Bleach Episode 4 – Bankai no more

Episode 4 already starts out with a recap of the first three episodes. I think that might be better than recapping just the previous episode. Speaking of which, remember how that one ended? Things got pretty hectic in Soul Society and Kira got murdered. It is an almost three minute recap though. Are we back to the olden days of shonen anime where it takes five to six minutes before the episode finally starts? No sign of Kira before the opening theme by the way, I wonder if we get to see him after the opening. I figured they’d end the recap with his unfortunate lack of a torso.

Not the last we’ll see of this guy.

We get a few shots of shinigami having been slaughtered, including Kira. It’s an absolute bloodbath that reminds me of the first attack on Shiganshina in Attack on Titan. And the death of loredump-kun provides us with a pretty grim episode card. Rose gets the message that Kira has been taken out from a hell butterfly. He himself is currently facing Stern Ritter U: NaNaNa Najahkoop. I remember some of the sternritters from when I read the manga ages ago, but not all of them. I do remember Bazz B, the one that took out Kira. Also, does Rose have a new voice actor here? A quick google search tells me I’m wrong. Maybe it’s because of the gap that it sounds different, maybe I’m making things up. 

I wonder if his teeth are a fashion statement.

Back to sternritters I still remember from the manga though. Sternritter F: Äs Nödt is still utterly terrifying. I’m guessing we’re going to be introduced to a bunch of them in today’s episode to set the scene? We’ll find out. Renji is here to protect his squad members, at least the one guy who didn’t flee. The balls on this guy are intense, I surely would have ran.

Nightmare Fuel
She’s a lot more pleasant to look at but equally terrifying.

Next up is Bambietta Basterbine, Sternritter E. She’s casually slicing through soul reapers like it’s nothing. Komamura faces the young girl, being called a little doggy. I have things to say about Komamura’s fight, but I’ll leave them for when it happens properly. We get some quick succession shots of other matchups about to happen throughout the Seireitei before we jump back to everyone’s favorite redhead. Well, one of our several favorites; Renji. He doesn’t get a lot of time to fight before someone else shows up, quickly followed by pretty boy Byakuya. Time’s treating him well, not going to lie. Even two on one, Äs Nódt seems unfazed by the attacks. 

Hello Byakuya, long time no see.

I feel like I’m going to be commenting on the soul reapers’ looks more than on the fights today because Toshiro and Rangiku are looking good here too. We get a succession shot of captains using their bankai and it gets stolen away immediately. This is where everyone learns that their bankai don’t get sealed, they get stolen instead. Soi Fon, Komamura, Toshiro and Byakuya are now without a bankai. That’s pretty tough already. I feel like this arc is definitely going at top speed, just like it did in the manga. At least everyone else is now informed about the bankai theft going on. It is kind of interesting how Kurotsuchi Mayuri, who has been a lunatic throughout the series, is by far the most clever, sane and reasonable person in this arc. Kyoraku laments their situation and tries to still look cool. He pays for it with the loss of an eye, while hordes of soul reapers are murdered. Akon is desperate and calls for Ichigo. 

That is tough. At least now he can wear a cool eyepatch.

Ichigo’s bankai still refuses to be stolen and his Quincy opponent is not happy about this fact. Ichigo taunts him enough for Urahara to take out his opponent with a surprise attack. Urahara still does not fight with honor. He and the hound from Game of Thrones would get along. Ichigo heads to the Soul Society. Urahara talks about the main Quincy abilities. Blut, which is a buff of their abilities, Vollstandig, which is like their bankai and finally their ability to steal Bankai. Things take a turn for the worse when the Quincy that Urahara took out wasn’t dead yet. Sado gets half his stomach torn out, Orihime gets taken out  and Urahara gets pierced by an arrow while Ichigo is locked up in a strange prison. Things are truly going horribly wrong. If that quincy can survive a hole in his body like that, maybe there’s hope for Kira still. Or for half the cast of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures. Maybe not. And that’s all we have time for today. Things ramp up a lot in today’s episode so I don’t blame people for being a bit lost. I am posting my recap of the Fullbringer arc later this week and let me tell you; the whiplash of going from fullbringers to this in the manga was pretty intense. It’s like a silly guy who wants to steal Ichigo’s abilities but never stands a chance to full on nazi Quincy invading and murdering everyone.

Hundreds of chapters later and Sado and Orihime are still treated as fodder. Such a shame.

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