If an episode is worthwhile (marked by a **), I won't spend too much time on it, since you should really just watch it yourself. If an episode is just okay or plain bad, I will mock it.
**Episode 33: It's about a cat Yuzu finds + Karakura Sentai
|"It's okay to enter a stranger's car if they're FAMOUS!!"|
Karin is able to beat off a horde of identical pterodactyl Hollows with a bat, and a random cat falls from the sky into Yuzu's care. Just another one of those days.
Don forms his super sentai super team of children, but Yuzu is surrounded by deadly Hollows. The cat transforms in the nick of time and saves her.
|Yeah, I don't know either. Just go with it.|
They send up the cat while Yuzu cries her eyes out, the end. All in all, very cute.
*Episode 50: Karakura Sentai 2
|"You're making me feel inadequate, Don."|
Don is in the off-season and his show's ratings are slipping, so he's got some special training lined up for his red ranger, Karin; she ain't having any of it and leaves him at the door. Kon, meanwhile, can't take any more of Yuzu's treating him like a mere motionless stuffed animal, and so he jumps out the window, only to meet Don, who enlists him as the team mascot. Hijinks happen.
Then a Hollow decides to keep Kon for a pet. A specifically female Hollow.
If you liked the first sentai one, have a WATCH.
Episode 132: Shrimpo plays soccer/football with Karin.
|Gee, I wonder if there'll be a Hollow for Hitsugaya to fight during this episode.|
SO WHAT HAPPENS!?
Karin is playing soccer with her buddies and tomboying it up but she botches a kick because she's too worried about Ichigo to focus. Now, I know what you might be thinking: She's so worried about him because he fills her on TOO much and keeps a close eye on her, he should just be his own man!! But no, it's actually because he's never around and doesn't seem to respect either of his sisters enough to ever tell them what's going on. What a tremendous ass you are, Ichigo, though I guess three days of nonstop exercise at the Vizards' nondescript den really couldn't wait. Actually, this is right after Ichigo inadvertently revealed he was a shinigami in front of Karin (yeah, remember that?), so it does make sense the anime staff would want to do a story off that, unlike Kubo, whose mind is a fanficul merry-go-round of progressively more ridiculous Aizen super forms and Ichigo shit-my-pants expressions.
Anyway, who should pop up to pick up the stray soccer ball but one Shitsugaya Toushirou, hereby referred to simply as Shitmpro. No, I'm not sure how you're meant to pronounce it, I just type the letters here.
|The rest of the episode featured 18 minutes of nothing but Shitmpro staring at the ball with random traffic passing by in the background.|
The plot here is the typical kids' angst plot that only happens in cartoons with first world children whose lives are perfect apart from the occasional undead beast attack. Some meany junior high kids won't give up the soccer field for practice! Why the only way to resolve this is through a match!! In Karakura, "parents" are a rare concept, more elusive than the shyest ghosts and spirits. Sure, you could say this is a matter of pride, or that of course kids are stupid, all kids are stupid, and furthermore isn't Karin practically an adult in a child's body by now? To this I would say, yeah okay but they'd still tell their parents.
Her teammates ask for Ichigo's help, because there's no way in hell they can beat a group of older kids, but Karin replies he's "on a trip." Meanwhile an undead emo bat man is probably trepanning Ichigo for his heart juice. I want you to keep the image of Ulquiorra skullfucking Ichigo in your head throughout the rest of the article. They should be scrolling by the side of the page.
Of course, Shitmpro pops by yet again, and his bicycle kick is truly formidable. They want him for the team, but there has to be some sort of conflict so he turns it down. A random suspiciously near the commercial break Hollow appearance later and Karin finds Shitmpro later in the same spot; it's because Shitmpro thinks this is the best spot to look at the sky, evoking nostalgic memories of his childhood with Hinamori. Actually, Shitmpro, the best way to gaze at the sky is to stand in the sky above the cluttered cityscape. Maybe gigais can't skywalk? No, Shinji has skywalked in his gigai loads of times, what am I saying.
Shitmpro ends up watching them practice, still noncommittal. Rangiku teases him about his liking Karin, which is both stupid and disturbing. Rangiku, WTF, she's like 10. Anyway, when the match comes Shitmpro doesn't arrive until after one of the MEANY junior high kids injures Karin's leg, that's when he shows up to save the game. Why does Shitmpro know soccer/football, of all the sports a shinigami like him would know? Because soccer/football is the sport the little Japanese boys watching the show would appreciate, naturally. Meanwhile, Ulquiorra continues to skullfuck Ichigo.
Shitmpro is surprised to learn this spirit-sensing kid is Ichigo's sister; when she asks where the fuck Ichigo is, he admits ignorance, but tells her not to worry since he's surely getting stronger. "Meanwhile, while your brother is 'getting stronger,' I'll be wandering aimlessly about town with my hands in my pockets."
