Even if you read the spoilers, you should read the chapter. Go, go get it now: http://mangastream.com/r/bleach/683/3549/1
First off, even if Renji dies, I’m pretty damn happy with this chapter of Bleach. Aizen fighting alongside Ichigo and Renji? I have to say that this is a day I have prayed for. Kind of the only thing that would make this better for me would be if Orihime were there, kicking ass. Or possibly Urahara, because an Aizen + Urahara team-up is the stuff dreams are made of.
So, okay, the actual chapter.
Kubo-sensei… you really need to see a therapist about this severed arm obsession of yours.
On the other hand (pun intended), I feel like Kubo may have–for once–had a good reason for this.
As my friend 7emptymirrors says, the key to the various hypnotic illusions in this chapter may be to “follow the arm.” I think she makes a strong and compelling case that it’s Renji that Yhwach is holding up at the end, not Aizen (or Ichigo).
Also, can I take a moment to do the ‘called that sh*t’ dance?
I said, I said, I SAID Aizen never lost Kyoka Suigetsu. And here the zanpakutō is, at his side without even a scabbard to pull it from. For those who would cry ‘a$$-pull’ I have carefully laid out the argument for this in many venues, plus I feel like Kubo-sensei warned us a dozen times that Aizen still had access not only to his hypnosis power but we also got ‘freaked-out/sweat-drop Urahara’ saying:
Which you could read a bunch of ways, but I feel like it’s another moment where Kubo is telling us… hey, Aizen might just have access to his FULL range of power.
Also, I don’t trust this moment at all:
Speaking of release commands, I am also going to pre-emptively ‘call that sh*t’ and tell you all right now Aizen has bankai.
There are just too many moments of perfect hypnosis here. He’s clearly using Kyoka Suigetsu’s shikai and NOT CALLING A RELEASE COMMAND. We _know_ that means he has bankai.
My prediction? If the next chapter really is the last one before Kubo launches a monthly spin-off, the penultimate chapter will be a close-up on Aizen’s smirk and the word: “ban-KAI.”
The last panel: blank.
It’s going to happen, people.
Also? Can I just say that I really hope that if the next chapter opens with Renji obviously the only Yhwach had in his hand, I really hope that Aizen steps out from behind some rubble and smirks and says: