I joke and all, but it sure has been a while since Ichigo last appeared in the series. It's almost shocking that it's taken him this long to arrive. Shonen series do love that Snake Way analogy. Put the hero so far away during a major crisis so they can appear just in time. It's actually sort of humorous that this is Ichigo coming to the aid of Kenpachi. Even he can't help but find it funny.
For as nice as it is to have him back, I can't say I've missed Ichigo too much. I do intend that as a compliment. It just means that Kubo has balanced his cast well enough that his lead could disappear for a good long while and still keep the reader entertained. I've really been enjoying the series battles, so far. Let's see where this starts to go now that the protagonist has once again become a player in this final war.
Wouldn't you know that almost immediately after I mention the lack of the Quincy using arrows that these girls all pull them out to fight. Now that's some remarkable timing. Although, I somehow doubt all the Vandenreich carry cute, heart-shaped bows as part of their standard equipment. It would be pretty funny if they do.
I find Kubo's choice for Ichigo's first post-training opponents kind of questionable. Going by the formula, the hero arrives fresh off of training and completely runs over their first opponent, much in the same way Goku did to Nappa. This time, Ichigo is facing off with a bunch of secondary female villains. This would explain why he was so over-the-top previously in showing that they aren't sympathetic people. Yet he made them so adorable. Oh. the mixed signals!
Admittedly, these girls are incredibly strong, but they're more opportunistic vultures that waited till Kenpachi was wounded before they struck. It's not as if they've shown any astounding power or defeated several, named heroes to the point where they seem unstoppable. They're not like Halibel.
Still no mention about what happened to Yachiru. I really hope Kubo gets back to that soon.
These past two chapters are pretty much shonen-action by numbers. It's incredibly formulaic, but with a bizarre twist of having the hero preparing to kick the snot out of several small girls. I'm actually really confused about what Kubo is trying to tell us with this one. Sure it's unexpected, but it kind of takes the wind right out of the protagonist's sudden return. I'm more scratching my head instead of cheering.
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