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Bleach Episode #322 Review

4 min read

While events unfold in the Soul Society, the fighting is in full force in the World of the Living.

What They Say:
Rangiku faces the Reigai of Izuru, but the imposter’s Zanpakuto proves to be more powerful then she anticipated. Rukia is also having a tough battle against the Reigai of herself and Nemu, when help arrives from an unexpected person. Meanwhile in the Soul Society, Ukitake pleads for Kyoraku’s release to Central 46.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With events moving forward as the Reigai make their plans more public, the attempts to gain back Nozomi so they can take full control of everything is becoming a more central position to all of this. While it does lead off the episode, the main focus for awhile is that of action as we get to see Rangiku facing off against one of them in a building under construction, with it being the Reigai of Uzuru, and that has a good bit of fun about it as the destruction is plenty and the dangers are high as girders fall left and right and Rangiku is even disarmed for a bit. Because of the diversity of weapons and attacks that populates Bleach, seeing what works and how everyone uses everything to their advantage can be fun to watch and this one is no exception, especially when she pulls an amusing trick out of her bag to deal with him at a key time.

While the idea of fakes can be fun, especially ones that are pretty well powered and not just watered down versions, the show has mostly kept to the fights being between different characters rather than the original facing off against their own Reigai. Rukia doesn’t get to have that happen though as she gets to go against the mirror version of herself which has some good potential since it feels like it’s pretty rare that we really get to see her cut loose. Thankfully, there is a small visual clue to let us know which is which since it would be annoying otherwise, and that lets the fight have less confusion so you can just enjoy the actual choreography. OF course, they have to throw a bit of a spoiler into the fight so it’s not just Rukia versus Rukia, and that kills part of the appeal of it for me.

A bit of behind the scenes material does make it into the episode as well, as we have Ukitate trying to persuade the Central 46 to release Kyoraku since he needs him at this point. Their refusal isn’t a surprise as they always seem to go against the grain, but it helps to set him on a different path, one that Unohana manages to nudge him towards with a few choice words about things. The other small scenes do have their moments, such as Nozomi’s attempts to try and figure out where she should be going now that she’s away from Ichigo and the others, but she’s feeling lost. And Kon doesn’t help, but he does provide for some humor. Little bits like this help to expand the storyline slightly, but the focus here is much more on the action side of things rather than plot, though there are revelations as we see a couple of Reigai defeated and clues start to surface from that.

In Summary:
Bleach manages to nudge things forward slightly with a couple of things in this episode, but mostly it wants to focus on the action. These are decent scenes, but nothing that stands out hugely (other than Rangiku’s chest, that is). The fights have the usual decent choreography that we’ve seen before, but because of the nature of this arc, it feels like things aren’t moving at the power levels that it should. Considering how powerful many of these Captain’s are, it’s all very restrained and personal with the one on one approaches for the most part. There are certainly positives to the episode, but the piece as a whole feels a bit lackluster and the shine of this new arc is starting to wear off since it’s moving at the relatively glacial pace right now. The revelations are being made, but they’re the minor part of the episodes rather than the driving parts.

Grade: B-

Simulcast By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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