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sahugani
March 30, 2007, 09:28 PM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 269

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OK. Cleaned version is up

Another week is ending and brings us our weekly chapter of Bleach. In my case, it also brings me only a weekend away from the end of spring break. As the week came to a close I was delighted to see the level of humor that all three major series incorporated in the latest releases. After the recent serious chain of chapters chronicling Rukia’s fight, it feels good to just take a bit of a breather. Thanks to blood scanlations for the pics in this review.


Death of an Espada

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the screams of a dying volleyball

As was implied by the way last week’s chapter ended, the Espada 9 has been killed by the third dance of Rukia’s Sodeno Shiraiyuki. As one head lay split in half on the ground the other pleads for Aizen to save him. Aaroniero’s pitiful cries do make this fight seem more believable. As the only Gillian in the Espada, Aaroniero had developed a bit of a superiority complex and felt that since he alone had broken the shackles of weakness that plague his class, he was accepted and cared for by Aizen. In the end, he was just another pawn to Aizen and the other Espada. What is interesting is that he complains about the pain as if it was present when Aizen first gave him his rank. I think that his ability caused his body immense pain as it contained so much randomly assorted reiatsu in one body and that fishtank somehow alleviated that pain.


Victory

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that will make an awesome sig

I don’t think anyone predicted that Rukia would have been the first to take down an Espada. This unexpected twist does do a good job of progressing the arc further though. Being that Rukia was far from achieving Bankai, the hope of her beating an Espada was slim to none from the start. Her emotional battle and subsequent victory served two purposes for the plot. First of all, it took Rukia out of the crew of fighters. Had someone else beat an Espada first, her shikai victory would seem extremely anti-climactic. The emotional aspect of her fight gave her fight extra meaning to make up for the lack of bankai coolness. The second reason is that the defeat of an Espada triggers a boost of activity within the Espada and signals the start of more major fights. As I said before, if she had not been the first victor, she would be either decimated by the higher level Espada or her victory over them would seem anti-climactic.


Rukia’s Promise

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others have lived through worse wounds

Along with beating Aaroniero, Rukia is also faced with the mere task of surviving. She has promised to live for the sakes of both Kaien and Orihime. With Kaien’s words, “do not die alone,” ringing in her mind she reflects on her life and how she almost let him down. The most important thing though is that she has reapplied Kaien’s belief to Orihime. While Rukia is physically alone right now, she knows Orihime is more alone than she is. While none of our heroes know the exact reason why Orihime went with the arrancar, they know in their hearts that her act was not a betrayal and that leaves the option of sacrifice. Rukia knows that emotion better than anyone as she was ready to sacrifice herself to save Ichigo. She knows all the emotions Orihime has felt while imprisoned in Las Noches and can tell that Orihime is ready to die for the sake of her friends. Now that she has remembered Kaien’s words, Rukia will not let Orihime die alone.


Espada Alerted

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Does she realize that the enemy is INSIDE Las Noches

With the death of Aaroniero, we get a quick scan of the responses of the Espada whom we have yet to meet and get to see a couple more subordinates and hear a couple more names. None of them seem fearful from the news (least of all the sleeping one with a pillow on his head) but are instead annoyed or indifferent. Let’s start with the female Espada, whose name is revealed to be Halibel by her subordinate. While she does seem to not care about it, her location seems to betray her intentions. In the meeting from a while back, she more than anyone else worried about Aizen’s warning not to take the intruders lightly. From what I can tell, she is the most directly loyal Espada to Aizen and takes every order extremely seriously. Fitting with his warning and order not to seek them out, she seems to be on the wall eagerly watching and awaiting one of them to come to her directly. As for the other Espada, there is less that I can deduce from the actions of the old man and black guy. As expected, the old man seems to simply be annoyed with the weakness and rashness of the less experienced arrancar. The Black guy seems to simply be the quiet type. He greatly reminds me of Chad in respect to his size and apparent personality, so pray with me that Chad will recover and meet his arrancar self. There were four Espada reactions shown, but the last one was so great that he deserves his own section.


