And with that the end of another major manga has ended. It took us until the last chapter, but finally we get some clarification on the motives of Yhwach and why he was so obsessed with merging the worlds together. It was because of the fear of death, he wanted to merge life and death into one existence to escape such an inevitable fate. We don’t get much explanation regarding the remnants of Yhwach’s energy remaining between the worlds but it may have something to do with the fear driving Yhwach. The major focus in the chapter is given to reintroducing the main characters and introducing the new generation of Shinigami – it was quite cool to see Ichigo’s zanpakutou passed on to his son.
Yhwach has been stopped and with it the destruction of the worlds prevented. Instead of an immediate after effect of that result, we are reintroduced to events ten years later in Soul Society. We come to learn about the events that transpired ten years ago through the dialogue of the Captains and their divisions as they prepare for a ceremony about to be held, the Promotion Ceremony of a division member to Captain. We are made aware that Yhwach was stopped and for ten years there has been peace but the status of a lot of characters relevant to that battle have yet to be revealed, one of which includes Ichigo. With just one chapter left, it is going to be interesting to see exactly how the final chapter wraps up the series (especially with the current time jump) and what the important announcement next chapter is (Bleach X?).
The intro to the chapter completely shifted the feel I had with the last chapter in making the fight extend longer then I initially wanted and having Byakuya save Rukia before leaving Äs Nödt to her. I was of the opinion that the way Äs Nödt was seemingly defeated at the end of chapter 568 should have been left as that, but with some back story of Äs Nödt’s being covered this chapter, I totally love how his character was able to get some fleshing out thanks to the previous chapter and the way in which Rukia defeated Äs Nödt. The irony in having a fearful man wield fear. But in another way it makes complete sense for a person so associated with fear to be the one handling it as a “tool”. With the end of one Sternritter and the appearance of another one, who seems to also have a tricky and dangerous ability, the chapter managed to portray itself as a solid and successful one.
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…
THAT was an AMAZING chapter. My goodness, RUKIA was freaking awesome. FINALLY she gets the coverage she deserves. Thank you Kubo-sensei. And I am glad you saved her Bankai release for later. Let’s hope As Nodt is dead for good now, Rukia was badass this chapter and I am looking forward to seeing her move on to other Stern Ritter. Easily one of the best chapters this Quincy Blood War Arc. I was satisfied across every single panel, especially Rukia rebutting As Nodt’s philosophy of fear with her own philosophy of science. Incredible chapter.
Finally, we finally get to see Rukia in action after so long. To think that the main female character of the story has been side lined for so long, hopefully Kubo-sensei gives us one epic battle between Rukia and Äs Nödt to make up for the lack of Rukia we have been having for this whole arc. Ah it is fitting to have Rukia face off against the opponent who crushed her brother and to return the favour. Got to love the line Rukia closed the chapter with – oh Äs Nödt, you are so screwed.
I have to admit, that was an excellent chapter of Bleach, I’m glad we finally get to see the end of Mask de Masculine because he was an atrocious villain. Renji was badass this chapter revealing his new form of Zabimaru and why he wasn’t able to draw out its full power and potential before, a shame though the stage in which he was finally able to reveal it in was against such an annoying and forgettable character. But regardless, HELL YEAH Renji! Now I can’t wait to see what Kubo-sensei has planned for Rukia!
There are those moments you have where you are literally left speechless after reading/seeing/hearing/feeling something so ridiculous, your brain it left utterly in a state of shock and disbelief, unable to come to grasp with what it just had experienced. This chapter came close to that, and not entirely in a good way. The fact that a Sternritter as uninteresting, one-dimensional and throw-away as Mask De Masculine got three chapters and a bit to be focused on has me completely confused. Kubo-sensei was doing so incredibly well with his pacing and focus this arc, but then he goes and spends such a large amount of time on some annoying character who we all know is going to get thrashed take such a bold and central focus for these last few chapters. I understand that there is a war going on between the Shinigami and Quincy, but that doesn’t mean you have to show all the fights, at least quicken the pace of those which contain the least amount of intrigue. Hopefully the slash which Renji let out just ended this battle.
Rukia! About time this main character is brought back into the focus of the story. So along with Renji, she is under going the intense training of the Royal Guards, good to know that she is being carried forward power-wise with the rest of the cast. Hopefully we get to see her Bankai released in this final arc of Bleach.