Unfortunately, Kubo continues to have the worst timing for giving characters backstory.
But seriously, does anyone really care about developing a character that has already died? Even worse, the character in question, in my opinion, wasn’t that vital to the storyline at this point in time. Sure, Sasakibe was one of the first casualties and gave us the first indications as to the power of the Stern Ritter, but he was quite weak. It would have been better to show his Bankai in action, when he used it himself, than wait for an enemy to use it against Old Man Yamamoto.
The present day story was more intriguing than the backstory of Sasakibe and Yamamoto. I did like how we saw their relationship and received a reason for why Sasakibe never used his Bankai, however, if we had this while he was alive and still relevant to the plot, then I wouldn’t have minded its timing. It just seems ineffective to detail characters lives after they died, unless it’s some arc about the entire history of some major multi-character focused event.
The Stern Ritter showed that they can use the bankai’s that they stole. I thought it was interesting that Sasakibe died, yet this character was still able to use the Bankai. I could have thought one of the rules in the world was that when a character dies, so does their Zanpaktou and therefore, their Bankai. Does stealing it nullify this rule?
Unsurprisingly, as many people may have predicted, the Bankai, when used by the Stern Ritter, are not as powerful as they are when used by their original owners. This was fatal as Yamamoto was able to withstand the attack and then lash out using his Ryujin Jakka.
The chapter was wholly predictable as anyone could have predicted how the battle would go does. What wasn’t welcome was the backstory that really did not aid anything at all. It may have fleshed out and given us a glimpse of Old Man Yamamoto in the past and his relationship with Sasakibe, but it came at an odd time and left us with a promise unfulfilled. We would never get to see the perfect form of the Bankai that he was trying to show the world with. This is unfortunate indeed. Regardless, hopefully this means characters can launch successful assaults against the Stern Ritter now, and hopefully, we can get back to Ichigo and get him out of the prison that is holding him.
GO Rating: 3/5