Time skip to 17 months later, Ichigo’s life is relatively normal and uneventful now. He’s a senior now, Rukia hasn’t been showing up, and Ishida handles the hollow fighting. Most of his friends seem to be aware of his past as a shinigami, and perhaps due to the loss of his powers, his sister Karin’s spiritual power has been increasing. It would be very interesting to see her gain shinigami or hollow powers and fight alongside the other characters and if this arc will focus less on opponents with insane powers, it is viable. It’s also nice to see some of Ichigo’s classmates again, and I wouldn’t mind if they played a bigger role in the coming arc, especially Tatsuki. As for Ichigo himself, he still has his fighting skills and is bad-ass as ever, bare-handedly taking on a mugger with a knife; this real world side of him hasn’t been featured for a while, and I don’t mind seeing it at all since the whole show of one-upping each other with new abilities is definitely getting repetitive. Luckily the introduction chapter here seems pretty open ended, so it could still go in any direction. While the new character does have a sinister aura and gives off Aizen vibes, I’m not going to put him as an antagonist just yet — it is possible he’s affiliated with Zero Squad (which still has not shown up in the story) and is around just to size up Kurosaki. Him aside, there’s not much else to say here, but I do have high hopes that this arc could be a refreshing one. It would be good if Ichigo does not get back his powers and there was a more complex plot and character development as opposed to the normal battle after battle before the big final fight. I want to see Ichigo deal with the problems he faces without using his spiritual power and with less involvement from Soul Society.