Bleach 577 Review – “Sword”
Written by: ClayDragon
The title says it all, really.
As the huge asteroid continues its descent towards the Soul Society, we get to see everyone’s reactions as they begin to notice what’s happening. As always, Bazz-B has a fairly natural response to seeing the asteroid, whilst Renji is in a state of disbelief. Askin notes that Guremi has gone mad, and that he should have been handled differently.
|"Not cool, man! Not cool!"|
The focus then shifts to a group of unnamed Soul Reapers who show a shocking lack of foresight and a large amount of genre blindness as they remark that the Shakonmaku (the spherical barrier surrounding the Soul Society) will prevent the asteroid from landing. Predictably, it hits the barrier…and keeps on going. At this point, the Soul Reapers are taken over by blind panic, and run away from the Quincy soldiers that they were fighting.
|Seriously? If the barrier can't even keep out five kids and a cat, what makes you think it's going to block an asteroid?|
At the Quincy palace, Haschwalth sees the asteroid and orders another group of soldiers to protect Yhwach, who is standing on the ramparts looking out over the battlefield. Back with Guremi and Kenpachi, the Quincy says that, hypothetically, even if Kenpachi were to kill him, the asteroid won’t vanish, as it has already become a reality.
|Well of course you are, you don't even have a name.|
When the asteroid strikes the Soul Society, only the Guremis will survive, just like they imagined. As such, they claim that there is nothing that Kenpachi can do. As it turns out, they seem to have underestimated Kenpachi’s insanity, as he seems to take that as a personal challenge. Grinning, he tells Guremi that he’s the one who can’t do anything anymore, and he jumps up towards the asteroid.
|And how are they going to do that? Are they going to make a wall with their bodies?|
As Guremi watches, Kenpachi utters the word ‘swallow’, and activates his Zanpakuto. Upon seeing him fly towards the asteroid, Yachiru remembers meeting Kenpachi, from him asking her if she’s scared of his sword, to him asking her if she has a name. As she didn’t reply, Kenpachi assumed that she didn’t have one, and told her that he didn’t have a name either.
|You're tempting fate there, Guremi.|
Back in the present, Kenpachi brings his sword down in a single swing, and the asteroid explodes in a huge flash of light. As the Guremis look up, they see the silhouette of Kenpachi, holding his new Zanpakuto. It’s big. It’s pretty freaking big.
|Is it just me, or does it look a lot like Zangetsu's Shikai?|
So we’ve finally seen what the released form of Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto looks like, but there’s still one major detail that’s confusing me. When Kenpachi first fought Ichigo, we were told that his Zanpakuto was constantly unsealed – Kenpachi’s power has so great, his sword was always in its Shikai state. But this chapter, Kenpachi activated it and changed it into another form. In any other case, that would mean that he’s activated his Bankai, but he never said the word ‘Bankai’. So has his Zanpakuto technically got three stages – the base, unsealed Shikai, the stronger one that we’ve just now seen, and the Bankai stage?
Whilst this chapter did have its good points, I feel that this fight is going by really slowly. A lot of the reactions in the first half of this chapter could have been compressed into two or three pages, and some of Guremi’s dialogue was somewhat unnecessary. I know that Tite Kubo is trying to create suspense so he can end each chapter on a cliffhanger of some description, but it’s taken an entire two chapters just to find out the name and shape of Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto, when I have the feeling it could have been done in just one chapter.
|'Swallow'? I'd have thought the command would have been 'Kill', or 'Maim', or 'Dismember', not 'Swallow'.|
In the way of predictions, next week we’ll probably see more people reacting to the disappearance of the asteroid, and then Kenpachi will continue fighting with the Guremis whilst showing off the abilities of his new Zanpakuto. Guremi will then probably activate his Vollständig (if his duplicate isn’t already his Vollständig) and Kenpachi will take off his eye patch and wipe the floor with Guremi.
|Okay, the asteroid has been broken up, but going by the size of the thing, the fragments are going to be pretty big. Instead of there being one big impact, there's now going to be lots of small, damaging ones.|
Finally, on a somewhat more pedantic note, the classification of the incoming ball of rock as a ‘meteorite’ is technically inaccurate, as a meteorite is actually the surviving remains of an object that falls from space. A ‘meteoroid’ is the name for a small object as it falls from space, and the word ‘meteor’ refers to the glowing tail of the object as it falls. Given the size of Guremi’s creation, the most accurate term for it would most likely be ‘asteroid’, which is essentially a huge-ass space rock.
Good Things: Kenpachi destroying an asteroid with his bare hands.
We finally see what Kenpachi’s Zanpakuto looks like
Bad Things: The story is taking a long time to move forward.
A large number of filler panels.
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. He wants a new Megaman Battle Network game.