After leaving the hot springs, it’s off to Hikifune Kirio’s palace, and there she prepares her specialty for them – mountains after mountains of glorious food. For some reason, her reiatsu and body weight are positively correlated, and so losing her reiatsu also means that she slims down significantly (much to the jealousy of girls everywhere however, her chest seem unaffected). Of course, just like Kirinji’s hot springs, Hikifune’s food is no normal cuisine, as its purpose is to restore and power up Ichigo and Renji’s reiatsu levels. Her skills extend beyond cooking as well, and she was apparently the one who created the Artificial Souls. That’s not surprising as the former captain of the 12th squad, before Urahara. All of the members of the Zero Squad apparently have had made significant contributions to the history of Soul Society, some of them predating even Yamamoto. For example, Kirinji seems to be older than Unohana, who was the first Kenpachi and was around when Yamamoto founded the Gotei 13, and Nimaiya is credited with having created the zanpakutou themselves, which I’m assuming makes him very, very old. This actually makes Hikifune a relatively new recruit to the Spirit Palace since she joined only about a century ago.

I’m guessing that Ichigo and Renji’s next destination, the “Phoenix Palace”, will also involve its owner’s specialty: zanpakutou’s. From the looks of it, their experience there will not be as relaxing as it was in the previous two palaces.

62 Comments

  1. Ichigo, Renji and Kon’s reactions to Kirio’s loss of weight through the usage of her reiatsu truly speaks for the entirey of this chapter I think. It’s kind of nice to see Kubo tying in a bit of comedy with the series again though.

    sakuga
      1. These spirit palace chapters have all been quite refreshing in terms of content to be quite honest. It’s a return to form of some of the slapstick in the earlier chapters while still giving us copious amounts of exposition to mull over.

        ReshenKusaga
    1. So this guy created the zanpakuto? Kubo means to tell us that before this guy appeared, there were no zanpakuto in the entire world and Soul Society?

      Wow… I mean…wow…

      I can barely fathom the amount of stupidity that entails. So before this guy, who cannot possibly be older than Yamamoto, there were no such things as zanpakuto? Then what was that thing in Yamamoto’s hand, a toy? And remind me again how Shinigami purify Hollows and send souls to the afterlife? Was it with Kido and their bare hands, I think not! And how does it explain that every soul with the potential to become Shinigami have a zanpakuto buried deep in their soul, even with homeless orphans like Rukia and Renji? Did this guy go around planting zanpakuto in every soul in the world that had, has, and will ever existed?

      This is not just bad writing. This is just illogical.

      MasterDragonKnight
      1. We have one panel of him and you’re jumping to all these accusations. Shouldn’t you wait at least next week to see if there’s any explaination?

        Why can’t this guy be older than Yama? Was Yama ever stated to be the first shinigami? Just because the RG looks younger? Do appearance even matter to these people who reside in the King’s palace?

        Who says he needed to plant a zanpakutou into every soul? What if the King saw his invention, took a liking to it and transfer it to every soul thereafter? He’s the Soul King after all.

        anon
      2. Fair enough, but I’m not holding any hope for a decent explanation that does not contradict established facts.

        What irks me is the line that one person is responsible for “the birth of zanpakuto“. By definition, a Shinigami is someone with the ability to purify Hollows and deliver souls to the afterlife. This is done through the use of the zanpakuto, something that should be inherent to every Shinigami. The very idea that someone has to invent the zanpakuto is ridiculous, since it would mean that there is no means of saving souls prior to him. Unless this guy is the soul of the first human ever born, then that is a major plot hole.

        MasterDragonKnight
      3. The Zanpakuto as a sword is merely a manifestation of it’s power. I think he just invented the way to put their spirits in sword form, so Shinigami and Zanpakuto can make use of each other in a better way. Maybe they only fought using summonings and such before.

        virox
      4. I was thinking along the same lines as virox. The Zanpakuto are first and foremost the reflection of a Shinigami’s soul and power. They’re sentient in a sense and the names of each Zanpakuto are what empower the sword and gives strength to the Shinigami. With that in mind, I don’t think it all that crazy that Nimaiya could have created the Zanpakuto with the intention of acting as a vessel or bridge to releasing the full potential of a Shinigami.

        sakuga
      5. Remember the Zanpakuto is an extension of a SHinigami’s soul, He was probably the first to harness that and give it a physical form. We also don’t know for a fact that Soul Society, and it’s Shinigami, purified souls since the beginning, they could of just reaped all wandering souls, normal and hollow alike.

        Zero Hour 17
  2. >For some reason
    Yeah because she’s hijacked the spirit particles that made up the food to act as her own surplus supply of spirit energy, instead of what food normally does in SS (lets you regenerate spirit energy). They still take up space though!

    Psithief
  3. I didn’t find this chapter as insulting as the other chapters.

    Sort of interesting each member of the squad is there because of a significant discovery/feat.

    Unfortunately it is about 100 chapters too late, should have happened at the peak of bleach popularity, or at least right after aizen battle.

    Nanashi
    1. How would it been better to happen at the peak of Bleach’s popularity? I mean, currently THIS is exactly what is saving Bleach- the story and the whole plot is starting to get better and better, back to what used to be a long time ago.

      You need to leave.

