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sahugani
October 21, 2007, 05:24 PM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 296

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/4684/28c2e03782e81971mn0.jpg (http://captain-x.deviantart.com/art/Bleach-296-Nel-a-quatre-pattes-67732298)
Nel is just so majestic in her released form

Hahaha!!! I’m finally back to single chapter reviews. Multi-chapter reviews are a pain in the ass in more ways than one so I’m really glad to have gotten that out of the way last week. Anyways, let’s just get right into this week’s review. The pics in this review come from the Binktopia scanlation of the chapter and the title pic is the latest piece by captain-x (http://captain-x.deviantart.com/) over at DeviantArt, so take a visit to her gallery over there.


Centaur

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/5349/1aai7.png
Horsie!!!

Well I must say this was not what I expected. I guess when it comes to arrancar releases, the form they take is based more on their personality than the types of attacks they use in their normal forms. I guess this assumption is born from comparing a shinigami’s bankai to its shikai, in which case the advanced form is more or less an amplification of the shikai’s unique abilities. With hollows though, while in their sealed form, they do not have such a unique arsenal of attacks and they differ mainly in their individual styles of swordsmanship and use of Cero. Neliel’s centaur form is certainly not based around vocal skills as I had previously guessed, but it does fit her personality quite well. Granted, the original Greek centaurs were symbols of chaos and violence, in modern times, that image has changed to convey dignity and justice (perhaps due to the idea of horses representing nobility). Neliel herself somewhat mimics that change as she is a beacon of honor born amongst a savage peoples. She made reference to this philosophy a couple chapters back. Though born a monster of instinct and hatred, in becoming an arrancar, she was able to regain her sense of humanity and developed her own moral principles in regards to battle and her view on life.


Spear of Destruction

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/6813/2aco0.png
If you said Nel would look like this a year ago, no one would believe you

In addition to her change into the mythical figure of a centaur, Neliel also acquired a new weapon to go with her release. While up till now all of the arrancars’ weapons in their released forms have been parts of their own anatomy, Neliel is the first to wield a more conventional weapon while released. This probably comes with the fact that as arrancars and hollows get more powerful, they generally take on more human forms, which in this case would include a more human type of combat. Being a centaur, one would have expected this weapon to be a bow and arrow to mimic the archer Sagittarius. However, since Ishida is already a designated archer and it is generally not a good idea to copy such themes to a very high degree, her weapon is instead a spear (though she still throws it so it serves the same purpose). The force with which she hurls it is enough to easily shatter a chunk of Noitora’s weapon that was being used to shield himself. Unlike most other Espada attacks, this seems to cause no massively destructive shockwave or blast. As we have seen, Neliel doesn’t like to finish her opponents off, so rather than trying to obliterate her opponent with an attack like Grimmjow’s Desgarron, she uses her Lanzador Verde to launch an extremely concentrated and powerful attack to a pinpoint location on her enemy. This way she ensures that she will pierce through any defense the opponent erects and she can avoid vital points to prevent killing them.


Oh…My…God

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/9223/3acx8.png
how long has kubo been waiting to do this?

We turn back to the fight with Zaerapollo, which has been taken over by the former fraccion, Pesshe and Dondo Chakka. Pesshe in his most inappropriate action so far shoves his hand into his pants and starts to pull something out. I never expected Kubo to go this far for a dirty joke. From what it seems, Pesshe uses his opponent’s disgust at what the action looks like as a distraction to allow him to slash with his sword. To further solidify him as shameless, he refers to his sword as a thingy or tool when describing it to Ishida. Aside from all the penis jokes surrounding Pesshe’s part in this chapter (and there were many), the sword’s name and an aspect of its appearance seem to be very strong references to one of my favorite series of video games. Final Fantasy fans should recognize the name Ultima as a sword from multiple incarnations of the game series. In many of its appearances, it is viewed as transparent or luminescent, much like how Pesshe describes his own weapon. Somehow I doubt this incarnation will live up to the legendary status of the games, but its still a fun little reference.


Massive Counterpart

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beaten with an ugly stick

With Pesshe continuing to look ridiculous despite the fact that he actually got a hit in on Zaerapollo, the Espada doesn’t take him seriously and sends his two gigantic subordinates to crush Bawabawa. This time, Dondo Chakka pulls a massive spiked club out from his mouth and with it smashes both creatures into the air with one swing. I can’t be certain of this as only the Binktopia scanlation I am using seems to be phrasing Dondo’s words in a similar manner, but I’m hoping their translation is closer to his real words because if so, Dondo unsheathes his weapon with another famous reference I believe. From the way Binktopia translated it, I think what Kubo meant to say might have been a reference to “say hello to my little friend” from the movie Scarface. I’d really appreciate it if a translator could confirm this possibility for me or not as I am incapable but would love for it to be true. In any case, while he does not reveal the name of his weapon, the form is yet another example of arrancar zanpakutos taking on non-sword forms.


