Friday, September 19, 2014

Bleach 597 Review –“Winded by the Shadow”

Bleach 597 Review –“Winded by the Shadow”
Written by: ClayDragon

Om nom nom nom nom.

Cannibalism solves everything.

After having his ass handed to him by Zombie Kensei, Pepe is confronted by Liltotto, who slowly begins to walk towards him. Not quite sensing the mood, Pepe begins to lie through his teeth, saying that he’s happy she survived. As she advances, Liltotto activates her Vollständig and points out that Pepe tried to kill her and Meninas, and tells him that he should at least take responsibility for it. Despite Pepe begging for forgiveness, Liltotto extends her mouth and begins to eat Pepe alive.

Did you really think she would fall for that? Really?

Meanwhile, the battle at the Royal Realm doesn’t seem to be going so well, as despite his best efforts Tenjirō can’t seem to land a hit on Yhwach. Yhwach begins to step forward to end the stalemate, and when Tenjirō rushes forward to slash at him his attack ends up missing. He manages to figure out that it isn’t an illusion, nor is Yhwach actually dodging his blows. At this point, Senjumaru appears at the top of a staircase with a group of subordinates behind her.

That's not because of his power or anything, you're just an awful fighter.

She greets Yhwach, saying that it’s been a while since they last saw each other, and asks if he lost his sanity after killing Yamamoto. Completely ignoring her, Yhwach begins to climb the stairs and walks past her without even acknowledging her presence. Senjumaru’s subordinates then rush towards him and attempt to stab him, only for their swords to somehow be diverted away from him.

"Wow, these are some steep stairs. When I take over, I'm going to put escalators everywhere."

Senjumaru comes to the same conclusion as Tenjirō – namely, that Yhwach isn’t even bothering to dodge her attacks, and she asks herself why she can’t hit him. At this point, a voice begins to speak, calling the Squad Zero members insolent. Yhwach’s shadow extends from his foot and from it emerges a figure cloaked in a tar-like substance. This new arrival comments on how none of their attacks reached Yhwach, and identifies himself as Nianzol Weizol – Sternritter ‘W’ for ‘the Wind’.

*Insert ominous Latin chanting here*

Back in the Soul Society, the ground opens up to reveal the barrel of Urahara’s cannon as it begins to rise into the sky. Down below, Ichigo complains to him about the noise, telling him that they can’t hear a thing. Predictably, Urahara just trolls Ichigo, first by claiming that he can’t hear him and then by saying that he’s just setting the mood. With this, the cannon containing Ichigo, Orihime, Chad and Yoruichi is fired towards the Royal Realm (it’s not really made clear if Urahara entered the cannon before it fired).

"Let's see....I've got the Mario soundtrack if you want to listen to that?"

I was a bit surprised when Liltotto devoured Pepe, as although I was somewhat expecting her to kill him, I didn’t expect it to be quite so brutal. There’s some speculation going around as to whether or not Liltotto will gain Pepe’s powers, and after thinking about it I’ve come to the conclusion that this could be a good thing. Pepe seemed to be a bit underused compared to the other Sternritters, and his fight with Byakuya was cut short and his powers were left a bit vague. If Liltotto were to gain his powers, it would mean that we get to see the effects of said powers in more detail, without having to see them coming from an almost-naked obese man.

"Please don't eat me! I have people who love me! Eat them instead!"

There’s also the question of what happened to Meninas (and, to a lesser extent, Hisagi). Whilst Liltotto does seem to be quite pragmatic, she also doesn’t strike me as the type of person who would kill Meninas right away. It also doesn’t seem as though she had hid from Meninas, as she took her time talking to Pepe, whereas if she had escaped from Meninas she would have killed him as soon as possible to avoid being discovered. I do hope that Meninas survived, as out of all the Femritters she’s had the least characterisation, and we still haven’t seen the full range of her Vollständig’s abilities.

Aww...I kind of wanted to see that.

Originally, I was confused about Nianzol’s powers. I mean, how could Tenjirō not notice that his attacks were being pushed away by gusts of wind? However, it would appear that Nianzol’s ‘the Wind’ doesn’t refer to him being able to control gusts of wind, but rather him being able to wind the fabric of space around him in order to avoid attacks. Actually, this is one of the two abilities that I’ve always wanted to see in Bleach (the other being some form of temporal manipulation), and this power will open up a number of possibilities.

I really want this arc to get an anime adaptation, just to see how they do this guy's voice.

However, there is one big question – why is Yhwach relying on Nianzol’s power to get through the Royal Realm? The man was able to kill Yamamoto in less than a minute, and he only gets more powerful the longer the war rages on, so why isn’t he just slaughtering everyone in Squad Zero himself? The only explanation I can come up with is that he’s conserving his power for something, but I have no idea what for.

"Mind the gap, Haschwalth, We don't want you falling thousands of feet to your death."

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this week. I did like the in-fighting between Liltotto and Pepe, and the manner in which Pepe died was well-deserved (if not a little macabre). The new Sternritter was interesting, especially his power. However, this chapter did seem to have an awful lot of filler panels, and Ichigo and company’s departure felt a bit tacked-on towards the end. It would probably have been better to devote a larger section of the chapter to this event, as opposed to just two pages.

"Alright, we have him trapped! Now what?"

Good Things:     Pepe being devoured by Liltotto.

                            We’re seeing more of Squad Zero.

                             A new Sternritter with an interesting ability.

Bad Things:        No more focus on the Zombie Captains.

                             A large number of filler panels.

                             Ichigo and co’s departure felt tacked-on and rushed.

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 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. To everyone who honestly thought Scottish Independence was the way to go: Sorry you lost the Referendum. To everyone who's busy spewing hatred and vitriol over the results of the Referendum - go fuck yourself.


  1. Decetn critic again! ;)

    A question: why there is no more Naruto and Bleach manga reviews?

    1. ClayDragon's laptop is dead, and Naruto reviewer is having some personal issues.

      So sorry, man.

    2. Sorry about the lack of reviews from my end, that's me got everything sorted now so it should be business as usual from here on out =)