All grown up, handsome, and showing off his abs.

Hitsugaya’s Countdown Reached:

It’s times like these when Bleach readers usually yell: “Asspull!” “Plotkai!” or “Goddammit Kubo!” – when a big revelation comes, playing us for fools for assuming what had already been implied was in fact the truth. Over the past week I’ve read many responses to Hitsugaya reaching his final petal, with reactions ranging from his fans loving it, to his haters hating it, to disgruntled Bleach readers using it as an excuse to point out how terrible the series apparently is. Funnily enough, as someone who hates Hitsugaya’s character, I didn’t mind this one bit. In fact, I rather like it.

Why? Because it actually makes sense. I’ll be right there with the pissed off readers when something unearned or nonsensical occurs, but this doesn’t fall into that category. When you actually go back and read what information was given about Hitsugaya’s bankai, you’ll find that he never explicitly states that the countdown means he won’t be able to use his bankai any longer. He mentions to Harribel that he’s not strong enough to use it to the end at that point, and when fighting against Shawlong Qufang, he doesn’t confirm any of the fraccion’s assumptions that we readers took to be facts. All we know is Hitsugaya has been constantly training so he could reach that final petal, and now that he is capable of doing so – he mentioned after the timeskip that he had finally perfected his bankai, but it was then stolen by Cang Du – this is what his mastered release looks like: it makes him more mature, gives him new and improved abilities, and actually makes him a somewhat capable combatant!

[UNCONTROLLABLE SCREAMING]

Teamwork!:

But in saying that, I was expecting to be rather turned off by this chapter, if only because a full-on Hitsugaya fight isn’t my jam. Thankfully, this played out as best as it possibly could. Kenpachi fans who were pissed off last week will be happy to see he’s still standing (and out of bankai), and manages to damage Gerard’s feet, allowing the others to go in for the kill. I’m especially glad that Byakuya went bankai at the end, not only because Kubo always draws it well, but because we’ve yet to see his royal guard training being put to use. Him and Hitsugaya going final release on Gerard feels earned after everything they’ve thrown at him. And after finishing the chapter, I couldn’t help but think: “Damn, this would be even more awesome in the anime.”

Impressive teamwork makes for a fitting conclusion.

Overview – What’s Next?:

And so it appears the fight has come to an end, or at least I hope so. There are many ways it could have gone, but this is the best outcome possible. All three captains got their time to shine, though Hitsugaya got primary focus. If you can look past your dislike for him (like I have for this brief moment in time), you’ll find that this revelation doesn’t contradict anything that’s been stated as fact within the series. This feels like a reveal that Kubo has planned for a while, but is likely to be shrugged off as another asspull. I’m just glad we got a rather epic conclusion to this fight, considering it was probably my least favourite of the four elites.

36 Comments

  1. Gerard looks like an Ultraman.
    I still don’t think that Gerard is really powerful compared to other Elite Sternritter. It just that he is really hard to kill. Even more than Askin who seem to not die even when killed

    KidokuOuyou
  2. Gerard is pretty fucking strong imo

    Took him 3 captain bankai + a very life-risking transformation from Hitsugaya part (all the zombie problem before applied) to go down. If he actually lives it next chapter, I really won’t know what could possibly beat him at this point lol

    If he dies, that is the first time I’ve seen Hitsugaya beating anyone in this manga, so, finally something he can be credited for (even if it was more thanks to the team work).

    danpmss
    1. And Hirako and the others couldn’t do much against him. Yes, that’s a fitting feat for the last Quincy standing. I just wish he had less redundant lines and a shred of a backstory or something, like with As Nodt.

    1. Shafted? When they say that even with his world shattering strength he’s still not strong enough to handle Yachiru’s full power? They just set such a stupidly high bar for Kenpachi’s power that I’m honestly just waiting for him to swing his sword and accidentally cleave the world in two and end this series.

      Xero_Ghost
  3. I’m glad there is some consistency. Hitsugaya freezing an opponent and saying something like “You are now frozen and I’ve won-” Then they break out of the ice. I’m not really mad that the flower petals make him older, I think I’m irritated because literally nothing has changed. Hitsugaya still can’t defeat big wigs by himself. He’s defeated like 2 people the entire show.

    “I cannot be frozen for I am a Disciple of God!!”

