Bleach 569 Review – “The White Haze”
Written by: ClayDragon
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any creepier…
Upon noticing that Byakuya has broken through his wall of eyes, As Nodt turns to him and remarks that he took a long time to arrive. He then goes on to taunt Byakuya, noting that he tore his stomach out last time they fought, and asks if he lost weight. At this point, Rukia comes to her senses and warns her brother not to look in any of As Nodt’s eyes.
|They're perfectly fine, thanks for asking.|
Immediately after As Nodt declares that it’s too late, most (if not all) of his floating eyes are destroyed by Senbonzakura’s petals. He realises that Byakuya had arrived earlier, and covered the entire area in his Bankai. However, when he remarks that he really wanted to keep the Bankai, Byakuya corrects him, and points out that he’s still holding the hilt of his Zanpakuto. He goes on to say that if As Nodt had used the stolen Bankai even once, he’d have realised that the Bankai uses the entire sword.
|I can't decide if he looks funny or terrifying.|
He then goes on to point out that he only used the Shikai to cover the area, and that he was able to study Senbonzakura again thanks to As Nodt stealing it. At this point As Nodt, for want of a better expression, completely loses his shit. The stitching down his cloak rips open and blood pours out whilst he repeatedly vows that he won’t kill Byakuya, and that instead he’ll torment him with fear whilst ensuring that he’ll remain conscious.
|He looks angry. Do you think he's angry?|
Completely ignoring As Nodt’s monstrous transformation, Byakuya tells Rukia that he felt her reiatsu as he was on his way, and notes that she’s become strong. Feeling that her brother has finally acknowledged her, Rukia begins to cry. Byakuya tells her that fear cannot be born from nothing, and that any anxieties or insecurities can eventually grow into fear. He then asks her if she’s still scared, to which she responds with a no.
|"Let's ignore the hideous transformation in front of us and focus on our family issues."|
The focus then moves back to As Nodt, and he’s transformed into a massive version of himself, with his original body hanging from his lower jaw. His larger form has ribs poking through its skin, as well as an eye hanging out of the socket. After he declares that it’s the end for Byakuya, his opponent agrees, and then passes the duty of defeating As Nodt over to Rukia.
|I've decided. It's terrifying.|
As Rukia readies herself, Byakuya tells her to look at As Nodt, and that when you look at him without fear, you can see his own fear on his face. As he rushes towards Rukia, she activates her Bankai, Hakka No Togame, and a huge white pillar appears in the battlefield.
I don’t imagine that the fight is quite over yet – after all, we still have to see what Rukia’s new Bankai actually does. It looks almost like a nuke made out of ice, but I kind of hope that isn’t the case. After all, there’s already a Bankai that utilises a nuke, and it’s not exactly one of my favourites. Presumably, the pillar was simply a visual representation of the power released by the Bankai, and its effects aren’t related to the white burst of light.
|They're like twins! Extremely creepy twins, but still!|
I’m quite pleased with the fact that Byakuya didn’t steal Rukia’s kill, although given how easily he ripped apart As Nodt’s eyes with just his Shikai, I have to question why he left him to Rukia. After all, he must have arrived before her in order to cover the battlefield with Senbonzakura’s petals, so why would he risk Rukia’s safety by letting her fight As Nodt instead of just killing him right there and then?
|Thank goodness that wasn't As Nodt's basic power.|
Good Things: As Nodt pulling out all the stops in terms of creepiness.
Byakuya didn’t kill-steal as expected.
Rukia finally has a Bankai!
Bad Things: The entire fight seems a bit redundant, given Byakuya’s plan.
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. Pub quizzes are hard, guys.