Bleach 596 Review –“Rub-Dolls 3”
Written by: ClayDragon
Because violence is funny.
Somewhat shocked to see Kensei and Rose on the battlefield, Byakuya asks them what happened just as Hisagi launches himself at Kensei. Unfortunately for him, it would seem that Zombie Kensei has retained his fighting skills, as he effortlessly beats Hisagi into the ground and forces him to let go of Senbonzakura. He then picks it up himself and shambles over to Byakuya in order to return his Zanpakuto.
At this point, the man himself decides to appear, and Kurotsuchi comments that the enemy is in the right place. He then goes on to say that it’s the perfect opportunity to study how Zombie Kensei and Zombie Rose will fight. Byakuya asks him what he did to the zombified Captains, and Kurotsuchi replies that he actually saved them. After they had got their asses handed to them by the Arrancars, Kurotsuchi reveals that he had placed drugs in the Arrancar’s blood that was similar to the one that he had used to trap Hitsugaya in the mental time loop.
|That is an awesome team name. Kurotsuchi Corpse Properties Research Squad, ASSEMBLE!|
He then pulls another syringe out of his sleeve and injects the two zombies with its contents. Knowing that Giselle is nearby, he tells her that the amount of blood needed to zombify someone is dependent on how much reiatsu they have. Weaker soldiers can be controlled as soon as Giselle’s blood reaches their brain, but stronger opponents need to have the blood travel to their heart, as it will be synthesised in greater quantities and thus be able to control them. As it turns out, this is why the zombified Captains have darker skin.
Kurotsuchi then reveals to Giselle that his drug alters the composition of the tainted blood, and due to the fact that he has blood samples of every Soul Reaper, he can use those samples to create a drug capable of changing the tainted blood into another blood-like substance. When Giselle expresses confusion, Kurotsuchi simply tells her that his drug is capable of giving him control over Giselle’s zombies. As he gloats about his victory, Zombie Kensei stabs Giselle through the chest.
|"I suppose I should be annoyed at my defeat, but I'm more pissed off by the fact that he didn't even remember my name."|
Back in the present, Byakuya asks why Kurotsuchi didn’t just let the zombies die, to which Kurotsuchi replies that being able to protect the Soul Society even after death should be the dream of every Soul Reaper. As Byakuya begins to disagree, a love burst comes out of nowhere and strikes Zombie Kensei on the shoulder. Pepe moves out from behind some rubble, laughing and saying that his love exerts a stronger control than Giselle’s blood, meaning that he can even control zombies.
|They also don't know the meaning of the word 'incorrigible'.|
Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to work as Zombie Kensei immediately punches Pepe square in the face, with Kurotsuchi revealing that they aren’t Giselle’s zombies any more, but his. He goes on to say that his zombies are incapable of feeling love, even when exposed to Pepe’s attacks. As the obese Sternritter realises the ramifications of this, he’s attacked again by Zombie Kensei, who rapidly punches him over and over again until he flies into a nearby building. He then picks himself up off the floor and claims that he’ll never forgive them, but he’s stopped by the sudden appearance of Liltotto.
Sadly, it looks as though last week’s Zommari theory didn’t amount to anything, as it looks like the marks on Zombie Kensei and Zombie Rose’s heads are just by-products of Kurotsuchi’s drug. Despite Zommari being one of my least favourite Espada, I can’t help but feel disappointed. I mean, if he had returned then it would have opened the door for the other Espada returning and that would have been undeniably awesome.
|Wait, why are you giving him his sword back? It just tried to kill him.|
Speaking of Arrancars, I hope that Luppi, Dordoni, Cirucci and Charlotte stay around for longer. I’d be really annoyed if they were only brought back for Kurotsuchi’s fight with Giselle and then forgotten about. Their being brought back was a huge revelation and if they don’t appear in any meaningful capacity again it’ll feel like a huge waste. Speaking of which, what’s happening with Charlotte? Is he still bleeding out on the ground? He’d better get more screentime soon or there won’t have been any point in him even being in this fight (the same goes for Ikkaku and Yumichika).
|"What do you mean? I certainly wasn't thinking about betraying you and gruesomely killing you. Definitely not."|
I very much doubt that we’ve seen the last of Giselle. If she was simply stabbed by Zombie Kensei and left there, then there’s no way that she’s down for good. In her first proper appearance she survived a slash that nearly removed her entire arm and almost certainly cut her heart in two. After Ichigo arrived, he threw her into a building – the impact of which broke her neck. She was able to easily recover from both of these injuries with no ill-effects, so there’s no way that getting stabbed in the chest (an injury that is hardly ever fatal in this series) will be enough to kill her.
|That's got to sting.|
Whilst a part of me wants this fight to be over as soon as possible (mainly so that I don’t have to look at Pepe any more), another part of me hopes that this isn’t the end, as it seems a bit anticlimactic. Pepe was referred to as a ‘monster’ by Askin and whilst he certainly isn’t a nice person, so far he hasn’t really lived up to this moniker. If he’s defeated for good in the next chapter, it would be especially jarring considering how every other fight has taken at least five chapters.
|Karma's a bitch, huh?|
I’m interested in Liltotto’s arrival at the end of this chapter. To be honest, I didn’t expect her to be able to defeat Meninas on her own, especially given their size difference and powers. And in fact, I don’t even think that’s what happened. Liltotto has absolutely no signs that she’s been in a fight apart from the blood around her mouth (which came from when she was sucker-punched by Meninas). I think that either she was able to escape from Meninas for long enough for her to try and kill Pepe, or she was accidently hit by one of the love bursts that Pepe was firing around last week. After all, he fired them in all directions, and it’s not a huge stretch to imagine that one of them hit Liltotto.
Good Things: Despite his fight with Giselle being over, Kurotsuchi isn’t going anywhere.
More zombie goodness.
Pepe getting punched in the face.
Bad Things: No information on the whereabouts of Zombies Matsumoto or Hitsugaya.
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 email@example.com. 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. Henceforth, you shall refer to me as ClayDragon, Bsc.