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gigantor21
April 13, 2007, 02:50 PM
271. If You Rise From The Ashes

Ugh…what the fuck, man? This is stupid.

Firstly, it was refreshing to see my prediction of the HollowTenshou’s damage verified. Anyone who frequents the discussion threads knows there was a big spat between me and several other members about it. It started when someone said they were sure that Ulquiorra would take serious damage, and possibly be beaten by Ichigo. Needless to say, that was way off, which doesn’t surprise me in the least.

This was another visually rich chapter, though not as much as last week’s. I especially loved the way that Kubo revealed Ulquiorra’s rank, along with how well he timed it with the dialogue. However, there were times when it felt like Kubo was trying to cram too much onto one page, both due to the pacing and the amount of dialogue. Pages 4, 5 and 11 stood out in particular as feeling too “squished”. Seeing that in Bleach is incredibly rare; if anything, it’s completely backwards.

The chapter's ending sucked, plain and simple. Ichigo has survived so many ass-kickings and fatal stab/slash wounds, that there's next to no suspense in ending the chapter with it. He's been steamrolled in almost every fight he's had since the SS-Arc ended, only able to survive once someone stepped in. It's trite, it's boring, and I want to see something else.

But the main sticking point I had with the chapter was Ulquiorra’s rank, by far.

Why the fuck does he have to be ranked 4th? It doesn’t make any sense. Ichigo had no chance against him to begin with, so there’s no point in having 3 far and away stronger Espada between him and Aizen. That’ll just make Ichigo’s inevitable power-up(s) even less believable, because the benchmark he has to pass is so ridiculously huge.

Not only that, but the remaining Espada have almost no development as characters whatsoever. I don’t want to see Ichigo fight one of them just because they’re stronger, when there’s been so much buildup for his fight with Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra was one of the first Arrancar we were introduced to; his relationship with Ichigo goes back further than Grimmjow’s. If Ichigo was able to clear a path to Aizen by finally beating a 1st Ranked Ulquiorra, it would’ve been awesome. That's what I was looking forward to seeing more than anything else during the War.

Kubo really dropped the ball on this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (Decent)

kiddo7
April 13, 2007, 03:07 PM
Maybe This reveal is supposed to be a signal to us.
Maybe kubo Sensei is trying to say, that ichigo will never actually be able to catch up to aizen in strength. He might have to find another way to win. If that is the case then I love KT! because it means that he is breaking away from the trite old main-character-keeps-powering-up-forever formula that we have come to know so well from Dragon ball and others.

And just for the record I myself don't think this is likely to be the case. It is highly unlikely in fact. I was just trying to give Our Mangaka the benefit of a doubt.

gigantor21
April 13, 2007, 03:10 PM
Maybe This reveal is supposed to be a signal to us.
Maybe kubo Sensei is trying to say, that ichigo will never actually be able to catch up to aizen in strength. He might have to find another way to win. If that is the case then I love KT! because it means that he is breaking away from the trite old main-character-keeps-powering-up-forever formula that we have come to know so well from Dragon ball and others.

And just for the record I myself don't think this is likely to be the case. It is highly unlikely in fact. I was just trying to give Our Mangaka the benefit of a doubt.

Fair enough.

I agree with you on it's likelihood--that would be so awesome, but it's probably not happening. It'd be a very nice change, though, even if it is rather Shaman King-ish.

(And by the way--if you aren't in Austria, then where are you?)

sabyr
April 13, 2007, 03:20 PM
I think that number three may be Touzen and two Ichimaru and the Aizen is one. I wouldn't be surprised. I may be wrong though...

gigantor21
April 13, 2007, 03:26 PM
I remember Fayte and someone else proposed that, but I highly doubt it. We already have 10 Arrancar who answered Aizen's summons (for tea time, no less), so I'm sure that they're the ones who make up the Espada.

kiddo7
April 13, 2007, 03:39 PM
I highly doubt that the SS defectors are the top three espada. Because I am fairly certain That the ten arrancar that where introduced in the last months (the ones at the tea party) are the top. just like gigantor said.

(by the way, I am everywhere and nowhere, no man knows when I come and where I go lol.
yeah for real now; At present I am in the good ole U.S. and A. but that will change soon. and just in case you are wondering, I have never in my life lived in the same place for over 5 years.)

Luckas
April 13, 2007, 04:32 PM
The second time I read the chap I was shocked by a thought: how is it possible that Ulquiorra is only 2 positions(/ranks) over Grimjow? :confused
I believe that Kubo is preparing a twist, because even if we didn't know Ulquiorra rank we know for sure that Aizen trusts him and his judgment, so I'm expecting a surprise in the future.

Sarmad
April 13, 2007, 07:44 PM
I certainly think that it's too soon to say that "Kubo has dropped the ball".

This chapter was quite unsatisfying nonetheless, but just because i can't see the good guys surviving Hueco Mundo anymore! Ichigo was the strongest of them all and he's defeated by the 4th ranked Espada. And i'm happy that Ulquiorra is not the 1st Espada! Ulqui being the first might've been very convenient for many people but it would've been crap for the story, which has yet to reveal so many mysteries and not rush every battle!
And the truth about Urahara is one of those mysteries! And i believe that he'll come to their rescue .. He's the only hope now! (DEUS EX MACHINA BENIHIME!!!)

sry, I'd like to say more, but i'm to tired too even think ^^
so gn8 and thx for ya review

gigantor21
April 13, 2007, 08:18 PM
I certainly think that it's too soon to say that "Kubo has dropped the ball".