Another Strange Subordinate

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what happened to respect for superiors

Well as suspected from his tired appearance during the earlier Espada meeting, Stark is a very lazy guy. Kubo really likes to match the captains and Espada with subordinates who are exact opposites and this is one of the most humorous pairings yet. While Stark is extremely lazy, his subordinate, Lilinet, is extremely hyper and troublesome (kinda like Yachiru). So far it seems that the Espada have a system similar to the Soul Society Captains where each has a single subordinate numeros that acts as their vice-captain and this connection is deepened further by the aforementioned opposite pairing that is common to both groups. As to the particular relationship between them, the nature of Stark makes this pairing the first real comic moment we’ve seen from the Espada’s perspective. This makes me doubt that we will see Stark killed by one of the heroes. He is similar to Captain Kyoraku in that Kubo has set him up as likable and respect for him has been established. If he does end up fighting someone, both opponents will respect eachother by the end of the fight regardless of the winner. As much as I’d like him to fight Chad one way would be too similar to the Kyoraku fight (and it would be sad for him to lose again) and the other would be like Gantenbien. If he fights anyone, it will be Ishida, but I don’t expect to see him fight. At all


Zaerapollo’s Taunt

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the teeth at least have to hurt a bit

Once again we return to Renji’s fight with Zaerapollo and from the looks of it, Renji is not doing so well. While Renji is on his knees, Zaerapollo receives the news that Aaroniero has been defeated. This information is passed onto Renji along with the as of now unproven statement that Rukia died along with the Espada. With newly awakened rage at the statement, Renji once again attacks with his shikai and despite Zaerapollo’s statement of superiority, Renji manages to draw blood on the Espada’s forehead with some unseen attack. After Rukia’s shikai victory, a new light can be shed on the future of this fight as well. While before I assumed that a majority of the fight would be Renji’s panicked running until they disabled the bankai seal by dumb luck, it now seems that Renji will actually give Zaerapollo a run for his money first with a mere shikai. We were granted a new shikai ability for Rukia and I foresee another one for Renji and that attack will be what sets off Zaerapollo’s arrancar release. I still believe that Renji and Dondo will release the bankai seal by chance and that Renji’s bankai will tear through whatever Zaerapollo has and will finish him quickly.


Second Meeting

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will Ulquiorra ever even pull out his sword?

Well it seems that my dream of having Renji and Ichigo fighting Espada simultaneously may come true after all. Ichigo has now reencountered Ulquiorra and their conversation has been pushed to next chapter. Honestly, I did not see this coming. I thought Ichigo would run into Grimmjow before Ulquiorra, but there is actually still a chance of that. Due to Ulquiorra’s manipulative nature, it is highly likely that his appearance now will lead to a simple conversation before he either leaves or is interrupted by Grimmjow (or possibly a different Espada). I know Ulquiorra promised to take care of Ichigo personally if he should become a threat, but as he seems to be superior to the other Espada in terms of power and Aizen’s respect, it seems too soon for him to fight Ichigo here. I’m personally of the opinion that Grimmjow will butt in and insist on taking the fight before Ulquiorra, to which Ulquiorra will calmly walk away and make some comment about Grimmjow or Ichigo’s death. Other than this future prediction, the appearance of Ulquiorra in front of Ichigo also brings back the issue of Noitora, who went after some target who had not yet been taken. With everybody else either incapacitated or dealing with an Espada, it seems that Noitora is going after Ishida. It is quite clear to me that Ishida is no match for Noitora, so I’m guessing that he will find some way to flee and (hopefully) meet up with Chad to revive him.


Overall

It really felt good to have a laugh at the expense of an Espada as Lilinet woke up Stark. The chapter covered the conclusion of Rukia’s fight and beautifully tied the meaning she got from it to her current goal. It also transitioned the plot nicely into the next level as now the story is once again focused on the Espada. For quite a while, the emotional aspect of Rukia’s fight dominated the story, so the chapter brought us back to the original overall goal. In addition to that, it gave us a deeper look into the Espada and showed us a parallel to Soul Society, implying that they are not so different.

Quartz-pebble
March 30, 2007, 09:35 PM
Good review!

Gold Knight
March 30, 2007, 09:48 PM
Excellent review from one Phil to another Phil ;)

I think that Renji's 'unseen attack' that bloodied Zaerapollo may have simply been the withdrawal of his sword - the end of the sword, retracting, caught him off guard and Renji's sheer ferocity sped up the blades so quickly that one of them pierced his skin. But that's just my guess.

