For the fifth chapter in a row, Bleach has gone chatty. In fact, there isn’t even a sign of a sword at all. Except for one frame, everything is talk. Fortunately, the talking does reveal some interesting secret operations of the Gotei 13.
The focus shifts from Hirako and Aizen to Kisuke and Hiyori. Kisuke brings Hiyori to a secret prison called the Maggots’ Nest. Along the way, he explains to her that the prison is governed by the Special Forces of the Second Division for the purpose of preemptively incarcerating any member of the Gotei 13 who merely exhibits any sign of dissension. This shocks Hiyori since she learns that a few of her classmates who on record has withdrawn from the Gotei 13 are in fact forcibly taken here without having committed any wrong. Eventually, they reach the sole caged chamber which holds an unique prisoner: Mayuri Kurotsuchi, whom Kisuke has come to make a dangerous proposal with.
This chapter is interesting because of what we now know in hindsight:
- Kisuke will develop the Hougyoku, which can infuse Shinigami’s and Hollow’s power together.
- Four of the captains, along with a few lieutenants, will become Vizards.
- Yoruichi will fall out of captain position too.
- Aizen will learn of the Hougyoku and eventually obtain it.
When you combine that with the new revelations:
- Gotei 13’s imprisons Shinigami’s who are merely considered disruptive,
- Kisuke intends to utilize one such prisoner who happens to be a scientist;
you know that Kisuke is digging his own grave, and the fallout will sweep half of the Shinigami’s Captains along with a few lieutenants.
This chapter is numbered -106. I wonder if this means that the writers have allocated 106 chapters to tell the backdrop story. If so, that’s a lot of chapters! And wouldn’t it be awesome if Isshin Kurosaki, who has yet to make an appearance in this backdrop story, is the main protagonist in these negative-numbered chapters?