The best showdown ever?

Expectations vs Reality:

That. Was. Epic. You’d have to be adamant in your dislike for the series to not enjoy this chapter for what it was. It was every Bleach fan’s wet dream, and delivered exactly what we needed and wanted. I’m honestly shocked that we got such a spectacular chapter given the circumstances, but that just goes to show that our expectations may be surpassed in this final battle. For too long now, Ichigo has been battered and beaten down, and it seemed that was the case once again this week. Everything seemed truly hopeless – like we really were going to end the series with Juha Bach winning and destroying everything. But we were all fooled… and it’s never felt so good to have the rug pulled from under our feet and our faces sent to the floor.

The strongest kido is finally revealed!

Aizen’s Kido, Ichigo’s Destruction:

On face value, this chapter was intense and brutal and thoroughly entertaining. Juha was once again proving why he’s the strongest being in all of Bleach, and it makes sense that he would have the upper hand even in this final battle. Still, seeing Aizen and Juha going at each other’s throats was perhaps the most satisfying thing we’ve seen in years. It’s a match many fans have been desperate for, and this chapter certainly lived up to expectations. The moment Aizen popped up with Kyouka Suigetsu back in his hand, going in for the kill… I was practically screaming with excitement – and then he goes and reveals the strongest offensive kido to date? There was too much not to get excited over… even if Juha still overpowered them all. Renji and Ichigo got their arms sliced off… their blades shattered… Aizen was sent flying. Except not really, because Aizen.

Déjà vu.

All According to Plan:

God bless Aizen. I’ve never been a massive fan of his character, but I love what he pulled off this week – he not only fooled Juha, but he fooled most of us readers as well; don’t pretend you saw this whole thing playing out like it did, even if there was always the possibility that Aizen could use his zanpakutou abilities once again. That reveal at the end of the chapter was oh so sweet, seeing Aizen take the killing blow in order to take down Juha once and for all (except probably not – but still, let’s enjoy it while we can!). In case you didn’t realise, there was actually no Renji or Ichigo for the majority of this chapter; right up until the final double spread it was Aizen fighting Juha by himself, pretending to be Renji and Ichigo and throwing Juha threw several loops. It was a genius plan and if you look back you can see evidence of his illusions in the consistent left arm being cut from Renji and Ichigo. And there’s also the fact that Juha was tricked by Aizen’s abilities once before back in the first invasion (when he lost his sense of time), so that confirmed that he has been under Kyouka Suigetsu’s effect this whole time. I guess you could say it was all according to keikaku.

Epic epic epic epic epic epic epic!

Overview – What’s Next?:

Aizen is a boss. This chapter was epic. I’m a happy Bleach fan, and I’m sure many others feel the same after this week. It’s almost a miracle that Kubo pulled off a chapter this fulfilling, that makes sense – from Ichigo’s injuries being explained through Juha’s dialogue, to Aizen’s powers catching Juha off guard. The fact remains that Ishida still has the killing arrow, so I’m pretty sure Juha won’t be cut down from Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou. It seems he was properly cut in half this time around, so I’m keen to see what he pulls off next. We’ve got as a little as two chapters left (with the possibility of more given recent news), so I hope things remain this level of epic. Perhaps an Aizen bankai to top it all off? That would be sweet beyond satisfaction.


  1. Nope. I am Immune.

    I was laughing most the way through at how ridiculous it was, and not in a good way. So here I am to play the bad guy. Ready? Here we go.

    Aizen’s Kyouka Suigetsu can top Juha Bach’s Future seeing powers. Hmm. I was mixed about that except the more I thought about it, the more I asked why Juha Bach can’t see the “future” where it’s an illusion. Reaaaaally is a stretch if you ask me. He really can’t see “Oh this is an illusion, I foresee it.” He should just expect that everything is an illusion anyways. I’m scratching my head about that. I don’t buy the theory also that Kyouka Suigetsu can create infinite of “fake” futures so Juha Bach can’t figure it out. It’d make more sense if it just stopped his vision, but Juah Bach didn’t suggest something was wrong. It seemed very confident in everything up until that point. Also since I’m sure he survived, Juah Bach should know Aizen’s weakness, if he’s really having trouble he should take hold of his sword, he’s one of the War Powers and they’ve been good at documenting everyone.Or like I’ve been saying forever, he should just nuke everyone with Yamamoto’s Bankai.

    I love how Aizen’s power is absolute illusion, but the most creative thing he can do is pretend to be someone else…I mean…that’s really not even half of what he should be capable of…Have Juha Bach be fighting no-one, at least that way Aizen wouldn’t be missing an arm and have a hole in his chest. There’s tons of more things you can do with that. The only thing that makes sense to me is if Juha Bach is pretending and is playing the fool by allowing this and letting Aizen think his illusions are working.

    1. But wait there’s more!

      I think it’s amazing that Aizen’s Shikai…just the Shikai, is able to trump the Soul King’s powers. I know the wielder of it right now is Juha Bach, but apparently the ability to see the infinite upon infinite ungodly futures, the power of their literal god, is just no match for a mere Shikai.


      1. You need to watch a few more Pokémon battle videos. Can a Level 1 Rattatta beat a Level 100 Pokémon? Yes, if you have a good strategy.

        Aizen’s strategy was to make Yhwach hallucinate, and this has been going on for as long as the first invasion. So is it really illogical to think Yhwach has been seeing fake futures? Wasn’t this ability activated after the fact?

        The thing is, while it’s still very much an asspull, Aizen’s strategy here uses abilities he had already used before in the story. It’s consistent to his character even though it’s all very much OP (but then again, this is Aizen we’re talking about).