**Episode 133: Ikkaku pulls tons of hysterical rape faces, and oh something about kendou?
|"Uh huh, uh huh, and when does the RAPE happen?"|
SO WHAT HAPPENS!?
Within the first six minutes of the episode, you will see the following two exquisite rapefaces
|Try to twist your mouth into that shape. Can't? You need to staple some hair onto your chest first (strand by strand), then you'll be able to.|
|The original casting choice for Mr. Rogers|
The episode also features Keigo's awesome lusty valkyrie of a sister, and has great laughs apart from Ikkaku's faces. Definitely a WATCH.
|Original reference material for the shape of Ikkaku's skull: chickpeas|
Episode 134: Yumichika helps bake a cake.
|Meanwhile, that same week over in One Piece, Zoro was babysitting in Water 7. I checked the release dates. What a shitty week for a dedicated JUMP show viewer.|
SO WHAT HAPPENS!?
Do you really want to know? Consider stopping for a moment and gauging whether or not your life will be better once you know how Yumichika helped this dead guy with his stupid cake.
Hanatarou and that ponytail-on-the-front kid from the Research Department
|I won't lie, I spent the majority of the episode trying to place which Digimon character's dub voice this guy is|
On Urahara's orders, an otherwise loafing Yumichika begrudgingly escorts the two to each battle site, begrudgingly since doing nothing is essentially all a shinigami of his stature has time for. Ponicorn stops by a shop to buy a cake, even though he's not in a gigai. How did he do that!? Why, with his handy OH GOD WHAT IS THAT
|It wouldn't be the arbitrary murder of his own subordinates. It wouldn't be the mass killings in the Rukongai. No, this is the abortion's abortion that would spell Mayuri's doom.|
"In case he wasn't creepy enough, we decided to randomly pluck one of its eyes and adhere it to its tongue. I call him Little Eldritch."
This thing nearly ruins boobs for me. It has boobs.
Somehow, the other two hadn't noticed Little Eldritch trawling alongside them until Ponicorn pointed him out.
The chef dude is a plus who's tied to his pastry shop because he got hit by a car and his mom never got to taste one of his cakes. His mom keeps visiting the place where he died and praying for him, and man which Digidestined is this guy!? They decide to help him and bake a cake under his guidance, at the Urahara Shop's renovated kitchen. Kitchen hijinks ensue, all of them very lame and tame. This is just a really ill-conceived episode. It might have worked with better characters to bounce off of one another, but these three? Why?
Chad and Renji (training in Urahara's basement) taste test:
The HILARIOUS baking failure montage keeps serving them up cake that's apparently really rank.
|How can a cake overseen by a professional cake chef possible be this bad? How did such a terrible cake get past the counter? Look at their postures, that's genuine fear.|
The chef's mom is leaving the next day so they've got to make a perfect cake before that happens. They make a perfect cake. The running time isn't over yet, so get this: They literally make the mom say she hates cake. Ever since her son died, she can't stand to look at cakes. I mean... then, why stop at cake? Why not have her go "And I also can't stand to look at cars, or at body fat, or at matter of any kind, because all of those things remind me of my dead male offspring."
|Actual line: "NOT MY CAKE!!"|
Overall, this is pretty much tripe. If you had a chance at writing an episode of BLEACH, would it revolve around baking a fucking cake?
T.K. It was T.K.'s voice. (No but that literally just came to me now.)
Episode 135: Kon-sama and a little girl's plight.
|This is all it took to be better than Ted.|
SO WHAT HAPPENS!?
A stupid little girl jumps into a river to rescue her precious plushy; forget about the chronic absence of parental guardians, the kids of Karakura have the survival instinct of a trainee glass chewer.
|In Karakura Town, they make a game of guessing how many children are rotting at the bottom of the river. Lucky winner gets a plushy.|
Rangiku and Kon witness life as usual in the esteemed Dead Kid Capital of Japan; Without hesitation, she tosses Kon's soul-pill straight into the mouth of the white floating plushy so he can rescue her. Rangiku tells him that doing so was a lot quicker than leaving her gigai would have been. Uhhh... why would you leave your gigai to save a drowning kid? Wouldn't you want to REMAIN in your gigai? Fuck, whatever. (Let it be known that when she sad that, my brother went "...What about leaving her gay guy?")
The little kid loves her plushy (it's a dog named Shintarou), and now Kon is stuck with her. Now that Shintarou has come to life, they can play all day!
|It could be worse, Kon. You don't have Ulquiorra's penis in your brain, probing for your "heart." Which is what is happening to Ichigo as we speak.|
Her mom dumped her dad and she's always busy, but little Miyuki's old enough to be in the house by herself! Apparently, Miyuki ordinarily doesn't leave, tearfully admitting she doesn't have friends, but she was compelled to go visit the house they all used to live in together, her real dog Shintarou included. Karakura, land of serene stupidity and irresponsible parents galore. You can afford such a huge apartment with lavish furnishings, but you can't afford a nana for your 4-year-old? Kon promises to take her to her original home.
