Even without the big hint given in the cliffhanger last week, I don’t think any of us readers are too shocked at this new twist, especially since the big villain is not likely to be defeated so one-sidedly this early in the arc. This chapter quickly confirms that the Juha Bach that Captain-Commander Yamamoto cut down easily turned out to be a complete fake — no more than two of Juha’s Sternritter. They were Loyd and Royd, a pair of identical twins who could mimic other people in appearance, powers, and even memories. Although their imitations are good, I’m a little amused that Kenpachi defeated the first so easily, then was destroyed by the second just as quickly (in fact, that was the one who couldn’t copy abilities). Regardless, they are both dead now, and they completed their mission even in their loss. The material is a little vague on how much they can actually boost their own power by copying others, since Juha mentioned that they weren’t strong enough to take Yamamoto’s bankai. The first part of the chapter was spent explaining their background, and it felt a bit unexpected and unnecessary, but luckily it was brief and was certainly a lot better than the dragged out talks that Bleach characters tend to give in the middle of fights.
In a ridiculously big turn of events, the real Juha Bach dumps everything on his old nemesis without so much as batting an eye. This was the super villain I was expecting, one who came prepared a secret weapon, knowledge on their opponents and a diversion to fool them completely. He even managed to talk to our good friend Aizen, though it doesn’t seem like he’ll be joining in the events yet. I think Yamamoto is pretty much out of the game now, since Shinigami are completely useless without their zanpakutou. Thanks to the constant power-level one-ups, Kidou has been outdated for quite a while now, and sadly even the most powerful and experienced captain Soul Society is defeated without a chance. Again as usual, it’s about time for Ichigo to come out and shine.