Ho ho ho, so the Quincy return, this certainly is surprising. When I read the title of this arc the first time – “The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc” – I had thought that it was too short to be referring to the War between Hollow and Shinigami and I had thought that it was too long to be referring to the War between the Quincy and the Shinigami, but it looks like I read the “most of the Quincy were wiped out over 200 years ago” too literally, focusing on the ‘200 years ago’ closing my mind off to the possibility that 800 years before that something between the Quincy and Shinigami may have sparked the two factions fued causing this Thousand-Year Blood War to begin.
Love this chapter, such good things happened and they were direct rather than beating around the bush, and how hilarious it was at how unphased Ichigo and Co. were at a “Arrancar” appearing. The chapter set-up the plot quickly (War on Gotei 13 declared), brought the antagonist characters into the light – those 7 masked/concealed people, and a fair amount of mystery was also set-up – what happened to the citizens of Rukongai? What about the Hollow? Who are the masked characters? And just who is Ivan, a friend or foe?
Ivan’s mask fragment over his eye is interesting, I thought he was an Arrancar, but actually being a Quincy, how surprising. Is that mask fragment over his left eye even a Hollow Mask, and if so, did it form when he absorbed a Hollow’s spiritual particles? It could also just be a mask unrelated to Hollows, but it certainly does look very Hollow-like. Just how did he go about getting those powers and what exactly is the story behind his dislike for the “Arrancar”? I personally don’t he is an enemy of Ichigo’s, he may be a character who is related to the antagonistic group but separated from them after their beliefs didn’t coincide. Ivan could have appeared before Ichigo to let him know about the events that are and will take place – the War! Or Ivan could be bad!
The disappearances in Rukongai certainly is mysterious, they were grouped up and taken by someone who was also living in Rukongai to some other place? What a strange and intriguing development this is.
Those masked/concealed characters have my attention now, breaking into Soul Soceity right into the Captain-Commander of Gotei 13’s room, just who are they? More Quincy or some other faction entirely different? They have a Russian motif going on, looking forward to their special attack names.
Seems likely those characters are Quincy and are out to get revenge on Soul Society for annihilating their clan. They could be there to free Aizen, whom was the creator of their new forms if they have crossed their Quincy powers with Hollows power.
Those masked guy could be Agents of the Spirit King sent to take the Gotei 13 out for straying too far from the laws set-up and followed through Soul Society’s million years of history.
Wonder if Hell will also be brought into the arc and how exactly will the Zero Division fit in? Lots of elements Kubo has to play with, this could potentially be the best arc of Bleach. Will the identities of the new group be revealed next chapter – Bleach will have colour pages next week, looking forward to it.