First to start things off, I TOTALLY CALLED IT! If you guys have no idea what the hell I am talking about, here is a comment I made in my review of 296 last week, when I was talking about the preview for 297. "From the preview I know the first shot of Gin's eyes are in black & white, but I think they are going to have a close-up or a pan shot of his eyes in color, I just have a gut feeling that is what they are doing."
My inner artist just knew. Anyway enough predicting art stylization, on with the review!
Ok short recap
We have a brief recap of last episode. Isshin enters and knocks some sense into Ichigo, Isshin commences with the "finger-flip of doom," then we have the start of Gin Vs. Ichigo: Round 2. Now into the current episode, we have Aizen using Raikōhō on Isshin, then the scene turns to Gin and Ichigo. Gin and Ichigo converse and Gin mentions it's been a long time since his last spar with Ichigo. We have a short flashback wayyyyy backkkk from episode 20, to when Gin is first introduced. Ichigo then explains that he is not saying that he does not remember his sword, but rather his heart. Ichigo further explains his philosophy on battle. He notes that normally he can understand a little of what someone is thinking when crossing swords with them, such as their resolve and whether they look down on their opponent. Gin remarks Ichigo as being very poetic, and further down the line proclaims that he thought Ichigo was interesting, but now he's just creepy. Gin begins to talk of his Zanpakutō, asking Ichigo if he knows how far it extends. When Ichigo states that he doesn't, Gin explains that it extends 100 times its normal length. Ichigo maintains his disinterest in the conversation, so Gin asks him if he knows how far his Bankai can extend. Ichigo states that he did not come there for a quiz. Gin is disappointed by this and decides to give Ichigo the answer stating that it can extend 13km. As Ichigo is a bit shocked by this, Gin remarks that simply stating the number will not get the point across, and he tells Ichigo this time he won’t go easy on him and releases his Bankai, Kamishini no Yari. He swings the blade at Ichigo, destroying many buildings in the process, but Ichigo easily blocks the attack. Gin is somewhat surprised by this and Ichigo explains that it's obvious that a Bankai could be blocked by another Bankai. Ichigo then bats Gin's blade away and fires a Getsuga Tenshō', surprising Gin again as he is hit directly by the blast. When the smoke clears Gin is lightly injured and he reiterates that Ichigo is a creepy kid. Then the scene switches to a now(but barley) conscious Rangiku, senses the battle between Ichigo and Gin and she says Gin's name a single time. Then Ichigo and Gin continue to fight. Then we go back to Isshin and Aizen and Isshin notices Aizen has become slower and asks Aizen if he has reached his limit. Aizen then states that he has, but only as a Soul Reaper, and he claims that his soul is going to undergo a metamorphosis. Aizen explains the Hōgyoku's true power. Then back to Ichigo and Gin, whom has interrupted Aizen by knocking Ichigo into a building. Gin asks Aizen if he interrupted his speech. Aizen replies that he had just reached the end of his speech and his body is enveloped by the Hōgyoku. Isshin and Ichigo are shocked by this, and Ichigo asks what's going on. Isshin tells him that he has no idea, and the two of them begin arguing. As Aizen states that the Hōgyoku deserves its name, he is interrupted as he is shot from behind by Kisuke Urahara, whom he welcomes onto the battlefield.
Sorry that recap took a little too long.
Ok I LOVED THIS EPISODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean my god, everything, the pacing, the animation, the music, the voices, everything was PERFECT! I loved how Pierrot switched everything to black and white when Gin releases his Bankai, the only thing that would have made it so much better is if they had just colored Gin's eyes and left everything else in black and white when he said Kamishini no Yari, but that's not really a complaint, just as an artist myself, that is what I would have done. As I have said in my last few reviews, the art direction is Bleach is amazing! In fact out of all the anime I have seen this year(abet I am not too much of an anime-aholic) Bleach by far has the best art direction I have seen in an animated series in a long time. Plus I love the heart beat sound effect with the Hōgyoku, I mean it was SO CREEPY! I mean there are so many great things to say about this episode, I might override wikia's server with my comments. THE OMAKE...OH MY GOD THE OMAKE! I almost feel over laughing, because it is so Gin! AND WHAT A CLIFFHANGER! The ending was perfect, it was just how I imagined it would be, nobody puts Mr. Hat and Clogs in a corner!
I'm not even going to do a rundown, Bleach 297 is a 10 out of 10
Oh and just as a heads up for people, the next two weeks will be filler. I REPEAT THIS IS NOT A FILLER ARC(which Pierrot has made fairly obvious that they do not what do one in the near future, especially after the Toju)! These are just two little episodes to promote Hell Chapter, you know like in fade to black they changed the animation and showed movie scenes. I would rather they did that to the filler episode than to the cannon episode. I was kinda pissed when they did that to Velonica and Hitohira no Hanabira(which are both one of my favorite op and eds). I mean fade to black is my favorite Bleach movie, but at that time I loved the new themes more. But the point is the next two weeks are filler, but I will still do the review, but I will not be offended in any way if nobody bothers to comment on filler. So filler next two weeks, cannon returns on December 7 with *drumroll please* EPISODE 300! So in anticipation for episode 300 share your favorite Bleach memories and stories.
I will see you guys (hopefully) next week with my review of episode 298.
Until then thumb|300px|right