There's a lot of mind spinning and brain exploding in this ep. It took me a quite to gather all the thought together. Thinking about it, from the beginning when the anime was finally back to manga canon starting from animating Lust Arc, I didn't expect any much from Pierriot of how they would present the UlquiHime hand reaching scene that could top the manga over. I didn't hope that they could make the same impact to me when I read the manga. My only hope during that time was for they not screwing the scene up. As the anime processed ep by ep, my expectation just kept dropping lower and lower, well because of the OCC fillers, nonsense censor and extra tinny bits of random changes that called "canon omission". Overall, I think Pierriot did best with all the fighting and its effect. But when it came to emotional scene and characterization, they didn't give any effort to improve. I wonder whether I was being forgiving so easily. Oh well, the last ep of Ulquiorra really left me a good satisfaction. There are some ticking part that makes me sigh, but the ep as a whole really gave me a happy and sad feeling when it's over. For me to become emotional after watching the ep, I think it finally did a good deed. Thank you, Pierriot for trying hard to create the last memorial for UlquiHime hand reaching scene despite all of the screwing moments you did to them in the past.
I've watched the both RAW version and the SUB version from Dattebayo. Surprisingly, DB finally translated "kokoro" as "heart", not "soul". And the translation through this ep is very decent and pretty much accurate that I don't spot out any jokes. I wonder whether it's because this is also the last ep of Bleach that DB decided to sub seriously before dropping out. Anyway, I'm glad because it's freaking the time.
Overall about the animation quality, it's TOP NOTCH :> There's no weird face. It's even better than ep 270 which I had deemed as the best one in animation quality so far. But while ep 270 is a fighting ep, this ep is not for the fight, but for the emotion and the angst after the fight. This is the ep where every seiyuu did their best to convey their emotion, notably Ulquiorra's (Namikawa), Ichigo's (Morita), Ishida's (Noriaki) and Orihime's (Yuki). I tried to read the manga while hearing their voices, the edge of emotion really shook me up with shiver. That also went along with the choices of music using in this ep.
Like ep 271, flashback were used at full most though I did expect that would happen. Though overusing was not what I expected for, yet it still happened anyway.
Screencap will come in handle along with the sub because when eyesmex happened, we needs sub to know what the hell going on. Also the dialogues in this ep are what needed to note most as well as the images themselves. I will skip the screencap of the Rudobone fight because all my mind just focused on what happened on the dome.
This ep covers chapter 352, 353 and 5 pages of chapter 354. The ep opens with the fight between Rudobone and Rukia co. under the dome until Yammy finally fell down to the bottom. There's a bit fillerish because giving the Renji-Chad combo to help Rukia is a filler that the anime had screw up in the previous ep. But it's handled cleverly at the end. The ep ends with UlquiHime hand reaching and it seems that the anime decides to merge the end of chapter 353 and 5 pages of chapter 354 together. Besides what happens to IchiHime flashback and filler, everything pretty much follows the canon in manga.
Before getting up what happens on the dome, I have a few comments toward the fight between Rudobone and Rukia co.
- Rudobone's laughter bugs me very much.
- His Arrancar lackeys shield wall cracks me up. Yet all of these things happens because of the anime screw up and let the Rukia co. do nothing when that happens.
- Rukia is the only one who finally uses the brain here. But I don't remember that I ever heard her swearing "kuso". That girl is a noble, Pierrot. Nii-sama would not allow any vulgar language from Rukia :(
- LOL White Tree :D No, that's Rubodone in the ice freezing by Rukia. This is something that I never expect Pierriot would do, giving a filler name for an attack.
- The scene where Rukia looks at the column of cero and wonders if it's Ichigo's reiatsu ("Kono reiatsu... Ichigo ka?") is a nice scene I see from her. I didn't feel it when I read the manga, but this is a first time, I feel her worry and uncertainty when she detects the massive reiatsu from Ichithing.
Okay, let's return to the dome.
First, it starts with this scene that my heart aches so much at the screen. Poor Ulqui. No censor for his half-body.
