Build-up of the plot is still going on a snails pace, and all we get this week is a few more dangling bits of information. For one, Inoue and Ishida both revealed that something was “off” about Ichigo’s presence; it was all very vague however and just hinted that there was some sort of reiatsu around Ichigo. Of course they are both far more sensitive to these kind of things than Ichigo himself, so it’s unlikely he knows anything himself. However, I do hope it’s not Ichigo’s powers coming back just like that..

As for the ramen guy, he is acting as sinister as ever — or at least Kubo is portraying him as such. He’s got the Aizen-smile, villain shadow, and an obsession for ramen. He obviously knows more than he is revealing and looks like he is playing dumb half the time, and naturally both Ichigo and Ikumi are rather suspicious. There are far too many coincidences to not be pre-planned. He reveals that he is looking into Isshin, and aptly asks Ichigo if he knows enough to answer. As far as we know Ichigo is still in the dark about the matter since he claimed he would not question his father on his shinigami past until Isshin personally decides to talk about it. Something big has definitely happened in the past involving Isshin and it likely involves the circumstances around Ichigo’s birth as well. Ramen guy also reveals that there are a ton of things Ichigo does not know about his family and so I’m guessing this arc will feature Ichigo’s family members prominently. Now that his sister Karin is paying a visit to Urahara, she is probably going to be in on the action too, which should prove pretty interesting. While it would be better if this arc abstained from the ridiculous cycle of powers and powerups, I also don’t want to see any more weak, and therefore almost plot-irrelevant, characters such as Ishida or Chad. It would also be good if Karin played some a role other than one involving shinigami powers (because hollow powers would be so much cooler :P). For now though, she’s probably just getting/exchanging information from Urahara, who always knows a bit more than the other characters. As I stated before though, I’m not convinced the ramen guy is a villain yet and the vagueness of all the recent chapters keeps things in the air.

47 Comments

  1. I am actually glad of the slow plot, because the time is not spent in battle. It gives Kubo chance to hopefully this time weave a good story, get a nice base going without leaning on the crutch of Aizen to pull things out of his arse

    minarge
    1. Actually, the slow development style started with Aizen’s arc. It is one of the factors that made it seem irritating for someone who is following it weekly.

      I noticed that his pace has become faster and there has been much more dialogue when the new arc started. Except for this last chapter though. The intense staring contests that waste a lot of pages are back again!

      dxb_blackwolf
  2. Shinigami Karin! (I hope I hope I hope I hope…)

    Other than that, older Jinta is still a jerk, older Ururun is awesome, and Ichigo is an idiot. We (the reader) know that ramen guy knows who Ichigo is, Ichigo doesn’t know that for sure, so play dumb, ask ramen guy what sort of info he’s after, etc, instead of just jumping in his face.

    Shiden
  3. RE power level = relevance.

    I do agree the power level of Ichigo (and Aizen) had gotten so silly that it sort of reduced the rest of the fights to undramatic filler/stalling because you knew already that even if the not Ichigo good guy won they wouldn’t be strong enough to beat full power Aizen and even if the not Aizen bad guy won they wouldn’t be strong enough to beat full power Ichigo.

    I do give it credit though for not sinking all the way down to DBZs level, since the possibility of death is still dramatic (though with Orihime mortal wounds are nothing), and at least Urahara (with his sealing spell) made a real contribution to Aizens defeat that wasn’t just stalling for time, killing underlings, or helping Ichigo get stronger.

    Also, totally hoping Ishida will get a better role this arc, he’s in a good position to go back to being a real lancer.

    Necromas
  4. Honestly, this build up arc is reminding me of the time a trillion years ago when I still really liked Bleach. The whole pre-Soul Society arc where characters were actually interesting and people did things that made sense rather than those jackasses in soul society continuously burying things that will come back to bite them in the ass.

    After the insane mishandling of the entire second half of the Aizen fight (after he took out Halibel) I’m happy that Bleach is headed in a new direction.

    Ninjasuperspy
  5. I hope karin does’nt gain shinigami power because she’ll have a hollow too so what’s the point in having ichigo. Kubo add too many characters in his story for nothing.
    Don’t forget that bleach is more about shinigami than anything else. So ichigo will have his power back soon.
    But maybe when he lost all his power he gains something else.

    cafard
  6. I like this slower pace. back when it was all fight fight fight, fans were complaining that there was no character developement going on and that the plot wasn’t going anywhere. Now we get some of that good ‘ol stuff and they still ain’t happy! There’s no pleasing some people…..

    Science
  7. I like the slow pace too! XD Kubo can come up with something good and while the last arc was a little disappointing, I think of it as a introduction to the final two arcs where some of the character/plt developement will stem from. Soul Society arc was so far the best though.

    BLah
  8. I’m very on board for a Karin centered story. I always liked her character, and was sort of sad about how she was downplayed. Now that she’s older, the time seems right. Another chapter ends with someone saying the name “Kurosaki” in a weird way. A new type of cliffhanger would be nice :P. Karin has had surprisingly few lines so far as well. That is, assuming she will be playing a crucial roll this time. Either way, I’m excited:).

    LaN
    1. Also considering that this arc will (i hope) follow the quest to unanswered questions to ichigo’s, i expect more flashbacks than actual fighting. I don’t expect Ichigo to fight anyone to get answers, although it will be interesting if they tell his father’s exploits.

      Jack Vojack
  9. I’m rather sure Isshin got his powers sealed some 20 years ago by Urahara, met Ichigos mother as a human had three kids and due to the lack of power was unable to sense ground fisher nor save her from dying.