        So no. I actually like how this fight defied “powerlevels” and hinged on a strategy based on the weak points of an otherwise unbeatable ability. Do you really want “this ability is too weak to affect me”?

      2. Oh, and also – you can tell Aizen was having his doubts about his own plan’s effectiveness. He’s FASCINATED about the fact that it worked. Aizen pretty much rolled a natural 20 when using his ability and is still in disbelief about how lucky he is.

        Aizen is such a boss that he can win BY WINGING IT.

  2. That was cool on surface value, but once you put some thought into it nothing adds up imo.
    So Juha can see any an all possible futures and redirect/rewrite them to his choosing, but he doesn’t see the future where he’s lulled into an infinity of illusions via Aizen?
    No thanks.
    Still, awesome on paper but in thought…nope.

    1. Like I mentioned above: Why would you be able to see a future where you’re under the effects of an illusion, if the futures you’re seeing are also an illusion?

      1. As long as the illussion is ever revealed in the future, he should have known about it in the present/past. And in this chapter it’s shown that the illussion is dispelled so logically Juha should’ve known about it.

        Well even if the illussion is not dispelled, the moment in the future Juha got killed from that illussion, his past/present form will be aware of it.

      2. The only viable explanation as that the power of Aizen’s illusions is a step above Juha’s foresight, or his abilities creates blackspots that don’t make the outcome clear. I think given the current scenario it’s the best possible counter to his ability.

      3. He’s effectively proven he can see things before they happen.
        Even the circumstances of this illusion should be something he can see coming, no?
        It’s be stated he can see all possible outcomes for the future and intercept them so I don’t see how illusions makes that entire process such a difficulty.
        Frankly, I expect some big plot twist to come about anyways that once again re-establishes his OP-ness anyways, so oh well. They’ve just painted him to be too powerful to be leveled out by illusions.

  3. There seems to be a big plot hole in this chapter, unless I just totally missed it. What I’m confused is how Kyōka Suigetsu got reforged. Last we saw it, it disintegrated when he lost his powers, so how did it show up again? Plotwise, Aizen really couldn’t contribute much without it, but it’s just this little detail that made the chapter not that great to me. Can someone help explain?

    1. As dean explained, Aizen effectively fused with the hogyoku but has proven he can still use his zanpakutou abilities, and because his abilities create illusions a very simple explanation would be that the current sword is just an illusion. Perhaps now one simply has to look at Aizen – not his sword – to fall under the effect of Kyoka Suigetsu, which makes it even more powerful.

  4. Aizen was a hair’s breadth away from saying “All according to plan” at the end and like spikerman87 I was just laughing through this chapter. I’ve probably forgiven stuff just as silly in series I actually like but Bleach has just been so poorly written for so long I can’t even give it credit for anything cool it does.

    Char Aznable
  5. This chapter had practically 5 chapters worth of content in one by Bleach standards. I guess the publishers are really rushing Kubo to wrap this up in 5 chapters so he cant afford to stall with low-content chapters anymore.

    Aizen trolling Juha was great, guess he didnt see THAT in the future huh! Or did he? Still hoping we see Aizen’s bankai before this is over.

  6. I love how everyone is trying to say that this whole Aizen thing is dumb and doesnt add up…..You all know that His ability is complete control of senses and illusions, one think to think…..

    Aizen lost his sword yes, but juha has been under the spell of his sword since the first invasion So it isnt hard for Aizen to have his sword in the illusion he was trolling Juha with, but thats the power of his Shikai, complete illusion, that means Juha’s ability to re write the future doesnt work against Aizen because its very easy to make his ability see nothing but illusions since hes under aizens skikai spell, thats why Aizen used an illusion of Renji and taking the form of Ichigo it completely fooled his ability, how can you rewrite the future and what not when what your seeing isnt the real thing

    Juha’s ability was focused on Ichigo and Renji….since aizen was “Ichigo” he couldnt see the outcome of Aizens power and re write what happened…..its a very simple bait and switch that Aizen pulled of masterfully and even he was surprised it worked

    I honestly really really liked this chapter because it showed the All Powerful godlike Juha has weaknesses and isnt completly unstoppable…Aizen played his part and pulled it off perfectly to add some excitement to the chapter, seeing him at the end with a smile on his face was a great Troll moment in bleach. I know bleach has had its up and downs just be happy that weere getting something good atm and not some rushed piece of crap lol

    Joshua Bender
  7. Aizen must have some Power of Illusion, if he could inject fake Pictures in all of the Captains in his arc, even the Captain commander, why not also here? Or he used his bankai to get it done

    If he should survive, then what about his Sins?

    1. also this Deja Vu Picture, he aims for his heart, the last “deja vu” was a center hole in his chest. a bit off here, this here was really an instant kill from Juha

      also, Orihime is not there

  8. I can feel your passion Samu. I’m gonna miss your reviews and how dedicated you remain after all these years of weekly coverage. The best part of this chapter form is that I fell for Aizen’s trick along with Yhwah, I really thought Ichigo got near-killed like last time with Ulquiorra. Really, really loving how this turned out – Ichigo teaming up with Aizen is a great idea for a final showdown.

  9. The thing I have trouble believing is that Aizen took the shot for Kurosaki. That just seems WAY out of character.

    I fully believe Aizen’s ability to work on Yhwah. Because it is a BS ability. You know how people hate it when stories end with “And it was all just a dream”? That’s his ability. All day, every day. Kubo can write whatever he wants and then POOF.

    It’s almost as bad as that ability to insert yourself into the past of whatever you stab. “What’s that? You’re wounded? STAB. No you weren’t.”

    At this point, I’m expecting something corny like Ichigo finding out “My Zanpakuto wasn’t broken. It was inside me all along!” ala Dorothy and her ruby slippers.

  10. @684

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