Ichigo Kurosaki is ready to save the day after his training with the Zero Squad, but the return trip may take him half a day. Can the Soul Society hold out for another twelve hours when the war with the Vandenreich is already three hours in?
This edition of BLEACH could have wound up being little more than a series of shōnen truisms if not for the personality of the characters. Not that the cliché aren't slathered on pretty thick, but they are made far more palatable through these characters. Ichigo asking about the location of the Tenchuren is one of my favorites from this chapter.
We go from Ichigo pulling a Superman-esque shock-wave to right back into battle with Bambietta, Shinji, and Sajin. This all looks promising, but it also suffers from some of the problems of this chapter. The idea that the villain is so strong and impulsive this fight will be over in a second. How many times have we heard that one?
Does anyone remember Snake Way? Tite Kubo certainly does. He evokes that classic scene fromDRAGON BALL when King Kai forgot to calculate Goku's return trip into his training. There's even an analog for the scene of Korin tossing Goku some Senzu beans while flying by.
Although, Kubo's version seems to be purposefully playing with the reader's expectations of Ichigo's reaction. This would be a lot better scene if it wasn't adding to the cliché of the hero rushing in from training at the last minute. This scenario just gets a bit absurd when you know they have a faster means of transport, but they're just willfully refusing to use it.
It's a bit confusing how the series has pretty much skipped over the training of Senjumaru and Osho. Especially given how the first three parts were explained in great detail. You may think this is just streamlining, but I have a sneaking suspicion that these will just return in some plot interrupting flashback.
This chapter diverted us from what was some very tense moments of the previous issue. The Vandenreich have gone all Quincy Super Saiyan just as the 13 Court Guard had reclaimed their bankai. It all seems to have been in service of touching base with our hero. The value of this I think may depend more on the reader's taste, but I still found it entertaining enough thanks to Kubo writing in some fun personality to the scenes. Now, it's a waiting game for Ichigo's arrival.
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