Thursday, 30 July 2015

Bleach 634 - 637 Reviews

The Last Stand

One thing to be said about Bazz-B is that he is determined.  Even when Haschwalth blew him through the walls of the Silbern with the force of his swing and severely wounded him, he is still determined to not back down in the face of his former friend.  If anything, Bazz-B is not a man who simply accepts what is said, but is a man of action - he will only believe something once he truly sees it happen. 

Moreover, as Bazz-B prepares Burner Finger 4 to continue fighting Haschwalth, his former friend reveals what his full name actually is - Bazzard Black.  The Burner Finger 4's power is impressive even in base, as it completely vaporized the wall and pillar where Bazz-B's attack cut when he Haschwalth dodged.  Because of Bazz-B's temper, his belief in his own strength and antagonism with Haschwalth, he believed that Haschwalth was afraid of losing to him. 

Dream Fulfilled

As we see through the flashback, Bazz-B wanted this fight for a very long time, but Haschwalth's loyalty to Yhwach (and hopefully his past friendship with Bazz) meant he always refused, no matter how much Bazz-B tried to provoke him.  It is also in this flashback that we see why Bazz-B is so intent on fighting Haschwalth - he feels he has not truly lost yet.  As I said in the last section, Bazz is a man of action - he won't believe in something unless he sees it happen first-hand.  In this case, it was Haschwalth being stronger than him that he did not believe, and he wanted a fight to determine who was truly the stronger. 

But as Bazz-B says later on in the chapter, things never go as you want them to.  Haschwalth lops off Bazz-B's arm (which vaporizes another section of a pillar as the arm goes flying), and Bazz-B decides to pull out all the stops with Burning Full Fingers, a blazing torrent of heat emitting from all five of the fingers on his remaining hand...Only for Haschwalth to deal one last blow before Bazz-B could even attack with it.

With that, Bazz-B lost the fight he always, but he's not sad because he lost, but because he thought it'd be more shameful than it actually was.  At the end of the road, Bazz-B was quite accepting of the fact that he lost, which has been a rarity among the Stern Ritter.  We do not see what Haschwalth's feelings are over this matter at all, but the last we've seen of Bazz-B for now is him reflecting on when he first met Haschwalth, as he passes out from his injuries. 

I don't know if Bazz-B is actually dead.  For my part, I hope that he is not dead.  After all the guy has been through, I do hope that he manages to make it out of this war alive, and remains an ally of the protagonists.  But until it is completely clarified, I'll leave his fate up in the air. 

The Exchange of Power

Meanwhile, Giselle and Liltotto thought it'd be a brilliant idea to try and take out Yhwach on their own.  Predictably, it ended with their defeat.  We see Giselle on the ground in a pile of his/her own blood, while Liltotto pretty much had her stomach blown open and pouring out blood, lamenting how she couldn't even put a scratch on Yhwach before finally kicking the bucket. 

I never really felt much sympathy for these particular two Stern Ritter, but I do feel sympathy for their attempt at revenge against Yhwach being in vain, although they should have known they could never take out an awake Yhwach.  Why not wait until Yhwach was actually asleep (not that it would do good against a man who can see the future).

At any rate, with the intruders dealt with, Yhwach goes back to his throne and settles down for a nap, and we see Haschwalth acquire "The Almighty" while the Emperor sleeps.  In other words, it seems it is their abilities that switch, since Haschwalth did not appear to have gained the Soul King's power as well when the switch occurred.  Having "The Almighty" himself now, Haschwalth calls the ability to see into the future "a cruel power", which is not that far from the truth, since Haschwalth is now burdened with the knowledge of all that will happen before it even occurs.  Something in the future must have made Haschwalth say those words, so let us see what that will be.

Schutzstaffel on the Move

Then we get an update on all the Schutzstaffel.  Gerard got back luck with City #1, because he did not find any opponents whatsoever, and he's quite mad at his compatriots for his having no enemies to fight while they will have enemies.  I find it interesting that Gerard did not mention Uryu at all, which makes me consider the possibility that he really has a soft spot for Uryu. 


Meanwhile...Ichigo and Co completely lost track of both Askin and Grimmjow and decide to split up to find the latter, despite the former hiding on the building RIGHT NEXT TO THEM! 