And then he's thrown like a rag doll TT.TT It's always hurt to read that chapter, now it's even hurt more when I see it animated.
Next, as Ishida is observing from afar, THIS happens to my Ulqui. And NO, this is not a self-defense from Ichithing, you dumbass.
My Ulqui is totally defenseless. He is lying down there, not even sure being conscious. Yet, continuing to stab the sword to his neck is an act of defense to remove the threat. The hell?
Thank Ishida for being awesome and heroic to stop it.
Thank Ishida for finally giving the general sense as a moral compass.
Ishida is trying to save Ichigo's humanity, not Ulquiorra because as he stated Ulqui was as dead as a corpse already. He is trying to save his friend, Ichigo from degrading to something not human anymore by doing such act. This is his calling to wake up, dude. Why doesn't nobody hear him?
And this is a result from a good will. Is this also self-defense from Ichithing? Hell NO.
I realize that Ichithing does not only stab Ishida, it "thrusts" Ishida with such force that Ishida is flying along with Zangetsu in his gut. This is also NOT a gentle warning by sticking a sword in the gut either. It's totally an obliteration. The blood is censored though.
I'm not SO amused with the close up between Orihime and Ichithing and the overflow flashback from the Pierriot. Because the actions in the flashback contradicts with what it said, if it were indeed Ichigo. And I'm also not SO amuse when some certain people deems it as LURVE scene like delusional brokers. For the record, this is not Ichigo's voice. Isn't it clear enough to see that it's not Ichigo that is blushing so he hides his face under the mask while saying to his love that he'll help her? How in the world such like that is LURVE? I don't even comprehend. Can you pull out the LURVE in Orihime's despair eyeballs and Ichithing's hollow eye sockets? If it's from your ass, then keep it to yourself. I don't want it, give back Bleach written by Kubo-sensei to me.
I'm LOL-ing when I saw both Orihime's and Ichithing's static images not looking at each other and passing through each other during the flashback that was all about Kurosaki-kun. This is just like Pierriot trying to beat up the dead horse. Orihime's voice during that time really make me want a slap-stick on her face (literally).
Ichithing ignores whatever Orihime is ranting about in her thought and goes on preparing cero to Ishida. Is that Orihime showing love on her face? NO, it's not. She still sat on her butt without doing anything to stop the cero besides yelling "Kurosaki-kun" and I don't know why but to facepalm. Thank God, there's one person whose name is not "Kurosaki-kun" answers her call and saves Bleach from being dropped out of shounen genre.
Despite having only upper half of his body and one arm, he still raises up and saves the day. How in the world he can sonido with that kind of body is beyond me.
If Ulquiorra didn't have any will power enough, he wouldn't bother to raise up. Hadn't he already said that he lost the meaning of his existence, gave up and asked for the kill in the previous ep? What in the world does he raise his body up from death for? If it's for Ishida who is going to be killed by Ichithing, then why the hell there's no Ishida's reaction during this eyes-meet-eyes scene here? Only Orihime sees and only Orihime reacts. Something's fishy here.
Not to mention, Ulqui only cuts the horn. NOT THE NECK? NOT THE HEAD? His intention is clear. He does it to stop the cero from Ishida. Not to kill him like some retards keep saying that Ulqui tried to kill Ichigo in that scene. Hello thar? Ulquiorra had a golden chance, but he missed it, just because his target is the horn. There's no ulterior motive of killing anywhere.
The cero exploded in the face of Ichithing. Orihime and Ishida are overwhelmed with the effect.
The result of the explosion. Ichithing's mask broke and reveals us Ichigo's face that we are familiar with. (His skin was still ashen white though)
He falls. She runs calling his name like a broken record. Though I LOL at the timing where Ichigo falls with a plump very fast, yet Orihime take a very long time to run toward him. Meanwhile, Ulquiorra also watches the scene nearby with a very "lonely" look.
