Bleach 509 – A One-Sided Boss Battle
Yamamoto has proved himself to be a man quick to anger on several occasions, but his fury has reached unprecedented levels in this battle against Juha Bach. He appears to be acting out of pure spite over the death of his subordinates, particularly his vice-captain Sasakibe, and has unleashed his full power in battle for what seems to be the first time ever. He has pulled the plugs on every arsenal in his bankai to crush his old enemy, proving beyond doubt that he is the strongest Shiniami in Soul Society by a long shot. Yamamoto’s powers are definitely very exaggerated (e.g. temperatures in the millions and skeleton warriors in the trillions), but from what we can infer about Juha’s strength, it doesn’t seem likely that a mere army of undead could stop him. He himself says as much, until Yamamoto pointedly mentions that those zombies were Quincies that he had personally slain, many of whom were Juha’s friends or subordinates. His move was clearly intended as a vicious psychological attack by forcing his opponent to cut down his own allies, but ironically, the motive, or at least part of the motive, for the Vandenreich invasion may have been to avenge the deaths of the Quincies at the hands of the Gotei 13, and Yamamto’s taunts only salted the wounds. Truly I did not think the cruel, ruthless Vandenreich leader had actually cared that much for his subordinates, or as Yamamoto pointed out, had a human heart. Kubo really seems to be trying to show that there is no right side in war, and this conflict especially seems to have degenerated into a cycle of revenge a long time ago.
Regardless of their anger however, Yamamoto retains the upper hand throughout the fight, and Zanka no Tachi “North” finally finishes off Juha Bach. The relative ease of that victory, and the lack of Ichigo’s involvement leaves me very suspicious though, and there’s certainly no way the war will end just like that. Perhaps the main villain is actually someone else and the whole thing was just a huge gimmick, or perhaps Juha has a second form he will now release. The end of the chapter is intentionally left vague, though from the final words my guess is that the Juha that was defeated wasn’t the “real Juha”. With so many unresolved cliffhangers though, we probably won’t get an answer immediately. Either way, this war isn’t over yet.