The Bleach Blog – Day 4, Episode 4

Episode 4 is about a parakeet. Yup, this show is random like that.

Well, this isn’t a filler, even if its premise feels like one. It’s straight from the manga and it’s actually about properly introducing one of the major side characters, Sado Yasutora (also known as Chad), into the story. He was previously introduced briefly way back in Episode 2.

Chad is fifteen years old, but it’s hard to believe looking at him. He’s tall, large and muscular, and imposing, but his demeanor suggests a gentler side. He doesn’t talk much, and has a stoic side to him. He is also the only (human) character that isn’t of Japanese heritage (at least not entirely), being half-Mexican.

He and some acquaintances are hanging out at/near … a building constuction site (um… why?), which is where the cool kids like to hang out these days, I guess. There’s a random parakeet that someone bought, that is currently having its name besmirched, that it’s a harbinger of mortally rotten luck, with all of its previous owners dying in freak accidents. One of the guys is desperate to pass ownership on to another poor sap. Having a serious weakness for anything kawaii, Chad decides to look after the bird anyway. The rumors are confirmed when a steel beam falls from above, threatening to crush everyone. However Chad catches the beam on his back and shoulders, saving everyone from certain death. If anyone can handle the luck that comes with owning this pet, it would probably be him. 

THIS is the guy that always gets his ass handed to him?

There’s a short scene where the insidious-sounding voice of a hollow monologues about the extraordinary taste of soul reapers, while the camera pans across the desolate afterworld that the hollows inhabit. This suggests that (spoilers) some unpleasant plan on the part of the hollows may be in motion.

Cut to a school scene, between Ichigo and Rukia. The two often try to be alone in order to discuss all their bizarre supernatural shinigami business away from prying ears, but of course, this being a high school and all, their disappearances get attributed to other motives. 

It’s still pretty amusing seeing Rukia try to get used to everyday life in the world of the living. She’s having a real hard time with piercing her juice box with a straw…

‘Stick ’em with the pointy end’.

The two other male schoolmates introduced in Epidode 2 find them on the roof of the school building. Oh, and they both get names this go-round, and a better sense of their characters is fleshed out. Mizuiro Kojima is as good-natured and cheeky as he looks, while Keigo Asano is a loud, manic and goofy approval-seeker. Chad joins the group with his parakeet in tow, and a rash of fresh injuries, caused by its bad luck. When the parakeet straight up introduces itself to them, they decide that it’s a little bit too intelligent and verbose, even for a parakeet. Rukia deduces that it has been possessed by a spirit, probably one without evil intentions.

Ichigo reminisces about meeting Chad for the first time, rushing in while he was being attacked by a gang of thugs, and essentially taking his beating for him, without uttering a word. It goes without saying that Chad’s a real bro. It would totally be like him to stick his neck out for some random bird that keeps getting into unfortunate scrapes.

It eventually becomes too much to handle for Chad, and he winds up in the Kurosaki family clinic for serious injuries, after a spate of unfortunate accidents. Spiritually sensitive Karin immediately senses that something is wrong with the bird. Deeply affected, she falls ill suddenly. She is able to discern specifics about the bird’s soul; it was originally a small boy with a tragic past, witnessing his mother’s murder right before his eyes. At the same time she falls ill, Chad disappears from the clinic with his pet, prompting concern from the others. 

Rukia guesses that hollows may be behind the parakeet’s bad luck, but fears that it may be difficult to find them with the bird’s low, barely detectable spirit energy. In what has clearly become a habit by now, Ichigo surprises Rukia by pulling off a high level shinigami technique that he shouldn’t possibly be capable of: he detects their location by discerning the ‘spirit ribbons’ around him, which are rays of spirit energy, possessed by living people (portrayed by actual white ribbons). 

Rukia was right, it was a hollow. Ichigo and Rukia find it chasing Chad and his parakeet. They then notice a weak dazed Karin wandering the street out of concern for the human soul she detected within the parakeet. Ichigo goes to tend to his sister, parting ways with Rukia, who continues the pursuit.

The especially talkative hollow starts monologuing about the delicious taste of soul reapers when Rukia blindsides it with a special ‘kido’ attack. It seems even without powers, Rukia can handle her business. But her attack ends up having no effect on her opponent.

When you come to eat, eat, don’t talk.

Will Rukia’s standoff with the hollow be concluded for the Episode 5? And what are the hollow’s actual motives? Stay tuned…

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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