So the episode begins with Renji not believing what Ichigo as just told him, Shunsui, Jūshirō, and Unohana & Nanao. However it appears that Renji thinks Byakuya must have a reason that he’s betraying them, Ichigo does want to believe in the same thing as Renji but there’s no denying the fact that Byakuya’s siding with the zanpakutō. As Jūshirō, Shunsui & Unohana begin to discuss the recent information that Ichigo has given them; Renji wonders who should be the one to tell Rukia about Byakuya, Jūshirō decides that he should be the one to break the news about Byakuya to Rukia. The captains and Ichigo then begin to process the information that if a zanpakutō is destroyed other than by it’s owner, it will be unusable.
Meanwhile Byakuya, Muramasa & Senbonzakura return to the zanpakutō’s hideout. However the other zanpakutō’s are a little suspicious of him and this is when Senbonzakura decides to test Byakuya’s loyalty to them by ordering him to defeat Sode no Shirayuki and to their immediate surprise he does after a little battle. After Muramasa witnesses Byakuya’s loyalty he then ultimately decides to give him a special mission. During this time Rukia and Renji head to the Sixth Division to try and understand why Byakuya is doing this. Rukia winds-up falling asleep while thinking about Byakuya, and when she recognises a familiar reiatsu belonging to Byakuya she immediately wakes up.
After she wakes up she realises the entire division’s barracks are in disarray, and it appears that Byakuya was responsible for it. Even more devastating then that for Rukia is when Senbonzakura tosses her Sode no Shirayuki in its broken form, as she then holds Sode no Shirayuki, Senbonzakura tries to do a sneak attack on her. Fortunately at that time Renji makes his entrance and begins to defend Rukia from Senbonzakura.
After a while Zabimaru comes in to ultimately save Renji from Senbonzakura, as Renji goes off to fight Byakuya, as Renji & Byakuya fight Renji’s trying to figure out why Byakuya is doing this, Zabimaru ends up fighting against Senbonzakura. It appears that even when Zabimaru initiates bankai they still can not win against Senbonzakura, this is the same for Renji as both are defeated easily by their opponents.
Once Renji is down and Rukia comes to help him out, Byakuya warns them once more not to interfere with the zanpakutō rebellion. Rukia and Renji are then surrounded by at least five other zanpakutō which include, Kazeshini, Hōzukimaru, Ruriiro Kujaku, Tenken and Gonryōmaru. However these zanpakutō don’t get to do much as they are then surrounded by the Second Division, which includes Soifon is joined by a couple of other shinigami have come to fight their respective zanpakutō, those are Ikkaku, Yumichika, & Kira eventually Ichigo arrives to confront Byakuya.
Preview: Shinigami and Zanpakutō, Total Sortie
Hmm, well what really can I say for this episode besides the fact that they are making it look as if Byakuya is siding with the zanpakutō, but there is something that any fan of Bleach can see that in the case of Byakuya he is holding something back in the terms of Rukia? Wonder what that is maybe we will find out in later episodes. Hopefully it should be explained sooner rather than at the latter end of the season.
One of the things that surprised me was that Byakuya was more than willing to kill Sode no Shirayuki just to gain the trust of the other zanpakutō was out of the blue. I must say this one thing even though this is an animé original arc everyone knows that there will be some way to get back your zanpakutō in the end, that definitely takes a lot away from the current plot twist. Throwing away that little bit of a downer, I thought that the fight between Byakuya and Sode no Shirayuki was interesting only for the fact that he would never under any circumstances fight her ice powers.
Moving to the so predictable fight between Renji & Byakuya also Zabimaru & Senbonzakura. Their fights were not really so bad but in terms with the other fights that have happened they lacked originality in my book. I mean come on who would not think that Byakuya and Senbonzakura couldn’t defeat Renji & Zabimaru, they’d have to be stupid, anyway enough rambling. I’m pretty psyched for next week’s episode though, for the main reason to see that the battle between zanpakutō and shinigami isn’t over yet and that Ichigo and some of the other shinigami have shown up. So logically thinking next weeks episode should be more action packed then this week’s slow paced one. Oh before I forget finally we get to see some Yumichika action I miss the beauty obsessed shinigami.
All in all I can’t say that I either liked or disliked this episode much considering as I’m sitting on the fence with quite a few concepts that arose in this episode, that’s why the personal enjoyment score is breaking even round about.
Personal Enjoyment: 3/5