Effectively the battle between the Shinigami and Quincy has come down to a battle of Bankai vs Vollständig, where one power ends ups effectively countering the others strength to ultimately defeat the opponent. Against the multiple of characters battling against Yhwach’s Schutzstaffel (Pernida, Askin, Gerard, Lille), the Quincy are initially overwhelmed by one characters abilities but with the release of their Vollständig, they are able to nullify its danger yet are overcome by the release of another characters Bankai (which serves to counter their ability). Formulaic, yes, but not necessarily bad thanks to the stylized and creative approach of Kubo-sensei, yet unfortunately its use in these four battles has become repetitive and has ultimately diminished the intrigue this battle against the final Schutzstaffel member has.
Regardless of how massive and miraculous Gerard gets, his abilities are inevitably going to be countered by a certain character’s Bankai i.e. Kenpachi’s in this situation. Toushirou and Byakuya’s abilities don’t seem to have much effect on Gerard alone as no matter how much damage they do, Gerard just gets back up stronger. Not even the Visored managed to stand up against Gerard, which is unfortunate given the potential they possess as a group wielding Hollow and Shinigami power – poor Shinji always being the character used to prop up others lately.
The revelation of Yachiru being Kenpachi’s zanpakutou’s spirit is extremely interesting, especially given the fact that during her battle with Gremmy, well Kenpachi’s battle against Gremmy (aka Fantasy-boy), I had initially thought that Kenpachi is actually the Bankai of Yachiru. So how weird it is now having it revealed that Yachiru is actually the zanpakutou spirit of Kenpachi’s sword. With Kenpachi’s Bankai release on the verge of being revealed, I really am looking forward to seeing how Kubo-sensei manages to explain exactly how Yachiru managed to manifest in physical form and how she herself managed to perform a ‘shikai-like’ feat in her battle against Gwenael (her Sanpo Kenjuu attack). Isane at the time did express confusion at Yachiru’s “shikai”, asking herself the question if what Yachiru released really was a shikai release. Looking forward to seeing what Kubo-sensei has in store for us.
Regarding Kisuke’s Bankai, quite the fascinating Bankai power Benihime has, being able to “restructure” anything she touches. Thanks to her abilities though, Kisuke managed to avoid going blind and was able to restructure his arm to make it stronger(?). Kisuke also managed to use Benihime’s ability to restructure the ‘Gift Ball Deluxe’ dome to create an opening for Grimmjow to infiltrate through (whom Kisuke healed on his way to him). That opening Benihime created in the ‘Gift Ball Deluxe’ dome will also serve as the point of entry and exit for Nel who is about to rescue Kisuke, Yoruichi, Yuushirou and Grimmjow. The great part about Kisuke’s battle against Askin beyond Benihime’s Bankai release, was how prepared Kisuke was – a temporary cure to Askin’s poison, releasing Yochirou’s Shunshin Chohenge form (to counter Askin’s ability to build immunity to a reiatsu), establishing a path and opportunity for Grimmjow and keeping Nel as backup for a situation which they currently find themselves in. Kisuke really is opponent which Yhwach needs to fear.
I wonder if there is any connection between Benihime’s Bankai’s release and Senjumaru’s abilities, given the use of thread and the mannequin-like arm(s). May be nothing, but I was reminded of Senjumaru when Benihime used her ability.
Very happy to see at very least that Grimmjow and Nel are getting a moment to shine in this final arc. Would have preferred them getting their own battles to showcase their abilities and released forms, but I can’t really complain given the lack of opponents to face when they were to revealed to be relevant to the arc. What I am happy about it how Kubo-sensei is managing the battles against the Schutzstaffel members and incorporating multiple characters against them. Battles against the Schutzstaffel aren’t won by just one opponent, but are a team effort. Looking forward to Kenpachi’s Bankai reveal and the conclusion to the battle against Gerard.