The Lost Agent arc continues with Bleach‘s fiftieth volume. Ichigo met a man named Kugo Ginjo who wields a mysterious power known as Fullbring in the previous volume. In this one, we are introduced to other Fullbringers, who want to lend their aid to Ichigo.
Volume fifty of Bleach contains nine chapters, running from chapter four hundred and thirty-three to chapter four hundred and forty-one.
After a long battle, Ichigo loses his Soul Reaper powers and is now living a quiet and peaceful life. But when a mysterious man named Kugo Ginjo approaches him, Ichigo might have a chance to regain his powers. But what are Ginjo’s true motives…?
In chapter 433, ‘The Six Fullbringers’, Ginjo how Fullbringers got their powers. A Fullbringer’s parents were attacked by Hollows before the Fullbringer was born. As such, the power is closer to that of a Hollow’s, and they want to remove that power. The Fullbringers intend to transfer their powers to Ichigo so they can become human again. Chad agreed to help out as well, as he couldn’t stand seeing Ichigo powerless.
Ichigo’s training begins in chapter 434, ‘BERRY IN THE BOX’. Riruka reveals that her Fullbring is called Dollhouse. It allows her to let people in or out of things she likes or thinks are cute. She has a cute box made up, which she permits Ichigo to enter. Inside, he ends up confronting a plush toy – Riruka tells him to defeat it, by using Fullbring.
Ichigo runs from his opponent in chapter 435, ‘Panic in the Dollhouse’, whilst trying to work out how using Fullbring will help him get his Soul Reaper powers back. Also turns out the plush toy is actually a person, though Riruka named him Mr. Pork.
When Chad returns to the Fullbringer’s place, he is able to give Ichigo a hint about using his Substitute Soul Reaper Badge – Ichigo figured that as well.
However, fifteen minutes have passed and Mr. Pork’s ‘Crazy Beast Mode’ is activated.
Kutsuzawa explains his Fullbring, Time Tells No Lies, in chapter 436, ‘The Time Discipline’. He placed a timer on Riruka’s box which means that Ichigo cannot leave until 30 minutes have passed; any attempts to get Ichigo out before then will result in harsh punishment from the god of time.
Ichigo is left with no choice to fight Mr. Pork, though he has no idea how to draw out the soul of his Deputy Badge. However, Chad tells him that pride is the key. Of course, Ichigo had always been proud of his powers as a Soul Reaper.
Ichigo manifests his Fullbring in chapter 437, ‘Manji Break’. It takes him a few attempts how to use his Fullbring, but soon enough he realises that it gives off the same sensation as Getsuga Tensho.
Meanwhile, Orihime is confronted by a boy named Shishigawara.
Riruka deactivates Dollhouse in chapter 438, ‘Knuckle Down’. Once Ichigo has returned, he manages to hear a familiar voice through his Deputy Badge.
Shishigawara tries to attack Orihime, but can’t bring himself to do so when he gets a glimpse of her face. A man by the name of Tsukishima then shows up, and reveals that he was the one that attacked Uryu.
After his training session, Ginjo urges Ichigo to rest for a few days in chapter 439, ‘KEEN MARKER’.
Shukuro Tsukishima formally introduces himself, and scolds Shishigawara for his actions. He reveals his Fullbring, Book of the End, and turns his blade towards Shishigawara. Orihime steps up to confront Tsukishima.
As Ichigo and Chad walk home, Chad realises that there is something wrong with Orihime’s spiritual pressure.
Tsukishima ends up stabbing Orihime in chapter 440, ‘Mute Friendship’. However, she has no wound afterwards. Ichigo and Chad arrival shortly after that, and Orihime finds herself referring to Tsukishima as a friend. She also insists that she’s perfectly fine.
Ichigo goes back to Ginjo, who tells him that Orihime was probably attacked by Tsukishima – a former member of their group.
Ginjo reveals that Tsukishima was their leader in chapter 441, ‘Spotlight Brocken’. He discovered a way to transfer powers to a Soul Reaper, but when they tried to transfer the powers to a Deputy Soul Reaper, Tsukishima killed him. He disappeared after that.
After hearing that, Ichigo returns home. He happens to spot Isshin and Kisuke, but decides to leave them be for now.
The next round of Ichigo’s training begins, and this time he’ll be facing one of the Fullbringers: Jackie Tristan.
That’s it for Bleach‘s 50th volume. We got a proper introduction for a couple of the Fullbringers – I personally would have to pick out Riruka Dokugamine as my favourite of that particular group.
We’re also shown that Fullbrings manifest in a variety of ways, and we finally get an idea of what the power that Chad wields is. Interestingly enough, Orihime’s power is never referred to as Fullbring, so perhaps it is something entirely different.
We also get some action in this volume, particularly with Ichigo’s fight against the amusingly named Mr. Pork. Of course, that’s just a prelude for what is yet to come – a necessary battle for Ichigo to awaken his Fullbring.
It would also seem we get the introduction of the main antagonist for this arc, Shukuro Tsukishima. We only get a hint as to what his Book of the End does, but the way Orihime ends up referring to him as a friend would suggest some kind of memory manipulation.
I quite enjoyed this volume, mostly for the way in which Ichigo starts regaining power that will allow him to protect those he is closest to once again. The connection between Fullbring and regaining Soul Reaper powers isn’t really explained, but perhaps the reasons for Ichigo’s training will become clearer as this arc progresses.