Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bleach 595 Review –“Rub-Dolls 2”

Bleach 595 Review –“Rub-Dolls 2”
Written by: ClayDragon


*Ahem* Still under Pepe’s control, Hisagi continues to fight Byakuya whilst the Sternritter watches. Pepe begins a monologue about how fights are always sad due to love being involved. He claims that fights happen because of love, be it love for a family, friend or ideal. As a result, he believes that there are no fights without love, and this makes fights both beautiful and sad.

Why does everyone in Bleach have weird philosophies about fighting?

Of course, whilst Pepe was talking, he failed to notice that Byakuya has already defeated Hisagi and is now coming after Pepe himself. Byakuya has realised that the easiest way to end the fight is to simply kill Pepe. Not fazed by Byakuya’s threats, Pepe begins to fire off love bursts at his opponent, only for Byakuya to dodge all of them and block the final one with his Zanpakuto. He then notices that the buildings hit by Pepe’s attacks are unaffected, and deduces that only beings with a heart are affected.

"You were so boring, I zoned out."

Sadly, this limitation doesn’t extend to Zanpakuto, and Byakuya finds himself under attack by Senbonzakura. Pepe reveals that he’s aware that Zanpakuto are conscious, and that he didn’t bother to steal any Bankai during the initial invasion because he can control any Zanpakuto he wants. Byakuya manages to throw Senbonzakura away and impales it into a nearby wall, but that turns out to be a mistake as Hisagi picks up the discarded Zanpakuto.

"Oh, not this crap again..."

Pepe begins to further ruminate on the power of love, saying that no matter how many times Byakuya knocks down Hisagi, he’ll continue to get up for Pepe’s sake. With that, Hisagi rushes towards Byakuya and rapidly attacks him, causing Byakuya to resort to using Hakudou. However, he realises that he can’t fend off Senbonzakura with just Hakudou, but if he were to use Kido then he would run the risk of killing Hisagi.

How is that a risk? You're so powerful, surely you can adjust your strength to avoid killing him. Or better yet, just use Hadō to immobilise him!

Byakuya comes to the conclusion that he should just have broken Senbonzakura as soon as it was affected, as he would have cut off his own arm if Pepe were controlling it (pay attention to this, it may be important later – as will Pepe’s power). Whilst he’s distracted by Hisagi, Pepe sneaks up behind him and fires a love burst at him at point-blank range, which hits him in the back.

"You traitorous bitch!"

However, this doesn’t have the intended effect as Byakuya is still able to block Hisagi’s attack. Pepe commends Byakuya’s control, and asks him is he’s unable to feel love. Getting a little angry, Pepe tells Byakuya that it’s now his job to die for him, and that he’s furious about the fact that someone can resist his love. As he claims that he can’t forgive Byakuya, Pepe activates his Vollständig and…


*Retches* Okay, I’m not even going to describe what his Vollständig looks like, because frankly I can’t look at it for any amount of time without wanting to scream/cry/vomit/tear out my eyeballs. Let’s just say that it’s the embodiment of anti-fanservice and move on. Anyway, this…abomination…is called God’s Love, and Pepe begins to fly around, commenting on how ‘pure’ he looks now. He then claims that this form makes people instinctively love him, but I’m hoping that’s just his arrogance talking.

He then fires a love rope at Byakuya and impales him through the back and shoulders. Before Hisagi can land the killing blow, Pepe orders him to stop, and declares that he wants to kill Byakuya with his love. He proceeds to pull his bow out of his mouth and is just about to shoot Byakuya when he’s kicked in the face by an unknown Soul Reaper. Byakuya turns around to see Rose and Kensei – still zombified, but with a strange mark on their foreheads.

Hooray! Nominally less scary guys!

Well, this week was…unforgettable. The fact that Senbonzakura was affected by Pepe’s attack was interesting, and it leads me to wonder if Hisagi’s Zanpakuto was also affected. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure about how the bond between a Zanpakuto and a Soul Reaper actually works. I mean, it’s been said that the two work together as one, but that Zanpakuto have their own personality (as we’ve seen with Zangetsu). And we saw this week that a Zanpakuto can rebel against its wielder if it wants. So then why didn’t Hisagi’s Zanpakuto try and stop him (assuming it wasn’t affected)? And why did Hyorinmaru still obey Hitsugaya when he was zombified?

Actually, you didn't take any because you never fought anyone who had achieved Bankai.

