PDA

View Full Version : sahugani's Bleach Review 304



sahugani
December 23, 2007, 06:42 AM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 304

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/6318/55224494nz2.jpg
I skipped this last week so i could use the fantastic cosplay pic

How goes it everyone? It feels good to be back to single chapters for reviewing. Other than that I hope you are all having an enjoyable and festive holiday season. To all of you who are experiencing a real winter, I envy you. Both where I live and where I go to school are completely devoid of snow during the winter, so no white Christmas for me. Then again, I hate the cold, so maybe that’s a good thing. Also, now that the names of the Espada have been official for a while and have started appearing in the anime, I’ll try to shift into the official spellings. The pics in this review came from the Mangashare scanlation of the chapter. The title pic is a Kubo original from the M7 scanlation of chapter 301.


First Patient Awakens

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/213/1apq3.png
Byakuya's just a snuggly bear now

The first face we see this chapter (other than the two creepy guys on the color cover) is Rukia as she awakens after Isane’s treatment. Hanatarou is also standing over her, so we can assume his wounds weren’t that severe. As I’m sure Isane put the treatment of Rukia before him, that means he was healed and woke up at full strength during only the time between Rukia’s condition becoming stable and now as she awakens. Still confused as to why Hanatarou and Isane are there, she sits up against Isane’s advice and sees Byakuya. She notices that his captain haori is gone and that he is wounded. He tells her both matters are inconsequential and that she must heal her wounds to be prepared for what’s to come. There are two main significances to this speech. First of all, him casting aside the symbol of his rank as unimportant compared to her health is one of the few very clear gestures of affection he has ever shown her. Up till now he has protected his sister through indirect means and tried to keep her from seeing these displays of caring. He purposefully showed her what he is willing to sacrifice for her safety, which is a clear sign that he is softening. The other big point is that he tells her to prepare for the battles ahead. If you recall, he had previously had Ukitake prevent her from becoming a ranked member of the 13th division because that would mean harder assignments and thus more risk. He fought an Espada himself and knows that by moving forward the opponents will be tougher and more ruthless. The fact that he is willing to allow her to fight in those battles means he has respect for her strength and does not need to shield her anymore. Although he is still more than willing to sacrifice himself to protect her as his last battle proved, he is willing to trust that she can survive with her own strength from now on. This may have spawned from the fact that she slew an Espada on her own but whatever the reason, it’s a good thing. I’ve always believed that the reason Ukitake has never replaced Kaien as a vice-captain is because he was waiting for Rukia to rise to it. Now that her brother trusts her power, she may have the opportunity to fill Kaien’s shoes as her captain had hoped.


Orihime’s Task

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/9219/2arm4.png
I wants to get back to the IchiHime stuff

Well we’re back to Kenpachi and Nnoitra. They’re just the same as they have been ever since they started duking it out. Both smile wide grins as they simply clash blades over and over in a completely berserker style brawl. As they are relatively unchanged since last time, there’s not much to say about them in this scene except that we’re supposed to assume it is loud as hell in the background as these two try to rip each other apart. The true focus of this scene is Orihime. Now that she is free of Tesla’s grasp, she runs over to a broken and bloodied Ichigo in an attempt to heal his wounds. However, he tells her to heal Nel before him. Without questioning him, she automatically agrees. This twist makes me slightly conflicted. On one hand, I love the idea of Kenpachi beating the shit out of Nnoitra as one berserker proves his superiority over the other. However, Orihime healing Nel is the perfect situation to bring Neliel back to full fighting power. With Orihime’s event negation type of healing, she’ll be able to not only heal Nel’s newer wounds but can also repair the cracked mask that leaks her reiatsu and causes her to take the child form. If Orihime brings Neliel back to her former glory, there is no way Kubo would let that power go to waste, which threatens the idea of Kenpachi killing Nnoitra. The only idea that I can come up with that satisfies both Neliel and Kenpachi’s moments of glory is if Ulquiorra reappears and Neliel holds him back until Ichigo can join her.


Another Healed

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/3437/3arl8.png
Kubo, please put those hands to good use

Although brief, I never pass up an appearance by my favorite character currently in Hueco Mundo (I like Ukitake and Kaien more, but one isn’t present and the other is dead). It seems Unohana has finished healing Chad. Due to the fact that the 4th division captain is just standing there, I assume she also finished healing Gantenbien as well, though he does not seem to be present. It could just be that he was simply out of frame, but I suspect that he did not stick around after being healed by a shinigami. I expect him to pop up later on in this arc to repay Chad or Unohana or both of them. With any luck, this will come in the form of aiding Chad in a fight with Yami.


Toxic Fumes

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/9405/4akq5.png
What would Byakuya do if Mayuri killed his vice-captain?

