It was such an extreme contrasting two parts episode. The first part was dark. The second part was entertaining. I am glad they finished the ending early so that post credit stuff can go back to seriousness again.
I enjoyed the battle. The new soundtrack gave new breathing to the Kenpachis fight. The pacing was ok. I am just glad they didn't make it too fast. Unohana's voice actor surely came a long way. We are not going to see her again now, and it's so sad. But the work she has done will be remembered.
The fight's end was slightly off from manga, but I still liked it. I found it better this way. The way they muted Zaraki's scream after showing for few moments, I think it did its impact too. I think it works for both ways. The scream + muting effect both have their own taste. I can't complain one for the sake of other. Both are unique artistic choices and I respect that.
The past flashback was done in a limited fashion following the manga. Considering the low time they had, it was understandable. I think it did its intended job. Unohana's voice actor again did a fabulous job of narrating a story. The peak moment of the fight was that how scary both Zaraki and Unohana were looking. It was madness. The anatomy visuals of their faces portrayed horror. Sorry As Nodt, they both have beaten your creepiness this time.
Overall, it was a great fight. I personally liked it better than Yamamoto/Yhwach and Ichigo/Yhwach because it didn't use overly flashy choices that felt too out of place. For example, Ichigo/Yhwach fight was great in its own merit, but it was too flashy that when the sequence would end, it would feel like back to the square one pavilion where one would be bound to think, "there is no way Ichigo or Yhwach moving like a bullet few seconds before only to stand and barely able to walk."
When the peak of this fight was over, it blended so well afterwards that it didn't feel like it was really over. It felt like the fight sequence was going on and there could be done a lot more just like it was intended story-wise. A never-ending quest and thirst to bask in the craziness. I loved it. It was blended so well to the overall environment in the first part. It's my second favourite episode of the series after episode 7, but fight-wise, it's my favourite when combined with the last episode's fight sequence.
I also enjoyed Ouetsu's voice. It was funny and enjoyable. I like how he said the English lines correctly. The picture pose was hilarious. I can't believe how he managed to trick them both.
Unohana and Zaraki continue their battle. They are battling in the darkness of Muken. Zaraki doesn't understand. Ichigo is supposedly the son born in the dark. Zaraki keeps blacking out and coming back, not understanding why. But Unohana does.
The boy leaping down from a huge pile of bodies towards Unohana, people he had defeated in battle - I am still wondering who this child was. He entered the Soul Society as a young boy and was already then stronger than Unohana. The result was a very special battle that shaped both of them forever. The anime explained very well what Unohana meant by the sin she committed against Zaraki. In order to fight at the edge of his abilities, in order to enjoy battle at the fullest, he is holding himself back without realizing it. Defeating Unohana would take away to feel this thrill, this joy ever again.
Now the shackles are breaking. He feels joy he hadn't felt in a long time and Unohana feels the same. It left bittersweet feelings in me. What I was watching was a deadly dance, the joy, the love of doing extreme battle. The anime pointed something out that I never realized before. Zaraki held himself back in order to experience the thrill of danger in battle, fighting at the edge. Unohana learned to heal herself in order to be able to enjoy battle longer than she otherwise would be able to.
Zaraki and Unohana are kindred spirits draws to each other, able to push the other far beyond their limits they usually would have to face. I think the anime is revealing even less of what Unohana's Bankai is about. It is based on blood, that is obvious. It is not clear if Zaraki was actually melting or if it is symbolic. To me, it didn't matter. It was powerful, emotional. Unohana unleashed the beast Zaraki held back for such a long time.
Unohana knew from the beginning that she will die but she didn't see her battle with Zaraki as a sacrifice. It became the climax of her life, of her life as a warrior, to shape what the current Kenpachi should be like. I felt happy for both of them. As much as I liked Unohana, as much as her death is a loss, it is what she wanted, what she needed to be fulfilled and to help her people.
Now that Zaraki left the darkness he hears a voice, a voice he is finally able to hear. I had to smile. This cliffhanger has a strong impact.
And then the anime is switching to a different story. Ichigo and Renji arrive at the world of the number one Zanpakutou creator, Nimaya. He is quite crazy. I completely understand Ichigo's and Renji's reaction to his over-the-top welcome party. Of course, Kon loves the young women Nimaya is surrounding himself with whose purpose seems to be entertaining him and male guests. I am glad to see that Ichigo and also Renji don't feel comfortable with this but they realize they have to play along. Nimaya breaks both Zanpakutou in small pieces, pointing out that they haven't been treated well.
Renji and Ichigo end up in the basement of a shack, facing an assembly of unfinished Zanpakutou, called Asauchi. If they manage to survive fighting them, Nimaya will consider reforging their Zanpakutous. The result is not really a suprise. Renji ends up being accepted as a Shinigami but not Ichigo.
Ichigo fought with a Zanpakutou that was never based on an Asauchi. Nimaya sends Ichigo back home because he needs to explore his roots. It is a good question how the leadership of the Shinigami reacted to the fact that Ichigo created his own Zanpakutou from the power of his soul.
What Yhwach revealed, what Nimaya revealed will lead to questions, answers and answers leading to more questions. I wonder what additional facts the anime will reveal in the coming episodes!
Great episode! I didn’t think I would get emotional over the “battle,” but I did. The little boy (Kenny) was stronger in his youth than in his adult life. Kenny suppressed his strength because of Unohana (the sin).
I went back and watched the Kenpachi vs Unohana battle from the last episode and then immediately with this episode. It was truly a beautiful fight.
Unohana was never really much of a player, and I know a lot of people a decade prior expected her to do some cool things in the final arc, like actually fight, but I never really cared for that too much. What we got was still magnificent in its own right.
Unohana's Bankai, fighting with her own blood and apparently being able to health with it too (keeping in line with Shikai Minazuki's ability apparently). I know what exactly Unohana's Bankai did was a bit of a mystery aside from fighting with her own blood... And I am aware that people thought the skeleton imagery was just imagery, but it really does seem as if it completely wastes away (liberal translation of the Bankai name) everything that comes in to contact with her blood.
I am so glad I got to see this. I too was a bit emotional over the entire sequence and SFX/music.
It was a good episode. The Unohana's Bankai was beautifully animated, appreciated to know what the Minazuki can do. Looking forward to next week for Everything but the Rain animation, it's going to pop off for sure.