      Karma
  4. if there’s one thing I’m liking with this ‘training’ arc is that Renji is also included~! That means he might actually grow to a captain level shinigami and not be a pushover in the next battle!

    gawrshness
    1. We all know Renji is just there for comic relief or to say something inspiring to Ichigo (believe in the heart of the cards or whatever), he has been irrelevant since he fought Byakuya in chapter 140 . . . 381 chapters ago. Every band needs its Ringo and ever Shonen needs a Yamcha.

      Sortedevaras
  5. Well well, this was definitely not expected. Did anyone ever anticipate from her first appearance that Hikifune would actually be one hot, well endowed babe whose overall appearance is similar to Rangiku?

    MarkBadong
  6. Maybe this guy simply invented a way to turn the Zanpakto spirit into a sword form? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see, my guess would be that Ichigo’s sword is repaired here, and if there is any way for them to safely use Bankai in battle, they’ll learn it here.

    On a side note, I like how this arc feels like it’s trying to return to what the first arc was like, but what I feel really lets Bleach down and has done since the Aizen battle is the pacing. I like fast-paced stories but because Kubo rushes everything (a palace a chapter) there is no time for spreading out the story/ developing the characters, which then leads to everything being thrown in at once and moved past too quickly to really make sense to the readers. This Zanpakto invention thing is one and the relationship/past between Yama and Juha is another. Kubo just needs to slow down and enjoy telling the story….just my thoughts though.

    Celecia01
  7. Looks like Kubo couldn’t go through with having a fat chick after all. Really awful excuse about it too. “I used up all of my reiatsu, kyun <3!" Yeah, that's totally how we've seen reiatsu work thus far… Lol spirit king's pace my ass. I can't even remember a time when any shinigami has eaten period.

    If this is how things work then just give us fat versions of every character ever. Yep I'd like to see a fat Aizen or Yoruichi etc in their fledgling, reiatsu-training phases. What, is the spirit king just actively making it harder for every person to do their jobs?

    Good thing Kubo's throwing in comedy again. Really contrived way of doing it though.

    TOP2NE1
    1. A lot of people predicted her form would change, because Kubo’s done thing before. He made Yoruichi turn from a black cat into a pretty woman, and Nel into one too! I think he has a transformation thing going.

      starss
    2. I’m a bit dissapointed too despite Hikfune looking awesome.

      I mean yes, I did expect her transformation, because Kubo seems to like his characters “pretty” (such shallow man…) but for once it would have been great to have a female character that is fat but not used in a comedic way.

      Drift
      1. I’d like to posit the following (btw i’m not arguing or disagreeing with you about anything): everything else being equal, isn’t ‘pretty’ always better than ‘not pretty’. Why would you want anything ugly if it can be pretty?

        random
      2. @random Yes random, being pretty is always better than being ugly if one can chose.
        But you are missing the point of my previous comment.

        My point was, I thought it was nice Hikifune was fat because not many fat characters are portrayed in manga like this where they are strong (she is in the Royal Guard after all). I mean, you don’t see much FAT ladies that have a high ranked position like her in mangas. It breaks the stereotype of a typical manga. And because she turned skinny and beautiful, once again, it went back to the typical manga stereotype.

        I never said it was a bad thing for her to be pretty. Just a little disspointed that a character that could have broken the stereotyped went to a typical stereotyped character. She had the potential to become a character where looks didn’t define her but her personality and power did. Now everyone’s just like “Wow look at Hikifune! She’s hot!”

        Drift
  8. lol even i did a spit take when I saw her weight loss.
    And since people with major contributions are placed in squad zero wouldn’t Kisuke’s invention of the Gigai or the Hogyoku guarantee him a spot with them.

    razz
    1. Pretty sure the whole being exiled from Soul Society thing would’ve taken away any shot he had.

      Plus, Kisuke didn’t invent Gigai or the Hogyoku. He only experimented with Gigai and Aizen created the first Hogyoku.

      anon
      1. Sure sure.. Kubo has just introduced this character to fade of into the background after a brief moment of slight importance.

        O wait that actually sounds probable.

        Kubo ‘Trollgetsu’ Tite

        Kurisu Vi Britannia
    1. A zanpaktou is just the vessel where a zanpaktou spirit lives and can manifest itself to aid its shinigami partner. If you guys paid attention to small details from the anime, manga,etc. A zanpaktou spirit does not necessarily need a zanpaktou to live in or survive through. it needs its shinigami’s partner soul to do that. Im guessing that this guy invented the zanpaktou to make it easier to manifest powers. It’s kinda like having a bullet but no gun, you can throw a bullet, but it does nowhere near the damage shooting it can cause

      Keranu
    2. Oh yeah, that filler about the zanpaktous manifesting themselves and fighting along side their wielders. I guess I was confused thinking that once the shinigami dies then their zanpaktou goes with them (because it’s part of their soul) and vice versa. Thus, you can’t make the zanpaktou when you can’t make the soul or something. Ok nevermind, your explanation clarified my thoughts. -Thanks Keranu!

      random viewer
  9. Ichigo’s Harem grows bigger. Lol. The only thing that made this chapter tolerable was Ichigo and Renji’s Reactions. There reations were the same ones I had when I read the Amazing Spider-Man # 700 Spoilers. If You know what I mean. Hikifune…….sigh Kubo you really are a trolling pervert. I think you should do more comedy. I’ll be glad when Bleach ends.

    Corey

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