Double Shot Anime Reviews: Bleach 120 & 121

Ep. 120 – “Hitsugaya scatters! The Broken Hyōrinmaru”

Coming back to the action we are treated to another quality episode of Bleach. It is interesting that unlike Ikkaku fight with Edorad were it had a whole episode focused on it this episode focused on Hitsugaya, Renji, and Matsumoto’s fights with there Arrancar. Still this did not take away from the episode and actually added some nice suspense as they were getting their assess handed to them while having to wait for approval to release their limiters.

One of the things that I continue to enjoy about this new arc is the music playing during the fights. They have a nice Spanish feel to them and adds to the suspense of the fights. Also it makes the releases of each Arrancar even better and the animation crew have done a very good job capturing all of the Arrancar’s releases.

The only complaint I have with this episode is that I remember Ururu’s fight with Illfort to have been much more violent in manga than it was here. Though it was cool seeing Ururu enter her Anti-Soul Reaper mode it felt that they were holding back with the violence as her fight with Illfort could have had some potential to be more violent than it was.

Still that is a minor complaint and it was fun seeing how Hitsugaya, Renji, and Matsumoto struggled in their fights. For Hitsugaya, Renji, and Matsumoto there fights seem to humbled as they were barely able to survive long enough to get there releases to fight at full power approved. Especially for Hitsugaya who is suppose to be a mid-tier Captain in the Soul Society his struggle with Shawlong shows that even the Captain’s in the Soul Society need to do some trainning if they are to beat the Espadas who are on a whole nother level than the Arrancars he struggled to survive against.

While not on the same level as the Ikkaku vs Edorad fight this was still an entertaining episode. And the ending with Ichigo, Hitsugaya, Renji, and Matsumoto going full power was a great way to end the episode and I can’t wait to see the next action-packed episode.

Episode Rating – 8.4/10

Ep. 121 – “Clash! The Protector vs. The Bearer”

Huh, that’s interesting in the last episode of the first Shinigami vs. Arrancar fight is when we get a new intro song. While I was expecting a new intro I didn’t think we were going to get one until after these fights were over. Still the new intro does a nice job building excitement for the episode and a preview to some characters we are going to see a lot more off down the line.

Starting from were the previous episode left off Hitsugaya, Renji, and Matsumoto release their limiters and fight at 100% of their power. It was a nice way to turn the tide of the fight and it was cool seeing Renji’s finisher for his bankai being used for the first time it was definitely powerful and gives his bankai some much needed power as it has only been used for defense and physical attacks up to now. Also this battle with the Arrancars was probably the most humbling for Hitsugaya with even being in bankai he was still severely injured by his opponent. It makes me wonder that how far apart are the Captains in the Soul Society and the Espadas are in terms of power.

One thing I was surprised about was how violent the animators were able to make Ichigo’s beating at the hands of Grimmjow look. After what seemed like a tamer version of Ururu’s fight in the last episode I wasn’t expecting this part of the episode to be as violent. Still it made the moment were Ichigo launched his Getsuga Tensho even more effective and seeing how little it actually hurt Grimmjow gives us an example of the power discrepancy between him and Grimmjow. And this serves as the final step in Ichigo having to go to Shinji and his group of Vizards as he is unable hold his inner hollow back.

Overall this was a good episode and sets of for Ichigo, his friends, and all of the Soul Reapers to have to go through some intensive training in order to fight the Espadas that they are sure to face in the near future. Even the comedy with Keigo’s sister was well done and gave this episode a light moment in between all the dark stuff going on in this episode. Hopefully all of the action we got in these past few episode does not mean that the following episodes will be slow episodes which is something the anime has done a lot of after heavy action oriented episodes.

Episode Rating – 9/10