It’s almost open season now with many major players finally entering the scene. Ukitake and Kyouraku meet on the ruins on Sereitei and comment that the invasion was actually forseen; I’m not sure what this implies, but it could mean that the two of them (and maybe others) actually have something sneaky planned from the very beginning. There’s a giant eye inside Ukitake’s shadow, and he makes a reference to the “kamikake”. Something strange is going on here, and Kyouraku cryptically states that he has “business” with the Central 46. A wild guess says that Aizen is involved in this business. Urahara also has his own preparations in action, and he has brought the vizards and also Yoruichi’s little brother Yuushirou Shihouin, a dorky kid who’s the “Guardian of the Sacred Armor”. It looks like they are planning to go up to the Palace themselves, and bringing along a lot of gear. Whatever Urahara is planning, he seems to serve the Soul King quite loyally, and his motivations may become clearer as the war rolls on.
Up in the Royal Palace, Yhawch has finally decided to step into the battle himself against Ichibei Hyosube, a cheerful and slightly manic monk with a giant calligraphy brush that he uses to duel and summon his attacks by writing characters. A giant Buddha’s Palm appears out of nowhere and sends Yhwach flying at high speed. The action is hectic, but it seems that Ichibei’s ability to modify names to have different attributes has also rendered Yhwach mute, and to avoid defeat he ends up having to crush his own throat with his fingers so that he can summon Zankuto Bougen, a bow that fires several giant arrows through his own body so that he can return to the platform. It’s actually pretty clever, but Ichibei continues to attack relentlessly with his brush, rewriting names and reducing his opponent’s strength by half. Unfortunately, Ichibei is also making the mistake of explaining his powers in the middle of battle, and pretty soon Yhwach will probably regain the upper hand. I’m pretty sure that he will eventually be able to defeat all of the Zero Squad; there are many other characters still in line for a chance to fight him, so for the sake of plot, Yhwach’s crusade simply will not end here.
His goons are a different case of course. Though he has given his “elite squad” a boost by reviving them, this was done at the cost of most of the remaining Sternritter in Soul Society, who lose their souls to his Auswahlen. Lille and Pernida who were utterly helpless against Nimaiya before, now kill him and destroy the Cage with ease. There’s no doubt that Yhwach is the supreme God of the quincies, granting and removing power as he sees fit with little regard to their lives. The question is why they agreed to serve him in the first place (quite enthusiastically it seems) and accept the letter designations that essentially bound them to him until the end of their abbreviated, expendable lives. Even Ishida voluntarily joined the Sternritter, which makes me think that there’s a whole different side of the story that we aren’t seeing yet. He and Haschwald still haven’t actually done anything in this fight though, as they continue observe the others.
I apologize for the absence these past weeks as I’ve been busy with work and actuarial exams. Posts should return to a regular schedule starting today.