I doubt anyone is seriously surprised at the fact that Aizen survived even after getting most of his chest blasted out and his Hougyoku taken away. With the flashbacks and also the final scene, it seems pretty clear that Gin is going to be dead very soon. It’s a disappointment really, I had wished to see more of his character but it looks like he’s just going to be trashed just like Tousen. Aizen wrecked Gin’s hand when he tried to grab the stone and is going to kill him with just a slash to the chest while the other captain-level shinigami (the good guys) are temporarily incapacitated. I’m sure most people are very annoyed seeing Sosuke continue touting his god-like abilities without adequate reason and now metamorphosed (yet again) into some kind of butterfly; it seems like it’s all buildup for an epic final battle between him and Ichigo, but it’s only getting lamer as it drags out. My suspension of belief is reaching its limits, and characters are becoming very uninteresting.
The chapter itself felt very short, and there was nothing shocking revealed. Between the intermittent flashbacks and action, I was also slightly confused at certain panels. There’s a scene which will need to be clarified showing a young Gin watching Aizen and three subordinates holding what looks like the Hougyoku, and Matsumoto beat-up lying on the ground nearby wearing non-shinigami clothing. That aside, hopefully the story will start moving forward now to the final battle without any more pointless interruptions.
Again, I’ve been having a tight schedule recently so posts are late this week.