From the back cover:
Ichigo successfully defeats Ikkaku of the Eleventh Company and is rewarded with a valuable piece of information—the location of where Rukia is being detained as she awaits execution. However, Ichigo’s companion, the pyrotechnics-wielding Ganju, is having a much harder time with his Soul Reaper opponent.
Meanwhile, Orihime and Uryuu confront the younger brother of the gargantuan gatekeeper whom Ichigo defeated a little while ago. It’s time for Uryuu to put all his training to the test and prove to everyone (and himself) how much more powerful he has become.
Two things earned this volume a grade in the A range:
1. Chapter 98, in which background information on Rukia’s past is revealed and the intense rematch between Ichigo and Renji concludes.
2. Badass Uryuu! I really like him, and it’s fun when he goes from the somewhat fussy guy with a home-sewn outfit to a cold-eyed fighter.
The rest of the volume is solid as well, with much fighting with weird weapons and spiritual abilities. Some of the Soul Reaper officers glimpsed in the last volume are also seen again, and are introduced slowly enough that their names finally begin to stick.
I like the balance between information given (see above re: Rukia and also more detail on how the Soul Reaper organization works) and mysteries as yet unclarified (specifically who exactly Yoruichi and Urahara really are). At the moment, I think I am actually more interested in these things than Rukia’s fate, since I can’t possibly imagine this arc will not end in success. This is a Shonen Jump manga, after all!