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Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "Dangerous" by Big Data (I know I already used this song but c'mon it fits so well forgive me senpai)
And we're back with the first chapter of the new year, let's dive right in.
So we start off with a brief explanation of what was going on at the end of last chapter: Askin's wounds are actually disappearing/healing because of how he made himself immune to the explosion attack and stuff. When Askin rightfully points out that Yoruichi's gonna lose without accomplishing anything if she just keeps standing there, Yūshirō tries to attack him again, but the technique fizzles, The Almighty-style, and Askin's all "I told you so" as Yūshirō gets straight-up Boromir'd with three arrows through the chest from behind. Ouch. And then another mention of fatal behavior, hueeeeeeee.
Then, surprisingly, we cut back to ol' Gerard, who's stomping around all pouty-like because he's already defeated all the captains and lieutenants in the group. With Hiyori and Hachi hiding in a building nearby, Gerard proceeds to give a hilariously hammy and melodramatic speech about how insufferable it will be to look for survivors in the rubble before lolsmashing a poor building just to make it faster. However, in a legit unforseen twist, Hiyori puts on the mask and fires a tri-Cero at Gerard, who is then subjected to a three-way attack from Lisa, Love, and Hachi: I'm thinking of calling it the 21st Chocolate Goblin Shuffle. Of course, being Gerard, he proceeds to tank all that and then roflstomp the Visored with a single bitchslap. Classic, really. Gerard decides to just level the area in order to finish anyone off (anyone else reminded of Bambietta trying to do the same thing?) but is interrupted when his arm is frozen in place by none other than Hitsugaya. Hmm, I swear I just heard the sound of a certain Arrancar screaming bloody murder in the distance. Maybe it was just my imagination.
Overall, a pretty solid way to start off the new year. I actually saw "spoilers" last week claiming that this chapter was gonna see both Shihōin siblings defeated and Grimmjow showing up to save them, but I called fanfic bullshit on that and I'm glad I was right. Kinda expected Yūshirō to go down early with how impetuous he is, but Askin seems to be establishing himself as more and more of a legit threat with each chapter. Also glad that the Visored came back, even if for one chapter, and that some of them FINALLY PUT ON THE MASK. Sheesh, Kubo, took you long enough. Hitsugaya's pose at the end was outright pimpin' as well - reminds me of Ichibei's "you shall not pass" stance at the end of 604 (man, was that really over a year ago? time flies).