With yet another short and uneventful chapter, I sometimes wonder if I just should just read Bleach one month at a time. As it is, it feels like nothing really happens from week to week. Here we have the wrap-up of last week’s fight, showing a mostly recovered Ryuunosuke and Shino, and we also get to see exactly how Ichigo and his friends beat the hollows. They banter and bicker with each other as usual, which isn’t a big deal, but there are a couple new developments. For one, the Vizard make an appearance, though not doing much of anything, and Ikkaku in Soul Society also reveals that people in Rukongai are disappearing.

Of course the big reveal this week is “Ivan Azgiaro”, a horn-haired ass-hole in a trench coat who was hinted at last time as a “mysterious shadow” and now suddenly appears on Ichigo’s bed. A part of a broken mask over his eye implies he’s possibly arrancar, and somehow I feel his visit is not one of goodwill. Whether this implies the arrancar will be back or if he’s affiliated with some other group is unknown, but I’m hoping everything shown so far will quickly tie together. All the little teasers of unrest in the past two chapters (e.g. disappearing hollows and souls in Rukongai) haven’t been sitting well with me because of how disjoint they have felt, and how little information is actually given. I understand Kubo is probably trying to build things up little by little for a big revelation, but the presentation so far has been all over the place and the lack of focus is plain annoying. The new characters are pretty stereotypical and not very noteworthy so far either, and could easily pass for filler characters.

36 Comments

      1. Incorrect. Kubo pretty much confirmed that Grimmjow, Nell, and (maybe) Harribel would return. He did confirm that Ulquiorra is dead. And thus, UlquiHime shippers committed mass suicide…

        LaughingMan
  1. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this chapter. I guess it was cool that Ichigo and the rest are working as a Hollow Fighting Super Group finally. Only took them the whole dang series to learn to coordinate with each other.

    But…who are these new guys? Are they new main characters? Are they important? Are they just cannon fodder? I guess it’s too early to say.

    I’m gonna take a shot in the dark and say Ivan is someone from Haribel’s new Hueco Mundo army who just came to explain to Ichigo what’s happening with the hollows lately. Either that or he’s a dead in two chapters tops.

    Da5id
    1. I actually liked this chapter a lot, given how Bleach has been going lately!

      -Good classic Bleach humor at its best. Bleach is better when the mood is lax; when everyone is just chilling out. It’s (unfortunately) one of the few times we get to see Ichigo and friends interact and tease with each other. It’s too bad these moments are so few lately in the manga, whereas in the beginning, when all that mattered was Ichigo and Rukia taking down hollows, it was what made me love Bleach.

      -Cool-ass panels including our main characters in a single shot kicking ass. Finally. It’s pathetic, though, that the only chance they get to do this is with hollows, given how (unfairly) weak Ishida, Chad and Orihime are.

      -Finally, that scene with the Arrancar guy. Now that was out of the blue! Given how ridiculous Bleach has gotten with power levels and fights, I find it very difficult to be impressed at all by this manga. This was a nice slap to my face from Kubo. The bad guy walks into his room all of a sudden and introduces himself? That’s a new one, Kubo, and I appreciate the refreshing twist!

      1. But…barely anything happened! They fought hollows and the new people woke up!

        I think you may be getting a bit too enthusiastic about so little happening, but if you can still enjoy Bleach after all this, more power to ya.

        Da5id
  2. Honestly it seems like filler to me when the main antagonist isn’t revealed yet. And I am watching the Bleach anime at the Xcution arc which is sort of like that to me as well.

    random viewer
    1. Yea, I’m leaning toward vasto lorde too. Seeing how small the portion of his mask is he’s got to be a level above the espada. It’s about time their motives for intentionally staying hidden are revealed and it probably ties in with the Soul King. It’s painful how long it’s taken to get to this point of the story and it’s going to stretch on for years. >.<

      EliteF22
  3. My guess is that the low level people at Rukongai are sick of being second class. So they take it upon themselves to become soul X hollow cross breeds. Which explains why both sides are disappearing. Well, Rukongai people are not too powerful so they won’t be a threat. Hollow powers would give them a slight boost. But that is about it. The real threat is if there are some Rukongai who have the same power level as the most powerful Rukongai person (Zenpachi).

    deafvader
  4. hmm maybe that’s what it meant when Kubo refused to confirm Ulquiorra’s death. But meh this guy looks ugly, he is ugly and he is going to be annoying I predict that. Not that it needs much of a prediction. Might as well take your advice on the once a month Bleach reading.

    gawrshness
  5. I swear, Kubo has the tendency to introduce new characters in such stereotypical ways it’s almost face-palm-inducing. I just hope the new characters won’t feel like throwaway ones, and MAYBE they’ll actually affect the main characters in some way (especially since this is the final arc, I hope Kubo is brave enough to take risks with his characters).

    I read some recent interviews with Kubo where it seemed like he was really fond of Ginjou and Tsukishima. Supposedly the reason he cut the arc short and didn’t show any more of Ginjou’s backstory was because he was having a hard time writing it and he was really rushing from the amount of negativity the Fullbring Arc got. Kinda sad considering how Ginjou had such great potential and could’ve actually saved that arc, yet Kubo just brushed him off out of panic (despite supposedly being one of his most favorite characters). Go figure.

    Still, Bleach is just average at the moment. Nothing great and nothing glaringly bad.

    ronri
  6. Unfortunately, Prooof, you’re covering this series weekly while we’re not. :p So it stands that you’ll have to go through Bleach week by week.

    …unless you’re willing to post once a month about Bleach, which I’m absolutely okay with. :p

  7. Ivan Azgiaro……he really reminds me of Keyneth from Fate/zero. Anyway, I doubt Kubo is going to say that the Arrancar are the next antagonist. That’s too narrow minded. My guess is that Ichigo will be invited to see who is the new “king” or Las Noches.

    L002
  8. People have been saying that Ivan Azgiaro is a quincy-arrancar. Not sure how they came up with that as it seems quite silly. But how these souls and hollowsjust die like this it could be the work of a arrancar as you know they the only ones that can kill them.

    Yoyo
  9. Other than Mangastream no longer translating. It is correct there were no major developments in this chapter. But what “I” thought would be the re-emergence of the Quincy and another war [between them & Soul Society]! We instead get more Arrancar. So how does this put Ichigo in the middle? So how does the cryptic “We are on Ichigo’s Side” from Shinji comes to pass if at all? And there is still the missing Mayuri! The science division in crisis and he’s nowhere to be found? -Is he still digging around in Szayel’s lab or has he started something in Hueco Mundo? Still more questions than answers but since this is the FINAL ARC there’s years still to help unravel. Let’s give Kubo a chance. But hey what choice do we really have? #stopreading
    On a good note: We definitely get to see Grimmjow & Nel once again! 🙂

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