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This was intended to be a comment, but my mind wandered and a blog would be better to contain my thoughts.
Now that the Pernida fight seems to be over, I'll give my thoughts on the fight as a whole. Originally I did not like it because it was one of the longest fights of this arc and on some occasions it seemed that little happened in some chapters. But then I realized that was the fight's strength.
Kubo did not resurrect the Shutzstaffel merely to extend the storyline and bring it to 700+ chapters *cough cough Naruto cough cough*, nor did he do so just to give the Shinigami something to do besides run around Wahrwelt. The Shutzstaffel are the Quincy's elite, but their image was somewhat tarnished due to the fact that they were in over their heads when confronting the Royal Guard (though let us not forget they eventually beat them out).
Pernida put up a fight worthy of Yhwach's elite, and I hope the other Shutzstaffel do the same. On the topic of Pernida's defeat, I wonder if Pernida's destruction will really give Yhwach any strength, because it seems that Pernida is in a state of constant self-destruction, unable to die but unable to escape either.
So what fights do we have next?
- Hisagi vs. Lille - Oh come on, who else could it be? Kubo wouldn't have him go through training just to one-shot him. Bring on the Bankai!
- ??? vs. Askin - The thing is that Askin doesn't really seem like a straight-up fighter so the battle against him could go anywhere. I kind of hope Orihime goes up against him because of her ability to reject anything while Askin can basically constantly destroy someone's body if he gets close enough. Perhaps a Team Karakura-Hueco Mundo (sans Ichigo) combo for this one?
- Gerard - I'm honestly more anxious to find out what the Miracle is than who fights him. Xil mentioned Chad, and I'd be fine with that, but nothing else really comes to mind. My personal choice would be Shinji since he got the shaft against Bamby and I really want to see his Bankai, plus we haven't seen any Visored abilities at all in the second half (or maybe we did and I wasn't paying attention, ah well)
- Shunsui vs. Haschwalth - Like in the Fake Karakura Arc, I think Shunsui should fight the second strongest opponent. He and Haschwalth also have unfinished business to take care of, and their final battle should be marvelous. I don't see Jugo's ability being anything other than "The Balance," which kind of fits well with Shunsui's Shikai, because what do kids care most about? Leveling the playing field with their siblings/friends, of course! No kid likes to get the short straw, including Jugo. Then there's the matter of Shunsui's Bankai, which I'm looking forward to seeing even more than Ichigo's new Bankai. I'm really at a loss to predict what it does, but something tells me it's really disturbing and goes completely against Shunsui's nature.
- Ichigo vs. Yhwach - The big smackdown to end it all, not really going to assume anything right now other than it'll be huge. Like destroy-the-city huge. I'm just really wondering how the mechanics of the fight are going to work out, because for the most part Yhwach has killed people just by willing it, which isn't that interesting in a battle. And how will Ichigo be able to overcome an opponent who can see through all his moves? Only time will tell...
Considering the amount of unanswered questions we still have, I wouldn't be surprised if Bleach surpasses 700 chapters, and I'm fine with that as long as Kubo keeps up a good pace.
I wrote about 100 more words in this blog when I realized that everyone would fall asleep if I kept droning on. So I'll continue writing blogs dealing with the other unanswered questions in Bleach, and giving my theories as to how they could pan out. The first one will deal with Pernida's identity, so be sure to tune in!
Anyways, what are your thoughts/theories/complaints on the Pernida battle and the future battles to come?