That chill running down the spine of the 13 Court Guard isn't just in their imagination. The undead Captain Hitsugaya has been ordered to slaughter his former compatriots. Will any escape a sudden and cold death?
Now that a week has passed, I feel more comfortable talking openly about the devastating reveal from last week. Holy Crap, Captain Hitsugaya is a zombie now!! Is he truly dead, can he be saved, and what became of Matsumoto? So many questions revolve in my head around his fate.
Anyone you see that claims they saw that reveal coming is an unabashed lair. There was no hint, suggestion, or anything. Kubo just sucker punches us with not only an extremely popular character, but one who quite possibly has the power to run over everyone present with little effort.
What surprises me more than anything is just the level of brutality this chapter contains. This is not holding anything back. Hitsugaya dispatches Ikkaku and Yumichika with no ceremony about it. Even the strongest of the Arrancar prove to be useless against him. Just the way it happens so suddenly makes it all feel much more vicious and shocking. It makes for a sharp contrast to some of the more lighthearted scenes of the previous weeks.
I don't quite understand the rules behind Giselle's zombies. Changing before death makes them puppets with no personality, but changing them after death allows for more free will? That in itself is perplexing, but whatever. It's not as if there are any set rules to how zombies should work. Kubo can make up whatever he wants at this point. This just seems more like a story point to allow for a change back for Hitsugaya and be absolved for his actions afterward. That's more where I feel this is a cheat.
I have to applaud Kubo for such a bold choice, and I love the touch that Giselle dressed him in Vandenreich garb before unleashing him upon the Soul Society. This subtle design choice makes him feel even more like one of Giselle's puppets. Who could have imagined the most passive of the Vandenreich women (?) could hold so much story potential? This makes two weeks in a row that I believe that BLEACH has been the best of the Shonen Trilogy, and I wouldn't be surprised if it holds that title next week.
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