Bleach Ch. 520 – 529

Shipped.

Sorry for the late coverage.  I’ve been putting off Bleach for way too long now.  I think it’s time I return to my weekly manga posts and everything else.  Did you miss me?

Where I left off . . . Kyoraku, Shunsui has been appointed Gotei 13’s captain commander.  He appoints Nanao as his vice-captain and orders that Kenpachi be taught “the art of killing” – defying Central 46.  But surprisingly, he assigns Unohana to instruct Kenpachi and reveals her as the first “Kenpachi.”
Meanwhile, Renji, Ichigo, and Kon! were jumping from house to house in the soul palace as we gained important pieces of information from every house along the way.
It wasn’t until the house of Oetsu that Renji and Ichigo faced their biggest challenge.  After retaining their strength and discovering that Hikifune was the sole contributor to the Artificial Souls or Soul Candy at the house of Hikifune, it is revealed that Oetsu was the lone inventor of the Zanpakuto.  And so, they were put to the test.  They both had to survive against a swarm of Asauchi, which are the Zanpakuto of low ranking Shinigami that don’t have names.

However, Ichigo failed the test and failed to meet the Asauchi’s expectations.  Hence, Ichigo was sent home.  And considering that Renji passed, although Ichigo appears to be a lot stronger than him, I’m guessing the Asauchi test was more about testing the bonds between a Zanpakuto and their Shinigami rather than strength.  Which is ultimately what Ichigo lacks in terms of history and rank – keeping also in mind that Renji has a lot more years of experience in that aspect.  But in a shounen, this is just another predicament the protagonist must overcome.
Back to Kenpachi and Unohana . . . it is revealed that Kenpachi is not only in love with Unohana(just kidding!), he has been holding back his strength for a long time.  Considering he is a blood thirsty killing machine, it makes sense that he’d subconsciously hold back against strong opponents in order to maintain the fighting he loves so much that much longer.  However, in order for Unohana’s goal to be realized, she had to defeat him to near breaking point continuous times. Like A LOT of times.
During their fight, Unohana also undergoes bankai, but it was unclear to me exactly what her power was, although I’m guessing it had something to do with Kenpachi’s frequent revivals. Something like “super healing” I suppose.  But anyway, the fighting goes on for a fair amount of chapters until FINALLY Kenpachi defeats Unohana.  Though, I am skeptical about her death. Especially because this is a shounen.  I bet you she heals herself :P  In the end, Kenpachi awakens his Zanpakuto.  I am so excited for this!  But because Kubo is such a lame-o, he doesn’t continue on from that point.  That fudger.
Instead we go back to Ichigo’s hometown, a place we haven’t visited in a while that now seems totally out of place.

A prostitute . . . dan-dan-dan-daaan!

Well, at least he starts off at a good place.  We are confirmed about Ichigo’s mother really being a Quincy and that automatically applies to Ichigo being one – which explains the reason Ichigo was kicked out of soul society perhaps?  He was unattached with his roots which was a major setback for him during the Asauchi test, as mentioned by Oetsu in this latest chapter.
So from here on out it looks like we’ll be spending a good amount of time on Isshin Shiba’s past as well as Aizen’s past during his hollowfication experiments.  But wait, Shiba?  Boy does that ring a bell :)  It looks like Ichigo has gained new relatives and I’m guessing Aizen had a lot to do with Isshin’s major drawback from Soul Society, similar to the way Urahara was banished.  I am looking forward to next week’s chapter.  Hopefully we get more moe Toshiro.  He’s so cute. ^^
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