What an epic chapter, I am absolutely loving this battle. To finally see Unohana in battle and get more of her character fleshed out, it’s fantastic, and to top is all off, Zaraki is her opponent. Two battle-hungry beast going at it with murderous intent and unleashed intensity, mmmmm I’m very interested to see what happens next and what the outcome of this battle will be as well as its effects.
Kubo-sensei did an outstanding job with his art and content this chapter; the vehemence of each fighter, the flow of the battle, the unnerving anticipation of each panel during the battle forcing curiosity to take over, the suspense, all of those things communicated itself through the artwork and its arrangement. It was a pleasure to read a chapter of this quality.
As expected, Zaraki is out-matched, but how interesting, this imposition Zaraki has placed upon himself. The concept of death fuels Zaraki, whenever death comes within arms reach, Zaraki seems to really come alive and as if to greet death, his true fury and strength become unhinged and taking himself back to rely on his instinct, he unleashes. I did think that Zaraki had no chance against Unohana at the beginning of the chapter, but how curious, such a thought has faded away with the end of this chapter…I actually feel that Zaraki is a match for Unohana =/.
Zaraki crying was a surprise, especially when tears only streamed down from one eye (his right eye), but he was faced upon the realisation that he was going to die, so it’s expected, though strangely enough, when he did “die”, his psyche forced himself into a more calm and focused state…it almost as if Zaraki feeds off the feeling of dying and relishes in it.
It’s obvious the levels of Zaraki and Unohana are like the differences in night and day, but Zaraki is one strange existence and what about Unohana, what exactly happened in her past? What is this “sin” she seems to be reflecting upon at the end of the chapter? It this “sin” the reason she diverged from the path of killing towards one of saving lives? Or was she forced to walk a different path from killing? It’s apparent that Unohana did “kill” Zaraki, but him being alive could just be an effect of her zanpakutou or this “sin” she is referring to. Did Unohana relinquish herself from taking lives? Or is this an effect of a kidou spell which prevents her blade from taking a life? Eagerly awaiting the next chapter to see just what happened in Unohana’s past.
And this whole set-up about only one of them surviving, will Unohana or Zaraki really die? Or did Kyouraku really mean that this battle ‘costing one of them their lives’ in a figurative manner? Will this battle’s conclusion mark the beginning of new path for one of them in the sense that their current “life”/lifestyle would come to an end. Zaraki stepping back into the realms of instinct could very well change just who he is at the core, especially when he learns the “art of killing”.