Back when Isshin was the Captain of the 10th Squadron. Not a lot of plot, but all sorts of fun hijinks ensued.
The revelations are piling up within this single chapter. Ichigo is the first Soul Reaper in history to manifest his zanpakuto from his soul, and he's related to Kukaku Shiba's clan. That would certainly explain why Rukia always saw Kaien in Ichigo. The family resemblance sure is strong.
The chemistry of the 10th Squadron has to be some of the most entertaining reading in BLEACH I've had in a while. Kubo hasn't shown a lot of technique in mixing comedy with exposition, but he pulls it off masterfully here. The interaction between Matsumoto and Hitsugaya is like watching bickering siblings. I don't know why, but among all the various breast jokes that's been forced into this final arc. I actually enjoyed the one this week.
I was enjoying the almost sitcom-ish pace of this week up until the last few pages. Are we seriously expected to deal with having Aizenbeing the baddie in this flashback? He's like that DUCK HUNT dog after you miss your shots. He just keeps popping up to mock us, and you can't take him out.
I could actually read an entire flashback arc about a young Matsumoto and Hitsugaya. If I could elect any of the BLEACH cast to get some ROCK LEE-esque spin-off. They would be my choice. Sadly, as with Ikumi's appearance last week. This is only a taste of enjoyable characters that wont appear again for a long while. My high of this chapter was only dragged down by the appearance of Aizen.