I found this to be the funniest Bleach chapter in a long time, and I actually laughed out loud several times while reading. Foremost this week was the healing master of the Zero Division, Kirinji Tenjiirou, whose supreme healing technique apparently takes the form of a hot spring bath. The combination of his gangster appearance and manner of speech make it all the funnier as he pins Byakuya in the water, holds Renji like a carrot, and lets Rukia float face down in the pool. I definitely lost it when Kirinji started chucking their unconscious bodies between the two hot springs to leech out the “bad reaitsu” (repeat process until healed). Readers will probably also note that they are all, literally, butt-naked — and yes we get little peek of both Ichigo and Rukia.
Aside from the funny stuff though, a decent amount of new information was also revealed. For one, the spirit keys are built into Zero division’s bodies; Aizen was trying to make his own to get into the Spirit King Palace. The palace is actually comprised of an enormous complex of floating cities. Each of the five Royal Guards has their own castle in the sky that they rule over, making me curious about who else lives there and what their purpose is. Shinigami are pretty much are not allowed into the place, which brings us to another mysterious tidbit about Urahara: he’s been to the Spirit Palace and knows the Zero Division fairly well. He even copied Kirinji’s technique (one which supposedly surpasses Unohana’s capabilities), proving yet again how damn smart he is. In the past, Aizen has also hinted that he works closely with the Spirit King, and so as always, it may turn out that Urahara is much more involved in the plot than it seems at face value. After getting a first glimpse of the Spirit King and his demon eyes however, I can’t help but wonder (just a little) whether these people are truly the good guys.