The fight rages on, while taking some breaks to expand the back story.What They Say:
The battle between Byakuya and Tsukishima escalates as they both push their powers to the limit. Meanwhile, Rukia struggles against the cute traps set up by Riruka.The Review:Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the series winds down, it continues to roll things out in a brief way with the various battles between opponents that lets our long known favorites get a chance to shine just a little bit more. With Ichigo having had so much of the screen time for so long with this arc since his post-Aizen encounter where he was depowered, it's not a surprise that for the final few that it shifts to focusing on the others who have been completely absent. At the same time, it's all just a bit by the numbers because whereas we used to have very extended fights with these characters because of their power levels, here it's just dealt with rather quickly. But it also kind of feels a little appropriate too.
Because of this nature, the show alternates between a couple of different matches again, though it has some primary focus on two of them. We do get a little overflow time with Ikakku after his match has essentially ended, though his opponent intends to die trying to win, but for the most part it focuses on other matches. The one between Byakuya and Tsukishima is fairly decent as it gets going, though it spends too much time on dialogue, something that you'd imagine that Byakuya has little desire to engage on considering past experience. But he pretty much humors Tsukishima for a bit and sees what traps he has laid out for him to spring so that he can just get to dealing with him.
On the other side of things, we get more of the fight between Rukia and Ririka, which is kind of annoying since Ririka's abilities are too cute and pink for my tastes when you get down to it. While there's some cutely annoying aspects to this in the main stage of the fight between the two, it also decides that with just three episodes left in the series to spend some time going over Ririka's
back story. Frankly, at this point, who cares? If this was done a dozen episodes ago it might have been more interesting and relevant to the story at hand, seeing why she was involved with Ginjo and the others. But here, it comes across as just more padding and pointless material when you know the end is practically here. Instead of focusing on the things that the fans want to close out the show, it does this instead.In Summary:
Bleach really doesn't surprise here as it goes about its business. There are some decent moments to the fights that we get and it moves towards where it's going to go again with a focus on Ichigo, but it naturally wants us to spend time with the other characters a bit first since we're not going to see them for awhile and they've been off screen for even longer so far. While I generally enjoy the Soul Society characters that are focused on here, it's more a by the numbers approach to what's going on rather than anything that stands out, which is unfortunate. Byakuya even looks a little off balance at times which doesn't feel right even considering his opponent. Mostly this episode works if you're really into the characters but if you're watching it to see how the series is going to end, it may just remind you why you dropped it ages ago instead.Grade: