There was a fight with the three Fraccion loyal to Harribel – Sun-Sun, Mila Rose and Appaci in this chapter, and Nel was doing her best to hype them up to Ichigo. Speaking of Nel, she was pretty funny in this chapter as she was riding on Ichigo’s back and doing stuff like covering Ichigo’s eyes so he can’t see where he’s going etc. But there was also some serious stuff in the form of the battle I mentioned above, and also with Soul Society preparing for war with the Vandereich.
This chapter confirmed what everyone knew already, that being that the Vandenreich are in fact Quincy. Mayuri confirms it during a meeting between the Gotei 13 and Yamamoto where they are relaying all the info they have on the Vandenreich and preparing to go to war with them. Yamamoto asks if they have found where the Vandenreich (who from this point on I shall refer to as Quincy since it’s been confirmed now) are located, but he is told that they still don’t know yet. Yamamoto tells them to start preparations for war immediately since they were given the 5 day deadline, with Yamamoto saying that they can’t trust people as despicable as the Quincy to even live up to their word, and that they could strike at any time.
Elsewhere, the trio (who Nel referred to as Tres Bestia) finally stop arguing amongst themselves, and instead start fighting and defeating some of the Quincy soldiers. Nel tells Ichigo that they are really powerful and scary, and tells him that he doesn’t even need to do anything as Tres Bestia will probably wipe out the entire army themselves in no time. Of course Ichigo still continues on anyway, while one of the Quincy runs up to the captain and says they are really strong and that they should retreat for now. The Quincy who said it is then just mercilessly killed, and the Quincy captain tells the Fraccion that he has a proposal for them.
He says that they are strong and that it’s wonderful, as they would be perfect pawns for “his majesty”. He says it’s why he doesn’t want to kill them, and suggests that they surrender instead and become pawns, where at least they would be reunited with Harribel. He then says that there could be no greater joy for them than what he just said, but the Fraccion refuse to listen, telling him not to underestimate them, with them then trying to attack the captain. The Quincy captain says it’s a shame they don’t want to negotiate with him.
Ichigo meanwhile hears a loud explosion, and Nel says it’s probably from the 3 devils and that she won’t make fun of Ichigo if he decides to go back. Just after she finishes saying it however, we get to see the Quincy captain standing on top of a rock or a hill (or something like that anyway) with the three bloody (and presumably) dead bodies of Sun-Sun, Mila Rose and Appaci at his feet. He then notices Ichigo, and comments that now with a Shinigami having arrived that it has been a really busy day for guests.
So yes, that was pretty much the content in the chapter, and it all tied together pretty well. We had the classic mix of seriousness and light hearted scenes / panels which has always been one of my favourite things about Bleach as a whole, and of course it was nice getting 100% proof and confirmation that the Vandenreich are members of the Quincy afterall. No doubt fans of Sun-Sun, Mila Rose and Appaci will be pissed off that they were wiped out so quickly and effortlessly, but I guess Kubo is doing it just to build up some hype and add some feats to the Quincy before they go up against the Gotei 13 and Soul Society.
Speaking of which, of course it was very interesting to see Ichigo being noticed by the Quincy captain, as it means there could very well be a fight between the two of them in the next chapter. Obviously it’s no guarantee as the captain could have other plans, but if it does go ahead it should be awesome, especially if / when Urahara eventually catches up to Ichigo as well. There is still a lot to come and a lot to expect from this arc and the upcoming chapters, and admittedly this chapter didn’t advance things too much, but overall it was still an enjoyable chapter and one that I really liked reading.