Defence and offence.

Gerard Reformed:

So… it turns out Hitsugaya has yet to properly win a fight. I had assumed this would be the end of Gerard, but apparently not. Last week felt like a fitting end, so I’m surprised he regenerated (and this time wearing new armour). Will he go like Lille and lose his former sanity and just be a raging monster? I don’t know who is going to show up and take him down; if Kenpachi, Byakuya, and Hitsugaya couldn’t do it, our options are looking limited. Though, I’m willing to bet that we won’t be cutting back to this fight for a while. We’ve got things happening across the board, and this is definitely the least interesting of the bunch.

Guess whose back…

The Final Set-up:

I’m not surprised that Haschwalth is switching back to his Balance ability for what portion of the fight we’re likely to see. Giving away the abilities of Juha’s Almighty like that would have been cheap, so while it may not make sense that Ishida is still alive against such powers, I’m glad this is how it’s playing out. Then again, Haschwalth wasn’t in complete control of that power, so perhaps it’s better for him that he’s got his own shirift back. My guess is we’ll cut back to these two for a few weeks, which should make for a good fight.

But there’s also the set-up for the final battle – or what appears to be the final battle. Most worth noting with the Juha stuff this week is his dream sequence, which is our first look at his ability to look into the future. However, you may or may not have noticed that his vision is off. For one, Juha himself is in his old form, rather than the multiple eyes of the Soul King. Secondly, Ichigo has his old zanpakutou and outfit from before his recent training. And thirdly, the way Ichigo went straight for the kill was completely out of character. My bet is this is a hint that Juha’s powers don’t quite work with Ichigo – what he sees doesn’t match with reality, which is likely to be his one major flaw.

A final battle in an alternate universe?

Ichigo & Orihime:

My favourite part of this chapter, however, has to be Orihime. She’s one of my favourites of the series, even if I think she’s not been given the best material to work with, especially post-SS. But I still enjoy her character, her personality, and her love for Ichigo. He may be as dense as can be, but I love seeing them preparing to fight Juha together. Ichigo on offence, Orihime on defence. While the early portions of the series had Ichigo and Rukia pairing up, this is the first time we’ve seen these two actually working together. It’s an exciting possibility, and I sure hope Orihime gets to prove her worth. That would be awesome.

H-has she won?

Overview – What’s Next?:

While the Gerard stuff wasn’t that exciting, the rest of the chapter shows promise for the near future. Ishida and Haschwalth’s match – if we do get to see it – should be an interesting one, and I suspect a certain quincy father will show up at just the right moment. But it’s the Orihime focus that has me most excited, but also a little worried. Some have read this as death flags, but I would be very surprised if that ended up happening. And I hope it doesn’t. While romance isn’t a priority in Bleach, Ichihime is still my jam, and this current situation puts her ahead of the race for the first time in… well… ever.

39 Comments

  1. I’m a huge Inoue fan as well. Glad to see she is with Ichigo. Hopefully she gets a chance to shine and show how amazing she is. As far as Ichigo being dense… Naruto finally smartened up and choose Hinata so there is still hope for Ichigo/Inoue.

    Karmafan
  2. There’s still a lot of things that haven’t come into play yet. Will the Fullbringers fight Gerard next? I can see Clock guy and Tsukishima being a good match against him. Hallibel is still captured somewhere. We didn’t forget about her did we? Juha Bach is a S+++ class wizard with Yamamoto’s Bankai still in his possession…This fight isn’t going to be straight forward. According to power level logic the moment he uses that Bankai Inoue would incinerate immediately.

    Good luck Ichigo. May the Bleach logic be truly on your side.

  3. When you think about it, Ichigo’s encounters with Juha Bach parallels nicely to Star Wars.

    Empire Strikes Back/Quincy Strikes Back <— LOL

    Luke/Ichigo learns of his true heritage and family line from Vader/Juha, and gets owned in the process.

