And, of course, today was Bleach 628, “Seething Malice is the Height of Comedy.”
So, go on, then… go read them. I’ll be here when you’re done, ready to discuss them.
Okay, in the last Bleach chapter, I was promised that the story was about to begin. Things seem promising right away with Pernidas insisting that it is its own being, with its own name, damn it.
But, what follows is not an explanation about what/how/why the Soul King’s limbs have rebelled, anything about the true nature of the Soul King, or even an explanation as to why parts of the Soul King want to be known as Pernidas.
Instead, we get Mayuri being ‘scientific’ and arguing about who has naming rights. I mean, to me, that’s a little like Frankenstein calling the monster Proteus, if you know what I’m saying. Okay, maybe that’s a little obtuse. What I mean is, I’m not entirely sure Mayuri is really entirely human himself, and, even if he isn’t a creature that was formed by Sutra (the weaver/former captain of the 12th), he is most certainly more monstrous/alien than any so-called monster/new life form.
So… I don’t know. I guess the only other interesting thing that happens is that Mayuri uses the Quincy technique: Hirenkyaku.
If nothing else, his casual use of a Quincy technique should remind readers that this is the guy who tortured to death Ishida’s family (and thus presumably learned their secrets.) It may be more sinister, however, since I’m not sure if a Shinigami can use a Quincy’s power. A friend of mine suggested that maybe Mayuri’s fancy new boots might be, you know, literally forged from Quincy body parts.
I remembered that earlier Akon thought Mayuri was building a body in his workshop…. so you know, it wouldn’t be THAT surprising.
But otherwise this chapter wasn’t terribly interesting to me. I mean, yeah, I’m all in for a good shounen battle normally, but I like my fights to have stakes, to matter. I kind of don’t care who wins this one. In fact, I’m really rather rooting for “our” side to die a horrible and painful death. Mayuri deserves it, though I think that it would be best if the person who killed him was Ishida (either one, but I was thinking Uryuu. Though, damn, I would pay money to see Ryuuken join this fight).
I’m also a little concerned that this fight is going to drag on for several more chapters with no more story revealed beyond power-ups and Mayuri “science” gadgets. I care a lot more for what’s happening to Gimmjow, for instance, but also Hashwaldt (who should be taking over for Ywach right about now), Kyouraku, Aizen, Ukitake, Kenpachi, Renji, Ichigo, Rukia… okay, honestly, just about every character who is NOT Mayuri.
Unless Mayuri dies horribly and gives us a flashback of his life to-date, then this would be worth it.
Okay, so on to the REAL comedy, the Sorrows of the Exorcist Salaryman, Yukio Okumura. Our two little interludes actually focused on people beyond Yukio: we got one story featuring Izumo (fox girl) and the second, starring my personal favorite, Bon (chant boy).
I kind of wish Bleach had this sort of thing–a full-on spin-off/omake where people are just going about their lives, doing silly, regular daily stuff. Because, reading this is like getting to see what kind of fan fiction the mangaka would write of their own universe.
Turns out, Kazue Katō would write cute summer stories where people who seem stand-offish really wouldn’t mind being part of the party (except when people are annoying, which is kind of always), and people born in the summer get stuck playing kids games like cops and robbers/hide-and-seek on their birthdays.
What can I say? Works for me.