Monday, June 13, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep 208, The Ministry of Love

For the first time in weeks, honestly all year, I actually missed an episode of "Bleach".  I'm busy this week, posts are going to be hard to work out.  Once upon a time, that would mean that I was screwed and would have to wait for a rerun to see the episode I missed.  But now that we live in the great prosperity that is the Future, I can just go on the Internet, play the episode on one of the dozens of possibly illegal sites that upload full "Bleach" episodes.  And they're also the sites that I steal screenshots from.  The Future is awesome.

Last episode Lt. Hiyori, perhaps furious over the failure of the plot to move at all, kept kicking people in the face over and over again.  Now things start to happen a bit.  We're going to the Maggot's Nest, a scary-sounding place of some kind of another.  Urahara spends about five minutes explaining various bits and pieces about Soul Society politics.  The Soul Society Ninja Force are under the control of Yoruichi and Squad 2 (which we knew already).  The Maggot's Nest is a secret prison hidden underground in the Squad 2 barracks, which Urahara used to run before becoming Captain*.  This is the place where they hold disgruntled Soul Reapers who wanted to quit.  Apparently you cannot ever quit the Gotei 13, and if you try to retire, you're locked away in prison forever.  Also, if you're the guy who runs the Maggot's Nest, you get to arrest potential troublemakers, before they ever commit a single crime.  Um... am I the only one noticing a problem with all this?

So as it turns out, the Soul Society is a vicious dictatorship with a secret prison filled with people who have committed no crime at all.  And remember, the Soul Reapers are the good guys.  Also, it appears to me that Urahara could have arrested anybody he wanted back when he was Warden, even Yamamoto himself.  No trials, no appeals, no chance for release, nobody even knows where you are, you're just put in a hole and forgotten about.  Enjoy your stay in the Ministry of Love.  Did you know that North Korea's justice system is based off of the Soul Society?

Hiyori and Urahara reach Guantanamo Bay.  Its a cave surrounded by a fifty-four wide moat.  Meanwhile, Yoruichi notices that Urahara is wandering around her base, but she's too busy drinking something to care.

Mmmm... coffee... Delicious milk brown coffee...

Inside Superjail, the prisoners are allowed to do basically anything they want, but can't escape.  So the gangs of violent furious men who have been trapped down here for decades are not pleased to see Urahara again.  (You don't get to see who the current Warden is, I suspect they don't have one.  The prisoners just haven't thought of escaping yet.)  Hiyori, having learned of the terrible secret of the Soul Society, is a bit unnerved at the flagrant violations of every code of justice, ethics, and personal freedoms ever designed by human civilization, but ceases to care when the prisoners attack.

Oh, here's the funny part.  Hiyori forgot her Zanpakuto at home.  Your Zanpakuto isn't like your car keys, the damn thing is an avatar of your very soul.  Its like a cop going out on patrol without his gun, you have to be the dumbest moron on the planet to do it.  I suspect this was done because the anime director was bored of swordfights and instead wanted some awesome kung-fu instead.  Can't blame him, its a cool fight.  It ends when somebody tries to capture Hiyori, only for this to happen:

Seven.  (!!)

With that wrapped up, Urahara goes to complete his errand here in the gulag.  He's going to see the one prisoner that has to be kept away from the regular population.  The one man so evil, so insane, and so psychopathic that even in the secret prison he is a secret to the other inmates.  Guess who?  Who else but...

"...Hello, Clarice."

Yes, our dear friend Mayuri is locked away, for once actually in the place that he belongs.  He is not pleased to see Urahara again, or Hiyori.  Insano even goes and calls her a "boy", which causes Hiyori to respond with the emotion she responds to everything, with angry.  She even threatens to show him her boobs.  What boobs?  Just please no.

Urahara reveals that he wants to create a Soul Society Science Team, with Insano as his right hand man.  At first Insano is a bit reluctant to agree, because Urahara looks half-stoned all the time and you can't really tell what he's after.  But he finally agrees when he's told that if Urahara dies, he gets the run the whole Science Lab on his own.  Just one death away and he can make sex slave daughters and design explosive lemons to his heart's desire.  So he agrees.  And with that, Urahara has just signed the death warrants of thousands of young Soul Reapers who will have the misfortune of being Insano's test subjects.  What a guy.

With that all done, the episode now cuts to a completely different situation.


YOUNG BYAKUYA!!  He looks like Rukia with her hair up, cute as Hell.  I'm going to take him home!  I'm going to build him a little playpen in my living room, then feed him Skittles one by one out of the bag!  Have you ever wanted a push a person on the swings more in your entire life?  Have you ever wanted to play a game of Candyland with somebody so baldy that you start to grow gumdrops out of your shoulder?


Byakuya and that old Captain whose name we don't know are hanging out someplace.  Turns out that, yes, the new old guy is Grandpa Kuchiki.  I like Gramps, he appears to be the Soul Reaper version of Espada #2, Barragan.  Maybe I'm crazy.  But he brought over a playmate for Byakuya:

"L'esperienza de questa dolce vita"  =D

Byakuya is furious for some reason.  He attacks Yoriuchi, calling her "crazy Cat Monster".  Yoriuchi responds in properly playful form, stealing the ribbon from his hair and running off.  Byakuya, in a completely different personality than current times, is absolutely furious, chasing after Yoriuchi with his emotions completely revealed.  So begins a Flash Step race, which sadly is off-camera.

Murder face.  RUN!!!

Grandpa notes that if only Byakuya could control his emotions he'd get places.  I fear that Grandpa found a way, perhaps lobotomy, because he sure as Hell found a way to cut out all the personality from this character.  I'm going to really miss Young Byakuya when boring old Regular Byakuya returns.  And Yoriuchi is having such a great time this arc that I'm going to miss her very badly when she won't show up for years into the battle with Aizen.

We now cut to Captain Ukitake, pre-tuberculous talking with Kaien Shiba, pre-this.  Ukitake, after making some maid woman get horny from a single smile, wants Shiba to be his Lieutenant.  Whatever, not all that interesting.  What is interesting is this talk of a genius new Soul Reaper, same age as Byakuya who has just graduated Soul Reaper school in one year.  But who is this kid?  

 The lord of darkness!  Gin Ichimaru!

In the night, Aizen has been testing Gin's powers.  Jushiro mentioned that an Officer's rank was being opened up for Ichimaru, I don't think he quite meant that Gin would open that position himself by killing the Third Seat of Squad 5.  Aizen loves it, and remarks "I think could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  To evil."

The Narrator then announces that nothing of importance happens after this episode for nine years, so we're now jumping ahead to 101 Years Ago.  We then see a bunch of people getting murdered by something.  End credits.

This episode was actually really good.  A lot of stuff happened, we got some views at the past versions of a lot of characters.  It was fast-paced.  We didn't waste a lot of time with boring Squad 12 politics.  If only every episode could be like this.  Here's to next week.

* This actually explains why Urahara was out fighting those Soul Society deserters two episodes ago.  Its his job after all.


  1. @Nick: Nobody would care about the Divine Comedy reference, so I knew I needed Portal eventually.

  2. Blue: Wrong episode, 208, not 108 :P
    -- Vincent ^.^