It’s been more or less a year since I first read the chapters corresponding this episode, and I can say there’s not much difference. This is the episode in which Ikkaku fought Eduardo and, the highlight of the episode, showed his–controversial, at least among the fans–bankai.
Eduardo refused telling Ikkaku his name on the basis that someone close to dying shouldn’t need to know his name. To Ikkaku, pronouncing each other’s name was a battle ethiquette, because at the very least they should know who killed them. And so they clashed. At first Eduardo didn’t even use his sword, just his iron skin. Later he had to pull that out. After that, he still didn’t release his sword, commenting that Ikkaku was not worth it. Using a simpleton’s strategy, if it can even be called a strategy, Ikkaku managed to cut Eduardo’s face and losing two molars (according to the manga). So Eduardo got serious and pronounced both his and his zanpakuto’s name. It’s called Volcanica, and its powers overwhelmed Ikkaku. Cut to Grimmjow meeting Ichigo and Rukia, and then wounding Rukia (oddly without the 5-litre blood rain that is Bleach’s icon), and fixating his attention on Ichigo. Meanwhile, Yumichika asked a 12 Division shinigami over the phone to prepare Ikkaku’s funeral.
Eduardo, so sure of victory, delivered the final blow, only that it wasn’t. The pachinko-dama, as Yachiru called him, was holding the attack with his bare back, muttering about showing a secret. The bankai, named Ryuumon Houzukimaru. It was a gigantic sansetsuken (if that term even exists…) with a purpose to only concentrate Ikkaku’s reiatsu into raw strength. The downside, it was so heavy in offense it was brittle. It did cut through Volcanica’s attack. But that was not the end of it.
As you watch, the dragon emblem was slowly filled with red color. According to Ikkaku, that’s the mark that his zanpakuto was waking up through slashing or get slashed (which is probably why he just spun it on nothing), and when it was full, it was ready to release its full power. Since they both were at the edge, they settled it with a final clash (or fireworks).
Actually, this is the first Bleach I watch since the last of Soul Society arc–that was the last episode provided by my friends. I’ve got to say, the feeling’s still the same. Okay…so that’s how the studio gives the black-and-white still images some life. Sadly, I can still see the manga’s exact images from those frames, and that provokes a bit of redundancy. A bit.
The bankai was, and still is to the anime-watchers, controversial when it first was shown. The logic was: if Ichigo could defeat Ikkaku with no problem, but nearly lost against Renji, then how come Ikkaku qualified to have a bankai? You can’t really say he lost to Ichigo in the first place because he didn’t use his bankai; Renji didn’t either, and Ichigo nearly lost–though it is also plausible to say that Ichigo had been drained by the fight with Ikkaku, hence Renji’s almost victory. Well, it didn’t really matter.
I never really like the Eleventh division (or any fight-junkie characters for that matter). In this case, I’m further discouraged by the fact that the author seems to prefer said division (which corps has the most named members again?). It doesn’t help that Ichigo fits to be in said division.
Basically, I’m not too impressed by the bankai. It’s just an expansion embodying their fighting motto: all for the sword, none for the magic/kidou (or brain ). So naturally it’s not really a thrilling episode for me. Actually, anything that I have read or seen before but yet I read and see again in a different media doesn’t really interest me much due to the way my memories work. That is probably why my siblings and I watched the Naruto fillers instead of the canon episodes.
The surprise in this episode is the Arrancar release (resurrecio) sequence. It’s lengthy, it’s flashy, but it worths it. That’s the one sequence not found in the manga, and I like it. It shows that there are something that’s really going on behind the pillar of cloud every release/transformation thing is bound to have. Now here’s for the rest of the resurrecio.
The shinigami cup golden’s a good way to get some laugh…but I didn’t. I blame my lame sense of humor. Anyway, I doubt the shinigami women association would object to Byakuya being in their meetings. It’s him being there and smiling about it that makes me wonder whether the cold captain finally cracks or not.
Hmm, now I wonder how long they’re going to animate the manga before going back to fillers. The manga is still deep in another arc, and it’s the one that will be simply stupid to be diverged into another filler. So I’m guessing a Naruto-like break from the manga.
The next episode definitely will contain the flashback, as well as continuing the others’ fight. So an episode full of action…unless they decide to give some more
lecture information about this new enemy. Oh, and expect a lot of intrusions and scene-shifts.