It really is surprising how entertaining I’m finding this filler arc, it’s great. There is actual mystery, suspense, tension, direction and the action is engaging. I do find with Bleach, especially right now, that the Bleach anime > Bleach manga – I prefer the extra spin Studio Pierrot gives to Bleach. What I find the current manga arc lacks which this filler arc has is focus. I’m somewhat lost in what to think for the Lost Shinigami Representative arc, as Kubo is keeping everything in the shadows, making you question everything and not giving any hints or direction in which to cast your focus – who is the actual “bad guy” in the current arc and what is the story the arc is trying to tell? This filler arc makes it clear what the plot is and what direction it is taking – Kageroza is the villain and he plans to manipulate the space to bring everything under his control.
Really like how the fights were handled in episode 327. The “ping-pong” nature of the fights added to the entertainment value and tension. Also glad that the Byakuya vs [Fake] Byakuya fight was kept more in the background (Byakuya already had the spotlight on him when he faced [Fake] Toshirou) to give more focus on the Yamamoto and the Komamura fights. I particularly enjoyed the Komamura fight. You don’t get to see much of Komamura fight, and even when he does, it’s mostly against some low-tier enemy, so it’s good to see him matched-up against [Fake] Soi Fon. Komamura is a cool captain, he is one of the most compassionate and loyal Captains in Gotei 13 and he is one of few to only engage battles out of reason rather than out of arrogance or ego like some of the other Captains. The strength vs speed battle evolving through the use of abilities and eventuating into a Bankai vs Bankai confrontation with the Captains grounded on the reasons they fight for was quite exciting.
Yamamoto Genryuusei is truly a beast, the power he wields is quite something. Even with one arm, he can still take on three of the strongest Captains in Gotei 13 and even push them further – yeah old age and a lost limb means nothing to him…=P. It doesn’t even look like anybody will anytime soon be close to reaching the levels Yamamoto Genryuusei is currently at. No wonder Aizen feared Yamamoto so much and went through such a round-about way to avoid any confrontation with him and even than Aizen still couldn’t gauge Yamamoto’s true power and ability, but luckily for Aizen he did even to survive that encounter.
Episode 328 was fantastic, that team-battle during the climax of the episode was great – I love how characters worked together to open up Kageroza and land a hit of him…or so they thought =P. Like a typical villain, Kageroza saw through them and gave them the slip but only to be caught in a madman’s trap – yeah Mayuri, like the crazy twisted scientist he is, worked his way into the blind-spot of Kageroza and displayed just how much more sinister he is than Kageroza. Got to love how the battle evolved from physical combat to space manipulation to deception to a battle of evil minds – with Mayuri coming out on top – hahah that guy, he sure can pick the situation to unleash that crazy smile of his:
I like the way the fights are handled in the anime compared to the manga. The formula Kubo uses for his battle doesn’t really excite me, it aggravates and frustrates me at times. Kubo’s habit of deviating from the “ping-pong” like battles and instead following the path of suffocating and thrashing one of the characters to make the other party look “cooler” is sad – it happened with Barragan, with Stark, with Harribel (when Aizen “killed” her), with Shinji, with Ichigo (when Aizen words crushed Ichigo), with Yammy (he was completely thrashed by Kenpachi and Byakuya), with Aizen (Aizen basically had the biggest hand in his own defeat – leaving Ichigo alive, destroying the Koutotsu Sweeper fully knowing what it meant to the Dangai dimension), and in the current manga arc with Ichigo (Ginjou and Tsukishima are having a party mind-screwing with Ichigo and breaking his very psyche).
Yoruichi, what an awesome entrance and badass background music to boot. When she appears, the episode is always awesome. Hilarious how she talked down to Kageroza and underplayed his ability and capacity to carry out his plans to take control of everything. Well she does spend most of her time around Kisuke and comparing Kageroza and Kisuke ability-wise is just amusing.
Kenpachi was awesome again this episode, especially the amount of times he smiled and the way he batted off manipulating space as some cheap magic trick that doesn’t amuse him – lol if it’s not raw power, he is not amused.
Ichigo, oh slumbering Ichigo, just where are you and who was that figure you seen in your blurry vision? There really is more to this arc than what they currently appears to be – just who is that “body” Kageroza has locked up, what does Kageroza need Nozomi for, and what is happening to Ichigo. Quite exciting knowing that this arc has more to offer than what is has already =D.