Thank goodness Mayuri showed up, whenever he appears, the content of the chapter immediately becomes significantly more entertaining, meaningful and enjoyable. The fact that Mayuri has handled several enemies standing against him, including zombified Gotei 13 Captains and Lieutenants serves to illustrate just how prepared and effective Mayuri is against the Sternritter. All those years of researching, studying and experimenting on Quincy, Hollow and his fellow Shinigami are all coming in use. With Mayuri now up against some more Sternritter, it should be interesting to see how he handles them as well.
Chapters like this make you miss the Arrancar and how amazingly badass the Espada were (save for the lackluster handling of the top four Espada – including Yammy, at the climax of the Winter War). I don’t really have a problem with Pepe’s ideology of love and how it governs conflict, but the moment he ended up overly expressing his love in a disturbingly excessive fashion, I couldn’t help but find myself incredibly taken aback and bewildered. If Kubo-sensei was going for the “shock-factor”, he definitely achieved that, along with a scene one would want to erase from their memory.
I find it extremely amusing that a person already dead has ended up dealing with dead people turned undead. Whatever Mayuri has planned for Toushirou it is going to be sadistically awesome and satisfying, a shame the focus on his experiment had to cut to another scene featuring Byakuya. Hopefully Mayuri’s experiment isn’t pushed too far back while Byakuya and his newly attained powers are being highlighted.
That was quite a surprise, for Kubo-sensei to actually let Byakuya take the back-seat in the fight and let Rukia deal the finishing blow. I am still of the opinion that the fight would have been concluded better when Rukia used her absolute zero attack on Äs Nödt, it would have saved Rukia from appearing so weak for one chapter as well as her bankai for another battle. Still, finally, FINALLY, we get to see the main female character’s bankai…after so many years of hoping and wishing, Kubo-sensei finally rewards the patience of his readers. Hopefully with Byakuya breaking Äs Nödt and inspiring Rukia, and Rukia unleashing her bankai on Äs Nödt, he will be down for the count for good this time. Quite a cool chapter with some nice brother and sister development between Byakuya and Rukia.
Was the contents of this chapter REALLY necessary? Did Kubo-sensei REALLY have to keep Äs Nödt alive? Did Rukia lowering her body temperature with Sode no Shirayuki to absolute zero REALLY not instantly freeze and end Äs Nödt’s life (how the hell did he survive)? Did Kubo-sensei REALLY have to put Rukia in a situation where she needed to be saved by Byakuya? Really Kubo-sensei? Couldn’t you have at least let Rukia have this win? Rukia has just undergone some serious training in the Spirit Realm and has been out of action for long time in the manga…when she finally gets a fight in which she can prove herself in and the abilities she wields, the circumstances surrounding the situation end up being twisted to force Rukia once again in a situation where she needs to saved…Sigh…
Well now, I had a feeling that Byakuya wasn’t finished at the end of the previous chapter, but did he just die in this chapter? I was expecting him to utilise some high level kidou first before he really lost, but wow, he just got demolished by his Senbonzakura Kageyoshi…still did he just die? If so, wow, I was not expecting Kubo-sensei to be so bold, it was sure impacting but I was expecting something more emotionally gripping for a character’s death. But if Byakuya really did die, then well, no character besides Ichigo is really safe…now I’m really looking forward to what else Kubo-sensei has in store for the readers for this “final arc”.
Finally! I’ve been waiting for this scene for a while, thank you Rukia, you managed to drag Ichigo out of the pitiful state he was in for the past 36 chapters. And it does seem the chapters filled with uneasiness and trolling are over and the point where Ichigo lays down a beating on someone is at hand (just like Aizen found out last arc). Poor Kuugo, he finally gets to see just what a REAL Getsuga Tensho is…but unfortunately for him, he is the target…I wonder if Kubo will have Kuugo die now, or will he lead this situation onto a whole new bigger situation ie. a new saga or arc? Well whatever happens, I am interested in finding out the answers to some of the questions I accumulated over the course of this arc O.o.