his sons powers back and what it means for Uryu’s relationship with Ichigo.
I am a bit surprised that the mod souls that were introduced for “The Bount” arc (Ririn, Kurodo, and Noba) are still around as it is rare for characters to be introduced in a filler arc continue to be around in an anime. Still they brought some fun dialogue as they share a nice chemistry with Kon though I hope they only make rare appearance since they did get annoying towards the end of “The Bount” arc.
What really made this episode was the appearance of Isshin, Ichigo’s dad, in his Soul Reaper form. With the knowledge that Ichigo and his sisters are half-Soul Reapers it gives a nice reason why Ichigo and his sisters have so more much spiritual power than regular humans. Isshin showed off some nice strength as he was able to defeat the Grand Fisher, who was in his released form, in just one swing off his sword. I liked the explanation Isshin gave of how once a Soul Reaper attains the ranking of Captain that they have such control of their spiritual pressure that they are able to regulate how big their sword becomes. It is a nice call back to when Ichigo has a rookie Soul Reaper and had that huge sword because he was unable to control his spiritual pressure. Also it will be interesting to see how and why Isshin waited until now to show that he was/is a Soul Reaper.
Even though Ichigo and crew didn’t appear much in this episode seeing Isshin and Ryuken in action made up for it as this another great episode.
Episode Rating – 8.8/10