Bleach Recap 2020, Episode 57: Getsugatensho!!!

The straightforward narratives of Episode 57 showcase two fights, one of which winds down in pretty unexpected fashion, and one that is just beginning to escalate to Bankai level…

Oh, and Iba and Ikkaku play a random game of rock-paper-scissors for some reason…

Yourichi’s Betrayal

‘The first time I met her, it was like meeting a goddess.’

Sui Feng

If anyone is getting the impression that Sui-Feng is going to have difficulty winning this battle because she is emotionally compromised, this episode’s flashback removes any doubt as to the underlying context of what this conflict is really about. Let’s just say that Sui-Feng is seriously toting some unresolved feelings…

Having come from a low-ranking house of assassins, she was placed under Yoruichi’s wing at an early age. Sui Feng recounts that her feelings towards her were akin to worshipping a god. In one scene, as a young child, Sui-Feng is literally seen looking up to Yoruichi, up on a bridge, the very picture of regality, while being reminded by an older house member what was expected of her; she is to live only to serve Lady Yoruichi, something she ends up taking to heart.

A brief montage shows both of them getting to know each other over the years, as Sui-Feng’s initially formal manner towards Yoruichi is roundly dismissed. Yoruichi would rather their communication be informal and playful, despite their vast difference in status, and this is gradually what transpires over time. They are seen developing a close relationship, through sparring in training sessions and battling hollows in the field. Eventually it gets to the point that they make a mutual promise to remain by each other’s side, a promise that is eventually broken by Yoruichi, who one day disappears suddenly, and without explanation, to Sui-Feng’s utter devastation.

The present-day battle then continues. Sui-Feng is becoming more and more frustrated, as every attack she throws at Yoruichi is stopped in its tracks by Hankisosai, a technique that cancels out an opponent’s kido. It’s interesting to note that all of Yoruichi’s tactics in this fight so far mirror the ones used by Sui-Feng, and are only defensive in nature, with the purpose of neutralising Sui-Feng’s momentum, rather than outright defeating her; this eventually serves its intended purpose, and wears down Sui-Feng until she can attack no longer.

Now we can see what’s behind Sui-Feng’s anger, which eventually breaks and turns into tearful sorrow. What exactly are Yoruichi’s reasons for abandoning her, so long ago?

Ichigo’s new tricks

Back at a now empty Sokyoku Hill, Ichigo eggs Byakuya on to release his Bankai, claiming that he can crush it. Byakuya thinks this kid is really full of himself, saying he’s a thousand years too early to see such a thing. But with enough taunting, he eventually decides to release Senbonzakura in its full glory.

Byakuya’s fearsome zanpakuto release is usually a sure thing, inescapable by most, but to his rarely seen shock (or any emotion for that matter), it gets repelled by Ichigo’s new and improved attack, which, aimed at Byakuya, gouges a deep trench in the ground and manages to injure his hand. Ichigo calls this new ability Getsugatensho, an ‘amplified swing’, that channels his concentrated spirit energy. Ichigo now has a brand new signature attack, one that we will be seeing a lot of from now on…

He asks Byakuya once again to reveal his Bankai. While the battle is more evenly matched this time around, it remains to be seen if Ichigo has summoned the skills to back up his considerable confidence… on to Episode 58!

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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