Hey y’all, took a small break from the Bleach overviews but now I will cover the past three chapters (somewhat).
Renji and Ichigo are still at Ouestu’s palace and they are in big trouble. The Asauchi (or empty/soulless zanpakuto) are intending to kill them. Why you say? They hate shinigami.
That’s pretty much it for them. We’ll see more in future chapters. Now onto the good part! (Sorry; a little biased.)
Enter the Kenpachis! As seen in chapter 520, captain commander Kyōraku gave Unohana Yachiru orders to train Zaraki (and teach him The Art of Killing). Unohana’s gone full creepy-mode, and I’m quite enjoying it! She’s showing a new side (or well, the one we hadn’t seen before because we have no backstory!) opposed to her wise, motherly one.
And she has one wound! Now I realize why she braids her hair the way she does: to hide the wound that Zaraki himself inflicted on her. And of course, Unohana returned the favor on his face. (Best pals 2013-2014)
Aha! I was right about my previous hypothesis (oh yes) on her being the figure in chapter 511. Everything else is confirmed in the chapter page below. What made her turn to healing? Was she tired of slaying everyone and had a change of heart? We need to know more Tite. What really caught me off guard was Shunsui’s statement: “If you cross swords with Captain Zaraki, I fully understand that it’ll cost one of your lives…” Right away you know that Unohana will be the one to be killed. Why? Because what’s the whole point of teaching Zaraki if he’s just going to croak? If one of them DOES die, it would be the most idiotic thing to happen in Bleach. Not because I’m a huge Unohana fan (okay, that’s part of the reason), but because you have the two strongest shinigami with full HP on the verge of an all-out war with OP Quincies and you want to kill off one of them? Leems segit. Bawling at the latest chapter’s final panel. Is that it? You’re really going to kill off a kenpachi?
The first couple of pages of 524 are pretty tear-jerking. Zaraki has left Yachiru his eye-patch and Unohana has left Isane a note. You know this is serious (srsbsnss) and lowers your hope percentage bar that neither of them will die to a minimum.
A few pages after the battle between the two Kenpachis begins, Zaraki is already pretty torn up while Unohana lacks any scratches. Want to know something sentimental too? Zaraki sheds a tear! Now that is rare! Is it his fear of being killed by Unohana? Or dying without being able to defeat her? I’m going with both.
And then bam! Slice! Yachiru’s zanpakuto pierces through Zaraki’s neck, killing him. The end. I’m kidding. After spitting a mouthful of blood, Zaraki is well and alive. The death-wound in his neck is gone. So now we’re playing a game here: Zaraki must be in the brink of death and then healed back. This is how Unohana is training him to regain his old power! Old power you say?
On 525, Zaraki continues to lose consciousness and waking up again and again like nothing had happened to him. Unohana, you devil! Now for the awaited backstory! Young Zaraki leaps out of a pile of dead bodies and slices Unohana’s neck. Great, we got that one down. Now please, more reveals!
This whole time, Zaraki has been holding back his true power. Locking it away; limiting it to the others’ standards. As a young boy, he found his match in Unohana, but in fear of losing that pleasure of fighting with her, he limited his powers. That was her sin! Unohana might have been strong, but Zaraki was stronger. (Oh no! Sexism! Yeahhhh, no.)
So now, in order for Zaraki to reach his old self, Unohana must sacrifice herself?! (Aw hell naw!)
This last panel has got me pretty worried! Has Zaraki finally reached his old power? Is Unohana really dead?? When the —- will Kenny finally learn his zanpakuto’s name? Also, we really do need more backstory on these two. We need to see how Unohana left her world as the most viscous and dangerous killer in SS to expert healer and 4th squad captain. For those saying on forums and posts that these two have a love connection: I really HOPE you’re wrong. First of all, it would be pretty anti-climactic and just plain fan service. These two have a relationship of a child and his idol (-ish?). We also really need to see a bankai from Zaraki (and Unohana!!!), seeing as his zanpakuto is always on shikai. I still love the idea of young Yachiru being the manifestation of it, but I doubt that will ever happen (fingers crossed -only in my dreams!). We’ll have more answers next chapter and I hope they’re good ones. I’ll have tissues ready for my eyes just in case.
*score of all three chapters