There’s not too many new clues this week as to who these new enemies actually are, but the intruders confronting Yamamoto insinuate that he already knows who they are and why they are there, which supports the idea that they are a group that had been mistreated by Soul Society in the past. It’s also revealed that they have the ability to…. do things involving bankai, which suggests that they may have hybrid abilities like Ichigo, and maybe even traces of hollow. This is obviously related to Ivan’s attempt at taking Ichigo’s bankai, since in Bleach powers are apparently entities that can be extracted and re-used with the right tools. With these turn of events though, Ichigo has naturally become very interested in what’s going on, but his new foes have plenty of more tricks up their sleeves and also mysterious shadows helping them escape (which even Yamamoto’s wall of fire can’t stop). It is definitely time for Ichigo to make a trip to Urahara’s place.
I’m really hoping that this will all involve the Royal Guard and the Spirit King in some way, but their ultra-secretive nature makes it rather impossible to predict exactly what role they’ll play. The white, trench-coated peeps also have desolate, icy kingdom of their own, with characteristics that makes it quite analogous to the Hueco Mundo of the arrancars. They have a emperor of some kind too, who is a tall imposing man with an epic beard. Apparently, he is bad-ass enough to slice off a subordinates arm while sitting down with his hands clasped. Clearly this guy is a tyrant, but also one that seems obsessed with “peace”, whatever his definition of that is. There’s nothing shocking or ground-breaking yet, but I am somewhat looking forward to seeing if these people will make things interesting.