Our orange haired hero is conspicuously absent from this penultimate chapter.

A Sudden Timeskip:

I had prepared a lengthy (and I mean lengthy) final impressions post on the entire Bleach manga over the past week since we were under the assumption this would be the final chapter, but it turns out we were duped one final time. It’s a shame that we’re going to have to wait an extra two weeks before the actual final chapter, but I’m not complaining about another epilogue, especially since a single one wouldn’t be enough in the first place. Not only that, but we got a 10 year timeskip. From the reactions I read, some people were shocked and disappointed at such a sudden jump, but I have a feeling the final moments of the Juha battle will be explained next week.

Friggin’ adorable.

Playing Catchup:

This week was all about the shinigami and how Soul Society is still rebuilding itself after the quincy invasion. We see Shunsui drinking by the graveside of his lifelong buddy, Ukitake. I feel sorry for fans of the sickly captain, as his Mimihage sacrifice didn’t amount to much in the end – though it was still an epic standalone moment. We’ve seen plenty of scenes like this with Shunsui and Ukitake drinking on a field, but this time he only has a gravestone to chat with. For me, it has to be the saddest moment of this chapter, even though we confirmed the deaths of Unohana and Komamura as well.

Isane and Iba as captains of the 4th and 7th divisions makes sense but I’m going to assume they’ve gone through some dramatic changes these past 10 years. We know Isane is a strong healer and capable kido user, so I’m willing to believe she’s the best possible choice for the position. As for Iba… we never saw him properly fight in the entire series; we didn’t even find out the name or abilities of his shikai, never mind his bankai. I can only assume both have achieved bankai in that space, and it would be cool to imagine what they could be. But that just means they’re now added to the list of characters who we never got to see their full potential (I’m looking at you, Hisagi). As for Lisa, her returning makes sense and she could make for a capable captain, but it makes me wonder what Love is up to, as he’s the only vizard captain not to return to his original post.

Other than the final captain reveal, my favourite moment of the chapter would have to be Mayuri and Nemu’s re-entrance. Mayuri, as always, is sporting a new design which is perhaps his most bizarre yet. Nemu, on the other hand, has been reborn as Nemuri Nanagou, which many of us expected. Not only that, but she’s been remade with a different personality that proves that even if Mayuri complains, he’s allowed and approved this change, showing that he really does care. Since Mayuri is my favourite character I’m one of the few who can’t complain that my favourite didn’t get the proper development they deserved; Mayuri got heaps of it in this final arc, and for that I’m grateful. This chapter was the cherry on top.

A familiar panel, with new faces.

Rukia’s Captaincy:

I think the biggest part of the chapter has to be Rukia’s promotion to the 13th Division, and just like many fan arts of the past have depicted this scene, she’s wearing her oversized white robe and sporting long flowing locks. It’s a fan pleaser, but I’m glad for all the Rukia fans out there getting to see her like this. If I’m to make a prediction, I think this may be the last we see of her in the series; this entire chapter was building up to that reveal, and I’m glad we stuck with the Soul Society characters alone if only to give some focus to the first part of this epilogue.

She did it!

Overview – What’s Next?:

Despite how many promotions and wrap-ups we got this chapter, it almost feels like we’re setting up for a whole new arc – or at the very least another villain. We see Juha’s signature black reiatsu bubbling up from Ukitake’s grave when Shunsui walks away, and then Akon announces the return of a reiatsu similar to the quincy king. Without knowing how the final fight wrapped itself up it’s hard to guess what this could all mean. And with an ‘IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT’ coming next week I think we may be in for a sequel series. That’s the best we can hope for, the worst would be some pachinko machines. Though the safest best would be the return of the anime, which would be great as well.

Either way, we have one more chapter to nail down the final details and show what Ichigo and Orihime (and everyone) else is up to 10 years in the future. Do we think that Juha-like reiatsu is actually coming from Ichigo? Will Ichigo and Orihime have a family already? It will be bizarre seeing them 27 years old, but not as bizarre as the finality of it all. If next week truly is the end, expect a nostalgia trip from a loyal fan who isn’t quite ready to say goodbye just yet. The next two weeks are going to be painful…


      1. It’s super old news too. The casting has been made public for quite a long time now, they’ve almost finished with their scheduled performances in Tokyo too, before they move to Kyoto towards the end of the month.

    1. The announcement will come before the August 24-28 Rock Musical Bleach performances in Kyoto this month. I’m not sure why that even needed to be spoiler tagged, anyone could have sourced this from Kyoto Gekijo website.

      I would have said something sooner, but I was wondering how many people could have believed or even considered what you said to be true. 😉

    2. Maybe, but I doubt it. I sure hope it’s something better than that. Having a page with massive text saying ‘IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT’ should warrant more than a musical.

      1. People really should use their common sense about that. They wouldn’t announce another musical when the current one hasn’t even finished in Japan.

        Not to mention I don’t believe the others were announced via a “Important announcement”.

      1. It’s all a matter of taste there I guess. I mean, I personally find you to be unfunny. Some people may think differently, you’ve got a few upvotes there, congrats. But it’s not uncommon for someone to post something that may make them seem like an idiot on the internet and return later to say it was a joke. Again, a matter of opinion. This may offend you, but it’s just what I think. But as you’re just a random commenter on here like me and everyone else here, discussing the prospect of a musical is in no way “not getting” what you were aiming for with that post.

      2. I’m sorry if my original comment didn’t appear to be dripping sarcasm when you read it. I guess everything on the internet has to be taken literally unless you post /sarcasm or something. I’m sorry for trying to use a little humour in you super serious, no fun allowed comment section.

        Kim Pine
  1. I’m cautiously optimistic about a new Bleach anime series, I would love it to happen. Though really I’m leaning towards a Bleach movie if they do anything in anime form. It’d be less of a commitment for the studio to do and would make people happy.

    Though if I remember right, Fairy Tails 2014 anime revival was announced by a “Important announcement at this date” thing.

      1. Same here, but I really don’t know what this announcement could be. But I have a feeling it could be something in anime form, but I don’t really want to get my hopes up.

    1. At the very least, I hope some questions will be answered such as what happened to Tier Harribel. You would hope the author didn’t forget about her.

      Anyway, expect a one piece cover special that features Ichigo.

  2. I didn’t feel too much. Shunsui’s scene was my favorite because it was enough. I’m actually surprised he’s alive. Nano-chan’s God sword didn’t take his life after all? Huh.

    Other than little Nemu. This felt very meh. There were callback jokes about Kempachi’s sense of direction which…who cares? More jokes about the ha ha we didn’t see Shūhei Hisagi’s Bankai. He was shot by Owl Man and that was it.

    I think what’s astonishing, honestly, is the title of this chapter. “The Perfect End.”

    …..Ok, look, even the die hard of the die hard fans would agree this is not the perfect end. I can’t see that as anything other than Kubo taking jabs at the viewers. It’s pretty insulting if you ask me. But that’s just what I see.

    1. Funnily I was thinking that this does seem like “the perfect end” at least from a soul society point of view. What if this perfect end is simply an illusion and the fight is actually not over?

      Haha just playing devils advocate

    2. Kubo should be aware that this is not a perfect ending. For one, this actually isn’t the ending. And more importantly, the character we saw immediately after the title was Mayuri, aka the guy, who gave a big speech about how perfection is unattainable and how much he despises perfection. Mayuri is also in some way connected to the shadow.

    3. I apparently missed the other jab at everyone. Shunsui says “Some people can’t appreciate the pace at which I move.”

      That’s Kubo talking. I’m not sure why I didn’t pick up on that before.

      Your pacing sucked Kubo. Your pacing was wasting as much time as possible for a cool looking last page. That’s all you cared about. You wanted to stall for as much time by flooding the other pages with dialogue that were pointless, a villain monologuing, or having characters standing around doing nothing until the last page came along. It took 3 chapters for Ichigo to lunge at Juah Bach, last page, revealing shikai, last page, revealing Bankai, last page.

      It shouldn’t have taken 4 years to get here, and you have no-one to blame but yourself when Jump, who is a business first, has given you more than enough time, and how surprising they got tired of it taking so long, and watching the money and popularity get lower and lower and lower.

  3. With that little subplot about detecting Juha’s reiatsu I’m really hoping it doesn’t end on some crappy “Juha wins!” unresolved cliffhanger.

    I think the best thing would be for Kubo to follow in Naruto’s footsteps and end it with a relatively peaceful ending and then go back and dig into the ending and where everyone ended up in a short continuation series. Bleach Next or something. Add some “present” story about what’s going on with things now and in the future and I’ll have no complaints.

  4. So far this is a shitty ending, but it does look like there will be more to this. Yhwach did absorb that stuff inside Ukitake, maybe he somehow left a remnant of himself in his body, and it’s now slowly recovering. (Hence the similar reiatsu being detected). Either way it doesn’t seem like it’s the end yet. That would honestly be a stupid way anyway, we didn’t even see him actually die. It just jumped 10 years into the future after you see Ichigo strike at him.

    The announcement will be a Part 2 probably, or a possible movie to wrap things up. (First showing what happened after the initial strike that Ichigo gave in Chapter 684, and then finally what’s going on with that weird reiatsu leaking out from spots).

    1. well, i hope this Reiatsu’s are from his close friends, like Chad, Orihime and Ishida-kun

      But i still do not believe that Ichigo took the “Job” as the Soul king, he do not have the discipline and patience to do it after all

      Well, lets see

  5. To say I was expecting the final chapter this week this turns out to be a pleasant surprise. Although Kubo can’t hope to wrap every characters whereabouts in the ones remaining chapter, hopefully there’s enough finality to let the Bleach manga be laid to rest.

    I can’t see the anime being brought back in its original slot as those things are hard to obtain. Additionally a movie or two would be a good idea but inevitably some characters would get short-changed in the process.

    If JUMP lets Kubo draw an after story of 5-8 chapters and release that as a separate volume later in the year, that would be great. I’d prefer that and hopefully we only get a glimpse of the next generation (i.e Ichigo and Orihime’s son/daughter having the connection with spirits) and leave it at that). I can’t imagine Kubo wants to draw a new generation Bleach atm and deserves a bit of a break.

    That said, I look forward to whatever Kubo does next (whether that be a new manga series, character designs for a film/game/etc. or otherwise). Ideally I’d love to see him draw a manga series about a young rock band a la Beck as he clearly loves his music and his designs would fit the genre well.

    1. Perhaps they want to make some OVA’s what happen between the fight and this 10 Years jump, and if these OVA’s are successful then perhaps we get some “Spin off” fiction of Heroes that are in high demand of their fans

      But then this “Spin off” can rip the Bleach Universe apart (timeline and Power balance)

      1. US Comics example:

        Marvel heroes
        DC Heroes

        and so on, these Spin off spread the Heroes larger, but also the blood got thinner

        So Spin offs are an double edge sword

      2. @Lyfe

        Lets see, but for Kubo’s future he should reconsider to publish now in an Monthly season. I bet he is “sick” of putting out 18 Pages every weak 🙂

        Take as example “Claymore”…Try to imagine it as an Weakly printing Manga…

      3. I think he would most likely do a series smaller in scale than Bleach. Something like a 100-200 chapter story that he could do weekly, or even monthly as you suggested. Someone else suggested he should do a music series on this page, I’d like that.

  6. So Rukia’s big Brother Captain died or he let now Rukia wield the Captain rank status. Well, they are short on Captains right now. Some died, and these ex-half hallow half Shinigami join them. Lucky they did not got old in Seritei…

    1. This “happy end” may be his bankai, a 10 years old global total hipnosis. Everything is too perfect, and let’s remember he had it all planed from the start. Or at least I hope…

    1. It wasn’t just heavily implied, she is Kenpachi’s zanpakutou spirit. Now that he’s learned its name she has returned to the blade. It’s been like that since the end of the Gremmy fight.

  7. Weren’t there some complaints from Kubo’s side in the chapter? Like “Some people cant appreciate my pacing” (or something, dont know the exact words), but for me this doesn’t sound like there will be a sequel series or anything, maybe a concluding movie, the same they did for Naruto. Anyways, I stopped reading ages ago, exactly because of the pacing issues. It’s a shame, but the story appearantly only got worse.

    1. It got much better, and it’s full of the best fridge brilliance the series could offer so far.

      But there’s no denial, his pacing is absolute shit, and I’m almost 100% sure this rushed ass ending was caused by Jump axe-ing the series after Kubo discussed with the editors some months ago.

  8. The important announcement will be a spin-off series starring chair-sama.

    Otherwise, this chapter just felt “meh” beyond the graveside sake, Mayuri and the nod to Rukia.


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