Spoiler free summary: In Volume 67 of Bleach by Tite Kubo, the assault on Soul Society continues, and the big guns are out in full force. Hyosube, Squad Zero’s Leader, might just force Yhwach to display his power again.
Character: Like I said, whatever middling effort was made to develop characters in this arc is all gone. It’s all about swinging swords now, which isn’t terrible. It’s just not as awesome as it could have been because I don’t care about the characters as much as I could.
Exposition: This was par for the course. The upside to manga is we get to literally show in the the show vs tell range. We’re not immune to certain things (see below), but the visuals do a lot for storytelling.
Worldbuilding: Squad Zero has been around for a few volumes now, but this is when we get to see them in action. The down side is the purpose they serve. Without anything but reputation to work with, we’re left pretty dissatisfied with how that reputation fairs against the “big bad” the author is trying to make more threatening. It’s one thing to watch one of the captains go down because we’ve seen them beat others before, but then they were used as fodder against Aizen. Now these guys come along, and we don’t get any of the fight. It’s like old school WWE, when they’d bring in someone who looks tough, but he’s just another guy the current push character runs over. It lacks power if we’ve never seen those guys throw down and win.
Dialogue: Behold! Look at how awesome my power is! I can do amazing things! See how amazing that is. Yhwach, “Psst.” Character leans in. Yhwach, “I’m the big threat of the fight.” Other guy, “Oh, right! Sorry. Falls down defeated.” I’m not kidding. That’s just about accurate in terms of dialogue here.
Description: Now as bad as the dialogue is sometimes (and it’s much worse when we don’t have any developmental dialogue so to speak), this fight was cool to see on the pages. The power was wicked interesting. So it’s a trade off that maybe doesn’t need to exist, but it felt a little fair to me.
Overall: This volume had one of the better fights, and that says something. I don’t think any volumes compare to the Aizen saga at all, but this one was cool. It also sets the table for some worldbuilding in the next volume.
Thanks for reading,