Bleach 554 Review – “Desperate Lights”
Written by: ClayDragon
Written by: ClayDragon
Soul Society is drowning in despair, and Yhwach is throwing them anchors.
From a nearby rooftop, Bazz-B looks over and sees Cang Du frozen in Hitsugaya's ice cross. A bit annoyed, he turns around and moves off. Hitsugaya, meanwhile, tries to make his way over to Matsumoto, but collapses with exhaustion before making it more than a few steps. As he hits the ground, his ice wings begin to disintegrate.
|Possibly the least emotional thing he's ever said.|
In Yhwach's palace, he discusses the return of the Bankais with Uryu, who states that Yhwach knew all along that the Soul Reapers would find a way to get their Bankais back. Meanwhile, Bambietta is wondering why the Quincies are making such a big deal over losing the Bankais, considering they weren't even the Quincy's to begin with. Turning around, she realises that she's been talking to herself, as her subordinates are nowhere to be seen.
|"....goodbye, muscle control...."|
For whatever reason, this severely annoys her, to the point where she creates a wave of energy that destroys the surrounding area, and threatens to reduce the entire Seireitei to flat land to bring them out. Before she can do so, she's stopped by the arrival of Komamura, who's sporting a new set of armour. Bambietta taunts him about the armour, to which he replies that it was a gift.
Unfazed, she goes on to say that he arrived too soon to be a real hero, at which point she's interrupted by Shinji, who appears behind her. As she turns to ask who he is, her perception gets distorted, and Shinji reveals that he's already activated his Shikai in order to confuse her. As he explains his power to her, she keeps trying to attack him, only to end up going in the wrong direction.
|"Damn that Soul Reaper! Six pages in and I'm wankered on LSD!"|
Yhwach then reveals that he's delighted that the Bankais were taken back, as this now allows the Sternritter to go all out – namely, by activating their Vollständig. As Komamura and Shinji look on, Bambietta activates her Vollständig, and is surrounded by bright light. She explains that she couldn't have used her power whilst keeping a hold of the Bankai, and thanks the Soul Reapers for letting her use it again. At the same time, bright pillars of light appear all over the Soul Society, signalling that a number of Quincies have activated their Vollständig. Meanwhile, Urahara and Kurotsuchi are discussing the situation when they receive a call from Ichigo.
|Every time Yhwach smiles, a puppy dies.|
Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter, and whilst it raised a few questions, it didn't detract from how exciting it was. Despite the fact that I quite like Hitsugaya, I'm pleased to see that he's out of the action for now, as he's taken far too much punishment to still be able to fight, and it'll allow the narrative to focus more on some of the other Captains that we've still to see fight (like Kensei or Kenpachi, for example).
To be honest, I was surprised to see Shinji pop up to fight Bambietta, as I always figured the fights would be one-on-one. Even so, Shinji isn't the first person that I would have expected to fight alongside Komamura, although it was a pleasant surprise to see him again. Speaking of Komamura, I didn't think we’d see him until his fight with the huge dog in the cave was resolved, although now I imagine it'll be told in flashback form fairly soon, if not next week.
|Wait, wouldn't that kill them too?|
Something that confused me was when Bambietta said that the Bankais interfered with the Vollständig forms. If that was the case, what was the point in stealing the Bankais in the first place? Surely their natural Vollständig would be more powerful than weapons that they stole and would have to train from scratch with? The only reason I can see as to why they would do that is to use the Bankais to weaken the Soul Reapers, and then flush out the rest with the Vollständig forms (or just to troll the Soul Reapers, either way works).
|"You're not dealing with the average Quincy warrior any more. I, Bambietta, have risen above, and become the legendary Super Quincy!"|
Nice job making the battle even more difficult, Urahara.
Good Things: End of Hitsugaya's battles (for now).
The fact that we've (temporarily) bypassed the fight between Komamura and the other dog.
Shinji makes a proper reappearance.
The Quincies have activated their Vollständig forms.
Ichigo looks set to appear soon.
Bad Things: ...Nope, I’m drawing a blank here. No bad things this week!
Manga Rating: 5/5
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. His manga collection is growing by the day.