Bleach 497 – Eat My Fried Chicken
There is no relief for the desperate situation Soul Society has found itself in, as the captains reel in shock at having their bankai’s taken away from them by their opponents. Hitsugaya’s reaction goes even farther to suggest that they are also unable to communicate with their zanpakutou or release shikai. More than half of this week’s chapter is spent on Gotei 13’s response to this news, with Mayuri lamenting the foolishness of those who lost their bankai and the remaining captains rushing to the front lines. Although there’s no evidence yet to suggest that the Quincies would actually be able to use these stolen powers against the shinigami, that possibility is not out of the question, especially when considering what the Full-bringers did to Ichigo in the previous arc. At the very least, they may be able to absorb the spiritual power and use some of it to their own advantage, as Kirge did to the three fraccion’s Ayon.
Even without bankai though, I’m interested in seeing how these upcoming fights will turn out, mostly because they involve some of the stronger captains. They’ll still be fighting in the dark though, unless Mayuri can discover and relay information about their opponent’s abilities and weaknesses to them. Shunsui attacks a handgun-wielding Colonel Sanders, but is grazed in the eye. It’s hard to imagine him or some of the other more powerful captains being defeated, but at this point the power levels are so messed up, anything could happen. More and more it seems like Ichigo will become their last hope once more, especially since he is at least somewhat resistant to the Vandenreich’s ability, though he may be stuck with Kirge for a while.