By now it’s fairly clear that the group of masked intruders declaring hostilities against Soul Society is affiliated with the Quincies, especially with the German terms involved. They seem to be somewhat different from the Ishida-brand of Quincy, but their attack styles and strategizing are consistent with what we’ve seen. I can only assume Ivan is also working for them, and his arrancar-like mask and giant four-barreled cannon make me think that the Quincies may have developed new abilities, secret weapons or alliances that emboldened them to take on Soul Society. There is a reference to the “Vandenreich” that will destroy Soul Society, which I presume is either the name of their group or some other unknown force. They seem confident enough to take on Captain Yamamoto himself, and manage to defeat his lieutenant in one attack. It would probably be wise to treat them as a formidable force, at least more so than the disappointing performance of Ishida throughout the series.

Ichigo is still not sure what to make of Ivan, but his actions imply that his mission is to neutralize the threat that Ichigo poses to whatever master plan they are putting into action. He taunts Ichigo into releasing his bankai and immediately attempts to seal/destroy it. Luckily Ichigo is at the top of his game, and he breaks the seal with ease. No surprise for us there, as enemies tend to underestimate Ichigo’s power by a lot. No new attacks or abilities yet either, but hopefully there will be epic battles to come in this “thousand-year war” and the excitement will continue to build. Of course, if the new enemy is Quincy, one big plot point will also be about what Ishida and his father will decide to do.

On a side note, the cover this week confused me as to the role Ryuunosuke will have in this arc. Last week I downplayed his character as “filler” and not likely to contribute anything to battles, but I’m not sure if I should interpret the image with Ichigo standing behind him and encouraging him to mean anything significant about what’s to come.

69 Comments

  1. “hey, you should totally take out your bankai”

    “I think that guy wants me to take out my bankai. Just to be sure, I better take out my bankai”

    “lol it was trap”

    I guess the only subversion is that he was able to get out of it easily.

    Da5id
    1. Wouldn’t it be funny if this actually worked and ended up killing Ichigo?

      After all the pointless power-up and spotlight hogging, Ichigo gets done in by a random guy with absolutely no foreshadowing or prior mention. Just like the first squad lieutenant.

      MasterDragonKnight
  2. How aBOUT an enemy with combination of Quincy, fullbrings, bounto, ararncar, adjuchas, vasto lorde, shinigami representative, inhabitants of hell, Ryopunggi villages VS Soul Society + Ichigo & his amazing friends.

      1. From the beginning, no one has sat at the top. Not you, not me, not even the gods. But today, that unbearable vacancy on the throne of heaven shall be filled. From now on… I shall sit atop Orihime’s breasts.

  3. I am extremely glad that he didn’t lose his bankai/powers (yet). Every arc has required Ichigo to regain his powers and we just came from an arc (admittedly the shortest in the series) that was nothing but Ichigo getting back his powers. It’s been done … 4(?) times now in this series, I hope we don’t need to go through that. Again.

    SAScans
  4. – I am betting that the end epilogue will be told by that kid once the series ends or something.

    – Anyone else noticed it? Ivan is using quincy cross as a weapon, has something that looks like arrancar mask and is capable of using a kido techniques.

    – Also interesting is that Ivan is russian name. Also he is not masked and his uniform looks entirely different. With all the WWII parallels I would not be surprised if there are TWO different enemies the “german” and the “russian” ones.

    – Still holding on to the theory of vandenreich being from Royal Realm. Why? We never learned the name of royal realm and vandenreich according to japanese translation above that word is supposed to be “Unseen/Undiscovered/Royal Realm/Empire”(which would make it wandenreich). Considering quincy is a teaching a spiritually aware clan of humans learned from “older things known as magic hunters” and all the angelic themes surrounding it, I Would not be surprised if this so called W/Vandenreich consists of arrancars, shinigami and humans who additionally to their usual power have embraced the quincy teachings too. Hell, maybe some of them are characters we know(would explain why Aizen called Urahara “Agent of soul king” and why they are masked, as well as it would explain Ikaku’s comment about the citizens being “gathered by one of their own”)

    unknownvoice
      1. I am betting that Squad Zero is either:

        1) exactly these guys. Because Squad Zero is supposed to be Royal Guards, what if Royal Guards are consisting of Shinigami, Arrancar and other species all having accepted the quincy-like teachings(from which quincies actually learned theirs)

        2) there’s no squad zero and those promoted to squad zero have been used to fuel Soul King somehow, ala God Emperor of Mankind from WH40k lore.

        unknownvoice
  5. Also this chapter pretty much confirms that Ichigo is something special. Possibly SS pet project of sorts, the bleach version of “kwisatz haderach” from Frank Herbert’s Dune novels. Would explain on how Aizen “knew him since he was born” as well as why Ukitake and Shunsui talked about him as if they knew him for far longer than they did in the end of previous arc.

    unknownvoice
  6. Saw this theory about the origins of the Vandenreich on a forum without a source given, but it sounds plausible so:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Moeronic
    1. I don’t think you need to spoiler tag that, because that is really dumb and you’re retarded for thinking it’s ‘plausible’. Sure it’s and anime and pretty much anything can happen, but you’re still stupid.

      Sorry for sounding mean but you deserve it.

      Seven
      1. Since when has posting a forum theory warranted such hateful attacks? Think before you speak, man.