The fact that Zombie Rose and Zombie Kensei showed up was surprising, as I was expecting them to remain in the Kurotsuchi vs Giselle fight. Unless, of course, the fight has concluded offscreen (which I would not be pleased about), but if that’s the case then it doesn’t seem like enough time has passed. If we assume that Byakuya met Hisagi just after Kurotsuchi ordered the Arrancar to attack the zombified Rose, Kensei and Matsumoto, then there’s no way they could have been defeated that quickly. And even if that did happen, what happened to Giselle?

Apologies to all Nichiya fans, I promise I will never again compare him to a nearly-naked obese man.

What did get my attention was the marks on Zombie Rose and Zombie Kensei’s foreheads. It was pointed out to me that these marks resemble – but are not identical to – the marks used by the Espada Zommari Rureaux when he controlled an opponent. It might be a bit of a stretch, but is it possible that he’s around? Granted, he did dissolve when he was defeated by Byakuya, but given that Kurotsuchi was able to bring back the Arrancar, it may be possible. If it’s true, then this also means that the chances of other Espada coming back have increased.

...I think I'm going to be sick.

Finally, I’ve noticed a recurring trend in the enemies that Byakuya has faced. Every opponent that he has fought from the Hueco Mundo arc onwards has been an arrogant person, but they’ve all had roughly the same ability – one that allows them to control others. Zommari could control anything that he looked at (including entire bodies if he focussed his power on their heads), Tsukishima could control people by implanting himself into their memories and making them fight for him, and Pepe can control people by making them fall in love with him. I’m not sure why this is a recurring thing, but it’s something to think about.

In all fairness, he does have a bit of a point regarding battles being fought over the love of God.

I don’t exactly know why this is, but after thinking about it, it would be quite interesting to have Tsukishima appear during this fight, just to see how he’d go about fighting Pepe. This means as well that, if the theory about Zommari being around is true, all of Byakuya’s opponents from the Hueco Mundo arc onwards would be on the battlefield at once, and I’d like to see how they’d all react. Chances are high that this is just wishful thinking, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Good Things:      More Byakuya awesomeness.

                            Intriguing development regarding Byakuya’s relationship with his Zanpakuto.

                            Zombie Rose and Zombie Kensei.

                            After seeing Pepe’s Vollständig, I no longer fear death.

Bad Things:        No more focus on Kurotsuchi’s fight.

                            Pepe being the epitome of fan-disservice.

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 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. My final thoughts about Pepe’s Vollständig: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.


  1. Pepe's Vollständig form is just... horrifying. It's like a oversized Cupid thingy. Just yuck.

    And that's an interesting theory about the marks on Love's and Kensei's faces. I noticed it too, but hoped it had something to do with Kurotsuchi his experiments or something. But if Zommari is back, things will get interesting for sure. I would like to see who's arrogance gets in the way first. And of course that would mean more Arrancar are coming too. Still waiting for Grimmjow to show up.

    I've said it before after reading chapters of the Sternritters, but I'll say it again: one freak down, another one shows up. Seriously, I thought the Arrancer were freaks, but these Sternritters triumph all the freakyness now. It does make this invasion interesting though, always something new to discover.

  2. The odd thing is, my biggest question after this chapter (besides "OH SWEET JESUS, WHY?!!?!?!"), was "Where does Ywhach find all these people?" We know they aren't all creations of his because we saw As Nodt on the brink of death when Ywhach met him. So did Ywhach go out and meet all these people?

    Did he go to Woodstock to find Pepe?
    Did he go to an underground wrestling club to find Mask?
    Did he go to Yukio's family tree to find Gremmy? (Seriously, the two look quite alike).

    I'm praying it'll be explained soon because so far, all these nutjobs seem more and more random by the day.

  3. I could the Zommari angle working, it would be interesting to see Byakuya interacting with him again.

    I have my own theory as to how this will play out. Shuhei will see his captain, and Kensei will somehow say something to him, helping Shuhei break free of Pepe's control. I'm saying Shuhei will bring this guy down for one reason.

    Fear is the basis of his philosophy, which is the exact opposite of love, and he's afraid of his zanpakto, and to a degree everything, like Tosen was. Therefore, it stands to reason if he could tap into his fear, he could regain his control over his body and Kazeshini. Then, he could activate his Bankai, and utterly rip that love obsessed guru into countless pieces.

    PS: Good review, and the picture comparison (especially "MY EYES!") were hilarious