Once again the story turns to Mayuri as he now watches his bankai eat the lifeless body of Szael Aporro. He says the fight isn’t over, but given his demeanor and actions after saying this, it may have simply been a sarcastic remark referring to the fact that his bankai hasn’t finished devouring the body. It’s hard to tell with such a freaky guy. Elsewhere in that general area, Renji begins coughing up blood as he is affected by the toxin Mayuri’s bankai produced. Ishida seems fine at first, which he attributes to having already been exposed and developed antibodies. However, this doesn’t last long as he starts coughing blood as well since Mayuri changed the composition of the poison since last time. Although Mayuri seemed to completely disregard anything Ishida had to say throughout the entire fight, it is clear now that he is having great fun in telling the Quincy all the ways he has been outsmarted. Even though the formula change of the toxin already makes it a moot point, he still feels the urge to tell Ishida that with his intelligence it was easy to create toxins that prevent a body’s antibody response.


Daughter’s Plea

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/9486/5azy4.png
not asking much is it?

While Mayuri has his fun messing with Renji and Ishida as they beg for the antidote, Nemu is still hanging from the bankai’s mouth by one of Szael Aporro’s tentacles. Without even showing the slightest hint of worry in her voice, she asks Mayuri to help her down from where she hangs. Even though Mayuri’s bankai is probably still slowly slurping the tentacle up like a spaghetti noodle with her still attached, she basically asks her “father” to save her life as if she was an employee asking for a few hours off work. Had Mayuri actually been busy fighting or working, she likely would not have bothered and would have submitted to being eaten without even opening her mouth. Even though right now, Mayuri is ignoring her request, Renji and Ishida take notice of her and realize she should be the priority right now. They try to convince the captain to free her, but he’s not really paying attention anymore and decides to end his fun with them by giving up the antidote, unaware tat that was no longer their main concern.


New Ability

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/5305/6ays7.png
his sword's name takes on a whole new meaning now

Suddenly something goes wrong and Nemu starts sweating and in a rare display of emotion, her face shows both pain and fear. Even as he watches his daughter and subordinate writhe in pain and the boys scream at him to help her, Mayuri just stands there and watches as things unfold. Her belly swells as if pregnant and a thin strand of Szael Aporro’s tentacle emerges with a mouth to talk to the shinigami captain. Through this mouth, he announces the nature of the skill he prizes most out of all Fornicarus’s abilities, Gabrielle. With it, he impregnates the enemy with an egg he leaves behind in his death. The egg feeds on the life energy of the host and grows rapidly within the enemy’s internal organs. He then is able to expel himself out of the host’s deceased husk and is reborn at full strength. Due to the pregnancy aspect of this technique, it could be theorized that he could only use this technique on female opponents, but I doubt it. H likely buries the egg in the body tissue rather than any organ in particular and the belly swells to resemble natural pregnancy merely because the abdomen is unobstructed by the ribcage and so he can grow most easily within his host there. He could have just as easily grabbed Ishida or Renji and used this skill on them, though I think the humor of M-preg would kind of undercut the grossness and cruelty of the technique.


Death in the Family

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/4339/7asr4.png
now Szael has crossed the line

If the description of the technique and Nemu’s appearance after its use are to be trusted, then the 12th division vice-captain just died. It’s not like Kubo to actually kill off ally characters on a whim, so this is a huge deal for me. We’re accustomed to wounds that logically should be completely fatal, but for some reason the person is able to hang onto life long enough to receive medical aid. Good examples of this are Hinamori being run through by Aizen and more recently Rukia being stabbed by Aaroniero’s/Kaien’s Nejibana. But here, we actually see Nemu’s life energy being drained to the point where she is dried to look like a preserved corpse. Szael even says that it is the very nature of the technique to kill the host as he is reborn. In addition to that, Nemu is not a main character who Kubo can explain survival due to her sheer will power. This death seems quite official. As Mayuri doesn’t really care much for her, I doubt he went through any surgical preparations for her body like he did to his own before coming here. The only way I can see this progressing is that she will be considered dead for the remainder of the arc, but afterward, we’ll find that Mayuri has recreated her body the same way he did when he turned into liquid. Either that or Kubo is clearing out the 12th division for the return of Urahara to his former post. As cool as that would be, it seems unlikely.


