Bleach 240 – Byakuya’s Betrayal   Leave a comment

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Summary:

Ichigo is running in the forest until he comes across two paths and he then he focuses on Byakuya’s reiatsu however this proves unsuccessful and he proceeds  to go down the left path to search around there. It starts off with Mayuri in his lab with Gegetsuburi and Ōmaeda trying to figure out what is making the zanpakutō rebel against them. It appears that the Ōmaeda and Gegetsuburi can communicate telepathically and it intrigues him to an extent before pursuing to experiment on Gegetsuburi. However, Mayuri discovers that the zanpakutō spirits only return when their owners have defeated them, and not by someone other than there owners, he summarises that even though this is interesting work it is also very vexing.

Meanwhile Haineko & Tobiume are locked in a cage by Momo and Matsumoto to be taken to the 4th Division headquarters, it appears that both Haineko and Tobiume aren’t pleased with the outcome and begin to complain to them. As Haineko & Tobiume get taken away from Momo and Matsumoto they begin their search for Hitsugaya Matsumoto begins to think why she can’t feel Hitsugaya’s reiatsu and then comes to a conclusion that he can’t be dead. However as Momo & Matsumoto press on they encounter Ichigo who happens to collide into Matsumoto who in turn winds up sitting on him. Matsumoto asks Ichigo about Hitsugaya and he tells her not to worry as he is fine, he then explains to both her and Matsumoto what had happened.

Just as their discussion was ending the three of them happen to notice Muramasa emerge from a rift, Muramasa states that he still hasn’t gotten used to this body yet. Eventually Muramasa notices Ichigo, Matsumoto & Momo standing there watching him. Ichigo greets him saying its nice to see him again, however Muramasa begins to explain to Ichigo that the two of them must be connected by fate, and that Ichigo will be useful in Muramasa reaching his goal, he then wonders if Ichigo can feel it as well. Muramasa then continues to say that Ichigo hasn’t got anywhere to put his excess power that’s building up inside of him: Ichigo however does know that the only thing that is tying them together is that he is going to defeat Muramasa. Muramasa gets ready to fight and Ichigo thinks that Muramasa is going to brainwash Zangetsu again, however Zangetsu reassure’s him that it will not happen again as he now knows what its capable of.

Muramasa is surprised that Ichigo isn’t in awe just by looking at him, Matsumoto and Momo notice something wrong at which Momo points out that his reiatsu isn’t stable. However, Muramasa uses one of his techniques which for the time being paralyses Ichigo, Matsumoto & Momo for the time being until Muramasa ends up wasting too much reiatsu and begins coughing and tears of blood comes out from his eyes. Ichigo notices the current situation and decides to use it as an advantage and begins to attack him, however he is stopped by Senbonzakura.  However, Ichigo isn’t all too sure as to who it belongs to and the zanpakutō refuses to tell him, but the zanpakutō tells him that he’ll figure it out in a moment. Ichigo immediately recognises it as Byakuya’s and Momo as to use a kidō spell to protect her and Matsumoto from the blades of Senbonzakura. However this fails and it’s left up to Ichigo who initiates bankai , he is even forced to bring out his Vizard mask to break out of Senbonzakura’s sphere.

During their next clash Ichigo is able to break a small part of Senbonzakura’s mask off, but not long after that Byakuya appears to everyone’s dismay, he attacks Ichigo with a kidō spell to get him to back off and it looks like he’s on Muramasa’s side. Byakuya claims that he is doing all of this on his own free will, he then informs Ichigo not to interfere with Muramasa’s plans or else he will risk death. Ichigo is completely astounded and is left standing there as Byakuya, Senbonzakura and Muramasa disappear into the pink wave Senbonzakura created.

Preview: For the Sake of Pride! Byakuya vs. Renji

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Personal Opinion:

Finally we get to some bit of action, I’ve been waiting for this battle again ever since they fought on the Sōkyoku Hill. If I recall back at episode 59, even though none of there are my favourites I found it intriguing how Ichigo was easily able to defend and attack Senbonzakura even though at one point he had to rely on his Vizard powers that’s the only difference in this fight. Anyway, Senbonzakura is the zanpakutō that is quite well-mannered and you can tell why he is Byakuya’s sword and that both of them look down on their opponents no matter if the opponent is managing to beat them.

Well, well at least we get to know something else about Muramasa in this episode, it is a surprisingly well developed character for a filler arc. We get to learn that he is somehow able to change his bodies over, how he does this is a mystery but I guess the fans will make their own assumptions on the matter. Muramasa is going to be a surprising character to look out for in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales Arc, I am going to step over the edge a little and say that he is a favourite character of mine as well (Renji, Urahara, Hisagi, Ukitake, Shunsui, Ulquiorra & Orihime). There are similarities between him and Ulquiorra which could be a reason I like him as much as I do, not mentioning his voice actor plays in one of my favourite Shoujo anime’s.

Apparently it appears that all my assumptions about Byakuya betraying the shinigami was in fact correct, although I did feel that when Byakuya was talking about pride it was sort of cryptic, I think that he knows something the rest of the characters don’t about Muramasa that is his main reason for siding with the zanpakutō’s. I do however, feel that I should question what makes this betrayal and how it relates to anything in the Arc as a whole. It is hard to believe that the directors are actually going to make Byakuya a semi-villian but it appears that way from the couple of episode titles, I also suspect that this current situation won’t  last will be the clue to how long this Arc lasts. Regardless, I wonder if Byakuya will get any sort of character development even though he hasn’t in the manga.

There was a bit of humour at the beginning of the episode involving Mayuri (who’s a mad scientist) Gegetsuburi & Ōmaeda, who are in the process of trying to figure out why the zanpakutō are rebelling against them, somehow I feel that if Urahara was to get involved somewhere in the Arc we would eventually get to see what Benihime looks like. Though, Mayuri eventually figured it out and even though the way he experimented on Gegetsuburi was a little unethical it did get the job done. All in all I feel this episode was well worth the watch and a lot of new information was given out as well.

Personal Enjoyment: 5/5

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