No matter how many time I look at this scene, there are a lot of wrong in it. Nevermind the Kurosaki-kun chanting, Orihime still does not do anything besides that. Does she really resign to Ichigo's death? Because as I can see in the anime, she still have Shun Shun Rikka in her hair. There's no activation of healing or whatever, but bitching and whining over "Kurosaki-kun". Not mention, in this scene, Orihime had never once tried to touch him or maybe at least shook his body to see whether he's dead or alive. Is she still scared of him raising up like a monster? Probably, she is. There's totally a distance that Orihime trying to keep between her and Ichigo.
There's a screw in the order of how Ulquiorra viewed though. If I remember in the manga, Ulquiorra saw Ichigo first and then Orihime later and his pained look also occurred along after that, yet in the anime, it's reverse. He sees Orihime first and moves his sight to Ichigo and then gives a strange look in silence for long.
The scene that I was looking forward second to the hand reach is this scene and it somehow lets me down someway. Maybe because I don't see anything like pain or regret or forlorn in his expression at all like what I read in the manga. And he turns away so fast before I could look at him carefully. But the soundtrack accompany with his sorrow is very fitting though.
Stick leg Ulqui :D
He seems to stop his regeneration already because as he states it's just the outside, his insides are not coming back after being blown away. This is the first time in this ep that I heard his voice. And it sounds so anguish.
I seriously wonder what kind of hair care that made Ichigo have that smoothing hair like that. And it seems his hair decides to save his ass this time. Sensing a gust of reiatsu from behind, Ulquiorra turns his head back. Before that he seems to go somewhere else.
Everybody is surprise that the scene. They see that Ichigo turn back to normal. That man just can't be dead (he'd never be) because he's the main character.
Ishida: What the hell is that? How in the world his hole closes?
Ulquiorra: High-speed regeneration? No, it's plotkai.
I talk with my friend a bit about this scene. And I wonder why Orihime is startled at the sight of Ichigo suddenly raising up. Let's remember the pattern. Ichigo at first fell dead. Orihime called out for him and he raised up from dead as a monster. Now the monster named Ichithing falls and his mask is broken, revealing Ichigo's face. He falls dead again. Orihime runs to his side, but doesn't do anything to heal him, nor try to touch him. Now, Ichigo's hole is healed. Orihime tries to touch him, but when he suddenly raises up, she retracts her hand and is startled at his movement. Certainly, it's a pattern to show that somewhere in Orihime's mind, the fear of him raising up as a monster still presents in her mind. There's no insurance that Ichigo would raise up as a sane person.
The boy remembers NOTHING but the hole in his chest. So does all of his confession toward Orihime. And how in the world the 2 little panels between Ichigo and Orihime lead to the third nonexistence screencap where Ichigo smiles at Orihime in anime as I remember it's nonexistent in the manga? It certainly baffles me. Does Pierriot want to ship IH that much so they spent time to draw him smile like a puppy smile at her? Seeing that scene and reading the manga again make me feel sadder for them that only the anime could give such empathy toward the dead ship. Kubo is a brutal one.
It doesn't help when Ichigo has more attention toward MEN instead Orihime. The first example is Ishida. Ishida doesn't even have to call out "Kurosaki-kun", he still gets Ichigo's attention. How canon this ship is.
And the next person Ichigo takes attention is Ulquiorra. It's hard to not notice at him when you hear him calling you "stubborn like a leech". I don't know why but when the soundtrack song, "On The Precipice Of Defeat", plays, I'm laughing and thinking, "isn't it too late for that?".
Ishida definitely has a bad day because nobody knows the meaning of "polite" and "gentle" anymore. I have been thinking, it's because the sword in his gut, so Ishida wouldn't bleed much. But when Ulquiorra pulls out the sword, he will definitely bleed (despite there's no blood in the screen) and will bleed to death if no one gives him a proper treatment. (Orihime, I was looking at YOU)
Ulquiorra throws to sword to Ichigo. No blood on the sword? It passed through Ishida's gut. How wrong it is, Pierriot! Ichigo looks at his own sword in sweat and then looks back at his opponent.
