The end is almost here, for Ichigo and for the series!What They Say:
While facing each other in battle, Uryu notices that Ginjo’s attack contains the presence of Ichigo’s Spirit Energy. Ignoring Uryu’s warning, Ichigo fires his Getsugatensho attack, only to be countered by Ginjo’s own Getsugatensho attack.The Review:Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With just this and another episode to go before the series ends, it's no surprise that it's focusing heavily on the fighting side of things. We've had a good bit of it with this arc but it's been kind of controlled, more of a "teaching" series of fights to get Ichigo to draw out his Fullbring power rather than active and progressive fights with enemies. When things shifted towards the end as Tsukishima and Ginjo made their moves, it changed the dynamic nicely to bring in more of the kind of fighting that you want out of a series like this. And those fights have certainly tried to bring it up to another level here as it brought in the Soul Reapers to go against them and the controlled Xcution group. The splitting into smaller pairs wasn't a surprise, but I rather like how Ishida and Ichigo are working together at this point to deal with Ginjo who himself has gone full bore with his abilities and almost comic-book like outfit.
The opening bit of fighting here is pretty good as they go up against Ginjo, though it comes down to a lengthy discussion between Ginjo and Ichigo as he tries to get under his skin by talking about his powers and what all has been involved for so long, making the eventual and somewhat surprising claim that Ukitake is behind a lot of what's happened to Ichigo for quite some time, especially when it comes to the Combat Pass that Ichigo got from him ages ago. With some of the things we learned about Ukitake over time and his position in the scheme of things within the Soul Society and the Captains, it's an interesting call back to events from awhile ago that really does make an impact on him, especially with the way Ginjo tries to manipulate him quite plainly in front of everyone else.
And frankly, with all that has gone on, Ichigo may not be fragile but there is simply the truth that with everyhting that has gone on that he may not be able to actually handle it. But as damaging as it is to him, it's also the kind of thing that he needs to hear, experience and figure out how to deal with in order to move on with his life and become who he was always meant to be. It's the standard but well done birth of the hero in classic form come true. It may turn into a bit of exposition, but it's the kind of sequence that really does get to the core of who Ichigo is and why he's done everything he's done throughout his life, with the basis of a true hero within him that wants to protect others. The quest for power can naturally bring you to gaining too much and misusing it, but therein lies the challenge to a true her to not go down that route and be able to handle what's thrust into his life.In Summary:
As the series draws to a close in the next episode, this one skips past what it has done for the last couple by focusing its energies on the match up between Ichigo and Ginjo. The two have certainly changed from where they were mid-arc with each other and Ginjo has his plan fully in motion, believing he has the upper hand in many ways when it comes to dealing with Ichigo. While Ishida is in a panic over what he knows Ginjo is going on about, it's great to see the Soul Captains simply watching it unfold, waiting to see what it is that Ichigo will do as it will determine his path here on out. The birth, or rebirth if you prefer at this point depending on how you view the series as a whole, of a hero is always a big event and it does feel appropriately scaled here as Ichigo firmly decides what it is he wants to be. It's not over the top and it has a good bit of pacing and style to it, but it's also not the truly big moment that it needs either. Of course, with one more episode to go, you have to hope that they go all out there.Grade: