Bleach 549 Review – “The StormBringer”
So, I now have a new favourite Quincy.
After seeing Hitsugaya and Matsumoto take down Bazz-B, the rest of the Soul Reapers get a sudden morale boost, and start to realise that they can defeat the Quincies even without their Bankai. Meanwhile, Marechiyo is not quite so lucky, as he’s being thrown into a wall by BG9, who is asking for the location of Sui-Féng (and acting like a robot). Despite his best efforts at interrogation, BG9 realises that Marechiyo is either lying, or doesn’t know where his Captain is.
And now things get dark.
BG9 extends his arm…blade…thing and smashes the wall beside Marechiyo. When his arm comes out from the wreckage, it turns out that he skewered Marechiyo’s little sister, and threatens to kill her and the rest of his family if he doesn’t divulge Sui-Féng’s whereabouts. In a sudden fit of anger, Marechiyo smashes his mace into BG9’s face, and orders him to let Mareyo. Sadly, this does nothing, and BG9 calmly states that if he does let the girl go, she’ll die of blood loss before anyone can help her.
|Is it just me that thinks he sounds like a game show host?|
He deflects another of Marechiyo’s attacks, and it turns out that his entire body is made up of the long, thin wires that he impaled Mareyo with. After giving Marechiyo 15 seconds to answer his question, he pulls out a massive gatling gun and fires at his opponent. However, the barrels are ripped apart before he can even use it, and he turns to see Sui-Féng holding the barrels whilst taunting him.
|Wait, shouldn't someone who looks like a knight use a sword or something?|
After BG9 does a little more analysis, Sui-Féng reveals that she spent her time training to perfect the Shunkou technique that she tried to use way back in her fight with Yoruichi. Thanks to her Bankai being stolen, she was finally motivated to perfect her technique, and finished it just in time to save Marechiyo. Within the space of a few seconds, she lunges forward and punches BG9 across the battlefield.
Back with Hitsugaya’s lot, they see the explosion from Sui-Féng’s attack, and realise that she’s winning her fight too. However, their happiness is short-lived when it turns out that not only is Bazz-B still alive, he’s still perfectly able to fight. Similarly, BG9 stands up and emerges from the dust clouds with a fairly effective case of glowing evil eyes.
Although Bleach has been getting slightly darker of late, I never expected it to get this dark. BG9’s attack on Mareyo was a complete surprise, and although I like the idea of Bleach getting into more mature territory, the setup to this event was performed a little heavy-handedly. It seems that the only reason that Tite Kubo put Mareyo with her brother was so that she could be used as a bargaining chip later on.
Speaking of the battle between Marechiyo and BG9, I was disappointed with the fact that, once again, Sui-Féng had to step in to help her Lieutenant. It would have been really interesting to see Marechiyo get angry, and maybe even unlock his Bankai, but predictably Sui-Féng jumped in before anything like that could happen. However, the fact that she perfected her Shunkou was a neat touch, as I honestly didn’t think that would ever have been brought up again after the fight with Yoruichi.
|Well, this is...surprisingly brutal.|
To be honest, I’m glad that the Quincies weren’t beaten that easily. It just wouldn’t have made any sense for such powerful characters to have been killed by Captains who can’t even use their most powerful attacks. Plus, we’ve yet to see any of them use their Vollständig forms, like Opie did in his fight with Ichigo and Urahara (although, if any of the Vollständig forms look like Opie’s, maybe that’s a good thing).
Overall, I enjoyed this week’s chapter. Sure, some parts of Marechiyo’s battle was heavy-handed, and Sui-Féng’s intervention was pretty obvious from the start, but it wasn’t enough for me to want it to be over.
Good Things: Bleach is getting darker and darker.
Good call back to Sui-Féng’s Shunkou technique.
Pretty much all of BG9’s scenes.
The Quincies haven’t been beaten yet.
Bad Things: Both Mareyo’s scene and Sui-Féng’s appearance were easily foreseeable.
Manga Rating: 4/5
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He is a self-proclaimed mad scientist.