With Lille's highly controversial death-dodging (hopefully) final form appearing in the past two weeks, I figured it would be a good time to tackle some of the more nonsensical powerups that have occurred.
While it's important that main antagonists give the heroes a difficult time, thus making the battle exciting, you need to clearly define the range of the antagonist's power and give a clear reason that they either overcame or lost to an attack. Let's give an example of an antagonist who was amazingly powerful yet kept to his limits: Byakuya. Byakuya's abilities were clearly defined from the outset, and fell completely in line with the standard Zanpakuto abilties we had learned about that arc. Senbonzakura's power is overwhelming in the hands of a master, which Byakuya is, but it is beatable, as Ichigo demonstrated after working his ass off to get strong enough to counter it. And when Ichigo drove Byakuya to his limit, he didn't pull another ability out of his ass, he stuck with his predefined ability set and pushed his endurance to the max. That helped make Byakuya a great antagonist and helped established the Soul Society as one of the best arcs in Bleach.
Now let's get into the ugly stuff, starring two powers that are similar and appeared in two different arcs: Gremmy's The Visionary and Aizen's Hogyoku. I lump them together because they are very similar: letting the host do whatever they want. Aizen's Hogyoku is a bit more on a smaller scale, but it is still rather cheap nonetheless. During the part of the arc where Kisuke, Isshin, and Yoruichi were battling him, it basically became a game of seeing what kind of asspull Aizen would use to get out of danger (I dubbed this the Sosuke Aizen Effect, which basically means that no matter what the secondary characters do to the main villain, the villain will always find a way out. Let's look at the powers the Hogyoku bestows thanks to them being listed on Aizen's page. Enhanced strength and durability, yeah, that's all right. Regeneration...okay...breaking down his body into shards and teleporting? Wait, what? And then there's his final form, which basically threw everything else out the window.
Now Gremmy...Gremmy is similar, but not quite. I could tell that we were in for a very strange fight when Gremmy revealed his abilities, and I was right. However, due to this being a shonen manga, he used them in creative, but still rather bad, ways. HE COULD HAVE WON IF HE IMAGINED KENPACHI DEAD. It would have also worked to completely surround Kenpachi in the space-void, or turned his bones into cookies. Overall, Kubo really bit more than he could chew with that one, and though he did have some creative moments, it ultimately fell short as he needed to rely on some BS about Gremmy not being able to imagine Zaraki's full power.
Now for the main attraction. When Lille first introduced the X-Axis, I loved it due to its simple, yet creative nature. The Vollstandig with the hole-firing wings was also appreciated. When it came to Lille's ability to phase in and out of objects, I was fine with that too because it went well with his power. However, it was a cheap powerup, which would have been fine were it harder to unlock, but apparently the only cost it brings to Lille is embarrassment. Now the guy is basically invincible, with the only proven way to harm him being some Bankai magic. We have yet to hear an explanation as to why he survived getting his head blown off, and the bird form is just...nuts. I liked the Pernida battle mainly because Pernida's ability to outwit Mayuri was based on information that we already knew or learned as the fight went on. Lille, however, just turned into a hot mess.
That's all I have to say. Agree/disagree with my opinions? Think of any other powerups that are just dumb? Share them in the comments!