Bleach 565 Review – “God Like You”
Written by: ClayDragon
Time for a good old-fashioned villain backstory! Sort of.
At some point in the past there was a baby who couldn’t see, hear, speak or move. Somehow, this baby knew that he could still survive despite this (which raises the question of where his parents were at this point). The people surrounding him realised that coming into contact with the baby would heal their injuries and solve all of their problems. This was because the baby had the power to distribute parts of his soul to others.
|Seriously, where were his parents?|
When anyone who had a part of the baby’s soul died, all of their knowledge, skills and experience would be transferred back to the baby, along with the section of his soul. Every time the baby got a bit of his soul back, his body would heal a little more, until he could finally see and hear. He realised that the people called him after a god, and decided to take that name for himself. As you’ve probably guessed by now, the baby grew up to become Yhwach.
|Not bad, but he looks better with his facial hair.|
In the Vandenreich base, Yhwach notes that James died, and reabsorbs his power. Strangely, he specifically says James’ name and not Masks, which might mean that James was the true power as opposed to Mask. Meanwhile, Uryu approaches Yhwach’s chambers, but is interrupted by Haschwalth asking him what he’s doing. He then says that no-one is allowed to interrupt Yhwach’s sleep (despite him not actually being asleep), and asks Uryu again why he’s here.
|"He gets very cranky if he's woken up before 9am."|
Uryu’s response is to essentially tell Haschwalth that it’s none of his business, and notes that he seems different now. Haschwalth then states that he and Yhwach are on two sides of the scales, and that the Emperor is connected to all Quincies. When he was young, Yhwach realised that he could distribute pieces of his soul to people around him, and in time he discovered a more powerful way of doing it. By carving an initial into a person’s soul, he could give that person a larger part of his soul, and so gain even more power when that part returned to him.
|"Not that I'm jealous or anything. Prick."|
Haschwalth then tells Uryu that Yhwach did it to him too, when he drank the blood of Yhwach when he was first announced as his successor. Noticing Uryu’s reaction, Haschwalth deduces that Uryu regrets the decision, and only joined the Vandenreich as a means to get revenge for the death of his mother. When someone who received a piece of Yhwach’s soul dies, their power gets transferred back to him, and this extends to the Soul Reapers who fought the Sternritter, meaning that every Soul Reaper who was part of the battle will now transfer their powers to Yhwach in the event of their death.
As a result, regardless of who dies in battle, Yhwach will continue to gain power. If he doesn’t continue to absorb souls, eventually he’ll go back to being trapped in his body again. Because of this, he’ll never stop killing, and there’s no way to escape from him. As the implications of this hit Uryu, the sun rises and Yhwach thanks everyone who died for allowing him to still see.
|"......................I drank what?!"|
There’s quite a bit to talk about with this chapter, so firstly I thought I’d address Yhwach’s name. The name that the people called him when he was a baby is derived from the Tetragrammaton, which is the Hebrew name for the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible. The name is commonly translated into the letters YHWH, although there all alternatives such as YHVH, JHVH, and JHWH. As you can see, they roughly correspond to the different translations of Yhwach’s name.
I’ve also noticed that, despite having a number of similarities with Yamamoto, Yhwach now seems to serve as an evil counterpart to Jesus himself. Both were babies born under strange circumstances, both had the ability to perform miracles, both healed people with diseases and wounds, and both were revered as God. The comparisons even extend to the Vandenreich – two of their main motifs are crosses and light, both of which are associated with Jesus. That’s where the similarities end though – Jesus preached peace and understanding, and Yhwach is a sadistic, mass-murdering sociopath.
|Wait, if you had a piece of his soul and were killed by a Quincy, would the soul piece be destroyed, or would Yhwach still get it back?|
Despite explaining one or two things about him, there are still a few questions about Yhwach’s power that are confusing me. Firstly, given that he can transfer his powers to others, does that mean that he innately has the abilities of every Sternritter? Because if he didn’t, then how could they have gained their powers? Secondly, given that he is and was so powerful, why was he out of action for about a thousand years? It doesn’t seem as though he’d do it willingly, so the only explanation I can think of is that he ended up going back to the state he was in as a baby, and then enacted the Auswahlen in order to regain his power.
Finally, given that he gains the power and experience of every Sternritter and Soul Reaper killed in battle, we had better hope that Kenpachi never dies.
|The result of Yhwach obtaining Kenpachi's power.|
Good Things: More information about Yhwach.
Haschwalth is a lot more perceptive than he appeared.
Bad Things: There are still many unanswered questions.
Nothing much really happened this chapter.
Manga Rating: 2.5/5
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. BRB, eating cookies.