Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bleach Chapter 596 Review

The Heartless Undead

As the chapter carries off from where we left off last week, the "Love"-afflicted Hisagi moves to strike the zombie!Captains without hesitation, but is thoroughly and swiftly curb-stomped by his former undead Captain, picks up Senbonzakura, and hands it back over to Byakuya.

While the zombies of Giselle did have some personality left, you can tell by the completely dead look in Kensei's eyes here that he is completely gone, moving more like a machine than he is an actual living being.  His lack of hesitation to smash Hisagi into the ground contrasts with how Byakuya treated Hisagi in the later chapter, hesitant to cause any more damage to Hisagi which the zombified Kensei ruthlessly exacted.

I'd be impressed if Hisagi managed to get back up from that, as his eyes have gone completely white from the attack.

The Monster of the Gotei 13

Then we see Mayuri show up from his fight with Giselle, and remarks on how the occasion is perfect to study the Kurotsuchi Corpse Squad's performance, all with a sinisterly beaming smile on his face, and brushing off Byakuya's question about what he did to them as a simple "I saved them".

Then we flashback to what happened in the Giselle fight after we cut away to Byakuya.  While we only see Rose and Kensei, the Arrancar are seen finishing their fight as both of the zombified Captains fall down, and Kurotsuchi reveals that the drug that affected Toshiro was indeed in Charlotte's body, as it was in all the other Arrancar - with a quick footnote that he is immune to all the drugs he creates.  I do believe it was suggested that the drug was in Charlotte's body, and that has proven to be the case.  It is the same trick that Mayuri pulled off on Szayel back in the Arrancar saga, and it all but convinces me the technology that Mayuri used to reanimate the Arrancar was the same technology he used to create Nemu.

After all, Luppi had the entire upper half of his body blown off by Grimmjow, and Cirucci had her powers stripped away by Uryu's Seele Schneider.  For Luppi to have his upper body back and Cirucci her powers again indicates Mayuri used some pretty impressive applications of the artificial soul and Gigai technology to do what he did to them.

With the Zombie Visoreds down for the count, Mayuri uses the same drug on them that he used on Toshiro, and he gets to dissecting Giselle's power.  As people speculated, the concentration of blood seems to play a part in why the skin of the Captain-level Shinigami and Bambietta is its dark colouration.  To be specific, only a drop of blood needs to reach the brain for it to take over someone with low reiatsu levels, but an individual with high reiatsu levels has to have the blood reach their heart, increase in the heart, and then spread throughout the body.  Giselle's silence confirms Mayuri's theory. 

Then we get to the crucial part of the chapter: how Mayuri took control of Giselle's zombies.  Just as Mayuri has data on all the Bankai in the Gotei 13, he also has blood samples of all the soldiers of the Gotei 13, and his drug turns the target's blood into "the blood-like substance he created" based on those blood samples.  He says first that his drug changed the composition of their blood, then he spells out what this means in crystal clear letters: by injecting this drug into Giselle's zombies, [B]he made them into his own.[/B]  To demonstrate this, he has Kensei stab Giselle, leaving the Stern Ritter's fate uncertain.

It is moments like this that serve to remind everyone that Mayuri is THE Monster in the ranks of the Gotei 13.  As I mentioned before in earlier posts, I believe that Mayuri's drug not only affects the Shinigami that Giselle turned into zombies, [B]but can be used on living beings to turn them into zombies as well.[/B]  It is the wording that is important.  He said "your zombies become my zombies", which likely means he can make any individual targeted with the drug into one of his "zombies", and those taken over in this manner will bear those markings on their face and their eyes. 
While villains generally have no respect for the lives of others, it is true monsters who have no respect for the sanctity of death, and Mayuri does not respect that sanctity in the slightest.  Even as he is called out on his actions by Byakuya, his defense is these words: "Don't you think that protecting Seireitei even after one's death would be the dream of any soldier of the Gotei 13?"

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Mayuri probably represents what the original Gotei 13 was like.  He is using whatever means necessary to protect the Gotei 13, even if it means turning dead Shinigami into his own personal squad of zombies in order to achieve that end, killing any Shinigami who turn their blades on the Gotei 13, and reanimating the Arrancar bodies he found to fight against the Quincy with. 

His effectiveness is undeniable, but it is for this reason that I believe Mayuri is going to die soon.  Not only is he a monster, but his death would also be quite significant as one of the more well-known and prominent Captains in the Gotei 13.

The Undead Feel No Love

After Mayuri is done explaining how he made Kensei and Rose into his zombies, Pepe fires off a Love Kiss that hits Kensei, and boasts about how he managed to turn Giselle's zombies with "The Love" in the past - right before being punched in the face.

This is another thing that sets Giselle's zombies apart from the ones Mayuri made Rose and Kensei into: apparently, Giselle's zombies can be affected by any ability that invokes a certain emotion, so they are not completely emotionless as her undead zombies (what we saw with Bambietta and Toshiro is proof of that). 

Mayuri's zombies, however, are completely emotionless, a fact that leaves Pepe completely flabbergasted and slack-jawed.

Cue Kensei channeling his inner Jotaro and repeatedly punching Pepe (including one punch right at the family jewels) and sending the Stern Ritter flying into a distant building.  It is clear from this that Pepe is not a physical combatant, and his ability is not geared towards actual battle either, hence his attempted sneak attack on Kensei, and his trying to kill Byakuya only when he had him immobilized.
In other words, his ability is dangerous, but take it away and he is reduced to a squishy wizard.

Comeuppance from the Glutton

As Pepe tries to recover from his beating and says he will never forgive those "loveless bastards", Liltotto shows up in front of him as the chapter ends, seeming to have dealt with Meninas off-screen.  Given that Pepe caused Meninas to punch Liltotto in the fact, I reckon that the Glutton will want serious payback against Pepe.
Given the amount of focus that has been given to Mayuri and his take on the philosophy and duties of the Shinigami of the Gotei 13, I can definitely see that the volume this chapter will be collected in will have Mayuri on its cover, and I can almost say with certainty that Mayuri is about to die soon.

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