Conspiraces swirl in the air and suspicions are voiced as the shinigami attempt to make sense of the recent mess of events accompanying the Vandenreich’s declaration of war. Kira discusses the investigations with the other vice captains, and he deduces that Mayuri falsified the report about the disappearance of the Rukongai citizens. As it turns out, their disappearance was indeed Kurotsuchi’s doing, who essentially had the 12th squad massacre almost 30,000 residents. Even though Mayuri has always been the paradigm of mad scientists, and observing ethical rules has never really been a priority for him (putting it mildly), I was still somewhat shocked that he would order the deaths of thousands of Rukongai residents so lightly. Through history however, the Gotei 13 have proved themselves more than willing to perform mass exterminations as necessary to preserve order. Soul Society has never been anything like the paradise that is usually associated with the afterlife, but it truly seems quite miserable for the souls who live there, especially in the higher numbered districts farther away from Seireitei. The shinigami show little concern for the residents, and many districts have languished in poverty for centuries, as evidenced by Kira’s statement that nobody from beyond the 50th district has had shoes in 550 years.
Heartless or not though, Mayuri explains his actions as necessary to level the soul balance. He hints that the imbalance was due to the Quincies (probably due to the way they destroy Hollows), and directly accuses the Captain-Commander of being responsible for the mess. Given Yamamoto’s thousands of years of history, it comes as no surprise that he would have unresolved quarrels and enemies looking for revenge — in this case, the Vandenreich king who he failed to kill a thousand years ago. I’m assuming this was around the time he became the captain-commander, so there’s concrete yet nothing to suggest that the Vandenreich leader’s motivation is related to the enmity between the Quincies and Shinigami due to the extermination of the Quincies several hundred years ago. Regardless of the reasons for his actions however, this revelation does give some enlightenment as to why the Vandenreich king and his underlings seem so ridiculously powerful — I don’t think it’s absurd to propose that his power level may actually approach Yamamoto’s. It’s not clear how personal their feud is, but now hundreds of beings on both sides have been dragged into the conflict.
Back in Hueco Mundo, Ichigo has problems of his own as he battles the Vandenreich captain Kirge Opie. The Quincies are already aware of him as a wildcard weapon, and seem to be prepared to deal with him. Even with Ichigo skills, I think that they will at least be able to keep him occupied for the time being, as the Vandenreich take the chance to begin their invasion.