Okay, I promised that once the next chapter was posted, I'd give you my thoughts on the manga right now. However, I've decided to do something different. Instead, I'm going to give my thoughts about both the Fullbringer Arc and the current arc up to now. I'll start with plot, then characters. For each. Which means this will be a long post. So, let's get started.
FULLBRINGER ARC: STORY
I knew that if Bleach was still going to focus on Ichigo, he would somehow get his powers back, but I'll get to that later. Until Ichigo met with Kugo at his little Fullbringer club, I felt that it was moving a bit too slow. That's probably just me, since I prefer action to story. Up till then, all I really thought was clever was the fact that it was a year or two later. I actually wasn't even really invested until Tsukishima made his presence known to Ichigo, but more on that later.
Obviously, the story got as good as it could this arc when the other Soul Reapers showed up and gave Ichigo his powers back. After that, it went too quickly, though the fights were, like always, awesome. The "new" captains weren't entirely who I expected, but I'm not complaining. That's all I'll say on this.
FULLBRINGER ARC: CHARACTERS
I don't think I need to talk much about the returning characters. I like most of the new designs, except for Rukia and Yachiru's hair. I also like how Rukia is now a lieutenant, like she deserves. Now, onto the new characters. That one shop owner that Ichigo worked for and the Yakuza that Ichigo and Uryu fought didn't need to be introduced at all. The Fullbringers were the only new characters that mattered.
Kugo was clearly going to end up the villain. We all knew it. Doesn't mean he wasn't cool. Riruka was pretty much a knockoff of Hiyori to me, but hotter. Jackie, Giriko, and Shishigawara were kind of bland. Yukio* was kind of cool, but he could have been fleshed out more. Tsukishima was definitely my favorite new character, though I will agree that he was an Aizen knockoff. I don't know, I just like feminine, assholish dudes.
THOUSAND YEAR BLOOD WAR ARC: STORY
I did not know what to expect from this arc, though after a little while, I had a few ideas of things that would happen. When Azguiarro Ebern** showed up, I was sure he would be like a new Grimmjow, but when Juha Bach murdered him right away, I was like "WHAT?!?!" Obviously, I'll get to him later. A bunch of the deaths and major injuries have surprised me thus far: Sasakibe, Izuru, Byakuya***, Rukia, Renji, and FUCKING KENPACHI?! I saw Yamamoto's death coming miles away. Plus, the Vandenreich's having murdered almost all of the Soul Society is pretty awesome, yet horrifying.
Over on Ichigo's side, I'm slightly surprised he hasn't attempted Hollowfication to get out of that cage thing Quilge trapped him in, though maybe that's what the explosion at the end of this chapter was. Speaking of Quilge, I'm pretty sure the guy that attacked him and the others is Grimmjow, just like the rest of the internet. I'm pretty sure Nel will go back to her sexy adult form at some point, and hopefully, more Arrancars will be revealed to have survived from the Hueco Mundo/Fake Karakura Town Arcs. Hopfully this arc just plain won't conclude until a shitload of Bankais have been revealed****.
THOUSAND YEAR BLOOD WAR ARC: CHARACTERS
Once again, only talking about new characters here. I had hoped Ebern would survive until the end, THEN Juha Bach would kill him. Quilge Opie was fucking weird, kind of like a quirkier Nnoitra. Most of the Sternritters are nothing special, though As Nodt has a special place of hate in my heart for obvious reasons.
Now onto the big guy, Juha Bach. Clearly, he's extremely badass and not even Ichigo has a chance against him without help. I'm pretty sure he's not trying too hard yet, but he may start when Ichigo shows up. I'm absolutely sure that he'll somehow convince Aizen to join him, or free Aizen, who then defeats him. Come on, who else doesn't see it coming. YOU KNOW YOU'RE AT LEAST THINKING ABOUT IT, KUBO.
Well, that's what I think of the manga right now. It seems that, as of now, it's going to go out on a bang. Damn straight.
HBM, Signing out.
*What the hell kind of name is Yukio Hans Vorarlberna, Kubo?! Yukio by itself is okay, but the last name... WHAT THE FUCK?!?!
**That's the official translation. Get used to it. I'm more used to Ivan Azguiarro, but I have to deal with this. Though I refuse to call Juha Bach "Ywhach."
***HE'S NOT DEAD! I REFUSE TO ACCEPT IT! KUBO, IF YOU DON'T MAKE SURE HE SURVIVES, YOU WILL PAY! PAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!
****To be specific, Rose's, Unohana's, Shinji's, Kyoraku's, Ukitake's and potential Bankais from Rukia, Izuru(if he's still alive), Momo, Rangiku, and Yumichika.