366 Days of Bleach – The Bleach Blog, Day 2, Episode 2

Greetings, welcome to Day 2! Episode 2 continues directly in the aftermath of the hollow attack on Ichigo’s house the night before.

Nothing adds up. Neither Ichigo’s father, nor his two sisters, seem to remember anything from the night before. Their injuries have magically vanished. His perpetually manic and upbeat father claims that the damage to the house was caused by a renegade truck, and is happy that no one in his family was hurt… except they were, and were inexplicably healed, but only Ichigo remembers the series of actual events. He begins to suspect that this weird amnesia and magical healing is Rukia’s doing.

This episode, the focus shifts from Ichigo’s home life to his school life. The cast of characters expands to include his various schoolmates, and they basically seem to be a bunch of goofballs. We’re introduced to Sado, who’s an imposing looking guy even to Ichigo, two other guys that are on friendly terms, and two girls, Tatsuki and Orihime. Tatsuki seems to fawn a bit over Orihime, a pretty but clueless girl who may have a crush on Ichigo. Another one of the show’s running jokes comes into play! Orihime has pretty awful taste in food, and shares her bizarre recipes with Tatsuki, who wants to retch at the very idea of them.

Yummy.

To Ichigo’s shock, Rukia, the mysterious shinigami from the day before, appears at his school, decked out in full school uniform, masquerading as a transfer student. Due to the current circumstances, she’s taken an active interest in him. She informs him that he took all of her powers last night, and because of this she is unable to return to the Soul Society. We’re introduced to the concept of a “gigai”, a temporary fake body used in emergencies for non-corporeal entities such as Rukia. This is why everyones in school can see her.

She then drops a bombshell on him; in the interim, he will be required to do her job, until her powers return. Ichigo isn’t thrilled about this, and refuses, but Rukia isn’t having it. Using some sort of special glove, she literally punches the soul out of his body.

The afterlife is pretty high-tech in the Bleach universe; Rukia apparently communicates with her superiors via cellphone. She gets her new orders, then she drags Ichigo along unwillingly for his first official job. On seeing a small boy being attacked, Ichigo has a change of heart (kind of) and slays the hollow, then sends the dead boy to the Soul Society.

Orihime, the clueless girl we met before, apparently has a stalker, who looks at her intently through her bedroom window. He’s then suddenly accosted by two hollows, and taken to a netherworld, where his soul is devoured, and he is transformed into a hollow himself.

On the street, Rukia and Ichigo encounter Orihime after she nearly gets run over by a car. Rukia sees a suspicious bruise on her leg, not consistent at all with her near-accident, and asks her about it, but she brushes the whole thing off, seeing that she considers herself a klutz, and gets into accidents constantly. Rukia is not convinced. Ichigo then reveals that Orihime’s brother died at their hospital three years ago, and this information disturbs her greatly, and arouses her suspicions about what may really be going on. She tells Ichigo she’s going home and bids farewell.

Ichigo asks where’s Rukia is living, but she seems hesitant to say…

She lives in his closet, that’s where! Talk about sneaky (and just a little stalker-ish). Plus, she steals his sister’s pajamas. That’s… just low.

Ichigo has hardly any time to process this surprising information before he’s attacked (again!) at home by a hollow in his own bedroom. It seems his life has gotten a lot more complicated lately. While fighting the hollow, its mask partially cracks revealing a human face below, a face belonging to Orihime’s brother. It flees before the fight is resolved.

Seeing that Ichigo is shaken, Rukia reveals to him that hollows once were the souls of ordinary humans. She urges him to complete the job of killing him, as there is no turning him back at this point, and his metamorphosis into unreasoning evil will just continue.

Cut to Tatsuki having dinner with Orihime at her apartment, shooting the breeze and talking about boys (meaning Ichigo). Her brother’s picture is shown displayed on a shelf. The episode ends with them being confronted by the same hollow. Will Orihime find out that it’s her very own brother?

This episode succeeds in expanding the lore and the universe of Bleach. In addition, we get to meet some more appealing characters, and a deeper explanation behind the hollows, no longer mere two-dimensional monsters, and how their effects on the lives of humans are much more devastating, tragic and complicated than previously thought.

Stay tuned for Episode 3!

Published by dirksblogposts

My name is Dirk O'Brien. I'm a graphic designer by profession, and have had a lifelong interest in comics and animation.

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