Song of the Week: [You Got Spirit, Kid] by Coheed and Cambria.
Yeah, this was hella delayed. Two closer shifts at work killed my sleep schedule, and thus my blog writing schedule as well. So, I am making amends with what I hope will be a pretty good rant. And with new C&C music.
Taking a break from alphabetical Sternritter coverage, today I will be discussing my favoritter, Bazzard 'Bazz-B' Black. Bazz-B is bearer of the epithet H - The Heat, a pyrokinetic on par with Yamamoto and an irreverent badass rivaling the likes of Grimmjow and Gin. He's hotheaded, brash, and quick to anger, but with sheer power to back up the bravado. He also is not super concerned with Yhwach or his grand designs, openly defying him multiple times.
However, there is more to this mohawked marauder than sheer gumption. Flashbacks in recent chapters reveal a softer side to the flaming haired assailant. As a child, Bazz was admittedly loudmouthed and a bit pompous, but he was also intelligent and caring enough to look after Jugo in his hour of need upon their first meeting. He was also a genius, more capable of Quincy shenanigans than any other Quincy of the day.
But then, everything changed when
the Fire Nation Yhwach's army attacked, burning down the home village of Bazz and Jugo, leaving the two orphaned and homeless. This twisted Bazz a bit, creating a newer, more angry individual. Swearing vengeance on Yhwach, Bazz and Jugo train for years in order to kill the dominating emperor. Upon hearing that Yhwach will be recruiting for his new Sternritter army, Bazz pushes to become a part of this army so that he may infiltrate Yhwach's inner circle.
Then Jugo wrecks everything. He is revealed to be the 'other half' of the Quincy emperor, and is immediately taken into the Sternritter as their captain. Meanwhile, Bazz is also stunned to learn that his seeming genius has been a result of Jugo sharing his power with him subconsciously. Keep in mind that, at this point, Bazz is powerful enough to resist the crushing reiatsu of Yhwach himself. Now, he's been told that he's not good enough to be a Sternritter, and that the seemingly powerless Jugo is infinitely better than him. His ego bruised, Bazz is left behind.
Years later, Bazz makes it into the Sternritter, and has adopted the beginning of the brash persona he is known for. He continuously challenges Jugo to battle, hoping to prove that he is more powerful than his former henchman. He's never appeased, though. Left to fester, the doubt within Bazz leaves him hollow, all but mandating that he create his aggressive shell to hide his perceived inadequacy.
Fast forward over a millennium. Bazz has been betrayed by Yhwach, stripped of his Quincy: Vollständig, and left for dead. This reignites his passion to kill his emperor, leading him to ally with the Gotei 13 in laying siege to the Soul Palace. Upon arriving, who does he find, but his old pal Jugo? A fierce battle ensues, with Bazz busting out all of his most powerful techniques and with Jugo evading each and retaliating with simple, debilitating sword strikes. Struck down by his oldest and closest friend, Bazz remarks that he'd thought losing would have felt worse. Inside, though, he knew he would lose this fight, and is glad that his old friend has come so far in life. Bloody, defeated, and dying, Bazz collapses as his friend walks away.
Why do I recount this tragic tale for you, when it is readily available on the wiki and in manga format for all to see? Simply put, I recount it because it is tragic, and in tragedy there is a dark beauty. Bazz-B is unquestionably one of the best developed characters in Bleach history, rivaling even Ichigo for sheer scope of growth. His journey from a brash youth to a bitter rebel to a defeated yet still vibrant warrior is Shakespearean in essence. The tale of Bazz is a monument to what man can create when setting ink to paper, and a portrait into the mind of its creator. So, I ask this of you, only: when the times in your life seem dark, and it seems you have no recourse but to surrender, remember Bazz, and fight on.