So we’ve finally made it to the climatic battle; Ichigo in all his glory, growth and experiences has challenged the conceited King of the Quincy, Yhwach, to prevent the Human World and Soul Society from falling into non-existence. With himself as the last shield against the end of two worlds, Ichigo perseveres, he struggles, he despairs and inevitably he will evolve. Yhwach with his All his Might and philosophical taunting of hope, future and grains of sand has ultimately manifested a blind spot within his own abilities by believing himself to be unchallengeable. Regardless of Ichigo’s current state, he will prevail and Yhwach will have a hand in his own defeat.
That came completely out of nowhere, to think such a magnificent chapter was waiting for us right after the Mask de Masculine arc (it practically felt like one given how grating Mask de Masculine’s character was), great work Kubo-sensei! Anyway back to this weeks chapter, it managed to tie together so many hanging plot points; from why Yhwach was doing nothing while his Sternritter die, why he is such a special Quincy being noted as the ‘origin’ of Quincy, and what direction the story of this arc will end up taking. The stakes just upped and it has become more complex than Ichigo merely defeating all the opponents he faces, how will he now deal with the reverse Quincy ability Yhwach was born with?
I’m not sure if it is because Bankai grants the user an insane power boost or because Cang Du is one of the weaker Sternritter, but Toushirou just dished out what he was tasting from Bazz-B right onto Cang Du. Whats more and something I had actually forgot after reading the previous chapter, but Toushirou in Bankai form partially Hollowfied looks quite badass. I’m quite excited to see the Gotei 13 members unleash their partially Hollowfied Bankai now, because I do find the Hollow designs by Kubo-sensei insanely creative and badass.
Urahara Kisuke, what a guy, reaching a solution to the crushing blow of Bankai’s becoming useless against the Quincy and completing turning the tables on those having stolen the Bankai. I had deduced beforehand that the reason Ichigo’s Bankai wasn’t able to be stolen was because of the Hollow presence as it was something the Quincy didn’t meld with properly but I didn’t attribute the very foundations of why as the Hollow essence being like poison to the Quincy. Those instinctual reactions existing within the Quincy towards Hollows may very well be the thing that crushes then now.
This final arc in Bleach has seriously won me over and with each chapter, it gets better and better, it is such a pleasure to read. All the separated threads created and developed in past chapters have started to weave together and have begun to form an image that embodies just what Bleach is about.
Beyond the shadow of doubt and the darkness of fright, a ray of light filled with warmth and resolution pierces the apprehensive filled moment revealing a source of courage capable of shattering all unease tormenting ones mind. A reason to attach ones hope onto, a foundation to support ones self back onto, a hero to cast ones belief in. Just as easily as fear and despair can paralyze someone, belief and courage can melt it all away.
Soul Society gripped by a terror so unfamiliar and close begin to waver and despair. Facing a reality so unknown and so foreign causes fear and hestitation to overwhelm whatever remains of courage and hope they have left. At a lose of what to do, they turn to their savour, Kurosaki Ichigo, whose presence and ability sparks up their will to fight once again.
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.
Well well, so The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc begins, an interesting set-up so far – Hollows are disappearing at a rapid rate which will cause problems for the barrier between the Human World and Soul Society if nothing is down to stop the disappearances. The imbalance caused by the greater amount of souls existing in the Human World will start to cause Soul Society to spill into the Human World effectively mixing life and death.