After they arrive, the random two-headed Hollow traps them inside and Kon tries to fight it, to no avail. However, Miyuki cries out for Shintarou to save her, and one of the monster's heads bites the other; Rangiku appears to slash it and it's revealed that one of the two dog souls (yes) that made up the Hollow was her very own Shintarou.
|It was fused with some other dog? I have a theory. A dirty, dirty theory.|
Not a terrible episode, but this is in the same series that has buckets of blood gushing out every other fight, so maybe it was a little TOO kidsy. The next Kon-centric standalone filler episode will prove that it doesn't have to be kidsy.
Episode 204: Rurichiyo and Kenryuu feud.
|I seem to recall a filler episode of some series way back where the little kids couldn't beat the older kids|
If you don't remember Rurichiyo, she was the damsel of the second big filler arc, which I looked at here and here. It was definitely the worst filler arc, but not because either Rurichiyo or her two attendants were particularly unlikeable, it was all on the villains. Rurichiyo, at least in my opinion, is perfectly fine.
It ain't easy being the head of a feudal house, let alone one at such a young age; Rurichiyo's days are filled with bureaucratic monotony. Poor kid. What exactly is the purpose of these feudal realms within Soul Society anyway? What, it's not like they're raising their own military forces or groups of samurai. It's not like they're sharecropping fields to their serfs or anything. What is it that they do? Rurichiyo understandably escapes to the world of the living, but her retainer Kenryuu is none too happy about her shirking her duties after a simple tiff over some dub idea like a kemari tournament! (The sub I'm watching translates kemari as "soccer," but the object of kemari is actually to keep the ball in the air. It's an ancient game that's undergoing a revival, and modern players wear the court uniforms of the bygone era when kemari was popular.)
Kenryuu wants Rurichiyo to focus on building better relations with other nobles, otherwise the Kasumi'Ouji Clan simply won't hold the political chips to accomplish anything (after their whole assassin scandal). Rurichiyo childishly insists that since she's the boss, what she says, goes. Really, she just thought that the kemari games would be a good way to engage with the commoners, who feel disconnected with the noble houses. Kenryuu didn't even try to understand her!
Rurichiyo angrily dismisses Kenryuu, but the gang informs him of her true intentions, and he still can't relent, because it's just not in the cards for them at the moment. Kenryuu comically comes close to solemnly stabbing himself from shame.
|"That's not how you do it, it's like THIS." STAB|
|The face of an iron lady.|
Ultimately, Kenryuu ruins it by calling kemari silly, inciting her ire once more. Exacerbating things further, Kenryuu lets slip the seppuku thing was a ruse. They'll settle it all in a game of kemari!
Not horrible, but it is a significant disappointment in light of the episode's title, which is "Ichigo's seppuku persuasion plan." I wanted him to reveal his true nature as a villainous mastermind who's bent on getting everybody in Karakura to commit seppuku, just to prove he can.
|"So that's what I look like when I cry. Damn, I'm turning myself on."|
A rather funny kemari match between
Team A: Rurichiyo, Ichigo, Enryuu, Chad and Orihime
Team B: Kenryuu, Yoruichi, Rukia, Ishida, and Kon in Ichigo's body
*Episode 213: Karakuraizer
|Hell, I'd watch it.|
When the Ichigo's away, the Hollows will play. Urahara's quite busy at the moment, so won't Kon take up the mantle of Karakura's defender?
Urahara must love tokusatsu, too, because he got Ichigo to mimic a typical ALLY OF JUSTICE pose and battle-cry during his first training session. Kon agrees to it, but only after Urahara intimates that being heroic will get him in good with the ladies.
Our first Hollow looms with a paralyzing visage of unadulterated terror.
|You laugh, but it's still a tortured horror, you guys.|
If and only if you like tokusatsu shows enough to be entertained by a parody of them, give it a WATCH.
|Ally of kicking tortured souls into oblivion while the soul balance teeters closer and closer to armageddon.|
|You see, it's funny because girls can't ACTUALLY be the perpetrators of sexual harassment! In reality members of the female gender are all angelically innocent, not to mention far too feeble!|
Oh, Chizuru, you blatant male fantasy, you. It's made even worse by the fact that her costume is tailor made to send her into "Super Erotic Mode," basically making her crazed with lust. Still, it's relatively more tame than what I was expecting from the description "Chizuru rapes a female Arrancar"--she only just repeatedly gropes the evil spectral hellspawn!! I will, however, admit that watching a fiery Tatsuki effortlessly swinging around Hollows is not bad at all. And whoever voices Chizuru was definitely having a hell of a good time.
Team Karakuraizer has to face off against the unnamed Arrancar villainess (think Rita Repulsa, only prettier because groping her wouldn't be *funny* unless she were hot) and her floating headquarters (composed of merging low-level GATTAI Hollows).
|Hollow Hole? Or vagina?|
Episode 228: The infamous swimsuit episode
|Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaayaaaaa|
Yes, those are watermelon Hollows.
