Uryuu’s motives have finally been confirmed and just as most suspected, he opted to sabotage the Sternritter from within by joining their ranks. The act of betrayal was just a ruse to get the Sternritter not to distrust him. Personally, I had believed Uryuu joined the Sternritter because he figured out a way to defeat Yhwach and was biding his time because he was waiting for the opportune moment, but it turns out Uryuu concluded that Yhwach was unbeatable and instead decided to destroy the Quincy’s way of breaching the real world. Amusingly, it took Ichigo and the air of hope he haphazardly drags along with him to knock some nonsense back into Uryuu and shatter the calculations that led to Uryuu concluding that Yhwach was unbeatable into pieces. This in turn “surprised” the wielder of the “All Mighty” power, Jugram. Been waiting for this match-up for a while, finally we get to see what Uryuu is truly capable of.
Even though Shunsui basically educated Lille on the functionality of his zanpakutou, I don’t really mind. The situation and Shunsui’s zanpakutou warranted Lille needing to know the “rules of the game” in order for Shunsui’s zanpakutou to fully function. And keeping Lille in the dark about the abilities of his zanpakutou wouldn’t have helped as Lille had expressly mentioned that the Sternritter had done comprehensive research on the Shinigami’s zanpakutou’s and their abilities shown throughout the battles they have had so far (information gathered from the Spirit King’s palace?). With both parties restricted by the “rules”, the victor will be decided on how one plays the specific game.
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.
For some reason I have this unnerving feeling that either Mayuri or Nemu is going to die soon while they try to save each other. With Nemu’s life threatened, Mayuri shifts his attention to her to try to warn her, which in turn opens him up to attack by Pernida. This spurs Nemu to force herself to protect Mayuri. With the two of them caring about each other and the way the fight is currently set-up, it feels almost likely that someone will die. Pernida has progressed/evolved to a state in which he has gained the reaction and nerve capability of someone as strong as Zaraki. At this level is seems Mayuri may need more than just himself and Nemu to combat Pernida.
I thought as much, Pernida was far from done, it had much more up its sleeve than it was revealing. Pernida referring to itself as a Quincy was expected due to Yhwach referring to the Soul King as his father and himself as the origins of the Quincy. With Pernida’s statement, it seems we have the confirmation needed to conclude that the Soul King was in fact a Quincy and ended up being used by the Shinigami to balance the worlds. With Pernida advancing/evolving with each attack, the notes about the Left Hand of the Soul King which Mayuri read in past also appeared to be confirmed as true – that the Left Arm of the Soul King governs “Progress”.
Somehow this battle seems so fitting with two twisted existences beyond the boundaries of logic going at it. The Left Arm of the Soul King deluded by individuality and the insanity of the Gotei 13 known as Mayuri driven by the curiosity of his own delusion. With each unexpected development, each has a counter ready to get on the others nerves, and for Pernida, quite literally. The victor will definitely be the one who doesn’t run out of surprises first.
Well colour me surprised, even though I was wondering what happened with the Left Arm of the Soul King, I honestly did not expect Pernida’s true form to be that of the Left Arm. Mayuri was correct in questioning Juhabach’s intention with the Left Arm, why has Juhabach not done more with it? Why not absorb it with the rest of the Soul King? Another interesting possibility that now opens up with the Left Arm becoming relevant is what about the Soul King’s right and left legs? If the arms are relevant to the story, why not the legs? With the Left Arm ready to unleash on Mayuri, I can’t help but be excited about the resulting effects.
The contrasting tactics of Zaraki and Mayuri against a mysterious foe with an unknown power really does create an interesting illustration of two captains personalities and the strengths the each possess. Zaraki via brute force and insane endurance and Mayuri through observation and the madness he possesses. One could argue that the two compliment each other and through Zaraki, Mayuri was able to deduce the enemy’s ability and possibly through Mayrui, Zaraki will have an opening to exploit to deal the finishing blow. Should be exciting to see what else Pernida has in store for the two captains and whether s/he can overcome the countermeasures Mayuri has for his/her ability.
Finally we get to see Yhwach’s Elite Force in action targetting the Shinigami. With the four members splitting up and encountering different opponents, it will be interesting to find who the final opponent they will each fight will be. Will Grimmjow be able to take out Askin or will it take a combined effort with Ichigo and Co. to take him down. As for the other Elite Force Sternritter, they are beginning to show just why they were able to take out the Zero Division earlier in the arc. As for Jugram, looks like he has woken up with Yhwach going to sleep. I wonder what “future” Jugram saw…
The way the past of Jugram and Bazz are intertwined into the climax of their fight to reflect their pathing beliefs once entering the Sternritter completely heightens the meaning and significance of the fight. We have come to care about the relationship Bazz and Jugram share over the last few chapters and even though we had known that this fight can only end one way, we have still come to open ourselves to the hard decision Jugram had to make in the end. The two may have been on opposite ends for this fight, but in the end, despite the result, they were still friends…