I think Stark *will* fight somebody. But I think it will possibly be as brief as Shunsui's was with Chad. I also am not so sure that Stark is going to be quite the exact same as Shunsui - I think Tite Kubo doesn't repeat his characters too often without some kind of personality twist. Whereas I think Shunsui is somebody who will get up and do the dirty work because he knows it's the right thing to do, I don't think Stark will have the same kind of conscience that will move him off his ass and actually do something. I think he's going to be somebody that Aizen actually has to threaten or manipulate in order for him to do anything.

My curiosity is really rising about who's going to be the number one Espada. I had thought in one of my older Bleach reviews that Aaroniero would be Primera judging from the seating arrangements of all the Espada at Aizen's "tea table." How wrong I was, huh! He turned out to be pretty pathetic. Guess Yama takes No. 9 now.

Ulquiorra's apperance was definitely surprising. I like your observation about how it might just be a tease and that Grimmjow might actually be waiting to attack Ichigo instead of him. It definitely could be the case.

Good, good review, man. Keep it up!

sahugani
March 30, 2007, 10:08 PM
Excellent review from one Phil to another Phil ;)

I think that Renji's 'unseen attack' that bloodied Zaerapollo may have simply been the withdrawal of his sword - the end of the sword, retracting, caught him off guard and Renji's sheer ferocity sped up the blades so quickly that one of them pierced his skin. But that's just my guess.
thats probably the most likely explanation, but what irks me is two things. first, after the attack, the blade is still extended. second, if Zaerapollo could withstand the extention, i'm sure the mere retraction would do little more


I think Stark *will* fight somebody. But I think it will possibly be as brief as Shunsui's was with Chad. I also am not so sure that Stark is going to be quite the exact same as Shunsui - I think Tite Kubo doesn't repeat his characters too often without some kind of personality twist. Whereas I think Shunsui is somebody who will get up and do the dirty work because he knows it's the right thing to do, I don't think Stark will have the same kind of conscience that will move him off his ass and actually do something. I think he's going to be somebody that Aizen actually has to threaten or manipulate in order for him to do anything.
I think it is a definate possibility that Stark will have a fight and my main point was that Kubo has set him up as likable the same way he did with Shunsui. I have no doubt that he will play some bigger part later on, but if it is in a fight, it may be too similar to Shunsui's.


My curiosity is really rising about who's going to be the number one Espada. I had thought in one of my older Bleach reviews that Aaroniero would be Primera judging from the seating arrangements of all the Espada at Aizen's "tea table." How wrong I was, huh! He turned out to be pretty pathetic. Guess Yama takes No. 9 now.
I still think it is Ulquiorra. Unless he actually starts a fight with Ichigo, i don't think this opinion will change. As for Yammy getting a promotion, that didn't happen when Grimmjow was kicked out, so Aizen may just create a new one to replace Aaroniero. Maybe Wonderweiss (despite the mental issues)


Ulquiorra's apperance was definitely surprising. I like your observation about how it might just be a tease and that Grimmjow might actually be waiting to attack Ichigo instead of him. It definitely could be the case.

Good, good review, man. Keep it up!
Thanks. I seriously doubt that Kubo is done keeping Ulquiorra's strength and character a mystery. He is (in a way) the Ichimaru of this arc and so i wouldn't doubt if he survives and possibly doesn't even fight during this arc (and that goes with my "death of Tousen" theory as well)

i'll post on your Naruto review later after i finish my One Piece review

Silhouette
March 30, 2007, 10:21 PM
Thanks for the review ^^

[quote]Now that she has remembered Kaien

Serpent
April 02, 2007, 07:49 AM
Good good a very good review keep up the good work , I really enjoyed the "the screams of a dying volleyball" part :XD and I hope Ishida doesn't end up fighting Noitora that would be a shame I really want Ishida to win against an espada , Noitora may be to much for him.

qwan3356
April 02, 2007, 08:06 PM
Very nice review sahugani!
i think the humor parts to this chapter was funny,
i was also surprised that Ichigo is face to face with Ulquiorra, it would be nice to see him pull his sword out and attack, but that might be a lil far reached.