Another Medium

There is one more Bleach-related issue I’d like to discuss outside of the manga. After watching the opening to the latest episode of the Bleach anime, I saw that in the new movie, it seems like we’ll see Hisagi Shuuhei finally release his zanpakuto. It got me thinking about how generally aspects of the story outside of the manga are considered non-canon material. However, if you look at the case of Bleach though, you’ll notice Kubo has a large presence in even the non-canon material. If I remember correctly, he helped the anime creators to make the bount filler arc stand out as quite decent. Due to last week’s special chapter, it’s quite easy to see that he has quite an interest and likely a similar presence in the upcoming movie as well. Then there is the case of Nejibana. The design of Kaien’s weapon was released in a video game long before it was shown in the manga. The gist of this is that perhaps when it comes to Bleach the line between canon and non-canon is a little more vague. From the looks of it, Kubo maintains his presence in the anime and video game mediums to release ideas that are either teasers to later events in the manga or as a way to pass on ideas to his fans that he does not have the opportunity to show in the canon material. Given Kubo’s imagination, I don’t doubt that he has zanpakuto release ideas for all the vice captains but has had to refrain from showing them due to story or time limitations. Hisagi is one person I can easily see never having an opportunity to show his release in the manga, so I wouldn’t doubt that Kubo simply passed his idea on to be used in the movie the same way he likely did for Kaien’s Nejibana.


Overall

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to write so much about a (single) Bleach chapter and it makes me happy. I’m definitely glad we got that overview of all the different captain locations. I think the main idea behind it was to lull us into a bit of peace as the situations in the first three areas all deal wit healing the wounded. Then that peace is abruptly cut short and contrasted with the unexpected death of Nemu and restart of the Szael Aporro fight. I know Mayuri doesn’t care about her, but now I want vengeance for Nemu. I’m hoping Renji gets some strength back and is able to join in with Hihou Zabimaru…possibly Ishida too.

Mooncrow
December 23, 2007, 06:10 PM
Excellent review as always.

I'm not quite convinced that Mayuri doesn't care about Nemu. I've always interpreted his lack of concern for her as more of an arrogance about the ability of his creations rather than truly not caring if she dies.

Don't get me wrong, I highly doubt Mayuri will shed a tear or anything, but killing Nemu hits his pride pretty hard. I imagine he will get pretty irritated, which very well may let Szael have the time he needs to win.

And on that note, now I really want Ishida to be the one to finish Szael off. Not only to strike back for his own pride a bit after Mayuri has ripped it apart, but also as it will be the only thing he can offer to Nemu as thanks for saving his life so long ago. Unrealistic, I know, but it would be satisfying. Renji joining in really wouldn't have any thematic value that I can see.

Thanks again for the review!

Stone
December 23, 2007, 07:34 PM
Another good review sahugani.

Well i think Mayuri might care about her, but as cruel as it might sound he couldn't care less about her while making a discovery(aka in this case Watch Gabriel in use)

Next chapter we'll see if she's dead or not i suppose.

MegaX
December 23, 2007, 08:21 PM
So, I'll admit that I used a different translation than you, so there's a possibility that mine is translated wrong, but I got the impression that Mayuri wasn't talking about how his poison prevented antibodies, but about how they didn't matter because they wouldn't be effective anyway.

Your translation: "produced antibodies?" My genius has prevented you from doing such.

My translation: Antibodies, you say? As if I could be outsmarted by such a rudimentary bodily function...

Similarly, the only other time this comes up is with Gabrielle. In mine, he states that he is able to reproduce within the womb of his prey, though the thought occurs that he doesn't quite literally mean a womb but rather in a figurative sense.

igotthegoods
December 23, 2007, 08:22 PM
nice review :)

i was surprised by nemu's "death" as well. i mean, we haven't seen a shred of what she can do and now she's dead? that sucks! i'm not so sure if she is really gone, though. her body is not exactly normal since mayuri created it himself. maybe he can fix it, like you suggested, or maybe she's not quite dead yet afterall. i guess we'll just have to wait and find out.

sahugani
December 24, 2007, 04:03 AM
@Mooncrow - thats possible, but my idea of Mayuri's character is that he didn't care so much for the end result in comparison to the process of experimentation. he gets inspired to try new ideas but after they are finished, he couldn't care less about it as he has moved on to a new project. Nemu is just another one of these discarded successes. as for the final blow, i've always wanted it to be Renji. Ishida got his big victory during Soul Society. its Renji's turn

@Stone - you may be right there, but as we have not yet seen Mayuri show any signs of affection towards her, i guess we have no evidence of that until Szael is finished and he can focus on her

@MegaX - its happened before that different translations yield different interpretations (one time it voided an entire one of my reviews). however, this is a more minor point, so its not really all that critical which is correct

@igotthegoods - as she and Isane are the most minor characters currently in this arc, Kubo can actually kill her off quite easily and due to the nature of her personality and her relationship with Mayuri, it makes the matter even easier to cast aside for after the fight. as i like Nemu, i on one hand want her to be revived, but on the other hand, doing so would stretch the limits of believability even for Bleach in my opinion

Mooncrow
December 24, 2007, 05:35 AM
Hmm, that's an interesting way of looking at it. I hadn't really thought of it from that angle, but you may be right. Mayuri never really has seemed all that interested in the end results, only the experiment.

