I can't help but notice the sentence above the first panel of page 3. Does this mean that there will be no Ichigo vs. Aizen showdown anymore!? I have two theories regarding this:
Theory 1: Aizen would defeat Isshin and face Ichigo. At this point, we can't even tell if Aizen could do that.. he's challenged for the very first time. Here we see Aizen showing real emotion of either fear or anxiety. Looks like he found his match in the form of Ichigo's father. They seem to be on par with each other's skills (okay, maybe Isshin's a little bit more powerful here), but who knows what will happen next. Maybe the Aizen who's fighting with Isshin right now is just an illusion. The man is known to have many tricks on his sleeves. Ulterior motives, skills, etc. you name it. He's the master of deception. If that happens, I would be disappointed. It sounds too cliche at this point and it has been overused in the Bleach plot for so many times (in the SS arc and the part where Hitsugaya stabbed Aizen, but then it was Momo), unless Kubo-sensei could pull off another believable tact or strategy behind it, then everything would be acceptable.
Theory 2: THIS IS THE FINAL BATTLE DESTINED IN BLEACH: Aizen vs. Isshin and Gin vs. Ichigo. Isshin will defeat Aizen. Likewise, Ichigo will defeat Gin. Then, we have a happy ending. This would be great, but if this happens, there will be no Hero vs. Main Villain fight. It's more like Main Villain vs. Hero's Father and Hero vs. Sidekick. Hero vs. Villain's Sidekick. Doesn't that sound odd? I mean, it's not fitting; not suitable for me. The Hero have suffered all kinds of tragic situations, went under huge character development throughout the past 300+ chapters.. only to face the sidekick, not the villain himself. There's something missing. I mean, the Hero lost his essence. It would sound great if the REAL FINALE is between the Hero (Ichigo) vs. Main Villain (Aizen). If the hero did not have the chance to fight with the antagonist, I think there's something lost in his progression, or his redemption. All the trouble that Ichigo is facing was "caused" by Aizen (he said it himself, riiiiight?). There has to be redemption, and redemption for me is = Ichigo vs. Aizen, but I still don't know how would this fight occur. It's not Aizen who's engaged in a battle with Ichigo: it's his father.
Or maybe, Gin IS the real villain and Aizen is just a mere puppet all along. Whatever.
I cannot explain what I think about this chapter elaborately, and I think you guys have better opinions regarding those things that I pointed out. It just disturbs me 0_o I have never been disturbed by a Bleach chapter like this in my entire life.
Maybe I'm just taking that sentence too seriously. Is "last battle" the real translation? Is there any different translation for that sentence?