Kurotsuchi himself confirms suspicions that the new rebel group, the Vandenreich, are indeed Quincies. With the various hints that have been dropped leading up to this chapter, the timing of this revelation is not particularly surprising. Several other speculations are also corroborated, including their ability to inhibit bankai, but other than those, we readers know little else that Soul Society isn’t already aware of. Primary questions for me include how the Quinces have so quickly rebuilt their power, or how they have hidden their existence all this time. Snapshots from their perspective shown so far imply that they are residing in some domain separate from Soul Society and the real world — probably another dimension like Hueco Mundo or the Precipice World.

Despite their limited knowledge of their enemy, Soul Society has been drastically disturbed by the sudden show of force by the intruders, and they prepare to do battle. While most of the captains are strong and experienced, the apparent gap in preparedness between the two sides will make it difficult for the shinigami to do too much more than sitting around and being ready to fight. Outweighing these uncertainties however, is the fact that most readers, myself included, are probably also anticipating seeing the new captains (returning captains, to be precise) in action, as the Vizards have mainly only shown their hollow powers in the story.

Ichigo’s side of things are escalating more quickly. Before his group can reach the group of arrancars and quincies, Harribel’s three fraccion boldly challenge the guards. The three are among the stronger fraccion, but they are just as irritating as the last time they made an appearance in the story. Nel’s very animated assessment of their strength may have been a slight exaggeration however, as they fare no better against the Vandenreich captain than they did against Yamamoto. Regardless, this also goes to show the level of power the Vandereich hold, and the captain’s confidence in his abilities is not unwarranted.

Strong enemies invigorates the story and dials up the adrenaline level of fights, but the main problem here is that constantly one-upping power levels begins to stretch the limits of believability. In addition, given current understanding of the Quincies, it seems doubly implausible for them to be suddenly sitting in the role of the new super-enemy, but this issue can be set aside for now in hopes that Kubo will write a clear explanation. From what has been given in Bleach backstory, it seems most likely that the Vandenreich are motivated by revenge for the extermination of the Quincies by Soul Society, after which the survivors had been forced into hiding, slowly building up their strength again.

31 Comments

  1. MAYBE NOW WE’LL SEE SOME GODDAMN CAPTAIN BANKAIS.

    Oh hey a female bleach character that couldn’t do anything of note but be kidnapped or beaten. That’s new.

    And it was Kurotsuchi who confirmed it, not Yamamoto.

    ALL CAPS.

    Da5id
      1. my guess Ichigo’s bankai is going to be the only one unaffected. He’s always seemed unique when compared to other no matter if its a hollow, shinigami, or quincy.

        CriMsoNGenoCidE
    1. Nice to see that Kubo continues to treat his female characters with the same respect as he always have.

      My eyes are rolling so hard they almost fell out of my head.

      MasterDragonKnight
  2. I look forward to Kubo’s reasoning for the new found Quincy powers. As far as he has shown so far, Ishida seems to have already pushed his Quincy skills to the max and suffered that period of impotency. We did get that his dad was much more powerful though.

    It does seem very very implausible that the Quincies happened to stumble upon some fount of power AND concurrently discovered some loophole in Shinigami bankai AFTER getting wiped out by Soul Society.
    We do get the notion that Soul Society before Ichigo was a fairly traditional and static community in terms of power progress, but to be overtaken so quickly by some ragtag group…well, that’s just like Ichigo+friends surpassing the new shinigami graduates/fodder I guess.

    1. Typical Kubo storytelling means we will get minimal explanation of where the Quicy’s have been all this time and how they got so powerful. Most likely it will be another head scratching example of holes in his storytelling.

      Karmafan
  3. GAAAAAAAAAASP!!!!!! THEY’RE QUINCY’S!!!!!!……………….no one cares.
    SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCK!!!!!!! HE TOOK THEM ALL OUT!!!!……………………………………………………**cricket sounds “or cicadads”**…………….still no one cares….ichigos here of course he wont lose against Hitlers quincy brigade. shove it, shove it, shove it, shounen, shounen, shounen, DOWN ur mudder Fu#kin throat. heh, cant wait to see how this ends. will it feature a sunset??? you betcha!

    BROOKLYN otaku
    1. No it wouldn’t. Ichigo being the main character means he must always be stronger then any of his friends since he will always fight the big bad one on one. Aside from Orihime, who exsits only to be Kubo’s personal excuse to explain not killing any main characters, Ichigo’s scooby gang has been pretty useless and a waste of time.

      SortedeVaras
  4. Actually, the powerlevels are still quite sane right now, and I like it better than the one-upping that for example Dragonball had (not saying I dislike DB, mind you).
    Harribels fractions smashed the guards good and Ichigo almost snuffed Ivan out.
    It’s once again down to a few selected of the enemies who can be considered a threat, and that’s probably because they combined their powers with the hollows they are supposed to destroy. Ivan might have been an Arrancar, but he himself didn’t like that word, and he had a Quincy like canon, so I think he was a mixed race.
    Ichigo will mop the floor with the Offizier, at least I hope so.

    virox
  5. Someone please remind Ichigo that they have a party reality-warper that can fix Neliel’s mask so that she’s not useless.

    I still think Orihime is the most broken character in Bleach, only kept in check by Kubo’s ability to completely underutilize her.

    m
  6. “Harribel’s three fraccion boldly challenge the guards. The three are among the stronger fraccion, but they are just as irritating as the last time they made an appearance in the story.”

    Irritating? Awesome is more like it. Seriously… this three are better characters than most of the Shinigami. Obviously being female characters, Kubo just turns them into cannon fodder. And I hate that.

    RyougaZell
  7. It seems to me that Ivan was indeed some kind of crossbreed of Arrancar + Quincy. It’s possible that ‘The King’ has some method of fusing the two, in a similar way that Aizen was able to create arrancars as well using the Hogyoku.

    The ‘main team’ are likely pure Quincies though, so their strength is obviously considerably higher, clearly shown with that ‘captain’ quincy guy of the latest chapter.

    Ryudo
    1. The problem is that Aizen couldn’t make new Arrancar with the Hougyoku, only failure ones. Even though this theory is valid (I mean, shinigami powers in a hollow + Quincy, that we know barely nothing) I wouldn’t bet all my chips in this.

      RoOtZ

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