The latest chapter of Tite Kubo’s long-running (and best-selling) shonen manga Bleach is out now, for Japanese readers. If you don’t want to wait a couple of weeks to get the English-translated version (through legit means) and If you really want to spoil yourself, read on:
So anyway, the chapter starts by showing Rukia and Renji falling from the sky, while they are noticed by two sternritters (one of them seems to be designed like a Luchadore.) The masked sternritter seems to have already defeated his opponent, which is shown to be Shuhei Hisagi. Not that Shuhei’s going to give up easily – he tries one more time to bring the fight to the masked Sternritter, only to be clotheslined. He was almost stomped into a puddle, if not for a timely save by his new captain, Kensei Mugura (technically, Kensei is the old captain who disappeared and came back but hey, let’s avoid delving in too deep into this).
The masked Sternritter is not willing to fight Kensei because he would much rather check out the falling objects (Renji and Rukia, fyi). But he was convinced when Rose also appeared on site. Two captain-class shinigamis means a chance to show off. Kensei wastes no time and brings out his bankai: Tekken Tachikaze. The masked Sternritter is not impressed. He busts out a threat: defeat the opponent in 10 counts. Followed by a massive dropkick that connects.
Except, Kensei wasn’t affected, and didn’t even budge. He returns the favor with a punch that sends the Sternritter down to his knees. We also get an explanation (YAY!) as to what Kensei’s bankai is supposed to do: when he punches you, all the force that connects will continue to hit you indefinitely as long as his fist is touching your body. I would have called it “Operation: Infinite Punch.” It seems like Kensei one-shotted the opponent leaving Rose looking like a dolt with nothing to do. But it’s not that simple, right? It never is. Hisagi butts in and warns them that they must get rid of the other Sternritter in the vicinity, the little one.
With the cheer from the little Sternritter, the Masked one – who reveals his name as “The S,” or Superstar, Mask de Masculine – revives and hammers both Rose and Kensei. We also get a reveal as to what his power is: He gets his powers from the audience’s cheers. And then the chapter ends on a cliffhanger. Will Kensei and Rose survive? Or is it up to another shinigami again to swoop in and punk out the Sternritter with a new power? Remember that Shinji recently got smacked like a b-word. Kubo is really turning the Vizards into jobbers lately, after hyping them up in their first appearance.