I was already off balance due to the revelation that Old Man Zangetsu is an imposter in the previous chapter. Well, I fell flat on my rear after reading this week's BLEACH. Imagine my shock to discover thatIchigo has been held back from his complete power this entire journey. What he's been using was just a fragment of his potential that Yhwach couldn't contain. With him stepping down, Ichigo will finally live up to his complete potential.
Zangetsu/Yhwach's farewell was an appropriately touching scene that made me think of a parent who's come to realize their off-spring is no longer a child that needs to be protected. Ichigo's conflicted reaction is well illustrated by Kubo, and it feels as if he's really saying goodbye to someone he's always looked to for help. Now, he can only turn to the Hollow inside that he's always feared. That's a great place for a protagonist to be for a final arc.
No matter what form it took, the Zangetsu sword always had a cool design. I remembered that the shikai form was always described as an unfinished blade. In a week or so, Ichigo will hold completed power. I just really hope the Zangatsu's true form doesn't look like that sword made of fire. That's kind of generic.
For as moving as this passing feels. I can't image that this element of Yhwach is truly gone from Ichigo. The Quincy powers were passed down to him by his mother. I can accept his passing on, but I'd hate to see Ichigo lose that incredibly helpful Blut ability.
The chapter felt like it was over in a flash, but that more speaks to just how riveted I was to the events that were passing. We were always well led to believe that Hollow Ichigo was just some side effect of Urahara artificially rebooting Ichigo's powers, but we finally learn that the Hollow actually is his power. Kubo has really earned the twists he's been revealing these past few weeks. If you've dropped off ofBLEACH. Hurry back, now!! You should not be missing this payoff.