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Bleach Chapter 533 Recap: Everything But The Rain Part 6
Ever since Bleach ended airing as an anime at episode 366, I’ve needed to turn to the manga to get my Bleach fix. Having never really read much of the manga, I’ve been pleasantly surprised upon marathoning each chapter, up and to the latest one, over the past couple of days.
In the current and final arc of Bleach, there have been plenty of surprises. The Quincies began their invasion, many old characters have come back, we’ve been given hints and clues at even more mysterious characters coming back, and have witnessed some truly epic fights.
Kenpachi finally got his backstory fleshed out more, complimented beautifully by story of Unohana. The way Kubo set this particular story up was fantastic, and answers to questions that fans have been begging for for some time – such as: why is everyone so damn scared of Unohana!? – have finally actually been answered. I feel the Kenpachi vs. Unohana fight could definitely have been fleshed out even more, although it could have just been a matter of me powering through the latest chapters extremely fast.
The same could be said about Squad Zero, although I think Kubo definitely has some more secrets left to reveal in this regard.
Currently, in chapter 533, we’re deep into the story of Ichigo’s parents. We’ve learnt over the past 5 chapters that Ichigo’s mother, Masaki, was living with the Ishida family. Uryu’s father, Ryuken, seems to be in line to marry Masaki in an attempt to preserve the waning bloodline of the Quincies.
Masaki was not fond of this idea at all and expressed this to Ryuken. Ryuken, typical to his nature throughout the series, was less concerned emotionally than one might think, instead seeming to only hold a strong desire to not see Quincies die out.
Prior to the above confrontation, Ichigo’s father Isshin rushed to the human world and found himself confronted by a white Hollow, its Hollow-hole – which is typically, as the name implies, hollow – was strangely filled.
This is also the time that team Aizen, Gin and Tousen make their return in the manga. It’s revealed that the evil threesome are responsible for the creation of the white Hollow (named by Tousen as ‘Whitey’).
Whitey, despite putting up a fight, seems no match for Isshin and so Aizen, Gin and Tousen decided to intervene, injuring Isshin with a swift Zanpakuto slash. Being as clever as he is, Isshin recognises, although cannot determine the source of, the foul play.
Meanwhile, Masaki noticed that the fight was going on and intervenes, saving Isshin from the crazed Hollow. When the Hollow then turns on Masaki, threatening to self destruct, much to the surprise of Tousen, Isshin rushes in to take the majority of the explosion himself. A small conversation takes place between the two, with the kind-heartedness and understanding nature of Isshin becoming bleedingly obvious to Masaki. Prior to this Masaki’s view of the Shinigamis was very one-sided and had only been delivered to her by Quincies themselves.
Masaki muses this to herself and wonders if all Shinigami are like Isshin, and that if they were, presumably peace could be achieved between the two warring peoples.
Ryuken, witnessing the whole thing alongside fellow Quincy Katagiri, falls back, knowing that Masaki is in no real danger. The relationship between Ryuken and his accomplice Katagiri is very mysterious so far, although there have been hints that their relationship is far from simple. My guess is that a romantic relationship will eventually form between the two.
Aizen, Gin and Tousen proceed back to their headquarters, where Aizen assures the others that the Whitey experiment was not a failure, and only adds more fascination to the mix.
Meanwhile, Isshin files a report to the Captain Commander regarding the incident. When questioned whether there was anything more Isshin wanted to add on the matter – considering the case was quite strange – Isshin denies having anything more to add.
The chapter ends with Masaki living a normal school life, leaving school for the day and mysteriously bumping into Urahara.
The main thing I take away from this chapter has to do with the fact that Urahara and Aizen are present. When Aizen was defeated so long ago, I thought it was the end of my favourite antagonist, but – as not only this particular chapter, but the previous ones wherein the leader of the Quincies visits Aizen in his prison shows – Aizen seems far from gone from the series.
To have such a complex character weaving everything behind the scenes for literally an entire series is incredibly impressive.
Complementary to this is Urahara’s constant presence throughout everything, who is essentially the anti-Aizen, is equally impressive.
Having these characters the way they are, and having them have such an influence on so many characters and the overall story, also gives each character realistic motivation to fight Aizen and furthers him as a fantastic and fantastically evil character.
Mystery is definitely at a high point in the series at the moment, and I cannot wait for the next installment.