I have to apologise to the people who regularly follow my Bleach reviews. For weeks I spoke of how good Byakuya vs Tsukishima would be and how good an episode it would produce, but episode 364 has instead proved a letdown.
If you’re an Anime only viewer, maybe you won’t feel so negatively towards the battle or the episode itself, but as someone who has read this in the Manga I can’t help but feel letdown. To be honest the episode as a whole seemed very rushed, and I have a horrible feeling they are rushing just to try and get this arc finished before the Anime ends in a fortnight’s time. Byakuya vs Tsukishima especially seemed very rushed, whereas in the Manga things went at a better pace, and made the battle seem much closer and Byakuya’s win much more difficult and well earned.
More time was spent on Rukia vs Riruka which is annoying considering it was pretty much a joke and the worst fight between the Fullbringers and the Shinigami, and this is coming from someone who likes Riruka and is also huge Rukia fan. It was pretty cute and funny when Rukia was first crushed by the stuffed bear, but it went downhill as soon as she was trapped inside a stuffed toy herself. We did get to see why the other Fullbringers all became friends with Ginjo and Tsukishima, but aside from that the whole thing was pretty boring.
I know this review has come off as incredibly negative, and to an extent that is the feeling I have towards the episode, but it was far from the worst episode Bleach has ever put out. It just seems a lot worse for me (and probably anyone who has read the Manga chapters) to see such a brilliant fight pretty much butchered and ruined, and so it left a bad taste in the mouth as a whole. If you haven’t read the Manga, then this is probably an ok episode. If you have and liked Byakuya vs Tsukishima, then you will inevitably end up disappointed too. For me personally, this is one of the worst episodes of the Fullbring arc.