I guess that ominous feeling I had in the previous chapter was genuine, someone really did “die”…Nemu’s expression of love and gratitude through her disobedience towards Mayuri’s orders was a touching moment indeed, especially given the origins of her character and the development of her emotions and attachment towards Mayuri. Nemu may not have revealed much raw emotion in past but through this fight and her desire, beyond any order or programming, to protect Mayuri, Nemu conveyed exactly how human/alive she was.
Mayuri wanted Nemu to continue maturing and developing, yet the ironic aspect of Nemu disobeying his order and fighting Pernida was it expressed exactly how much she has matured and grown since her creation. Mayuri has indeed created a work of art that went beyond any rational expectation, he succeeded in creating a being that represented “life”. With Nemu radiating so much of her personality in the past few chapters, feelings of sadness can’t help but be felt with her being taken out by Pernida in her unsuccessful attempts to stop him, yet through her love and appreciation for Mayuri, it was her death that ultimately led to Pernida being destroyed.
Kubo-sensei really did well carving a place for Nemu within our hearts and deepening the very nature of this battle for both Mayuri and Nemu. The fatherly aspect of Mayuri was a fantastic touch, albeit conveyed in a completely psychotic and twisted manner, yet genuine feelings of love expressed by Mayuri towards Nemu. Nemu began as a creation representing Mayuri’s dream, yet ended up embodying more than that to Mayuri. This is why despair took such a hold of Mayuri when Pernida had killed Nemu…
The throw back to Szayelaporro Granz was a wonderful surprise, especially the manner in which Kubo-sensei used him to build on and develop Mayuri’s reaction towards Nemu’s death. In a strange sense, it took Mayuri having to manifest an image of Szayelaporro in his mind echoing his very thoughts to force himself out of despair he sunk into and begin to realise that Nemu could still be saved, well in some manner. While the Nemu which we have all known may not be able to be created again, with her cerebrum spared from Pernida’s feasting, Mayuri could still technically, develop a new Nemu that represented and honored the previous one.
Thanks to Nemu though, Mayuri was able to deal a seemingly final blow to Pernida which seems to have concluded this battle. What is strange though is where does Zaraki fit into all of this? Did Kubo-sensei really not intend to highlight Zaraki one final time in battle? Surely Zaraki must have some more highlighting in store for him given the level of strength his character possesses. I suppose one of the other remaining Sternritter could end up being the canvas used to paint the artistic brutality of Zaraki.
Hopefully we get to see more focus on more Espada/Arrancar in the final parts of this arc given how incredibly awesome they were as characters. Would still love to see some focus on Harribel at some point, but I will be fine with some Grimmjow and Nel action if Kubo-sensei would be kind enough to spend a couple of chapters highlighting those two. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.