The rumble against Mask De Masculine has proven to be far more challenging for Kensei and Rojuro thanks to the sideline support ofJames. Victory will be claimed by the villain of this match, but who are the villains here?
We have another chapter of some rather thrilling action. Criticize Kubo all you wish, but you can't deny his flare for unique powers when it comes to bankai. It's not exactly in Oda's league, but Kubo tends to lean more toward brutality and disturbing imagery. He taps into your nightmares.
I did find the twist in perspective between these forces rather interesting. I once heard a theory that no one, no matter how cruel or vicious, sees them self as a villain. We are all the hero of our own story. That will then make everyone, from our own perspective, either supporting characters or antagonists. Remember that it wasn't that long ago that the 13 Court Guard were once the villains of the series back when Ichigo and the gang were out to save Rukia.
Looking from the Vandenreich's perspective, I can see how Mask De Masculine sees the Soul Reapers as villains. Though, people will often point fingers and treat those they disagree with as evil. It's all in the name of justifying their own actions no matter how deplorable. It is the Quincy that classify their own by their level "racial purity".
I think that's almost the point in this battle. I'm starting to suspect that James isn't so much a person but an extension of De Masculine's power. He purposely creates James to be meek and vulnerable. This is to make someone hesitate in attacking him. That in itself is truly evil, because it takes advantage of someone with a good heart.
For probably the third time in this arc, someone has completely ruined their chance at victory because they couldn't stay silent about the systems behind their attack. Grasping defeat from the jaws of victory. Just because it's a shonen cliché doesn't change how silly it can be to see a hero lose what was a sure victory.
I understand that I've often advocated that our heroes should falter, but there's a difference between fate working against you and tripping over your own feet. Then again, how often does the same thing happen with the villain, and we never seem to complain then?
Not only is this an entertaining chapter with some great illustration work and a well choreographed brawling. Every strike feels vicious and intense. I also took a certain level of uncomfortable pleasure in Rojuro's brutality in dispatching lil' James. This is probably why shonen-action can be even more entertaining than professional wrestling. You get the character drama, and you understand that no one is pulling their punches.
I also appreciate the character study this provides in the sense of good versus evil, but that may just be me reading into things. Either way, next week looks to be an entertaining issue.
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