Song of the Blog: [The Artificial] by Miss May I
The only thing on Bleach Wiki that even Aizen can't plan for is coming back for another round!
This is going to be a very special iteration of the 'alphabet' style of blog. For those who can't remember (and as it's been months I cannot blame you), the alphabet blog is where I pick a few Sternritter at random and give each some time in the spotlight. This time, I am doing all of the 'artificial' or 'abnormal' Ritters. If they don't exist, share a letter, or aren't technically human, we'll be covering them here.
To start off with, I will talk about Gremmy Thoumeaux. Bearer of the epithet V- The Visionary, Gremmy possesses the ability to turn his very thoughts into corporeality. This allows him nigh-infinite abilities, from weapon materialization, to cloning, to even crafting new lives. Fittingly for a thought-based combatant, Gremmy is just a brain in a jar, his own body being a construct. Gremmy proved to be one of the most capable Sternritter, quickly defeating 11th Division Vice-Captain Yachiru Kusajishi and stealthily assassinating 3rd Division Captain Rōjūrō Ōtoribashi and 6th Division Captain Kensei Muguruma. Unfortunately, Gremmy met his match in 11th Division Captain Kenpachi Zaraki. Zaraki, through either intuition or dumb luck, intimidated Gremmy into imagining himself imbued with power equaling that of his foe. The Sternritter, however, neglected to create a body capable of containing that much power, and accidentally destroyed himself. Now, I'm not the first to say that Gremmy's power was ridiculously overpowered, but I do like the way that a Ritter that no one could possibly counter was defeated by his own hubris. Kubo played his mini-arc well, and, at the very least, Gremmy make Kenpachi look even more badass without the captain even having to do anything.
As mentioned before, Gremmy's power allowed him to create new beings. At least one of these was showcased directly. Guenael Lee was once believed to be Sternritter V, bearing the epithet V- The Vanishing Point, Guenael possessed the ability to basically become imperceptible. He could alternatively become invisible or intangible, and even possessed the ability to phase out of people's memories. Despite his (also ridiculously OP) abilities, Guenael served only to introduce Yachiru's Shikai and preface the Gremmy vs Kenpachi amini-arc. With Gremmy's reveal, Guenael was dispelled, having never truly existed to begin with.
The next Ritter I'm covering is a bit of a sticky subject. Sticking solely to the manga, Shaz Domino is the most mysterious Sternritter of all. He briefly appeared as Ichigo Kurosaki entered Seireitei during the first Wandenreich Invasion. Dude never got to announce his power or even his letter, as he was steamrolled by Ichigo almost immediately. However, if we delve into the not-quite-canon realm of fanbooks, we see more of Shaz. In the 13 BLADES fanbook by Ryohgo Narita, Shaz is revealed to be another of Gremmy's constructs, bearing the epithet V- The Viability; with his power, Shaz can use the Reishi around him to heal his injuries, and, as a side effect of the ability, Shaz pulled enough Reishi from his surroundings to become real in his own right, with do ties to Gremmy's power. Unfortunately, his healing powers could not counter a newly empowered semi-alive Izuru Kira, who defeated him rather handily. None of this has been referenced in the manga as yet, but I felt it was important to mention, because it's better than nothing.
With that, I think it's time to move away from the Gremmyverse. As the next topic of discussion, I present the LLoyd brothers, Royd and Loyd. Both brothers are known as Sternritter Y, and both bear the epithet Y- The Yourself. Loyd's version of The Yourself allows him to copy the appearance and powers of any other person; he used this ability to copy the strength and abilities of Kenpachi Zaraki. However, if his foe becomes more powerful than they were at the instant of the copying, they can still counter Loyd's abilities. Royd's iteration of The Yourself also copies appearance, but instead of copying powers, it copies personality and memory. Royd impersonated Yhwach during the first Wandenreich invasion, and was capable enough in this regard to defeat Zaraki and hold his own against a Bankai-wielding Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto for a time. The Lloyd brothers having a duel Schrift between them was quite the interesting development, and Royd at least is one of the most powerful Ritters unveiled. It's a shame that they were used simply to show off Yamamoto and Yhwach, but they at least got some decent action.
Up next is the enigmatic BG9. BG9 is (probably) a robot, and bears the title of Sternritter K, though what precisely the K stands for is a complete mystery to me. Like, I don't even have a guess. What is known is that BG9 fought 2nd Division Captain Suì-Fēng during the first Wandenreich invasion, succeeding in stealing her Bankai. During the second invasion, though, the captain regained her Bankai thanks to the timely arrival of a Shin'eiyaku-bearing Marechiyo Ōmaeda. Despite using its awesome Reishi minigun, a hidden missile array, and even its Quincy: Vollständig, BG9 was incapacitated by a blast from Suì-Fēng's Jakuhō Raikōben. It was then carted back to Silbern where it was judged by Jugram Haschwalth along with Cang Du; if its compatriot's faith is any indication, BG9 was likely summarily executed for incompetence.
The last Sternritter I'm covering today is a bit of a handful. Pernida Parnkgjas is Sternritter C, bearer of the epithet C- The Compulsury and a member of Yhwach's elite guard, the Schutzstaffel. It is also the Left Arm of the Soul King, a diety in its own right that governs progress and evolution. Its Schrift allows it to project its nerves into its surroundings, granting it the ability to control whatever they infiltrate. It also displays an ability to adapt quickly to new combat situations and to regenerate and duplicate itself from severed parts of its body (for example, if its finger is severed, it will grow a new finger and the finger will grow a new Pernida). Pernida's power came from its limitless adaptibility: though more subdued and delayed than Gremmy's imagination realization, Pernida's ability to grow exponentially more capable as fights dragged on proved difficult for even 12th Division Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi to counter. It was eventually defeated when, after a brief battle, it consumed much of a defeated Nemu Kurotsuchi's body, causing her modified cells to drive his healing factor wild and making the errant limb implode. Pernida had an interesting power, but I am disappointed that a) he got matched with Mayuri, who'd already had a major fight this arc with the 'Marching out the ZOMBIES' sub-arc and b) that the Pernida sub-arc ended without explaining why Pernida, as a part of the Soul King, fought alongside the Soul King's killers. So, while it was intriguing, Pernida's sub-arc just seemed a bit underwhelming to me.
Well, that's it for this iteration of Let's Talk Bleach! I'd tell you when my next blog will be, but I don't even know. In the meantime, be sure to respond to the poll and leave your opinions on the Sternritter discussed here in the comments. Bye for now, and I'll be back eventually!