Boring set-up chapters
Chapter 196: Punch Down the Stone Circle
Yep, Rukiaís back. She kicks Ichigo in the face, and as the others hold him back she pulls his out of his body and drags him out the window. This, naturally, causes a bit of a stir in the class, and some silliness among the shinigami. Ichigo, of course, is just confused, but it turns out she was leading him to a hollow. However, heís failing at fighting it due Hichigoís continued interference. Rukia calls him out on how heís been different lately and tells him to get strong enough to move past his problems, saying thatís what the normal Ichigo would do. He tells her to shut up,
which is his way of thanking somebody. Back at the school, Rukia drags Ichigo up to Orihime and makes him apologize for being weak. He promises it wonít happen again,
and Orihime is glad the regular Ichigoís back. She thanks them both and welcomes Rukia back.
Chapter 197: The Approaching Danger
First, four pages of Keigo getting owned by the shinigami.
Keigoís weird. Next, Kon and Rukiaís reunion. Ichigoís family try to spy on them,
but Ichigo chases them away. Ichigo asks for an explanation, so the other shinigami drop down from the ceiling. After owning Kon, they explain that Arrancar have always existed, but thanks to Hogyoku,
Aizenís been able to quickly churn out a powerful arrancar whenever he finds a decently strong hollows, and that there were sent there in response to Ulquiorra and Yammy. Itís quickly explained that Yamamoto pretty much running the show now,
and Renji tells us why these people in particular were chosen to come on this mission. Turns out everyone but Ikkaku, Renji and Rukia are just along for the ride. Hitsugaya shows up to provide more exposition. *
Apparently, the are three types of Menos: Gillain, the type weíve seen;
are huge and all look the same, but are considered to cannon fodder among strong shinigami because of their slow speed and lack of sapience, Adjucas, who look like standard hollows but are intelligent and stronger than Menos,
and Vaste Lorde, who are human sized, extremely rare, and comparable in strength to the captains. Aizen also has an unknown number of Arrancar under his control. According to Hitsugaya, SS is doomed if Aizen gets ten Vaste Lorde. We cut over to Yammy and Ulquiorra, who are returning now and are asked by Aizen to give their report in front of their twenty siblings.
For the first time, I must admit that I donít really have a much idea what a title means. I can only speculate that Ďthe stone circleí refers to Ichigoís recent mental problems, but that just a guess. ĎThe approaching dangerí is very simple, though; the danger of Aizenís forces is approaching. And- hmm. The only thing I think is really worth discussing in the first chapter is Rukiaís speech to Ichigo, but I canít really think of much to say about that, itís just reminding Ichigo of what heís usually like and giving a bit more peace of mind, while simultaneously letting Rukia have personality. The second chapter is mostly silliness and exposition, so thereís not a whole lot there either. We did get the little mention of Renji being friends with Ikkaku, which will come up again, but other than the only thing I feel the need to point out is that Iím not sure why it took Ulquiorra and Yammy that much time to get back, I mean, itís been at least 24 hours by this point, what were they doing all that time?