Ulquiorra: Let's finish it.
The boy is confused over what he doesn't remember, but after seeing what he had done during the memory loss to his friend and his enemy. He is seriously broken, broken to the point that he has no one to ask, but his enemy. (Hello, Orihime is beside you, Ichigo. Did you forget her?)
Ulqui's voice sounds even more breathy as if he is trying hard to talk right now. Meanwhile, Ichigo's voice sounds so shaky as if it was on edge of choking. The seiyuu really express well during that scene.
While everybody views this scene as Ichigo is being stupid, I view it as very in character of Ichigo. It's Ichigo after all. He finally gets back his sense and moral. His offering to cut off his limbs to Ulquiorra is not an act of stupid, but it's more like an atonement to what he had done when he was out of control to me.
Certainly, nobody could foreseen that, even Orihime and Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra is surprise enough to stop forming his lanza.
But I view this scene as his idiocy though because Ichigo still wants to fight Ulquiorra on a fair level, but certainly we had already known how it went.
Ishida tries to stop him. However, the look in Ichigo's eyes is desperate enough for Ulquiorra to accept his wish.
Unfortunately, it can't be done as Ulqui's wing is
Ichigo is shocked at the sight. This scene is so melancholy. You can see clearly the distance between them at the beginning. Notice that Orihime is still sitting on her butt, and close to Ichigo. Ishida would be probably behind Ulquiorra's back.
Seeing the distance and knowing what will happen later between Orihime and Ulquiorra, you can note CLEARLY that she has to RUN through such kind of distance, just to come close to Ulquiorra enough to reach his hand and reach again when he's already turned into ash completely. TT__TT
Nevertheless, hearing him being annoyed and saying "tsk" gives me the feeling that it doesn't sound like he's going to die at all. He's just so conveniently turned to ash before doing anything, hence the annoyance is given. It also gives me a feeling that Ulquiorra is completely aware what happens to him and accepts it SO nonchalantly. Ichigo looks like he is crying here. But it's his sweat you see in the screencap.
Ulquiorra: Kill me
I remember that this line had cause a wank over the translation in manga where Ulquiorra said, if Ichigo didn't finish him here right now, the fight would unsettled forever. Now, when I hear it in the anime, what strikes me is not about how Ulquiorra said about the fight will unsettle if Ichigo doesn't finish him. It's about how Ulquiorra using the world "forever" (eien ni) in his context because the word he uses doesn't suit him nor his state at all. Somehow, Ulquiorra and the concept of "forever" didn't match together well to me. Because Ulquiorra speaks as if he had already known what would happen to him after he turns to ash. Yet he still thinks that it will be "forever" unsettle for the fight between him and Ichigo? But in fact, the fight had already settled. Ulquiorra lost and Ichigo won. Ulquiorra is turning to ash and is going to die and Ichigo survives. Seriously, this time, it sounds more like a request from Ulquiorra to Ichigo that he should kill him. If he is going to die by turning to ash anyway in any seconds, what is the point of asking Ichigo to kill him?
Ichigo, of course, refuses to accept such "request" and it's Ulquiorra's turn to be shocked. You can see on his face that he slowly changes back to his unreleased form starting from the lines of his tear tracks.
Ichigo yells out that "he doesn't want to win like that". You have to admit that this ep had a lot of yelling faces, yet it's good that no one's face is distorted by the animation quality. Ichigo's seiyuu amazes me with his voice when he yells shakily and after that. Everybody said that Ichigo is crying at this scene, though I think it's just him catching his breath after the hasty yell and it does sound like he's sobbing here. Kudos to Morita. This scene makes me feel sad for Ichigo a lot. Whoever felt overjoyed at his winning should go to hell. Satan had given you a chance to read Bleach right so that you could feel Ichigo's anguish, but you only think the joy of his winning during his pained moment.
Ulquiorra is shocked at Ichigo's statement enough that his iris returned back to green in his normal form.
