The Gathering Continues:
You could probably label this chapter 612.2, cause it pretty much felt like the exact same chapter as last week. This time, though, we see some previously mentioned and unmentioned characters make their appearance. As it turns out Ukitake is joining the crew (who knows where his Kamikake is right now), after healing up several others with help from Isane and Hanatarou. Out of the bunch I think the one character most people will be happiest to see return is none other than Kenpachi – though I want Unohana back on the scene as well, if she’s still alive, which I hope she is.
One big question being asked this chapter is: where is Yachiru? We saw her disappear after Kenpachi’s fight with Gremmy, and ever since she’s been MIA. One popular theory is that she is Kenpachi’s zanpakutou spirit, but I’m not too sure on that one. It is possible, and there’s not much else that can be guessed at this point, but who knows. Kubo’s obviously got something planned with her. Either way, everyone is ready to go up to the Soul Palace now, which should make for a rather epic final battleground.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I’m not one who usually moans about Bleach chapters being short purely because of the panel size or pacing, but this week’s chapter was on 13 pages in length. It’s not uncommon for this to happen with manga published on a weekly schedule, but I don’t believe Kubo has ever done it before. My only guess is that he must still be unwell after spending nearly two weeks in hospital over the winter break, so hopefully he’s back on form soon and we can return to the regular chapter lengths. I’m even more curious now as to what Ichibei was talking about this week. It almost seems like he’s going to sacrifice Ichigo and friends in order to defeat Juha…