This chapter was quite unsatisfying nonetheless, but just because i can't see the good guys surviving Hueco Mundo anymore! Ichigo was the strongest of them all and he's defeated by the 4th ranked Espada. And i'm happy that Ulquiorra is not the 1st Espada! Ulqui being the first might've been very convenient for many people but it would've been crap for the story, which has yet to reveal so many mysteries and not rush every battle!
And the truth about Urahara is one of those mysteries! And i believe that he'll come to their rescue .. He's the only hope now! (DEUS EX MACHINA BENIHIME!!!)

sry, I'd like to say more, but i'm to tired too even think ^^
so gn8 and thx for ya review

I was too disappointed to put any other way.

Convenience has nothing to do with why I wanted Ulquiorra to be #1, nor do I think it would result in "a rushed battle", per se. I don't want Ichigo to be able to leapfrog over Ulquiorra when he gets his inevitable power-up, since he'll have at least 1 much stronger Espada to fight before facing Aizen. If the power-up makes him too strong, then their fight will be anti-climactic; if it's just good enough to beat Ulquiorra, then he's going to need another big power-up just to beat #1. Had Ulquiorra been 1st, it would've eliminated that problem.

Beyond that, I'm looking forward to Ichigo's matches with Ulquiorra and Grimmjow during the war more than his fights with any of the top 3. In Ulquiorra's case, I've been looking forward to it ever since the "Conquistadores" chapters way back at the start of the Vaizard/Arrancar arc. I can't say that for any of the potential Primera Candidates, because they're just going to be an obstacle between Ichigo and Aizen regardless. We don't know them as characters, and they have no tangible relationship with Ichigo at all.

That's why Ichigo's last match with Byakuya was so powerful, story-wise; we'd been waiting for Ichigo to get a good shot at beating him since Volume 7. I can't say that about whoever becomes Primera.

Quartz-pebble
April 13, 2007, 09:15 PM
If I may quote myself (sorry, it's just more relevent here)....

"Remember way back when Ulquiorra said that at his highest point(back then), Ichigo's power went over his own? Well, the way I see it, him being No.4, gives that statement alot more credibility. It would be pretty anti-climatic if back then, Ichigo was potentially stronger then No.1. This way, Ulquiorra is still stronger than Grimmjaw, whom I still don't think Ichigo can beat at this point, plus 3 more higher than them. This gives Ichigo -more- reasons to "train" throughout the series. And just because he's not No.1 doesn't mean Ulquiorra isn't the most intelligent. So far he's still the most cold, calculating, manipulative bastard in the Espada. Hell, maybe he's so seemingly important to Aizen because he's their best tactician?"

That being said, I totally agree with you, Gigantor, that this destroys the entire build-up between Ichigo and Ulquiorra.

sabyr
April 13, 2007, 10:29 PM
I actually never saw him as #1. I thought he'd be #4 or something anyway. Don't know why. He just didn't seem like the most powerful espada to me. He doesn't belong in that position in my eyes.

gigantor21
April 13, 2007, 10:39 PM
I actually never saw him as #1. I thought he'd be #4 or something anyway. Don't know why. He just didn't seem like the most powerful espada to me. He doesn't belong in that position in my eyes.

There are quite a few people who feel that way, which surprises me. I can't see what makes the others more qualified to be #1, in no small part because we don't know much about them at all. Plus, seeing #4 shrug off an attack that ruined #6's shit makes #1 seem ridiculously strong by default--and don't even get me started on Aizen.

I really want to see how Kubo is planning on spinning this out.

sabyr
April 13, 2007, 10:44 PM
You know he'll pull it off somehow, lol.

gigantor21
April 13, 2007, 11:05 PM
You know he'll pull it off somehow, lol.

Let's hope so.

Right now, though, I'm more interested in how this arc is going to end. It seems pretty unlikely that Orihime will get out, unless the Vaizards come in and rescue everyone. They seem to be the only ones who can fight evenly with the Espada right now.

Makiyura
April 13, 2007, 11:40 PM
That would be hard, since a huge evac like that would be hard, since most of them are deep inside the complex, Aizen's eyes constantly drifting about each area. What would be interesting is the fact that Aizen would step in and send them all back except Ichigo and Orihime, that would be kool!

It is true that people would prefer that Ulquiorra was #1, he was developed better like how Grimmjow was, but i do like the feeling that Stark might be one or the other ones with the unknown rank.

Athena
April 14, 2007, 03:47 AM
My goodness I’m so late for this review!

I agree 100% with your rating. If I still had my review section, I would have given it even a lower mark. The whole thing with Ulquiorra being 4th was unfortunate, unreasonable and extremely disappointing. It seems impossible but almost 70 chapters were dedicated to his mysterious character but it was all destroyed in a single chapter. That also brings this question, are we going to have 70 chapters for those three espadas above Ulq (210 in total) or are they just going to fight one of the heroes, release their Zanpakuto and then lose their battles? I mean if they don’t get that much attention, compare to Ulquiorra, then it means they are not important characters so they may better just disappear without a serious fight like luppi.
Now, If that wasn't bad enough, we have the whole ichigo-is-going-to-lose-again scenario all over the place. Let me be clear about this, Ichigo is the primary reason I read bleach. In the last 70 chapters he has lost all his fights except for one. I don't know about others but it's very annoying and repetitive. Unlike many, I loved the H. M and still do but this is not Fun anymore.

