Let’s dive straight into it. Today we’re recapping up to episode 150. As everyone is training to get stronger; Ichigo with the visored, Sado and Renij at Urahara’s place, Ishida with his dad and Orihime and Rukia in the training grounds with Ukitake, more arrancar arrive. This time it’s a more dangerous bunch. Aizen has shown that with some manipulation he can use the Hogyoku before it’s awakened, but only for a little bit at a time. This is how we see him create Wonderweiss, who seems to have some intelligence deficit of sorts. I always found this a weird character in the past, but it’s not a big deal. Wonderweiss, Luppi (who is the 6th Espada after Grimmjow fell from grace), Yammy and Grimmjow are back in Karakura town. Grimmjow goes off to find Ichigo while the others confront Toshiro and his companions. The group struggles but luckily Urahara shows up to save the day. He shows off that he’s a lot stronger than he seems and quite easily fights off Yammy, who is one of the Espada and thus easily in the top 20 of strongest people in Aizen’s army. Grimmjow goes to face Ichigo who gives the blue-haired Arrancar a run for his money until his Hollow powers reach their limit. He’s saved by Rukia but the fight is still going poorly. As Grimmjow is about to inflict serious damage, Ulquiorra shows up and they’re all liften back into Hueco Mundo as their mission is complete.
Speaking of their mission, after Rukia is sent through the gate back to the world of the living, Orihime follows her once it’s made safe. Ukitake sees her off and with two guards from Soul Society she makes her way home. Unfortunately, Ulquiorra was prepared for her to show up and ambushes her in the tunnel on the way to the world of the living. He threatens all her friends and Orihime agrees to go with him to Las Noches, Aizen’s palace in Hueco Mundo.
She’s given 12 hours to get her things together and say goodbye to one person. She thinks about choosing Tatsuki but eventually says goodbye to Ichigo. Tears falling down her face she says goodbye and goes to Hueco Mundo with Ulquiorre. There she’s asked to demonstrate her amazing power, which she does by completely restoring Grimmjow’s arm. Grimmjow then kills Luppi for being a prick and takes back his spot on the Espada as number 6.
Ichigo, Sado and Ishida all pause their training to go to Hueco Mundo to save Orihime. Yamamoto “absolute dickhead” Genryuusai forbids them from going and even sends two captains to pick up the Soul Reapers still in the world of the living, including Rukia and Renji. I know he’s representative of the fascist government that has no qualms sacrificing a person for the greater good, and on a level that’s very sensible, but he has no right to tell Ichigo what he can and cannot do. With the help of Urahara, the three go to Hueco Mundo through a gate similar in setup to the one to Soul Society, but a lot more ominous.
Meanwhile we have the reunion of Kurosaki Isshin and Ishida Ryuuken. Ryuuken remarks that Isshin got his powers back, which tells us that he lost them at some point. They talk for a little bit and Ryuuken does hint that he let Ishida go and could have stopped the kid. Ishida rules lawyers’ that Ichigo is not technically a Soul Reaper so he can help him. Unbeknownst to them, Keigo, Mizuiro and Tatsuki find Urahara’s underground base and the latter is about to explain some things to them.
In Hueco Mundo, Ichigo and the gang fight two weaker arrancars and Ishida and Sado show off some new powers. Then they try to make their way towards the palace, which seems to take forever. On their way there they find a group of friendly hollows, one of which is a young girl named Nel Tu. They are ambushed by a big sand hollow but Rukia and Renji show up to save the day. After his we go into several filler episodes, which I will cover here quickly because I’ve read somewhere that Kubo had input in these, so here goes:
The gang falls through the floor into an underground forest filled with Menos. This seems to be where the grunt hollows live. Rukia gets separated and is saved by a soul reaper named Ashido. Rukia and Ashido fight some Hollows who are after the intruders and have captured Nel and friends. Ashido reveals he came here from Soul Society hundreds of years ago. He thought of a big brain plan of killing Hollows before they got to the world of the living. It’s a good plan and seeing as technology to travel to Hueco Mundo exists, it makes me wonder why they don’t do it more. Probably because the 13 squads are a disorganized mess. Some fighting with a gang of underground Hollows ensues and the gang is eventually reunited and back on track again. Ashido ends up staying behind.
The gang goes through an underground tunnel and after some mishaps find a large room with several ways out. They decide to split the party which is rarely a good idea, but yet here we are. Nel follows after Ichigo, Pesche and Dondonchakka immediately lose sight of which door she went through. Ulquiorra and Nnoitra talk, and Ulquiorra explains that he’s emotionally manipulating Orihime. He basically planned that Yamamoto Genryuusai would be a dick about Orihime betraying them. Aizen shows the Hogyoku to Orihime. He wants her power and is doing everything he can to actually get Orihime on his side as opposed to her just being a captive. Orihime on the other hand plans to undo the Hogyoku’s existence.