Newfound Strength

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death and destruction

Mow that Pesshe and Dondo are fighting with their full strength, Zaerapollo is shocked at the strength that they wield. For so long he has prided himself on being able to call fraccion, shinigami, and humans as beings inferior to himself and cannot cope well with the thought of one of those lesser beings rising up and causing him to falter even for a moment. These two former fraccion have done just that. It is revealed that in addition to donning new appearances to prevent Nel from remembering her past, the two of them also trained themselves relentlessly in order to become strong enough to protect their weakened master should the need arise. With this new strength, they are proving to be more than a match for even the Octava Espada. As a final blow to Zaerapollo, they reveal that in their training, they have developed a new type of cero that is strong enough to destroy him. This Cero Sincronico does indeed looks far different from any we’ve seem so far. From the looks of it, each creates their own cero in close proximity to the other’s. Through some interaction of the converging energies between the two, a line of smaller ceros form as a chain from one to the other. From what I can tell, the effect of this cero comes from the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”


Return to Innocence

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/5193/6aqf0.png
yay! adorable Nel is back

The scene once again shifts to Neliel in the aftermath of her last attack on Noitora. She has retrieved her spear and once again decides to let him live rather than finish him off. Unfortunately, she suddenly reverts back to her child form before she can end the battle. My best guess as to why this happened goes back to Zaerapollo’s theory that Nel’s power drained out of her wound to cause her to revert to the small form originally. As it has been years since her transformation, she has likely built up her former power slowly through normal consumption of spirit energy in Hueco Mundo. The only thing that kept her from returning to her Espada form was her memory loss and the development of a new mentality. When Nel got emotional and returned to her adult form, it also reopened the wound and thus since then, she has been on a clock until her body naturally returned to a child form to prevent further leaking. With Nel incapacitated, it seems it will be up to Ichigo and Orihime to fight from here. I’m guessing Ichigo will be fighting an uphill struggle with Noitora and at some point, Orihime will finally gather the courage to challenge Tesla despite the risk. After beating Tesla, she can use her unique powers to heal Nel’s wound and thus Ichigo can once again step down so that the former Espada can finish the job. Also, while I don’t really expect it to happen, there is a chance of Chad appearing to help Ichigo as he was the first of our heroes to fall to the bastard. Really though this is just the hope of a Chad fanboy.


Overall

I liked this chapter. It had more development in it than most Bleach fight chapters, so that alone puts it on a bit of a higher tier. In addition, I absolutely love Neliel’s centaur form and can’t wait to see what other abilities she wields with it. Unfortunately, it may be a little while before we see that form resurface, so in the meantime, I’m really hoping to see some decent fighting from Ichigo and Orihime (and if Kubo really loves me, Chad too).

CopyNinjaKakashi
October 21, 2007, 06:08 PM
Nice review, and I am glad to see we both came to similar conclusions about Nel's released form!

Nice anaylsis of the new cero as well. I noticed the smaller beams forming, but didn't take much notice.

I really hope the Aporro fight concludes next chapter, hopefully with him being toasted, but maybe managing to survive. The ceros should incapacitate him at least so Pesshe and Dondo can come to the aid of Nel.

It would be sweet to see the return of Sado, but I too highly doubt it will happen. Here's hoping though!

Keep up the great reviews!

Serpent
October 22, 2007, 05:20 AM
This was one hell of a chapter , Nell's released form is just beautiful, the Pesshe and Dondo were so badass this chapter,I sure hope Pesshe and dondo will beat the crap out of the 8th espada. Concerning Orihime , I really want her to be the one that finishes Noitora.
What more can i say, the chapter was great and i really enjoyed the review too.'

Edit: forgot about Chad , if chad would be the one to finish this that would just awesome, very unlikely though

kiddo7
October 22, 2007, 07:37 AM
Here is another one of my crack pot theories: Did you ever consider nelliel's own words before releasing? She seemed to imply that it would be a risk doing it so soon after revert9ing to her old form. Maybe because she has to actually use up a greater amount of spirit power to maintain her released form. The wound in her mask is probably a better explanation, but what if that wound already healed with time and she simply used up all of her available spirit power during the fight.

And I love your theory of Chad coming to save them. I know it is highly unlikely but it would so make my day. Kubo needs to stop letting Chad get owned.

sahugani
October 22, 2007, 09:02 PM
first of all, the general view seems to be PLEASE KUBO GIVE US BACK OUR YASUTORA!!! so everyone pray really hard

@CNK - i think the Zaerapollo fight will be drawn out at least a few more chapters for the mere fact that Bleach has its own pace and the screentime is being shared with another battle. IF Chad does come back to help Ichigo, it will be right after the Zaerapollo fight ends

@Serpent - ya. i've been waiting for quite a while to see Orihime show off her upgraded offensive and defensive powers, but i don't think it will be on Noitora. he belongs to Neliel. the person i want to see her deal a killing blow on is Ulquiorra. he put her through so much hell she deserves to be the one to take him out

@kiddo7 - i think her comment before releasing was not about her release or its conditions. the explanation is simply didn't want to risk releasing unless absolutely needed. with all the changes her body has been put through, she knew that releasing could have unpredicted results and she didn't want to take the chance of those flaws hampering her in battle before she could find a way to minimize them