Back when I first saw DEEP BLUE SEA in a theatrical preview screening, I saw the sudden and brutal death of Samuel L. Jackson coming a mile away. His speech as just so dramatic and meaningful. Don't get me wrong. I loved his speech, but I knew he was a dead man half way through. Maybe I'm a cynic, but I knew that nothing builds this much without a twist on the horizon. While everyone else around me jumped in their seats screaming, it didn't surprise me for a second when the shark burst through then tore him in half - SPOILERS.
That's why I can't find this chapter's closing at all surprising. Once Yhwach's full power was revealed, every beautifully crafted panel of Ichibe's oncoming attack just seemed to become one more nail in his inevitable coffin. It did make for a great spectacle and a very brutal finisher. Ichigo is now up against an enemy that can see all attacks coming. I'm actually excited to see how he accomplishes what Ichibe failed at.
I asked for a better explanation for that sudden turn last week, but did I actually get one? The answer is a bit unclear, and I think it all falls down to the terminology used. It's the concept of Yhwach's eyes being "open" as opposed to "shut". Is this a translation issue, or does this more fall on Kubo's choice of words? I honestly can't say one way or another.
I will say that part of this does make some sense. Yhwach likely didn't wait a few more hours, because part of his plan required Ichigo to come rushing back in all haste. He needed that for his path to the Reiokyu to be open. Although, that implies that he knew both if and when Ichigo would undergo and complete training in the Reiokyu. Fiction sure does love their omniscient villains, huh?
I fully understand the concept that Yhwach's powers evolving in increments of nines. However, why was he pressing forward so far, so fast once he arrived at his destination? Look at just how close he came to defeat in last week's edition. A smart commander should have stalled for time. It makes me unsure of Yhwach is a brilliant or reckless leader.
For as drawn out as this explanation appears in this chapter, it still has a lot of appeal to it with the visuals. The past few weeks of BLEACHhave done their job. Yhwach is an enemy to be taken very seriously. I will be incredibly disappointed if Ichigo spends more time fighting Uryu-- a battle that I don't care in the least for -- than this guy. The NARUTO ending has had the effect of making me cautious when it comes to grand finale battles. I'm going to try and remain optimistic, because there is still potential to be had here.
BLEACH will be on a one week break, so enjoy the holidays.
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