What They Say:
Captains of the Thirteen Court Guard Squads continue their battle to reclaim the Soul Society. Head Captain Yamamoto takes on the Reigai of Kyoraku and Ukitake, but is gradually overwhelmed by the two. Meanwhile in the World of the Living, Nozomi and the others learn of Ichigo’s disappearance inside the Precipice World.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the Reigai arc continues, the show is hitting that point where it really needs to do something firm to give it more direction than it has. It needs to have a revelation or two, like what we get at the start as Ichigo faces off against Kagezora. Ichigo naturally has a lot of questions, especially when it comes to why they’re after Nozomi, but the interesting answer we get is that Kagezora is after Ichigo because he believes Ichigo shouldn’t exist. That makes a certain amount of sense when you consider who Ichigo is and how he became a Soul Reaper, but we also learn that it’s because of this that Kagezora can’t create a Reigai of him, which is something I’ll admit to not realizing until this point. It certainly puts an interesting spin on things and explains the greater focus in erasing his existence, as Kagezora says.
A lot of this episode is still given over to the ongoing matches that we’ve seen for the last couple of episodes, and it’s properly epic in some areas which helps to make it very worthwhile. The fight between the Reigai and Yamamoto continues to be one of the best here as he really unleashes a lot of his power even as it turns into a three against one match. He’s bloodied up and looking worn down, partially just frmo his age, but there’s so much power within him that it really works beautifully as he doesn’t given up in the slightest. But as Urahara notes in the World of the Living, none of the Captain’s who have returned to the Soul Society are faring well. They’re all struggling against the Reigai that they’re facing off against and even when they gain a slight edge, it’s only for a moment.
Where the show throws a little concern for me at this point is that it shuffles Ichigo out of the picture after his dealing with Kagezora. It’s not a surprise that he’s not ready to face the big bad yet, since that would cut the arc short, but putting him to a place unknown for a duration is worrying because it goes for such obvious tactics. Having him return later with new moves, new temporary abilities or something else is just too easy of a crutch to go with. Thankfully, everyone isn’t overly concerned about the disappearance of his Spiritual Pressure since they know he’ll figure something out, so there isn’t an excessive amount of manufactured drama over it. Only Nozomi really shows any true concern and since she’s new to all of this, it works for her to be like this and to be reassured by the others.
Unsurprisingly, things are continuing to be built up with this arc as we see the intensity of the one on one fights that are occurring and just how difficult they are for those involved. Considering what they’ve faced before, it’s a little hard to suspend disbelief in that area, but they’re animating it quite well with solid choreography, especially with Yamamoto, that you can get past it with relative ease. Putting Ichigo out of the picture for a bit is problematic since it’s been done so many times before, but the counterbalance of having lots of others fighting hard and really getting into it here helps a lot. Depending on which characters you like, this could be a good or bad episode, but it left me pretty pleased while still wanting to get a bit more in the way of answers here with the larger storyline.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll
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