With volume fifty-three of Bleach, we draw ever closer to the end of the Lost Agent arc. This volume contains ten chapters, starting with chapter four hundred and sixty. The last chapter in this volume is number four hundred and sixty-nine.
Ichigo is rescued from the pit of despair once again by Rukia. And she’s not the only member of the Soul Society who shows up to help out. Now having finally regained his true Soul Reaper powers, Ichigo faces off against Ginjo with no restraints.
After Ichigo has regained his Soul Reaper powers in chapter 460, ‘Deathberry Returns 2’, Rukia’s pretty quick to scold him for falling into despair. She also reveals that the Soul Reapers of the Soul Society co-operated in order to help restore his power. Several of them arrive at the scene.
Ichigo demonstrates his regained strength.
Ginjo tries to flee in chapter 461, ‘Come Around Our Turn’, but Ichigo doesn’t let that happen. It is also revealed that the Captain General was the one who ordered Kisuke to restore Ichigo’s powers.
Toshiro reveals to Ichigo that Kugo Ginjo was the first Deputy Soul Reaper.
Orihime finds herself crying from seeing Ichigo in despair in chapter 462, ‘Why me sad.’ Due to Tsukishima’s manipulation, she can’t figure out why. However, Isshin and Kisuke knock Chad and Orihime unconscious so they won’t suffer any more.
The other Fullbringers arrive, and Ginjo shares Ichigo’s power with them.
With the Fullbringers powered up in chapter 463, ‘Extreme Divider’, Ichigo decides to take responsibility and challenge them. However, Yukio uses his Fullbring to divide everyone up, so each Fullbringer faces one Soul Reaper.
Kenpachi ends up facing Giriko, and makes very quick work of him.
Ichigo and Uryu confront Ginjo in a replica of Karakura Town in chapter 464, ‘Quiet Chamber, Noisy Heart’.
Meanwhile, Toshiro’s opponent is Yukio, whilst Rukia fights against Riruka. The honour of fighting Tsukishima goes to Byakuya.
Ikkaku confronts Shishigawara in chapter 465, ‘Bad Blood Exhaust’. Shishigawara manages to dislocate Ikkaku’s shoulder, but Ikkaku fixes that simply be flexing.
Renji fights Jackie, though he refuses to make the first move. He also allows her to get in a couple of hits, but he remains unfazed.
Despite defeating Jackie, Renji remains stuck in chapter 466, ‘Screaming Invader’. Jackie tells Renji to kill her so they can escape, but Renji refuses to do so.
Toshiro is able to make his way to Yukio. Yukio claims to be a god in the dimension he has created, but Toshiro is able to use Yukio’s own traps against him.
Toshiro takes Yukio prisoner in chapter 467, ‘LUCK MEN’ by freezing him.
Ikkaku’s fight against Shishigawara continues. The pair end up in a fist fight, but Shishigawara’s just isn’t as lucky as Ikkaku.
Tsukishima tries playing mind games with Byakuya in chapter 468, ‘Raid as a Blade’. He also reveals that his Book of the End allows him to insert his presence into objects, allowing him to set up traps. Tsukishima is also able to cut Byakuya’s sword.
Tsukishima is able to get a read on Byakuya’s movements in chapter 469, ‘Rag Lag Rumble’. He even knows of Senbonzakura’s safe zone, and proclaims that none of Byakuya’s techniques will work on him.
Rukia can’t bring herself to cut Riruka’s plush toys, but a chest of drawers poses no problem. Riruka is able to use her ability to force Rukia into a plush toy, rendering her unable to hold her zanpaku-to.
The volume ends there. After getting some rather interesting character-focused stuff, Bleach once more returns to being a typical battle shonen. It is good seeing a few of the Soul Reapers again, and I did like seeing the Fullbringers using their abilities in combat – well, most of them. Giriko never stood a chance, really…
It was most certainly cathartic to see Ichigo’s power return, particularly with that first Getsuga Tensho he unleashed.
I particularly enjoyed seeing Toshiro’s fight as well. Yukio got arrogant, and yet Toshiro was able to turn his own power against him.
There’s still a few battles ongoing, but they will be wrapped up in the next volume – which also happens to be the last volume of the Lost Agent arc.