As we've seen with other series, such as One Piece, when you can release
a new movie based on the franchise that stands alone in its own way,
you can tie it to the TV series really well if you do an episode or two
in relation to it, giving it the hook to remind viewers to go see it
since they tease you well with it. The problem is that you really have
to tease well and follow through. One Piece's attempt with Strong World
gave us several really bad episodes that I can't say how well they
connected with the movie since it hasn't been released over here. So
that fell flat for me. And Bleach is likely to fall into the same trap
since who knows when it will see the light og day over here.
This episode sets up a fair bit of material that also harkens back to the past as it has Rukia doing a bit of work in the World of the Living as a delivery girl, at least briefly and not exactly consensually. Her time there ends up having her cross with Kurumadami, another Soul Reaper who is located near where Ichigo operates out of. He's kind of an amusing type with the big afro and a lack of overall smarts and skill. He makes up for it with bravery and courage but it's the kind of character that on first blush you know Rukia will be saving more than his being able to help, though he's likely to have more impact later on. Kuru comes across more as something of a slightly goofy unsuccessful yakuza type who does his best but doesn't quite make the grade.