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sahugani
July 23, 2007, 04:54 PM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 284


http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/8626/grimmjowjaguarjackbyuveox7.jpg (http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/58862496/?qo=0&q=boost%3Apopular+max_age%3A744h+grimmjow)

Crazy people are always lit from behind

First of all I’m sorry this is so late. I admit the reason is due to the Harry Potter book. I intended to get it late and avoid the rush, but ran into a copy on Saturday and couldn’t resist. After that it was hard to stop reading and start reviewing. Anyways, I’m getting it done now at least, so I’m happy. The pics for this review come from the scanlation by Mangashare. The title pic is a piece by UVER (http://uver.deviantart.com/) over at Deviantart, do go and admire the rest of his work.


Lucky Shot

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Blood is an limitless substance in this series

After the boost of confidence Orihime gave him at the end of the last chapter, Ichigo gets in a critical slash across Grimmjow’s chest despite only wearing a partial mask. From the looks of it, Grimmjow is panicking over Ichigo’s strength as his own face and body is just as bloodied as the vizard’s. However, he still manages to grab Ichigo’s sword and maintains his claim of superiority in the fight, which scares Orihime. The fight now seems to be remarkably evenly matched. Even though he was forcing Grimmjow through buildings when he had his mask on, his latest hit was by far the most damaging. Due to the personalities of the two fighters, it is hard to tell how they compare to their previous states in terms of strength. Grimmjow is very much like Kenpachi in that he loves battle more than anything, so bearing his new wound could simply make him get more into the fight as be builds up both the thrill of combat and an increasing hatred of his opponent. In Ichigo’s case, it is even more unclear as to his current level of power. We have always known that he has a colossal reiatsu that even he has never fully been able to tap. It has allowed him to match up against much stronger opponents while he only had lower level mastery of his powers. In this case, he started out with power enough to match the released Espada, but the loss of that strength in combination with Orihime’s words again activated his unintentional access to his raw power.


Menos Reality

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Not exactly a house cat

Finally, we get some explanation as to the differences among the Menos classes. Up until now all we have had is a vague idea that an Adjuca is inherently stronger than a Gillian and a Vastrolord is inherently stronger than an Adjuca. With no explanation, all we could assume is that as a menos got stronger, he got smaller and simply rose to a new level after reaching a certain strength. While we still are left in the dark regarding the science behind Vastrolord, we are at least now given a description of how the lower two classes differ. Just as hollows attack human souls they will attack each other for food and to gain power. For most Gillians, as the hundreds of hollows kill and devour each other, their minds become diluted to the point where any individual personality disappears and they become the identical and idiotic hulking masses that are commonly seen. In some cases though, a single personality perseveres and the Gillian maintains his thoughts and a unique mask. They continue to attack other menos to gain strength and eventually regain an individual shape though it is generally still strangely shapen. After it has consumed enough menos, it becomes an Adjuca and his frame becomes more natural. However, to maintain the status of Adjuca, he must continue to devour menos or he will revert back to a Gillian and lose his ability to think forever. From what I can tell, the mark of advancement to a new class seems to relate to the level of fusion with the menos’s mask. A Gillian who has reformed to a smaller size is not only coated in his mask material like armor, but his face still resembles that of a face behind a mask. Adjuca like Grimmjow wear their mask like a second skin as it has molded around his every muscle perfectly to allow full movement. If the same laws are applied to the masks of vizard this makes sense as in Ichigo’s latest mask alteration, it had reshaped itself to match Ichigo’s jawbone. From this, I can assume that in addition to taking a human form, the transformation to a Vastrolord involves an even deeper melding with their masks.


Grimmjow’s Beginnings

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Thats a whole lotta ugly

After explaining the process of becoming an Adjuca, we witness a flashback of Grimmjow before becoming an arrancar. During that time, his form was that of a perfect panther. After being threatened by an enormous wormlike Gillian, he takes a large bite out of his opponent’s head before being approached by Shawlong and the rest of Grimmjow’s future fraccion. For the most part, they all look very much the same as their released states after becoming arrancar. Shawlong’s barred mask covered his whole face and he was a bit more skeletal. Edorad still wore a mask but little else differed. Illfort’s bull form was identical to his released form. D-Roy, though he never released against Rukia, is obviously the large menos Grimmjow attacked, which explains the bandage he later wears as an arrancar. Nakim, who also never released against Matsumoto, was at the time of meeting Grimmjow the only one who still had the large black body of a menos grande, which explains his lack of speech and ease of defeat with a mere shikai. Shawlong relates the dream of his group to one day become Vastrolord ranked. He asks Grimmjow to lend them his strength and lead them toward this dream. Apparently he accepted their offer as they were still alive after Aizen made them into Arrancar and they still followed him as their leader became one of the Espada. Despite the fact that Grimmjow cared very little when they died, it is surprising that he accepted in the first place as he is such an anti-social individual. The most likely explanation for this is that he simply didn’t consider any of them a worthy opponent and let them live. As all were ambitious and became arrancar under Aizen, when Grimmjow was allowed to select his fraccion, he recognized them and figured they would be the most useful.


