As predicted, Ginjou and Tsukishima spends a little time explaining their methods, gloating, and bickering (I have to admit though, their plan was pretty good). As predicted, they wanted to develop Ichigo’s powers then take them away for their own uses. And finally, as many people predicted, the mystery shinigami was indeed Rukia. But Rukia suddenly stabbing Ichigo right through the chest — now that was unexpected. As soon as I saw her, I remembered what happened 400+ chapters ago and hit myself for not thinking of it before. Shinigami ability transfer, how could we have forgotten.
This chapter certainly brought back a wave of nostalgia and got me pretty pumped up all of a sudden. Things aren’t quite the same of course, for example Rukia definitely looks different, so much that I almost didn’t recognize her, and it looks like she finally got that promotion to lieutenant. Ichigo’s shinigami form has also been altered: there are more curves on the end of the blade that make it look like a cleaver-battle axe cross, the strip cloth is gone, replaced by a short chain, and his attire has also changed. That’s probably explained by the fact that his power was transferred from someone else, and that he also has remnants of other types of powers mixed in probably explains it. The first time they did it, Ichigo’s zanpakutou also looked different from Zangetsu, and now he also has/had hollow, FGT, full-bring forms. Of course the question now is whether Ginjou and Tsukishima and their full-brings can deal with reiatsu-based powers along with a very pissed Ichigo, but with Urahara and Isshin on the scene too, I don’t really think they would be able to do all that much.