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Retsu Unohana (formerly known as Yachiru Unohana)
The first and eleventh Kenpachi’s are fighting with no restrictions (where no one around them can get hurt). The main purpose of the fight is to release Kenpachi Zaraki from his self-imposed restriction to weaken himself so that he can enjoy his fights for a longer period of time. Unohana has been healing him after every blow not because he gets stronger after being killed (Like Goku of Dragonball) but to make him realize he doesn’t need to hold back and he can enjoy the fight at full power (at least against her).
The chapter begins as the two Kenpachi’s exchange blows with the importance being that Zaraki is apparently finally warmed up. After being stabbed numerous times previously and not dealing much damage himself he seems to be getting back into a state of mind (Cool crush ice killa mode as I call it) that we had only seen between him and Ichigo a very long time ago. He finally lands a seemingly fatal blow against her however Unohana heals herself fairly quick and unleashes her Bankai.
While it is a bit unknown exactly the makings of her Bankai we are aware that it likely enhances her healing on a wider scale than she was previously showing before. Reference Chapter 154 for the last time any release (believed to be Shikai) was shown by her. While I don’t think this is the same thing necessarily it could be that they are inside the Manta like creature. In actuality though it may have just made her stronger since no ability is perceived afterwards. I imagine there will be debates on this matter until KT can give us a bit more information. Anyways moving on.
After Unohana makes her pose Zaraki seems a bit in awe. I believe this is likely a case where he was just getting into a zone to fight evenly with her but was still holding back considerably but unintentionally. By Unohana making the statement that “The play is over”, he realizes that he needs to go into “Cool crush killa mode”.
Upon attacking her again at his full power he begins to feel different and we see visuals of the Kenpachi’s fighting but their skin melting away and revealing their bones. This could be actually happening (doubtful even with healing) or this could just be a reference to Chapter 113 where his Reiryoku formed into a skeleton itself. Another idea is that it is an early hint on his Shikai/Bankai ability or perhaps it is the true nature of a Kenpachi’s form/soul when fighting all out. Whatever the case it was pretty cool and I hope there is some meaning behind it besides visual effect.
As Zaraki and Unohana continue fighting he realizes something that we had all thought before but Unohana had doubts about in the previous few chapters. He likes fighting. Not just that but with previous statements said by Unohana last chapter it becomes obvious that Kenpachi was gimping himself for what he thought was enjoyment in prolonging fights when in reality he only gets joy in fighting at full power with no limits.
Kind of twisted irony if you ask me seeing as how any competitive person knows they shouldn’t purposely play down to their opponents level. I’ll give a pass though because honestly Kenpachi Zaraki had never really lost but more than 2 or 3 battles his entire life.
Moving on with the chapter Unohana states to herself she knew everything he just realized (she literally was telling us in the two previous chapters also) and then she compares the two. He limits himself to keep fighting and she heals herself to keep fighting. By that comparison alone it’s easy to see who would come out on top, since healing doesn’t make you stronger as a fighter but just keeps you alive and the best defense is a strong offense, which Zaraki has a lot of.
In the last quarter of the chapter (Cue Fat Lady Singing) Unohana begins to reflect on why she obtained the power to heal. She believes it was for this moment, for the passing of the torch. Technically she is the First Kenpachi and he is the Eleventh so this breaks the mold but this isn’t a Hokage (Naruto!) thing where you can retire and let someone else be Kenpachi. You must kill the previous Kenpachi to become the new one and rules are rules. Zaraki had killed Number ten (his name was Kenpachi Kiganjo) but Unohana herself had moved on without a true successor.
Through the quick flashback of a defeated young Zaraki (likely due to dumbing himself down) we see that she had chosen him a very long time ago as a true Kenpachi. After once again seeing the spark in his eyes she reveals a smile and admits that he was the only man that made her happy. At the same time Zaraki penetra... uhm, I mean stabs her with the last words being “Farewell” from the author.
Kenpachi is really strong but I don’t think he should be so strong and still not have a shikai or bankai, I understand it might get taken by the Quincy Nazi group if he did but it just seems wrong, especially with what Ichigo and Renji are going to have to go through very soon just to get theirs back. Hopefully this gets cleared up a bit since we might have been seeing it without knowing.
Unohana is 5’2 and Zaraki is 6’7 (I rounded down) but I really couldn’t tell during this fight. Not a huge deal in the fight at all but just throwing that out there for all the KenXUno-tards out there. Do they exist? Nevermind.
I’m really happy KT is letting the hair flow with a lot of characters, it’s a nice touch and I always liked the puffy and flowing clothes of the captains so it all works quite nicely.
Did Kenpachi really stab her? I want to say yes without a doubt but you never know with KT. There is a lack of flowing blood from her but obviously the sword is covered in blood, although isn’t that also how Unohana’s sword was after going Bankai? We all have to wait and see what happens but the last panel has been done so many times in other fights with staggering results but I’m hoping for a true death.
I ignored it in the review somewhat but how was it that Kenpachi was only thinking of Unohana and their fight all this time? He never seemed that disinterested when he wanted to fight Ichigo so bad or even Byakuya for that matter. I overanalyze but I don’t get how KT could plan Unohana out so well (rare for him honestly) but not give Kenpachi the same mystery or intrigue. The only hint was the eye scar (not a very good one) and Vice Captain Yachiru being named just that which we still found out recently was the first Kenpachi’s name. UGH! FRUSTRATION!
Yachiru is the 12th Kenpachi!
Well actually I have none except that Unohana is really dead or gonna die because Shunsui said so and KT has taken his non-killing gloves off metaphorically speaking.
Here’s looking forward to the next Chapter and hopefully some progress in another character’s story Ichigo and Renji likely but I’d love to see how Urahara is doing as well.
Last edited by Tenacious Weezy; February 13, 2013 at 05:23 PM. Reason: Minor correction on Kenpachi ranking
Gave this chapter a solid nine. It felt like the ending of the training arc and unlike other boosts of power which have come through actually gaining power in insane amounts of time through all kinds o fvarious short cuts like being in a void of time where you can grow 3 years or having Zans appear to retrieve bankai this training was about using what was already there.
I liked it a lot. good review, good chapter.
great review-- Hope to see one for next weeks chapter! thanks!!!!!!!!!
uhm,I doubt it was zaraki's shikai/bankai the one who made him reveal the bones. It's clear it was due to unohana's bankai,whose effects aren't clear yet,though. btw,nice review
Great review man, i liked your idea on what the melting part was about it made sense in many ways, The fact is Unohana's Bankai was extremely vague to say the least, all we saw was her sword melt from what can only be assumed was her blood, i just wonder if her bankai was in a way an hallucinogenic, fact is we only Kubo knows.
I just really hope he doesn't make this Unohana's death, due to me wanting to know more about her past, since we got Zaraki's past not Unohana's full past (if that makes sense)
The main thing i get from these Zaraki/Unohana chapters was when the RG said to her its not the time to be healing or something along those lines, this is what he meant by it... i mean if he knows Unohana's past he knows she's the only person that can break Zaraki out of his shell.