Yhwach is smarter than I gave him credit for, to use the opening Ichigo created to invade the Soul King’s Palace, it is quite the shrewd plan. In the first place, for Yhwach to even know about the weakness in the barriers protecting the Soul King’s Palace, how did he end up coming across such information? Yhwach even knows the length of the opening he has to invade =/. If nothing else, he is well-informed. But all that planning crumbled into ashes when he told Ichigo EXACTLY what he was planning. Was there even a need for Yhwach to tell Ichigo his plan to invade the Soul King’s Palace? That decision may come back to burn Yhwach brutally later.
For Yhwach to invade Soul Society just so he can have Ichigo unknowingly break the barriers protecting the Soul King’s realm. Was this all planned out by Yhwach or did he merely handle the situation in such a way given the circumstances – Ichigo’s zanpakutou being broken during their first encounter. Whatever the case, Ichigo’s clothes were the “key” needed to open the “door” to the Soul King’s Palace and with the door wide open, Yhwach has every intention of invading.
What I don’t get is why did Yhwach even tell Ichigo about the weakness in the Seireitei barriers? Does Yhwach plan to use Ichigo in another way that the reader’s aren’t currently aware of? If so, than I have no problem with how Yhwach handled the situation but as things are, all I can see is Yhwach creating a massive problem for himself by informing Ichigo of the circumstances and painting a massive cross-hair on his own chest. The barriers surrounding Seireitei are left temporarily open for 6000 seconds (10 minutes) thanks to Ichigo forcefully penetrating them when he arrived. If Yhwach had kept his mouth shut and left Ichigo clueless, he would have a straight-forward path into the Soul King’s realm, but with Ichigo on him now, his invasion plan is under threat. Hopefully Yhwach has a good reason for notifying Ichigo of his plan beyond Kubo-sensei wanting to fill in the reader’s to what is happening by using Yhwach.
With back-up arriving, the battle against the eight Sternritter is going to be intense, especially with Renji, Rukia and Byakuya there. I am surprised to see Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Hisagi at the front-lines now, after their brutal beating by Mask De Masculine, I didn’t expect to them in action again. Hopefully this time, they are able to redeem themselves for their lack of contribution in the war so far.
As for Zaraki, is he still lying face down in the dirt? He needs to pick himself up and show these Sternritter what true fear is. Zaraki still has a role to play as he still has to remove his eye patch and fully unleash, I am curious to see Kubo-sensei will decide to use and how he will end up doing so – having Zaraki save Ichigo? Well whatever happens, it is going to be exciting to see how Ichigo handles Yhwach. Looking forward to the next chapter.