Now, I don't want to go around starting a panic, but this action-adventure series is starting to show some signs of action. After several chapters and numerous T&A jokes, we're getting to the brass tax. Renji and Ichigo are thrown into a pit of living embodiment of zanpakuto, but the real meat of this chapter is found deep under the Soul Society. Kenpachi and Unohana have been cast into the void to train for the coming battle. Far too much was revealed about her to cover and keep this review from becoming a summary, but it's an understatement to say I'm impressed.
It's actually intriguing to finally learn where all the Soul Reapers get their zanpakuto. I always doubted everyone had to go through such a melodramatic events as Ichigo. This seriously reinforces Tom's comparisons of the Green Lanterns to the Gotei 13. Oh-etsu basically makes these "asauchi" swords, and the Soul Reaper imparts their soul onto them. Now I'm left wondering something else. At what point do they stop being asauchi and become a Zabimaru or a Sode no Shirayuki?
Something that Oh-etsu says doesn't quite sit right with me. He's scolding Renji and Ichigo about using their zanpakuto as little more than tools. I can't speak for everyone, but I don't believe that Ichigo didn't care deeply for Old Man Zangetsu. Wasn't proving that relationship part of how Ichigo obtained the Final Getsuga Tensho? Re-battling the issue of King of the Hill is wearing thin at this point.
The humor can't be lost that the turmoil of the protagonist is taking a back seat to the supporting cast, but that isn't a complaint. The Unohana and Kenpachi confrontation has my undivided attention. However, I'm concerned with what Shunsui says near the end. He basically alludes that one of this pair would have to die by the end. I don't want Kenpachi to die, but I'd be pretty ticked off if Unohana is killed off just as she's become so fascinating,