Bleach Recap 2020, Episode 67: Kurodo the Impostor

When will Ririn’s silly games ever stop? The past few episodes have featured Ichigo and the rest of the main cast in a panic, hurriedly running from location to location on the whims of her and her two partners-in-mischief, with no real progress made in figuring out how to stop them. Now they’re headed to Karakura High School only for Ichigo and Renji to find their physical bodies just laying around, abandoned, on the school grounds. Urahara was tasked with looking after them, but it looks like something serious and unforeseen must have happened in order for them to be found like this…

Ririn once again appears before them and tells them that there is an imposter in their midst. Renji notices that one of the trio, Kurodo, isn’t there, and that therefore, using his shapeshifting abilities, he must have infiltrated the group and is currently impersonating one of them.

Ririn confirms this and tells them that if they don’t identify the imposter by midday, the other students will start disappearing, never to return. These games are now turning out to be more insidious than they all first thought.

Eventually students begin to arrive for the school day, and Chad, in his typically calm manner, suggests simply attending classes as always, while keeping an eye on the other students, and focusing on identifying the imposter.

The first prime suspect turns out to be Renji, who Ichigo thinks is acting more animated than usual. Ichigo yells at him to ‘take it off’ (meaning his gigai), which is heard (and misinterpreted) by everyone in class. They then get into a wrestling match on the floor, which continues to give lots of their classmates the wrong impression. Chizuru, clearly a yaoi fan, seems to be intently enjoying the sights before her…

Best expression of the entire episode…

This starts a series of misunderstandings, as everyone else starts thinking that it’s Ichigo who is acting odd. Ishida is the first to bring up the possibility that Kurudo may not just be able to copy a person’s appearance, but their abilities as well.

Straight outta Karakura Town…

A bit later, Tatsuki is attacked in the bathroom by an unseen assailant, and subsequently disappears afterward, something that Orihime realises when she notices her absence at gym class. It also comes to her attention that there are other odd absences of some of the other students. Ririn arrives as if to confirm the abductions, and taunts Orihime, who then runs off in a panic to pursue her. Ichigo and the others notice her leaving and begin following her. Orihime’s panic intensifies when she finds Tatsuki’s wristband laying on the ground outside the girls’ bathroom, with no trace of Tatsuki.

Meanwhile, by order of Captain Ukitake, all traffic between the Soul Society and the World of the Living is to be halted. Has some disquieting discovery been made about the recent events in the World of the Living? Just before the gates of the Senkaimon are closed, Sui-Feng manages to make it through, by request of Yoruichi; looks like the two longtime companions have buried the hatchet for now. In the meantime, communication has also been cut off between the two realms, something Renji has noticed.

Ichigo decides that it’s time to reach out for some outside help, so he calls Urahara, but Jinta answers and informs him that neither Urahara or Yoruichi are there. Uryu expresses his opinion that only their individual intuition will be able to identify the imposter. This only complicates things as they all start taking turns accusing each other…

As the time to their deadline whittles down, the other students start disappearing in droves. Ririn appears to mockingly rub it in their faces. While doing so, she starts making some odd statements; that she has no power to change the rules of the game; that if they surrender, she will think of a way to save everyone; and that they may have to give their lives in order to save the lives of the others. Can this mean that it actually isn’t her or her companions that are the architects of this series of sadistic games, and are they doing this according to the whims of someone else? Despite her cheery demeanour, is she doing these things willingly, or under duress due to unknown circumstances?

At that moment, Yoruichi, in cat form, and Sui-Feng arrive at the school, and this is when Chad, of all people, starts acting strangely, as if panicked. Ichigo inquires what is wrong, after which Chad finally gives himself away by saying that “she sure is tough for a lone woman”, revealing that he is unaware that the cat he just saw is no mere cat, and that he is therefore unfamiliar with Yoruichi and her abilities. For once, Orihime, who had accused Chad, had the sharpest intuition and happened to be correct.

Kurodo, having been made out, transforms back to his original appearance. He disappears along with Ririn, and the trio all reappear outside the school ground, out of reach of an increasingly frustrated Ichigo and his friends. Ririn mentions that they have one more game to go out of a five-game contest, and both sides are now tied with two wins and two losses each. She also reminds them that Chad, the real one, is still in their possession.

What form will this final ‘game’ take? In any case, it should finally bring this confrontation to a close, but there is no way to predict the seriousness of the consequences, should Ichigo and the others lose… oh, and Chad is still missing in action… 

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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