Which I'm sure is the reason most dudes watch this episode, it's to laugh at the stupid watermelon Hollows, the stupid... juicy melons...
|People always cluster around each other on an otherwise empty beach. But guys don't, that would be gay.|
|"We're both pretty stupidly powerful and yet we exist mostly to be ogled at, and pine over men! Tee hee!"|
|Just putting this here to emphasize my point. Toootally putting this here to emphasize my point.|
Fuck you, Ichigo.
You know, wouldn't that technically be necrophilia? Though I do hear that ghost boobs are the best boobs. They're the only ones I've ever--
Jesus, I'll never stop talking about boobs at this rate. I need something to put me off boobs for a good while so I can finally focus on reviewing the episode.
|"Now who wants cake!?"|
Episode begins with them shopping for swimsuits.
|Damn straight, women should be able to wear whatever they damn well please without getting called sluts! Wait, she's forcing her to dress skimpily? Uhhhh|
The Shinigami Women's Society's venture to secretly build a pool somewhere on Byakuya's property failed spectacularly when they somewhat unwisely chose Byakuya's backyard for it; now instead of a pool they're just going to take a vacation at a beach in the real world, bringing Byakuya along as repayment for the rubble that used to be a pool in his garden. Rukia took her captain, Ukitake, thinking some nice sea air might be good for his chronic Ukituberculosis. Rangiku brought Ikkaku and Renji to "liven things up," but she probably wanted some manmeat around that wasn't pale and barely alive (Byaky and Uki). Meanwhile, Unohana asked Ishida, Chad and Orihime to man the refreshments. Shrimpo is helping make ice, which is needed since Uki's caught a bit of heat exhaustion.
Once that's sorted, they hold a beach art competition. Whoever wins gets a cash reward from the Captain-Commander! You'd think he'd disincentivize leaving SS to the mercy of Hollow attacks, but he was probably too busy writing 50,000-word paeans about Okikiba's sublime, life-affirming skill at silently standing at attention to raise an objection.
This is followed by a sincerely uncomfortable gag where Rangiku and Orihime come up with the idea to use their cleavage to pool water for packing their sand sculpture, in lieu of buckets, and discovering via horrendous-yet-cliche only-ever-girl-on-girl groping that a scandalized Nanao is wearing padding in her bikini top. Little kids watch this same scene throughout all of their shounen programming all the time. "Oh, you're just jealous because of your tiny bust! Tee hee!" When two or more girls are alone, they're always comparing each other's breast sizes and sexually assaulting each other! Every time! Constant breast comparisons can't be healthy for any girls watching, and gives unrealistic expectations to the boys, too. It's really fucked up.
Byakuya is doing the competition to show off his great artistic skill. Rukia is enamored with his sense of beauty, and vows not to hold him back, realizing she still has a long way to go. I laughed:
|How does Byakuya's stay stable?|
|When they're not in the grasp of a watermelon with legs, those two are proud vice-captains.|
Renji's the only one among them who can fight it, since he brought his Zampak, and reiatsu attacks won't work on it. Take a wild guess as to whether or not Renji jobs. Renji's flung into the ocean, but that apprises the other girls of the attack so they come to knock the watermelon out; turns out it was all a test and that it really does have watermelon insides. It's a game of Whack-the-Watermelon. Specially made by the Research Department. FIGHT HOLLOWS, DON'T CREATE THEM.
Overall, it's exactly what you expected. Avoid.
**Episode 229: Keigo's hilarious horny sister
|After you die, if you train really hard up in heaven, one day you too may get the chance to sleep on a futon back down on Earth. Live the dream!|
I hate it when gods of death knock on my door out of the blue and tell me they need to crash for a week. Why don't they just float-sleep, hell why do they even need sleep
A lab Hollow escaped from SS and came to, of course, Karakura. Ikkaku and Yumichika are here on a special mission to recapture it. Why didn't they send research guys to do that? Probably because only the most inept, incompetent, and bumbling shinigami ever get into the Research Department, in order to shake up the million years of rigidity; besides, Ichigo will always be there to solve any of their fuck ups for them. Ikkaku tries to get Ichigo to agree to him crashing at his place, but that's a no-go; Urahara's is empty. No other choice, it's got to be Keigo and his horny older sister who won't stop smothering Ikkaku.
I'm pretty sure Ikkaku is my second favorite character (behind Neliel).
|"Where's the Zaraki wig?"|
Episode 284: Halibel has a past
Remember when Aizen killed Halibel because Kubo was tired of her?
SS, on the other hand, had Orihime revive her and keep her as a Hollow. A massively powerful one that poses a clear danger to humanity, at that. Because Kubo likes tits as much as the next guy. Her three Fraccion subordinates were also allowed to survive, because breasts. When it comes to Halibel's fate, the good guys are the bad guys and Aizen was the good guy.