That was a lot of complaints but it’s because I love bleach. I believe H. M arc was one of the most enjoyable arcs in Bleach except for this one chapter which totally ruined my day.

juUnior
April 14, 2007, 05:06 AM
Gigantor agreed with everything which You said in your review, but... for me the chapter in scale from 1 to 10 would be: 2/10..

First, Ulquiorra with nr 4 and like your said, so powerful to Ichi, taht there are other in Espada who are stronger.. dissapointing for me, but o well.. next, owning of Ichigo which I think will led to some rescue, like similar thing was in SS saga in second encounter Ichi vs Byakuya, probably it will be Shinji, he was in color cover.. but it's only my prediction. Next thing, Ulquiorra beat Ichi with only bare hands, I would be better (for me ;p) if he beat Ichigo with the sword...

Pluses: Ichi with that bloody clothes .. it reminded me of super memories of Ichigo vs Byakuya fight hehe :D Also Ulquiorra looks also badass with the clothes beaten due to Getuga xD And the last panel was really good :D Thats all

sahugani
April 14, 2007, 06:28 AM
great review man. it summed up my feelings on the chapter damn well. this chapter is the perfect example of why the anime catches up to the manga so fast. there was only really one bit of information given and that was the whole #4 thing. The biggest thing that bugs me though is that Oda is screwing over Grimmjow's conflict with Ichigo. no matter what happens now, the importance of Grimmjow's eventual defeat by Ichigo's hand will be hidden in the shadow of Ichigo's victory or loss against Ulquiorra. that just irks me.

also i figured that i'd announce here that i am taking a bit of a break from reviewing Bleach. While time is a bit of an issue (doing 2 reviews at the end of the week is a bit time consuming) the bigger issue is that the recent chapters arent inspiring me as much as they used to, making the Bleach reviews feel like more of a burden than a release like my One Piece reviews. I'll still drop by weekly and make some comments here. I will probably return to doing reviews at some time in the future, but at this point it just doesn't feel right to continue.

Quartz-pebble
April 14, 2007, 09:16 AM
Aizen's eyes constantly drifting about each area.

Ah, but we're not sure if that was just BS made up by No.9 or not. ;)

Sahugani: That's too bad. I love your reviews, but you do what you have to. :)

gigantor21
April 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
Thanks a lot for the replies, everyone. I was starting to wonder if ANYONE thought Ulquiorra's rank was lame besides me.

Inana - The development of the top 3 as characters is exactly what bothers me about the situation. Ichigo has no relationship with the top 3; he doesn't even know who they are. In contrast, Ulquiorra's been harassing him since the start of the arc. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Ichigo kick his ass--I don't care about the other 3. I'm glad we saw eye to eye on that.

Sahugani - It feels like Ichigo's match with Grimmjow has been overshadowed by Ulquiorra's for a while, but I agree that his ranking doesn't help much. I also agree on the anime situation--they've been pacing the story well so far, but we're going to get another huge filler arc sooner or later. I'm not really looking forward to it.

I understand how you feel about the chapters, but it still sucks that you're going on hiatus. It's gonna be lonely around here.

(And by the way, Kubo is the author of the manga, not Oda. Were you in "One Piece" mode when you wrote that...?)

Quartz-pebble
April 14, 2007, 11:30 AM
Ichigo could still have his great match with Ulquiorra, while other characters can fight the top 3. It'd be pretty fucking lame, but it -could- work.

gigantor21
April 14, 2007, 12:45 PM
Ichigo could still have his great match with Ulquiorra, while other characters can fight the top 3. It'd be pretty fucking lame, but it -could- work.

But with who? The Vaizards? They've been developed more than the Espada, for sure, but I'm not really anticipating their fights in the War. The captains certainly can't do it--they could take the lower half of the Espada, at best. I'm really pissed at how little they can do against the top fighters in Aizen's forces.

Luckas
April 14, 2007, 01:13 PM
I believe everyone was surprised by Ulquiorra rank, but I believe Kubo has space for making twists. For example we cannot exclude that the first 4 Epadas posses similar power, or, even if the first 3 are stronger than Ulquiorra, they could have some defects.
I think even if Ulquiorra rank was a big shock and make me us think Kubo is preparing for Ichigo an even more unbelievable power boost, maybe Kubo could have a good reason for this, a good reason regarding plot.
After the Soul Society arc when Ichigo started always losing I was very unsatisfied with Bleach: I like Ichigo and I wasn't happy he was always losing and gloomy. And when Kubo foreshadowed a huge revelation by Shinji Hirako, which never happened, and after Orihime kidnapping everyone feared a new rescue arc I was really pissed. But after reading some chaps in Hueco Mundo I started enjoying Bleach again and when I reread the chaps after Soul Society arc they weren't as bad I recalled, even if the previous one were way better.
So I think atm we should wait a couple of chaps or even more before to see if Kubo wouldn't have a very good reason, plot related, in making Ulquiorra the fourth Espada.

