The Sleeping Project
This was the chapter I’ve been waiting for for God knows how long. I’m glad that this fight has managed to flesh out Nemu’s character, providing a backstory that I never thought we’d see. It was always possible, but I thought the time had passed to shed some light on the stoic lieutenant of the 12th division. I’ve seen some criticisms that these current chapters contradict Mayuri’s character from the Soul Society arc, where he treated Nemu like human garbage. Maybe Kubo didn’t plan this far ahead, but it still fits like a glove. As time has gone on, Mayuri’s abusive tendencies towards his artificial daughter have lessened, up until present time where she almost stands on equal ground, willing to answer him back and make her own decisions for the better of her father. Mayuri from before would go wild at her disobeying orders, but perhaps that lends to Mayuri’s development and feelings towards Nemu.
We learned an awful lot with this flashback, which confirms that Nemu was the seventh Nemuri. I suspected that Mayuri may have been attempting to replicate his own deceased daughter or a woman from his past, but that doesn’t appear to be the case – this is his attempt at creating an artificial life outside of the shinigami process, which is arguably his biggest achievement to date. Mayuri created life where there was none, bypassing the laws of life and death that lie at the core of Bleach lore.
It was sad to know that the sixth Nemuri only lived to two years old before dying, but as Akon says, the success and development of the seventh made up for it. Mayuri may not show it, but going by what we’ve learned, he is incredibly proud of his achievement; making an eighth as successful as the seventh would be a pain for him, but I’d imagine even Mayuri would feel grief over losing his artificial daughter after all these years. We also learned that the fifth Nemuri’s fetus was the basis of Mayuri’s bankai, which implies that his zanpakutou might have been altered from something else entirely. Ashisogi Jizou as we know it now is essentially an unborn Nemuri, which is ridiculously creepy yet completely fitting for his character.
In present time, Nemu is proving that she may be one of the strongest characters in all of Bleach. By using 0.8% of her soul, she was able to eradicate Pernida with ease. In that moment, her strength and speed seems beyond most of the cast – and that’s at 0.8% of her power! At the end we see her using 6% of her soul, concentrating it into a energy ball that’s bound to have the power of a nuke. I seriously fear for what Nemu can do if this is a mere fraction of her power. But by the sounds of it, her time is running short thanks to this immense ability. Maybe in the end, she will use 100% of her soul, which would be a sight to see. I suspect next week the second Pernida arm will be swiftly obliterated, with one (or is it two?) more to deal with. By the looks it, however, Nemu should have no problem. If only she saved this for facing against Juha Bach…
Overview – What’s Next?:
What a chapter. I couldn’t have asked for any more. Of course, all of this points to Nemu’s eventual demise by exhausting her soul and dying in a similar fashion to the sixth Nemuri. If she does die by the end of this fight, Mayuri’s response will be very telling. Will he be heartbroken or shrug it off? It’s likely to be somewhere between the two, unless we’re in for a twist in his development. But for now, I can only repeat how much I loved this chapter (it possibly my favourite of the year). Nemu’s finally stepping forward, proving that she could possibly be one of the strongest characters in the series, or so it would seem from 0.8% of her power. Maybe it’s too early to proclaim such a title, but there’s no doubt about it, Mayuri’s experimentation has reached another level, creating life that rivals the power of God.