Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bleach Recaps: Ep. 212, Star Chamber

...And we're back online.  More "Bleach".  This is by far the latest I've done a recap, something I'll have to apologize for.  I was a bit busy having fun in Jerusalem's downtown, taking breathtaking hikes through some of the most beautiful places on Earth, sending a letter to my little cousin at the Western Wall, and totally striking out a few times with chicks (those bitches).  All together, best goddamn vacation of my life, I'll say.  Now I've entered what is phase 2 of my Israeli adventure, which I suspect will be a Hell of a lot more relaxed than the crazy high-paced speed of the last ten days.  That means I can finally catch up on all the anime I've missed.  I want to hear some applause right now from you folks.  You're all the best.

This is the last episode of the Turn Back the Pendulum Arc, what has to be by far the shortest season of "Bleach" ever.  Of course, nobody actually knows how "Bleach" decides its in a new season - the last seven years of "Bleach" somehow add up to fifteen seasons.  Being a really really short season, I can't help but feel that the conclusion was rushed and rather weak.  We build up to a big action climax... which lasts thirty seconds.  Aizen just kinda goes home after ravaging the ranks of the Soul Society, and that's it.  Tomorrow its business as usual.  Ultimately the thing they were showing us in this flashback just was not worth eight episodes.  Maybe two.  The only surprise is that Tosen used to be an alien, that's it.

Well on that rather negative note, let's move on:

Last week Aizen, in typical smug form, revealed himself to be the ultimate evil mastermind behind the crisis right now.  Just before Aizen finished off Shinji and the others, Urahara dressed as a Nobody and Tessai dressed as Dracula both arrived on the scene to fight.  Now here comes the great climax of this arc, right?  Urahara vs. Aizen, a final climatic conclusion full of explosions and fun, right?


Immediately Aizen and Urahara shoot the breeze and talk about what's going on, even though the audience already knows that these two characters know what's happening.  Aizen is evil, its obvious!  Just fight!  Tosen wants to jump forward and fight more, despite completely failing to take out Shinji earlier.  But Aizen refuses, probably because there isn't enough time in the episode to fit another fight.  Because of Aizen's soft command, we get to see a brand new side to Tosen, that of a quivering vagina:

Tosen's new training bra fits perfectly, it seems.

Shinji stumbles forward totally covered with Aizen's white lovejuice.  He's only barely standing now.  At this point Urahrara puts it together that Aizen was conducting experiments in turning Soul Reapers into Hollows.  Aizen reacts with an extra helping of smugness.  Then he announces "well, this has been fun, but I got things to do.  Come on Gin and Tosen, we're gonna get some drinks."  And they all turn to leave.  But Tessai won't take that and suddenly shoots out a giant Kamehameha Wave.

"Our smug will protect us."

Aizen, without batting an eye, makes some kind of magic wall to block the attack.  Then he disappears to finally get that drink and some bar floozies.  You know, its easy to mock the character of Aizen as being a ridiculous one dimensional character with unbelievably broken powers.  But, and this is a big but, when Aizen just wrecks shit with so much class, without even moving, you got to admit its cool.  Yeah, he's a smug jerk, but he's got a reason to be smug.  And he has great hair...

Unfortunately that thirty second battle of magic spells is the entirety of the action climax of this season.  Probably the weakest fight in this show's history.  I mean, "Bleach" is always desperate for filler (see tonight's episode) so why not just spend a whole episode on an Aizen vs. Urahara battle?  Why can't I get what I want all the time??

"Damn, I'm cool.  Everybody bow before the Aizen."

With that, Tessai and Urahara have no choice but to retreat to the Urahara-cave and try to save the Hollowlicious Soul Reapers.  Inside the lab, Urahara shows off an object that he thinks might help the stricken Captains and Lieutenants, and its the Hougyoku.  Yeah, the magic McGuffin that has caused basically all the problems of this entire show was just something Urahara had in the back of a cabinet someplace.  Kinda anti-climatic that.

The Hougyoku is part of this balanced breakfast of evil.

Urarhara works all night to use the unlimited power of the Hougyoku to save the Soul Reapers.... and completely fails.  I guess they're still alive, but they are Visoreds now.  It isn't clear if what Urahara did saved their lives or if they would have been Visoreds anyway, but I guess "Bleach" has no time to explain because the plot has to move forward now!  The next morning a bunch of dudes with fork sticks arrest Urahara and Tessai.