As Ulquiorra closes his eyes, he turns away, finally gives up persuading Ichigo killing him.
He sounds so sulky and full of emotion when he says that Ichigo will never do what he wants till the end.
This scene, is it just me or Orihime just moves? Certainly not because she sat on her butt, next to Ichigo, just a moment before and only starts to stand up. Though the angle looks odd to me, for such Ichigo should be next to Orihime right? Ichigo magically and completely disappears in this scene and also the next scenes after that. This is the moment of those two only, for Ulquiorra and Orihime.
This is a nice touch from the anime. They did it once in the heart convo and they does it again in this scene. The message is clear. Everybody get it. Ulquiorra only sees Orihime in his eyes. It's her and only her who reflects in his eyes. If Orihime wished to be someone's refection before, now she gets it. Not from her FLOL, but from the one who grabbed her boobs and asked her about the heart. The message had hit home. Not to mention this scene happens during the dialogue where Ulquiorra admits to Orihime that "he was finally growing interested in you people" Seeing only Orihime in his eyes, yet talking about him interested in "you
Then we have the flashback of the heart convo starting in the same position and distance where Ulquiorra and Orihime are right now on the dome. Standing and facing each other.
Ulquiorra's infamous question "Are you afraid?" and Orihime's infamous reply "I'm not afraid" to him. The moment where eyesmexing and lipsmexing were active at fullest.
Music is playing - the cheesy, melancholy and soap soundtrack. Oh wait a minute, isn't the soundtrack during the heart convo and the hands reaching "Never Meant To Belong"? I recognize the violin sound. I think most of the soundtracks from the Lust Arc animated were from Fade To Back OST.
I really like the effect in the flashback that the anime put in. First it's starts in monochrome, and just slowly colors until the scene where Orihime smiled and told Ulquiorra about the heart. It's just like Orihime's smile and her words were what made everything turn colorful in Ulquiorra's mind.
Then we have a parallel of his hand reaching toward the "heart" in both scenes :>
In the heart convo, Ulquiorra proposed to Orihime where he could find the heart... in the chest or in the mind. Notice because of the flashback that was full of UST toward Orihime, the panel of Ichigo in the manga is completely cut off :>
On the dome, at his last moment, Ulquiorra didn't have any strength to move his body anymore. What he wants to do is just one thing. HE REACHES HIS HAND OUT TO ORIHIME. This is really a very sad scene that my heart aches so much when watching it.
I notice that the anime completely hides up the horn part up on his head. During this moment, we can only see Ulquiorra looks very much like "human" when he reaches out for Orihime.
*A* His voice is making me melt inside with all the sadness and happiness all together. When he says "onna" so tender, desperate, yearning and painful.
This is one of an interesting effects of vision in this scene. Because it does looked like that Ulquiorra's hand moves closer to Orihime so that he would wrap "all of her" in his hand. This scene might be clearly from his POV that Ulquiorra wants to be more closer to Orihime. But in reality, Ulquiorra is still, unmoving. It is Orihime that is moving CLOSER to Ulquiorra. I'm still ticking about Orihime looks like static in this scene though. (Maybe the anime didn't get it, or not enough frame to slide?)
As I remember this page, there were two things that needed to note.
First, Orihime also moves closer and reaches her hand together in sync with Ulquiorra's movement, as she did it perfectly in the OP. Yet I see none of this happens in the real hand reaching ep itself. Oh wait, it does happen, but in compare with the OP, Orihime in the OP did it better. Why? +__+
Second, Orihime in Ulquiorra's vision should be faded slowly during the hand reaching. But it seemed in the anime they chose him to fade his vision later after he's already turned to ash +__+
The zoom-in vision of Orihime continues. His hand is totally close to her heart now (literally and figuratively)
Ah, I was crying in this scene. I tried hard to hold it when I heard Ulquiorra's voice, but Yuki's voice makes me let it out. She sounds like that she wants to cry in this scene. And her line, "I'm not afraid" repeats twice. Orihime is crying here. Tears are swelling in her eyes.
