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Ch. 602 - Bane Licking Good

Xilinoc October 23, 2014 User blog:Xilinoc

Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "Mr. Crowley" by Ozzy Osbourne

Well okay then.

So we start off with Askin explaining the true nature of The Deathdealing and how it lets him control the amounts of a substance that would be considered lethal, in terms of how much is actually lethal. That first page with the list of lethal dosages threw me for a loop, but okay. Then, Nimaiya collapses because it turns out that Askin made the blood in his body lethal to him at its current volume. Then, Askin actually pulls out a bow - first time we've seen a legit one in, what, 7 chapters? - and prepares to strike. Well, at least he's pragmatic in that sense. But then, Nimaiya SLITS HIS OWN THROAT to let the blood flow out, thus decreasing the amount in his body and going beneath the lethal dosage amount. Wow. I am impressed.

Of course, as Askin correctly points out, Nimaiya will eventually die if he just lets his blood keep spurting out of his throat, which means he will lose no matter what he does, as he has to lose blood in order to stay beneath the lethal dosage. However, what Askin didn't factor in was the warp ability Kirinji being able to outright replace blood with his hot spring water, which Nimaiya uses to heal himself. Of course, this allows Nimaiya to actually kill Askin in one attack this time (somehow he cuts Askin's chest diagonally while finishing off the slash horizontally. I don't even). And finally, Nimaiya challenges Yhwach because all of the elite Sternritter are out of the way - and thankfully, Yhwach seems ready to throw down too.

Overall, good chapter. I liked the sort-of science that went into The Deathdealing, especially with the opening page explaining lethal dosages. However, what I'm more hyped about was, again, Nimaiya. This guy cut his own throat to counter Askin, and he just casually stood up with blood spurting out of his neck. The sheer awesomeness is volatile. And on top of that, Kirinji finally came back into the fold in quite the cool manner, since he's basically the only reason Nimaiya survived. Glad to see Kubo didn't forget about him. I'm predicting either a cut back down to Soul Society or Yhwach proving why he am strongest Russian Quincy next chapter. Either way, the hype is real.

This week, I want to go over the idea of pragmatism in combat. Now, I actually started writing this before this chapter came out, but 602 has provided a good example of not being smart in combat: Askin explaining his power to Nimaiya. (Be forewarned: I'm gonna derail for a bit here) Now, while the series is known for doing this (and for the offender getting properly owned because of it), I feel like this is particularly egregrious because Kubo has proven that characters can explain their abilities without doing so verbally to their opponent - a prime example is Guenael, who detailed the different forms of The Vanishing Point mentally as he used them. We still knew what was going on, but he wasn't putting himself at a disadvantage. Now, I'm well aware that characters just thinking about their powers all the time might get a little silly, but for some powers we DO need some sort of explanation to know just what the hell is going on (would this chapter have made any sense without Askin explaining stuff?) and I feel like continuing to do it in battle to one's opponent is sillier.

Okay, moving on. To my knowledge, we've only ever had 3 noticeably pragmatic characters in the series - Shunsui, Starrk, and Yhwach. Shunsui and Starrk had quite possibly the most interesting battle of the series as a whole because it consisted of them guessing each other's powers and getting a feel for each other's abilities - something rare in manga, from what I can tell. But the more important pragmatist, at least to me, is Yhwach. He's managed to be good at everything Aizen failed to do - actively monitoring the growth of several captains after depriving them of their powers, sending in the rank-and-file last to clean up after wrecking the Seireitei with his elites, doing his damnedest to kill Ichigo as soon as they meet, etc. etc. What's interesting to me about this is that we're so accustomed to villains being idiots in manga that quite a few people think this is a sign of massive intelligence on Yhwach's part. However, wouldn't most of us do the same things, or at least be practical, in his position? I feel like we're so used to shōnen fights that when someone who could be a seinen villain comes along, we presume genius. It's certainly interesting to think about.

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