My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was less disappointing than the last volume but not by much. I'm wishing more and more it had ended with the last arc. There is so much theme recycling in this. The whole 'here's a character's history you've never seen before and makes him/her FINALLY interesting and oops now they're dead.' And there is major character death in here, and too easy and simple of a death.
Renji/Rukia/Byakuya are all almost dead but oops not. Let's do this instead. Let's introduce MORE characters. Really? We're only a few chapters away from the end of everything and let's add yet more characters and another level of the Soul Society that no one knew existed, kinda (apparently there was a mention that I totally missed somewhere along the line).
There is a return of characters not seen in 50 volumes and a little comic relief. And of course we find out Ichigo is even more super special.
What can I say, I'm sticking it out to the bitter end but it's just not really working for me. The only reason it got that third star was this new level of the Soul Society was vaguely interesting.
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