Bleach Recap 2020, Episode 60: The True Enemy Revealed!

Admiration is the furthest state of understanding.

Sosuke Aizen

Unfortunately for me, as a latecomer to the series, I can only imagine the shock of viewers at the time this episode was first aired. By the time I got around to it, the twist revelation of the story’s central villain had already become common knowledge among anime fans everywhere, and it was near impossible to escape spoilers. Because of this, I’ve often wondered how to approach writing these posts, but I’ve decided to try my best to avoid spoilers, even for a show as old and widely watched as this one; after all, I can never really know who will be reading these posts, perhaps a brand new, uninitiated fan. So, anyway, without further ado…

The fate of Central 46

The episode begins with some expository information on the Central 46, given by Toshiro; it happens to be highest judicial system of the Soul Society, where no decision can be appealed, not even by Captains. And Toshiro, the Soul Society’s resident sleuth, has just made a shocking discovery about them…

The entire board has been murdered in a most grisly fashion, their bodies slumped over everywhere within the dark, cavernous hall. Toshiro realises that this is an attempt at upheaval much greater than the assassination of a single Captain. Apparently this happened a while ago, the copious blood beginning to dry and blacken. This would mean that all decisions passed down in recent memory have all been fake, including Rukia’s execution sentence.

Naturally, the suspicion in Toshiro’s mind inevitably points to Gin Ichimaru, but it is unlikely that he managed to accomplish all this on his own. But who he actually encounters is not who he at all expected. Izuru Kira unexpectedly appears, and on being noticed, flees the premises. Toshiro and Rangiku pursue him, but there is more than one Shinigami alive and roaming the compound… 

While running from Toshiro, Izuru tells him that it was Central 46 who let him in. He also lets him know that Momo has left her hospital room, easily destroying the barrier with her Kido skills, compromising the safety that Toshiro tried to provide for her, and unknowingly tailing the pair of them. Toshiro, worried for Momo, decides to double back to check on her, while Rangiku continues the pursuit.

Izuru stops suddenly to spar with Rangiku. After a short clash of weapons, Rangiku suddenly drops her blade to the floor as if unable to hold it. Izuru then tells her about the previously unknown power of his zanpakuto, Wabisuke, ‘the penitent one’, which doubles the weight of whatever it strikes, rendering Rangiku unable to hold her sword any longer. However, Rangiku’s zanpakuto, Haineko has the ability to dissipate into mist, thereby rendering Isuru’s zanpakuto irrelevant in its ineffectiveness against hers. This ensuing fight stops in its tracks, as we double back to see what Momo is up to…

The Ultimate Betrayal of Momo

Momo , hot on the tracks of Toshiro, finally arrives at Compound 46 and discovers the grisly murder scene, when she is unexpectedly approached by Gin, who asks her to come with him to see something that will most assuredly shock her to her core…

Aizen is alive???

At first Momo considers this the most pleasant of possible surprises, throwing her caution to the wind, and running into his open embrace. She is consumed with thoughts of being smitten by the warmth of his hands and his familiar scent… okay, is it just me, or does Momo have it really bad for this guy?

They warmly embrace, Momo crying tears of joy…………….. until Aizen suddenly stabs her in the chest.

Momo never saw it coming. She falls to the ground in a pool of her own blood. Aizen walks off, followed closely by Gin.

On their way through the compound, they run into Toshiro, who is shocked to see Aizen alive, and to find Momo succumbing to a stab wound. Then it begins to dawn on him (and on us): Aizen and Gin were behind everything all along. What the actual….???

When Aizen explains his subtle manipulation of Momo, an enraged Toshiro once again raises his sword in her defense; he definitely has a bit of a soft spot for her. He releases his Bankai, Daiguren Hyorinmaru, in response, sprouting vast wings of ice behind him.

Retsu Unohana and Isane Kotetsu arrive on the scene to witness the ensuing battle. Aizen is a tricky one, specialising in deceiving the senses. Toshiro’s first attack encases him in ice, but it’s just an illusion; Aizen promptly appears behind him, and by that time Toshiro realises that it’s too late, he’s been slashed by Aizen’s blade without even knowing it. He falls to the ground in a spray of blood.

‘Ice is not in season’ Aizen quips. Aizen, you absolute mad lad…

Unohana, who would’ve been given access to Aizen’s fake corpse, has apparently always has her suspicions. That, and the fact that Compound 46 is off-limits to almost everyone, led her here, as a prime spot as to where someone fabricating their own death would hide. Apparently she was correct in her suspicions; and she’s also a rather sharp one, that Unohana.

Aizen reveals that he’s been holding a lifeless identical copy of himself, shocking Unohana and Isane. But it was actually his zanpakuto, and yet another trick of the senses, brought on by its hypnotic power. Kyokasuigetsu, as it’s called, specialises in this kind of deceptive hypnosis, allowing others to see and perceive exactly what Aizen wants them to. The potential deceptive power of such an ability is almost limitless, and potentially calamitous in the wrong hands. His previous claims that he possessed a water-type zanpakuto was also a complete and calculated deception.

In another shocking revelation, he reveals that Tosen was also his subordinate all along, and he is currently confronting Renji, who is trying to make his escape with Rukia. Using a ritual of some sort, he transports them back to Sokyoku Hill, effectively erasing all previous progress in their attempted escape. At the same time, Aizen uses the same technique to transport himself there as well.

With all his co-conspirators gathered in one location, Aizen asks a shocked and confused Renji to back away from Rukia. Aizen’s full plan is as yet unknown, but it definitely involves her, the Sokyoku, and it probably won’t be pleasant for anyone…

Wow, and just like that, in the space of one episode, everything we think we knew has changed. Well played, Mr. Kubo, well played. There’s no telling now which direction the story will go next… and on to Episode 61!

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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