Ichigo sensed Rukia and Renji's reiatsu just fine, and Yuushiro was able to do the same for Yoruichi's reiatsu, so what kept them from sensing Askin and Grimmjow when they were virtually right on top of them?  The only explanation I have is that both of them concealed their reiatsu to hide from each other and everyone else, but still...

Well, as Ichigo and Co split up, Askin decides to take a rest and pulls out a coffee canister to pour himself, only to ditch the coffee break when Grimmjow pops up right behind them. 

But that was actually what Askin wanted, since he fires off a "Gift ball" at Grimmjow, who swats it away and immediately falls down.  For those who are curious, the German "Gift" means "poison" (learnt that tidbit from "Grimm"), and it fits Askin's deceptive attitude quite well. 

And just like that, Askin took down one of Ichigo's former rivals with just one attack.

Next up among the Schutzstaffel we see is Lille Barro, who has come across the Gotei 13, and moves like a true professional sniper and goes for the guy at the back of the pack with "The X-Axis" first, which happens to be Hisagi in this situation.  Based on his dialogue, Lille Barro is all business in this situation, and he's likely going to silently pick off the Shinigami one by one, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts rapid-firing once the Shinigami realize they are losing members. 

Madness, Insanity, Bloodlust

Which leaves us with Pernida, who has come across Zaraki and Mayuri's group.  While they banter over what Pernida is supposed to be, Zaraki goes in for the attack, but Mayuri warns him to back away.  While Pernida did manage to mangle an arm, Zaraki also cut Pernida in return...Which really aggravates Pernida as its "head" starts distorting, leaving even Mayuri commenting on how creepy Pernida's behaviour was, which is ironic coming from him. 

In the meantime, Zaraki and Mayuri's subordinates are commenting on the fight, and they share the sentiment that their Captains would not want their help until they are called.  BTW, where is Hanataro.  I don't think I've seen him at all these past two chapters.

Anyway, Pernida then proceeds to turn Zaraki's right arm into a windmill, which Zaraki responds to by ripping his own arm off and taking his blade from his dead arm's fingers before it is twisted into a puddle of blood.  The two begin bantering again and Mayuri tells Nemu to stop the bleeding of Zaraki's arm (WHERE'S HANATARO?  DID HE GET LOST OR FALL BEHIND?), leaving Zaraki to mutter to himself how he can cut Pernida without getting close to him. 

Nimaiya, Zaraki is not, because he finishes his train of thought by concluding that he just has to cut Pernida in two before he can use his power on him, and lunges in for another attack (which I thought would have gone better if Zaraki had used Nozarashi).  Nimaiya had the right idea to throw his sword at Pernida, because Zaraki's attack failed to kill Pernida, and he gets both of his legs broken for his troubles...

And Ashisogi Jizo through the back for good measure, with Mayuri activating "Fear Factor 4" to emit a sound that paralyzes anyone who hears it (without their ears covered) for four seconds, sans Mayuri and Nemu,  because just stabbing Zaraki only paralyzed the limbs, with Fear Factor 4 paralyzing the entire body.

Mad Shinigami, Mad...

Mayuri has never been a team player, and will never be one.  The man does things his own way, morality or ethics be damned.  The sad thing about it is that it tends to prove itself to be very effective, and we are getting back to the Mayuri of old - the one with no moral qualms about what he does so long as the job gets done. 

Since Ashisogi Jizo's "Fear Factor 4" saved Zaraki and also paralyzed Pernida, Mayuri concludes correctly that Pernida's "The Compulsory" is linked to his nerves, which he sends into the target to hijack their bodies and control them.  It seems to work well enough that Pernida can even use it against plants, given what he did to the "Cage of Life".  Mayuri is proven correct, as the acid he used on the black tendrils Pernida sent out causes the Stern Ritter intense pain.

Now that Mayuri knows what Pernida's ability is, he comments to the paralyzed Zaraki that what he did was necessary to save, and even remarks how impressed he is that Zaraki can move after "Fear Factor 4", stating that he now has motive to improve on Ashisogi Jizo further.

Then Mayuri goes full-blown psycho.  He glamorizes his back-stabbing Zaraki as a "noble sacrifice" to learn Pernida's ability, saying that "noble victories are always preceded by noble sacrifices".  While one can understand the meaning behind the statement, only a madman could apply it to the current situation, all the while asking the enemy to donate their body for experimentation.

