Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bleach 561 Review – “The Villain”

Bleach 561 Review – “The Villain”
Written by: ClayDragon

We now have a new contender for the title of ‘Creepiest Bankai’!

Continuing the fight, Kensei gets back up from being knocked down by Mask De Masculine, and flies towards him, only to be intercepted and kneed in the stomach. Before he can react, he’s grabbed by Mask, who performs a ‘Star Headbutt’ on him. Taking the opportunity, Kensei punches him in the chest with his Bankai, but this has no effect on Mask, who grabs his fist and says that the attack won’t work on him.


He then throws Kensei to the ground and stomps on his chest, knocking him out. Mask boasts about how quickly he won, but he stops as soon as he hears someone scream. He turns to see James impaled upon Rose’s Zanpakuto, which then bisects him in front of Mask. Rose states that he used the opening that Kensei created, and activates his Bankai.


And this is where the nightmare fuel kicks in. Rose’s Bankai manifests as a giant pair of floating hands, one of which wields a conductor’s baton. However, the real creepiness factor comes from the squad of tall, slender, humanoid creatures that appear alongside the hands. To make things worse, the creatures don’t have faces, instead having five spike-like protrusions where their faces should be.

Slenderman's family reunion always ended with a dance (and a blood sacrifice).

Rose explains that the creatures are the ‘dancers of death’, and that their payment will be Mask’s life. The dancers go on to perform the first act, ‘Sea Drift’, which creates a whirlpool around Mask. Without giving him time to react, Rose starts the second act, ‘Prometheus’, which sets his opponent on fire as the creatures dance around him.

Realising that no Zanpakuto can control both fire and water, Mask comes to the conclusion that it’s just an illusion, which Rose confirms. The music creates the illusion, which in turn causes the opponent to feel pain, and can even be used to kill them. Rose starts the third act, but pauses when he sees that Mask has put his fingers in his ears. At first, Rose says that blocking his ears will do nothing, but when he sees blood leaking from Mask’s fingers he realised that his opponent crushed his own eardrums, rendering him deaf.

You have no idea how hard it is to resist making a 'Burn, Baby, Burn' joke here.

At this moment, Mask fires a beam of energy from the symbol on his mask, which cuts through Rose’s torso. Laughing at his victory, Mask notices that Rose is still moving, and he fires another beam at him, intending to kill him. However, the beam is blocked by Renji, who managed to use his Zanpakuto to repel the attack. Mask asks who Renji is (apparently not recognising him from last time), to which Renji replies that he’s a villain.

I’m happy that we finally got to see Rose’s Bankai, and although it’s fairly creepy (although maybe not as creepy as Kurotsuchi’s), it’s still interesting to see how Rose fights. However, I am confused as to how blocking your ears doesn’t prevent the attacks, but crushing your eardrums does. The only explanation I can come up with is that the noise from the music can still cause vibrations in the inner ear even if the shell of the ear is covered, and those vibrations make it to the brain, which interprets the music as pain.

"Can't hear you, not listening."

On the other hand, it’s a bit disappointing that Kensei was beaten so easily. I was expecting him and Rose to both activate their Bankais and fight together for a while, but the fact that he was defeated one chapter after he activated his Bankai just makes him look weak. Still, his defeat contributed to James’ death, so at least one good thing came out of it.

This was my exact reaction.

Whilst Renji’s appearance wasn’t a huge surprise, I was expecting Hisagi to step in at this point, although it’s still possible that he’ll have a part in this fight. Presumably Rukia is now elsewhere in the Soul Society, and after we wrap up the fight with Mask, I imagine we’ll move on to whoever she’s fighting (my money is on As Nodt).

Good Things:         Rose’s Bankai was finally revealed.

                                Renji’s appearance at the end.

                                James is gone now. Forever.

Bad Things:           Kensei and Rose were defeated too quickly.

                               Still no help from Hisagi, Ikkaku or Yumichika.

Manga Rating:      3/5

ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at 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. Maths is hard, guys.


  1. I'll admit James wasn't the best Bleach character, ( although he had a unique design,......and a unique personality than doesn't involve bored looks...and was expressive......) but wasn't killing him a total dick move on the Shinigami's part?
    Knocking him unconscious, or gagging him, nope, can't do that.
    Killing an ardent fan, whose circumstances you have no idea about? Sure! Why not?
    Whose the good guy here anyway? Random Spirit Nazis or the incompetent Soul Reapers?
    Rose isn't some good guy thrown into war-torn circumstances, he's an asshole choosing to make the most dick move.
    "Hey, you're not a bishonen! You're a part of a creative power, but without looking bored and spouting pretentious one-liners!? Die."
    Speaking of powers, why are they telling each other their powers? If Mask hadn't said he needed to be cheered, then Rose wouldn't have known to target James.
    Although, this can be attributed to Mask being an airhead. But Rose? He made the same mistake his enemy just made! This is a captain here, but we can't expect much from them. They did, after all, forget to use Bankais against Aizen. Luckily, Kubo has added his powers in.
    Kubo: "And that's another one to check off my list, what else have missed out on?"
    Mask is a breath of fresh air. He hasn't looked bored throughout this chapter, has never attacked from behind, and has a decent design.
    Oh, and Renji's totally going to get owned next chapter.

    1. On the roux of killing James, and who's the villain, It's best said by Kyoraku- Once one enters war, there are no heroes- only villains.