Score: A

Standing ovation for Renji! This was absolutely his episode and he owned it! It was worth waiting for him and Rukia to finish their training. These are the kind of reinforcements Soul Society are going to need if they have any chance of getting through this situation. Hopefully there are others beyond just them about to show up to help. I’d be fine seeing Inoue, Sado, or even Grimmjow getting into the mix here! With Soul Reapers falling like flies, they are running out of forces to match up against the Quincy. But at least the reinforcements of this episode were bright like stars. Took down a very difficult and tricky “Superstar” this week.

Cool Bankai, foolish tactics

I kind of feel bad for Kensei and Rose. They really were used just to set up Renji’s flashy arrival on the scene! It’s pretty sad for them. All they managed to accomplish was getting 2 more Captains seriously injured. They didn’t permanently injure their opponent and Renji basically started a fresh fight anyways. So letting him run off to chase after Rukia and Renji probably would have been fine! I guess you can say that Kensei managed to save Hisagi’s life…But who knows. Those guys were hilariously left behind as Rukia evacuated the Captains!

Really did feel like the Worf Effect here. We know these guys are reasonably powerful and they even got to use their Bankai. It’s just too bad that they didn’t get anything done. I think Rose deserves the most criticism though. He was really acting like a third-rate villain in explaining his ability. Why tell this guy that you are using music against him? Sure, he might figure it out anyways, but there’s no need to monologue! I guess Kensei was also a bit too eager to explain his abilities. But it didn’t matter in how he went out. For Rose it absolutely did since it let his opponent deafen himself.

Renji handled himself well

On the positive side this both allowed Renji to absolutely steal the episode and set up the hype for when Rukia will get to fight. The show absolutely let Renji be the star here. One of the cooler moments of this season with his “new” Bankai being revealed. The music was amazing and let every moment land all the harder. The Masked Guy didn’t stand a chance. Once the cool music gets going it’s time to pack it in! And I do think Renji’s Bankai looks amazing. It now has a good mix of power and pure threat level. Get too close and he’ll crush you…or impale you…or just vaporize you! He’s now a legitimate force out there. He took care of an opponent that two captains couldn’t handle in a 2v1 situation!

The story basically had to twist itself around to give Renji a break. The guy has been a sort of joke for a lot of the show. And he suffered from being one of the first characters to unleash their Bankai. It left him with a Bankai that was basically…a giant whip. It could fire some energy blasts and had some large fangs, but it was mostly laughed off by most serious opponents. I’m fine with the choice here. He’s not like Mayuri who can actively experiment on his Bankai. So having it be a case where Zabimaru lied to Renji and only partially unleashed its true power…that works. At the very least it let Renji join the ranks of the awesome.

This could be problematic

I guess the setup of Yhwach is being played into here. It appears that he absorbed the remains of “James” after Renji scored his win. So, is he even using the defeats of his followers to power himself up? Would make him one heck of a monster. And it would also lean into the overwhelming odds against the main cast. Even when they overcome their limits and win…they may simply be powering up their main enemy. My only guess here is that Yhwach is sharing his power with his followers, letting them develop that power, and then taking it back after they die. He really might be an army of 1. At least Ishida seems set to gain some information here.

Hopefully Rukia gets a fight soon

This episode does leave me hyped for Rukia’s next fight. If she and Renji have been returned, then clearly they are considered ready to take part in the war. If Renji has powered up this much, then Rukia is entirely possible. But was she there long enough to gain a serious power-up? The only thing that can come to mind there is gaining Bankai, but we never get any indication throughout the show that she’s close to reaching that point. If she can at least gain Renji’s overall boost through the training, they did that should help. She’d be capable just in that sense. But I do have a feeling that she’ll be able to use Bankai. It’s the one powerup she can realistically get and the hype there would be extreme.

This show is loving good title cards

We finally got an episode without any big Ichigo appearance. Hopefully he finishes his training before this war is over. I get the idea of powering him up to face the King of the Quincy. But it won’t matter if everyone is dead before he arrives! There are also a lot of hanging questions. Who is the one that found Hitsugaya a couple episodes ago? It doesn’t seem like it was part of the main Soul Reaper forces since they would have been updated there. Maybe the Vizards slipped in there? Obviously, there is a lot going on so it’s possible we won’t find out much about Hitsugaya for a while or see Ichigo for a bit longer. But this episode worked so I’m happy!

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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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