Not a lot happened since issue 585 of Bleach and that’s why I haven’t reviewed them. However, this week’s issue did seem to move the plot forward a bit. Juha Bach reached the Spirit King’s realm, while our heroes stayed busy taking care of the Sternritters in Soul Society.
I have to hand it to Juha. That dude is quite confident in his abilities. He entered the Spirit King’s territory with only Ishida and Haschwald by his side. He’s determined to destroy the land and I have a feeling that he’ll succeed. The Zero Division, though strong, don’t look much of a match against the antagonist as I hoped. The first person to oppose Juha was the first officer of the Zero Division. I’m fairly sure resistance will be met on every floor until Juha reaches the palace. I think the Zero Division officers would have a better chance of winning if they attacked together. Maybe they’ve never worked together before and that’s why the thought never crossed their minds? It’s not uncommon for powerful individuals to want to fight solo. Whatever the reason, it is obvious Juha will be able to defeat them. The officer’s ‘hot water’ attack didn’t even faze the villains.
The best part of the issue was Yumichika. It felt great to have the spotlight back on one of my favorite character from Bleach. He retained his vain personality and was quite capable in battle, as usual. I’m also enjoying his new look. The colorful feather accessories on his eyes and ears are still there, however, he now sports a little ponytail on the right side of his head. What’s wonderful about his character is that even though he’s considered feminine by fans and the other characters in the series, he doesn’t hold back during battle. He’s a keen observer and that’s why he was able to easily access his enemy, Sternritter Z, and why she was provoking his friend, Ikkaku, to cut her.
For those of you who don’t remember, Sterntitter Z is able to take control of anyone that comes in contact with her blood. Though Yumichika didn’t know the specifics of her power, the fact that he realized that she was trying to trap them was a testament to his fighting ability. It took me by surprise how Yumichika was the only one of the characters to realize that Sterntitter Z was actually a boy, and was faking being a girl. I don’t know if Tite Kubo was trying to send a message to readers that Yumichika is gay or not because of how he knew Sternritter Z was a boy. I always thought of Yumichika as gay ever since his debut in Bleach. But I could be wrong because it has never been stated in the manga. The fact that he keeps his sword’s Shikai ability hidden from his friends could be a metaphor for him being in the ‘closet’. He hasn’t told anybody about his swords power because he thinks his squad, that prefers physical attacks rather than spiritual ones, will make fun of him. His special ability has been shown just once in the whole series, and that was when he was sure he and his opponent were alone. I personally like his Shikai special ability. It’s able to entangle an opponent in vines that suck out their life force. When flowers fully grow on the vines it means that it’s over for the opponent and Yumichika can also eat the petal of one of the flowers to regain his strength.
Yumichika’s revelation seemed to have pushed a button because Sternritter Z completely lost it and summoned Sternritter E, whom she had turned into a zombie during Juha’s first attack. With a zombified Sterntitter and one who is definitely crazy, I’m looking forward to seeing Yumichika and Ikkaku battle them. Maybe Yumichika will finally reveal his abilities in front of his comrades and by accepting who he is he might be able to achieve the final form of his sword, the ‘Bankai’.
With Chad and Orihime also in the battlefield I guess it’s the end of the Sternritters. No matter what they do, I think they don’t stand a chance in front of the heroes that know how to work together. I’m still not sure why Ishida decided to join Juha’s side, and I can’t wait to see his explanation when Ichigo tries to get him back.
What are your thoughts about this week’s issue of Bleach? Glad that the plot is moving forward? Feel free to share in the comments section!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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