14th Year of Serialisation:
It’s that time of the year again, when Bleach hits its serialisation anniversary and gets its yearly cover and lead colour page. I mentioned it last week, but it’s crazy to think that Kubo has been drawing this manga for thirteen years now, going into his fourteenth (and final?). I don’t know if we’ll see another Weekly Shonen Jump cover this time next year, since there shouldn’t be too much left to cover. However, if we’re going at the pace seen in this fight, then you never know. Regardless, that colour page was exactly what I’ve been waiting for! The sternritters have never got their group colour page, and Kubo did a great job here. It’s interesting to see them all in colour, especially those that didn’t feature in the story for any great length of time – still, all are attended for, and that’s what counts. I do wish we got an anime announcement with the cover page, since this is probably the best/last shot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
The chapter itself was actually really surprising. Well, the fact that Pernida broke through Mayuri’s bankai stronger than ever wasn’t a surprise in the slightest, but the focus on Nemu and her relationship with her father was rather poignant. Still, I could do without the abuse on Mayuri’s part. This is tame compared to what we’ve seen from him before, but I didn’t appreciate him throwing Nemu around and talking down to her – I may love his character, but I hate that aspect of him. What we get from that interaction, however, is very notable. Nemu’s full name is in fact Nemuri Nanagou, which implies that she’s 7th ‘Nemuri’, matching what Mayuri says about her being the ‘current one’. There have been more Nemus before her, but going by Mayuri’s words, this one has gone through the most with him and he doesn’t want her to die just yet, since he’d have to start all over again. Are we going to get a Nemu flashback back, explaining who the first “Nemuri’ is? Is it Mayuri’s real daughter from long ago, or someone else entirely? This chapter has piqued my curiosity, and now I want the answers.
Overview – What’s Next?:
The fight is still going, and Mayuri is struggling. However, he’s not close to losing just yet. It seems like everyone is expecting him to be destroyed by Pernida, but now I’m not so sure. His plans may not be working, but he’s not exactly flustered. As for Pernida, we learn that it can use a bow, and that it was always a Quincy. This just opens a whole new can of worms – is the Soul King a shinigami, quincy, and everyone else at once. Perhaps each of it limbs represents each group in the Bleach universe. For another fight chapter, this one hit an emotional cord and revealed some more about Pernida and the Soul King, so I’d consider this one of the best of the current fight. Wext week we may get that Mayuri/Nemu flashback. If so, I’m anticipating the revelations.