Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: December 4, 2012
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Ginjo is not only dismayed at Rukia’s unexpected appearance where she hands Ichigo a sword, he is shocked that Ichigo still has any powers since he thought he drained him of them. Turns out the sword contains the power of a number of the captains from Soul Society. At the Old Man’s request, they’ve come to help Ichigo, since he was instrumental in saving Soul Society. Renji, Byakuya, Hitsugaya, Kenpachi, and Ikkaku are all there with Rukia and ready to do battle. Apparently Ginjo and Tsukishima’s little scheme has failed. But Ichigo learns something surprising. Before him, there was another deputy soul reaper. And apparently that man was Kugo Ginjo! The plot thickens!
Chad and Orihime are baffled at the turn things have taken, still under the mistaken impression that Tsukishima is a long-time friend. They assume the Soul Reapers are there to help them but they seem to be on Ichigo’s side! And why does Orihime feel so bad when she sees Ichigo cry? Mercifully, Kiskue and Isshin take Chad and Orihime out of the battle, although Isshin complains about having to take the heavy one (Chad, of course lol)
Ginjo distributes the power he has taken from Ichigo among his people, who are amazed at the way they feel. Yukio creates arenas in order to force match-ups between the two sides. Kenpachi sees Byakuya has been paired with Tsukishima and wants him to switch since he thinks he’s stronger than his opponent but that doesn’t work and he is left with Giriko. Ichigo faces Ginjo, but is unexpectedly joined by Uryu, who apologizes to Ichigo for not telling him sooner what he surmised concerning the deputy badge. Hitsuguya faces Yukio, whom he dubs the “annoying guy”, while it’s Rukia versus Ruriko, who keeps trying to bombard her with cute things. Ikkaku is stuck battling with Tsukishima’s lackey, Shishigawara, the lucky one. Will his luck run out against Ikkaku? Renji is paired up with Jackie Tristan and her Dirty Boots, but he refuses to strike first against a woman.
Let the battles begin!
To be honest, I just want to see Ichigo and the Soul Reapers kick a lot of Fullbring hiney and end this obnoxious arc. Not much to say other than each battle brings its own troubles that have to be overcome. Even so, it’s a foregone conclusion who will ultimately win, so it’s more a question of how than who. Even so, still love the series, looking forward to the next volume.