It looks like I was mistaken about the time frame of this flashback last week – these events seem to have taken place roughly a couple years before the birth of Ichigo and Uryuu. More interestingly this week, we find out that Ichigo’s mother Kurosaki Masaki was actually living with Uryuu’s father, Ishida Ryuuken as part of a planned arranged marriage. I found the character dynamics pretty fascinating, especially with regards to how this may all be linked with the current relationship between the two families. For one, it’s pretty funny how Kubo made their personalities line up almost perfectly. Ryuuken has a cold, stern attitude, much like his mother; I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Uryuu acts in the same way. In contrast, Masaki is much more happy-go-lucky and sassy, and perhaps even a bit flirty. In this way, she’s quite like Isshin and it’s easy to see them clicking together easily.

Of course, the most intriguing thing that we don’t know yet is how exactly they will get together, and what happens between Masaki and Ryuuken (who are betrothed to each other). This has potential to be a juicy romance drama, and who knows – it may turn out that Ichigo and Uryuu are actually half-brothers since we don’t know their exact ages. There’s no clear sign of who Uryuu’s mother is, and it’s hard to judge anything from Isshin and Ryuuken’s love-hate relationship, but there’s little doubt that Ichigo is in for some more ridiculous surprises before his old man finishes spilling all the beans on his past.

Last but not least in this chapter is the appearance of an arrancar-like creature that slices through two shinigami right in front of Isshin. Of particular importance may be the fact that it bears some clear resemblances to Ichigo’s hollow form, especially the mask. It’s probably one of Aizen’s creations, and may also has some connection to Ichigo’s inner hollow.


  1. Ginjo Kugo said that the mothers of those who achieved Fullbring were attacked by a Hollow before they were born and left an imprint on their souls through their malfested reiatsu. This must be the very Hollow that left an imprint on Ichigo’s soul before his birth.
    Regardless, this was a solid chapter. It sucks that we’ll have to wait for two weeks for the next chapter.

    1. I’d rather Fullbrings and Fullbringers just be completely forgotten, since the added absolutely nothing to the story and had no function within it other than giving Ichigo a power that he would then lose and a bunch of characters that left no impact or had no actual motivation.

      1. I don’t fully agree with that statement since fullbring seems to had influence Ichigo’s Shihakusho and zanpaktou, plus there’s the fact that there were the three people at the Shiba house, so they may provide Ichigo with back-up support.

        For impact though, its all up to speculation because in a way Ginjo showed everyone that Ichigo puts so much trust into the Seretei as if they were his family and the fullbringer arc was only to restablish Ichigo back as a shinigami.(The fullbringer arc was not well developed but it served some form of purpose and it was unique)

      2. Effecting the Shihakusho and Zanpakuto has no effect on the story other than aesthetics. If it effected his powers and that were a major plot point, that would be a different story. And what back-up support could they possibly provide? Giriko was cut down in two seconds by Kenpachi (who just recently had his ass handed to him when he was at the level he was at when he killed Giriko). Tsukishima gave Byakuya an alright fight before being killed also, but Byakuya also got his ass kicked against the same forces that got Kenpachi. Lastly is Ginjo, who was killed by Ichigo, who ALSO can’t handle these Quincies. So the Fullbringers are not going to stand a chance.

        You know, that “puts too much trust in the Seretei” revelation would actually make sense IF THE SERETEI WERE THE VILLAINS IN THIS ARC. We don’t even know why Ginjou turned evil, so for all we know, he may have just gone insane and betrayed them for no reason. And as for the arc getting Ichigo his powers back, none of the Fullbringer related stuff contributed to that. All that needed to happen was Rukia stabbing Ichigo to get them back. They didn’t need anything else in that arc to occur besides that.

        These are all very clear reasons the Fullbringer Arc was 99.9% pointless.

      3. I think if Kubo had gone more into depth of Ichigo’s shinigami powers in relation to fullbring, then it would be less confusing. Plus you do make a valid point, Kubo never did explain why Ginjo turned evil (though we do have the substitue badge-trust issue but its very unlikely that Ginjo would change just by being spied by the Sereitei).

        Additionally in a sense, since Ichigo got his shinigami powers back, I guess he doesn’t really need his fullbring and maybe its just an added bonus that comes with being part hollow.

      4. Yeah, if Kubo had fully explained all of the major questions in that arc, then it probably wouldn’t have felt so empty, but the point is that he didn’t.

        Basically what I’m saying is that if you removed the Fullbringer Arc from the story entirely aside from Ichigo getting his powers back, it wouldn’t change anything in the plot at all.

      5. The only set up was Ichigo getting his powers back, which didn’t even require the events of the arc in order to do so.

        Even the whole “attacked by Hollows while in the womb” thing from Fullbringer wouldn’t even make sense because Masaki hasn’t even met Isshin yet, and she certainly isn’t pregnant with anyone’s kid at this point.

        There’s no way to include Fullbring elements here without it being forced and contrived.

