Bleach 537 Review – “Prinz von Licht”
Written by: ClayDragon
The flashback is over! For real this time.
Defying all expectations, Isshin gets right into explaining why Masaki died. He tells Ichigo that Quincies have a skill called ‘Blut’ (‘Blood’), which helps to raise their skills by making reiatsu flow through their veins. In particular, Masaki’s ‘Blut Vene’ (‘Blood Vein’) was very powerful, and should easily have protected her against the Grand Fisher. It turns out that, after the attack by the Vasto Lorde, Masaki became a mixed-blood Quincy (half Quincy, half Hollow). Isshin then reveals that he was aware that she had fought the Grand Fisher, but didn’t go to her aid as he was confident that she could handle it herself. He then changes the subject to Uryu’s mother, and asks if Uryu ever spoke about her.
|I wasn't aware he even had one until you asked.|
It turns out that Katagiri did become Uryu’s mother (All who raised your hands last week, well done!) and that she was a mixed-blood Quincy like Masaki. Apparently, on the day that Masaki died, Katagiri fell into a coma, and died three months later. Nine years ago, Yhwach made a selection of Quincies, called ‘Auswahlen’ (‘Holy Selection’). A legend spoke of a sealed Quincy king who, when awakened, would regain his heart after 900 years, his intellect after 90 years, and his power after 9 years. In order to regain that power, Yhwach stole power from every Quincy that didn’t make his selection (i.e. every mixed-blood Quincy) and made it his own. This resulted in Katagiri falling into a coma, and Masaki losing her powers in the middle of her battle.
|"Hey, it stopped raining!"|
It transpires that Yhwach is also the first Quincy, and as a result his blood flows in every Quincy, including Uryu, Masaki and (by extension) Ichigo. Upon hearing this, Ichigo suffers a mild flashback to everything that Yhwach said to him in their last encounter, before thanking his father and leaving his house. As he leaves, he bumps into Ikumi, who gives him back his Substitute Soul Reaper badge. After looking at it and strengthening his resolve, he declares to his dad and to Ikumi that he’s going.
|He doesn't know where or how, but he's going.|
Meanwhile, in the depths of Yhwach’s palace, Haschwald arrives with someone who Yhwach refers to as ‘the subject’. It turns out to be none other than Uryu, dressed in full Vandenreich garb. Yhwach then says for Uryu and him to ‘fight together’.
Whilst Ichigo has said that he’s going, it’s still uncertain as to where he actually plans to go. He can’t go to the Soul Society at the moment, and everyone who could potentially help him is either in Hueco Mundo or the Soul Society, with the possible exception of the Visoreds. Whether he plans to see them or go somewhere else is something that will keep me guessing.
|You double-crossing bastard.|
However, the main talking point about this chapter was Uryu’s appearance, especially since he hasn’t been seen since the start of this arc. Initially, I thought he had joined the Vandenreich out of a sense of duty to the Quincies, but after thinking about it some more, I came to the conclusion that he’s essentially a double agent. The fact that he’d join the same group that attacked his friends in the Soul Society and Hueco Mundo doesn’t make sense unless he plans to betray them at some point.
Whilst the reason behind Masaki’s death seemed a little forced, the conclusion of the flashback and Uryu’s surprise appearance made for quite a decent chapter.
Manga rating: 4/5
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics.