Previously in Bleach: Kubo shocked the world with the revelation that the Shinigami Badge had a purpose beyond showing others that they were recognized as being beneficial to Soul Society, enabling them to freely use their powers. Ginjou stated that it was a tool put into practice by Ukitake, whose goal was to have the substitute shingami under surveillance and limit their powers. Ishida seemed shocked and Ichigo went Bankai at the news.
How did the situation turn out in this chapter? Was his Bankai epic? Read on!
In true Kubo fashion, Ichigo’s Bankai and the fight with Ginjou was not covered immediately. Rather, we spent time with the crew from the Soul Society.
For fans of Rukia, they were treated to her reawakening. It had been speculated by some that Rukia may have been possessed by Riruka, who had vanished during their fight a few chapters ago. Fortunately, that didn’t seem to be the case as Rukia appeared to be normal. It would be good if Kubo doesn’t resort to a predictable plot thread of having Riruka come back to life via a possessed Rukia. There has already been a case in Bleach where a character was possessed, and in my opinion, it wouldn’t feel like an original idea if he did it in this arc.
Surprisingly, Rukia awoke in time to experience the collapse of the black box surrounding Ichigo, Ishida, and Ginjou among the others. What they saw was shocking. Ichigo had unleashed his Bankai form, which was infused with fullbring accents. The Zanpaktou itself appeared to have several curved tips as well as a new color to it. Character designs and outfits was one area where Kubo always excelled at, and in this chapter he proved his dedication to that by having cool looking characters. Ginjou unleashed his Bankai as well, and similarily, his Zanpaktou/Fullbring sword of the past received a skull-like change. His outfit changed as well with some bone-type touches added and a cloak of stunning fur.
With both characters in their Bankai form, it seemed that Kubo used this chapter to prepare readers for the coming fight. The story moved to a point where all background information had been given and that Ichigo was ready to fight. This chapter was good in the regard of having us see what we have been waiting for in this arc—that is, the character’s Bankai. Second, this chapter proved that Ichigo was still as strong as ever, with his dedication to protect his friends alive and well. To Ichigo, it didn’t matter that Ukitake may be involved; he still chose this path and he will still stick with it. I found it hard to accept that members in Soul Society would have evil intents, especially after they used their power to help Ichigo and Ichigo having fought on their behalf numerous times. It is understandable that Ichigo would not be swift to join Ginjou’s side. That being said, it will be interesting to hear what Urahara brings to the table for clarification as well as the true history regarding Ginjou.
GO Rating : 4/5