Chapter 188: Crush the World Down
We open to Grand Fisher disintegrating, ‘cause that’s how hollows die. Kon is amazed,
and then Urahara shows up.
He apparently knows Isshin. Judging from dialogue here,
it looks like it’s possible that Isshin may have lost some of his power due to something Urahara did, and Isshin certainly hasn’t acted as a shinigami in 20 years. Urahara asks how Isshin’s feeling,
and Isshin replies that he hadn’t really cared about Grand Fisher, he just hated how he wasn’t able to save his wife. Urahara brings up Ichigo, and that brings them to a Vizard,
who Isshin tells us that they are ex-shinigami who used spells to gain hollow powers, but he doesn’t seem to know anything else about them. he reasons that if they’re contacting Ichigo, they must be getting ready to make a move. Also, Grand Fisher was apparently much more developed than Arrancar he’s seen in the past, and attributes this to Aizen.
Note that he makes a distinction between Arrancar ‘found’ by Aizen and Arrancar ‘made’ by Aizen. This creation was of course made possible by the Hogyoku,
but Isshin speculates that Grand Fisher was just an incomplete Arrancar prototype sent out as a test of power, and that soon he will have complete Arrancar ready for use against the Menos, and from there he’ll have the forces to fight pretty much everybody. Urahara says that the Vizard, themselves
, and Soul Society
are all preparing for that eventuality. then we see that a captain’s meeting has been called back in SS.
Title: Aizen’s plan involves crushing the world, so ‘Crush the World Down’. Now, a few plot details that will be spoilers to those not familiar with the rest of the series:
Aizen already has complete Arrancar under his control, many of which were made from Menos. So, not only has he been careful enough at hiding this fact that Isshin has no idea, but Grand Fisher’s presence here was probably less ‘testing power’ and more ‘getting rid of incomplete failure’. Also, Isshin is apparently pretty ignorant of the Vizard’s origins, and certainly doesn’t know about Urahara’s connection to them. And, as we saw, Shinji doesn’t know about Isshin either. Interesting that Urahara is not only keeping secrets, but is keeping the secrets from finding out about each other. Though, giving him the benefit of the doubt, it’s entirely possible that he hasn’t been in contact with the Vizard. END SPOILERS.
I’ll admit it’s possible, however, that Kubo just hadn’t thought all of that through at that point. Now what can I say about Isshin? Like Ryuuken, he’s a doctor, but nowhere near as focused on work as Isshin is. It’s clear now that his earlier behaviour was all just an act, and it’s now obvious why Ichigo and Karin were able to see ghosts, and why Ichigo had so much Reiatsu. Also note that, he’s not just a shinigami, but a captain-level shinigami, and appears to have a captain haori draped over his shoulder. I don’t really have any major character insights for him like I did for Ryuuken, but I would like to say that it’s now that he wasn’t just trying to cheer Ichigo up about he’s mothers death in that one discussion, but also knew exactly how she died, why those buried issues had come back up, and was also consoling Ichigo for his failure to defeat Grand Fisher, though simultaneously congratulating him for getting that far. Though I may be reading a bit too much into it. Can’t really think so any other significant character moments for him. There’s just too much we don’t know about him, really.