        “you don’t need a spoiler tag because ur retarded herp derp. you deserve me insulting you, trolololol”

        Do you have any idea of how much of an asshole you sound?

        Da5id
      2. What’s wrong with sounding like what I was aiming for?

        but really be honest, do you think that has even a little chance of happening.

        I do think before I speak which that guy clearly does not.

        Seven
      3. So…you WANTED to sound like an asshole? Well, mission accomplished.

        And whether it has any chance of happening or not isn’t the point. Use a little goddamn tact.

        Clearly you don’t think that much.

        Da5id
      4. It’s the internet, you are judge by how smart you sound. End of story. And how you are judged determines how much respect you get.

        Sound like a retard; get treated as one. Simple as that.

        But you are right, it has nothing to do with it happening or not. It is how stupid he looked saying it.

        Seven
      5. That doesn’t excuse you to be that disrespectful for such a trivial reason.

        Sound like a retard and get treated like one, eh? You seem to be a pretty good example of that.

        General social norms exist on the internet too, and that has a big effect on how you’re judged. At least, that’s the case here.

        Da5id
      6. Ha! “social norms” on the internet. Good one.
        Really now though. How have I sounded like a retard. I know for a fact I sounded mean, but not retarded.
        I don’t see why you are getting so upset. I had a better opinion of you, but seeing how easy it is to make you mad I don’t any more. Not that my opinion of you matters at all over the internet.

        Seven
      7. I’m just saying you didn’t need to go that far, and the fact that you felt you needed to probably isn’t gonna help you win anyone over. Especially not with your “absolute” theory about how people are judged on the internet. Take that however you like.

        Now can we just enjoy the ridiculous japanese comic book about about dead japanese people fighting mexican demons?

        Da5id
      8. If we are only to judge people on how smart each post makes them sound then you are starting to sound very silly Seven. I think you may be spending too much time in the “wild west of the internet” pretending to be a bad ass cowboy or something, but generally on discussion boards like this if you disagree with someone you should reply with actual content in your post not just resort to saying things like “you’re dumb and I’m right” as that really does just make you look silly.

        Tori no uta
      9. “It’s the internet, you are judge by how smart you sound. End of story. And how you are judged determines how much respect you get.”

        Yeah Seven you’re absolutely right. Given from all the downvotes you are getting, seems to me like the internet has judged YOU the retard. Oh the irony.

        YanDaMan
      10. Given the new rating system it was hilarious only seeing this as a one sided conversation. And the beauty of it is that based on Da5id’s comments I knew I was better off just leaving seven’s comments hidden.

        a42
    2. Are you kidding? One has no relevance over the other. How rude I am has nothing to do with how smart I am. I really wish I could laugh at you for what you just said, but all I can do is pity you.

      Seven
      1. “Best” worst troll wannabe I have seen in a long time, seven is soo bad he is kind of funny for his bold failed atempt of a successfull come back.

        And here i thougt that RC was kind of troll free (not really, but at least it has respectfull trols, to call them some way)

        Kob264
    1. Ahaha… fuck no. The last chunk of truly entertaining chapters in Bleach (I mean entertaining in the way they’re supposed to be, not “so-fucking-stupid-that-it-becomes-entertaining”) were the ones with Mayuri in it.

      TOP2NE1
  7. Not sure how long the arc will be but there are number of things that should be covered before the end that probably won’t. Hopefully we get some Soul King in there somewhere. Maybe Ishida gets a haircut, Chad speaks more than 10 words in a single chapter, Inoue confesses, Aizen gets a pardon from the Soul King just so there is something that doesn’t happen ‘as planned’ Maybe we’ll find out who actually ‘creates’ souls – but I don’t know if they would even attempt to go there.

    Also, I know that Rukia has been put on the back-burner but give the girl a Bankai before the end. Just do it.

    7godeohs
  8. i know its a crazy thought but i think ryuunosuke is ichigo and rukia’s son from the future!!!!@#!!!! and finally we will get to see the battle between quincies and SS

    EOE
    1. Yes, you’re right. That is a crazy thought (just kidding). I’d like to see the Quincies payback Soul Society for their near-total genocide. I’m with the “villains” on this.

      vjott
  9. You know it accrued to me if shinigami can go threw holowification to become Vizards, and Hollows can go threw shinigami-ification to become Arrancars… Why couldn’t Quincy have a similar process?

    CriMsoNGenoCidE
    1. Yes, that is my thought as well. The guy fighting Ichigo certainly looks like a Quincy/Hollow hybrid. Can’t speak for the group that confronted the Captain-Commander as yet, though, since we can’t see their faces.

      vjott
  10. Calling it now..
    the new Quincies are cross-hollows (pretty obvious)
    Ichigo’s mom was a Quincy
    Ichigo turns out to be the ultimate entity, a Shinigami/Quincy/Hollow/Human hybrid

    Rei
  11. A lot of time will be lost on Ivan, a “villain?” who’s no match for Ichigo just to tell us that “new bad guys are in town with new crossover powers, not hollow-shinigami this time stay tune”.

    Ananas
  12. You don’t take out my bankai, you ask it’s permission first!!

    I could see if they were quincies/hollow combination. Mabye vandenreich is their term for that combination i.e. arrancars, visored quincy hlw combo.

    Bleach blunt

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