Ikkaku is rightfully pissed off by Mayuri painting what he did to Zaraki in that light, while Nemu is...actually concerned.  When Yumichika comments on how Mayuri is still the same as always, she states that she hopes that is the case.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we have been getting death-flags for Mayuri throughout the past year, and we may finally see those warnings come to fruition.

As to what is worse than the current Mayuri, we may soon get our answer, because Pernida completely loses it, rips apart his cloak and reveals he is...

...Mad Hand

A hand with a eye in the center bearing two irises, with the fingers chained together. 

This I did not expect in the slightest, and I sincerely applaud Kubo for going beyond what my expectations were.  Then Mayuri drops another bombshell on us by stating what exactly Pernida is.

Pernida is the Left Arm of the Soul King.

Pernida proceeds to break the chains and transform itself further, eventually becoming a giant left arm looming over the streets of the city, the muscles at the end of the arm presumably rooted into the ground.  While Ikkaku asks if the Soul King was that huge (no, not the last time I checked, though I don't know anymore), Mayuri replies he doesn't know, but he states that Pernida's reiatsu is almost the same as the reiatsu from Ukitake when he lost consciousness (HALLEUJAH HE'S ALIVE!!).

Then Mayuri states the conclusion that most of the fandom reached when we first saw Mimihagi - if the Right Arm was in Ukitake, then it made sense for the Left Arm to be floating around somewhere.  But for my part, I did not think that we'd see the Left Arm so soon, much less be one of the Schutzstaffel. 

What is interesting to note is that, unlike its "brother", Pernida has two "eyes" on its hand compared to Mimihagi's one "eye".  Moreover, Mimihagi's "eye" was on the back of the hand, while Pernida's "eyes" are on the palm (unless there is an eye to each side of the hand).  Given Pernida's "eyes" are reminiscent of Yhwach's first stage of "The Almighty", could this mean that Pernida can see the future with its eyes as well, since Yhwach said that Mimihagi should be capable of that, despite Yhwach being stronger than it.

Darkness of the King, The Lost Past of the Shinigami

As Mayuri blocks Pernida's nerves with a bio-engineered umbrella that screams as it is twisted into a mass of flesh, Mayuri states the one thing that must be on everybody's minds: why is the Soul King's left arm working for Yhwach? 

Given what we have seen in the past twenty chapters, I think the answer to that is the same as why the overflowing torrent of the Soul King's power took form and attacked the Gotei 13 - the Soul King's enemies are the Shinigami.  Mimihagi might have aimed to protect the Soul Society, but it was also in a contract with Ukitake, so it would not be impossible to assume that Ukitake's will blended with Mimihagi's own. 

But the Mini-Mimihagi and Pernida seem to be another matter.

Ever since the Soul King was first stabbed by Yhwach, we've been getting continual evidence that the Soul King is a much darker entity than the "lynchpin of the world" we have been told he is. First was the nature of Mimihagi, the "Right Arm of the Soul King"; the torrents of the Soul King's power attacking the Shinigami; Yhwach's appearance after absorbing the Soul King, and now Pernida, the Left Arm of the Soul King that has aligned itself with Yhwach, the Soul King's son.

Two of these developments point towards one possibility - the Soul King has a burning hatred for the Shinigami, while the developments as a whole show us clearly that, whatever the Soul King is/was, it was never Human. It all calls into question the Shinigami's past history, and what exactly they are fighting for.

Euphoria of the Scientist

But Mayuri doesn't have the readers' concerns, since he's more excited about the prospect of a new organism standing in front of him, and he can't wait to sink his intellectual teeth into Pernida's body and to learn everything he can about it - how it can speak, how it can hear, what organs does it possess, what power does it have, what secrets does it have - and everything Pernida has done is driving Mayuri further and further into excitement, he might as well be reaching mad scientist heaven, completely ignoring Ikkaku's warning to run while urging the Left Arm of the Soul King to show him more.

To which Pernida replies:

"Left...Arm...Name is...Wrong.  Per...nida...Pernida."

Mayuri, don't annoy Pernida any further.  You might not survive what comes down the road next if Pernida decides to shed its flesh and go Master Core on your ass.

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