Bleach Recap 2020, Episode 83: Koga’s Regret

Rukia, Kurodo and Orihime have their work cut out for them against the female Bount that has ambushed them. Kurodo, assuming the form of Renji, tries to help out as best he can, as he can also summon Renji’s fighting style and Shinigami strength along with his appearance. Orihime joins in with a rare offensive attack as well. But the Bount proves more powerful than expected, holding her own against all of them, and injuring Kurodo in the process. This ongoing battle, however, will continue in another episode, as we get to the main event…

‘It seems I’m fated to witness the death of young ones’.

Go Koga

Despite the unexpected arrival of Hollow Ichigo to last episode’s battle, the whole thing has backfired on Ichigo himself, as Koga now has him on the ropes. Koga feels he has no choice but to kill him, but there’s an undertone of regret to this decision. It looks like he’s seen his fair share of young death in his time, as we get a glimpse of his past history…

We go back to a time when Koga went by the name of ‘Cloud’, and lived a simple, rural existence. He was already acquainted with Kariya, who visits him with a young companion. Kariya asks Koga to teach the intense-looking young man how to ‘live as a Bount’, as Kariya puts it, but Koga initially declines, believing that a Bount must believe in his own strength, and thereby train himself. Kariya replies that this belief is the exact reason that he came to Koga with the request. Kariya insists that the young Bount, Cain, is important to the future of the Bounts. With that, he hands Koga the Book of Doll Summoning, which Kariya himself wrote, and leaves him with the young man.

Cain happens to be in agreement with Koga, valuing self-reliance and not wanting help from anyone. However, Koga exposes him as weak, easily knocking him around. He then warns Cain that, at his current level of strength, he won’t survive for long. So, despite Koga’s verbal refusal to Kariya, he elects to train Cain anyway.

A montage follows, where Cain is subjected to rough, menial outdoor work by Koga. Eventually, over time, they both warm to each other a bit.

One day, as Koga and Cain visit a nearby town to sell produce, they are targeted by a trio of ruffians, who insist on harassing Cain, and threatening to rob him, but their attacks on the heavy-set Koga have no effect on him whatsoever. He walks off, dragging Cain behind him.

The incident is far from over, though, as later on, the same ruffians arrive with a large mob, ready to attack both of them. We then get the underlying motivation for all this aggression; the mob has a hatred and fear of Bounts, whom they refer to as ‘monsters’. Koga than summons Dalk to deal with the rabble, who, on seeing the fearsome Doll, are scared out of their wits and run away. Cain stares at Dalk in awe and fascination. Koga then assures Cain that he will be able to summon his own Doll someday.

Cain’s training continues. Cain expresses his wish to one day catch up with Koga’s level of strength, and to remain living with him. Deciding that the time has arrived, Koga gives Cain the Book of Doll Summoning, but insists this is to be done under his supervision, and not alone. But of course, this isn’t what happens.

Impatient to acquire his own Doll, Cain later runs off by himself at night, and begins the ritual and incantations. Meanwhile, Koga, sensing danger, awakens and runs off to find Cain. By the time he does, Cain is already cradling his newborn Doll in his hands… but then things go terribly wrong

The Doll speaks up, asking for a display of its master’s power, before it follows orders. Cain is confused, not sure what to do at this request, and Koga looks deeply disturbed with this development. The Doll, intending to test Cain, grows to a monstrous size, and envelopes Cain in overwhelming green energy, and Cain’s body then whittles away into dust.

Kariya and Koga are later seen at Cain’s gravestone, Kariya consumed with grief, and Koga grim and stone-faced. Kariya then expresses his wish to live together with Koga, in order to diminish his loneliness. Koga acquiesces.

‘Power without ideals is dangerous.’

Koga gives Ichigo this advice before stating his intent to finally kill him. But before he can do so, they are interrupted by the arrival of Izuru Kira. The Shingami reinforcements have officially arrived, and it’s now two Shinigami against one Bount and his Doll…

It’s turning out that the titular antagonists of this arc, the Bounts, are not mere one-dimensional villains. We got quite a bit of character development with Yoshino, and now Koga is getting a level of humanity and complexity that is quite noteworthy. Let’s hope we get more surprises like this as the arc continues…

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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