Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem
Was it worth the wait? I guess so.
So we start off with an expansion of the infamous cliffhanger from last year; Yhwach's slaughtered all of the king's attendants (any less would be OOC) and thinks the SK is an "imperfect god" for being unable to run away. Hey now, just 'cause he's in a cocoon doesn't mean he isn't beautiful on the inside, Yhwach, don't judge. Anywho, the same song and dance from last chapter goes down, but from NEW ANGLES! Yay!
Back to the Seireitei for the first time in a couple months, Renji and Rukia have ditched Bazz-B and shown up at the building from 606, where it turns out that Shinji and Marechiyo managed to survive Burner Finger 3 with...Zanpakutō power. Okay, I'll take it, y'all can be happy that Shinji's on-screen again. Oh, and Suì-Fēng is back with the usual subordinate-hitting, but has managed to show her "kind" side in...acknowledging Momo's existence? Either that or bringing her along because they can't leave her behind, I dunno. Inside the building is a laboratory set up by Urahara himself, and Byakuya, Nanao, and Yushiro are all there. Oh, and Yushiro's actually a boy. I was wrong, you were right. *cries into ruined fanfiction*
Thankfully, Urahara's here to give us a quick recap on the divisions; the injured are being treated, pretty much everyone in the 11th Division is out of commission, Iba's moving with Komamura by himself (did you see that shot of him facing down the Soldat? So badass) and Kensei and Rose are moving with Mayuri (gotta love the sideways glance Shinji gives at this - don't worry, they're just dead). However, what's really important is Urahara's plan: breaking into the Soul King Palace by using a pedestal that Mayuri built, a crap-ton of power from the captains, and the Heavenly Armor(!) to...transport everyone there, I guess.
Oh, and Ichibei thinks no one can beat
Juha Back Yhwach. Boy oh boy, I wonder if the omniscience has something to do with it.
Overall, decent chapter to start the year off with. We didn't really get much more between Yhwach and the Soul King besides the expansion of a previous scene, but I think Kubo intends to cover that along with the meaning behind Ichibei's statement next week, so I don't mind that much. Glad to see Shinji's back and stuff, Yushiro being a boy was surprising yet expected (most gender-confusing character since Ggio Vega, honestly) and Urahara's plan is, well...I wasn't exactly expecting him to just sit back and watch it play out, but pretty much everyone's going to the palace at this point, and I'm wondering just what Kubo's trying to set up in terms of battles here.
Also, Yhwach apparently inherited his future sight from his dad, so he might have something of a excuse for being so OP (he IS effectively a demigod, after all), but I don't even caaaaaaare. I care immensely.