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I just want to say that it is hilarious that it seems like just about every Shinigami in Soul Society probably knows about Renji's angsty undying love for Rukia and have been watching this tragic saga unfold over the past couple of decades. And it is so cute that they're all rooting for Renji, in their own not-so-sympathetic ways. They're just like, go Renji! It doesn't matter that she's been adopted into an aristocratic family. Go talk to her, you idiot!

But on a more serious note, I ended up skipping over most of the Bount episodes because soul-sucking vampires just aren't that interesting but I love how they got all reflective in this episode and brought things back to how all of this started in the first place.

As much as I love the Renji/Rukia thing, though, I also really love the Ichigo/Rukia potential and I've never in all the years I've watched the anime and read the manga been able to settle on one ship. And I can't ship an OT3 here either because I just don't really see Ichigo/Renji. So...I'm stuck with a very unsatisfying love triangle but I want to wait until I've seen more of the recent episdoes to write more about that.
This episode legit had me tearing up for a couple of minutes. Renji and Rukia's story is just so tragic. Like, epic but tragic. He loves her so so much and for so long and he's always just wanted what he thought would make her happy. And then when she needed saving, he realized he wasn't good enough to do it himself. So for love of her, he asked the guy who just beat him in battle and who he probably thinks he'll lose her to to save her life. Renji just breaks my heart. I think he'd happily stay in the background of her life thinking that she could do so much better than him but I just want him to step up and say something.

But the sad thing is I'm not sure she sees him (yet) as anything more than her best friend and brother.

Ugh, alright, back to watching. I have quite a ways to go before I get to the episodes I haven't seen yet but I doubt this show is going to resolve any of the hundreds of love triangles it's created. Is Bleach an ongoing show or did it wrap up? I don't even know.

Edit: Also, how is it that spirits can die in Rukongai? What happens when they die? Are they reborn on Earth?

Edit #2: Also, I didn't realize this the first time I had seen it but Rukia being adopted into the Kuchiki family and graduating immediately from the Academy - did she ever complete her training under private tutelage? Or did they just throw her into the squad and let her sink or swim? She must have missed out on a lot of the education that the others got.
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