Reason to Hate

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He needs a shrink

After coming out of the flashback, we see that the tables have turned in the fight against Ichigo as Grimmjow has run him through with his hand. He then explains why he hates Ichigo. The vizard will not accept that Grimmjow is stronger than him and it is infuriating. What he hates more than anything is those who belittle his strength. He has long accepted that Aizen is stronger than him and so fears the man. The fact that of all the higher ranked Espada, the only one he has a problem with is Ulquiorra proves this. Unlike his fraccion and Noitora, his goal is not to be recognized as the strongest. He simply hates to be called weak. Aizen and most of the higher Espada see his strength and recognize him as the sexta espada without question. Ulquiorra however highly disapproves of Grimmjow’s style and insults his strength, so Grimmjow’s feud with him isn’t about disputing the strength of the two but about a personal loathing. In Ichigo’s case, Grimmjow has proven multiple times that he is the stronger fighter, but Ichigo’s refusal to accept defeat is like a slap in the face to him. It is for that reason that Grimmjow must kill Ichigo. He cannot stand the idea of a person he knows to be weaker or on par with him looking down on him.


The First Target

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this is why cats get their claws trimmed

Ichigo seems to misunderstand Grimmjow’s proclamation of hatred and takes it to mean that Grimmjow is insulted that a human dared to challenge him. He also adds in a little jab at Grimmjow’s pride by including that they are evenly matched. With another clawed punch to the chest, Grimmjow corrects him and explains that his hatred is not limited to humans and he will tear down anyone who mocks his strength whether they be human, shinigami, or hollow. In combination with his most recent actions, it is pretty simple to guess what Grimmjow’s plans are after killing Ichigo. There are only two other people Grimmjow hates as much as Ichigo and together they form the trinity Grimmjow just mentioned. The human, shinigami, and hollow are Ichigo, Tousen, and Ulquiorra. All three have shown Grimmjow the same condescending looks (well except Tousen, but he expressed it non visually) and he said Ichigo is just the first target. In his recent actions, he has kidnapped Aizen’s special guest, nearly killed his attendants in the process, sealed a fellow Espada in an alternate dimension, revived a known threat already downed by that other Espada, and nearly killed the special guest he himself had kidnapped. From all that, it is quite clear that he no longer cares about Aizen’s approval and has more to gain personally from murdering these three than remaining under Aizen’s command. He has always been more than willing to kill Ulquiorra and Tousen, but was held back by Aizen’s threat. As he obviously doesn’t care about his master’s plans, the same threats will no longer keep him from extracting vengeance. If Grimmjow survives this fight, we can expect to see him return, not necessarily on the side of good, but at least to aid in the killing of one of these two other targets.


Overall

While not much seemed to progress in the current duel, the chapter did offer us a rare view into the workings of Heuco Mundo through the flashback. However, seeing the true hollow forms of Grimmjow’s fraccion led to some confusion of the distinction between Gillian and Adjuca, which was a bit annoying. Until now, we have been told that Gillian were only found in their Grande forms and Adjuca were smaller but not quite human. The chapter forced us to rethink the classifications without giving a decent explanation of how these Gillian took an assumed Adjuca shape. I think it was mostly just Kubo wanting to make them recognizable as the later fraccion and should just be passed off as the shinigami having faulty information on the process. The chapter was still enjoyable though and Grimmjow’s final slash at the end makes me anxious for next week.

Tsucchi
July 23, 2007, 05:58 PM
as always mate u write great reviews :D


keep up!!! :D

Luckas
July 24, 2007, 04:39 AM
Maybe I don't get something, but I thought that Shawlong and the others were adjucas as Grimjow only weaker than him.

sephysarkon
July 24, 2007, 05:54 AM
Wow. You make me feel bad for Grimmjow. XD; Not that I didn't already, but after reading your review...

At any rate, I love your little bit of deeper insight into every chapter. It really makes one think about the happenings in the manga, and it's because of that that I look forward to reading your reviews.

Good job!

~the seph

Splat
July 24, 2007, 06:31 AM
Maybe I don't get something, but I thought that Shawlong and the others were adjucas as Grimjow only weaker than him.

I made the same assumption when i first read the chapter, but if you read chapter 213, page 19, aizen says that they were all gillian.

As for the review, great read as always, one thing i would like to find out is if it is still possible for a gillian/adjucha to become an adjucha/vastloorde once they have been shinigamified.

sephysarkon
July 24, 2007, 07:14 AM
I'm seconding Splat. I wonder if that question will be answered, and how...

~the seph

jaimacando
July 24, 2007, 04:14 PM
Great review. It always makes it easier to organize my own thoughts/impressions after reading a well thought out and written review. Thanks

sahugani
July 24, 2007, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the comments guys. i was lucky enough to get this review done in between finishing HP and getting caught up in some RL matters, which was unfortunately not the case for my One Piece review

@Luckas - Splat's post answers your question. It has been established for a while that Shawlong and the others were only Gillian, but given their forms in this chapter, it was easy to mistake them for Adjuca

@Splat - i've wondered that myself, but if i had to take a guess, i'd say no. after they become arrancar, they seal up their true hollow forms in zanpakuto. Just like a shinigami must train with their zanpakuto to reach shikai and bankai, a hollow must feed to acumulate strength. since the arrancar's hollow form is sealed in a zanpakuto, the only way i can see them reaching a new hollow level is if they spend all their time in the released form eating menos. even that seems unlikely to me though