Bleach 566 Review – “What Is Your Fear?”
Written by: ClayDragon
Well, I won’t be sleeping anytime soon.
When Rukia and Renji were falling towards the Soul Society, they decided on a plan of action. They agreed to hide after every fight in order to prevent the enemy from making the first move, and thus give them the advantage. Back in the present, Renji wakes up in his hiding place and figures that he’s hidden for long enough, before leaving to look for another Sternritter. It turns out that he didn’t need to look that far, as NaNaNa was right behind him.
|Hey, maybe he just suffers from narcolepsy. Ever thought of that?|
Instead of chasing after Renji immediately, NaNaNa reflects on how he came to find whoever defeated Mask De Masculine and found Renji fast asleep. Suspecting a trap, he watched Renji until he woke up, and questions who would fall asleep in the middle of a warzone. Putting that out of his mind, he notes how he’s never observed someone for so long, and claims that Renji’s luck has run out.
|Yes. Yes they are.|
Meanwhile, Rukia is running through the Soul Society, and notes that she can’t sense any reiatsu. However, she was able to find Isane, and we find out that she’s back healing Rose and Kensei. Rukia stops moving and comments on how she’s been unable to find any Sternritter either, and wonders whether it would be a good idea to wait for Renji and then attack the Vandenreich’s base. At this moment, she feels a hand grab her wrist, but when she turns around there’s nothing there.
|Nope. Nevermind. Nope. Nope! No.|
And now the nightmare fuel kicks in. Rukia hears a voice asking her if she’s scared, and when she turns around she sees As Nodt floating in the air above her. Evidently having lost a few sanity points since we last saw him, As Nodt just stands there, repeating the word ‘lonely’. After a few seconds, he asks where his Senbonzakura is, and Rukia realises that he’s the one who stole Byakuya’s Bankai.
|Gee, I wonder why.|
It would appear that As Nodt knows who Rukia is, and he asks her where her brother is. Reasoning that Byakuya might appear if he kills Rukia, As Nodt fires a barrage of fear needles at Rukia, who manages to avoid them all. As she dodges, Rukia notices that a black substance spreads from the thorns whenever they come into contact with something. As a thorn flies towards Rukia, she uses her Zanpakuto’s power to create a wall of ice, thus catching the thorn in mid-air.
|Is it just me who's reminded of Jack Skellington?|
At this point, her opponent tells her that she cannot block fear with ice, and the black substance flows through the ice wall and touches Rukia. As she doubles over and drops her Zanpakuto, As Nodt engages in some fairly creepy laughter and gives a small lecture on fear before Rukia interrupts him and asks what his fear is. She then goes on to stand up and ask if he’s scared that his fear thorns might not work on someone.
|OH SWEET JESUS KILL IT WITH FIRE.|
First and foremost, why did NaNaNa not attack Renji whilst he was sleeping? Okay, he was wary of a trap, but he spent a fair portion of the night watching him, so he must have realised at some point that Renji was actually asleep. Attacking him whilst he was vulnerable would probably have saved him a lot of bother in the long run.
|Wise choice, Spiderman.|
Another questions is this - how did As Nodt lose Senbonzakura? Did Urahara send a pill to Byakuya as well? Did Urahara even know that Byakuya was with Squad Zero? It’s a bit of a shame that As Nodt won’t use Senbonzakura in the upcoming battle, as it would have made for a good trick, especially considering he’s fighting Rukia. Of course, there’s always the possibility that he’s bluffing just to hide the fact that he still has Byakuya’s Bankai, but any more speculation about this would involve me getting inside the head of the crazy-ass As Nodt, and I do not want to go there.
|There is not enough fire in the world.|
Finally, despite As Nodt being one of the Sternritters I wanted to see fight again, I’m a bit apprehensive, mainly because his opponent is Rukia. Whilst this does look as though it will be an interesting battle, I just hope that Byakuya won’t appear to save Rukia at some point. This isn’t because I dislike Byakuya –quite the opposite, in fact – but because he always steps in to save Rukia when she fights, and it would do some good for Rukia to win a fight without any outside assistance.
Good Things: Possibility of finding out more about NaNaNa (whenever we get around to seeing his fight).
Rukia’s fighting for the first time in this arc.
As Nodt is back – let the nightmares begin!
There’s a high chance that Rukia now has a Bankai, or at least a new move.
Bad Things: The NaNaNa fight will most likely be postponed until Rukia’s fight is over.
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. My fear is that I'm incapable of love.