Unfortunately, Aizen turns out to be immortal, supporting the notion that he will still be around causing a lot more trouble. You have to feel bad for Ichigo and his (now non-existent) powers. However, it is not clear whether Aizen will play a role in the next arc yet. Yes, he is sentenced to 20,000 years in the “Avici” prison, but from experience we know that sealing away a villain is just asking him to come back. As for the Central 46 chambers, they are the same egotistic kangaroo court from the Soul Society arc; supposedly all the old members had been slaughtered by Aizen, but the new ones are no more interesting. For once it was awesome seeing Aizen (who is back to his cocky self) trash talk them and as expected they are easily ruffled and will not tolerate dissent one bit.
There was a lot of random (and disjointed) development in this chapter, and the situation in Soul Society has been largely returned to the state it was in before the arc. Big surprise: characters not mentioned last time are revealed to be just fine; Yamamoto for one is back to his uptight self, albeit with one less arm. Everything that happened in the past few years has suddenly become almost irrelevant. Matsumoto is reminiscing about Gin (she probably loved him) and several of the other shinigami are busy training as they have realized that their powers are severely lacking, but otherwise, life is normal. Yet again, it is confirmed that no good guys will ever die. More and more of Bleach plot feels forced.
As for Ichigo’s collapse last time, it turns out it was simply due to the loss of his shinigami powers. After a month he finally wakes up, and just minutes later Rukia starts to disappear as Ichigo can no longer sense spiritual beings. This was one moment that should have been lengthened out a bit; everything in this chapter was so sudden. I thought it was an important point and could have been fleshed out nicely as opposed to the fights/arguments that get dragged out far too long. The moment they had together was touching and a bit sad. I’m surprised that he is losing all of his spiritual power since he still should have hollow powers, but I seriously doubt this is truly a farewell; Ichigo is likely to regain his spiritual powers somehow. Plus even if he didn’t, a gigai always allows him to see her again. Orihime’s hax time-reversing powers aren’t mentioned either, which could fix everything from lost arms to shinigami powers.
I felt that the end of this arc could have been made into a nice conclusion for the series; too bad this will not be so. Again and again, good guys pretty much never die and even the main villain is impossible to kill (I’m thinking Team Rocket or the Joker). This allows for a never-ending series and also causes more and more plot problems to arise.