Ichigo versus Kirge Opie round two: commence.
Like every fight so far in Bleach, Kubo treated us to one of his traditional “enemy appear from behind” panels with Kirge and Ichigo. Before Ichigo retaliated we realized that he had a run in with Uruhara who shed light on the technique, Letzter Stil.
The conversation of Uruhara, and further of Kirge, illuminated contrasts and similarities between Kirge and Ishida while showing differences. Ishida managed to reach the skills by use of a gloved appendage, whereas Kirge attained the true version, transforming and affecting his body in the process. It seemed to be something that may have been taboo to a certain sect of Quincies as the one related to Ishida was an adamant opponent of it in the past.
Ichigo found some joy in what Kirge was saying about the powers being different. This initial smile and Kirge’s demeanor made this fight enjoyable for us. Rather than having an opponent that was grim and quite emotionally challenged with anger, we have one that seemed to enjoy fighting and proving himself against the coveted substitute shinigami of legend.
Much of the fighting this chapter was intense. Getsuga Tenshou was thrown and missed, Kirge unleashed a new attack (Vollstandig Biskiel), enough to wipe away Santen Kesshun (lest we forget Inoue and Chad are, as usual, doing absolutely nothing), and the sudden arrival of Ayon, made this a chapter to enjoy.
Kubo has thus far proved that he is serious in making Bleach go out with a big bang. By having Ichigo already showing us his favorite attack, opponents unleashing new non-cheap nor weak abilities, and even past villains teaming up with the protagonist to take down a foe, it really has worked to recover our interest in the series after that Fullbringer arc. What more can he do? Who knows, but now I am excited once again for the most action-packed Weekly Shonen Jump series to date.
GO Rating: 4/5