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sahugani
June 03, 2007, 12:19 AM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 277

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I don't even need to make an amusing comment now

Lately I put my continuance of reviewing here in question as GK left the Naruto reviews and I decided to start. Well you can thank the One Piece scanlators at Franky House because I realized that by doing both Naruto and Bleach before One Piece, I could use the scan done by my buddies over there (which this incident made me realize I have become OCD about). One of the reasons I really considered this is because from the way Bleach’s story seemed to be going, I didn’t think reviewing it would be as fun as it was. The twist at the end of this chapter though is enough to make me really glad I’m still doing this. The pics for this scan are from blood scanlations’ excellent scan of the chapter. The title WP is a gift from one-of-the-clayr ( http://one-of-the-clayr.deviantart.com/) at Deviantart and I figured that after the stress my recent choice put me through, I needed a good laugh, which Byakuya grudgingly gives to us.


Kicking a Rag Doll

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the open eyes are definately creepy

Last week, we were left with the temporary conclusion of Zaerapollo’s fight and a reentry of Grimmjow as he towers over Nell to stare at Ichigo. Now that he has actually come to the limp body, do we actually expect him to be respectful of the unconscious fighter? HELL NO!!! The first thing he does is kick Ichigo’s pretty much lifeless corpse to make sure he’s not just resting. Before Ulquiorra started fighting back against Ichigo, I believed that Grimmjow would intervene and Ichigo’s combatant would switch. Ever since Ulquiorra kicked Ichigo’s ass, people have theorized that Grimmjow would bring Orihime to heal him. Interestingly that was the moment I switched my opinion and my earlier belief of a Grimmjow fight (maybe One Piece has just tempered me to not believe the easy option?). To me I saw the shroud at Ichigo’s defeat as a transition to his inner world as he would come back with renewed power. I also thought that it would seem anti-climactic (I use that term way too much I’ve noticed) for Orihime to simply heal Ichigo’s wounds after the godlike reparation she performed on Menoly. After seeing Ichigo’s body limp and wide eyed like a corpse, I guess that second worry has been assuaged as, though less outwardly graphic, Ichigo too is for all intents and purposes dead.


A Familiar Face

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i can't mock her. i just refuse to

As obviously expected, Grimmjow pulls out from behind him Orihime and tells her to heal Ichigo. For Orihime, this is a very emotional moment. She has had to suffer for so long as she could feel Chad’s reiatsu fade, had to mentally witness the apparent death of Rukia, sensed Ichigo’s death, and then actually watched as Grimmjow killed people before her eyes. Now for the first time since she came to Hueco Mundo she has the opportunity to repair some of the damage her friends have endured for her sake. As I have said many times in previous reviews, she has blamed herself for all the pain her friends are in. Now she not only is reunited with the face of the man she loves, but she can take away his pain with her power. To her, this is a step towards hope and she can now rebuild the courage and strength of will that was shattered by Ulquiorra’s mind games.


Checkup

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i want a jacket with coattails that long...i don't know why, but i want it

Speaking of Ulquiorra, after a quick change of clothes (between him and Zaerapollo the Espada seem obsessive) he goes to check up on his favorite toy, Orihime. Instead of her, he finds Loly and Menoly, still in shock from Grimmjow’s beating and Orihime’s subsequent display of her divine power. I mentioned in my first review that after witnessing how Orihime reacted to Chad’s apparent death, Ulquiorra changed his psychological strategy in dealing with her. Everything he has done since then has been in continuation of this strategy. Since he severely wounded her strength and resolve from coldly mocking his attempt to save her and later defeat while trying, he had hoped to break it entirely by killing Ichigo, thus his reason for appearing so uncharacteristically before Ichigo. The reason he went after Ichigo is because he knew he was the one person whose death she would never be able to recover from. He likely determined this due to the fact that she chose him to visit before coming to Hueco Mundo. Even though that somewhat unusual method of dealing with a prisoner was explained to Noitora in psychological terms, it served a secondary purpose of creating a backup plan in case Orihime decided to cause a problem. She led him right to the most important person in her life who he could later apprehend and kill to force her to play her part.


