Bleach Volume 49 debuted at number 2 this week in manga sales but some fans have pointed out that the sales figures themselves are low. I'm nonetheless heartened because sales seem to be depressed overall for entertainment these days. I admit that I almost bought the volume for the poem alone (and for the drawing of Ichigo's "sad hair") but in the end decided I needed to save my money for whatever summer goodies may come later--like June's fanbook etc!)
Thanks to ch1mera you can find the cover, volume poem and endpage doodles of Volume 49 scanned here at Bleach Asylum, Keigo's pre-time skip hair styles are most amusing.
I love how the plot summary star for all of Bleach barely mentions the HM AT ALL and focuses on Rukia like the volume poem.
(translation by Nacchan):
Kurosaki Ichigo meet with shinigami Kuchiki Rukia and helped her in slaying the Hollows. Eventually he went to Soul society to stop Rukia's execution, there the dark truths of Aizen manipulation plan was discovered. Aizen who planned to break the boundaries of shinigami and hollows by creating the "Arrancar", leading those creatures and proclaiming war.
With Aizen who keep evolving along with the battles and the falling nakamas, Ichigo who just revived then attained the "Final Getsuga Tenshou" at the expense of his shinigami power. He battled Aizen with an overwhelming power! And after that the hougyoku took away all of Aizen's power... Now the fight is over, Ichigo who lost his power went back to his town, to his friends. And then he started his time separated from Rukia...