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gigantor21
June 15, 2007, 05:56 PM
279. Jugulators

Ahn~? Three great chapters in a row? Not bad, Kubo-san.

The best part of this chapter was, of all things…Ichigo! He was actually really cool here, because Kubo FINALLY ran with his role as the protagonist well. Based on his expression, what he told Inoue, Nell and Grimmjow, and his performance here, it looks like he might do a really good job. I’m hard pressed to say he’ll win for sure, but I can say with confidence that he’s going to put up a much better fight—and, by default, this will probably be the best fight of the Ichigo-Grimmjow trilogy.

Just about everything in this chapter was basically geared towards showing how Ichigo’s chances have improved. Grimmjow’s complete turn around from the last 2 fights was a big one; rather than him (justifiably) looking down on Ichigo, he was much more excited about fighting him this time around. I still don’t get why, though—why did he not think that Ichigo was fighting at his best the last 2 times? Did he see more potential in him than we thought? It just seemed like it came out of nowhere.

Regardless of how I feel about Ichigo’s prospects, I still want to see where this goes—and it’s awesome.

The fighting here was almost as brilliant as Grimmjow and Ulquiorra’s exchange in the last chapter, both in terms of the aesthetic and the execution. I particularly liked Ichigo’s Bankai transformation, which was the best-looking one in the series—and also served to underscore Ichigo’s newfound confidence. Grimmjow’s pump fake double Cero was fucking badass, as well as the fact that Ichigo still managed to block it anyway. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten such visceral pleasure from watching fights in Bleach, which harkens back to the Soul Society days of yore.

All in all, this was a great continuation of the streak Kubo’s been on for the past month. The series has been just as fun to read recently as it was when I first started reading it, and it’s such a blast. I cannot wait for next week’s chapter, I really can’t.

Rating – 4.5 out of 5 (Excellent)

ttxdragon
June 16, 2007, 04:36 AM
I got to agree on everything you said above.
Kubo really makes me giddy with the latest chapters.

But I though that Orihime got a bit too much face time in this chapter... although it showed great art once again -- ack, I'm torn whether i like or hate the orihime part :XD


I really wonder where this fight takes us...
seeing Ichigo this confident is one thing, seeing him doing something we haven't seen yet (Bankai on the fly without calling out) is even better. I just hope kubo draws the fight out onto 2 more chapters -- One pure fighting and the next the conclusion/surprise...
A fight like this shouldn't have too much talking (forgive me for dreaming, i know this is a shonen and the talks will be there >.>'')


the whole art style went up a nodge lately... It makes many previous chapters seem as if they were rough sketches by Kubo smoothened by assistants...

gigantor21
June 16, 2007, 12:57 PM
Thanks, ttx.

You know, I didn't really see an issue with Orihime's face time here. The whole conversation with Nell was only 3 and a half pages--slightly more than the page count devoted to Ichigo's Bankai. So I don't get why so many people were put off, especially considering how perfect the length of Ichigo and Grimmjow's exchange was. Bleach's exchanges works best when they're as short as possible, anyway, so I think upping the post count for the action would've dragged it down.

With the fight's duration, I could see it going longer than that if it's interspersed with the other subplots, like the Zaeruapollo fight or updates on the others. That's why Ichigo vs. Grimmjow II went for the greater part of a volume. But if we're going to be squarely focused on it this time (which I hope will be the case), then I agree with the 2 more chapters thing. I don't see this fight lasting longer than that unless Grimmjow loses once and for all, which is highly unlikely.

The art has been great for a while now. It's been one of the very few highlights of the arc, especially after the Privaron fights--but it's been stellar for the past 3 weeks. Hopefully, it'll stay this good for a while.

yanniv
June 17, 2007, 04:42 AM
Is that Batman I see on one of those pages? Oh wait, It's just Ichigo's insane Bankai outfit. ^^

Good review. I say it was a very good chapter also.

A lot of people have been saying it's boring and all of that stuff. I see it as the calm before the storm.

