So with this chapter begins the final arc of Bleach. From the recent interviews a lot of possibilities were opened up for storylines, and it appears the main overall plot will be a war between Soul Society and the Quincy. But getting back to here and now, how did the arc start quality wise with chapter 480?
Well the chapter itself wasn’t that great unfortunately, though this only being the beginning of what will probably be a very long arc, I had pretty much expected as much. It started off very well with some lovely colour pages showing Mayuri and the correction squad in a panic over the amount of Hollows in Karakura town, who were being completely wiped out on a massive scale by something other than Shinigami, who Mayuri only referred to as “Them”. While not 100% confirmed, it’s pretty safe to say that Them is almost certainly the Quincy, though that would be very interesting considering the only two remaining Quincy readers are currently aware of are Ishida and his father Ryuuken.
After we see that in the colour pages is when things take a bit of a downturn, we see a couple of new characters in this chapter who are being sent to Karakura town to help with the control of Hollows, as Soul Society does not want to place too much work on Ichigo, and the other Shinigami who was helping to guard the town had left that position. There are a few funny moments between the two new characters – Yuki and Shino. Later we see Shino and Yuki searching for Hollows in the town, but when Yuki finds one and is hoping for some help from Shino, he finds she has been attacked and defeated already by a Hollow, laid out by a single blow. Yuki panics and wonders if the same fate awaits him, but as the hollow approaches, he is saved by the sudden appearance of Ichigo who cuts down the Hollow with ease.
That was pretty much it for the chapter this week, Mayuri at the start was awesome and Ichigo’s appearance at the end was pretty damn badass and a nice way to end the chapter, but overall it just felt a little flat. No doubt over time things will pick up and we will find out a lot more about everything, so hopefully the pace can still quicken up even if only a little for the upcoming chapters.