Well, in any case, the anime staff gave her a flashback episode a la Grimmjow's.
In un-Arrancarized Adjuchas form, they typically look like animals of some sort. It's only after they've been Arrancarized that they look human. However, a Vasto Lorde like Halibel already looks human without her mask broken off.
She butts in on a fight between two Adjuchas (with the one who had nowhere to run, that stag, to be her future Fraccion, Apache).
|It took me a while to realize the shark tail branches off that headpiece thing, too busy staring at dat ass|
Apache supposes getting devoured by a female Vasto Lorde is better than getting devoured by a gross male Adjuchas, but Halibel merely tells her to follow her. She takes her to a lair where her other two Fraccions are already waiting.
|"And then I want a goat, and a chihuahua, and an emu, and a lemur, and an elephant, and a pair of lovebirds, and a...."|
Halibel explains that because female Hollows are easy prey for male Hollows, they need to band together. When hunting another Hollow, the lion one literally says she'll bite its dick off. Do Hollows even have dicks?
Let's count the ways this is retarded.
a) Why should female Hollows be weaker or less numerous enough to be "easy prey for male Hollows." Shouldn't they be roughly even in numbers and strength? What would make female souls any less susceptible to corruption? Nothing, unless you think women are perfect angels or something. I think most people are sensible enough not to buy into that. And there shouldn't be any strength gap, either. We're talking spiritual energy, not muscle power. Neliel and Halibel were both third strongest among the Espada. And there's no glass ceiling when you're a soul--unless you're working for Seireitei, of course, in which case you need to be conventionally attractive first. That reminds me, we can totally tie this inexplicable gender gap to Kubo, too. Within Aizen's ranks, there should be an approximately even split of male and female Arrancars. His only criteria for Arrancarization were strength and loyalty. And yet an even gender split--which would be reasonably expected--is not the case. I can only conclude that, for some reason (definitely sexism), the majority of the consciousnesses that rise to the surface within Menos Grandes (Menoses Grandes?) are male. How else to explain Aizen's mostly male army?
b) Okay, let's grant that there are fewer female Hollows, and that they do indeed need to band together to stand a chance. Did they have to be straw feminist dick chewers? Talk about lame.
c) Why does Halibel care? She's already a Vasto Lorde, the cream of the crop. She's at the very top of the food chain. If it's out of pure sympathy, then Hollows aren't heartless beings or tortured souls (Grimmjow did it to become the king). You can't have it both ways, either they're intrinsically selfish or they aren't.
Halibel doesn't devour the Hollows she dispatches, because she doesn't want to become stronger by gobbling up other Hollows--through the sacrifices of others--now she wants to fight as a group.
In the realm of Las Noches, where King Barragan surveys supreme, everyone must either become part of his army or leave. He invites her into his fold, but she refuses by injuring one his lackeys.
Aizen arrives and Arrancarizes Barragan's soldiers off screen. The Hollow whose shit Halibel fucked up comes a knocking for some revenge, more powerful with a cracked mask. This one Arrancar manages to mop the floor with all of Team Halibel--aren't Vasto Lordes supposed to be as strong as two captains? Anyway, Aizen saves her by slashing that Arrancar (the same way he'd slash Halibel, actually).
Aizen tells her he'll make her strong so they won't ever need to sacrifice themselves or others. Obviously this is to make his betrayal-slash eviler and treacherouser.
You know what would have been funny? If they tried to shoehorn in some weird explanation for Allon, the beast Halibel's three Fraccion can make when they combine their detached arms.
**Episode 287: Tenth anniversary Arabian gag episode
|Chigo and his friends arrive at Lamp Society.|
Ichigo is trapped in a strange dream, lucid but unable to wake up. Did I say, Ichigo, silly me, it's Chigo, of course. Uryo, Chaido, and Ori Mei think Chigo's acting awfully strangely, and those are all totally Arabian Nightsy names, right?
Soon, the episode becomes a parody of the entire SS Arc; Chigo has to rescue Rukiruki from Lamp Society!
|Ren Jin begs Chigo to save Rukiruki.|
Episode 298: Shinigami film festival
|Can't say I disapprove.|
It's another 4th movie tie-in episode! The 90s Japanese economic bubble's burst, and SS needs to capitalize on recent moviegoer trends! They also need to break the 4th wall and advertize the movie! Besides, what better way to raise funds and patch up Seireitei (so many emergencies and battles!) than with a film festival!!
