Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bleach 594 Review – “Rub-Dolls”

Bleach 594 Review – “Rub-Dolls”
Written by: ClayDragon

No, I have absolutely no idea what this chapter name refers to.

Aren’t workplace romances the best?

Before I start the review, I should explain why the manga schedules have been a bit erratic lately. Basically, we actually get to read the manga before Japan does, as the chapter are sent out early to stores, and some employees upload them online before they’re actually sold. Of course, as you may expect the Japanese government aren’t too keen on that, so they’ve changed things so that the time difference between the manga getting delivered and it getting sold is shortened (because they obviously have nothing better to do than to regulate the sales of comic books). Essentially, expect the manga schedules – and, by extension, our reviews – to change days.

Upon stabbing Zombie Hitsugaya, Kurotsuchi then activates his Shikai – poisoning Zombie Hitsugaya and ensuring that he can’t move. He then pulls a syringe out of his sleeve and says that he doesn’t particularly like using drugs on people who can’t resist. Despite Zombie Hitsugaya’s protests, Kurotsuchi injects the drug into his neck and watches as darkness spreads across his body. As he observes his patient, three figures appear behind him.

Do you think it hurts? I think it hurts.

When he turns around, he notices that Matsumoto, Kensei and Rose have also been zombified. He comments that the zombification trick has worn out its welcome, and commands Dordoni, Luppi and Cirucci to deal with the zombies as quickly as possible. As the Arrancars each attack a zombie, Kurotsuchi looks back to Zombie Hitsugaya, who’s still being covered in darkness.

"Forget about your bleeding comrade, just do my bidding."

On the other side of the Soul Society, Candice, NaNaNa and Commissioner Quincy are all lying in pools of their own blood as Senbonzakura petals float around them. As Byakuya stands in the middle of the carnage, Liltotto and Meninas note how easily their comrades were defeated, and about how it’s somewhat fitting that they’re the last ones standing. Liltotto wonders if Byakuya is the same person who was defeated by As Nodt, and points out how he’s learned some new tricks.

You bastards had better not be dead already.

Liltotto then asks Meninas where Pepe went, and points out that the fight would be much more interesting if he was present. Meninas replies that she doesn’t really care, as she finds him disgusting (take note of that fact, it’ll be important later). At this point, Hisagi appears and approaches Byakuya, saying that he already defeated his opponent. His boasts are cut short when he realises that Byakuya has already defeated three Quincies.

"I leave for five minutes and this place is littered with corpses."

As he’s ruminating on how strong the Captain is, he’s surprised to see Byakuya knock his blade away from him. Hisagi asks him what’s going on, at which point Byakuya attacks him again and turns the question back on him. Byakuya asks Hisagi why he suddenly attacked him, and questions whether Hisagi is a fake or under the control of the enemy. Hisagi vehemently denies Byakuya’s accusations whilst Liltotto and Meninas look on knowingly.

"Denied, bitch."

Hisagi claims that he really wanted to do something for Pepe’s sake, and he lunges at Byakuya. A short distance away from the battlefield, Pepe watches on and laughs. He then monologues as he approaches the battle, saying that people have one heart and one body, and that he can split someone’s heart in two and make them his. He reveals that he is the letter L of the Sternritter – presumably standing for ‘the Love’.

...I just threw up a little.

Pepe then prepares to fire his love at Liltotto (and that’s definitely not a euphemism), as he cups his hands into a heart shape and a glowing beam of light forms within them. Fortunately, Liltotto manages to dodge out of the way just in time. Unfortunately, the beam kept going and hit Meninas square on the cheek. As Liltotto turns around, Meninas goes all mushy-eyed over Pepe, and her arm suddenly bulks up with muscles. Despite Liltotto’s protests, Meninas punches her out of the way whilst Pepe watches, claiming that there’s no way he can love just one person.

The more I see him, the creepier he gets.

This chapter was a definite step up from last week, especially because I assumed this chapter would be a flashback chapter. Given that last week Kurotsuchi said that Hitsugaya would get his answer in the past (concerning when he was given the drug), it was implied that this week would be a flashback to when the drug was actually taken. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case.

"Stranger danger! STRANGER DANGER!"

And now Kensei, Rose and Matsumoto are all zombies. Matsumoto wasn’t too unexpected, as she was pretty close to Hitsugaya when he was zombified, but Kensei and Rose were a little bit of a surprise. Of course, given that they’re the only other Soul Reapers to have died in this battle, it makes sense for them to appear. Furthermore, it looks as though there are some good matchups for the Zombies VS Arrancars battles, as Luppi is fighting Matsumoto (whom he previously flirted with), Cirucci is fighting Rose (they both use whip-like weapons), and Dordoni is fighting Kensei (just because). There’s no word on what’s going to happen with Giselle though.

In all honesty, I'm surprised that Giselle isn't perving over Matsumoto.

