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Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "SAIL" by AWOLNATION

You know, this chapter could've been titled "What The Hell 2" and I don't think anyone would've questioned it.

680Yhwach absorbs


So after an unexpected but cool color page featuring the new and improved Yhwach (with a cheeky note that says there are only idk chapters left to go), we start off with Yhwach putting his money where his mouth is and successfully draining Ichigo's power via a million billion Blut veins everywhere. Poor Ichigo's feeling the powers that his mom gave him fading away, and shortly afterward passes out. Cue enormous evil laugh from Yhwach as darkness erupts. But more importantly, we cut back to Glasses vs. Hair, where Uryū's managed to avoid Haschwalth's sword on his own instead of being saved by Ryūken as some expected and the two proceed to engage in banter about Uryū's choices so far.

680Haschwalth is struck

That moment when you KNOW you dun screwed the pooch

As it turns out, Haschwalth's been giving Uryū's crap for his choices so far because siding with his friends has gotten him nowhere in terms of power and growth, whereas a couple minutes with Yhwach gave him...well, The Antithesis and a lot of sleepless nights. Objectively, this is a fair point, but Uryū states that he chose his friends not for any growth- or -morality-related reason, but because they're his friends. Cue a brutal haterape face from Haschwalth, who decides that Uryū should give his life to Yhwach in order to balance the scales...only to be interrupted when a goshdarn Auswählen beam hits him from above. The same thing happens to Gerard, who pretty much immediately goes full skeleman like Robert did, and all the power goes to the top of Wahrwelt, where Yhwach's opened a portal to somewhere or other in preparation for ruining literally everything. Rukia and Renji show up to look frazzled for a panel, so Yhwach decides to leave the portal open in case anyone wants to try and stop him; y'know, so he can grant those people glorious deaths. Exeunt Swaggy Y.H.

So this was yet another polarizing chapter, I think. Before we get to the controversial stuff, though, I'd like to applaud Kubo for how he handled Haschwalth's reactions this chapter. I hadn't really thought about it until now, but Kubo's been setting up a strong contrast between him and Uryū for a while now, primarily in how they handle friendship; Uryū's willing to abandon self-growth and additional pylons power in order to support his friends, while Haschwalth turned his back on the one real friend he ever had in order to side with the one person who really understood him...only to then be betrayed by that same person. Not saying his motivations weren't understandable, but it's an interesting contrast nonetheless. The aforementioned haterape face was epic, but this was also subtly reinforced by the panel of Haschwalth tightening his grip on his sword when Uryū mentioned how much he values his friends. Oh, and Ichigo's inner monologue about his powers vanishing was really sad. Here's hoping he can pick himself up again soon.

Onto the controversial stuff. When the first present-day Auswählen occurred over a year and a half ago, people were upset because even though it fit Yhwach's character perfectly, it also effectively deprived under-utilized Shinigami of possible fights and several Sternritter of additional development, most notably Robert. This time around, it's only hit Haschwalth and Gerard, both of whom we've seen a lot from already and are far from under-developed, but at the same time this means we son't be seeing Isshin and Ryūken taking them on as many thought they would, and in Gerard's case I'm sure more than a few people will see this as a cop-out from Kubo after he couldn't figure out how to defeat him otherwise - although, if you ask me, this is what Kubo was building toward when he had Gerard come back from the triple-captain bangarang and was completely unexpected in a good way because it still makes sense.

Thoughts on this chapter?

The poll was created at 11:35 on June 30, 2016, and so far 145 people voted.