WOW! All I have to say about this episode is WOW! Of course that wouldn't be much of a review. This episode was one of the best BLEACH episodes of all times, so I will go more in-depth with the episode (which is in my top ten episodes now). But before I begin, please remember to vote for March's Featured Article, Featured Picture and Featured Quote! So without any delay, here we go.

This episode was WAY BETTER than what I had anticipated. The animation, the music, everything, holy crap! I was literally (well not Aizen literally) blown away! As a fan of good animation (not really a huge anime fan, I mainly watch Bleach and a few other titles, and that's about it), I was extremely satisfied. I grew up with Disney 2-D animation, so I have pretty high standards when it comes to 2-d animation and animation in general, so it has to be something really special to get me all fired up. The art in this episode was honestly the best I have seen in the Bleach anime adaptation thus far. We are also heading towards filler-vile soon, so don't expect this kind of quality for a long time (although to be fair, for the most part, the Bleach filler episodes are half-way decent, except for the Tojū (shivers and cringes), they made the Bount arc look like Spirited Away). In particular, I thought the animation was the best with Aizen's fourth transformation, Aizen's meltdown and Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tenshō transformation, oh hell I can't decide what I liked the best, they were all SO GOOD! I will go more into the juicy details now.

First things first, we had two things that seemingly never happen in the Bleach anime. #1 We actually had a recap under two minutes, and #2 We had an episode end without a cliffhanger. I know I was kinda scared too! But besides those two shocking phenomena, I will talk about some of the visuals I loved in detail.

#1 Aizen's Fourth Transformation

I think Studio Pierrot finally got the letters of angry fans upset with the lack of required buckets of blood. The amount Aizen bled makes up ten-fold for the Hiyori and Uryū fails combined! I know a lot of people were worried about the Aizen face split (myself included), but the way they did it was actually kinda disgusting. Of course I was eating my breakfast at the time, but I was able to hold it together, unfortunately the same could not be said for my dog (not going to go into that one). It came off to be creepy, gory, and I think I actually might have nightmares about it. Although having Aizen in my dreams hmm...uhh moving on! The animation style came off with references to classic sketch-style animation from back in the late 1970s, early 1980s with I twist of modern-clean cut animation. The style came to be very visually pleasing, and really fit for the intensity of the scene.

#2 Final Getsuga Tenshō Transformation/Mugetsu

Again I loved the sketch-style animation with a mix of clean-cut animation style. I loved the way Ichigo's hair flowed in the wind, it was (girly) ahhhh. I loved how all you could hear with Mugetsu was a LFE boom track, the near silence made it that much more of a terrifying attack. I also loved how Pierrot cleared up how much Aizen was damaged by the attack. Aizen was literally blown to pieces, and he is lucky to have survived because without the Hōgyoku, Aizen would have died.

#3 Aizen's Meltdown/Sealing

Aizen Break-Down Poster

click picture for more info

The camera shots were amazing, you could really feel Aizen's rage emanating from the screen. I loved how Aizen's pure and utter anger was animated. You can see the veins in his neck, his teeth grit, and the anger in his eyes. The way Shō Hayami portrayed Aizen in this episode was nothing short of amazing. The rage in his voice and the "god" scream, just WOW! The music for Aizen's sealing (Cometh The Hour Part 1)[1] was the best and most epic choice of music, I could not do any better myself. I can't wait for Kyle Hebert's portrayal of Aizen, I am really curious and excited about that.

I also loved the scenes with Tensa Zangetsu and Ichigo. Whenever you hear violins in Bleach, it's usually a bad sign. I loved how Pierrot made it more clear how upset Tensa Zangetsu was about teaching Ichigo the Final Getsuga Tenshō. I actually started to cry during his speech, and I admittedly shed a tear or two, when I saw him fall and fade into darkness. I also liked how there was some beginnings of closure for the Arrancar arc. I liked how they came back to all of Ichigo's allies, and how the clouds were beginning to fade away (kinda a throwback to the early rain themes in Bleach). To those who think it might not totally make sense for everyone to have known that Ichigo defeated Aizen, consider this. If back a few hundred chapters and in episode 142 of the anime, Tatsuki mentioned that she could slightly sense Orihime's presence in the Soul Society. If Tatsuki, a human with minor spiritual power could sense Orihime in another dimension, isn't very feasible that Rukia, Orihime, Renji, Chad, and Uryū and other high level Soul Reapers could sense Ichigo and Aizen's spiritual pressure? I didn't really care for the omake. On the plus side, I found out the Kon thing is indeed canon. The omakes from 308 and 309 are based on sketches from volume 42 I believe. Here is a link to the sketches courtesy of Outflight on Bleach Asylum [2] it is post #55 I believe. That aside, I decided not to hold the episode against it so, I will let things slide and give it a 10, because today's episode was just that damn good! Next week is the final episode of the Arrancar arc in the anime, and it looks like it is going to be the third tissue episode in row for me. How I am not a massive depressive is beyond me!

Final Rundown

  • Story 10/10
  • Art/Animation 10/10
  • Sound Effects 10/10
  • Music 10/10
  • Acting 10/10

I give Bleach episode 309 a 10 out of 10. Remember to join me this Saturday late night when I review Bleach episode 192 dubbed, and join me next week when I review Bleach 310. Until Next Time! --Lemursrule (talk) 05:16, February 16, 2011 (UTC)

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