Bleach 637 Review – Baby, Hold Your Hand
Written by: ClayDragon
Despite the fact that Pernida is getting angrier and angrier, Kurotsuchi decides to take some time out and explain to Kenpachi why he paralysed him. He claims to have immobilised Kenpachi ‘for his own good’, although it’s clear that Kurotsuchi enjoyed it far more than was necessary. Even though his entire body is frozen, Kenpachi can still move his eyes, and Kurotsuchi decides to improve the poison for next time. Ikkaku and Yumichika note that Kurotsuchi used Kenpachi as a test subject for Pernida’s power, and Nemu agrees, saying that she hopes her Captain never changes.
Kurotsuchi then goes back to Pernida, and explains that, thanks to Kenpachi’s ‘sacrifice’, he now understands how the Quincy’s power works. He then claims that Pernida should respect this sacrifice by donating his body to Kurotsuchi’s experiments. This seems to be the last straw, as Pernida gets so worked up that his hood gets ripped cleanly in half, finally allowing us to see what he actually looks like.
As it turns out, Pernida isn’t human. ‘He’ is, in fact, a giant hand. Yes, you read that correctly. With an eyeball with two pupils in the palm, and chains connecting the fingers, Pernida is, according to Kurotsuchi, the left arm of the Soul King. Suddenly, the hand reaches out and breaks the chains that bound the fingers together. As it sheds its cloak, nerves begin to extend from the wrist, and as Ikkaku and Yumichika watch, it grows larger and larger until it towers over the Soul Reapers.
Kurotsuchi points out that the reiatsu of the hand is similar to that of Ukitake’s after he released Mimihagi. He goes on to say that since the right arm existed separately from the Soul King, it’s not too much of a stretch for the left arm to be found elsewhere. Suddenly, black nerves stream towards Kurotsuchi from the tips of the huge fingers. Ignoring Ikkaku and Yumichika’s pleas to escape, Kurotsuchi activates a small shield that negates the nerves.
Seemingly oblivious to the danger, Kurotsuchi goes on to say that the only thing he doesn’t understand is why the left arm is working for Yhwach, given that the Quincies are attempting to overthrow the Soul Society. However, compared to the happiness that Kurotsuchi is experiencing, he claims that his confusion is only a minor issue. At this point, the hand reveals that it can speak, and asks what Kurotsuchi means by ‘happiness’.
Showing the spirit of a true scientist, he says that he is the first person to discover a creature that has never before been thought to exist, and that his discovery keeps on surprising him. The hand begins to release a vast amount of nerves, and as Kurotsuchi tells it to show him more, it talks again. It claims that its name is not ‘left hand’, but rather ‘Pernida’.
So, Pernida is a giant hand. I was not expecting that one. I was hoping for some kind of eldritch, tentacled, Lovecraftian monstrosity, not a freaking hand! Pernida was built up to be mysterious and spooky, and now we get this thing that causes people to burst out laughing when they see it! What the hell, Kubo?
In fact, this whole ‘animated left and right arms’ thing has been annoying me lately. Firstly, the very first time we saw the Soul King (way back in chapter 519), he had both his arms. But then it was said that his right arm fell to the Soul Society hundreds of years ago, and he presumably lost his left arm around the same time, given that it’s had the time to become a Sternritter. Granted, when we recently saw the Soul King he had been reduced to a head and a torso (before Ichigo bisected him), implying that Kubo may have just retconned the number of limbs that he had, but it still bugs me.
Secondly, why are his arms sentient? Did they only gain sentience after they were removed from the main body, or were they always like that? I imagine having sentient hands might get a bit…awkward at times. Thirdly, the fact that the Soul King is now just a torso and a head implies that his legs are missing as well, which leads to the conclusion that we’re going to see animate left and right legs soon. Is the Soul King like Exodia, where you need all five pieces together at the same time to unlock his full power?
Chapter 637 Review – Baby, Hold Your Hand:
Good Things: Kurotsuchi going back to being a mad, amoral scientist.
Kurotsuchi’s facial expressions.
Bad Things: Not much action.
It’s a fucking hand?!
Manga Rating: 2.5/5
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. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. I will be very surprised/impressed if more than three people understand the Manus Kurotsuchius joke.