Bleach 660 is out on Mangastream. You’re going to want to run get it, because there are some beautiful action sequences (even though the rest is, as I renamed this chapter, fairly obvious and has been foreseen by many, not just Hashwaldt, for a long time).
I kind of want to just mic drop there, after that .gif and this image, but there are probably a few more things to say.
When last we left our intrepid heroes, Ishida and Ichigo had just confronted each other, after Hashwaldt’s attack on Ishida. The action of this chapter picks up exactly where it left off, with the addition of Chad and Orihime from the Karakara Town Scooby Gang catching up to also stare balefully at the seemingly traitorous Ishida:
Ichigo looks pretty determined, but c’mon. Who here ever thought for a second that Ishida had truly turned coat and had joined the other side with his whole heart?
Not me, I even called that Hashwaldt would pull the old ‘prove your loyalty’ schtick and tell Ishida to kill his friends, and thus I think my favorite part of this chapter was Ishida’s long and complicated explanation of his plan to save the Human World (and everyone in it,) and Ichigo’s confused acceptance. Paraphrased, their conversation goes like this:
Ishida: So what do you want from me exactly?
Ichigo: Uh… well, I thought I’d try to figure out where you’re coming from, you know, or failing that, beat some sense back into you.
Ishida: What if you can’t understand my motivations?
Ichigo: (irritated) I’m thinking that beating the sense back into you is looking pretty good, frankly.
I don’t know why, but that just felt perfectly vintage Ichigo and it made me very happy. Also, we got to see Ichigo do one of his Spider-Man moves, which never fails to turn me on:
He did a move like this in the Full Bring arc and I think I stared at that picture for about forty minutes just muttering, “Oh. Sooooooo cooooooool.” (In my other life, I’m a big fan of Marvel comic books and have been since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and so sometimes well executed action sequences make me drool a little uncontrollably.) There was, in point of fact, a lot of really nice action in this chapter.
So, anyway, the point is: Ishida as NOT A TRAITOR has finally been confirmed in canon. Time to pop the bubbly!
It’s also ben confirmed that Ishida’s “secret” is out of the bag. So, next time, expect an attempted Ishida beat down by Hashwaldt.
If I have any other commentary on this chapter, it’s that I have to say that Hashwaldt is the big disappointment in this episode. I have been very much holding out hope that the Quincy are not the united front they first appeared to be. Obviously, some of them did join our side. I’d thought, given the flashback chapters involving Bazz-B, that we might see a more complicated side to this guy.
What would be cool, frankly, would be if, out of these shadows limps a still-alive Bazz-B who throws himself on Hashwaldt while shouting, “I can’t hold him long! Run!” to Ishida, Ichigo & company.
That would be a nice surprise and, I kind of feel, would help me feel less cheated by Bazz-B’s ridiculously short battle. (For all the build up about their friendship/past, I was fairly miffed that the whole Bazz-B/Hashwaldt thing was over in a matter of panels, in ONE chapter.)
That hand to the heart, man. Right in the feels.
Will you join me in a prayer circle for the return of Bazz-B???!