I almost forgot about Ikumi until she was brought back again in this chapter. Initially when she was introduced in this arc I thought she would be one of the primary characters in the arc, but here it feels as if she won’t be part of the main action. I have trouble imagining her character would just be introduced then sidelined though, so there’s a good possibility she is hiding what she actually knows and could turn out to have fullbring powers or something similar. Regardless, I really think Ichigo should tell her what’s going on (which it seems he hasn’t), as hiding his situation doesn’t help anyone. It’s possible he tries to keep his friends out of dangerous situations but making people worry by leaving them hanging with nothing besides “I need a break” is no good either.
Speaking of leaving people hanging, Tsukishima as well seems to have left the fullbringers without notice or explanation (bet he started working for Aizen). The most of the rest of the chapter was spent explaining their past, about how Tsukishima used to be their leader. His true motives are no clearer than before however, aside from trying to kill Ichigo as he did with the previous shinigami substitute. Of course, the revelation that there even was another shinigami substitute surprised me, since I had thought Ichigo’s status was unique. I suppose it was unreasonable to assume that in the population there is only one human with shinigami powers. Now with his friends in trouble again, Ichigo has suddenly powered up his resolve as can be seen in the picture, and we all know that Ichigo with resolve is a hundred times more powerful than depressed Ichigo.
The plot really thickens however when Ichigo sees Urahara and Isshin, and he remembers what Ginjou told him. I still have a hard time seeing Urahara as a villain, but the seeds of doubt were certainly planted. As mentioned before, it could be that the fullbringers are the real bad guys and Tsukishima isn’t a villain. Such a plot twist would definitely be interesting, and it wouldn’t be the first time a character didn’t conform to initial impressions.