I have only one problem with this chapter. It's Ichigo. Ichigo continues to fight just to protect his friends and not fight for need to become the best. It gets tiresome and will result in an Ichigo loss. I think it's about time he fights to make that scar something that goes from one side of his body through the other side. His old ways are getting old and boring.

gigantor21
June 17, 2007, 11:31 AM
^ Haha, yeah--I'm surprised he didn't land in the Batmobile or some shit. Or Hell, considering how Spawn-ish it looked, too.

I don't get what people didn't like about this chapter. I, for one, have been waiting for this since after the Soul Society arc--more specifically, when Ichigo was stomping ass left and right after stopping Rukia's execution. After several absymal performances, it looks like we're going to see that again. And I can't wait.

As to Ichigo's motivations, I think that his "fighting to protect" mantra rings so hollow now because he hasn't won any serious matches since his fight with Byakuya. That may tie into the instinct thing that Sakikuro, "Zaraki" and Doldooni are alluding to--having to embrace the natural impulses of his Hollow in order to use more of it's power. Hopefully, that's what would've happened if an Inner World trip was behind his confidence (which seems more and more likely every time I read the chapter).

Quartz-pebble
June 17, 2007, 12:11 PM
Oh ho, this is getting pretty epic, eh?

Very pleased with this chapter, and the current direction so far. :D

gigantor21
June 17, 2007, 12:46 PM
^ Yeah, definitely.

I think the last 2 chapters have been a final push by Kubo to at least END the arc on a high note, since everything else has been "blah" at best. So far, it seems to be working--but I wish iwe'd seen stuff like this after the Privaron fights. Seeing such great chapters now makes the rest of the arc look even worse.

Hopefully, Kubo will keep this up long enough to let us put it all behind us.

yanniv
June 18, 2007, 02:36 AM
I don't think the arc is finished yet. We still have United Front Red and White 3 coming up and the finishing of this fight. Also Ulquiorra needs to play into it. How are they going to get Orihime back? Maybe Aizen will just ask the first Espada to bring her back since Ulquiorra isn't doing his job.

Either way, I see Aizen needs Orihime for his Hougyoku. So she isn't going back. And if she isn't going back, neither is Ichigo. As long as Ichigo can breathe, he will be in HM fighting till he can bring Orihime back.

So I really don't see this arc ending anytime soon.

gigantor21
June 18, 2007, 06:38 AM
That's the thing, though...how long is all of that going to take?

Ishida and Renji's chances of winning decrease the longer they fight Apollo, because Renji's gotten the shit beaten out of him while both have had several attacks nullified. Meanwhile, Zaeru is in perfect health, still hasn't released, and can eat another Fraccion if he (somehow) manages to get barbecued again. Unless Ishida has some instantaneous form of Sprenger handy, that fight is basically over--I wouldn't be surprised if one of the top 3 stepped in and stopped it before it continues.

As I said before, I don't see Grimmjow vs. Icihgo III going for more than a couple of chapters unless it'll be their last fight--and I don't see that, either. My shonen-sense tells me that Ulquiorra's either going to break out WAY sooner than Grimmjow thinks and step in, or the Primera Espada/Aizen himself will step in and end the arc. I'm leaning towrds option 2, because Ichigo's newfound confidence and strength have to be put to the test.

How strong is he relative to the best Espada, and Aizen? It doesn't seem like such a remote question, now, so I really want to know. And it'd be nice to see who the Primera is.

Regardless of what Ichigo and Company wants, all of them combined couldn't possibly stop Aizen if he stepped in directly. The whole arc is basically hinged on his eternal grace and curiosity, which is one of the main reasons I haven't liked it. And now that Ichigo's basically the only contender left, Kubo can only spin things out so much longer--especially since no one's going to heal and interrogate the fallen here.

Stone
June 18, 2007, 07:40 AM
True, all of this really is just another game by Aizen the same way he made SS into his game.
There's no question if Aizen wanted to stop the intruders, they'd be long dead.

Grimm's 2xCero was pretty nice^^

Thx for the review

gigantor21
June 18, 2007, 07:49 AM
^ Like I said--if Aizen had been standing there when they arrived, the arc would've been 2 chapters long. Though this fight kind of makes me glad he didn't (so far).

And you're welcome.