How do you build up a villain to be appropriately wicked for the finale of BLEACH after Aizen? You make him partly responsible for one of the most important watershed moments of the protagonist's life, and the cause of thousands of deaths based on 'racial purity'. I knew the German theme was strong among theQuincy and the Vandenreich, but I never thought Kubo would be taking them down the ethnic cleansing direction. It's cliche but effectively evil. It was this act that led to the death of Ichigo's mother, and that's sure to have an effect on his resolve.
It must have been difficult for Isshin to have to admit that he chose not to go to Masaki's aid the day she died. Ichigo has been guilt ridden about this moment his whole life. I can't say I blame Isshin. He knew she easily outclassed Grand Fisher. Would you run to the side of your loved one becasue an angry miniature-chihuahua was nearby?
I have to admit that I'm a bit pissed off to learn that Katagiri has passed away. Yet another interesting woman Kubo kills off. I really became drawn to her, and I wanted to see more. I had hopes of Ryuken and Katagiri leaping in dramatically to join the fight against the Vandenreich. Having Yhwach being responsible for her death makes me hate him all the more.
I'm unsure how I feel about Uryu siding with the Vandenreich. I know he's always put his pride as a Qunicy above all else, but does he truly hate Soul Reapers more than he loved his own mother? This just raises a bunch of convoluted questions that can be saved for later.
NARUTO has really been falling apart as it's been concluding the two plus year long world war arc. The villain we've been led to fear turned out to be a child in a man's body. In contrast, BLEACH has just been getting better as the story has been moving, and the antagonist has a much more villainous air about him. Now, Ichigo has a purpose to his fight. It's not just out of a duty to help his friends. It's personal.
A criticism that is still nagging at me about this conclusion. It never explained one important detail. Why is it that Isshin never told Ichigo about any of this sooner?