    Return of The Jedi/Return of the Human/Shinigami/Visored/Fullbringer/Quincy <—- Whatever You Want To Call Him

    Luke/Ichigo confronts their respective evil/corrupted family member in the final confrontation.

  4. This Juha in this Dream was not what we all think, this Juha we saw is the Juha inside Ichigo’s Spirit world, his Quincy part Old men Zangetzu….. i think

    Worldwidedepp
  5. Yhwach’s dream wasn’t a look into the future, because he didn’t have the Almighty yet. He only gains the Almighty when it is night. So this was just a normal dream. I find it more worrying that Yhwach was happy about his nightmare. Someone like Yhwach shouldn’t be happy about dreaming of dying. It’s like Ichigo is running into a trap again and that will cause something disasterous, like when he killed the Soul King. Maybe Yhwach’s death is just the begining. For some reason he felt the need to appoint Uryuu as his successor.

    I hope we will see the two Sternritter that should still be in Yhwach’s throne room and that Orihime heals them perhaps. She should be able to multi-task, if I remember correctly.

    dean
    1. It’s easier to find someone who likes her than someone who hates her. Both she and Rukia are one of the most well developed characters in the whole manga.

      danpmss
    2. I don’t hate Orihimie, I just hate what Kubo did with her. After the Espada arc she’s really just barely been here. She has had less screen presence than many of the Z-list characters. She’s suppose to be A-List and it feel like Kubo didn’t know what to do with her with the Fullbringer arc and this arc.

      I thought it would have been great if Tsukshima had killed her in the Fullbringer arc. That way she could have become a Shinigami, gained new powers, and she could have become as strong as a captain through the time skip, and it would have given an actual payoff for the Fullbringer arc and made Tsukshima a relevant villain.

      1. @spikerman87 have to agree with you there. She isn’t a bad character but it’s what Kubo did to her that makes me really disappointed.

        Any important character development for her involves Ichigo and Kubo treats her nothing but a “typical” female in manga and that doesn’t make her believable at all. I quite liked her during soul society arc because even though she went to rescue Rukia for Ichigo she grew her strength as an individual whereas after the SS arc it’s like all she can see is Ichigo. I don’t have anything against she crush on Ichigo but in the real world you have to grow yourself first and then focus on growing with the other person but it’s like Kubo ignored the first step and went straight ahead to her purpose being there for Ichigo and I think that’s a really bad message he sends across.

        Kiraboshi
  6. Watch, by Juha naming Uryuu as a successor, Juha will then transfer his soul to Uryuu upon dying. The Soul King can do that, which is why he was encased in I believe some sort of gem or ice when Juha killed him. At that time he hadn’t named a successor, so whoever killed him became the new Soul King. That’s why Juha can’t wait to die. Because he’ll become Uryuu and no one will be the wiser.

    Oh, final boss will somehow be the Soul King who’s just been sitting back and chilling while Juha goes through with all his stuff, because he’s like “meh, I’ve got nothing better to do right now”. And does it for the kicks.

    Just you wait and see Show Spoiler ▼

    Dorian S.
  7. I can’t believe people actually like Orihime. In my opinion she is the worst manga heroine and I’m very sad that she is one of the main character to such a famous manga. Her character development is always, if not, too often centered around a guy she likes and she bugged me so much when all her lines were “Kurosaki-kun Kurosaki-kun Kurosaki-kun Kurosaki-kun Kurosaki-kun”. Not to mention the fact when everyone went to rescue her all she thanked was her Kurosaki-kun.

    I think she is a terrible character and a role model for any girls but because she is “cute” and has big boobs of course Kubo and other shallow minded people will pair her up with the guy of her dreams and give her all the happiness she deserves and make her become the center of attention.

    Kiraboshi
    1. She was a better character in the first half of the manga (pre-SS and SS). She was a lovable girl with lots of quirks, over-active imagination/daydreams and best friends with Tatsuki. I am sure you can remember the hilarious scene when she had to drawn/write how she saw herself in the future for a school assignment (big robot!).