PS: English isn't my first language, so if my post isn't understandable, just tell me :)

conan
April 14, 2007, 01:55 PM
you raised all the good points in the chapter, but I slightly disagree with you about your predictions, you are assuming that ichigo is going to fight the top espadas, I am thinking that kubo will save them for later, just like he did with the most impressive captains in soul society, like ukitake, shunsui, and yammamot, there was also unohana who didnt fiht at all the others had reasonable battles, so thats what I think, I think this fight with ulquiorra is the final one, I dont think ichigo is going to have any more powerups, maybe in his fight with ulquiorra we'll see something, just like what happenend when he fought zaraki zangetsu helped him, and his hollow will help him somehow, I think your a bit harsh on kubo here, I mean sure ichigo always got beaten to a pulp and then fought again but every time it was more creative and built up little by little, he is still a total beginner with using his hollow mask but there is a lot of room for change, but I do agree that there was no feeling of suspence or the end wasnt really a cliff hanger since we've seen it so many times.
well excuse my rambling, over all you analyzed the chapter very well, so good work.

omniscientone
April 14, 2007, 02:09 PM
I dunno if it was mentioned earlier, but has it been said that the power gaps between espadas is exponential ? Otherwise, numbers 1-3 might not be that much stronger than No.4, they might even be higher numbers due to their experience or something like that.

Futhermore, it is possible that Kubo is saving those three for maybe Yorouichi, Urahara and Isshin, those three have to fight someone, i believe, and numbers 1-3 might be the perfect foe for them, and get to reveal their badass moves. And we haven't seen experienced captains fight the espada yet, just Hitsugaya. I mean, the old guy must be bad ass enough to take atleast one espada, and Kenpachi, if he has finally found his Shikai or bankai even, would be badass...

So, lets still see how Kubo goes with it, I am still interested to see how this arc turns out. I mean, i can't see anything but either a rescue team or Orihime rejecting all the events so far saving the group.

toyin
April 14, 2007, 02:30 PM
Orihime rejecting all the events is a nice view (but Chad will lose the power he gained in the arc) not really important because i don't see what he will probably do in the winter war (sorry to say but he is too ****ing weak).

Urahara should have a top role to play against Aizen and his crew because he was the creator of the hou... and we are not only facing the Espada because Aizen said this to Ichimaru:"by the time we gather the vastlordes and have perfected the Espada anyone that stands in our way will seize to exist" so everybody has to be involved ss,vizards and other good guys.
ONE BIG QUESTION: Before ichigo and his suicide crew left for HM, Urahara said ichigo is doing his part and it's time for him to do his? what was that supposed to being?

gigantor21
April 14, 2007, 03:19 PM
I can only be so rough on the story because it's Bleach. More than anything else, I want Kubo to dispel my doubts, especially when they're about the general progression of the story as a whole. I don't want one my favorite series ever to go the way of Death Note and DBZ.

I'm not going to hold out much hope until I actually see what Kubo does. If he can surprise me, I wouldn't be any happier.

sabyr
April 14, 2007, 03:23 PM
(but Chad will lose the power he gained in the arc) not really important because i don't see what he will probably do in the winter war (sorry to say but he is too ****ing weak).

That may be a buildup, you know. Him getting defeated over and over again may cause him to stand up and get even stronger, and when he kicks some major butt and actually does not nearly die in an arc everyone will be suprised.



ONE BIG QUESTION: Before ichigo and his suicide crew left for HM, Urahara said ichigo is doing his part and it's time for him to do his? what was that supposed to being?

Maybe training the friends Ichigo left behind? That would be interesting. I really want to see Tatsuki kick some ass.


Anyway, on the bright side, Kubo knows how to suprise his fans, right? I really think you should just wait and see what happens. I've actually thought up a cool ending to the whole espada thing but I'm keeping that to myself for now until I can draw it out as a manga page maybe more than one page.

And what if Ichigo's Dad saves him? That would be pretty awesome to see his power. If Ichigo inherited his shinigami powers from him that means he also got his amazing ammount of reiatsu from him. So his dad must be awesome.

Stone
April 14, 2007, 08:23 PM
thx for the review gigantor21 (btw nice to see some Chibi Tenipuri)

I'm glad Ulq didn't end up beeing 1, corse having 1 and 10 beeing the first ones interduced would seem to typical, also having him 1 over or under Grimm's rank would seem to close... So i see 4 as a perfect choice.(but as said by others we'll have to wait an see)


As for suprises in bleach: There might still be traitors left in SS... Else Aizen had used his Shikai at an earlyer time in the serie then expected.
Im refering to the Alarm going off under the Captain meeting, all 3 ex-Captains were there and it seemed to be several hours later(or perhaps half a day) that the launch took place.
So...do we have more traitors or was it just Aizen playing around???(like he suposely did't with 3 of the Gate guards)

Quartz-pebble
April 14, 2007, 09:42 PM
But with who? The Vaizards? They've been developed more than the Espada, for sure, but I'm not really anticipating their fights in the War. The captains certainly can't do it--they could take the lower half of the Espada, at best. I'm really pissed at how little they can do against the top fighters in Aizen's forces.

