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Song to listen to while reading this chapter: "Magia" by Kalafina

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634Burner Finger 4

And to think everyone was complaining about the size of Zangetsu.

So we start off with Bazz-B being sent flying by the force of Haschwalth's reverse-seppuku attack. Against all odds, it didn't cut him halfway in half, but it did f*ck him up pretty badly, as seen by him coughing up a good pint of blood. Haschwalth is all "dun do this Mr. Y-man no like it" but Bazz, understandably, is all "SCREW BACH I HAVE FEELINGS" and activates Burner Finger 4, thus proving that he CAN use it outside of Quincy: Vollständig and relieving Mohrp of the most pressing concern in his life. Interestingly, this gets Haschwalth actually, legitimately mad enough to call Bazz by his real name - Bazzard Black. I didn't think he HAD a "real name", but there you go. It's totally badass, gotta say.

634Hubert asks

hey pretty boi

After Bazz demonstrates that he, too, can cut things with a sword, we go BACK TO THE PAST once more, this time 3 years after the events of last chapter's flashback. Both Bazz and Haschwalth are in the Sternritter, with Haschwalth as captain and Bazz as a new recruit, and Bazz is challenging Jugo to fight him. Thing is, even back then Yhwach frowned on this behavior (specifically Sternritter fighting other Sternritter), making it punishable by death. Hubert, being Hubert, is all "I'll knock him down a peg" but Jugo's all "no way I'm watching u buster". Then we start flashing back and forth between past and present as Bazz explains all this; he didn't believe he had lost to Jugo yet, so he kept challenging him, but it didn't take. Poor guy. Oh, and also Hubert WAS a Sternritter. Yaaay.

634Burning Full Fingers


Eventually, Jugo gets tired of all this dodging crap and cuts off Bazz's arm. Wow. Brutal. Seeing his arm cut another innocent pillar in half in the distance, Bazz uses his remaining hand for the long-awaited 5-finger attack...Burning Full Fingers. Not quite the name everyone was expecting, but alright. This attack creates a cone of flame that spirals toward Haschwalth...who promptly dodges it to avoid singing his hair and unseams Bazz from the naves to the chaps. With blood just pouring out of him, Bazz grabs hold of Jugo and admits his loss before stating that he thought this would be more...shameful. Without saying a word, Haschwalth walks away, leaving Bazz to collapse while remembering their first meeting. HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG.

Now this was a very dynamic chapter, going from awesome to sad and back and forth just about every page. I liked seeing Bazz finally showing off burner Finger 4 properly and using his ultimate attack, but his words about being defeated and how Haschwalth clearly felt sorry for him destroyed me. A very solid ending to this tragic of a fight.

And before we get to the poll, I'd like to ramble about how much I liked this flashback as a whole. While I personally think this arc is the best of them all, I'll readily admit that the antagonist introduced haven't been fleshed out nearly as much as the Espada were, primarily in terms of their interactions and relationships with each other. Sure, we got the occasional moment of camaraderie, banter, humor, and so on, but a lot was left up to implication; this isn't necessarily a bad thing on its own, but since there were so many Sternritter I felt that there was plenty of potential to explore how they connected to each other. This flashback provided a perfect example of why and how it should've been done; set up hints early on that something was up between two Sternritter (Bazz having a nickname for Haschwalth), then explore how it came to be. I'm not saying this should've been done for every single Sternritter because god knows that some of them were boring and others were unimportant, but I think just about everyone's enjoyed this flashback because it was extremely effective in establishing the bond between Bazz and Jugo, as well as how that bond was obliterated. You get full points from me, Kubo.

Thoughts on this chapter?

The poll was created at 10:10 on July 9, 2015, and so far 116 people voted.