Not much to say to introduce this one other than that the fight between the Soul Reapers and Aizen continues on – as has been the case for the past few volumes, and as will be the case for the next few as well.
Bleach Volume 45 contains chapters three hundred and eighty-seven to three hundred and ninety-five, which makes for a total of nine chapters.
The great battle heads for a climax as Aizen joins the battlefield and faces the Soul Society’s greatest captains. Captain General Yamamoto reveals his true powers for the first time, but will it be enough to stop Aizen?
Shinji reveals the power of his zanpaku-tô, Sakanade, in chapter 387, ‘Ignited’. It switches a person’s perception of up, down, left and right. It doesn’t stop there, either; sight and the direction from which one is wounded gets reversed as well. Aizen is able to adjust to it pretty quickly, however.
Komamura exchanges a few final words with the dying Tôsen, but Aizen soon cuts that short. Suddenly, Ichigo appears.
Ichigo attacks Aizen from behind in chapter 388, ‘Eagle Without Wings 2 (EXTREME BATTLEMASTERS MIX)’. However, Aizen was prepared for that and nullifies the attack. Ichigo tries again after Hollowfying, but it makes no difference. When Aizen questions Ichigo’s resolve, the Soul Reaper captains gather and tell Ichigo that they’ll fight to protect him.
The captains offer Ichigo words of encouragement in chapter 389, ‘WINGED EAGLES 2’, before they go to face Aizen themselves. Tôshirô is first to throw himself into battle. Tôshirô uses his bankai, as a result of his anger against Aizen.
Komamura and Love join the battle in chapter 390, ‘BEYOND THE DEATH UNDERSTANDING’. Gin watches on, musing to himself that Aizen’s power is something to be feared, even alongside his zanpaku-tô Kyoka Suigetsu.
Though Komamura and Love are cut down in chapter 391, ‘The Blazing Glaciers’, Lisa tries to attack Aizen. When she fails, Soi Fon confronts Aizen directly. Aizen is frozen in place whilst he focuses on Soi Fon, which leaves an opening for Shunsui to attack. Finally, Tôshirô is able to land an attack on Aizen as he is still under the effect of Shinji’s zanpaku-tô.
There is much jubilation amongst the Soul Reapers in chapter 392, ‘The Breaking Glaciers’. However, this quickly turns to horror as it’s revealed that it wasn’t Aizen who was being attacked. Due to the effects of Kyoka Suigetsu, the Soul Reapers had actually attacked Momo.
Tôshirô is enraged by that turn of events and charges at Aizen only to be cut down.
Yamamoto confronts Aizen in chapter 393, ‘The Burnout Inferno’. Yamamoto allows Aizen to stab him so he knows for certain that the person before him is truly Aizen. However, Wonderweiss intervenes. He has used his Resurreción, Extinguir, which is used to nullify the flame of Yamamoto’s zanpaku-tô, Ryujin Jakka.
Yamamoto shows that he does not need his zanpaku-tô to put up a fight in chapter 394, ‘The Burnout Inferno 2’. With his bare fists, Yamamoto fights Wonderweiss.
Wonderweiss is soon dispatched by the captain general in chapter 395, ‘The Burnout Inferno 3’. However, Wonderweiss was able to nullify Ryujin Jakka by absorbing its fire, and after his defeat, that fire has to go somewhere. Yamamoto is heavily injured containing the explosion, but he still has enough strength to grab Aizen and unleash hado 96, Itto Kaso. Immediately after that, Ichigo seizes the opportunity to attack.
Volume 45 ends there. Some pretty neat action happens in this volume, particularly with the way the captains fight together – just a shame that they were unwittingly targeting Momo rather than Aizen.
Yamamoto proves he is no slouch either, even without his zanpaku-tô. There’s a reason he gain the fan nickname ‘Old Man Genocide’ – this becomes even more true during the final arc, but let’s worry about that later.
Ayon didn’t stand a chance against Yamamoto a few volumes back, and now Wonderweiss pretty much suffered the same fate. Well, apart from the fact that Aizen had Wonderweiss modified so he’d still be a threat even after his death. Still, Yamamoto took a blast of his own zanpaku-tô’s power and was still able to deliver a strong attack.
I quite enjoyed this volume, and I imagine fans of Aizen and Yamamoto will get quite a bit of enjoyment from it as well.