Just when Bleach have almost snuffed out all my fandom, it comes back with a twist that piques my interest again.
The recent lame fights have been formulaic, repetitive, unoriginal, and unconvincing. Take the Soifon fight: here, we are asked to believe an assassin, a silent killer, would announce to her opponent her method of kill, just so that she could assess the strength of her opponents. But wasn’t she, at the same time, being assessed by Barragan who was watching the entire fight at the sideline?
And the internal piercing plot-twist, lame. Here, we are asked to believe that the Arrancar was only protecting the spots that Soifon had struck already but could not care less anywhere else that she might want to strike next. But wouldn’t that just mean that Soifon could just keep on jabbing at the Arrancar until there would be so many spots on him that he could not defend them all? That would have been a bigger tease if you ask me.
Then suddenly, a long absent character shows up. She doesn’t wield any particularly cool Zanpakutou or can she sweat off a ton of reiatsu, but she bears the potential to become an epic betrayer, either to her shinigami comrades or to her ex-captain, whom she still calls her captain.
The chapter is called Dregs of Hypnosis, and it hints at Hinamori’s psyche. Whose side is she on? Does she even know the answer herself? If there’s one aspect I love about the villian Aizen, it is his efficiency of using every person around him: he simply does not keep anyone alive whom he does not have a thread attached to, which he can pull on later. What part of Aizen’s plan is Hinamori?
But this plot line can reveal another layer. Soul Society in their healing of Hinamori may have also set up a booby trap within her, waiting for Aizen to pull his own trigger. Fight fire with fire; treachery with treachery. Of course, Hinamori has fat chance of fooling Aizen, but she doesn’t have to know what she’s been set up for. The message in Kira’s fight already hints at how dirty Soul Society is willing to deal with their enemies. Sacrificing Hinamori would not only break new ground for a genre that never kill off a recurring character, but also create a darker image of Soul Society that blurs the line between good and evil as intertwined as the phenomena of Arrancars and Vizards.
Yes, can you tell already? I am trying very hard to like Bleach again.