Byakuya uses his bankai. Ichigo uses his bankai. They fight. Done. Just go watch, not much to summarise anyways.
(continue on for screencaps and opinion, full summary at Omni’s post)
Well, first of all, it’s the most highly anticipated episode of Bleach, with Ichigo’s bankai coming out and also the setting up of the impending twist.
Unfortunately, I feel the production crew for this episode messed up quite a bit , especially in terms of the art and the flow. They unneccesarily dragged out Ichigo’s pre-bankai scene,where he was er…. “charging” up, by putting in all those cliché shounen flashback scenes. I was practically shouting, “Er…. fight please?”. But oh well, that’s the impending sign of the slide to the “Shounen Filler Hell”. Let’s see if this comes true in 15-20 weeks time :(.
Flashbacks were still forgivable, but the art was quite horrible in some parts this episode, especially for poor Matsumoto-san. Hinamori also suffered from lacklustre art for her limited scenes this episode. Even Byakuya wasn’t spared as well :P. I guess they were paying more attention to the fight scenes instead.
Still, the decision to put in the Hinamori, Hitsugaya and Matsumoto’s little “discovery” to fill up the 24 minutes was a not-so-wise decision IMO , as it was interrupting the flow of the Ichigo vs Byakuya fight. It could’ve been inserted in better, I guess. But partially my hate stems from Matsumoto’s horrible art.
Other than that, it was an otherwise good episode. The Chad, Inoue and Ishida tsukkomi was a good addition to lengthen the time without feeling too cheesy and too fillerish. Plus, it fits their personalities as well and I daresay they’re not getting too much screentime soon anyways.
Action scenes were the best part of this episode anyways, and the Senbonzakura Kageyoshi vs Tensa Zangetsu fight animation was decent this episode. I bet most of the budget went into this part. Oh, BTW, I just love Tensa Zangetsu’s uber cool black colour, though I’ll suspect it’ll change soon, if
Rukia’s *zanpakutou*…err the later parts get animated.
The next episode will be the climax and hopefully the ending of the Ichigo vs Byakuya fight as dragging it out for two more episodes is plain stupid and will seriously ruin the quality of the anime. It’s best they conclude the fight in 59 and reveal the twist in 60.