I haven’t expected a captain to draw his sword so soon, but the last Arrancar happens to be too much for anyone else less than a captain with his bankai released to handle. In a battle of giant versus giant, Ikkaku, who has refused to release his, has no chance even if he does.
It is refreshing to see the writers pull a twist in the last of four fights, three of which have been, to say the least, formulaic. It also ups the level of expectation of the upcoming Arrancars’ strength, as the next battle also involves another captain, Soi Fon.
On the story front, oh wait, what story? Since the Turn Back the Pendulum arc, Bleach has been all about fights. It may sound awesome to see so much actions, but I kind of miss the drama too. If only there is better balance between drama and action instead of ten long continuous chapters of teeth clattering followed by ten long continuous chapters of steels clashing.
For now, we’ll have to settle for the nips and bits of battle philosophies. Iba is right: stubbornness is a luxury only for those who are strong. When you’re not, you have no such perks. Duty preempts all your ideals. If the job calls for you to fight like a coward, you have better fucking do so. Ikkaku’s combination of stubbornness and weakness almost costs the Shinigami the war. There is much to learn for Ikkaku. A wonderful lesson from Iba, my new hero.