Nell’s Plea

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he's so tame now its incredible

We once again return to Ichigo’s side and Nell is pleading for Orihime to heal Ichigo. That is before Grimmjow shuts her up damn quickly with a mere threat. Both the substance of Nell’s words and Grimmjow’s reaction bear huge significance. First of all, Nell mentions that had Ichigo not been protecting her, he likely would have been fine. While it is somewhat hard to fully trust the words of a guilt-ridden child, the nature of Ichigo’s power gives it some merit. Even without his hollow mask, Ichigo’s bankai has the power to enhance his speed to a huge degree. In a normal fight, he might have been able to dodge completely or at least minimize the damage even if he couldn’t beat Ulquiorra. With that in mind, Ichigo seems less out of his league when compared to the Espada and might have a decent shot at beating Grimmjow even without his hollow mask. After training with the vizard, he faced Grimmjow by pulling the mask at the very beginning, which left him both tired and off guard when the mask broke. The training alone might have been enough to let him fight Grimmjow without the mask.

As for the importance of Grimmjow’s reaction, it once again gives him a sense of humanity. When he got Orihime, he made sure to repay his debt first (even if his method was completely screwed up) and now he is using threats instead of violence to deal with Nell because she is an innocent. Grimmjow now has set a standard for his violent tendencies. To those who have even the slightest threat or guilt at getting in his way, he takes his punishment too far. To those who are without sin like Nell though, he bears no ill will and is content with a threat. I’m actually starting to like Grimmjow as a person and am still hoping that Kubo plays on this humanity and leads to GJ killing Tousen.


The Words of the Wound

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some would say he's as a serial killer with that MO

While healing Ichigo, Orihime can sense the amount of damage that has been done. While Menoly’s damage was extremely visually graphic, Ichigo has been dealt so much internal damage and is so coated with Ulquiorra’s reiatsu that Orihime is unsure if she can heal him. Grimmjow tells her that it was Ulquiorra who put Ichigo in this state. He could tell simply by the placement of the wound in Ichigo’s chest. Whether he does it consciously or instinctively, Ulquiorra has a habit of always killing his favorite victims by punching a hole in the same place as his own hollow hole. Grimmjow starts to get pissed and gets angry that Ulquiorra has interfered with his feud. Both Espada follow their own methodologies when fighting. While Ulquiorra saw Ichigo as the best way to manipulate Orihime and completely ignored Grimmjow’s desire to fight him. Grimmjow is a man who lives for battle and to serve Aizen. Due to the fact that he can’t fight his fellow Espada (or Tousen) without compromising his loyalty to Aizen, he was thrilled that he had finally found a potentially worthy opponent in Ichigo. Ulquiorra took away Grimmjow’s biggest pleasure in life and he won’t let himself be denied it.


A Friend by Your Side

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Orihime has a great face to wake up to

Ichigo finally awakes and finds himself staring at Nell and Orihime along with Grimmjow. For a brief moment, he had forgotten all the pain he had endured on his quest to retrieve his friend. After that brief moment, Grimmjow reveals to Orihime’s surprise (remember that she is pretty dense) that the only reason he wanted her to heal Ichigo was so that he could have a shot at him. This is one more turn on the emotional rollercoaster for Orihime. While before she was happy that she could heal her friend, now she finds out that the only reason she is allowed to heal him is so that he can be put through more pain afterwards. This time however, she has Ichigo by her side to tell her its alright. When she is left alone, she has a habit of dousing herself in self-pity and is the source of all her current guilt, but with a friend to raise her confidence, she will once again regain her mental composure. Even if after this incident she is separated from Ichigo again, I suspect Nell would be taken as well, thus giving Orihime a companion to give her strength till this arc is over.


