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Bleach Chapter 496: Kill the Shadow

Chapter 496: Kill the Shadow
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The captains have not found all of the Sternritter yet as evident by the what I assume to be the nr 1 of the Sternritter. The still unnamed Quincy shares a few words with the fear-ridden Shinigami trembling on their feet. It doesn’t even look like he draws a weapon when he strikes down the seated officer.

The scene changes back to Byakuya and Renji who face two Sternritter. Byakuya order As Nodt to cease his movements by sending his blade toward him. REnji seems to think äs Nodt cannot be touched.

Byakuya quickly proves him wrong cutting up the arm of the Quincy. Mr. Wrestler reveals the name of the technique Nodt is using. ‘Blood Coat’. Byakuya isn’t done having set a trap for the other. Glad to see the captains never underestimating these opponents as he clearly felt the need to get rid of one of them. The wrestler won’t be defeated by the likes of fall.

The report that Sasakibe managed to convey with his last breath has been passed on to every captain. The several captains engaged in battle already know their Bankai’s will be sealed. They assumed it would be inevitable and adjusted their combat plan accordingly.

Now we also know why Byakuya wanted to other one gone. They know they need Bankai to fight on equal grounds with the Sternritter, so if their Bankai will be sealed they need that 2nd man.

The plan is simple. When their Bankai gets sealed they fight together and find a way to break the seal. But things aren’t as they expected. In this chapter we see four captains releasing their bankai. The Sternritter waste no time activating their tool.

A thick darkness rapidly eating away their bankai their Bankai imprisoned into the token.

I love As Nodt’s face here on the last page. A subtle look of “Lol, you failed!”

Byakuya is less entertained as the bankai was ripped away he finds out what happened is more than just a seal. It was taken away from him. The question that rises from this is can they even get it back if they manage to get that Quincy tool back. I think Mr. Mayuri and Kisuke have

It seems the power is kept in the tool for possible use by the Quincy later on. Probably in a similar fashion as we saw Opie absorbs Allon.

If the shinigami can’t get it back can they ‘aquire’ it again by training or is the Bankai form effectively a prisoner?

Why didnt the seal work on Ichigo? Two reasons I can think off.
– The effectiveness of the tool is influenced by the strength of the user.
– Ichigo’s passive hollow power made sure the tool didn’t work as it should.

I personally think the second. This would Ichigo unique as a human-shinigami-hollow. Also the Vaizard still have their masks. I wonder if the Quincy has accounted for them. I doubt the others who we haven’t seen in the SS ranks will have remained silent.