Back on January 19th, we reported here on Anime Games Online that Bleach author Kubo Tite will be offering three weeks of Bleach information as the manga is on break. Well, below is part 2, which contains 5 pages worth of information on three new scans!
The first scan of mentions this edition of the information reveal is titled Bleach Repeat & Reboot Volume 2 – Stage (part 1 located at this link). It will uncover a brand new battlefield in Bleach and continue from last week on what happened to the Gotei 13 after Ichigo defeated Aizen.
The first person of focus is the Hirako Shinji, who has returned to the Gotei 13 as the Captain of the Fifth Division.
Question: What happened to Hirako’s hair?
Kubo: Since his hair can’t grow all that much over 17 months, only his bangs changed a little bit. And one day I’d like to draw how Hinamori, who was heartbroken after losing Aizen, developed a good trusting relationship with Hirako.
Pictured in the scan from the Sixth Division is Captain Kuchiki Byakuya. He has somewhat changed his appearance with more expensive ornaments, citing the Captain’s white overcoat was a bit cheap. As for Sixth Division Lieutenant Abarai Renji, he has become more wild and rough over the 17 months after Ichigo’s defeat of Aizen. He now has a towel wrapped around his wrists, and a specially made, not store bought ornament in his hair.
Q: Has Renji trained hard to become stronger?
Q: Have Other people trained as well?
Q: So they wouldn’t be troubled by even Aizen-level opponents?
Kubo: They’re not quite at that level (laughs). What can I say, they’ve become stronger. But even so, they haven’t gotten to the point where they’re not worried about Aizen-level opponents (laughs).
Q: Will they display new abilities or techniques in the new arc?
Kubo: That will be revealed. Renji’s bankai has already changed.
Komamura Sajin, the Captain of the Seventh Division has changed his clothing a bit, equipping himself with armor-like shoulder adornments extended to his neck, forearm and feet. Komamura felt distressed after the loss of his close friend Kaname Tosen, who was the former Ninth Division Captain.
As for Kyouraku Shunsui, the Eighth Division Captain, the origin of his pink, flower-filled kimono will be covered in the next arc. He wears it for a reason, there is history that will be unfolded.
Q: The senior captains doesn’t change their appearance much, so Kyouraku did not change either?
Kubo: Yes. Captains who holds the position for a very long period will not change a lot. Thats because they’ve undergo numerous pitched battles in the past. However, we will witnesses the differences and new sides in the future battles. I guess Shunsui show off his Bankai. Also the pink kimono that he wore contains some history/background
Lastly, Muguruma Kensei has fatefully returned as the Ninth Division Captain. Kensei was the one to saved the current Ninth Division Lieutenant Hisagi Shuhei from a Hollow when he was young.
The Ninth Division is in charge of editing the Sereitei news magazine. Hisagi still wears his shirt in a sleeveless fashion to pay tribute to Kensei from a hundred years ago in addition to the tattooed “69”. The “6” represents Kensei’s last name, “Muguruma,” which uses the kanji for “6” in it, while the “9” represents the Ninth Division
Scan #3 covers the stages or battlefields that have seen multiple clashes of Bleach action. It also previews a new battlefield to come!
Naruki City – The place where Ichigo’s friend Keigo lives. This is the battlefield for the Lost Agent arc and the base for Xcution.
Seireitei – This is the center of Soul Society, where the Shinigami live. Soul Society itself already has 1 million years of history.
Rukongai – This place is Located outside of Seireitei and is separated into 320 districts.
Karakura Town – A town located near central Tokyo that has a center of spiritual activity. Also the home of Ichigo Kurosaki.
Hueco Mundo – A place that is largely desert. Former Espada #2 Barragan’s kingdom was also located here.
The new arc is located neither in Karakura Town nor Soul Society. Although it is a new location, it is “underneath somewhere” and “unexpectedly close” to a place we’ve already seen. The scan mentions the new battlefield will be a palace made of ice. As you can see in the scan, there is a rough sketch of two pillars from the new arc’s battlefield. Behind them, is a palace of ice. The scan mentions that “perhaps the new enemies are hiding in there.” Also, there are tall cliffs and precipices in the new location. Everything is covered with ice and what is that at the very end resembles a large waterfall.
Kubo mentions in the scan’s title comment that “in the new arc, I want to draw a place like a “palace of ice. It will be colored white, blues, and silver.”
Then there is an interview with Kubo-sensei.
Q: In the new arc, the Shinigami will of course be represented, but will other characters from the past also appear?
Kubo: Yes, if the Arrancar appear, I think they will stand with the Shinigami.
Q: Will there be characters that appear in the role of a friend?
Kubo: Ulquiorra has already turned into ash. Grimmjow might become a friend. Also, what about Harribel, who is still alive? But, I wonder how I’d bring them out of Hueco Mundo. I think Harribel would not leave Hueco Mundo.
Q: Was the idea of Arrancars becoming friends in your plans before this break? Or was it just a feeling that they might return?
Kubo: They might appear. Or it could be that they might not appear. (laughs) Even if they did appear, it wouldn’t be individually, but as a group.
Q: What about Nel?
Kubo: I think I will let Nel appear.
Q: I’d really like to see her interactions with Kon.
Kubo: Kon did not appear in the Lost Agent arc. But to tell the truth, he has rarely appeared since the end of the Soul Society arc, roughly five years ago. (laugh) People who only recently started reading might not know that he exists. (laugh)
Q: It can’t be that you’ve forgotten him?
Will the Espada return in the new arc? A Shonen Jump editor makes a courageous prediction! N/A means not applicable because the character is dead.
0. Yammy – N/A, he’s dead
1. Stark – extremely unlikely
2. Barragan – N/A, he’s dead
3. Harribel – unlikely
4. Ulquiorra – N/A, he’s dead
5. Nnoitra – extremely unlikely
6. Grimmjow – very likely
7. Zommari – extremely unlikely
8. Szayel – N/A he’s dead
9. Aaroniero – N/A, he’s dead
Previous No 3. Nel – very likely
Thanks to Anime Games Online’s NaruHina_fan_girl and michaels for the info!