Ep. 118 – “Ikkaku’s Bankai! The Power That Breaks Everything”
See now this is what I am talking about. This is the kind of episode I have come to expect from Bleach. Not only did we get some kick butt action but we also got some good information about the Arrancars. Even though we had some good action scenes during “The Bount” arc they were never at the same level as what we got in “The Soul Society” arc. The Ikkaku vs Edorad was just great to watch. Just like in his fight with Ichigo Ikkaku’s unconventional fighting style makes for some great fighting and this fight was no different.
It was awesome to see Ikkaku’s bankai animated. This was one of the things that I did not expect to see when I first read it in the manga. It was unexpected but totally fitting that Ikkaku would have a bankai as he has been around and trained others for a while now. Once he released his bankai the fight went from being great to one of the top fights we’ve gotten in Bleach. I really dug Ikkaku’s bankai as just like his zanpakuto it is a three section axe-like weapon. And it is pretty cool that unlike the energetic Ikkaku his bankai is lazy and needs to be woken up by either being damaged or have Ikkaku be damaged for a while before having it reach full power. It was a nice weakness that helps to make the fight more dynamic and I like the addition of the dragon crest on Hozukimaru slowing turning completely red as it was something that is noticeable in the manga, for obvious reasons, but it is here.
Also it was cool to learn that the Arrancars swords actually hold their true hollow forms and it will be cool to see what the other Arrancars who are fighting in these episodes look like. Also I am looking forward to seeing how Rukia and Ichigo deal with Grimmjow as he is the leader of the group and one of the Espadas. This was a fun episode and I hope that the next few episodes can give us some more kick ass action like in this episode.
Episode Rating – 8.8/10
Ep. 119 – “Zaraki Division’s Secret Story! The lucky men”
Though this episode was not as good as the last episode this was still another very good episode of Bleach that gave us some backstory on Ikkaku and Yumichika. I actually expected more of these types of episodes for the Soul Reapers during “The Bount” arc since there was too much of a focus on the Bounts and it would have been good for an anime exclusive arc to have.
Now while these backstory type episodes tend to be a bit on the boring side Bleach has done a good job with giving us episodes that are purely character backstories. What made this episode fun is that we got some good action in it which is something to be expected from Squad 11. Zaraki and Yachiru’s involvement made this episode much more fun to watch as they have a great presence when given time on the show, especially Zaraki who is one of my favorite characters on the show.
What was cool about this episode was how they showed us that even though Ikkaku may not want to be a Captain it seems that he may be one at the end of the series as the Soul Society needs Captains like him to fill in the gap left by Aizen and the other two Captains. What I also liked was the relationship between Ikkaku and Renji and how hard Ikkaku trained Renji into being the strong sword fighter he is now. It helps to show that Ikkaku should be a Captain in the future as he can teach many of the younger, less experienced Soul Reapers how to fight. Though he will have to get over his reliance on having to work under Zaraki and actually showing others how powerful he is before becoming a Captain.
Overall this was a good episode that gives some backstory on Ikkaku and it was good that we got to see the end of the fight Ikkaku was having against Edorad as we can see the others fight in the next episode.
Episode Rating – 8.3/10