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Bleach Episode 10: Heroes Can Save You

Written by Hikaru no Michiru

First Aired: December 6th, 2004

Corresponds with “Bleach” Vol. 3, Chapters 27 - 32

Opening: Asterisk, by Orange Range

Ending: Life is Like a Boat, by Rie Fu

Don Kon'anji, tv super star.

Drop-In Holy Ground! The hit reality show all the kids at school are talking about! Don Kon’anji, a T.V. spiritualist, exorcises ‘mean spirits’ every week when he drops into a random location, and this week it's a hospital in Ichigo's town. Ichigo refuses to go on the basis he finds it to be a very stupid show. He shows up anyway.

After an entrance by Don Kon’anji, the audience makes their way to the hospital for the show. On the way over, Orohime apologizes to Ichigo for asking him to come, since she just found out from Tatsuki that he hates these kinds of shows. Ichigo’s fine with it, and he says he came since his dad and sisters are such huge fans. It would be sad to let them go by themselves. Orohime goes on to catch up to Tatsuki, leaving Ichigo alone with the newly arrived Rukia. Rukia jests with Ichigo that his battles with hollows are going to be harder from now on, and he should use this time to relax. Ominous words in any anime, mind you.

“If Don Kon’anji is going exorcise a ghost, why haven’t the soul reapers taken care of it all ready?”

A spirit chained to the hospital.

Ichigo inquires. Rukia explains that the ghosts that haunt locals such as these tend to be earth-bound ghosts, ghosts chained to their location and almost never show up on Soul Society sensors. She goes on to explain that there is only one condition for earth-bound spirits to show themselves: when the living enters their territory. Ghostly screaming fills the air, only to be heard by Ichigo and a few of his associates. It sounds like a hollow’s, but not quite. The process of becoming a hollow is a painful one, and judging from the pain in this ghost’s scream, he is months from becoming a danger. Ichigo notices it feels like a hollow, but it doesn’t have the white mask, and the hole in his chest isn’t open yet. Rukia explains the hole in a hollow’s chest is a mark they have lost their heart and become an embodiment of instinct. The mask shields the exposed instinct from the physical world. Enough hollow talk, the show is starting.

Don Kon’anji thrusts his ‘spirit stick’ into the earth-bound spirit’s hole, twisting and turning as it screams in pain. Rukia and Ichigo realize this will speed up the hollow process, makes an attempt to stop the T.V. star, only to be grabbed by Security. A cane suddenly separates Ichigo’s soul from his body. He turns to see Urahara (with the cane) and his employees, who have come to see the show. Ichigo rushes to the scene, and knocks Kon’anji to the ground. Kon’anji deduces Ichigo must be fan so loyal that he’s following his idol even after the grave. No time for proper introductions, the ghost behind them just exploded into nothing. When a hollow forms, it disperses and recollects somewhere else. As the crowd praises their hero, a frog hollow appears atop the hospital. The hollow leaps down to strike. Ichigo knocks it away, and tells Kon’anji to run away. Kon’anji refuses, telling Ichigo he should run away. Before froggy can retaliate, Ichigo drags the TV medium into the abandoned hospital for a timeout.

The hero for the children.

Kon’anji explains that the reason he can’t run away, is because he’s a hero. His show gets 25% of the ratings, which means one out of every four people in Japan is watching. Most of those people are children. They watch his adventures every week, and their hearts dance. They watch him go against spirits, and learn something of courage. When they’re watching, he cannot run away. While the two decide to fight inside to not endanger the public, the frog hollow pops into the hallway. Ichigo takes a swing at it, only to get his sword stuck in the wall. These hallways are too narrow, which means he can’t swing his sword. The frog hollow launches green goo from his mouth, sticking Ichigo’s hands together with his sword (which means he can’t aim right). Their battle continues to the roof.* Ichigo gets pinned to the railing by the hollow’s goo. The hollow leaps to devour him, only to be

Kon'anji steps in.

stopped by Kon’anji, who thrust his spirit stick between its teeth to save the boy. As Kon’anji’s spirit stick cracks, he fires a ball of light, releasing Ichigo from the grasp of the goo. Ichigo makes quick work of the frog hollow. Kon’anji leaps for joy over a glorious victory, but Ichigo tells him to quit it and look at the felled hollow. Kon’anji witnesses the white mask dissipate, revealing the face of the man he had been ‘exorcising’ earlier. Ichigo reveals the truth behind hollows to the bewildered TV star. Kon'anji falls to

 Don Kon'anji, a hero.

his knees in guilt. All this time, he’s done nothing but make monsters of good people, all the while the crowd cheers Kon’anji’s name. Ichigo tells him to get up, and face the children who find bravery in him, who are chanting his name right now. That’s what a hero does. With new found courage, Kon’anji gets to his feet and fills the crowd with the sensation of a happy ending.


*This events in this battle went in a slightly different order in the manga, but all in all it’s the same fight.

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