    Lest we forget Gerard has the power of Miracles. I don’t see how freezing him and shattering him with hundreds of swords will just kill him. I hated this fight like 10 chapters ago, but it was probably a mistake to give a villain the power of “Miracles” because him being defeated…ever…will make no sense. But I’m going to guess it won’t bother you.

    1. Gerard ist the Element of White/Light. Even if he is Chaotic good. Like the one that fallen to seritei. i think they can only winning if they worn them out of power

      Worldwidedepp
      1. How can you wear him out? Every time they attack him he gets bigger and stronger. Every time you cut off a limb it regenerates and it’s stronger. His power is literally to not get worn out.

        Aizen is the only one that can wipe his existence out.

      2. is there any Vice-captain or Captain that can reverse this power of Gerard? We need an Dark Power to counter his Chaotic good one or to nullified it. Sadly there is no Time manipulator in this fight. Do Gerard still move time, even if someones stop it? i am curious

        Worldwidedepp
  4. But now Kubo has an problem…

    Hitsugaya and Rukia has nearly the same Bankai. Just that Rukia’s is a pillar of Ice, and he looks like he can cast it where he like with a hand movement

    So Dual Ice power Captain. Nice, but do their power doubles when both team up too?

    also Hitsugaya “steal” my absolut zero bankei idea that was more for Rukia 🙂 but perhaps she has this too, just looking different

    i find this okay, just keep in mind, that Kubo now has two Ice Captains with nearly same powers. Perhaps Byakuya should mention it, how look alike both are now

    Worldwidedepp
  5. I’m not sure if that’s the end of Gerard. After all the things he was able to survive, I wouldn’t be surprised if next chapter will be his comeback. It could really go either way. Though wether Gerard is defeated or not (not mention if he even is dead or not), I think next chapter will conclude the fight with the either Gerard’s or team Shinigami’s victory. I hope we will see Ichigo confronting Yhwach and Orihime healing Giselle, Liltotto and Bazz-B next chapter.

    dean
      1. But Haschwalth can’t reveal what the letter B stands for without Yhwach waking up. So once Yhwach has to wake up, before the Haschwalth fight can begin. But I think we won’t see much of the fight. Either Uryuu will already be defeated because of the Almighty or the fight will be interrupted. Once Yhwach wakes up, he’s probably going to iniate the next step of his plan.

        dean
  6. All that smug, I love it. He’s pretty dag on powerful now, his bankai makes more sense now…painfully similar to Rukia’s though. Or, better yet, Rukia’s is a carbon copy of his in a sense.

    Kabble
    1. well, better let the boy “age” a bit then Rukia to get an Power up 🙂 i do think Rukia do not need oppais or more Peach alike ass… She is good as she is now 🙂

      But for Rukia this Absolute zero is very critial power, where Hitsugaya can control it all way better with gestures. so in term of power of using he win

      Worldwidedepp
      1. Rukia can freeze zero all things inside her bankai Ice pillar. an closed room if you want
        Hitsugaya can freeze objects or bodies at his will, only pointy targets no “Area of Effect” like Rukia

        That are the fine tuning difference i see in both Bankais. But the Boy has more control over it

        Worldwidedepp
  7. I think that my post may have caused the “disgruntled Bleach readers” reference. 🙂

    I just feel that everything is fair game to Kubo. I mean, Shinigami do not visibly age at the same rate as Humans. That’s a rule Kubo created. Then, Hitsugaya’s ice Bankai makes him older. Using the hidden-properties-of-the-Bankai, Kubo disregards every rule just to create a sense of novelty.

    As Art_of_Kuma posted last week, the way Kubo draws his characters, does make Bleach a better manga than it should be. And, to be fair, the lack of rules is entertaining. However, as a person who values plot, and plot consistency, I do think Bleach could be way better.

    I’m sorry about the general bashing. In future posts I’ll try to focus on the chapter only.

    scampjot
    1. It wasn’t caused by anyone here, honestly. It doesn’t matter where you go online to discuss the series, there’s always those who really don’t like what happens. They were just very loud about it last week.

      Samu
  8. Said disgruntled Kenpachi fan from last week chiming in: gotta say, I was happy with how things went down this chapter. I expected Hitsugaya to beat Gerard all by himself, but it was cool to see all the teamwork in this chapter. Thank you, Kubo.

    Mormegil

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