      6. I will agree that the Fullbringer arc did go on longer then it should have, had too many new characters that were quickly forgotten and could be skipped without much loss. Rukia could have just showed up with the powers to re-shinigami Ichigo right before the current arc and we would be in the same place. His fullbringer powers affected nothing (besides a costume he had for like 2 fights) and he went back to normal shinigami right after he got his powers back anyways.

      7. The main thing I got out of the Fullbring arc was the fact that we finally got an explanation for Chad’s powers. That’s all I really cared about it, and it was all worth it just for that.

        Maybe this hollow made such a big impression on Masaki that its powers stayed dormant in her during the years before she gets pregnant with Ichigo. Or maybe this hollow comes back and attacks her later on.

  2. There’s speculation about the interwebs that the maid is a lesser-status Quincy and will be shown to be Uryuu’s mother.

    As we’ve seen, Quincies can play the ‘Mimic’ role, and this is likely where Ichigo manifests all his powers from.

    1. Oh hot damn. Since quincies can absorb reiatsu and mimic powers… The War Potentials the leader talked about would be like reiatsu batteries for the Big Boss Guy.

      Gonna be the quest to absorb Kenpachi. Either the big boss guy or Ichigo. If Ichigo absorbs Ken-chan’s powers the show will end with the strongest sword being wielded by the main character (who may not necessarily be the strongest since he borrowed everything hehe). :p




    Also, why would Ichigo and Uryu be half-brothers? Masaki might be a Quincy, but she’s certainly not a close relative of the Ishidas.

  4. That plot thickens! I really enjoyed this week’s chapter as we finally get some plot/ character development. I think the relationship between Ichigo and Uryu will be interesting when he finally makes a return. I also like the Accel World style arrancar at the end. Hopefully we’ll get to see Isshin do battle with this beast, though we know from the start of the flashback that it probably won’t end well for him. Here’s hoping that we get a bit more development in the coming weeks, as I’m enjoying Bleach now as I used to back when I first started watching it.

  5. So Isshin NTRs Ryuuken, who presumably hooks up with the maid who is obviously in love with him. Meanwhile, Masaki seemed to have been fairly similar to Orihime…

    Isshin/Ryuuken/Masaki = Ichigo/Ishida/Orihime?

    1. Ichigo and Isshin are hardly similar character archetypes. Isshin is a plucky comic relief character who jokes about boobs. He and Masaki are very similar. Ichigo is the complete opposite of that, an aloof loner who only ever smiles once in a blue moon (ad it’s usually a slasher smile during a battle)

  6. I don’t think Masaki is all that happy-go-lucky at all. At least not genuinely so in this chapter. She may appear that way during her interactions with Ryuuken and his mother, but the panel with her sitting in her darkened room (and hugging her pillow) suggests that her behavior is more of a coping mechanism.

    I think that Masaki meeting Isshin (and saving him from Aizen’s experiment) will show her that she is strong enough to change her fate and that she doesn’t have to go along with what Ryuuken’s mother plans to do with her.

    1. She seemed to be making the best out of a bad situation, my guess is she doesn’t object to the arranged marriage out of a sense of gratitude for everything they have done for her.

      1. It looks like she doesn’t have anyone else to live with, she has no living relatives (or so they said in the chapter). So not agreeing to the arranged marriage could very well mean that they could just leave her somewhere out on the street. So it’s not really like Masaki seems to have much of a choice on the matter.

        She is like a caged princess of sorts.

      2. I don’t know if they would go that far but I guess they’ll try to pressure her.But let’s not forget they haven’t even told her about it much less talk about whether she agrees with it or not.And whatever the reasons it’s also fact they took her in and takes care of her, even if they don’t have her best interests at heart, she doesn’t seem like someone who would take that for granted.

  7. Well, so far, from the looks of things, it seems that….

    The Vasto Lorde (I’m assuming) seen at the end of this chapter, was the result of the Hollowfication experiments carried out by Aizen, which was successful only on hollows at that time, as indicated by the previous chapter. This Vasto Lorde, being too powerful for Isshin to defeat, caused him to use his Final Getsuga Tenshou and lose his shinigami powers. Barely defeating it, Isshin (weakened) and/or Masaki (inexperienced) who arrives shortly later, gets their souls infected by the Vasto Lorde before it dies. 

    The essence of the Vasto Lorde was transferred to Ichigo but wasn’t apparent until he awakened his shinigami powers, causing the striking resemblance between Ichigo’s Hollow and the late Vasto Lorde.

    New evidence of Isshin’s or Masaki’s infection is what probably gave Aizen an idea on how to infect Shinji and the rest of the eventual Visords.

    The Vasto Lorde that apparently killed Shinigami’s during the rain, which later formed the essence that is Ichigo’s inner hollow, most likely explains why Zangetsu hates the rain. Since both Zangetsu and Hollow Ichigo share the same soul, but are fundamentally different entities.

