Two hairpins, one shadow.

Yet More Flashbacks:

Last week’s chapter was always going to be a hard one to follow… but what we got this week as a about twenty steps backwards. Before I get into all that, however, I should note that it seems more likely that Bleach (and every other Weekly Shonen Jump manga) will be pushed back from the regular Thursday release day (remember when it used to be Wednesday?). If we were going to match the official release date, we should get the chapters on the follow Mondays, which I would be fine with, as I read the English Weekly Shonen Jump anyways. The reason why this review is a few days later than usual is purely because the changing dates mucked up my routine… and now I’m talking about Bleach on a Saturday!

With that out-of-the-way, I should probably begin with the flashback. I said last week that the continuing flashback was a pleasant surprise, because I didn’t think we would get more. However, I definitely did not expect even more this week; because really, it was not necessary. This flashback, although nice to get from Shunsui’s POV, didn’t give us any more information from last chapter, where we got tonnes of details that helped piece everything all together. This time around the flashback felt like it was tacked on just to buy time, which is the feeling I get from the entire chapter. At least now we know that Shunsui’s brother and Nanao’s mother both wore one hairpin each, which ties back to Shunsui wearing both in the present. Other than that, there isn’t much more to discuss.

Shunsui being his goofy self.

Lille’s Demise:

Sadly, not much else happens for the rest of the chapter. And what does happen is not that good. Most notable is Nanao’s trembling hands as she faces off against Lille. Technically, we’re jumping back in time before the end of last week’s cliffhanger, which means we cover even less than usual. What follows is rather painful to read, as Nanao goes over how terrified she is to be fighting with a sword, and apparently being injured for the first time? Are we meant to believe that a character who has been a vice captain for as long as we’ve known her has never fought in a battle? We’ve never seen her do so in-series, mind you (except defending against Haschwalth), but you’d think she would have done something. Well, apparently not. It’s rather disappointing to find that out, especially after we’ve spent the past few weeks focusing so heavy on her development. It was all going so well…

As for Lille, well, his final move was actually pretty cool. His AoE has always been ridiculous, but his God’s Trumpet technique exceeded everything we’ve seen so far. But before we can appreciate its devastation, Nanao (and Shunsui) reflects his move back at him, and he dissipates into the air. Even writing that is anticlimactic. Definitely not the most impactful end to this fight.

Nanao finally realises she is in a battle manga.

Overview – What’s Next?:

This chapter wasn’t that good, but when you compare it to what we got last week, it was almost laughably bad. I expected this fight to wrap up with this chapter, but the unneeded flashback and the revelations of Nanao’s inexperience make it difficult to believe this could have ended any worse. This was definitely a let-down, after this fight was growing on me. Ah well, at least it’s over. Perhaps Shunsui will keel over next week, and then we’ll cut over to Askin or Gerard’s fights. Hopefully they will be more to the level of the Mayuri vs Pernida fight before this.


  1. The way I’ve seen it, it’s not that she has never been in a battle before but since she didn’t have zanpakuto she was probably specialized in long range fighting through hado. In essence she was a sniper. But I might be completely wrong and over-extrapolating.

    1. Nah, I’d say you’re right in that regard. Nanao could never pair with a Zanpakuto and threw all her training into fighting with Kido. In that context this is quite possibly the first time she’s had a real sword fight since whenever the trainers at the academy realized it was a waste of time to school her in something she can’t use.

      One gets the feeling her usual style would be using her speed (which is close to Shunsui’s though not quite as fast), to evade attacks and then respond with Hado. It goes in line with the tome she tends to carry around as well.

  2. Kubo forgot the resolve of her, when she wanted to attack the Captain Commander in the Ichigo/Rukia Arc, in the start of Bleach!. And there she used only an Knife. But her resolve to help his Captain was real, just for her Luck the old Captain Commander just paralyzes her with his Reiatsu. So he was nice to her, and her Captain brought her outside the battlefield. where even the Capt. Commander waiting for this to continue the fight. Well, both sides respected each other, even if they where fighting

    So, her fear here, is a bit off.. or she forgotten this feeling, standing all alone now infront of an Enemy

    But this Weapon is like an mirror, reflecting only Reiatsu based attacks, not melee attacks.. i bet here comes the Uncle Protection into play

  3. Is Lille really dead?
    Probably, but for all we know, he could regenerate and make a new body. This guy survived a decapitation, shouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility. Though I would prefer to move on, but I think something is going to happen to Nanao. Otherwise there would be no excuse, for why they wouldn’t try that sword on Yhwach. Maybe the light will kill her or something like that.

