The chapter came out right on time, so go check it out: http://readms.com/r/bleach/677/3457/1
I’m going to assume you went and read this chapter so that I can get to the parts I want to talk about. Basically, we start with Yhwach deflecting the Getsuga Cero or Gran Rey Tensho* or whatever Ichigo is calling this new technique and basically smack talking him about how he’s doomed to fail. There’s that weird bit with all the “traps” set to poke poor Ichigo in the foot (ow?) and then the part I really want to talk about. Yhwach says:
And each one of these grains of sand is a future that Yhwach can see clearly. Moreover , “changing fate” (or hope) is an illusion because all you’re really doing is:
Which is actually a really cool metaphor, honestly.
But moreover, Yhwach just tipped his hand. We now know there are at least two ways to defeat him.
As I “suggested” in the suggestions community this morning, as I was role-playing Aizen (the first response is from jushirosuggestions, with whom my Aizen has had extensive discussions about fate and hope, and I had previously noted that I thought that Yhwach in canon had somehow been listening in to those discussions):
Because, seriously, both Orihime and Aizen have keys to unlock this paradox. Orihime can literally reject any future Yhwach sees. Similarly, even with only shikai (which I no longer believe is the only release Aizen has,) Aizen could misdirect Yhwach’s “vision” of the future(s).
You might have some quibbles with my Aizen theories, but let me lay them out quickly.
1) I’m fairly sure Aizen still has access in some way or another to the powers of Kyoka Suigetsu. We saw him, in this arc, hypnotize Yhwach into losing track of time. How could he still have Kyoka Suigetsu? Well, he was literally holding his zanpakutō in his hand when he told Ichigo that Kyoka Suigetsu was crumbling because the hogyoku decided to evolve him beyond that, and we KNOW Aizen doesn’t need to use his release command to trigger posthypnotic suggestions (and thus presumably his shikai,) otherwise Momo would never have been in his place in front of EVERYONE when Hitsugaya stabbed her. I think he hypnotized Ichigo into thinking Kyoka Suigetsu had disintegrated. I think he did it because he knew there was a possibility he might lose (and that’s confirmed by what Zangetsu “feels” about Aizen having given up the fight at some point) and he wanted to not be separated from his zanpakutō–which no one would bother to consider if everyone is sure it’s gone.
2) Even if he doesn’t, he clearly has some natural ability to hypnotize because Kubo-sensei took the time to give us that scene…. and then released him and made a big f*cking deal out of the fact that Aizen has grown stronger. Even bothering to give us an anxious sweat panel from Urahara:
3) I’ve been secretly praying for an Aizen/Orihime team-up since ten minutes ago, and I suddenly want it all to come back around to the whole weird moment when the hogyoku seemed to “recognize” Orihime back in the Hueco Mundo arc.
And, yet, it’s possible that Kubo will do nothing with all these clues he’s dropped. Every time I think I might be on to something, I have to give myself a little reminder with these two, sad, and so-far-completley-wasted-even-though-set-up-for-bankai words: Hisagi Shūhei.
So, there’s that.
And, let’s get real. For most people the only four syllables any Bleach fan anywhere cares about are these:
Let the speculation begin about what it might be!
* Gran Rey Tensho courtesy of zangetsusu-ggestions