Interference

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don't underestimate the power of the sneaky

Before Grimmjow even gets to finish his rant about wanting the last shot at Ichigo, Ulquiorra pops up to everyone’s surprise. While the earlier part of this chapter was easily predictable (except for an overthinker like me), this chapter ending throws us something unexpected but cool as hell. With the appearance of a third combatant, Ichigo’s healing might be cut short as the three engage in the first three way battle free for all of the series. Due to the nature of this kind of fight, it is for all intents and purposes impossible to predict. My only guesses are from completely no evidence and strictly from desire and my guess as to the future of the arc as a whole. In sticking with my theory of Grimmjow coming back to kill Tousen, I’d guess that Ulquiorra will die and Grimmjow’s death will be left ambiguous. I also really hope that the one to kill Ulquiorra will be Orihime as she shows off her powered up Tsubaki. Let’s face it, she’s the one who deserves the right to kill him more than anyone and could arguably be the most justified death in the series.


Overall

While most of the chapter has been predicted by many people already for quite some time, the way it ended was enough to make me extremely excited. I was afraid that if Kubo did go down the road he did with the bulk of this chapter, it would end up cheapening the meaning behind multiple people’s powers and efforts. Despite the fact that he did use the obvious direction for the story, he pulled it off better than I thought he would and made it into a chapter I really enjoyed. The best part though is still the end as he has thrown us for a loop by making us believe we could predict what would happen before giving us a completely unpredictable fight.

ANBU4U
June 03, 2007, 12:55 AM
I wouldn't say Uli's return was unpredictable.

One would assume Uli would realize Orihime was missing promptly and realize what moron had taken her even faster...even without Loli and Menoli's help. The only real shock in my opinion is the speed in which Uli decided to address the matter....and that, officially makes him my favorite manga character outside of One Piece..and easily my favorite villain.

It's not often you see a bad guy as methodical, rational, and delightfully sadistic as Uli. He sees a problem, he recognizes it for what it is, and he addresses it with all the force it's due.....no more, no less.

He doesn't avoid it.
He doesn't underestimate it
He doesn't let it linger

He takes care of it.

Most impressive. I didn't realize how tired I'd grown of cliched villans who refuse to strike down opponents at the most opportune moment, overlook them entirely, or go on long rants explaining their actions before finishing the job. Everything Uli does is for a reason, he's quick on his feet, and quick to action.

And unless I've missed my guess....he about to RE-pwn some morons.

sahugani
June 03, 2007, 01:05 AM
i wasn't saying that the fight itself was unpredictable. It is the outcome of this fight that is unpredictable. a three way fight like this offers so many different outcomes with different motives for each that i really can't guess how the fight will pan out

And i have to agree with you on his character. Just like you, i hold him as my favorite bad guy in any series. He is the best character to do analysis on because his motives are so calculated and cold because he has turned psychology into a weapon and has the physical capability to pull of every aspect of his plans. At the same time, he regularly notices flaws in his plan as psychology is not an exact science and is instantly able to rethink the situation and alter his strategy. why else would i have been so disappointed by a straight Ichigo/Grimmjow fight? he had yeased us with Ulquiorra and i was afraid the bastard would be ignored for too long

sephysarkon
June 03, 2007, 05:04 AM
I... really like your review. *___*

Gives me much to think about, and makes anticipation for the next chapter unbearable (not that I couldn't think up some things for it, but that's not the point.)

Good job~

~the seph

Stone
June 03, 2007, 06:36 AM
thx for another good review.

I agree It's good that Grimm ain't just killing all the time, makes for a better character... Just like a Horror movie, if you see scary stuff again and again or simply they over do it, You'll lose the spark of the genre, it's about finding the right moments.


A 3 side battle, sure would be interesting.

sahugani
June 04, 2007, 07:56 PM
Grimmjow has the potential to be an extremely complex character. he's kind of a darker version of Renji. He may be a bastard, but he lives by a set of principles and self imposed ethics, which makes him more human than the other Espada (except Stark cause his sense of humor with his subordinate did the job damn well)