Page 1: Gotta say this is a gorgeous colour page and a fitting tribute to Yama-jii. I think the white background and lighter colours make it look like the Captain-Commander is ‘walking into the light’ and passing on to the other side.
Page 2 – You gotta love these Yamamoto/Shunsui exchanges. Though they don’t happen very often they’re always fun to read (personally I think Yama-jii likes Shunsui more than Ukitake XD). Looks like the 8th Division Captain has always been a trouble maker but isn’t that why we love him so much? To us the painting is obviously a portrayal of Yamamoto’s Bankai but the way Shunsui assumes it’s a picture of a god or a myth just further proves how much of a boss Yamamoto is – he’s so great his power can be compared to that of a god. We also see that people thought Yamamoto wasn’t the type to place sentimental value to things or have appreciation of artwork.
Page 3 – It seems the picture is there as a reminder to Yama-jii that his power isn’t something he can take lightly. He obviously doesn’t like this side to himself since he refers to it as a monster – he knows he can become a demon and seems to hate that. He also acknowledges that his actions in the past weren’t the best and Soul Society suffered as a result and he doesn’t want that to happen again. He’s resolved that he’ll never let that monster be seen again. Shunsui doesn’t accept such wishful think and asks what if it does return.
I love the amount of detail in the bottom panel. It fully shows the toll time has had on Yama-jii. He knows he’s at the end and is accepting it gracefully I feel. He’s just a tired old soul waiting for that eternal rest.
Page 4 – To be honest I don’t know how I feel about Yama-jii being cut in two. Yes, it’s very dramatic and shocking but I don’t know if it’s a fitting death for him. We see how the chapter got its name now. I think a more fitting death would have been something similar to One Piece’s Whitebeard’s death.
I think that would have been a death more befitting and it would have shown Yamamoto was immovable even in death – a fitting tribute to such an amazing man.
Page 5 – Shunsui and Ukitake sense that Yama-jii is dead. Shunsui loses concentration and gets cheapshotted. So we already see the effect Yamamoto’s death is having on his troops.
Page 6 – Title page with lots of kanji most of us don’t understand lol.
Page 7 – Bach is obviously enjoying himself very much and he should. He killed the man that no-one else could. Yes, he had to steal his Bankai to do it but he did it none the less. Good for you, Bach!! But speaking ill of the dead? Not so good, Bach. Just shows how much disdain he has for the Shinigami. It kinda looks like Yama-jii is prostrating before Bach’s awesomeness.
Page 8 – Looks like Bach’s packing up camp. But what’s this? Yama-jii is alive and trying to fight back?! And as quickly as a second round looked like it was going to happen it had an end put to it. Just how many pieces is Yama-jii gonna end up in?
Page 9 – Bach is obviously not taking any chance. He’s definitely done his research. We all remember what happened when Yama-jii got a hold of Aizen in his dying moments…
Bach then continues to show his hate for Yamamoto by stepping on his head – does his disrespect know no end?!?! I find it interesting that Yama-jii wasn’t among the five special war potentials. Raw power is obviously not a requirement to gain a title. I guess it’s your capabilities more than anything else. Then Bach asks the question everyone wants the answer to – Why didn’t Yama-jii heal his arm?
Page 10 – Bach came to the same conclusion I did months ago – it’s because of pride. Yama-jii isn’t the sort of guy to ask for assistance from the humans he’s sworn to protect – that would defeat the purpose. To him, he is above humans (hence the name Deaths GODS) so to accept help from them would have made him feel weak I suppose. He tried to take too much onto his great shoulders and evidently paid the ultimate price
Page 11 – So it turns out the Gotei 13 weren’t always the good guys they are made out to be. I guess this make sense in a way. For the Gotei to be the undisputed guardians of Soul Society they must have obviously wiped out any and all other competition and as we’ve seen from Yama-jii’s Bankai, he isn’t afraid to play dirty. And to think Yamamoto was once a bad guy. Sure he can be a bit strict every now and again but to find out he was the scumbag of his time? Shocking. It’s also interesting the way that the original ‘Divisions’ lacked the hierarchy system that the Gotei 13 has. It seems back then it was just about getting stuff done regardless of who you were under. The Quincy Extermination must have had a profound effect on him if it made him want to change completely. And it seemed he fell into the ‘Good guy’ trap of being honourable not that it’s a bad thing but maybe the Gotei might actually be more effective if they were all as sly and cunning as Mayuri or Shunsui.
Page 12 – Bach seems to think the current Gotei 13 is a shell of its former guerrilla self and to an extent he’s right. Having a code of honour when it comes to fighting is a bit self-righteous and Shunsui seems to understand a lot…
Just because you feel your intentions are for the greater good doesn’t actually mean they. Sometimes you gotta fight dirty just for the fact you know your opponents will.
Page 13 – Considering the way Yama-jii’s body had been desecrated, having it blown to bits actually did the Gotei a favour. Since none of them saw him in this state, the Yamamoto that was powerful, immovable and just generally someone they admired is the lasting image they’ll have of him instead of one where he is fully at the mercy of his opponents. When Bach gives the order to ‘violate’ Soul Society it sort of personifies it, making it seem like a helpless woman about to get raped. And it really is helpless – her children, the Shinigami are powerless to protect her from what is about to happen to her.
Page 14 – We get a bit Summoning no Jutsu lol (If you don’t read Naruto you won’t get the joke :P)
Page 15 – Enter the Quincy Soldat. The ignorance on the part of the Shinigami is quite shocking to be honest. For an ‘ordinary soldier’ of the Gotei 13 to not be worried about an enemy because he is ‘ordinary soldier of the rebel army’ just shows how pompous the Shinigami can be. Would he be as cocky if he was up and against an ordinary Arrancar (who would most probably wipe the floor with him)?
Page 16 – He and his fellow Shinigami soon pay the price for their ignorance. The Soldat walk all over the Shinigami with relative ease it seems. I’m glad Buzzbee survived Yama-jii’s attack. I’ve never been a fan of character’s being killed off just to show off another character’s abilities. We still hardly know anything about this Stern Ritter but it looks like we’ll get to see some more of him…yay!
Page 17 – And so Soul Society falls. Talk about effect. The powerhouse that was the Gotei 13 has been brought to its knees effortlessly. Finally we get a mention of the fabled Zero Division. Everyone has been hammering on about them for years but it looks like they’ll soon make an appearance. They really must be something if Bach is giving the order to temporally retreat. Can’t wait!!
Page 18 – An unexpected visitor? Who could it be?! I’m thinking it’s either Zero Division or whoever saved beat Opie (My money’s on Grimmjow). Guess we’ll have to wait until next time.