Bleach 238 – Friendship? Hatred? Haineko & Tobiume   Leave a comment

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The episode begins with Retsu in the 4th division headquarters, then over to Shunsui and Jūshirō are discussing how they were so close in capturing at least several zanpakutō, though Shunsui expected as much, and Jūshirō proceeds with stating that there were still no reports that captain-class zanpakutō have started attacking civilians yet. Shunsui and Jūshirō then start to discuss about the whereabouts of Byakuya, and even the Renji is fill in for his absence its hard for the squad to achieve results without the moral support of their captain. Jūshirō wonders what he’s thinking and Shunsui states that Byakuya is a hard person to figure out and always has been. The scene changes to Momo, waiting for Matsumoto so they can fo in search for zanpakutō’s.

As Ichigo tries to chase after Byakuya, he enters a forest. During all of this somewhere in the Menos Forest in Hueco Mundo Muramasa despite him being weakened is easily able to fend off anything that attacks him which includes at least several Gillians. Finally it moves to show Haineko and Tobiume wandering around the forest that Ichigo just entered. Tobiume sees a light heading towards them and decides to investigate and Haineko follows. We then see Hyōrinmaru standing on top of a tall rock. The scene shifts to Tobiume & Haineko who have managed to locate the source of the light and happen to wander across Senbonzakura. Apparently it seems that Senbonzakura is seeking out Muramasa and when Haineko & Tobiume say they haven’t seen him he vanishes.

Eventually they manage to spot Ichigo running through the forest and they both decide to have some fun with Ichigo, however Ichigo isn’t all that bothered about fighting them. As luck as it thankfully Matsumoto and Momo arrive as they are on patrol and they take his place to face their own zanpakutō, which allows Ichigo once again to try and pursue Byakuya.  Back to Muramasa whose still strolling through the Menos Forest eventually he reaches the end and is surprised that in the end they were just Menos Grandes, the Menos Grandes proceed with firing ceros at Muramasa. Shifting back to Matsumoto has no qualms about fighting Haineko due to their strained relationship, but it isn’t the same for Momo who first tries to talk to Tobiume. However Tobiume, thinks that Momo is weak. Haineko and Matsumoto begin to clash zanpakutō’s with one another, they exchange a few blows before Matsumoto asks Haineko that since she’s refusing to come back to her that she’s prepared to battle her.

Tobiume wonders if Momo is going to just stand there gawking at her or attack her, Tobiume knows what Momo is thinking and indicates that if she just waits that she’ll end up dying by her hands. Tobiume then implies that it was all Momo’s fault that Aizen betrayed her, this makes Momo furious and she then begins to attack Tobiume. Haineko and Matsumoto are exchanging more and more blows with each other, however Haineko manages to cut some of Matsumoto’s hair off with an attack and says she should runaway now, Matsumoto says she won’t not until she comes back to her. When Haineko releases her shikai Matsumoto begins to runaway until Momo use a kidō spell on Tobiume which winds up having her crash into Haineko. Both Haineko and Tobiume begin to argue with each other.

Meanwhile Ichigo is still running through the forest, he stops for a moment and notices someones reiatsu, he then proceeds to investigate, and immediately gets attacked by pillars of ice. It appears that Ichigo’s opponent is Hyōrinmaru, however Ichigo decides to initiate bankai and almost instantly Hyōrinmaru loses interest in him and traps him in an ice prison. Apparently it looks like Hyōrinmaru as amnesia and can not remember who is wielder is. Hitsugaya then appears after he overheard all of this and states to Hyōrinmaru that he is his wielder. In spite of his current state Muramasa is easily able to defeat about several Menos Grandes and then begins to walk off.

Preview: The Awakening Hyōrinmaru! Hitsugaya’s Fierce Fight

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Personal Opinion:

In all honesty none of the Tobiume & Haineko stuff in the episode interested me, personally it’s because I feel that Matsumoto and Momo haven’t really been shown as powerful people, another major factor was that their zanpakutō’s spirits spent much of their screen time arguing with each other which annoyed me so much. I thought that they were supposed to be battling to prove who is the more powerful one out of the two not who can argue the most. The only real memorable thing about the supposed battles was when Tobiume invoked the memories of Aizen’s betrayal on Momo which made her start to take this battle seriously and that it still manages to wind Momo up about Aizen.

Onto something that interested me more was Hyōrinmaru’s amnesia, which leads me to think that it should be fairly easy for Hitsugaya to get Hyōrinmaru back, once he has found the cause as to why only Hyōrinmaru as amnesia. Well, Muramasa gets more and more interesting as the series progresses on apparently for some unknown reason to me he is allowed in and out of Hueco Mundo as he pleases, this leads me to suspect that it could be part of his plan to understand hollows and also the one that is residing inside of Ichigo’s soul. Though I have to hand the people who thought of this plot for the Arc a big round of applause as they have already managed to keep me interested and want to know more about the character of Muramasa, and his apparent connection in Hueco Mundo.

Right now onto more pressing matters, it really did annoy me when it first showed Ichigo at the beginning of the episode with his shikai present, didn’t he initiate bankai at the end of last weeks episode I’m positive he did so that he could get rid of Senbonzakura’s petals. To me there was no logic as to why he deactivated his bankai while pursuing Byakuya wouldn’t it be more productive to stay in bankai as it would speed him up forgetting about how he had to use it fighting Hyōrinmaru anyway. I’m not sure if his bankai actually uses a lot of reiatsu but I can assume it does, maybe thats why he deactivated it and decided to pursue bankai while his sword was in its shikai mode, but I still find it a mystery in itself, your opinions would be appreciated.

While there is still another mystery that needs to be resolved quickly, which is why is Byakuya helping the zanpakutō I have come up with the conclusion that he is still separated from Senbonzakura, but the reason is surely going to be explained in episode 240 as it appears since the episode is called Byakuya’s Betrayal. So that leaves me thinking maybe Byakuya hasn’t got a plan but on the other hand he might have one; though it’s going to leave the Byakuya fans at turmoil until this matter is fully opened and closed.

Personal Enjoyment: 4/5


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