Monday, April 16, 2007

Bleach 121

What's happened before...

In episode 1, a shinigami named Kuchiki Rukia granted Kurosaki Ichigo her Death Gods powers. After various adventures, wherein Ichigo learned about his new abilities, Rukia was found and dragged back to her otherworldly realm, the Soul Society. There, she was sentenced to a grisly death for various crimes. Ichigo and several of her new human friends ventured to Soul Society to free Rukia, only to discover at the end that her entire execution was being orchestrated by the evil Sosuke Aizen. Aizen recovered a powerful artifact that had been hidden inside Rukia's soul and escaped to Hueco Mundo, the home of the Hollows.

After that, nothing really happened for fifty episodes. Really, those episodes don't exist.

Aizen, after long planning, has now released his arrancar, Hollows who have gained shinigami powers. Each is more than a match for the most powerful of shinigami.

In this episode...
First things first, the episode starts off with a new opening sequence. While nothing will compare to the first, now legendary sequence, featuring "Asterisk" by Orange Range, this one isn't too bad. The music ("Alones" by Aqua Timez) is moody and effective, and points to future episodes well. The final notes die down, and Hitsugaya Toshiro, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Abarai Renji are being thoroughly trashed by the arrancar. Things look dire, until the expansive Soul Society bureaucracy finally allows them to break their limits. For Matsumoto, this naturally involves touching her left breast, and I have to admit that I paused the video to stare at this for a few minutes.

Every shinigami, as we learned long ago, and are reminded now, limits their maximum potential when entering the real world. By breaking their limits, the shinigami automatically become five times more powerful. Or five times more ass-kickin', if you prefer. The shinigami proceed to burn or freeze their arrancar opponents. Matsumoto does something with her breasts, and maybe a cloud of dust, and her opponent bites it too.

Meanwhile, Ichigo is being smacked around by a particularly nasty arrancar named Grimmjaw. Ichigo has released his most powerful form, his bankai, but this dude can just catch Ichigo's sword in his bare hands, which isn't something you want the guy you're trying to stab to be able to do. The fight features some pretty good animation, especially about halfway through, where Grimmjaw does this little floating stutter-step in midair. Seeing as how the previous episode (and too many others, for that matter) featured people raising their eyebrows and grunting, it was a nice touch, and also shows plenty of character. Grimmjaw must be the Muhammed Ali of the arrancar! Ichigo gets bruised and bloody, and his most super-duper powerful attack, getsuga tensho, only gives the guy a nice tan, but Grimmjaw doesn't get a chance to fight back in his own particular idiom as Kaname Tousen (one of the shinigami captains who left for Hueco Mundo with Aizen) appears and drags Grimmjaw back to their infernal realm.

Ichigo and the rest feel pretty defeated and depressed because, after all, they're kind of moody. Grimmjaw and Tousen meet Aizen, who doesn't really have an expression. Hueco Mundo must do that to you. Aizen does have a nice jacket, though. I wonder if they get handed out when you enter. I have to admit that I miss Aizen's glasses, but we all know that no one evil ever wore glasses.

No comments: