Bleach 659 is out. Go get it….
Chapter 659 looks at the beginning like it’s going to be a continuation of the Toshiro/Thor fight. We even get a bit of Kubo-sensei humor, wherein Thor offers his giant hand, as though in greeting, to Toshiro with a bellow of “let’s be friends!” Obviously, Thor’s real intention is to crush Toshiro, who leaps into the air and shouts out ban-kai! Momo looks up lovingly… and we switch to a very disturbing (and briefly confusing) flashback.
I have to admit that, at first, I didn’t recognize bb!Ishida. I thought, Nanao? Then, I was like mom? A corpse? Doctor? What? That’s not Mayuri… what the hell…
Eventually, I stopped puzzling over the picture, and kept reading. It didn’t take long to realize we were in a flashback featuring Ishida, in which we learn that Ishida Ryuuken is a complete freak, because IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS A DOCTOR EVER REQUIRED TO PERFORM AN AUTOPSY ON HIS OWN WIFE? Also, WTF, are they at their house? Ishida looks like he’s in his pajamas. Did he sleepover at the hospital? Or does dad have a full-on evil scientist lab in HIS HOME?
Ryuuken (Ishida’s dad) clearly lied to him about the duties of a doctor, because, apparently, after seeing this bizarre and utterly unexplained horror show, Ishida, Jr. (Uryuu) decides that his dreams to be a doctor (surgeon?) like his father are officially over.
He almost talks to Ichigo about this at one point in high school, but they have this dude-ly exchange:
In which they fail to communicate at all.
I get, dramatically, why this is a failed conversation, but I kind of wish that Ishida had been a bit more forthcoming.
Ichigo: Are you sure it’s all right for you to attend such a normal high school?
Ishida: What do you mean?
Ichigo: I mean, come on. Shouldn’t you be at some high school for gifted or talented or something? I dunno. I figure the son of a doctor would at the very least want to become a doctor, too, you know?
Ishida: Your dad’s a doctor, too, isn’t he?
Ichigo: Huh? Well, you know, my dad’s… special (special? SUBTEXT: AN IDIOT). Besides, I wouldn’t exactly call him a doctor. (SUBTEXT: we were originally in the funeral business and he’s a Shinigami who HAS NO MEDICAL TRAINING WHATSOEVER.)
Ishida: I… no longer have any desire to become a doctor, anymore.
Ichigo: Any more? So then you used to?
(Here the canon conversation fails, but I would have loved it to continue, thusly:)
Ishida: Yes, I don’t think I could stomach a job that requires you to cut up your beloved wife after she’s died…. for many days.
Ichigo: WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!! WHO DOES THAT SHIT?!!
Ishida: … so, that’s not a thing?
Ichigo: SUPER NOT A THING!
Ishida: I… may have a few questions now.
Because, I sure do. What the actual fuck were you up to Ryuuken? You apparently told your kid that it’s just a requirement of the job to be still cutting your wife up SEVERAL DAYS AFTER SHE DIED.
Ai, ai, ai. I have long suspected that the Ishida family was full of all the dysfunction, but I had no idea dad was, in point of fact, a full-on Dr. Frankenstein.
Presumably, Kubo-sensei is going somewhere with this, and doesn’t ACTUALLY think that a surgeon’s duties normally include days of autopsy on your wife/beloved–though apparently Ishida-the-Younger never looked up the job description of surgeon and totally bought the bullshit his father fed him. Because, honestly? If there’s a suspicious death, you’re really supposed to hand that corpse over to the Medical Examiner/Coroner. I mean, we KNOW she died at Ywach’s hands, so one presumes that this is all going to be some clue to some secret weapon to help destroy Ywach… but I dunno, there’s a leap here that’s really stretching my ability to buy Ishida, Jr.’s belief that this is just how things are. (Maybe THIS is the true reason your father sent you to the dummy school, Ishida. SO YOU’D NEVER BE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THIS IS SO NOT OKAY AND NOT PART OF ANYBODY’S JOB EVER, except the coroner, who still wouldn’t do this TO THEIR OWN SPOUSE.)
Anyway, the next scene we see Haschwaldt facing off with Ishida, because Ishida has come back to the main castle where Haschwaldt reminds us ONCE AGAIN that he’s in charge while Ywach sleeps. (THIS MAY BE IMPORTANT, PEOPLE, IT’S BEEN REPEATED FIVE HUNDRED TIMES.) And, while asleep, he gets all of Ywach’s powers, including the current All-Seeing power, and he cryptically adds, “And, seeing into the future is very worrisome, isn’t it, Ishida???” To which, Ishida casually replies, “You mean, like my betrayal.”
Haschwaldt then shouts: Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!
I love the calligraphy here, btw, the way the sound effect looks like a scythe. That’s, really, actually very brilliant and people love to dis Kubo’s super-clean, empty style, but it allows for things like this which are quite brilliant, IMHO.
Back to the story.
Haschwaldt blasts Ishida backwards, through a wall, where Ishida literally runs into Ichigo:
And… the end.
My prediction? Ichigo won’t hesitate to fight Haschwaldt if Haschwaldt continues to attack Ishida, but probably what will happen is some kind of ultimatum to Ishida, ala, “Kill him, if you’re so loyal.”
It would be a bad time to kill Ichigo, though, since we need to wait until Ywach is awake and back in charge (so absorbing the Hollow part of Ichgio will poison the right guy). So, Ishida will probably have to sacrifice himself at this point…?