As we approach the end of the Bleach Anime, it’s only right that these episodes turn out well so that it goes out on a high note. With episode 362 Bleach continues its run of brilliant episodes, and only makes the idea of no more episodes soon even worse.
As we saw last week, Ichigo has restored his Shinigami powers with help from his old friends from Soul Society such as Renji, Rukia and Hitsugaya etc. This week, we begin to see why this means big trouble for the villainous Ginjo. After the sheer badassery of last week and Ichigo’s “attack” – which was in fact just him swinging his sword – I am sure most people were hyped to see how powerful Ichigo really is when he’s trying to hurt someone.
Of course with his actual Getsuga Tensho he sliced a building clean in half, and then afterwards merely looked at Ginjo and apologised for missing his target, but told him that next time he wouldn’t miss. Ginjo wisely tries to escape, but as he flees Ichigo appears behind him and literally throws him back down to the ground. Ichigo is basically being badass and showing Ginjo who’s boss, but then Ginjo too enters a new form telling Ichigo that it will take more than those attacks to kill him (though he admits if he hadn’t stolen Ichigo’s powers then he would have died).
We then find out from the Shinigami that before Ichigo there was another substitute Shinigami and that because of that person is why there are certain rules put in place now for them, and that substitute Shinigami was in fact Kugo Ginjo. Shortly after, the other Fullbringers arrive to back up Ginjo, although they intially come to ask he shares the stolen powers with them which they had agreed upon before, so Ginjo stays true to his word and shares some of the power with them all.
Ichigo intially jumps down and tells the other Shinigami that since they are only there because of him, then he will be the one to take care of it. Ichigo then lets out one attack knocking all of the Fullbringers to the ground, with Ichigo saying it shouldn’t be enough to have killed them, just enough to stop them getting involved. Of course, this turns out to be a ruse as the real versions of the Fullbringers appear to attack Ichigo from behind, only to be stopped by Ikkaku. Ikkaku tells him that he can’t keep holding back, but then it’s shown that the Yukio he had apparently defeated was a fake too, but as the real one tried to attack Ikkaku was saved by Hitsugaya.
Yukio then uses his Fullbring to create individual rooms for the Shinigami and Fullbringers to face each other one on one. Ichigo is put in a room with Ginjo, Ikkaku faces Shishigawara, Byakuya is paired with Tsukishima, Rukia with Riruka, Hitsugaya with Yukio, Renji with Jackie and lastly Kenpachi with Giriko. The only one we get to see in this episode however is Kenpachi vs Giriko, with Kenpachi annoyed that Byakuya got a stronger looking opponent than him. Giriko tells Kenpachi that he won’t forgive being called weak and uses his Fullbring – Time Tells no Lies – and (for some inexplicable reason) turns giant and green (the Incredible Hulk anyone?). Giriko claims his power is now massively increased and that he can’t be defeated, only for Kenpachi to take him down with one hit by literally slicing him in half, only then to say that he knew fighting Giriko was a waste of time.
I really really enjoyed this episode, Ginjo being a previous substitute Shinigami was a nice twist and something that we should hear more about soon. The Kenpachi vs Giriko fight though was hilarious. In the Manga I remember being blown away by just how incredibly badass Kenpachi was to just shrug off Giriko like he was nothing and then take him out with one attack, but in the Anime I was too busy laughing about how they made Giriko turn in to an angry green giant, it really was hilarious just how much like the Incredible Hulk that part was!
Aside from that though, the episode looked awesome, so much so that I was genuinely tempted to screencap about a dozen scenes just because they looked so damn good (in the end I settled for the Ichigo pic above and one near the end with Rukia and Riruka). But that leads to the next awesome thing, the upcoming battles between Shinigami and Fullbringers. Without spoiling anything, don’t let the Giriko vs Kenpachi incident sour you on these upcoming fights as that was purely a one-off, the upcoming fights between the Shinigami and Fullbringers will last longer and won’t be so easy, plus the fight between Tsukishima and Byakuya is one of my personal favourites from Bleach, so you can definitely look forward to that.
All in all this was yet another excellent episode from this arc and hits home how much I am going to miss Bleach once it is gone, but for those fans (like myself) who are sad to see it happen, rest assured that at the very least you are in for some brilliant episodes before it finally does come to an end.