Komamura is filming a movie where animals save people in a post-apocalyptic world; Ichigo assumes Komamura himself will be playing the dog role, but clearly he hasn't yet realized he's in a gag episode. It's Lieutenant Iba who will be playing that role, of course!
|This is where your soul taxes are going, folks.|
*/2 Episode 303: SS plays a card game and it's as boring as it sounds + Orihime's New Year
|In the Bleach world, all religions are wrong. Shouldn't they be proselytizing for SoulSocietyism? What, with the constant appearance of Hollows, and the real threat of hell?|
The first half of this New Year's special episode takes the form of a game of karuta between the female and male shinigami with their genderly pride on the line, with the match quickly devolving into outright fireball flinging and spell slinging. It's not really funny enough to recommend, but it's not bad enough to mock, so I'll just be skipping over it. Isn't it odd how these keep coming back to gender issues though, lol
The second half is a poignant little vignette, with a lonely Orihime walking about Karakura. Ishida and his dad, Ryuuken, spend quality time by walking on opposite sides of the street, stony-faced and silent. Orihime meets Rukia and Renji going on their New Year's greeting rounds, and Rukia takes her with them to assuage her loneliness. It's worth WATCHing. You could say it was just as boring as the first half, but I like Orihime enough to want her to be happy.
**Episode 304: Another just a dream episode
SO WHAT HAPPENS!?
I think that's all I'll need to show you to convince you to watch the episode. And those are the first 30 seconds. It's based on that one Halloween color spread, so if you like your Rukiruki as a succubus, this is the show for you.
Episode 305: Hisagi deludes himself into thinking Rangiku likes him and it's as boring as it sounds
|The anime's clever campaign to boost ratings, styled Operation Ghost Boobs|
In addition to his Hollow-slicing duties, Hisagi is in the Editor of SS's periodical magazine, the Seireitei Bulletin. I could make a joke as to the contents of each issue, but by now you've absorbed enough of my psyche to be making those jokes for me in your own head.
Boozing with Kira, he and Hisagi encounter the Women's Association at a bar, whereupon Kira learns Hisagi made them a bentou lunch during their picnic last they met. He was totes trying to get in good with Rangiju, wasn't he? Well, in any case, Hisagi is overworked.
Hisagi is sent on a mission alongside Rangiku to investigate the disappearances in the Rukongai (I'm betting disappearances in the Rukongai appear often enough in the Seireitei Bulletin to warrant a regular column). Rangiku acts a little clingy and babies him a little while at a random soul-inn, causing him to think she's got the hots for him, especially because she seems to be jealous of the innkeeper's attentions. Then the outdoor bath scene happens, and even hard-worker Hisagi can't focus on the mission after that little declaration of hers.
This episode is very boring so of course they threw in a Hollow. Why don't they just make the episode about the Hollow instead of always adding a Hollow as a tired 11th hour conflict vehicle? Well, at the very least, there's an okay twist, since the proprietess of the random inn is actually a Hollow in disguise. But her Hollow form couldn't be allowed to be flatchested, because of Operation Ghost Boobs.
|"But they're tastefully concealed by my stripes, see? No nip!"|
In the end, everybody still asks Hisagi to help with their dirty work, Rangiku stringing him along with a "Hisagi is the only guy I can rely on."
*Episode 311: Karakuraizer again
|It's because you aimed for the hole.|
It's the return of Ghost Boobs herself.
|Ghost peen--for the ladies.|
Episode 312: Omaeda pretends to be captain. Nobody's opinions on the likeability of Omaeda has changed.
|Yep. That's roughly where he belongs.|
Unfortunately, a soul-squirrel had to go and wake him up by tossing a soul-nut at his soul-forehead.
He was only going to take a short nap, but he ended up dozing for three whole hours, and if he doesn't make it back in time, Soi Fong's going to roast his hide. In his haste, he falls off a cliff, landing on a Hollow about to devour a small soul-boy. When the kid asks his name, he says he's the captain. I don't know why he bothered, isn't being a vice-captain pretty impressive in its own right, to a regular shmuck soul? Omaeda briefly basks in the adulation of the kid's fellow villagers and family members. Naturally, however, the lie snowballs out of control and he's got to pull off all sorts of crazy antics before he confesses. Actually, no, he just sort of shells out for everybody to keep hush, and then the kids overhear that he was lying.
The kids who admire Captain Omaeda beseech gate guardian giant Jidanbou for entry, which is the first we've seen him in forever.
|"Worry not, children, for one day the soul-elephantitis will hit you, too!"|
I will give the episode this, when the kids try to describe the "captain" they're paying a visit, and Ichigo and Yoruichi have to narrow it down, it's kind of funny. A captain that's husky, huge, and pointy-haired? It's gotta be Kenpachi! Or wait, maybe they mean Komamura, his ears are pointy... but then they'd just say "he looked like a dog," d'oh.
|Ukitake is looking the schemer here, that's it, he's definitely evil|
The kid he saved storms out once he discovers Omaeda is a buffoonish piece of shit everybody looks down on, but then Omaeda saves him again from that same Hollow after a rousing battle, the kids learn to appreciate his having saved their lives and not just the title of captain, the end. Omaeda never apologizes for having lied for no reason, but he does get his ass beat by Soi Fong, so the episode does close on a truly uplifting note.