Mind you, there’s now the question of whether or not Kensei and Rose are actually dead. Guremi did kill them with his imagination, but since it’s been established that he had to constantly be thinking about his targets, did they come back to life when he was distracted, or when he died? And, of course, the main question is: What happened to Isane?

What happened to you after this? Tell us your story!

I didn’t expect the action to switch to Byakuya’s fight, mainly because Kurotsuchi’s one isn’t over. Whilst it’s good to see Byakuya again, I’m a bit worried about the fact that he seemingly defeated three Sternritter offscreen – two of which we haven’t seen properly fight. Given that there was the foreshadowing of NaNaNa stalking Renji and observing him, it’s worrying that we may not see them fight. On the other hand, we haven’t even learned Commissioner Quincy’s name, so I doubt that they’re out of the action for good.

You won't have that opinion for long, Meninas...

Finally…Pepe. I don’t even know where to begin. I had expected him to be Sternritter C, for ‘the Confusion’ or something like that, since the other instances of him using his powers resulted in the target being confused at their actions. ‘The Love’, however, is a little more unnerving. Going by his previous appearances, I had expected him to be more reserved and quiet, not this twisted, camp…person.

...Yep, he's still creepy.

 Since Meninas has now gone love-crazy and attempted to attack Liltotto, I can see a temporary truce forming. Liltotto probably won’t take too kindly to Pepe trying to control her and getting her comrade to attack her, so she might end up teaming up with Byakuya to defeat Pepe, Meninas and Hisagi. She seems to be one of the more pragmatic Sternritter, so she’d know that she won’t stand a chance if it turns into a three-way battle. It might also offer the opportunity to learn more about her backstory, or the Quincies in general.

"You backstabbing bitch!"

Despite my interest in the upcoming fight, I really hope that Byakuya doesn’t get affected by Pepe’s love. Not only do I not wish to see Byakuya go all mushy-eyed, but if it happens, then the only way I can see the fight ending is with a repeat of his battle against Tsukishima. Mainly, his loyalty to the Soul Society/Ichigo/Rukia will be stronger than his loyalty to Tsukishima/Pepe, and he’ll use a somewhat new technique to defeat his opponent.
Well, at least she's happy... I guess.

Good Things:       An interesting development regarding Zombie Hitsugaya.

                             Good matchups between Arrancars and Zombies.

                             Focus on more Soul Reapers.

                            The new fight is going in an unexpected direction.

Bad Things:        Possibility of not seeing Candice, NaNaNa and Commissioner fight.

                            Pepe’s….shall we say, ’over the top’ personality.

Manga Rating:   3.5/5

Finally (for real this time), the Bleach manga has been ‘confirmed’ to end at some point in 2015 (cue sad violin music). However, this sad news comes with a much happier announcement. The Bleach anime may be returning after the manga’s end. I would like to point out that neither of these announcements have been confirmed by Shonen Jump or Studio Pierrot, so don’t get too excited. On the other hand, the timeframe for the manga’s end seems to fit, as we’ve definitely entered the final section of this arc, and there aren’t that many fights left to see. Plus, if the anime started after the manga ended, then there wouldn’t be any filler. And a new anime would mean that we get to see all of these lovely scenes in all their animated glory:

My body is ready.

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, 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. There sure is an awful lot of mind control in Bleach lately...


  1. Pepe…wait a sec.

    This creep wouldn't happen to have any relation to Pepe Le Pew would he? I mean, they're both love obsessed, full of themselves, and 'overwhelming' in their own way.

    I kinda hope Shuhei doesn't get killed, I'd like to see him become a captain when all of this is over.

    As for the drug, it's either a 'cure' in the form of a toxin used to destroy quincy power, or it's another variation of the hollow pill used earlier.

    I'm really hoping the anime gets going again. Using the anime to lengthen certain fights or just add some serious animated quality to them would be great. The animation became really strong when the series ended, so I'd like them to keep the quality.

    1. Yeah, it seems a bit much to just be a coincidence, so maybe Pepe is partially based on Pepe Le Pew.
      I don't think Shuhei will die, at least not yet. We still haven't seen his Bankai, and I doubt he'd die before it's revealed.
      It might be a cure, but then again I can also see Mayuri just using a random drug on him, just because he can't fight back.
      Yeah, an animated adaptation of this arc would be awesome. Not only would it have improved animation, but we'd be able to hear voices for all of the Sternritter.

  2. Neh, I don't think those 3 Quincies are dead. Remember: Bazz-B shoted the 4 Quincy ladies, yet they came back quickly. So I don't think those three are dead already.

    1. Yeah, me neither. Even if they're defeated, they can still use that technique that Uryu and Opie used to control their bodies even if they're paralyzed.

  3. My random theory: Hoping that Uryu comes down from the Soul Palace and joins up with Giselle against Mayuri ... is that too much to wish for? Their interactions would be utterly hilarious, too.

    1. That would be pretty awesome, and it's actually a lot less unlikely than I thought. After all, Mayuri tortured and killed Uryu's grandfather, so it would be good to see that get resolved. And yeah, it would be really funny as well.