    Karin should not know any more than Ichigo inless she has figured it out all by herself witch is not impossible considering she is infidently smarter than Ichigo.

    Considering this the “Kurosaki” family the ramen guy is talking about must be Ichigos father and possibly his siblings or forfathers. Then again, timeline and sense in Blech is as wiered and messed up as in Dragonball…

    Izland
  10. @Poiira – That was always a bit of a let down that she never joined the gang as a fighting member. Then again by the Arrancar arc the power levels had begun to spin so far out of control that she really couldn’t enter in without a massively ham fisted plot twist. Hopefully she’ll develop something now that the we have a reset in place.

    synkronized
    1. It hasn’t been stolen, man… It was the ramen guy’s own badge. Ichigo didn’t even have his badge with him (he gave his bag to his friend before he went after the robber), and his didn’t have a chain on it.

      viral
  11. Obviously Ramen Guy = Aizen’s long lost never mentioned twin brother who is plotting to ressurect Aizen from the depth of his prizon in Soul Society!

    Why? Because Ramen guy LOOKS LIKE AIZEN!!! DUM DUM DUM

    YanDaMan
  12. It’s been a while since BLEACH had this kind of pace… and I personally like how Kubo is slowly building up towards a new climax. Since the introduction of the Soul Society and the Gotei 13 (and Aizen, in particular), BLEACH’s storyline was literally “trapped” until Kubo finds a way to finally get rid of Aizen. In fact, I was pretty much convinced that BLEACH will end as soon as the conflict with Aizen is resolved.

    As for the current arc, it is a huge possiblity that Karin will end up acquiring some kind of ability just like her brother… if not, she will at least play an important role in the story. As usual, Urahara probably knows what the heck is going on but keeps it to himself until the right moment. On the other hand, I also believe that Ichigo will get some kind of power during this arc (after all, dealing with supernatural stuff is what makes BLEACH, “BLEACH”)… However, I hope he doesn’t gain any of his OWN shinigami powers back (it makes the FINAL Getsuga Tensho “not-so-final” after all the shenanigans he had to go through in order to acquire it). It’s more realistic for Ichigo to regain his dormant hollow powers, or at least acquire a DIFFERENT shinigami power through other means (i.e. he won’t be using Zengetsu anymore, but acquire somebody else’s powers…. say, for example, obtain Isshin’s powers and weild Engetsu instead). This scenario isn’t completely unthinkable in the “realm” of BLEACH. After all, Kaname Tosen did something similar when he obtained Suzumushi from his deceased friend (although, I do understand that the situation was slightly different).

    I don’t particularly hate having Chad, Uryu, and Orihime around… but it would be nice to not have them play any major roles this time – especially Orihime. They need to sit this one out and get a break from being on the spotlight with Ichigo all the time. Their characters are starting to get overused – if this keeps up, Kubo will have to give them another batch of “power-ups” (or something along those lines) to keep them interesting. The same goes with the members of the Gotei 13. Although there are certain Soul Society characters that probably needs some attention (heck, we still don’t know the name and ability of Zaraki’s zanpakutou, nor have we seen the bankai of several captains and Visoreds… just to name a few), I think it’s good idea to start a fresh new story before revisiting these “unsolved mysteries”.

    Speaking of revisiting older characters, I wonder if Kubo is planning to create a future arc that involves Nel and the other remaining hollows/arrancars in Hueco Mundo? Poor lil’ Nel was literally lost in all that commotion during and after Ichigo’s fight with Aizen…

    けんた
    1. I agree that the slow pace is nice. I was missing the character development as we haven’t really seen it in a while.

      We have two remember two things when it comes to Ichigo’s powers (or shinigami powers in general). First, your zanpaktou is born with the person, one in the same. When one dies, so does the other. That said, I doubt that Ichigo could ever weild Engetsu, but will always have Zangetsu (Mugetsu, if you will). Did Tosen just take the katana or did he actually use his friend’s zanpaktou? This does seem to be a bit of a plot hole???
      Second, Mugetsu is Ichigo’s true power. Because Ichigo was human, his development as a shinigami (and potentially the fear in his heart) caused Mugetsu to split into Zangetsu and Hollow Ichigo. Thus, Ichigo’s power is both Hollow and Shinigami. He does not have a “dormant” hollow living inside him.
      I do agree, however, that if it has taken his father years and years to get his power back, then Ichigo should not have it back after one year.

      I actually hope that Ishida, Chad, Orihime, and Tatsuki all have a bigger role. I feel like in the last arc, the really didn’t do much but a few small battles and then get in the way. And although Orihime is one of my favorite characters, she hasn’t been particularly useful through the series.

      SeguraRanas
  13. can we just nickname ramen guy Naruto? XD whenever I look at him, I think of Naruto (even though physical appearance is OBVIOUSLY completely different) but I agree, he doesn’t seem like a bad guy… just… he’s putting up an act… like… Snape from Harry Potter or Gin

    Rise~N Seraphim
  14. In the dark is where bleach needs to be, just a fading memory. Aizen is still alive and this Agent0 character is probably trying to find Isshin to get his own shinigami powers back. Plus serious Ichigo…kidnapped….by an average woman?! That made no sense to me whatsoever.

    Kaine
  15. I think that isshin is going to be the while arc of the new story and I bet that the mom’s probably some special being as well (hollow!?) He should really do something with the idea of hell since we don’t know mich about that too. The ramen dude I think probably has to with isshin’s past.

    Maskedfoo

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