With mostly set up and not much fighting or development, this chapter felt quite short, but I’m cautiously optimistic about what’s to come. Unfortunately, Kenpachi, who finished his fight in about half a second, is pretty bored now so we may not get much more entertainment from his end. Yukio apparently didn’t give poor Giriko a few extra lives like I had expected, so I’m not exactly sure of the extent of his powers. As for the rest of the match-ups, they feel suitable and should be mildy interesting, if not a little generic. The new looks of the captains and possible new moves have perked my interest slightly, but the whole thing just feels like a giant action game (as it turns out, that’s not entirely untrue). I still can’t imagine any of the shinigami losing against mere humans though, unless the Xcution’s stolen powers turn out to be really godly.
Now to start the pre-match commentary: Ichigo and Ishida face off against Ginjou, which is fitting given the things he did to them. Though Ishida likely isn’t going be able to do much, he does provide an interesting observation that would have otherwise never crossed Ichigo’s mind though, and I have a feeling that his “suspicions” may turn out to be true. Hitsugaya gets to fight Yukio, and though ice boy has never felt particularly strong, it wouldn’t be fun to watch if he struggled too much against his opponent. However, the fight with the most plot potential will perhaps be Rukia vs. Riruka, with the possibility of the latter defecting. So far things feel pretty lighthearted and I’m not sure what to make of her cursed stuffed animals or cute bunny ears, but it’ll be interesting to see what Rukia can do against her. And finally, Byakuya is paired with Tsukishima himself, and I really cannot wait to see the bishie captain kick his ass. Byakuya may be rather arrogant, but he does have a strong sense of justice and fights honorably, unlike his opponent. Hopefully he will make good on his promise to kill Tsukishima before he can even attack, but at the moment it is very unclear whether that will actually happen.
My expectations overall remain average, and as for now I do wish that these matches don’t last for too long (Kenpachi’s fight was perfect).