Well okay then, that happened. Thanks, MP, for failing to have a consistent releases schedule.
Anyway, because school, here's an abridged summary: Kensei and Rose are under Mayuri's control (hah knew it), The Zombie takes different amounts of blood in the victim's body to activate or something, Mayuri is prepared for everything ever, Giselle's been stabbed through the heart (dunno if that's really gonna kill her though), Kensei beat the everloving hell out of PePe, and now Liltotto has confronted PePe, probably over being sucker-punched by Meninas and all that.
So yeah, good chapter. Explanations galore and PePe getting rekt.
After considering my new schedule, I've decided to switch things up a bit with the content of the weekly blogs. Since y'all have usually read the chapter by the time I post these, there's not a huge reason to go into a 3-paragraph recap on every chapter anymore; simply listing the major points, as above, should be enough in the way of providing a source for evidence in comments in such. However, I think I've got an alternative for people who want something of a little more substance; every week, when possible, I'll try to go in-depth on my opinion on a theme or aspect of the current arc or set of chapters, e.g. March of the Zombies, Uryū's role, etc., and given the comments on the last few blogs, I've got the perfect thing to start off with: Mayuri's characterization and all-around awesomeness.
When Mayuri first showed up in 589 to save Ikkaku and Yumichika, I had no doubt in my mind that he wasn't going to go blade-to-blade with Giselle (metaphorically) and Bambietta (literally) - after all, he's not a great close-range combatant, as I believe he himself has admitted, so there's no way he would go in guns-blazing. 590 was a pleasant surprise that reminded all of us about his genius and ability to create counters to enemy abilities, and 591 was just great comedy involving the Arrancar; however, at that point I was certain he would remain an armchair general of sorts, having already shown us that he's still a scientist.
Thankfully, I was proven wrong.
When Mayuri first announced his intentions to test drugs on Hitsugaya in 592, I thought "oh okay, this will be like Szayelaporro again," but hoo boy, was I wrong. 593 was pretty much Mayuri proving that he is an incredibly dangerous combatant even at close-range because of his ability to outmaneuver the enemy and ensure that he can protect himself even with his limited skills. The sensors in Ashisogi Jizō were pragmatic, blowing up Hitsugaya's leg after realizing he would resort to physical attacks if blocked was good, and of course, the mental drug thing was pure Mayuri. That's the kind of thing I should have expected someone like him to do - work around his clear lack of power in comparison to the other captains in order to take on those much stronger than he is (and let's be real here, forcing your opponent to not kill you in order for them to keep moving through time is definitely the best way to do that). Immediately afterward, however, he exceeded my expectations again with the side-effects of the drug kicking in and Mayuri himself ensuring Hitsugaya wouldn't get up by using the poison of Ashisogi Jizō - something I'm glad Kubo remembered, as it was sorta glossed over during Uryū's fight with him.
Moving on, 596 went above and beyond all that. Mayuri putting the drugs in the blood of his Arrancar was fine, but him just having blood samples of every member of the Gotei 13 and using that to take control of Giselle's zombies was awesome. So very, very much so. The way in which he casually deduced how The Zombie works on different individuals was also good, but that was by far the highlight.
Another thing I'd like to point out is his new persona. Although he still has some comedic moments like in the Hueco Mundo arc during his fight with Szayelaporro, he seems to have gone back to his darker roots of his SS days, back when he was a complete monster of a person and had no humor about him whatsoever - the best example of this would be the return of his silhouetted form (see right), which was primarily used back then to emphasize how evil he was. This, I feel, is the best way to portray Mayuri. He may be ripe with black comedy, but at the core he is a scientist. A mad one, yes, but a scientist nonetheless. And I feel like the Battle of the Zombies established this better than either of his previous two (canonical) battles. Him vs. Uryū set him up as a scientist with sadistic tendencies, him vs. Szayelaporro proved that he could outmaneuver his opponent in hilarious yet brutal ways, but this battle took both of those things and combined them to prove Mayuri was a combat scientist. Don't get me wrong, Urahara and Aizen can both be considered as such, but they've already had several moments of their own by this point, whereas this was essentially 6 chapter of Mayuri being a baller - which, I think we can all agree, was worth it.