And that's why this is so goddamn stupid. In-story, the winter war is what, a couple months away? If Ichigo can't even dent No.4, the good guys are fucked. Aizen's side is just going trounce -everyone-. And remember, this is assuming that he has no Vastolordes -now-. I can't see how good will prevail unless they do something frigging stupid like destroy/seal off Hueco Mundo.

gigantor21
April 14, 2007, 10:15 PM
And that's why this is so goddamn stupid. In-story, the winter war is what, a couple months away? If Ichigo can't even dent No.4, the good guys are fucked. Aizen's side is just going trounce -everyone-. And remember, this is assuming that he has no Vastolordes -now-. I can't see how good will prevail unless they do something frigging stupid like destroy/seal off Hueco Mundo.

I'm sure that Ichigo will get an obligatory power-up or two before the series is over, which will let him kick the Espada's asses. That's been the pattern since the beginning of the series. Even so, that doesn't make it any less boring, nor does it mean I wouldn't love to see something new. I'd love to see more fights like Ishida's and Rukia's during this arc, since they weren't just based around reiatsu levels and nothing else.

sabyr
April 14, 2007, 10:42 PM
Ichigo may not be as weak as your making him out to be. Ichigo may just need to learn how maintain hollow form before beating the espada. He hurt the guy's arm with a single attack, but if he maintained the form and kept going at him he may of been able to kick some ass.

Just something I was thinking.

gigantor21
April 14, 2007, 10:47 PM
Who, Ulquiorra? Not really. His fingers just got burned a little--and he used the same hand to push Ichigo's sword away, so the burns weren't severe enough to keep him from moving them. The fact that Ulquiorra didn't take any serious damage whatsoever told me that longer mask time wouldn't help much. What Ichigo needs is better synchronization with Hollow Ichigo's powers.

If Ulquiorra had taken similar damage to Grimmjow, then I'd agree.

Quartz-pebble
April 14, 2007, 11:20 PM
With longer mask time, Ichigo beating Grimmjaw is pretty likely. Released Grimmjaw? Enh.....not so likely.

sabyr
April 14, 2007, 11:22 PM
Who, Ulquiorra? Not really. His fingers just got burned a little--and he used the same hand to push Ichigo's sword away, so the burns weren't severe enough to keep him from moving them. The fact that Ulquiorra didn't take any serious damage whatsoever told me that longer mask time wouldn't help much. What Ichigo needs is better synchronization with Hollow Ichigo's powers.

If Ulquiorra had taken similar damage to Grimmjow, then I'd agree.


If what you just said is true than a mega-huge-ultimate fantastic-super-cala-fragulistic-expe-ala-doshus isn't necissary(to beat Ulquiorra,. that is). To beat Aizen though, maybe all the friends will join in to kick Aizen ass.

I'm actually thinking it would be cool if Aizen was talking to a bloodied Ichigo, poised to kill and Orihime behind him. She can't take it anymore and she suddenly grabs his sword from his shieth and stabs Aizen in the heart through his back. All the Espada are ready to kill everybody, who is defeated and they suddenly stop as a large ammount of light pours from the main room. And all the espada are either destroyed or reduced to weak powerless people.

...Then Orihime dies of cancer from the radiation of Aizen's death.

Tomodachi69
April 14, 2007, 11:38 PM
I loved this chapter for the imagery. But for the story? Yea, 271 blowed biscuits.

I agree with everyone else who thinks that Ulquiorra's rank is super lame. There are now 3 stronger Espada above Ulquiorra with no development whatsoever, especially compared to Ulquiorra.

I'm hoping that in future chapters, Stark, who I think is No.1, will get lots of attention, story, and twists. Somehow >_>
He seems interesting so far, totally bored, didn't care at all about AaroNiero's death, and was the only Espada with a sword in the last color spread. Meh, lousy evidence of future character-interestingness. Just desperate for a reason that the top 3 will be just as good, storywise, as Ulquiorra.

Though this chapter sucked, it does open up a lot of doors for the future. Like, how the hell are they going to get out now, let alone try to save Orihime? Who would be able to handle the top tier of Espada? Why does a fourth ranked Espada get so much attention from Aizen?

Bleh, I hope Kubo figures out something to make up for 271's disappointing twist.

gigantor21
April 15, 2007, 08:27 AM
If what you just said is true than a mega-huge-ultimate fantastic-super-cala-fragulistic-expe-ala-doshus isn't necissary(to beat Ulquiorra,. that is). To beat Aizen though, maybe all the friends will join in to kick Aizen ass.

I'm actually thinking it would be cool if Aizen was talking to a bloodied Ichigo, poised to kill and Orihime behind him. She can't take it anymore and she suddenly grabs his sword from his shieth and stabs Aizen in the heart through his back. All the Espada are ready to kill everybody, who is defeated and they suddenly stop as a large ammount of light pours from the main room. And all the espada are either destroyed or reduced to weak powerless people.

...Then Orihime dies of cancer from the radiation of Aizen's death.

Hmm...that'd be an amazing twist, but Kubo's definitely not going to do that. More importantly, I doubt that Inoue could even pull that off, let alone do any damage. If Aizen could stop Tensa Zangetsu with his finger, then Inoue wouldn't do a damn thing.


I loved this chapter for the imagery. But for the story? Yea, 271 blowed biscuits.

I agree with everyone else who thinks that Ulquiorra's rank is super lame. There are now 3 stronger Espada above Ulquiorra with no development whatsoever, especially compared to Ulquiorra.