Episode 313: Some dude named Seizo
|Ew, sideburns? Definitely not regular character material.|
Renji and Ichigo are kendou-sparring at the 11th Division barracks. Renji actually sens Ichigo flying, which I think means we can finally give the guy a tally on the victory board. The two get hyper competitive when a dude named Seizo pops in with some tea.
A Hollow attacks a village, but Squad 11 (with Ikkaku at the lead and Ichigo and Renji in tow) is too late. Seizo is the medical guy who's patching everybody up. The other 11th Division fight-loving knuckleheads seem to look down on his quiet and reserved demeanor. Ichigo notices that Seizo is an outlier, but only because this episode revolves around him. Otherwise Ichigo would never have given enough of a shit to inquire, fuck, he barely converses with his own family. Seizo puts a pad on the bruise on Ichigo's soul-forehead, which he sustained after Renji beat him at kendou. Returning the pad, Ichigo asks if he can help with the menial stuff he's doing as the Squad 11 medic guy.
Seizo tells Ichigo that he needs to work on his center of balance when swordfighting; a tree's roots are very important, whereas the sword itself is just the tip of a branch. Skill with the sword has never been an issue before now, if you think about it, since everybody seems to be equally awesome at it without any effort or training. One day Ichigo's fighting style was constrained to fisticuffs, the next day he became both a shinigami and an ample sword master. Ichigo employs his advice and defeats Renji the next time they spar.
Yumichika tells them that Seizo used to be Ikkaku's sparring partner, and a swordsman of tremendous skill, but Ikkaku would always knock him on his ass because he was too straightforward in battle. Nevertheless, he was one of the most promising shinigami in the division. So why is he being treated like some sort of lackey now by the other squad members?
One day, Seizo got his energy sucked out when he took a hit for Ikkaku from a reishi-absorbing Hollow. He became substantially weaker, and so his star fell.
|Or you could all just gang up on it, guys. Just saying.|
Ichigo wants Ikkaku and Seizo to have another match, but to set that up he'll need to get Seizo to agree. Ichigo proposes another kind of match: a match of menial duties, a race of laundry and scrubbing. If Ichigo wins, Seizo's got to fight Ikkaku again. I gotta say, I am liking this Ichigo, he's far more likeable when he's proactively helping people as opposed to just reactively protecting them from Hollows. Despite scrubbing with supreme urgency, Ichigo loses, but he never said he'd give up after a single try, now did he? This tenacity reminds Seizo of his constant bouts with Ikkaku, where he'd always get up for another round despite understanding that it was impossible to win without any sort of play or tricks.
There's another mass Hollow attack (you'd think Hollows wouldn't invade the one place where people specially train to kill them). Seizo bucks up and takes them on, earning the respect of his rough and tumble comrades. He manages to kill a few of them through sheer sword skill, spirit energy be damned. However, he can't topple all of them this way. Seizo calmly faces death and thanks Ichigo for restoring his fighting spirit, but Ikkaku joins him in the nick of time. Ikkaku says it's Seizo who's returned.
|Whoa, he actually managed to survive the episode? Well, there are still two days left to his retirement for something fatal to happen, I suppose.|
**Episode 314: Another Kon episode
Kon hates it that since Ichigo is back from Hueco Mundo, he's no longer able to go out stalking pretty ladies with Ichigo's body, cramped in his stanky old bedroom. He then spots a beautiful pair of breasts out the window and jumps towards bliss.
|A beautiful pair of breasts (honk honk)|
|This marks the second time Kon's had to save a girl from jumping off a bridge. How bizarre.|
|Unbelievably hot chick in love with a loser eighty leagues beneath her? This must be the set for nine of the shows in the network fall lineup|
Ichigo can't find the Hollow anywhere, but he does stumble across Rukia. There's a random dead body, and Ichigo exhibits no emotion whatsoever. Dude's been through so much, he must be as jaded as it gets. Kon causing a ruckus in his room provoked more emotion out of Ichigo than this. Can you imagine how dead inside SS would have made you by now, if you were in Ichigo's shoes?
|"It's her fault for not befriending me first, then I would have staked my very soul to protecting her--barring an emo bat man losing an arm and a leg, in which case I would slice off my arm and leg in solidarity with him as my first priority."|
|Everyday I wonder, why|
|I like this episode.|
Kon turns to leave them to their make-up canoodling, only to discover to his horror that it was a ruse and now it's she who is possessed!
|I was told it's got my essential vitamins and minerals|
**Episode 315: Yachiru's old buddy
|"It's been so long, Yachiru! And you haven't aged a day. Is your mental age the same as before, too? Forgive a goof like me his nagging concerns and social awkwardness, but how does this work, exactly?"|
Yachiru is frolicking happily about the soul-forest when she witnesses her old pal Mappy (real name Masayoshi) save a girl from a Hollow attack. He's a member of a partisan squad that hunts drifting Hollows (a Hollow killed his wife, so he wants to kill every last Hollow, and especially the one that made a snack of his one love).