    1. It is not an Sword. That is his weak Point. It is more an Mirror, that trow back an Reiastu based attack. So against Sword attacks its useless, she can only Block, but not attack like an real Sword

      So, she is more an Mage class user here

      1. I know it’s not a sword, but the point still stands, that Lille could still regenerate. His head exploded and he was still able to make a new one. Though I don’t really want him too, but I think Nanao needs to die, because otherwise the “sword” could be used against Yhwach, which would be too anti-climatic.

      2. or they worn out Lille

        Perhaps at some point, he can not regenerate anymore. This reflected attack created an hole in his body (again), his rage powerful attacks puts a strain on his Soul body, until his body can not keep up

        He is burning a lot of Reiatsu in his “Vollständig” or not? A Flame that burn ever hotter and faster, until the “Wood” is gone

  4. You know I think Kubo has a talent for making overpowered opponents that would boggle your mind as you how in the world the good guys are gonna beat them but the problem is he seems to usually fall short on giving a good way out for the heroes to triumph over what seems to be the most powerful foe they’ve ever faced. Case in point right here, a weird owl like angelic being with a body intangible to physical harm, only for us to find out that suddenly there was this power reflecting sword that can slay divine beings. Barragan; the dude who could age anything to dust, suddenly Hachigan had the power to teleport his own power into his stomach, Ulquirra; had a hidden resurrection that probably made him more powerful than all the Espada, became so powerful that despite all the blabbering Ichigo did on how he was gonna win Kubo was forced to make use of his own overpowered Hollow form, Aizen; basically rose to godhood and then suddenly Ichigo had 3 months to train inside a tunnel to discover that his zanpakouto could give him an insane burst of power in exchange for him to lose his power after use…only for him to discover new abilities and have his power returned because reasons. Hell this even happened on the good guy side; we all squealed like fangirls when Yamamoto finally went Bankai and kicked the crap out of Yhwach only for us to find out that he was using a body double and then he showed up killing Yamamoto in half a chapter after all the badassery Yamamoto pulled.

    Ah now I’m blabbing, long story short; we now have someone who merged with basically the being that can be perceived as the one true god in Bleach universe and in no way am I going to believe that some training or secret technique or some long lost artifact is going to beat him. I just hope Kubo doesn’t pull one of these again in the final battle.

    1. Kubo’s practically already told us how the final battle’s going to go down, unfortunately.

      Remember when Shunsui was talking to Ichigo’s friends about how everything would turn out alright, unless Ichigo somehow became so unbelievably powerful that his very presence would become a threat to the living world? Subtle, much?

      Personally, I take that as Kubo’s way of saying that Ichigo is going to somehow merge with the Soul King, or at least inherit his power in some way so he can fight Juha Bach and actually be able to win.

      Nevermind that such a thing pretty much makes all his training up to this point useless, but whatever. KUBO LOGIC.

      And as if that weren’t enough, we were also told at one point about how the Soul King loves Ichigo or something, so there ya go. Unless Kubo does a total 180 and planned all of that from the start (something which I’ll have to see to believe, ’cause I don’t give Kubo that much credit) just to misdirect us, there’s no great mystery about how this is going to go down.

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. Actually, Shunsui’s warning was in respect to Ichigo’s Zero force training. Besides, Kubo’s already setup his out for Ichigo being too powerful.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      2. Ichigo and this Gigantic Grando something? Where Ishida used to drain his Power with his Quincy Bow? Where Ichigo’s Sword became strange? The Valve was on full open, but somehow he succeed to close it until it only drops?

        Yeah, we know Ichigo is to powerful. he just need now to get rid of his “Seals” like Clare from Claymore

      3. @Dave: It honestly doesn’t matter if that was said in the context of Ichigo’s training at the time. What’s relevant is to see how that could easily translate into another situation where Ichigo becomes overwhelmingly powerful and what the consequences of that would be. That’s the kind of transparent foreshadowing that makes the final battle terribly predictable.

        And as for your theory, I have a hard time believing Orihime has that kind of power, particularly if my thoughts about Ichigo pan out. Barring KUBO LOGIC, it would be like trying to contain all the water in the world’s oceans in a single bottle.

        Ryan Ashfyre
  5. I’m not sure if he’s truly dead, as his wings mysteriously are still fine floating up in the air while his body turned into lights. Either this means his wings are his actual weakspot or the wings themselves will continue fighting.


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