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Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "Shadow's Masquerade" from the second Bleach OST

Finally, everyone's here.

628Gotei 13 arrive

16 chapters later...

So we start off with the Gotei 13 FINALLY showing up in the Royal Realm. As a reminder, the process of getting here began 16 chapters ago. Holy sidetracking, Batman. Shinji's got no idea why they're apparently still in the Wandenreich city (I hope we get some sort of name for this thing sooner or later), but as Urahara points out, they are in the Royal Realm, so something's fishy. Shunsui, being the smart one 'n all, theorizes that Yhwach picked up the city and moved it here, but apparently what's more important is that Yhwach can actually do this. Suì-Fēng - haven't seen her in a while, I don't think - points out that there's nothing above them and the streets seem to revolve around something...which means Yhwach's got control over it too. Cut to an epic shot of the palace and cities joined together to form the Quincy Zeichen. I almost hope this was planned from the beginning because that's too perfect.

628Ichigo and friends envision

Honestly one of the funniest panels in a long time.

Over to Ichigo and co., where Yoruichi has sensed her brother's arrival and vice versa. Apparently, no one else knew she had a brother, and she uses the tried-and-true excuse of "there was never any need to tell you" (I like the random "you're not my fiance" to Ichigo, fuel them shippers Kubo). Of course, since Yoruichi's such a badass, logically her family must be equally as crazy strong, which leads Ichigo and his friends to envision Yūshirō as a large, muscular, braid-haired man. Totally legit. Seeing that everyone's doing the manga thing, Yoruichi tells them that Yūshirō just looks like her...leading them to envision a cat with a katana. That got another laugh out of me.

628New palace

Beautifully drawn, might I add.

Back to the Gotei 13 group, Yūshirō leaps into the air to go find Yoruichi...and promptly falls off the palace, with only Renji's Brooklyn Rescue saving him. According to Byakuya, the concentration of Reishi is much denser now, like it was at Ichibei's palace, which means they can't form footholds out of Reishi; this is also advantageous for the Quincy. Well darn, Yhwach thought of everything. Everyone realizes that if Yhwach can do this, the Soul King is probably dead, but Shunsui puts forth the improbably simple solution of killing Yhwach and finding another Soul King. Apparently that's what Ukitake would say if he were here. Everyone's ready to go, but they're interrupted by the appearance of a penis metaphor giant tower castle in the distance; apparently, this is Yhwach's new stronghold. You can tell because it has Silbern on the top. Within, Haschwalth tells Yhwach that all the good guys have shown up. Yhwach responds by...deciding to make this tower the cornerstone of his new world. Ebern confirmed to be reincarnated? Oh, and this world will be known as the Wahrwelt. Hooray for more German. Now, I'm not a man of empirical science or a rapper but I'm guessing that means "War World". Geez, guys, do you think he's a pacifist?

Overall, another good chapter this week. The short bit of comedy revolving around Yūshirō was great, and while I was initially "eh" about Yhwach putting the city in the palace, I like how he's put his own style in it. Again, that thing with the connecting cities is awesome. I'm still hoping he'll resurrect some of the fallen Sternritter to fight the invaders, particularly the ones who got shafted (Robert, Shaz, BG9, Cang), though I wouldn't mind some more Mask.


Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go row a cardboard boat across a swimming pool and graduate from high school.

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