In the previous chapter, we’ve seen Kenpachi kicking some major ass. Since we’re talking about Kenpachi, one of the most badass characters in the entire series (of not the most badass character), this is pretty much normal. He has always been overpowered and way too strong. What I also liked whas Rukia when she coudn’t take her hands off of the stuffed animals. xD Rukia, I just love you, you’re awesome. XD
As for this chapter… well, first of all I really liked Ikkaku. This guy has been crazy since the beginning and I like him for being as crazy as he is. I’m not even suprised he can relocate his shoulder with only his muscles, this is Ikkaku we’re talking about, he’s just insanly strong for his position. I’d love to see his Bankai again, if you ask me: he’s got the coolest Bankai in the series, it kicks ass. Such a shame he doesn’t like to use/show it… So yeah, Ikkaku was great and it didn’t even feel like he’s suddenly overpowered, probably because we didn’t really see any real figthing from his part. This could easily change next chapter and I sure hope it will not. And here’s the reason why: Renji is way too overpowered now.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Renji. He’s not exactly my favorite character, but I like him, but one part of him that I liked was the fact that he was not that strong, that he had to struggle to reach a level suitable to fight alongside the other guys. Do you still remember why it was so cool when Renji achieved Bankai? Because he was weak, because he faild and he worked hart to climb up and achieved his goal in becomming stronger, but even after this, it still wasn’t even nearly enough to beat Byakuya. Now I’m wondering just how insanly strong Buyakuya must have gotten when even Renji reached such a level now? And just where is Ichigo with his strength?
He hasn’t trained his Shinigami abilities for such a long time. Of course, back then he was able to kill Aizen, but only with his super-special technique that resulted in him loosing his powers. He was (by far) not able to beat Aizen with his normal strength and now even someone like Renji, who has never been one of the strongest, is supposed to have reached a level where he might be able to stand up again Aizen? The one and only Aizen, who was so goddamn strong back then that even Yamamoto was not able to do anything againt him. This is just… this is not right. Training 17 months to be able to fight Aizen and totally kicking ass suddenly… I mean: Renji is not a character who is supposed to be one of the strongest and this makes me nervours just how strong the guys are you are supposed to be. Compared to them, what in the world is Ichigo? Suddenly a small fry?
I can understand a sudden power-boost when it comes to characters like Hitsugaya, who is very young for Shinigami standarts and everyone expects him to become one of the most powerful Shinigami in the future. He’s supposed to become really strong and there’s actually a good reason to it, because he’s young and he’s a genius. Renji may not be the oldest either, but he’s the hard-working supporting type of character and not a genius like Hitsugaya and he’s also not a special case with unforseen talent like Ichigo, who’s somehow totally off the scale now and not in a good way as it seems, but I guess we still need to see some more fighting with him, before we can really judge, but I don’t think he will be able to match overpowered Shinigami who had trained for 17 months like crazy. I can’t even imagine a good excuse for suddenly making Ichigo as strong as the others.
And one last thing: Bleach has never really been about physical strength. The strength of a character was measured by his/her ability to fight with their Zanpaktou and this requires swordmanship as well as the ability to use Kido-techniques and the like. Raw physical strength has always been Kenpachis strongest point, of course it’s important for the others as well, but when it comes to raw power, you need Kenpachi. No other Shinigami was as strong as Kenpachi – physically and it was ok, because you don’t really need to be psysically as strong as Kenpachi to be a good fighter. Now… well, seeing that Renji is able to destroy this weid “building” by just knocking on it with one or two fingers without really adding too much strength into it, makes me feel like we’ve reached Dragonball-standarts and it was ok in Dragonball. Why? Because those guys were strong aliens that trained their bodies their entire lifes, so while it was still off the scale, at least it has been about physical strength from the very beginning to the end. It doesn’t work out in Bleach, because Bleach is about figthing with swords, not fists. Besides… thanks to Kubos drawing style, the characters all look skinny, but not really muscular, so it doesn’t even fit from the outlook apperance that Renji is supposed to have this much raw power now. You just can’t see where it comes from, because there’s nothing it might come from. Call me nit-picking, but at least Son Goku had some really impressive muscles he showed off all the time.