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.

22 Comments

      1. Really? I actually thought Naruto was fairly decent, especially if I compare it to Bleach.

        At the very least, Naruto’s pacing per chapter was acceptable.

        Bleach on the other hand does this terribly. just how many weeks ago did Ichigo get launched from soul society to the soul king’s place?

        And dont get me started on the legions of character who appeared only to disappear the next chapter.

        But the biggest angst i have is Where the hell is Nel?! I know most people dont even remeber who that is, but she is my favorite character in the series! Give her back damn it!

        Ginobi47
      2. @Ginobi47
        Admittedly the pacing in Bleach is very frustrating if you’re reading it on a weekly basis. Bleach’s story flows much better if you’re following it in the graphic novel format though. That’s why Bleach’s graphic novel sales in Japan still show up within the top 5 whenever they’re released even though it doesn’t do well in the weekly popularity polls. It’s because the majority of Bleach’s readers in Japan prefer to follow Bleach through the graphic novels rather than through Jump itself.

        Yes there are a shitton of characters in Bleach that don’t get much screentime, but it’s not like Naruto wasn’t guilty of that either. Even so, they’re all minor characters anyway. Minor characters don’t require as much screentime and exposition as the major characters like Ichigo and Rukia. If having a bunch of minor characters in a story was perceived as such a fatal flaw by most readers, then the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones would’ve been seen as awful works of fiction, which they are not.

        I miss Nell too, but if Kubo can bring back Yoruichi and Ganju, then he can certainly bring back Nell, whom we already saw recently when they returned to Hueco Mundo. I’m still waiting on Grimmjow to return, but I’m willing to give Kubo the benefit of a doubt that he’ll bring him back. Remember how glorious it was when he brought back Don Kanonji? Give Kubo some time.

        LaughingMan
      3. @spikerman87: “Ten years ago” what? “Ten years ago I had a sandwich for the first time”? “Ten years ago Gundam SEED Destiny started and turned out to be awful”? Be more specific man.

        LaughingMan
  1. It’s true Ichibei explained his ability, but each time he’s done that he’s moved on to a completely different style of attacking.
    Then again, his naming speciality might require him to explain his abilities for them to work.

    The fact that Yhwach can keep granting himself power to make up for everything that’s taken away from him is what’s extending this battle.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    too long;didn’t read: Ichibei’s strong, but Yhwach has ridiculous endurance.

    Psithief
  2. Haschwalth pretty much suggested that Ishida joined in order to get revenge on Yhwach when the opportunity arised, but once you drink his blood and he bestows a letter upon you it’s no longer possible to defy him. When he does that it seems to alter a person, as As Nodt became obsessed with fear after Yhwach bestowed the power upon him when he was a sickly human afraid of death. Then there’s Royd Lloyd and Lloyd Lloyd who had their powers when they were born.

    TheVoid
  3. Yuushirou ……O__O So Cute XD XD. I wonder if she wants to be Ichigo’s pet cat!

    Anyway, finally it is so good to see the rest of the Vizards, especially Hyori who is expected to have a “family reuninion soon with one of the Zero Captains. Though I am still wondering when are the Fulllbringers going to make their appearance, or if Kubo forgot about them. I would be amazed with those three, in such a short time, train to the point where they can fight on even terms as those “angels.”

    As for Yhawach, I am curious if Kubo may shock us to not make him the “final boss.” After seeing Hunter x Hunter, I learned that some ” bosses” don’t have to be confronted by the MC. Regardless, I will be shocked if the Soul King does not make a second appearance, I really find it dubious if he can’t fight.

    L002
    1. In the name of my Master, i speculate:

      The Soul King

      What is his/her/it? Power Source

      It is the believing of the Humans in the afterlife. They do not need to pray, also a direct way of creating Mana/Reitsu. They just grown their Mana/Reitsu through indirect way. Just knowing the the death ones, transcend to a “better/death” World, like in almost all World Religions. Like Heaven or Hell, or Nirvana

      He is the Catalyst, some special People in this World, perhaps the first Person ever that took a step into this World, and so he created Seritei from the Dark (Like God created the Heaven, Earth, Trees and so on). He is something like this Quincy Captain that fought against Kenpachi, and destroyed himself. He is a creator Shinigami, the oldest one. He build the Seritei Cage for the others Souls to have a home, for not wanders in all eternity in the Dark Void

      What can be his Powers?:
      Well being some kind of Creator, he is a God to Seritei. Only the controlling of Souls with free will, is out of his reach. Thats because he need the Zero Squad. To granted his Peace, far above of his creation (God in the heavens)
      He has the same Powers as this Quincy “i create things out of my mind” Enemy. Just on the Light side, he do not wanted to be alone and so he created a World around him with Souls of different Time and ages of the Human World (it was told at the very beginning of explaining Seritei. Kubo, you should use it to explain the King. First there where Darkness, and he feel alone. Then he created Seritei to have a World filled with Souls)

      So, he is some kind of the first Zero Captain. His real weapon is his Mind. Not any Weapons skills. (he could imagine it anyway. Or he can use a Copy Mind read Trick, and have the same Skills as his Enemy. it is no Fun to fight your own Doppelgänger. In the real World imagine, if someone just could read your language in your Brain. He would speak in your Language. Some kind of Babble-fish of Star Trek Universe)

      Anyway, also he has no Weapon Battle Skills, he use his imagination to create and to end Life (or perhaps only capable to create Life. For the “kill” section, he has his Zero Squad to keep the free Minds of the Souls in check)

      So Ichigo is the Bonus like Ichida (the glasses Guy), like Inoue. They are Humans, they are Human fortified Souls in a land of Death Human Souls. In some case, their Souls have some kind of Hercules Power in Willpower. nearly the same as the Soul King in creation. But they dont have the Catalyst power of the King. they do not have “infinity” Mana fuel to create

      Anyway, these 3 “real alive” Human souls, will turn or keep the Balance in check of Seritei. Ichigo as a Guardian (like a Big Policemen), together with Ichida on the “Spirit Particles” (The World Mana support), with Inoue as Seritei’s Soul-life guardian (Spiritual, in what Byakuya believe)

      Like my Master said, after he saw Shirobako he encourage me to write down my thoughts to give perhaps some Lighthouse ideas for the ones, that are searching for the Future Episodes/Chapters. Some kind of Compass for the lost thoughts

      Sorry, for this Wall of text

      WorldwideDepp
  4. Ichibei was surprisingly OP. You would think the state Yhwach is in would means imminent defeat, but this is Bleach we’re talking about. THrow crushed? Pierced by a bow? Power level cut by half? He’ll still win somehow. Sigh.

    YanDaMan
  5. ah, actuarial exams, those are familiar (going through those myself ;_;)

    Good luck, you’ll need all you can get to pass them. great to see you’re still finding time to write these posts though!

    materium

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