Author: Tite Kubo
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: August 5, 2014
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Supernatural/192 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Ichigo is confronted by a truth he isn’t sure how to handle – namely, that Zangetsu isn’t who he thought he was. He’s actually Yhwach, but he’s not Yhwach. That’s clear as mud. He’s neither friend nor foe, but he is the Quincy side of Ichigo. The two have a very heartfelt conversation, after which Ichigo receives his new blades.
Uryu arrives among the Quincies, who wonder who he is. Well, everyone but Yhwach, who announces, to everyone’s dismay, that Uryu is his successor. This is bound to upset the apple cart, at the same time painting a target on Uryu’s back by the jealous Quincies. Meanwhile, Chad, Orihime, Rukia, and Renji all continue with their training, while life goes on back in Karakura Town for Ichigo’s family, albeit without him, at least for now.
Ichigo’s friends unexpectedly encounter Shunsui, whom they recognize from the battle. He has come to tell them farewell from Ichigo. Not that something has happened, but he is looking ahead and anticipates that Ichigo might end up with such power that Shunsui cannot allow him to go back. But just in case that happens, he gives them passes so they can visit him in the Soul Society any time they want.
Back at the Seireitei, things are happening, some good, some not so much. Such as the Seireitei disappearing. And the discovery that the Quincies did not invade, they were there all along. On the plus side, some of the captains have learned to get beyond losing their bankai, but will their efforts be enough?
The plot certainly thickens with the arrival of Uryu (didn’t I say he’d have to come into this at some point? That point is here). I think there is more going on than simply naming him as Ywhach’s successor, both on his part and theirs. I have to hope they have misjudged Uryu and that Uryu will not go along with their agenda when push comes to shove. Only time will tell.
Although the captains have learned to fight harder without their bankai, that seems to have been accounted for, so what next? Ultimately, it all comes down to Ichigo, as always. Something possibly horrendous happens at the end of the volume. I have to wait until the next one to see how bad it really is.
On pins and needles until the next volume!