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.