They're brought to Central 46, that body of Soul Society judges that Aizen will one day massacre in order to get Rukia executed as part of his exceedingly complicated plan to steal the Hougyoku*.  Well, turns out that Central 46 probably needed some massacring because they are easily the most corrupt legal body ever.  Seriously, I think Captain Yamamoto learned to be a pigheaded bastard from this group.  Urahara can't defend himself in any way, Central 46 have already decided that he's guilty of Hollowfying the Visored gang.  In a short show-trial, he's found immediately guilty.  Aizen, of course, has a perfect alibi thanks to our good friend Chad, his body double.  Chad did his job perfectly, making sure everybody saw that Aizen was in his house totally not turning people into Half-Hollows.  Way to go Chad.  Central 46 is a joke, just another sign that the Soul Society is a miserable dictatorship that is only preferable to the Hollows because they don't actively eat people.

You should have gone to Marle first before getting her pendant,
that gets me every time.

Well just before Urahara and Tessai are sentenced to eternal banishment, a masked figure jumps in and kicks the asses of every guard.  I always wondered why Soul Reapers let silly guards with pointy sticks bully they around, but his masked ultra sexy vigilante won't follow those rules.  Of course its Yoruichi, nobody else this season could be half this badass or cool.  This is the real action climax of this season.  Well, with the knowledge that Tosen, Gin, and Aizen are supervillains willing to sacrifice eight of their subordinates for... - some reason, I'm still not clear on that - the three amigos decide to go into exile.  Don't bother telling anybody that Aizen might not be the straight shooter he seems, oh no, its much better to go to Earth and spend a century finding the most fabulously perfect hat.

That wasn't sarcasm either, Urahara's hat is that cool.

Oh and did I mention that for some reason Yoruichi's ass is like huge this episode for some reason?


Then we cut to 100 years later where all the Visoreds are together walking out of a warehouse, apparently ready to join that fight between the Soul Reapers and Aizen's merry band.  That's the end of the season, apparently all of this was just to show us why the Visoreds are significant.  Shinji ends the season mentioning that they all owe Urahara a debt... but they also owe Aizen something too.  Does that sound like the Visoreds are going to be something other than clear warriors for good?  If it does, ignore it, because the Visoreds only will fight for good.


So now that the Turn Back the Pendulum Arc is over, let us review what we learned this season:

1. Tosen abandoned the mothership to fight for Aizen.  He's also a complete pussy.
2. Yoruichi is an amazingly interesting and fun character to be around... so the best way to structure your season is to instead spend it with a stoner and an angry girl who kicks people in the face.
3. The Soul Society not only runs secret prisons, but also has a legal system more backwards than a medieval English court of law.  Yamamoto's incompetence is the least of their problems.
4. In the past, Byakuya was adorable!!  OH HE'S SO CUTE, I CAN'T STAND IT.
5. Shinji rapes people in their mother's womb.
6. Jazz existed in the 1890s... somehow.
7. When sending Ichigo and co into the Soul Society to save Rukia, never tell him that three of the Captains are completely evil.  You don't want to spoil the surprise.

And on that note, I will declare this recap to be officially over.  I won't see you next week, because it is next week.  The next "Bleach" airs in a few hours!  Here's to a few days from now when I get the time to compose another recap.

* His plan is even more ridiculous when you realize that everything he does in seasons 2 and 3 are completely unnecessary to get the Hougyoku out of Rukia's body.  Instead of needing the giant ax that blows up Rukia's soul, he just needed to reach inside her and grab it with what was hilarious ease.  Then again, most of Aizen's plans seem to never work in the first place, the only reason he doesn't get defeated is the pure broken power of his smugness.


  1. Tee-hee. I was actually going to ask if you met any girls in Israel when you updated that you were back. What a crazy random happenstance.

  2. Welcome back. Were they hot?

  3. I've got a friend visiting Israel right now- If you see her, give her a good boning, god knows she needs it. She's an anime nerd and a Double D. That's all you need, right?


  4. @XYZ: I'll give it my best, I guess. I usually try to give a good boning to every double-D I see.

  5. Screw Bleach, watch Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, muuuch better