Bleach 658 is out on Mangastream. Go read it….
This chapter was a mixed bag for me. Long ago, when Yuushirou Shihouin was first introduced a dear friend of mine speculated that he existed only to die. She figured that the only reason we were getting a cute, younger brother was so Yoruichi could sacrifice herself to save him, or so that his death could be the impetus for her to go nuclear on someone’s ass.
That seems to have come true in the first few panels.
As jenanime4eva.tumblr.com so succinctly (and hilariously) put it:
The only thing that’s interesting to me about this moment is just how OP Yuushirou seems to be. He’s what? Twelve? And, he seems to have all the powers of a ninja master already, clearly being able do that wing-sprouting thing Yuruichi claimed to have invented and Soi Fon took years to master.
I guess this is why Yoruichi isn’t super worried that the (only?) heir to her clan decided to play tag-along to this end-of-the-world battle.
Just when Yoruichi is giving Askin Nakk LaVarr the death stare, we switch back to Thor (aka “Miracle” aka Gerard). Thor is wandering around in his Titan form bummed out and whinging about how everyone he’s fighting is insect-size and it’s such a pain to have to bend over and hunt through the rubble to squash the annoying bugs.
The Vizards are on the job, though, and I’m particularly happy to see this (colored by bleachedglassntache.tumblr.com) because it means that Vizards (at least the ones who didn’t join the Gotei) can still mask up:
Seeing Hyori and the others do their thing, does continue to due my theory that, with the exception of Insect Girl (Mahiro Kuna, who has been missing in action for several chapters), none of the Vizards who have rejoined the Gotei retained the ability to mask-up. Or they just forgot? I mean, I feel like if I were Love, I would have tried my mask before bankai, since SUPPOSEDLY (according to Urahara) Hollows are poison to Quincy. Here is part of what he said back in Chapter 552:
Okay… did we forget this part, Kubo-sensei?
“Everything composing a Hollow is poison to Quincies.” It’s right there in Chapter 552. So, how is it, that Thor survived this triple Vizard threat?
Unless… Askin Nakk LaVarr is telling the truth when he says that Thor is actually part Shinigami, in that he’s the Soul King’s “Heart.”
I don’t know, but, back when I first read Chapter 552, I kind of thought that the Hollow part of Ichigo was going to end up being one of the key components in killing the Quincies. I had this theory going that because when a Quincy dies, they’re absorbed back into the Great and Powerful Ywach, Ichigo was going to die, and, as a Quincy, get absorbed… and his Hollow self was going to poison and destroy Ywach.*
It seemed like a neat solution (if tragic.) But, I’d felt it was bolstered by the fact that Kyouraku was fairly convinced Ichigo wasn’t coming back from this one (Chapter 546)….
(Because THAT’s not suspicious, Kyouraku!)
*Edited to add, in talking to a friend, it occurred to her that maybe the reason Urahara’s pills worked is because the Quincy had already absorbed the bankai and so Hollowfying something already part of them/inside of them was what was poison. Just getting punched by an Arrancar isn’t damaging, you have to have tried to “eat” them. Which, would explain how they could exist in Hueco Mundo and defeat Hallibel (and cat nap Grimmkitty.)
Yeah, the more I consider this, the more it seems likely.
So…. my theory about how things are going to end for Ywach might still be true, since he’ll have absorbed Ichigo, should Ichigo die.
I just wish Kubo would be EXPLICIT about this, because otherwise he seems sloppy and forgetful.
Anyway, I’m spending too much time thinking about all this…. most people are focusing on the giant squee that is this, the final moment in the current chapter:
Thank gods for this little guy, right? The Seireitei’s Littlest Detective! Everyone else missed Byakuya’s memo that the harder you hit Thor, the stronger he gets (so maybe the poison is working, it’s just working against them in THIS case.) Anyway, the smart move it to capture the giant moron and immobilize him.
Which appears to be what Captain Hitsugaya has done.
And, yes, please, Thor, do us all this favor, would you?