We’ve got a lot to go through for the next two summaries so let’s dive right into it. We’re covering up to roughly episode 286 today.
Aizen, Gin and Tosen are still waiting in Yamamoto’s fiery barrier. I’m going to bring this up only once since it happens a few times in this arc, but it’s so silly to me that these effects are shown in such a way that they could simply fly under or over them if they wanted to. The same when a character is shown struggling to block an attack while mid-air. Couldn’t they just fall further down to unbalance their opponent? It’s a suspension of disbelief thing I suppose but it irked me at times during this arc. If you design mid-air battles, account for the fact that air isn’t solid and flying should have some form of logic behind it. The three Espada all reveal their numbers and their resurreccion.
The third Espada, Tia Hallibel, fights with Hitsugaya Toshiro. Her water abilities hold up surprisingly well against his icy bankai and he’s also stunted because the healing vice captains are right below him and his most powerful ability can be dangerous with them around. Eventually he’s forced to use his abilities and the snow that rains from the sky turns everything it touches into icy flowers, fully encasing the Espada in ice.
The second Espada, Barragan Louisenbairn, fights with Soi Fon and Omaeda. Omaeda is distracting him while Soi Fon prepares her bankai. The reason she’s so hesitant to use it is because it’s not a stealthy ability. It’s basically a rocket launcher on steroids. She fires it at Barragan and it seems like a direct hit.
The first Espada, Starrk and Lilinette, is fighting against Kyoraku and Ukitake. The duo is doing a good job at keeping him occupied, but he is very strong. Lilinette is turned into two guns which shoot Cero at the two captains, keeping them on their toes. Both captains reveal their shikai abilities with Kyoraku’s ability being based on children’s games that rely on his weapon’s whim and Ukitake’s shikai allows him to return abilities to the sender, adjusting them just enough to mess with their timing in blocking it. The fight seems to go nowhere.
When things are going reasonably well for the Soul Society folks, another portal opens up behind Aizen, revealing Wonderweiss and a massive hollow creature that’s accompanying him. The two blow out the fire that’s surrounding the three former captains and reveal that both Halibel and Barragan are still perfectly fine. Things look dire for the captains of the Gotei 13 as both Ukitake and Kyoraku are struck down. But don’t worry, because the real heroes are finally here. Shinji and the rest of the Visored appear just in time to save the day. Lisa greets Kyoraku by kicking him in the head, which is honestly fair, and Shinji greets Yamamoto by basically telling him to piss off. Shinji is definitely still mad about how they were treated in the past. The Visoreds square up against the Espada and work together with the Gotei 13 captains that were already fighting and the final battles with the Espada start.
The third Espada, Halibel, fights Yadomaru Lisa, Sarugaki Hiyori and Hitsugaya Toshiro. The latter two call each other short and bald for a while and their teamwork is atrocious, but both Lisa and Hiyori are very powerful. They were lieutenant level before they were hollowfied, and with another century of training and their hollow abilities they’re probably captain level at the least. They manage to hold Halibel in check, but she’s strong. Unfortunately, Aizen decides that he’s done with the Espada and cuts her down himself. He even gets angry that he has to cut her twice before she falls. We get a flashback scene to Halibel living in Hueco Mundo, gathering friends to live with. She was very close to her fracciones after all. Aizen’s appearance ruined all of that and she got betrayed by his smooth talking.
Barragan fights Soi Fon, Omaeda and Hachi, the kido master that’s joined the frey now. They use barrier after barrier against the monster of aging but his power corrupts everything eventually and they aren’t getting far. Hachi puts him in a massive barrier and Soi Fon fires another Bankai at him, complaining that she normally can only use one every three days and this is taking too much out of her. Unfortunately it’s still not enough and Barragan yet lives, even hitting Hachi with the aging power Respira. Hachi then teleports his hurt arm inside the Espada, destroying his body from the inside.
Starrk is sad at the lack of care his companions show for the deaths of the other fighters. His whole thing is loneliness after all and he just wants to have friends. Unfortunately for him, Love and Rose don’t have the patience to wait it out and start fierce attacks. They’re no match for the Espada though and the fight is quickly going in Starrk’s favor. It just so happens that Kyoraku does not play fair at all and joins in on the fight, putting the Espada on the ropes. In a risky endeavor, using the powers of his zanpakuto that allow him to hit a certain color for more damage if he would allow getting hit on the color to do more damage to him too, he strikes down Starrk. It took four captain class people, all four of which have been a powerhouse for centuries, to defeat one lonely Espada. Rest in peace, you were the coolest of them all.
Kensei and Mashiro are fighting Wonderweiss after Mashiro kicked his pet hollow into the afterlife. Wonderweiss seems to power up by the minute and it doesn’t take long before he does serious damage to Mashiro when her mask runs out quicker than she expected. Once she gets taken out, Kensei activates his Bankai and gets serious against the strange arrancar.
That leaves us with just the Zero Espada: Yammy. Back in Hueco Mundo he’s kicking the crap out of Sado, Rukia and Renji. When Ichigo shows up for support he gets a little bit of damage in, but not quite enough to turn the tides. All four are looking like they’re about to be wiped out when the four captains turn up. Byakuya and Kenpachi fight Yammy, with Unohana and Kurotsuchi appearing shortly after. At this point all of the Espada have been dealt with. The only major antagonists that are left on the field are the arrancar Wonderweiss as well as former captains Tosen Kaname, Ichimaru Gin and Aizen Sosuke. Hiyori then gets taunted into attacking Aizen which she does, only to be struck down by Gin. Desperate for someone to help her as she’s bleeding out, Shinji calls for Ichigo who is still in Hueco Mundo.
And that’s where we leave off today. Hopefully we’ll cover the conclusion of this arc next week, and it’ll probably be another long post. As always, thanks for reading.