Score: A

This episode completely delivered with giving a slight beam of hope amidst a whole lot of despair. The episode might have ended on a negative turn again, but I think it was overall a very effective episode to help give the Soul Reapers a chance. Ichigo isn’t going to be coming back anytime soon. They must deal with this fight as much as they can by themselves. That means standing their ground against enemies that so far have been stomping them into the dirt. They are going to need a lot more Captains to show up than they currently have shown off so far. With Hitsugaya down and Soi Fon nearly immobile that doesn’t leave a whole lot of fighters.

This definitely isn’t good

It is true that the situation is still a bad one. So, I’ll give Yhwach a point in that respect. That the Stern Ritter are free to use their powers as they please is not a good situation considering what we saw in the previous season. At the same time though, I don’t think it’s nearly as dire as he’s making it out to be. The Soul Reapers without their Bankai against the Stern Ritter that are using their Bankai are at a far greater disadvantage than against the Stern Ritter who lack Bankai. Being left to use the downgraded versions of their skills against the upgraded version is a fight that can’t possibly be won. The Hitsugaya fight proved that. There’s no way in a short amount of time that they can compensate for losing the abilities they’ve been slowly building up over a very long time.

Maybe I’m leaning hard on what we saw from Ichigo last season against Quilge Opie. Even though that guy was both using his Quincy Voll Stern Dich and absorbed hollow powers he wasn’t able to stand up against Ichigo’s Bankai. Ichigo is the main character which does give him some power points. But I think the other Captains are at least close enough to that realm of power to hold up against the Stern Ritter. The key will be passing along that they need to avoid letting them absorb energy from the area without limit. But if they can manage that then it’s a much more even playing field compared to how Yhwach is making it appear.

Thank goodness he arrived in time

If nothing else this was a definite turning point. Yhwach can talk confidently, but I feel like Urahara has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. If he was buying time trying to figure things out in the Precipice World (since I presume time still moves at much different rate there) then he probably didn’t choose to come back until he had a rock-solid strategy. Now getting Bankai back might have been the whole plan. But I think he’s tried to figure out as much as possible about the Quincy before moving out. Even if he didn’t figure too much more out, he already reported on Voll Stern Dich anyways. It shouldn’t be a completely out of left field thing for the Soul Reapers to deal with. The problem is that they’ve already taken a good amount of damage before getting their Bankai back and that might be a decisive disadvantage.

Man has claws and goes for a kick!

Glad the show maintains the classic move of never letting Hitsugaya truly defeat anyone! They are really making his ice power seem like the most harmless thing in the universe. He leaves his enemy cased in a solid block of ice, but you can always count on them just popping out of there! I’d like to note that his opponent should 100% have suffocated considering how long he was in there before the dramatic reveal at the end of the episode happened! I know we’re in a realm of souls and all that. But I presume their “bodies” still have some natural functions like breathing.

At least his momentary win was awesome. Considering how injured he was it was impressive that he managed as much as he did. Thankfully his opponent was foolish and despite having that Bankai, he didn’t truly understand its will or spirit. A truly foolish choice to try and attack Hitsugaya with ice while he’s using his Bankai. I guess despite his outward appearance Cang Du was extremely panicked. He might have knocked Toshiro around quite a bit in their first encounter, but it’s just not the same while he’s got a Bankai ready to go. Even if Toshiro couldn’t quite finish him off, I enjoyed the big attack he managed to use. A good bit of payback. Just too bad that Toshiro was far too injured from earlier. Just not in any state to keep fighting…

He’s been waiting to use this Bankai!

Credit to Shinji for having some fun out there. I’ve been waiting for him to pick a fight for a while, and we finally got it. He even got to make use of his Bankai which probably wasn’t necessary in that situation. Although I suppose he was just pissed off and forcing these guys to kill each other probably felt like justified revenge considering all the Soul Reapers that have been killed. It’s also a Bankai that has somewhat niche applications. It makes sense why he didn’t bust this thing out until now. It’s more a Bankai good for when he’s charging into a situation against enemies solo.

Obviously, it’d be useful against powerful enemies too, but it’s particularly good against just mass soldiers. Just forcing everyone to kill their allies while he can stand safely in the middle. Not much use in a 1v1 battle and you can argue his shikai is better for that kind of fight. He did drag things out too long against Bambietta. No need to play around that much when she couldn’t even understand what he was saying anyways. But it was entertaining watching her get utterly frazzled and unable to handle Shinji in the slightest. Even if she got pissed and attacked all over the place, it’s near impossible to really fight like that. I half wonder if his shikai won’t work against her even in that powered up state?

Might want to see an eye doctor…

At the very least this episode had some fun reveals. I like the idea that the hollows are the true weak point for the Quincy. Attacking them wasn’t just about gaining some foot soldiers or getting revenge. But rather about erasing a potential threat. And that threat allowed the Soul Reapers to both recover their Bankai and explains why Ichigo’s Bankia couldn’t be taken. It might have not only been about his Quincy heritage, but rather the Hollow part. His powers are such a mixture that they couldn’t steal his Bankai successfully because of it.

Speaking of Ichigo…I sure hope he gets out of that training segment soon! Obviously, something is happening to him in there. It seems to have something to do with the Soul King, but I can’t really tell what. Clearly his mind and body is going through something and that place won’t let him leave until it’s complete.

Hey Momo…please don’t die

This was a good episode. I enjoyed seeing the Soul Reapers get some payback after being on the defensive this whole time. It isn’t going to last since the fighting will get even more difficult from here. I don’t know who came across Hitsugaya, but here’s hoping it was an ally. Soi Fon is probably going to be in for a tough time too since her opponent likely isn’t done either. Be nice if Yorichi made a long-awaited appearance. If Urahara is making his move, then she should be as well. I hope things go ok, but this war likely isn’t close to being done. Hopefully Komamura doesn’t get himself killed out there when going after Yhwach.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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