Nope, I don’t get the title for this one. We’ll just have to settle with that ugly makeshift title.
Ikkaku had been a street thug without any purpose in life–except for battling. Only, his only passion in battling had been just because there had been nothing else to do. Then he came to the 80th district, looking for a fight. He got one, with the one and only Kenpachi of Zaraki.
While Ikkaku was stronger than everything else Kenpachi had chopped up to that point, he was still not good enough. Ikkaku asked for death, but Kenpachi reprimanded him. If he liked fighting than he should be grateful he could live to continue doing so even after losing, he should thank his luck for it. As soon as he was healed, Ikkaku went searching for Kenpachi again. Hearing that Kenpachi had joined the Eleventh Division of Gotei 13, he and Yumichika joined that division. The three (four, plus Yachiru) of them even fought a Hydra-like Hollow together.
Some time later, Renji showed up and asked Ikkaku to teach him how to battle. Ikkaku complied. Along with their training, they also somehow bonded. The timeline moved forward again, and this time it was closer to the present. Renji asked, or more likely pleaded, Ikkaku to take up the position as the captain of any of the three traitors’ division; he was, according to Renji, the one most suitable for the job. Ikkaku rejected, saying that just as Renji stayed in the Sixth Division to beat Byakuya, he too stayed in the Eleventh so that he could die under Kenpachi’s command. Renji understood, and the flashbacks ended. Both Ikkaku and Eduardo plunged to earth, Ikakku with his blade broken, and Eduardo with his arm missing. Ikkaku, though, remarked to Yumichika that he was lucky once again. So Yumichika would have to tell poor Akon (or whoever that Twelfth he contacted earlier was) to cancel Ikkaku’s burial.
I definitely didn’t expect another elaboration outside of what the manga has said, though I suppose it’s in order. Soi Fon, who has had only three chapters’ worth of major appearances, received a full episode of flashback after all. The Eleventh, who have more air-time, is bound to have an exclusive episode for their own. While I still don’t like the Eleventh that much, Ikkaku is the one I can tolerate the most. The bunch of them has honor, to their own extent and description, but Ikkaku is the one whose code of honor is the most…how should I say? He gives me the least urge to roll my eyes and ridicule about men and their pride. Still, this episode doesn’t really elaborate much aside from showing Ikkaku’s relationship with those around him. Surpirsingly, Yumichika doesn’t get much role despite being what must be the closest thing he could have to a best friend.
At the same time, I begin to wonder if there’s someone leaking all those zanpakuto outside of Seireitei. It has baffled me ever since reading volume 13 on how something that dangerous gets to be in the hands of street thugs. What’s even worse, in the first appearance of Yumichika he didn’t carry a sword. In the second appearance (visiting a bandaged Ikkaku) he had it.
I also think that being a shinigami ensures wealth, since Kenpachi is buffed in the present, while he’s like a street lamp in the past. Also, apparently it is mandatory for captains to have eccentric appearance. After all, who in their right mind would want to wake up in the dawn just to fix up his hair and attaches all those bells every morning?
This episode is okay, not exactly a rehash of anything, but is still not something that makes me highly interested. I’ll admit that Bleach doesn’t amuse me as much as it was. I’m actually waiting for the next filler arc, believe it or not. That’d be slightly more original than animating the manga. In any case, another elaboration of an obscure character is also welcome.
The Shinigami Golden Cup is not that funny…
Next week is Renji vs. Il Forte, and Hitsugaya vs. Shawlong Qu Fong. I’ll go out on a limb and say that this will probably end with a cliffhanger similar to how the episode when Ichigo started the fight to beat up Byakuya ended. Oh, expect to see someone very much unexpected intruding someone’s fight.