So, starting a new topic! With my thoughts, essentially - IchiRuki, UlqOri, and probably IshiOri coloured though, you're warned! XD
As someone said (I think it was girls_are_weird ?), this seems... too easy. However, a lot of points came accross my mind while reading the spoilers.
I still think that Rukia is still going up. Part of why lies whithin the ch352 - where she was definitely singled out -, but also with ch353 in itself. A lot of fans have pointed out that we're back to square one with Inoue - but I am of those who think that Inoue needs to let go of her love for Ichigo. Because it seems too easy to be back there while just a moment ago, she was realizing that she had became a burden, that she had turned Ichigo into a hollow. She still has done nothing - something that upsets a good friend of mine who loves Inoue deeply. She still needs to grow, badly - and I'm not talking power-wise, because she's fine in that department. So, to complete the reality check, Kubo may want to bring back Rukia to Ichigo for her to finally grow. And beside.... it would be lame for Renji and Chad to need Rukia, whose powers aren't that effective against Yammi, to have their win. As for those who think that Ichigo, Ishida and Inoue are going to go down? SERIOUSLY? Yammi being the last boss? Excuse me while I'm laughing in my corner XD
On a side note, I can see why he couldn't allow Rukia to show up before that; because of UlqOri. He didn't want to belittle UlqOri and Ulq's end with another powerful pairing. The ending was beautiful and bittersweet. I know some are upset that we don't get a backstory for him, however... while I did want a flashback, my opinion changed with this chapter. Why? Because I think that the backstory would somehow take away from this ending. I don't know, to me it is perfect - I knew Ulq was going to die, I was just wondering how Kubo was going to resolve the UlqOri situation and, as a fan, I am deeply satisfied with it. The last scene kind of reminds me the ch181, where Ichigo and Rukia parted, with Inoue watching, except there, Ichigo is watching the UlqOri parting. Two major differences though - back then, Inoue disappeared in the background, and the parting wasn't definitive. Ahhhhh, I will miss you, Ulquiorra T_________T
Ulquiorra gained a heart and gave one back to Ichigo. It sounds cheesy, but it really ain't XD What made me laugh from the spoilers is that Ichigo seems almost goofy, while he was all roaaaar! I'm teh monster a few seconds back LOL. However, I did think that this could happen; that Ichigo would have no memory of what happened. That it just wasn't him at all - it's like Kubo is insisting for those who pretended the contrary. It's interesting that what affects Inoue deeply when it's connected to Ichigo - he can't remember it (namely, her confession and just now). Add that that he's like "oh, are you okay, Inoue?" while he just scarred (yes, yes scarred) her... I felt like repressing the urge to laugh XD But I do think that Ichigo will have to come to term with this matter - his hollow side - later on. It's interesting, if you're an IchiRuki fan, to look at this that way:
-First arc, Karakura arc: Rukia is forced to stay back and watches Ichigo wins his fight for pride against Grand Fisher. She recalls painfully Ukitake's words and what happened that day.
-Second arc, SS arc: Rukia remembers the Night of the Wijnruit, and at the end of the SS arc, she begins to heal that wound.
-Third arc, HM arc: Rukia definitely deals with her guilt and becomes stronger. In the meantimes, Ichigo grows a full hollow :P
I've wanted Rukia to help him out of this - of course - but I was really surprised last week because I thought it would come later on - like, towards the end, or at least in another arc. It seems that my first impression was right anyway - I should listen to me sometimes, argh! LOL! But yeah, I'm definitely going to watch Ichigo in the next chapters, because I think he didn't realize yet what he's been (rather than what he's done).
Ishidaaaaaaaaaa... I love you XD You're bravely standing there with no arm and while you've been transperced by a zanpakutou and no one cares... >___> Well, I knew Inoue wasn't going to heal him until the fight was resolved. I do hope for an on screen heal - the guy deserves it.
So, we have a LOT of shortcomings for this chapter, but as I see it, Kubo mostly downplayed everything so he could upplay Ulq's end and UlqOri's moment - I soooooo wanna colour that. Shortcomings!
-Back to square one with Inoue when she needs to grow
-Ichigo not realizing what he's been
-Ishida is still not healed! Joking but Ishida still needs to say "I'm glad you're okay" to Inoue - I want him to say it under her healing shield, but I'm not sure if Kubo would do that. That'd be sweet though XD
ETA: Annie posted this in the UlqOri FC @BA:
I think Ulquiorra also did have flashbacks of Orihime since he captured her (they were to emphasize how these humans have feelings, something he never understood).
Anyway, here is the detailed spoilers for UlquiHime part:
Ulquiorra who is slowly turning into ashes (it has reached his waist) turns to Orihime. He reached out his hand with emotionless expression and asks,
"Are you scare of me, woman?"
Orihime looks at him, tears which were barely there earlier finally fall down her cheeks and she replies,
"I am not/Not one bit."
Ulquiorra's expression remains the same but the coldness is almose gone upon hearing her reply (as if he was relief).
"Is that so" is his last sentence while he keeps looking at her who's slowly walking toward him with her hand reaching out.
But before their fingers touch, Ulquiorra's hand turns into ashes just like the left part of his body.
So, his flashbacks were Inoue-related. And... This is just so beautiful T______T I can't tell you how much I want to colour that! And make graphics out of it too.
So... rock ON GUYS! XD
ETA under the cut ^LJ is a bitch and won't let me add a new cut for these -__-