Song to listen to while reading this chapter:

548Marechiyo comforts

So Ōmaeda finally, finally got some character development, and in my opinion it was pretty good. Finally acknowledging that he's a member of the Gotei 13 and can't just run and hide sent chills down my arms, and BG9 being his opponent is even better. Hopefully we get some more out of Ōmaeda in the ensuing fight.

548Shinku Taso Hyoheki

And now we get to the bulk of this chapter: Hitsugaya fighting Bazz-B. I saw some people guessing in the last blog that Bazz-B's epithet was "The Heat", and there you have it. I found it interesting that Hitsugaya's Shikai and Bankai are only really different in how much ice they can create, meaning that losing his Bankai didn't reduce his power so much as it did change his fighting style. And here's the part I like: Kubo making a character fight intelligently. I don't mean using having them use their wits to outmaneuver an opponent, but using their power in a unique and unusual manner when restrictions have been set upon them, namely the vacuum wall. Also, it was cool to see Haineko being used for the first time in a long time, and I don't believe we've sever seen two Zanpakutō combine attacks like that before, which is neat. And of course we get the familiar "powerful attack at the end of the chapter" that we see so often in Bleach, although this time it was a bit more interesting than usual because it was hollow ice instead of a sword or something.

All in all, a very nice chapter. We got some character development (when's the last time that happened?), we learned more about both Hitsugaya and Bazz-B, and we saw some rare intelligent fighting. I'm liking where this is going.

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