    Side Note:  Haha, Anyone notice how Masaki’s personality is similar to Orihime’s?  

    And also could the maiden that Ryūken Ishida conversed with in this chapter be Uyuu’s mother? Idk. We’ll see what Kubo pulls.

    1. I hope Aizen shows up to troll us and say that was in fact his goal to make Vastro Lords via shinigami/quincy children of which Ichigo is the finished product and he orchestrated Misaki and Isshin meeting. Just as planned strikes again!

  8. I notice some things in thus chapter:

    Rain is like the rain in Ichigo’s inner world,
    the Hollow clearly look like Ichigo’s hollow form, and
    The Hollow’s arms looks like Ichigo’s bankai especially his fullbring enhanced one.

  9. I know most people wouldn’t agree because even my friends didn’t and because no one likes Orihime but I found Masaki’s cheerful personality resembled Orihime’s personality.(But of course Inoue’s air-headed part doesn’t.)

  10. Wow it truly has been quite sometime since I actually raised a brow when reading a Bleach Chapter, I think the last time was when Gin turned on Aizen. That creature might actually be Zangetsu before being sealed inside Masaki and later being born as Ichigo’s zanpakuto spirit. I thinking of a Kurama (Yuyu Hakusho) type deal here. Like the arrancar was nuts and stuff but growing as part of a human/quincy hybrid it came to learn to love and so on.

  11. I don’t think that was an arrancar… It looked like the siluette of of the “Vasto Lorde”, the most powerful hollow (they explained about it in the earlier episodes…).

  12. No doubt the maid is Ishida’s mom. It sucks because after seeing young Ryuuken I feel for him. All his talk about doing the arranged marriage only for the sake of the quincies — I don’t buy it. He seems to genuinely care for Misaki. He could’ve acted like his mom and bad-mouth Misaki, but he just tries to comfort Misaki by excusing his mom. The maid (ishida’s mom) even noticed Ryuuken’s modesty. Ryuuken didn’t strike me as an interesting character until I saw this chapter.

    The whole jig ishida and Ichigo being half-brothers is creeping up to be true and for now I’m okay with it. Honestly, though, the last chapter when we learned Ichigo is part quincy… I didn’t like it. I hated ichigo was being a weird hybrid of EVERYTHING (shinigami, hollow and now f**kin’ QUINCY?!?) These stupid power-ups are making me sick and tire of ichigo and his character. Getting all super-powered, it gets redundant. I’m just liking this chapter because I’m getting some questions me and the readers want answered.

    Another problem, I just hope this story doesn’t go like Naruto with his parents and the kyuubi. The whole parents sacrificed themselves to bear the child that contained the nine tailed fox hollow. Even though Ichigo’s parents are alive, I can’t deny ichigo being born inside him the hollow could happen and lack innovation on Kubo’s story-telling. I’d like troll Aizen to undo his prick ways and to do some f**ked up s**t between Isshin and Misaki. I’ll just try to keep some faith on Kubo and be optimistic.

    Now if Isshin fights that Vastro Lorde… I want to know if it will talk. Because if it does, I want a certain hollow to come back.

  13. But I thought they were in the same grade for high school, which would imply that their ages are fairly close to one another so they can’t possibly be half brothers…can they?

  14. It looks tome like Ryuuken and Misaki are Ichigo’s true parents. Proof? I have nothing solid atm but Ryuuken’s appearance in the flashback looks mighty similar to Ichigo in specs tbh. That and the somewhat modest and distant character traits when not being a shinigami are quite similar also.

    Just a guess but I’m thinking due to some ‘forbidden birth’ that takes place (or something similar) of Ichigo, Isshin ends up becoming his ward as a favour to Ryuuken for not protecting Misaki enough when she was alive (and her inevitable death at the hands of Grand Fisher).

    I could be totally wrong but there’s nothing wrong with telegraphing the future progress of the story.

    1. The main problem with this is that that would mean Ichigo looking like Kaien would somehow still be a coincidence, even though we now know that Isshin was part of the Shiba clan.

    2. Honeyman I don’t think your theory is sound because Isshin’s zanpakutō Engetsu is very identical to Ichigo’s. Isshin has even the abilities of Getsuga Tenshō and he knows the final form of it too. You would think abilties and traits of that nature passes down from family blood.

  15. I haven’t commented here on RC for a while, but as my first comment back….

    I won’t lie, I felt like this was one of the best chapters I’ve read of Bleach in the longest time (fingers crossed that Kubo doesn’t ruin this great setup).

  16. My theory Ryūke Ishida when he was younger he had black hair under intense stress he started to have white hair. Explain possibility Uryu Ishida was attracted to Ichigo’s wanting to protect their love one similar to their mother Misaki. Especially arrange marriage noble though they hate each other or not compatible they will still have a single offspring descendant continue blood line and later Ryūke Ishida allowed Misaki to love Shiba Isshin thus causing him to idolize her with a poster because he actually have a slim chance to stay in relationship with her.

    Lim Lynn

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