      But like with other things, Kubo wrote himself into a corner. Her powers are simply too strong. Denial of events is god-like, even said by Aizen himself. If you make her control/strengthen her powers ,she will finish the story by herself. So…he had let her be a meek, captured princess type in the next arc and that was the end of her quirky fun personality.

      Faolan
    2. Wow… that’s harsh. Kubo may not have given her the best material to work with, but to say she is a bad rolemodel for girls is OTT. Orihime had showed she is kind, forgiving, loving, and just a really nice, decent person. She may get sexualised from time to time, but that’s because she’s a manga character of a popular shonen title. And even then, Bleach is low on the fanservice spectrum.

      Orihime is one of my favourite characters because she is a decent person. She hold little to no malice, yet gets treated like absolute garbage by the fans. While this development is sudden, it’s better than nothing.

      Samu
    1. “Will be go like Lille and lose his former sanity and just be a raging monster?”

      Embarassing, simply embarassing on my part. Excuse me while I go deport myself immediately.

      Grammar Nazi
      1. Think that’s supposed to be a “he”. Not worth bothering over. H and B are right next to each other on the keyboard, and spellcheck isn’t going to pick up the misuse of a legitimate word.

        quigonkenny
    1. So what changed after volume 12 (which is the Ichigo vs Kenpachi fight)? That’s an oddly specific number. And I personally don’t subscribe to the belief that Bleach is any worse than it used to be. Sure, SS may be the best arc (all series have an arc that many readers would consider the best), but it always seems to me that it is the fans who havechanged, as Bleach is remarkably consistent in what it delivers week-to-week.

      Samu
      1. Oh Samu, where do I start…

        I guess I should stat by saying when I said 12 I actually meant 20 (both had number 2 in it) – I was recalling from the top of my head and did not have a chance to check my books. Volume 20 is the end of SS. Which, in my opinion could have / should have probably been a great series end with a few adjustments.

        I think art wise, everything is ultra consistent, but everything else it has been on decline. While I agree with you that I changed, that in itself does not explain the heart wrenching disappointment I feel whenever I see Bleach today. Bleach changed for the worse. My biggest issues with it are as follows:

        1. After book 20, Kubo introduced too many characters (many of whole forgettable and never mentioned again after they were defeated). The story and focus was really diluted to the point that I stopped caring even for the main characters. Take a look at Naruto and Dragon Ball, if you think about it, the character list grew at a way lower rate than Bleach. And those that did show up and mattered kept getting developed over and over again (and not just given cool power ups). Kubo literally forgot about most of his characters, and every time they sort of make reappearances I just feel like I know and care for them less and less. Rukia in particular, was majorly shafted. She was a main character in the beginning and somewhere after SS he just forgot about that fact. I thought during the first Arc something might be interested about Rukia why Urahara screwed her over – but nothing came of that. She just shows up once in a while to show off a new skill and then fade into the background again.

        2. When is the last time you care about the “villain” to any sort of extent in Bleach? The answer for me was back in book 20. Back then, the bad guys were more or less relateable or interesting. First we had the captains who were just fighting for upkeeping rules, and then you had Aizen who at first seems like a nice guy and when he finally turned on everyone I felt engaged. Gin is another example of a villain I really cared about. His past with Rangiku was really cool and I was touch by how much he cared for her even to the end (of SS, I realized after that there was a bit more on that that I liked). Kubo seemed to have stopped caring about making characters engaging now. More and more his villains are just the next obstacles with somewhat cool powers that our protagonist must face.

        Ori
  8. I’m honestly more of Ulquihime shipping. I just kinda hope that Ulquiorra miraculously returns. Ywach is fighting Ichigo and Orihime. Ywach then manages to get the upper hand and targets Orihime with a bow. Ichigo is unable to make it in time. Just as the arrow nears Orihime, Ulquiorra arrives and saves her.

    ion42

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