Chapter 187: The Cigar Blues Part Two
Grand Fisher’s confused, so Isshin introduces himself. We then cut over to Ichigo and Shinji, who notice stuff separate stuff at the same time. Ichigo’s just noticing Grand Fisher, but Shinji have realized Isshin’s there. Somewhat interesting that Shinji doesn’t know who Isshin is, since he seems to be in the know about most things. Ichigo takes the opportunity to leave, deciding not to trust the creepy hollow man and exercising a little bit of denial about his hollow side. Shinji lets him go, but then pulls out a cell phone and calls somebody named ‘Sarugaki’. He gets yelled at, presumably for failing to recruit Ichigo, but he tells Sarugaki that it’s just matter of time and that they should be patient. Meanwhile, Grand Fisher basically understands now. And Isshin confirms that he knows that Kon isn’t Ichigo. Fair enough that he could tell his son apart from a sapient pill, * but I kind of wonder how he found out Kon’s name. He must been spying on Ichigo quite a bit to catch that. ‘Ah ha!’ says Grand Fisher. ‘Ichigo’s the child of a shinigami, so that’s why he’s so powerful. Now move along, old man, I wanna kill your son.’ ‘No can do,’ responds Isshin ‘sorry, but I kind of wanna kill you a little first.’ The Grand Fisher goes a little crazy, dismissing Isshin, breaking the top part of his mask, and turning huge. Kon points out that he’s now as big as a menos, but Grand Fisher scoffs the comparison, saying that he’s an Arrancar. Isshin helpful chimes in and tells us that Arrancar are hollow who’ve broken their masks and gained shingami powers. Grand Fishers brags a bit about the size of his sword, because, as he reminds us, the size of a sword is directly proportional to it’s potency. Isshin seems to think he’s just overcompensating for his own weakness or something, so they face off. Isshin then explains that huge swords are unwieldy and can’t get the job done, and that those really strong with the sword know that bigger isn’t better, so they actually learn to limit the size so that it doesn’t overwhelm anyone. Oh, and it turns out that Isshin’s attack cut Grand Fisher in half. Sorry if I ruined the drama there, I just couldn’t resist.
The title is, as you probably figured out, a reference to an earlier chapter entitled… well, that particular chapter had a lot of subtitles, but part of the title was ‘Cigar Blues Mix’. The chapter is the aftermath of Ichigo’s initial battle with Grand Fisher, with Ichigo moping about being unable to avenge his mother, dealing with his survivor’s guilt from the incident, and Isshin acting serious for the first and only time before now; cheering up Ichigo and giving him advice, as well as visibly mourning his wife in his own way. I don’t think it’s hard to understand why Kubo wants to remind us of that particular chapter now. On to the content: A page here implies there was a scene in the first Grand Fisher arc where Isshin pointedly did not call Kon ‘Ichigo’, but if that’s true, I can’t find it. There is a significant portion where Kon-in-Ichigo’s and Isshin are in the same place while off-screen, but I can’t find any scene where the two actually interact in any way. I think I’m going to postpone my Isshin stuff again, since there’s a bit more about him in the next chapter. Instead, I’m going to talk about Grand Fisher. I always thought this was an anti-climatic and ill-fitting end for the Fisher. I mean, in his first appearance, he was established have been successfully beating the shinigami for decades, was given a distinct set of abilities, and, given that he killed Ichigo’s mother, a rather important backstory connection. All that should mean he would have a fairly significant role, don’t you think? But here… well, he doesn’t show any sign of using his old powers, he’s beaten easily, and is generally just treated like a loose end to be tied up; while serving the double-purpose of setting up some future plot threads, namely Isshin and the Arrancar. I mean, okay, Ichigo’s mother was Isshin’s wife, so he had just as much reason to hate Grand Fisher as Ichigo did, but this end was just… undignified. He deserved to be treated with respect, as a character, not casually dispatched like this shortly after his reappearance.