At long last, we get more than just rumors about the mysterious Zero Division. They finally show themselves, and as it turns out, there are only five members. I think I was expecting them to be more, but it is better this way since a low number of new characters means less lengthy introductions and also stronger members. Too many people tend to cause their individual power to become diffused (clone troopers have never made formidable enemies). Zero Division has been hyped up to be an incredibly strong group, and Kyouraku claims now that those five are more powerful than the entire Gotei 13 combined. After seeing all the captains get destroyed in the past few chapters though, I’m hesitant to think that these guys will be the saviors of Soul Society, even if each one of them is more powerful than Yamamoto. Given that they didn’t even come out when Aizen was rampaging, the fact that they have shown themselves now really highlights the severity of the current crisis. Even now, they only came out only after the battle was over, so one can only assume that this Soul King is pretty damn important.
The Vandenreich were obviously prepared to fight them, but still, it would be quite the letdown if the Royal Guard got steamrolled like the rest of the Shinigami. My first impression is that they are going to be hardcore fighters, even if they don’t look that all that cool. I am actually highly looking forward to seeing them in battle, and hopefully they’ll get to kick some ass before Ichigo has to step in again. The only name we know so far is Hikifune Kirio, former captain of the 12th squad, though it’s not clear whether she’s the big momma or the kuudere. I guess they’ll be introduced soon, and with some luck they’ll have extra information to offer about Ichigo or the enemy.
Speaking of Ichigo, he probably won’t be seeing a lot of action anytime soon with his bankai still broken, unless he figures out his Quincy powers soon. As Mayuri explains it, broken bankais can’t be repaired except in rare cases. However since Ichigo happens to be a rare case already, I’m pretty sure that he will be able to get his bankai working again, one way or the other. It may be time for another trip into his inner world to see Zangetsu.