I'm hoping that in future chapters, Stark, who I think is No.1, will get lots of attention, story, and twists. Somehow >_>
He seems interesting so far, totally bored, didn't care at all about AaroNiero's death, and was the only Espada with a sword in the last color spread. Meh, lousy evidence of future character-interestingness. Just desperate for a reason that the top 3 will be just as good, storywise, as Ulquiorra.

Though this chapter sucked, it does open up a lot of doors for the future. Like, how the hell are they going to get out now, let alone try to save Orihime? Who would be able to handle the top tier of Espada? Why does a fourth ranked Espada get so much attention from Aizen?

Bleh, I hope Kubo figures out something to make up for 271's disappointing twist.

To quote Dave Chappelle (again): "What the fuck? That man is absolutely RIGHT!"

I'd vote for Halibel because she's hot, ot Black Abubo for that sweet Hollow-mask Mohawk. Noting those flimsy reasons, Kubo definitely has some serious character building to do, considering how much face time Grimmjow and Ulquiorra have. But right now, the only "non-ranked Espada" who seems like more than a stereotype is Noritora, and his declarations of being the strongest tell me that he isn't #1. We need much more insight into the others, for sure.

Sarmad
April 15, 2007, 08:40 AM
Looks like Luckas and conan already said what i wanted to add (Yay, eeeaasy ^^ )!

Well as for why Kubo has chosen this patch for the story, i believe that Urahara will interefere at some point in Hueco Mundo. The time must come when he has to "do his part" as he said himself. Hence Ichigo might not even need to power up that soon and that much in a short time ^^

gigantor21
April 15, 2007, 08:48 AM
Looks like Luckas and conan already said what i wanted to add (Yay, eeeaasy ^^ )!

Well as for why Kubo has chosen this patch for the story, i believe that Urahara will interefere at some point in Hueco Mundo. The time must come when he has to "do his part" as he said himself. Hence Ichigo might not even need to power up that soon and that much in a short time ^^

I actually don't remember that part. Which chapter did he say it?

Luckas
April 15, 2007, 09:02 AM
I actually don't remember that part. Which chapter did he say it?Uhara said that just before Ichigo, Chad and Ishida entered the "portal" for Hueco Mundo.

gigantor21
April 15, 2007, 09:11 AM
Uhara said that just before Ichigo, Chad and Ishida entered the "portal" for Hueco Mundo.

So that's it, then--both my copies of 240 (by Ju-ni and M7) translated it as him saying he'd "continue his work". I always figured that he'd been working on something long before Orihime got kidnapped.

In regards to Urahara and Co. coming to rescue them, I'm not sure how much they could do. Ichigo couldn't do anything to an unreleased #4 with the mask on, so they'd either have to be stronger than him or be able to make a quick exit. Moreover, it was Urahara who sent them there in the first place, even though he knew how strong they were. I don't know if he's going to go there at all.

toyin
April 15, 2007, 01:38 PM
Halibel might be number 1

Quartz-pebble
April 15, 2007, 08:08 PM
Halibel might be number 1

I think it's Stark because as someone said, Ulquiorra seemed the most likely, but wasn't, so who's the -least- likely? The lazy ass. Plus, why else would Aizen tolarate someone like that?

gigantor21
April 15, 2007, 08:13 PM
I think it's Stark because as someone said, Ulquiorra seemed the most likely, but wasn't, so who's the -least- likely? The lazy ass. Plus, why else would Aizen tolarate someone like that?

True enough--but by those standards, Black Abubo is a viable candidate, too. All we've seen him do is meditate and look stoic--not exactly #1 material, if you ask me.

Quartz-pebble
April 15, 2007, 08:34 PM
True enough--but by those standards, Black Abubo is a viable candidate, too. All we've seen him do is meditate and look stoic--not exactly #1 material, if you ask me.

Also true, but he and Halibel both look like people that can ruin your shit. Stark seems like....well, Shunsui. But that was obvious already.

gigantor21
April 15, 2007, 08:41 PM
Also true, but he and Halibel both look like people that can ruin your shit. Stark seems like....well, Shunsui. But that was obvious already.

Yeah, the "strong looking and loyal Espada should be #1" theory has been shot to hell. I'm still holding out hope, though, even at the risk of being wrong twice.

But if Stark is #1, I wouldn't mind too much.

yanniv
April 15, 2007, 10:55 PM
More fan boys disappointed by the rank. I'm glad Ulquiorra wasn't first. And Kubo read the minds well of all his fans. He knew that most would think he is first.

Kubo basically has left us in the situation that the Espada are extremely strong, and nothing is going to stop Aizen from ruling. Now it's on to see what is going to become of Ichigo.

gigantor21
April 16, 2007, 08:42 AM
More fan boys disappointed by the rank. I'm glad Ulquiorra wasn't first. And Kubo read the minds well of all his fans. He knew that most would think he is first.

Kubo basically has left us in the situation that the Espada are extremely strong, and nothing is going to stop Aizen from ruling. Now it's on to see what is going to become of Ichigo.

Zaeruapollo and Halibel are my favorite Espada.

I wanted Ulquiorra to be first because he's Ichigo's biggest adversary in the Espada. If Kubo had built up a match between Ichigo and Halibel as much as Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra, then I'm 100% sure I would've expected her to be #1. It's not a "fanboy" thing.

yanniv
April 16, 2007, 09:20 AM
Zaeruapollo and Halibel are my favorite Espada.

