As we enter the penultimate episode of Bleach with episode 365, there is undoubtedly some sadness attached to both the episode and this review. It’s hard to think that after all these years, next week will be the last episode of Bleach. But anyway, I suppose I should just get on with reviewing this episode.
Last week I was left disappointed by Byakuya vs Tsukishima and was very critical of it, but this episode was pretty awesome thankfully.
This episode was almost entirely focused on the battle between Ichigo and Ginjo, with Ginjo dropping a couple of bombshells before too much of a real battle takes place. Firstly, Ginjo reveals that Tsukishima is on the verge of death, and says that since all of Ichigo’s friends and family will have their original memories restored because of it, Ichigo has no real reason to consider him his enemy any more. Ginjo then tells Ichigo the secrets of the Substitute Shinigami badge he carries around with him, saying that Ukitake had lied to him by saying it was some kind of combat pass. In actual truth, it was a tool Soul Society used to spy on Ichigo as it allowed them to keep track of exactly where he is as well as having control over his Reiatsu.
Clearly Ginjo revealing all this stuff about the badge and its real purpose was designed to throw Ichigo off balance, with even Ishida shouting to Ichigo not to listen to Ginjo. Ichigo no longer stays silent and shouts out “Shut up!”, and then enters in to Bankai mode. Ginjo asks Ichigo if by doing that he thought it would make him be quiet, and asks if it means he didn’t want to know and wanted to continue living with his head buried beneath the sand. Ichigo however says that he wasn’t telling Ginjo to shut up, he was talking to Ishida. I actually found that pretty funny and there were a couple of funny moments like that between Ichigo and Ishida, but I digress.
Ichigo is then in Bankai mode, but before any kind of fighting takes place, he tells Ginjo that he figured out about the badge himself long ago. Ichigo says that Ukitake is a much smarter person than he is, and that if he wanted to really do something like that to spy on Ichigo, he would have done it in a way that would have been impossible for him to notice. Ichigo talks about how all he has ever wanted is the power to protect his friends and family, and that first thanks to Rukia he gained his powers, and then when he lost them Soul Society helped him get them back again, and that all he cares about is protecting.
Ginjo realises that there will be no way of changing Ichigo’s mind, and so says that he has no choice but to destroy him. Ginjo then enters Bankai himself, and with a massive blast of energy his appearance changes (as you can see in the above picture). Ginjo and Ichigo, both with their own Bankai, begin to charge towards each other in what is to be their final battle.
I enjoyed this episode quite a bit, Ginjo having Bankai was awesome as was Ichigo’s. Ichigo vs Ginjo while both in Bankai mode is amazing, and it looked amazing in the Anime as well. Full credit to the Anime team, as they have mostly done a great job with the episodes in this arc. Next week will be wrapping up this arc since it’s the last episode, and it does pretty much confirm my suspicions that it was the reason they rushed Byakuya vs Tsukishima, since it gave them more time for Ginjo and Ichigo. But yes, this was another fine episode during the Fullbring arc, and I can imagine what a bittersweet experience it is going to be next week when I watch and review Bleach for possibly the last time.