Action packed, pretty emotional, but most importantly, no Ririn, Cloud, and Nova! That last part was especially essential, cause it didn't ruin the mood like they have before. Plus there was absolutely no mention of the Bount arc which the past couple episodes have been doing. The big twist here is the limiter that forced Renji, Ringiku, and Hitsuga-ya to fight at only 20% of their power, and although their fights didn't last very long since they were so one sided, the twist alone was pretty satisfying. The last remaining fight, while one sided, was pretty entertaining in its own right as well. The production values between Grimmjow and Ichigo were pretty good, and it ends leaving us in anticipation.
That... was... incredible. I know there's already tons of reviews on this already but this ep was so good -- another one can't hurt.
First of all, the opening was very catchy. I found myself stuck with the opening song in my head all day long. As someone else did point out -- yes, there are some spoilers for what's ahead, but STILL it captures and accelerates the creative intensity an of the Bleach series. Very good choice. The fight with Grimmjow n' Ichigo was special treat. I guess being the first episode for the 6th season, the animators put forth some pretty bad-ass animation for their fight. The ending was.. meh. It could have been better considering the past Bleach endings were more innovative. The past ending credits depicted characters in a different angle and mood. This one doesn't cut it for me. Overall, this episode reminded me why my friends begged me to start watching Bleach and man... I'm glad I did. LIMIT BREAK!
After having their power limits released, Hitsugaya, Rangiku & Renji all find victory against their enemies. However, Ichigo is having a lot of difficulties against Grimmjow, who turns out to be too much of a match for him.
In terms of animation, this episode is the proof of that if an extremely-poor animated episode airs, the next one is likely going to be superb. And after last week's poor animation, Bleach broke it's own standards and delivered us some of the best fighting sequences so far in the show. Watching Ichigo and Grimmjow battling in the sky with OVA quality was amazing. But it doesn't end there, because most of the episode's animation was excellent.
In terms of plot, this is a turning point on the story. While the Soul Society Shinigami's powers are released, Ichigo meets his own power limit, since there's basically nothing else he can do now, except kneeling down to his Hollow side -- OR trying to control it. What path is he gonna take? Well, that's kind of obvious, but the question is if he's gonna be successful in his quest. For those who haven't read the manga, there's some pretty good sh*t coming up.
In other news, Tousen is back! While he's not particularly one of my favourite characters, his return makes me enthusiastic, even more than when I first read this part in the manga. That's probably because in the manga there wasn't so much of a time gap between his departure and his return, at least compared to the time gap in the Anime, which was like - more than 50 episodes! And not to mention Gin, who is the only one from the Trio still left to reappear.
Other highlights of the episode include: Tatsuki being involved again; the extremely HILARIOUS scene at Keigo's, with him, Ikkaku, Yumichika and Mizuho, Keigo's completely insane sister; the final conversation between Ichigo and Renji; and Aizen's reappearence at the end.
Last but not least, it's new opening and ending time! The opening, "Alones" (by Aqua Timez) is marvelous, almost as good as "Rolling Star" (if not better; it's still too soon for me to figure that out), and the animation is full of (quite obvious) hints of what's to come. In other words, it's full of huge spoilers. The ending, however, is not so good. In fact, the animation is probably one of the poorest of all of the show's endings. On the other hand, the song, "Tsumasaki" (by Ore Ska Band) is really catchy, so I might just let it pass. Turns out music in Bleach is just so great, that it's pretty difficult for me to be objective.
Well this episode was just awsome. The Arrancar got defeated once the shinigamis were allowed to use their full power. Ichigo however has a tougher enemy to face. He had to battle Espada #6 Grimmjow Jaggerjack who was on a different level than the other Arrancars. Ichigo was amazed at how strong Grimmjow was and he was getting kicked around like trash. At the end he was able to leave a huge scar on Grimmjow by using a getsuga tenshō on him. Finally Tosen took Grimmjow back to Hueco Mundo and said that Aizen was furious. Ichigo was left alive but heavily injured.
I have rewatched all 137 released episodes and I can state with complete confindence that this near perfectly done episode is the culmination in the best 5-6 episode chain yet for the series, far exceeding the wow factor of even the Buyaku fights.
I will not bother reviewing past episodes in this little mini-arch, and will also try and avoid spoilers as much as I can, hence why I left them out of the summary. Season five ends with some of the best episodes yet for this anime series, period. They finaly fit the inantely dark mood of the series to a propper musical score (the spanish violin theme for the psuedo-hollows is simply put, incredibly well done, and fits each fight perfect with it's various adaptations). This momentum they built leads right into what, as mentioned above, is the most pivotal show of the entire mini-saga, obviously so with it being the last one. While this episode in and of itself is not all together earth shattering, it is the subtext behind it that will shape, and has shaped, the entire sixth season and proably much of season 7, as they prepare for the eventual Aizen showdown.
This is the first time, period, that Ichigo got completely pounded. It was not like the fight with Kuchki before, it was a fight where two men, should-be equals in style and somewhat in skill, faced off and he simply put, got his ass handed to him. Vulgarly put perhaps, but correct none the less, and everything about it is just so incredibly well done that you can't help but simply go "wow, THIS is why I put up with the fluff episodes". It is the perfect cherry on the top to the sundae (okay the metaphor is streching thin now) of the previous season, and it really does completely shape the face of the show for a long long time. The only episode that was perhaps as imporant in shaping and setting the tone for a new arch as this particular episode, is the episode with the kenpachi fight.
The shinigamis have the green light to use its full power at the real world, making the arrancar disappear for its existence. Ichigo has a tough fight, I mean he is getting beat by Grimmjow, one of the espada members. Tosen makes its return.
As I say, this episode is exactly why I watch this series, finally one of the episodes with more action and less talking. It makes me remember of some dragon ball z series when Grimjow is fighting with Ichigo. The speed, the techniques and the action are some of those ingredients that makes this fight watchable. By watching an Ichigo that nevers gives up, make this fight to increase its interest and elude the downhill to getting bore. We can see that the espada members don't have the same power as those ordinary arrancars in this episode and that Aizen's power is more powerful that we can't imagine by leading the espada.
After having their real world limit removed, Renji, Rangiku, and Toshiro easily outclass The Numeros class Arrancar. However, Ichigo runs into trouble handing The Espada classed Arrancar Grimmjow who proves to be a match to Ichigo even in Bankai.
This episode really illustrates how powerful the Arrancar are, as well as the division between the classes of Arrancar. Just like the difference in the divisions in rank among the various Shinigami, such as Captains and Vice-Captains, The Espada ranks are shown to be the elites of The Arrancar. The Numeros ranked Arrancar are shown to be immensely powerful, but even in releasing their zanpakut¨ seem to come nowhere in the realm of Grimmjow before his release. The scenes where Grimmjow easily handles Ichigo in Bankai show some unique fight scenes that the series hasn't seen since the Soul Society Arc. Slow-motion attacks, combined with the new sounds the Arrancar bring to the series, even to the blood spatters coming from Ichigo all show some interesting new directions for the artwork to the series. The best part is Grimmjow's maniacal laughing as he's pummeling Ichigo, and the bright red orbs of blood flying off Ichigo. The taunting of Hollow Ichigo is always very nice too. Great episode.
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