Bleach 588 Review – “The Headless Star 7”
Written by: ClayDragon
That...went to kind of a weird place.
Yhwach’s column of light continues to rise from the Soul Society, and crashes into the bridge leading into the Spirit King’s Palace. As Yhwach, Haschwalth and Uryu step out, the five members of Squad Zero react to sensing the intruders. Yhwach then notes that they’ve arrived, at which point Haschwalth says that he understands how the Emperor feels. Yhwach corrects him, saying that he feels nothing upon looking at what he sees to be a decrepit gravestone.
Whilst Yhwach walks past, Haschwalth opens a shadowy portal through which a horde of Quincy foot soldiers come through and rush towards the Palace. Before they get far, most of them are knocked aside by what looks like a gigantic oar. It turns out to be wielded by Tenjirō Kirinji, who declares that he’s not going to let them past as he introduces himself as the First Officer of Squad Zero.
Unimpressed, Yhwach asks if Tenjirō thinks he has what it takes to beat him, to which the Officer replies that he wouldn’t have appeared if he thought he would lose to Yhwach. He then summons a huge wave of water which floods over the foot soldiers, causing them to cry out in pain as they’re scalded. Tenjirō tells them that the water is his own creation – and it would appear that it’s the same water that was used in the healing springs, as it can suck the blood and reiatsu out of people.
Before giving Yhwach a chance to do anything, Tenjirō then releases his Shikai, Kinpika, which takes the form of a small blade at the end of a long staff. As he lunges towards Yhwach, the blade begins to glow. At this point, the action moves away from their fight, and down towards the Soul Society to focus more on the Soul Reapers and Sternritters.
It appears that Ikkaku and Yumichika ended up against Giselle, as they currently have her cornered, with Ikkaku about to stab her. Giselle begins to protest and question their honour, and Yumichika correctly deduces that she’s actually taunting them and wanting them to stab her. He then goes on to figure out that something bad will happen if they get her blood on her. Giselle tries to protest, but then Yumichika goes on to explain something else, and then things get weird…
He says that Giselle is actually a man. As she just looks at him with a strange expression, he explains that she smells of semen. Without confirming or denying anything, Giselle calls upon Bambietta, and a dark shape leaps out of the rubble and lands in front of her, creating an explosion in front of Ikkaku and Yumichika. It turns out that the shape is indeed Bambietta, albeit with darker skin and eyes. Giselle then climbs on her back and decides to kill the two Soul Reapers.
Before we get to the really weird part, I’d like to talk about the saner aspects of this chapter. I’m glad that we’re going to see the members of Squad Zero fight, as we hadn’t even seen their Zanpakuto before now. I’m a bit worried that Yhwach is simply going to blitz through them all though – I’d much rather that Kubo took the time to give each member a proper fight rather than just a chapter or two of action, as I’d like to see their Bankais at some point.
Yhwach’s exchange with Haschwalth was a bit confusing, as it implied that Haschwalth had expected Yhwach to feel some emotions upon seeing the Spirit King’s Palace. I might be reading too much into it, but it seemed to me that Haschwalth was expecting Yhwach to be sad for some reason. I’m not too sure why that would be, but I have a vague feeling that Yhwach might have actually worked together with Yamamoto at some point far in the past, before the 13 Court Guard Squads were even formed. It would explain how he knew about the weaknesses in the barriers protecting the Spirit King’s Palace, and it would imply that Yhwach has a personal reason for destroying the entire Soul Society.
Bambietta’s return was interesting, and now we at least know what happened to her – it would seem that Giselle killed her and then reanimated her body as a zombie. To be honest, I was expecting that to happen; after all, Bambietta seemed to believe that what Giselle would do to her was a fate worse than death. I’m a bit confused as to how she can still use her reishi bombs, what with her being a corpse and all. I thought that all spiritual powers were caused by a person’s soul, so when they died they lost all their powers. The only explanation I can come up with is that Bambietta’s attacks are actually being powered by Giselle, which means that she’s using up twice as much energy now.
Finally, I suppose I’d better address one of the most unsettling gender reveals ever. Or not, as I don’t actually believe that Giselle is really a man. For a start, whilst Yumichika claims he can smell semen from her, that doesn’t mean she’s a man. You can smell heavily of roses, but that doesn’t mean you’re a flower. Besides, it’s implied (although admittedly not outright stated) that the Femritters tend to sleep around, so it’s possible that that could account for the smell. Finally, Giselle has been referenced to as a female before in one of the chapter covers, so I really don’t think she’ll end up being a dude.
Good Things: Yhwach and Tenjirō begin their fight.
Some more focus on the Soul Reapers.
The long-awaited return of Bambietta.
Bad Things: No focus on Ichigo’s group.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993, but he doesn’t use it that much. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. Giselle Gewelle. Delicate as an orchid, fair as a cherry blossom. The personification of feminine grace…and a dude.