Soul King’s Powers:
I’ve read a lot of complaints about how the Soul King hasn’t actually done anything since his introduction, and that’s true. But it seems like we have our answer now. It turns out that the crystallised state the Soul King was in was some sort of seal in order to contain all the powers he has at his disposal. If it weren’t for Juha Bach killing him right now, maybe we would see him in action? Nonetheless, his powers have manifested into little black goo-ball creatures that seek out the shinigami. It looks like they were about to attack the quincies, but it appears not. Meanwhile, Haschwalth still seems pretty confident in whatever Bach is trying to accomplish, so we’ll just have to wait and see what that will actually be.
Down on the Ground:
So it doesn’t look like the shinigami on the ground are heading up to the Soul Palace any time soon, since the enemy has been brought down to them. It was nice to see Soifon using her bankai again (or trying to…), and have Ikkaku, Hisagi, and Yumichika release their shikais. I just wish Yumichika would show the powers of his real zanpakutou, since it is pretty damn impressive. As for Hisagi, I hope we get to see this bankai of his that he mentioned before the second quincy invasion. Now would be a good time. But I’m sure most people will be talking about that last page – Aizen is finally out of his prison, but still strapped down to his throne. I can’t even deny it, he looks like a boss.
Overview – What’s Next?:
If not for Aizen entering the battlefield at the end, this chapter would have been pretty forgettable. I still don’t know where Kubo is going with this, but I’ll trust that he has a plan. Too many characters have been standing around for too long – we need some movement and plot advancement, or at least some fights set up. This is the final stage of the arc, so I’d like to see some epic showdowns before we reach the conclusion. At least Aizen is here now. I’m sure next chapter he’ll provide an epic monologue whilst everyone else stares in complete bewilderment… I just hope Momo isn’t around to see him.