Synopsis: Excalibur chides Lord Death about giving all of his fears to only one of his fragments, but Death retorts that laws are built out of fear and laws and madness are always fated to be two sides of the same coin. He then says that he used his son for an experiment to corner the witch Medusa, so the responsibility is his own - it wasn't something he wanted to impose on the children. Excalibur says that's no reason to die however, and Death seems to agree, though he wonders what side the new Shinigami will take.
Back on the moon, Maka with Soul, Black Star with Tsubaki, and Death the Kid (almost fully transformed into a true shinigami) with Liz and Patty. The Kishin remarks that Kid is a stupid younger brother, and that he shouldn't have become a true Shinigami.
Down on the Earth, Stein looks up to the moon and comments that an impressive Madness with an oppressive Wavelength is coming from it, prompting Marie to ask if the kids are okay.
Spirit tries to talk to Kid, but Kid ignores him and asks the Kishin if he really just called him 'younger brother'. The Kishin unmasks himself and says that they were both born from the same Shinigami, or a fragment of him rather. Liz and Patty ponder if they really are brothers, but Kid refuses to believe it. He begins to fire away at the Kishin saying that he's speaking nonsense, but the bullets have no effect. Kid charges in, clashing with the Kishin while saying that he can't possibly be father's child. The Kishin says that because Shinigami commit to strict rules, he chooses to instead infuse fear in others, prompting Kid to yell that again that he can't possibly be father's 'copy'. Down below, Maka and Black Star decide to jump in.
Kid asks the Kishin what makes him think he comes from his father's fears, because he doesn't have any fear in himself. The Kishin knocks him away and says that's only because of his inexperience, saying that Kid was created that way so that he would learn to fear. Kid refuses to listen as Kishin continues to berate him, when Maka and Black Star finally jump in, declaring loudly that Kid isn't anything like he thinks. They both attack, but the Kishin blocks them and says they are nothing more than puppets for the Shinigami. Black Star rushes forward still yet, saying 'this is what I think of that' as he repeatedly attacks. The Kishin concedes that he's a fine warrior for a human, and Black Star focuses his power to it's full level, saying that just because he's a human doesn't mean he's weaker than 'a God'. He rushes in with a devastating attack, sending shockwaves all around the area - but the Kishin still blocks it.
The Kishin accuses Black Star of only having this much power because of his blind faith in the Shinigami. Black Star says instead that it's because Kid is his friend, and asks how the Kishin, an incarnation of madness, could possibly understand another person's fears. The Kishin says it's because he is what is known as a God. Black Star re-doubles his efforts saying that if he wants true power, he just has to swear not to fail, but the Kishin is unimpressed, saying that he is the same as Lord Death - they both decide who gets to live and who gets to die.
The Kishin wraps Black Star in some of his tendrils, and slams some of his Madness wavelength right into Black Star's chest. Maka rushes in to save him, but is blown away, and the Kishin brings out his weapon from within himself, preparing to blast at Black Star from pointblank range. Black Star mocks him by biting the end of his weapon, and the Kishin obliges him by blasting Vajura (a laser-like attack) right into Black Star's mouth.
Black Star takes the attack, and appears to slowly dissolve as Tsubaki yells his name. Amazingly however, he recovers and fires the Vajura back out of his mouth into the distance, causing a large mushroom cloud explosion. Maka and Black Star are both stricken speechless, as the Kishin laughs and says Black Star is a scary human. Black Star laughs as well, saying that he doesn't see any reason why he couldn't do that if a God could, saying there's nothing he cannot do. Liz and Patty wonder if Black Star really can do anything, just before he coughs up some blood. Kid asks Black Star if he's okay, to which Black Star asks why he and Maka let him go by himself, though he's fine with it. Maka apologizes, saying that he went too fast for them to follow. Kid thinks to himself that his father is the Kishin's creator one way or the other, and until now he's never questions his father's goals...Black Star interrupts his thoughts saying that they didn't come here to do that, but rather they came to beat the Kishin to a pulp. Kid acknowledges that he knows that.
On the ground of the moon below, Sid runs up to Spirit and asks what happened to Chrona. Spirit doesn't answer him, and simply says that this is an intense battle, and he hopes that Maka is okay.
