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Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "All Is Hell That Ends Well" by Two Steps From Hell
Well, Kubo, you've proven that you still know how to tug at my heartstrings.
So we start off not with a flashback, but a continuation of the fight from last chapter. Turns out, Burner Finger 2 is more of a swiping attack, but Haschwalth's skills to pay the bills let him avoid it and go for an aerial assault, leading Bazz-B to summon his own Spirit Weapon - in a clear view, no less. Thanks for that. THEN we go to the past an indeterminate number of years ago, where a young boy is epicly failing to shoot a rabbit with a bow and arrow. Cue a Heilig Pfeil going right through the poor thing as Bazz-B - in an honest-to-god superhero costume, no less - criticizes the boy's aiming skills. Said boy turns out to be none other than Jugo, who, as I predicted last week, is still incredibly fabulous even as a young lad. Turns out, Bazz was a bit more compassionate as a kid, quite a bit in fact: he followed Jugo because he didn't think the poor kid could actually hunt anything, since he suuuucks. Oh, and it turns out Bazz was actually pretty talented as a kid, to the point where he was the only one who could actually make a Spirit Weapon at his age; apparently, Jugo's just using a wooden one. Lamer.
But things take a darker turn when we learn that Haschwalth's living with his uncle and needs to hunt at least one rabbit before he returns. Judging by the bruises on his arm, it's pretty clear what the consequences for failure are. Seeing this, Bazz-B (in one of the kindest acts I've seen in this series in a long time) throws the rabbit he just killed to Jugo so he can bring it home and promises that he himself will take Jugo in and teach him all he needs to know; they'll become the strongest Quincies. D'awwww, what a guy. Also, Jugo's uncle is creepy as hell. Back to the present, Bazz-B's just ruining the feng shui with his wall-destroying shenanigans, and when Jugo asks him to take it outside, his response is to melt more of the palace into lava. Gosh, what a jerk. Back in the past again, we finally get context for the burning panel at the end of 630: turns out, that's Bazz-B's village (not an orphanage, darn it) and Yhwach is the one who burned it, along with the forest. Apparently, the bastard was conquering countries because lol why not. Because of this, Bazz and Jugo resolved to train, become stronger, and kill Yhwach after getting close to him. I smell a set-up for how Haschwalth either became loyal to Yhwach despite this or has been planning a betrayal all along.
Then, in something I'm positive no one saw coming, Zeidritz is seen on-screen again. In case you don't remember (and I don't blame you if so), this guy was seen for one panel during the skeleton party Yamamoto threw back near the beginning of the arc, so lord knows I wasn't expecting to see HIM again. Apparently, even though they've already conquered all the nearby countries, Yhwach still wants more - namely Soul Society - and to conquer that, he's gonna need a special army: the Sternritter.
Very enjoyable chapter this week. I really enjoyed seeing how the friendship between Bazz and Jugo started, especially with the act of kindness on Bazz-B's part. The brief panels of fighting were also good, and I'm glad Kubo interspersed them with the flashback to keep a sense of action and presence. Oh, and Yhwach's a dick. Also, ZEIDRITZ. I won't stop being surprised by that one for at least a week.