Now, normally I'd be writing this after updating the character pages once the chapter has actually come out. However, tonight (today?) is a bit different.

See, Mangapanda has decided, for whatever reason, to release the chapter early Tuesday morning instead of late Tuesday night, and while I'd normally have no problem staying up that late, my finals start tomorrow. Hence, staying up all night is not the best of ideas this week.

However, I would never deny you guys a place to discuss the chapter, so I'm creating this shell of a review in advance so that when the chapter actually DOES come out, you guys can talk/rage about it to your hearts' content as per usual. I'll just make a proper review and move the blog to "Ch. 562 - <actual chapter title>" when I get home tomorrow.

So yeah, there you have it. I doubt a vast majority really care about the reason, but I thought I'd put it put there for the 5 who do.

I also just realized that I'm gonna be going back to playing cleanup duty with new info this week. Wonderful, truly.

Song to listen to while reading this chapter: (noticing a theme here?)

And I'm back with an actual review, hoorah.

So, Rukia came with Renji and is going to presumably go heal Rose and Kensei. Makes sense, she's pretty good with Kidō and probably knows some Kaidō. Also, holy shit James has some goddamn endurance for a short chubby guy, what with being able to cheer and jump with half of his lower body missing, and not really expressing any sort of pain at all. Not gonna lie, it's actually really creepy in a way.

Anyhow, Mask has more glorious luchador techniques, including a headbutt and a...super punch, I guess. Also, Renji is still super duper strong. Like, seriously. I'm gonna get to that in a second, but my lord. Also, I was legitimately amused by how the star on Mask's mask turned into a question mark when he was wondering why he couldn't hear Renji. Speaking of which, now we know he's still stupid: some people were wondering why he would ask Renji who he is if he cannot hear him. And, of course, we end off with the end-of-chapter seemingly fatal attack that the opponent bounces back from, which means we'll probably have a wrestler angel next time.

Now, two general things I wanna talk about.

  1. Even though he is stupid and hammy and hero-y and whatnot, Mask, to me, is awesome in his own right: he's like the manga version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and we all love Arnold, right? Well, something occurred to me the other day: if you look at it from his point of view, Mask is like a Silver Age comic book hero. Think about it: he defeats his opponents despite the odds with a completely silly power, he has a very black-and-white view on heroicness and villainry, and he cares deeply for his supporters and whatnot. I'm honestly not sure if Kubo intended to do this, but Mask is kinda like what the average shōnen hero appears to be from the side of the villain; hell, the last two chapters have even had a hero and villain theme going on, and the Shinigami are technically villainous from the viewpoint of the Wandenreich. Just food for thought.
  1. I read through the comments on this blog prior to making this update, and a common trend among them was an issue with the fact that Renji is somehow stronger than two captains who used their Bankai. However, I'd like to explain my view on the matter. Renji is not stronger Reiryoku-wise, he's just physically stronger. Think about it: Renji's strength has been noted quite a few times throughout the series, and it was put on full display during his short fight with Jackie. While I'm not saying Kensei isn't powerful either, he was caught off-guard by the sheer power Mask gains from The Superstar, which is why he was defeated, and as for Kinshara Butōdan, I'm not denying that it is crazy strong, but Rose wasted time explaining what it does, and Mask was able to startle him enough by crushing his eardrums to defeat him. Renji is basically a combination of their two advantages: he knows what The Superstar does and how to stop it, AND he has the physical power to overpower the considerably strong Mask. Plus, he doesn't talk it up, something he's mentioned before: he has very few lines of dialogue in this chapter, and hasn't gone about explaining why he's so powerful or anything. My point is, Renji overpowering Mask doesn't necessarily mean "omg he's above captain level Kubo wth are you doing", just that he's more prepared for such a fight and knows what to do.

Anyhow, the above aside, I do indeed like this chapter. We got to see Mask being a ham some more, and we finally see him being TRULY overpowered. That scared look though.

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