I wanted Ulquiorra to be first because he's Ichigo's biggest adversary in the Espada. If Kubo had built up a match between Ichigo and Halibel as much as Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra, then I'm 100% sure I would've expected her to be #1. It's not a "fanboy" thing.

I see what you are saying.

Most people are pretty disappointed in the rankings because their obsession for Ulquiorra. To me, either way, number 4 or 1, I still think Kubo will make it interesting. I think the main point Kubo is trying to bring by giving Ulquiorra number 1 is the impression the Espada is some serious business. They aren't ones to be messed with.

Now it leaves me speculating who is going to be in the top 3.

manu
April 16, 2007, 10:22 AM
Fair enough.
It'd be a very nice change, though, even if it is rather Shaman King-ish.


As we all know, once a manga goes Shaman King-ish its over and cancelled.

gigantor21
April 16, 2007, 01:11 PM
I see what you are saying.

Most people are pretty disappointed in the rankings because their obsession for Ulquiorra. To me, either way, number 4 or 1, I still think Kubo will make it interesting. I think the main point Kubo is trying to bring by giving Ulquiorra number 1 is the impression the Espada is some serious business. They aren't ones to be messed with.

Now it leaves me speculating who is going to be in the top 3.

Well, yeah, I'm sure Ichigo's last match with Ulquiorra will be great. I'm just unsure of how Kubo will make a match with one of top 3 even better, since Ichigo will have to go through one of them to get to Aizen.

As for the top 3, my new predictions are:

1 - Halibel
2 - Noritora
3 - Stark

I'm sure Noritora's high up there, because there'd be no point to having someone weaker than Ulquiorra saying he's the strongest Espada. And considering that Ulquiorra is way stronger than Grimmjow, the differences between adjacent ranks must be huge overall--so if Stark were second, it'd be hard to believe that Noritora thinks he's the best. The little spat Noritora had with Halibel suggests that he's lower ranked than her, because he didn't snap at Ulquiorra when he ignored him or told him off.

In all fairness, a few lines of dialouge aren't much to go by. That's just the best I can come up with from what we know, so those rankings could very well change as we learn more about the others.

wgallahad
April 16, 2007, 02:15 PM
I feel keeping Ulquiorra at 4 gives us an opportunity to see some of the other Gotei 13 get into the battle. we already got to see Hitsugaya take on Luppi, so it's got potential for some good matchups.

Surely Urahara has to take on someone, and an upper level espada makes sense. Shinsui vs. Stark's would be a nice mirror match, and Halibel vs. Soifon could also be similar (though this seems unlikely to me). I'm expecting (hoping) Urahara will finally fight someone and release his bankai. same with Shinji. I always had expected Urahara to take on Ulquiorra due to their similar analytical fighting styles, but i wouldn't be surprised if he needs to take out one of the top 3.

I think there's a possibility that ichigo doesn't fight any of the top 3 espada, since a rematch with Grimmjow is almost assured, and having him fight three of the top 6 before aizen is pushing it.

gigantor21
April 16, 2007, 04:32 PM
I feel keeping Ulquiorra at 4 gives us an opportunity to see some of the other Gotei 13 get into the battle. we already got to see Hitsugaya take on Luppi, so it's got potential for some good matchups.

Surely Urahara has to take on someone, and an upper level espada makes sense. Shinsui vs. Stark's would be a nice mirror match, and Halibel vs. Soifon could also be similar (though this seems unlikely to me). I'm expecting (hoping) Urahara will finally fight someone and release his bankai. same with Shinji. I always had expected Urahara to take on Ulquiorra due to their similar analytical fighting styles, but i wouldn't be surprised if he needs to take out one of the top 3.

I think there's a possibility that ichigo doesn't fight any of the top 3 espada, since a rematch with Grimmjow is almost assured, and having him fight three of the top 6 before aizen is pushing it.

Hmm...I don't know about that. I never thought Luppi deserved the rank, considering how easily Grimmjow ruined his shit once his arm was healed. If he was supposed to be a replacement for Grimmjow, then he should of put up a much better fight.

Also, that would mean that Hitsugaya is stronger than Ichigo right now, because he couldn't beat a one-armed unreleased #6. That really diminishes the importance of the Vaizards in the war, which is weird when you consider how much weight Kubo has given to Ichigo's powers. By those standards, Yamamoto would be on par with Aizen if not for Kyoka Suigetsu's hypnosis.

juUnior
April 17, 2007, 02:28 AM
By those standards, Yamamoto would be on par with Aizen if not for Kyoka Suigetsu's hypnosis.
hehe I always thought, that Yamamto via more experience than anybody, and that his body of his, is one of the strongest, if not the strongest for shinigami. And even if considering only "shinigami", I think he would take anybody from vaizards or arrancars. Yes, it's only my opinion and speculation, but if it means for hipnosis, probably he was hipntoized to Azien zanpakutou, but he has an advatage - he could just burn anything surounding him and tadadam everyone are doomed. And that speed of his, thats the movement which he show before fight with Shunsui and Ukitake ^^ And also that raw power ^^

btw. everything my opinion, so please don't bash me for anything ;p

wgallahad
April 17, 2007, 08:50 AM
Luppi falling so easily to Grimmjow could have to do with the fact he had just gotten roughed up badly by Hitsugaya. I would say Hitsugaya may be stronger than Ichigo on earth because he has "all the water in the atmosphere", but not necessarily overall. Also, Luppi did quite a number on Hitsugaya before falling, and i don't think aizen would give out espada ranks unless they were deserved somewhat.

i agree with the idea that Yamamoto could be on aizen's level, because of experience and the power he's shown, but i would guess that he is weaker than aizen in order to have a storyline for the vizards (like gigantor said). But the idea that he could be on his level is plausible. The vaizard's involvement will be getting Ichigo to a level in which he needs to defeat aizen, and at that level the top 3 espada would be a waste of his time for him. I think those guys will be left for Urahara, some vaizard (shinji or Hiyori), and some shinigami (Shinsui, Byakuya, or Kenpachi) to deal with.