Ulquiorra's "I see" is so full of relief to me. In case that you have not realized, there are both eyesmexing and lipsmexing during this "I'm not afraid" scene from both Ulquiorra and Orihime. I can't believe it. I didn't notice because of the different size of the panels in manga. Yet in the anime screen, everything is in the same size and I notices how eye-meet-eye and lip-met-lip screencaps slide in sequence like that.
This is the opposite vision effect of the hand reaching scene above. Unlike the previous scene where Ulquiorra's hand seems coming closer to Orihime, this time, his hand seems moving farther. And Orihime finally shows her reaction at the scene where his hand moves "farther".
I have the feeling that the anime butchers this page panel by panel when they switches back and forth between Ulquiorra's POV and Orihime's POV and then messes up the right timing for her to react toward Ulquiorra. They should reach and move at the same time, DAMNIT >=(
If this scene above is still in Ulquiorra's POV, I don't get the idea why his hand suddenly moves farther after he had already said "I see" in that relief tone. It doesn't look like that Ulquiorra step back at Orihime or anything (because like he said he couldn't move anymore) or Orihime step back at Ulquiorra (because she is moving closer to reach his hand, why in the world that she suddenly step back).
This scene should belong to Orihime's POV where she reaches toward him and sees him turning to ash so fast as if his hand moving farther and farther no matter how close Orihime comes closer, just like what indicated in this panel in the manga. Though, like I said, I'm still ticking at Orihime being static and only reacting when Ulquiorra's hand moves "farther" and making people think that she is hesitant to reach him. But I believe that she didn't act like that in the manga.
The hand reaching hand scene is so quick, so I have a feeling of rush here. And maybe that's what the anime wants to tell, that THIS IS THE RUSHING SCENE. A desperate scene where Orihime is rushing toward Ulquiorra with all her speed as she can grab on any part of him. As you see, the hand reaching before that, the zoom-in and zoom-out, both are in slow motion, yet in the actual HAND-REACH-HAND, it's the real speed. Before Orihime's hand could touch him, Ulquiorra's hand already turned to ash RAPIDLY. Orihime's hand grabs his RAPIDLY and MISSES and grabs RAPIDLY one more time.
Though I believe that it seems faster than what happened in the manga. The speed between top panel in the manga and screencap in anime doesn't match. DAMNIT anime.
Orihime continues to reach for him (twice at least). Then Orihime's POV occurs Ulqui who is viewed through her fingertips is being farther and farther away from her hand , still he's totally fit in the palm of her hand. I think it reflects perfectly what Orihime feels right now, she feels Ulquiorra being farther and farther away from her as she comes closer and closer.
While Ulquiorra felt like that he finally came closer to her, Orihime felt the opposite. Yet the core of feeling between them is the same. They want to connect to each other. Ulquiorra took the initiative and reached for her, he got her heart by Orihime reaching back to him. Yet, when Orihime reached back, she's failed to catch him and felt that Ulquiorra is farther away from her more. Thinking it that way, I can't help but feeling sad all over. I want Ulquiorra coming back soon.
Ulquiorra: HER HEART was right in MY HANDS.
Shippy moment is shippy no matter what version of translation it takes. This time DB did the deed and made it super shippy :3 What Ulquiorra said in Japanese is ambiguous to me though. But even without the shipping goggles, it's clear to see who else Ulquiorra refered toward to. From the moment of him reaching out to the moment of him fading, there's only one woman for him to see after all. It was HER HEART that he had in his hands.
(Shameful for those who still think that Ulquiorra realized about the heart because of IchiHime's heart. OLOLOLOL What a beautiful heart-shaped rock they had here.)
The anime let Ulquiorra faded away completely in the anime and just left Orihime and Ichigo being there awkwardly while the background faded into white. Oddly, when Ulquiorra completely faded into ash and gone with the wind, his voice is still there speaking about the heart? Even the "to be continue" page mimics the blank page with the heart character on it.