I really could not stop laughing at Riruka’s reaction to seeing Ichigo. Her reaction makes it seem as if she has been extremely deprived of pretty boys to squeal over and although this isn’t a shoujo manga, I’ll admit Ichigo does have his bishounen moments. Regardless it was completely unexpected and out of place, and the result was actually very humorous. As for the actual bulk of the chapter this week, Ginjou spent most of it explaining more information about their identity. Chad is allegedly also one of the Fullbringers and I assume the powers he had developed previously were part of this status. Their purported motive seems believable enough — wishing to get rid of their powers much like Ichigo is often at odds with his hollow powers. Chad tells Ichigo that he knows that Ichigo powers to protect his friends, but the whole interaction in that scene felt rather stiff to me and wasn’t believable. It’s also not very clear how giving Ichigo the Fullbringer powers would also restore his shinigami powers and there’s a few jumps in logic (in Ginjou’s explanation), but if it does work, Ichigo is in for a major power-up, likely to be far beyond his pre-loss ability. If they are telling the truth, the deal is pretty much a no-brainer, and Ichigo doesn’t have anything to lose.
I’ve often ranted about how Bleach just seems to be getting very formulaic, repeating the cycle of new characters followed by new powers followed by defeating some enemies; it really is getting repetitive after so many years. However here I’m actually pretty interested in seeing how this turns out for Ichigo and seeing the potential of extremely powerful set of abilities. Of course, it would still be better if the story didn’t settle back into the same old plot with Ichigo powering up then having to go save his friends and fight a couple baddies of increasing strength.