Finally, we finally get to see Rukia in action after so long. To think that the main female character of the story has been side lined for so long, hopefully Kubo-sensei gives us one epic battle between Rukia and Äs Nödt to make up for the lack of Rukia we have been having for this whole arc. Ah it is fitting to have Rukia face off against the opponent who crushed her brother and to return the favour. Got to love the line Rukia closed the chapter with – oh Äs Nödt, you are so screwed.
I have to admit, that was an excellent chapter of Bleach, I’m glad we finally get to see the end of Mask de Masculine because he was an atrocious villain. Renji was badass this chapter revealing his new form of Zabimaru and why he wasn’t able to draw out its full power and potential before, a shame though the stage in which he was finally able to reveal it in was against such an annoying and forgettable character. But regardless, HELL YEAH Renji! Now I can’t wait to see what Kubo-sensei has planned for Rukia!
Of course Mask De Masculine wasn’t dead, of course he still had his “ultimate form” hidden up his sleeve, of course there was no way an annoying character like him would submit to the readers desire of wanting him gone. Instead he reveals his true power and gives us ‘The S.T.A.R. Package‘, otherwise known as “the Seriously Traumatizing Artistic Remodeling package‘. I honestly did want to like Superstar’s ability because it is interesting, but that character design (that obsession with stars) and his attitude (that obsession with stars…) really drain any interest I have in his abilities. I just want the fight to be over with so we can move on to something more interesting, relevant and less reprehensible.
There are those moments you have where you are literally left speechless after reading/seeing/hearing/feeling something so ridiculous, your brain it left utterly in a state of shock and disbelief, unable to come to grasp with what it just had experienced. This chapter came close to that, and not entirely in a good way. The fact that a Sternritter as uninteresting, one-dimensional and throw-away as Mask De Masculine got three chapters and a bit to be focused on has me completely confused. Kubo-sensei was doing so incredibly well with his pacing and focus this arc, but then he goes and spends such a large amount of time on some annoying character who we all know is going to get thrashed take such a bold and central focus for these last few chapters. I understand that there is a war going on between the Shinigami and Quincy, but that doesn’t mean you have to show all the fights, at least quicken the pace of those which contain the least amount of intrigue. Hopefully the slash which Renji let out just ended this battle.
This chapter irritated me in so many ways…once again we have a Shinigami Captain reveal their secrets to how their Bankai functions to their opponent and immediately after get their Bankai countered and themselves thrashed to next Thursday. Kensei got himself a beat down usually reserved for lieutenants and Rose wilted before he even bloomed…and shamefully even more, what took him down was a ‘star beam’ attack. I don’t even know what to say anymore, two Shinigami Captains whom are Visored got themselves completely owned by one of the weirdest and uninteresting Bleach antagonist. Well at least Renji appeared, hopefully this time a Shinigami doesn’t go and blurt out the weakness to their Bankai.
Rukia! About time this main character is brought back into the focus of the story. So along with Renji, she is under going the intense training of the Royal Guards, good to know that she is being carried forward power-wise with the rest of the cast. Hopefully we get to see her Bankai released in this final arc of Bleach.
Well now, I had a feeling that Byakuya wasn’t finished at the end of the previous chapter, but did he just die in this chapter? I was expecting him to utilise some high level kidou first before he really lost, but wow, he just got demolished by his Senbonzakura Kageyoshi…still did he just die? If so, wow, I was not expecting Kubo-sensei to be so bold, it was sure impacting but I was expecting something more emotionally gripping for a character’s death. But if Byakuya really did die, then well, no character besides Ichigo is really safe…now I’m really looking forward to what else Kubo-sensei has in store for the readers for this “final arc”.