Bleach 232 – Sode no Shirayuki vs. Rukia! Confused Heart   Leave a comment


Preoccupied about Byakuya whereabouts Rukia returns to Soul Society, but with him still missing according to Renji. While wandering around thinking about him, Rukia happens to wander across Sode no Shirayuki terrorizing some Shinigami, so she steps in to stop her. Sode no Shirayuki makes it a point to say that she’s now free and can do what she wants, and in the upcoming battle, she shows Rukia how hard it is to fight agaisnt your own zanpakutō techniques. Rukia counter-attacks with a kidō spell, but Sode no Shirayuki has no problem creating a barrier of ice to protect herself. As she dodges the counter-attack, Rukia seems astonished as to why Sode no Shirayuki seems to despise her, and she remembers her delight practicing her techniques in front of Kaien many years ago. When everything goes pear shaped between Rukia and Sode no Shirayuki, Ichigo steps in and protects her from the attacks of Sode no Shirayuki. Regardless, Rukia doesn’t seem happy to see Ichigo there, especially since they don’t know what is behind the zanpakutō uprising, Ichigo interrupts saying that he feels that it is fine and that together they have to find the reason behind it.

Ichigo then pursues Sode no Shirayuki in battle, but its not hard that she realises that he’s hesitating to attack her. She has no such reservations towards him though and uses the full extent of her ice powers. Rukia attempts to take advantage of this by attempting a sneak attack, but Sode no Shirayuki senses it coming and easily blocks it. Not giving up, Rukia has Ichigo back down since this is her fight, and Sode no Shirayuki admits that she hates her and that her goal is to deprive Rukia of everything important to her. Rukia responds by acknowledging that her Zanpakutō is free now, and she asks her to calm her hatred. Sode no Shirayuki is surprised to hear this, and she’s even more surprised to see Rukia use another kidō spell to bind them together. Rukia is ready to relinquish everything and uses a final kidō spell whose explosion envelopes both of them. Her farewell causes Sode no Shirayuki to want to reach out to her again, but she’s immediately stopped by Muramasa. His appearance also stops Ichigo dead in his tracks and distracts him from checking up on the now unconscious Rukia. When Ichigo questions who he is, Muramasa reveals that he’s a Zanpakutō.

Preview: Zangetsu Becomes an Enemy

Personal Opinion:

There’s something to be said for the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales Arc; it’s pretty damn enjoyable. The entire time when Rukia was talking to Sode no Shirayuki inside that swirling ball, I kept thinking that this was some pretty powerful stuff they usually reserved for late in an arc (like the previous arcs). And yet here we are only three episodes in and we’re already seeing such a high profile battle that carries with it so much character development. For a series like Bleach whose anime originals have been a total let-down and whose main story often tends to trail on and on, this is a refreshing and exciting change of pace. The animation quality has stayed above average too, so that’s another bonus to the arc.

So my major complaint this episode is that I feel they held Ichigo’s power back, trying to make some sort of statement that no matter how strong you are you are no match for the power of a zanpakutō, so intentionally Sode no Shirayuki seemed extremely powerful. Although there is something that came to my attention in this episode, which is how was Ichigo caught off guard by Sode no Shirayuki techniques. You would think after spending so much time with Rukia he’d be used to them and be able to counter them easily. Having said that, it was still an amazing episode to watch had my attention wholeheartedly.

Well my theory as somewhat been heard by the producers of Bleach about Muramasa’s character who he was and everything so confirming that he’s a Zanpakutō was somewhat a shock (though not really surprising given the origins of his name), that leads me to question who he originally belonged to. Here’s my theory it’s either a vice-catain class shinigami whom has not revealed there zanpakutō though that’s highly unlikely in my opinion. The more obvious choice is that he belongs to another anime original character.

The preview for next weeks episode seems to be a showdown between Ichigo and Zangetsu, so I’m all hyped up for it as it looks from the preview that Ichigo will have to rely on his hollow powers so he can defeat Zangetsu. All in all, it’s going to be a very surprising episode.


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