…..better animation and plot than canon material, yup. It never fails to amuse me how the filler material is always better than Kubo’s canon stuff, which is purely down to the cyclical time management of Jump animation projects. Usually when canon material is more or less being played out on TV, the movies are in development, and the latter takes precedence in terms of team resources. So the canon episodes on TV are just an unrecognizable mush of bad animation, made even worse by the bad original writing of the various Jump authors in their mangas.
That reminds me though….haven’t I seen this before?
Hmmm. Well, I guess if ripping off Blackest Night was OK for Kishi, Kubo can have a turn too. The amusing thing is that Kishi made a complete bland stew out of decent material, so I’m wondering if Kubo will turn the half-assed Secret Invasion into something palatable. (There is also a fine line besides ripping off something for your source manga and doing it for throwaway anime storylines) The setup, with Soul Society fighting against “itself”, also seems to be a variant of the Zanpakutou Rebellion arc, except with presumably more backstabbing. This being shounen and being Bleach, I don’t expect that to be very prominent a plot feature because it’ll probably still resolve itself into the familiar fight-challenge boilerplate patterns. Fans will get their wish of custom fight pairings, but I suspect they’re going to be disappointed in a lot of cases, because copouts WILL happen. A nice touch in this first episode is the canon references to the original manga events (specifically in the Deicide chapters/episodes), which makes for some nice continuity.
P.S: Is this the first time in a long while Ichigo’s bankai speed is shown explicitly? That’s hilarious and sad all together.