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Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "HELL2U" from the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle OST
Honestly, this could've been titled "THE HYPE" and still have been just as accurate and appropriate.
So we start off with, well, Grimmjow, who definitely has a new, swanky outfit now. Apparently, he hath not forgotten his battles with Ichigo back in the olden days, and talking about scars blah blah blah. Then he whips out his sword (and Ichigo picks up his because he's just that beta) and goes all "muh vengeance", but before he can do anything he's interrupted by...an adult, properly clothed Nelliel.
*ahem* Sorry, moving on.
So Nel's back as an adult, apparently for good, because Urahara was cool enough to make her an armband that lets her transform at will rather than because plot. So I was actually fairly close when I mentioned last chapter that he'd probably be the one to help her transform somehow instead of Orihime. Speaking of which, Orihime is mortified that Nel is back to normal, presumably out of jealousy and thinking that Urahara only did it because of dem tig ol' bitties. Anyway, Grimmjow's none too pleased about being so callously interrupted, but Nel tells him to shove it because 1. he's trying to start another fight when they're already in the middle of one, and 2. she outranks him by a mile. Classic awesome Nel. Surprisingly, Grimmjow counters with the admittedly solid logic that they no longer have ranks because Aizen's not around, though he then challenges her to a fight over who should be #3. Silly Grimmjow, you'll always be #6 in our hearts and souls.
But then, everyone's interrupted by a mysterious voice telling them to
GET TO ZE CHOPPA get in a big black box floating nearby. As Ichigo ascends, he's greeted by none other than RIRUKA AND YUKIO, who apparently made this box. Okay, THAT arrival I did not see coming. Once inside, Ichigo tells Yoruichi to explain just what the hell is going on because he (and by extension we) doesn't know what the hell is up. Time for some exposition, folks. Apparently, in the Dankai Dangai there are these pockets of space known as Kyōgoku where stray souls gather. Did Kubo just invalidate the concept of the Valley of Screams? I think he may have. Moving on, the Garganta, which can't keep Reishi and Reiatsu together, fills in these spaces, and somehow these spaces work as storage, which is why Urahara got Riruka and Yukio together because their unique powers can be used to create a box that can move between space and realms without being detected. With this, and a Garganta created by the Arrancar, they're gonna sneak into the palace. Ballin'.
Speaking of which, cut to the palace, where the 'Schutzstaffel are just...sitting around on couches. I am immensely amused that this sort of room, complete with a coffee table and a bowl of fruit, exists in the palace. Apparently, the Sternritter won't go near Yhwach because he'll probably swallow them up too, om nom nom. And last page, the two halves of the SK's cocoon crash to the ground, empty, as Yhwach stands...with the Soul King completely absorbed. OHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Overall, hell of a chapter this week. The main attraction is, of course, Nelliel being ADULT AGAIN AND FOR REAL THIS TIME YES, but the explanation of the Dangai stuff was interesting, if requiring Cnet/BadKarma to properly understand, and Yhwach's ascended to probably godhood by now. Hoo boy.
Also, from here on out I'm gonna start polling y'all for your opinions on each chapter, for fun and for an easy way to judge consensus, so here goes.