" This is going to be my only chance for some time off before we go in the last battle, so I've been given a bit more time than usual.
In order to put everything I have into this, I'm going to get some good rest before it begins.
When we restart, we'll jump right into the final saga of the Thousand-Year Blood War Arc. Please look forward to it! "
Message from Tite Kubo
I bet there were a lot of people who questioned the idea of Shunsui taking over command of the Gotei 13, but it's actually been shown to have been a remarkably appropriate choice. I really like his management style. He shows in this chapter that just becasue you're in the position of having to make the hard decisions does mean you have to be a dick about it. He comes to see Ichigo's friends and family personally, patiently lets them vent their anger, and politely offers them a chance to see Ichigo later. Don't underestimate the little touches in a leader.
You're going to have to forgive me for drifting on a bit of tangent here, but has anyone else ever wondered if Tatsuki is in love with Ichigo? Kubo's use of Tatsuki has been one of my biggest disappointments of the series. I loved the feint he used when it was Orihime who gained powers, but then what was the point of all the other moments that followed throughout the series? With no mention from her about Orihime, she looks sadder than anyone when it comes to Ichigo. I hope Kubo has a plan to sum this up in the end.
This certainly wasn't the most thrilling chapter of the arc, but it has some little touches that I appreciated in this issue. -- You're also almost always going to make me happy when I see Tatsuki. However, there are still more chapters to follow of Ichigo's training. We got hints of what's to come last week, but this means we're back to the shonen cliche of the hero barreling to the rescue at the very last minute straight from training. BLEACH and NARUTO are littered with those scenes.
Something that I really liked about this chapter is how its finale catches you off guard. It leads you along thinking there was plenty of more time to relax before things get serious, then it smacks you across the face with Yhwach waging a full scale invasion. For as extended as this arc has become, bravo on Kubo for just jumping in with both feet on this one. It's quite the cliffhanger to leave us clinging upon these next few weeks.
BLEACH will going on break until September 9th. I have to wonder if this date was selected on purpose to fall in line with the theme of nines in the Kaiser Gesang (King's Hymn) that's quoted at the end of the chapter. This should give some of you time to catch up before the end.