Bleach - 9: Unbeatable Enemy

Episode:9: Unbeatable Enemy
While visiting their mother's grave, Yuzo and Karin come under attack by an unusually large hollow. Ichigo and Saidou break off their duel and race to the rescue. Once there, Ichigo is shocked to recognize the girl who was present when his mother was killed. Rukia recognizes the hollow as "The Ground Fisher", which uses a transforming appendage growing out of it's head as a lure to attract humans with "high spirit density". It has been evading capture for 50 years, and prefers women as it's prey. Ichigo is filled with rage as he confronts his mother's killer, and insists that Rukia not intervene--"This is my fight!"...
Giving a strange yet believable technique to each hollow that Ichigo battles would be a good way of keeping the fights interesting. This episode was largely composed of combat, followed by reflections on his mother's fate and an important decision on Ichigo's part. I still find it hard to believe he's only 15 years old, though. It must be hard to design animated characters who look just the right age, because I've noticed a number lately who definitely look either too old or too young--"Paradise Kiss" may be the greatest offender!

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