Gold Knight
April 17, 2007, 09:15 AM
Hmm, I gotta disagree with you on this one Gigantor. I've been loving the chapters lately. We certainly didn't expect Ulquiorra to be fighting Ichigo already, but now that he's been revealed as only No. 4, it makes sense now. Let's keep in mind that Tite Kubo has ALREADY made it highly possible for Ichigo to have several large power-ups because he's only been barely able to control his Hollow powers at this point.

I'm pretty dead sure he'll improve to the point where he'll be able to stay in that form much longer, like the googles girl of the Vaizards.

And besides which, we ALREADY had somebody who was likely to be even tougher than Ulquiorra, which is to say, Aizen, right now. We knew Ichigo wasn't going to be able to get that far right now. He rushed into this, plain and simple.

Right from the set-go, I already felt like Ichigo was outmanned here, and I think this arc is going to be surprising in that he won't be able to beat Ulquiorra and the others right now, but he won't be defeated. He'll just have to retreat. Most likely due to Rukia and whoever else goes down. Orihime will likely be a factor somehow in "healing" people, too. We'll see.

Anyway, now that Ichigo knows for sure that Orihime didn't leave by her own account, he'll be able to withdraw and tell the Soul Society that she indeed wasn't a traitor. I'm sure somebody'll believe him and the others, and they'll just have to come back and try again. Aizen's not quite that far where he's able to put his plan in the works, after all.

gigantor21
April 17, 2007, 01:34 PM
Hmm, I gotta disagree with you on this one Gigantor. I've been loving the chapters lately. We certainly didn't expect Ulquiorra to be fighting Ichigo already, but now that he's been revealed as only No. 4, it makes sense now. Let's keep in mind that Tite Kubo has ALREADY made it highly possible for Ichigo to have several large power-ups because he's only been barely able to control his Hollow powers at this point.

I'm pretty dead sure he'll improve to the point where he'll be able to stay in that form much longer, like the googles girl of the Vaizards.

And besides which, we ALREADY had somebody who was likely to be even tougher than Ulquiorra, which is to say, Aizen, right now. We knew Ichigo wasn't going to be able to get that far right now. He rushed into this, plain and simple.

Right from the set-go, I already felt like Ichigo was outmanned here, and I think this arc is going to be surprising in that he won't be able to beat Ulquiorra and the others right now, but he won't be defeated. He'll just have to retreat. Most likely due to Rukia and whoever else goes down. Orihime will likely be a factor somehow in "healing" people, too. We'll see.

Anyway, now that Ichigo knows for sure that Orihime didn't leave by her own account, he'll be able to withdraw and tell the Soul Society that she indeed wasn't a traitor. I'm sure somebody'll believe him and the others, and they'll just have to come back and try again. Aizen's not quite that far where he's able to put his plan in the works, after all.

The main problem I have with this is the scaling of the powers themselves.

With the Soul Society arc, Ichigo had to learn both Shikai and Bankai in order to accomplish his goals. All of his opponents knew how to do at least Shikai, and his strongest opponents knew both. We had a very clear idea of what Ichigo had to bring to the table in order to win.

But now, we don't have anything like that. As far as we know, Ichigo has the potential to get way stronger than Aizen because there's no real charted territory anymore. Kubo can throw in whatever he wants to make Ichigo stronger and explain it away. He was already doing that with Ichigo's Shikai in the SS-Arc, but Ichigo either already knew about it or learned during the fights--and it helped him win in the end.

In contrast, he was getting his ass kicked before he got the mask, and is getting his ass kicked now. The only time we saw him deal real damage was against Grimmjow, and the mask wouldn't have helped if he'd released. I'm scared that we'll just get more "Learn Bankai in Three Days!" material--convenient training sequences that instantly wash away all the problems he had before.

We haven't seen an Ichigo vs. Zaraki kind of fight, where Ichigo clearly had the raw power and potential to be captain class and just had to refine it. Kubo hasn't shown us that Ichigo has the potential to even fight Aizen, let alone beat him.

taimoor2
April 21, 2007, 10:36 AM
IS it only me or you guys also think that the clothes given by byakkuga to rukia and renji will have some powers? I think he will come in heuco mundo or something to "help" our heores. Also, did anyone noticed as ulliquorra was leaving, spritual energy was gathering around ichigo? I think, we are going to see a powerup immediately now!!! Also, when rukia said, don't die alone thing, I don't think she will just die off!!!! GJ will also have some role to play here. May be he will take orihime to ichigo and have a fight "over" her or something like if you defeat me you can take her kind of thing. Its highly un likely though, I must agree! :)