The Kishin resolves to destroy his foes at last, and Maka is surprised that Black Star's attacks didn't have any effect. Kid says it must be because he's not just the Kishin now, but is powered up even further by the 'Black Blood' Medusa injected into him - ordinary attacks aren't going to work anymore.
From within his weapon form, Soul begins to ponder what to do. A disembodied voice yells to him that it's his turn to fight, saying that without using the Black Blood they won't win. Soul agrees with him, and the disembodied voice - revealed to be the Little Demon inside of Soul - says that this is his long-awaited gig.
Thoughts: First off, I'd like to apologize for being a little behind on this one, as well as it not being the best review really. The scanlation that I'm currently reading for this doesn't exactly have the best translation - either that or this chapter's writing is insanely bizarre compared to the norm. I was able to more or less follow along though, and figure out the main points of it, so I'll list it all in bullet points here before we move on, just in case you got lost in the stuff above.
* Excalibur and Lord Death talk about what's going to happen when Kid becomes a 'true Shinigami'.
* Kid clashes with the Kishin, who is apparently his 'brother' in some ways, refusing to bellieve it.
* Black Star rushes in to attack the Kishin, repeatedly striking with higher and higher levels of power, and even ends up impressing the Kishin - but to no avail.
* Other characters comment on the intensity of the battle.
* The Kishin resolves to kill everyone with his next move.
* Soul decides to turn to the Black Blood inside of him after all.
And that's pretty much it.
I'm kind of saddened by where we seem to be heading with Lord Death. He's one of my favorite characters (one of many actually), so if the implications that he's going to die when Kid 'ascends'. It kind of makes sense in a way I guess, if Kid really is more of a 'piece' of his father rather than an actual son, but it's still sad.
And speaking of making more sense, I suppose this also explains why we've had absolutely no mention of a mother for Kid. There's not one if he essentially budded off of his father.
It's kind of odd to see Excalibur return in a less annoying and more informative capacity here, since he did the same thing at the end of the anime, which had long gone it's own way before we got to this story point. I'm fine with it so long as he doesn't revert to his normal antics, because God do I loathe the usual Excalibur.
I didn't see the concept of Kid and the Kishin being brothers coming, at all, but now that it's out there, I can't NOT see it. Their faces and hair are kind of similar, and it certainly adds some more layers to Lord Death and why this is all so personal for him. It'll depend on how this all plays out from here how much I like it overall though, but I have confidence that Ohkubo is delivering us somewhere good.
I hope I'm not missing anything too big in the dialogue between Kid and Kishin, as it takes up most of the chapter, but that's where the scanlation REALLY gets bad. But beggars can't be choosers, I'll simply have to wait to eventually pick up the official translation of this material when it comes out.
The highlight of the chapter (for me at least) is when Black Star starts to fight the Kishin, and seemingly does better than waht anyone else has been doing so far. The character really annoyed me at the start of the series I'll admit, especially since he seemed like a veiled ripoff of the Naruto Uzumaki character. As the series went on though, he quickly became my favorite character, as he gets to a place where he can back up his big words and THEN SOME. Now he's an utter badass, he knows it, and he's going to slam you in the face with it with style. I love it. And no scene shows that as perfectly as him regurgitating the Vajura laser. I didn't think it would be possible for him to top a moment in a previous chapter where he CATCHES energy beams and THROWS THEM BACK...but he found a way.
Black Star also raises a great point, that they don't have time to worry about what the Kishin is saying, they just have to beat him. I do worry though that maybe, if Kid's ascension causes instant death for his father, we'll never learn the truth of this whole matter...but I doubt Ohkubo would do that to us.
I'm a little stunned that Soul is going to use the Black Blood again in such a crucial moment, but it was still an element...so I'm interested to see where it's going.
It seems like we're thick in the big finale arc for this manga if I had to guess - it certainly seems to have the same sort of feeling as the later portion of Fullmetal Alchemist, another Shonen Gangan title - and while I'm wishing I'd jumped into the manga sooner than I did, I'm super-excited to be here for the end as we crawl (presumably) closer to it.