|Look at those Hollow biceps. Fast track muscle here I come|
When Yachiru offers Mappy some sweets, he declines, saying he doesn't like them, but in her brief flashback Mappy loved sweets and couldn't get enough of them.
|"Why'd you think I go around befriending little girls? FOR THE SWEETS AND THE SWEETS ONLY, YACHIRU."|
A Hollow that's out for Mappy's blood kidnaps the girl to lure him into a mass Hollow ambush. Once again, I'd like to note that these guys' ability to sense each other from a distance comes and goes as the plot demands.
|The next design for a Quincy foot soldier.|
After dispatching all of the ambush Hollows, Mappy shows subtle signs of Hollow possession, and so Yachiru must soberly draw her blade against him. Mappy used to love sweets. He can't even remember his wife's name. His consciousness is currently floating at the top, but it's slowly whittling away. And the hated Hollow who killed his wife... was himself. Kenpachi told her all this once she went to tell him she met Mappy again.
|Hollowification is the best fitness plan|
|"As long as I gave Yachiru a little pathos to deepen her character, mine was a life well spent. Guhhh."|
Episode 316: Shrimpo's trip down memory lane
|What a tasteful loincloth! Or did you just want to protect your Hollow-penis from Halibel's group|
Believe it or not, they actually tied this to the Hitsu and Karin soccer storyline hundreds of episodes back.
|"ADMIRE ME, MORTAL CHILDREN"|
|Maybe Hitsu has a grandma thing now.|
|"Ze Juden, zey are bad, ja?"|
On the other hand, there's no reason not to suppose the little old lady read him some Mein Kampf while sacrificing barnyard animals to Ba'al in her spare time. How DARE you hypothetically consort with such people, asshole!?
A Plus named Yosuke shows up. He is
a) a little kid
b) a little kid
or c) a little kid
|"After you left, I just HAD to start my own little boy soul collection, Shiro-kun!!"|
Why didn't the parents stick around, you'd think they'd have an earthly regret with, you know, causing their kid's premature death. Oh well, at least they'll get to see him once he does ascend oh wait they totally won't
Shiroshrimp is deliberately refraining from sending little Yosuke up because the old lady who gave him board when he was slaying countless Hollows on his first mission as a shinigami would be too lonely otherwise. (He's been watching over their general situation.) Or you could send useless fodder shinigami in your division to earn their keep by doing senior home care. Not only is that more useful to humanity than dutifully dusting Shrimpo's shelves and shelves of granny porn, it would also serve as better PR than "lol Ichigo changed us so that we're not jumping in our britches to kill him anymore." It might even prevent a certain group of alphabetical gentlemen from leveling all you hold dear.
Why hasn't Yosuke turned into a Hollow by now? Turns out, it's because the old lady was spending her modicum of spiritual energy to keep the transformation at bay, but she's run out of juice and collapses (thank plot convenience it happened while Shitshrimp was around~)! I don't know how I feel about this random bag being able to stop Hollowification with the power of making a wish upon a star, when Ichigo couldn't stop it while at the bottom of a pit for three days. But it'll be interesting to see what the Hollow form of a little kid looks like...
|Damn, this kid was metal as fuck!|
Shitsu "kills" Yosuke and he returns to his Plus form just in time to see the snow fall before beaming up. Gag me. Karin wonders if Yosuke stopped because of Haru or if he was battling inside himself. I think it's because, deep down, he understood that a being so metal could not take a step without summoning too many fawning Satanic love slaves for the Earth to hold. Shitsushitshit rounds off the episode by visiting his own grandma, who also has absolutely nobody to interact with on a daily basis.
I would like to finish this article by bringing up that Hitsu has probably spent more time with Karin in this single episode than Ichigo has throughout the entire series. I would like to, but then there's
**Episode 355: The one I skipped in the previous article
SO WHAT HAPPENS!?
I should have given this episode a fair shake, it's a blast.
Hisagi's got an ambitious idea for the New Year's edition of the Seireitei Bulletin--a special issue with the theme "Divisions overcoming their differences to welcome the new year together!" And he's put Kira in charge. Hopefully this won't turn into a horrid fiasco like the last time Kira had to do bonding exercises.
The first bonding exercise is kite flying. However, Hisagi gets a little carried away with his kite (stamped with a huge "69," you really are one horny bastard) and it snaps the string of Squad 11's kite. He has impugned their honor.
Hisagi thinks this is ace, because it'll amplify the excitement and make for an event to remember. Boy does he succeed, as everybody engages in increasingly bitter feuding. Kira is mortified.
He looks a lot like Gegege no Kitarou there, doesn't he?
I was pleasantly surprised by this episode, especially since the last New Year's episode with the SS cast was something of a dud. Well anyway, that's it for now. Hope you enjoyed my anime filler reviews. Sayounara.