I still stand by my Ishida theory though^^ Kinda sad that a main character had their last big victory 3 arcs back... Ah well, a matter of preference I guess =)

conan
December 24, 2007, 07:56 AM
good reviews as always, also cant wait for your one piece review, but no pressure :).

a few comments only, about nemu being dead, I cant see that happening, despite zael's explanation of his ability nemu is not normal compared to vaerga and higher than average shinigami, she is somewhat "artificial", this kind of escape route to save her life is quite obvious to me, so I really cant see her dying even after seeing the face she made in this chapter, which was really horrible.

second thing is as always, when it comes to chad we have similar ideas, I hope hjis fists are put to good use, but somehow I am still glad chad has room to grow, it gives more oppurtunities for him to get better, I want to see him train further after this arc, hope fully it will go well.

finally, well done on the reviews and hope you have a happy holiday.

MegaX
December 24, 2007, 05:38 PM
@Mooncrow - thats possible, but my idea of Mayuri's character is that he didn't care so much for the end result in comparison to the process of experimentation. he gets inspired to try new ideas but after they are finished, he couldn't care less about it as he has moved on to a new project. Nemu is just another one of these discarded successes. as for the final blow, i've always wanted it to be Renji. Ishida got his big victory during Soul Society. its Renji's turn

@Stone - you may be right there, but as we have not yet seen Mayuri show any signs of affection towards her, i guess we have no evidence of that until Szael is finished and he can focus on her

@MegaX - its happened before that different translations yield different interpretations (one time it voided an entire one of my reviews). however, this is a more minor point, so its not really all that critical which is correct

@igotthegoods - as she and Isane are the most minor characters currently in this arc, Kubo can actually kill her off quite easily and due to the nature of her personality and her relationship with Mayuri, it makes the matter even easier to cast aside for after the fight. as i like Nemu, i on one hand want her to be revived, but on the other hand, doing so would stretch the limits of believability even for Bleach in my opinion

One word: Ego. Szael says that his regeneration technique will kill the host. Perhaps that would be a motivation for Mayuri to bring Nemu back, as a final insult to his enemy after the battle.

Secondly, she represents the pinnacle of his work in artificial bodies and souls. Not only does she stand as a constant reminder of how incredibly amazing he is, she also serves as a template to improve upon. It doesn't really matter how much you can remember off the top of your head, it's a pain in the ass to not have any previous results to work from.

Lastly, she seems to carry many of the antidotes to his poisons, so it would appear that she gives some level of convenience to him that he may be interested in preserving.

Sealed Melody
December 28, 2007, 10:04 AM
Nice review again. Do not mind my constant awe in your reviews, i just hope you're not too tired to listen to them over and over again.

1. Mayuri and Nemu

Well, perhaps Mayuri is insane and that he is crazy about his inventions. I love it when you talked about him being a scientist that cares of widening his knowledge and his inventions in comparison with Szayel whose interest lies in snooping tactics that garnered him the enemies attack before they can strike him. Szayel had a cowardly approach to fighting - perhaps you may not agree with me.

Regardless, let's forget Szayel for a moment, and let me give you my two cents worth on Mayuri and Nemu. While we can observe him caring not in the least for human lives and lesser more to his subordinates, he cares greatly for his invention. As much as Nemu is his 'alleged' daughter and as much as he claimed not to care for her in the slightest, he cares about her as his invention. For him, Nemu was first and foremost his prized manifestation of his intellect and his creativity - and that was what she meant to him. I believe he doesnt understand parenthood, nor he really comprehend a father's burden - but he understood the meaning of being proud of his inventions. Thus, the thing about him concerning over the fact of Nemu being dead was not of parental concern, but rather a concern of an artist when his paintings are being put down.

This is what i really meant - Mayuri is the type that will get provoked at the thought that his inventions are being underestimate, and not because his daughter is in danger.

2. Szayel and his magnificent release.

At first glance of Szayel's release, it irked me a little that it will have a name such as 'lewd concubine', as opposed to more dignified names that Kubo gave to the releases and zanpaktous of his characters. At least they do not consist anything that suggests sexuality and promiscuity. However, 'Gabriel' really made Szayel a person who not only live up to his insanity, but also the name of his release. If truth to be told, Szayel is a blatant proof that SS arc is vastly different from HM arc, but that's another story.

3. Ichigo and Orihime

Being an IchiHime fan (please do not flame me for this), i will guiltily admit that i want to see more interaction from them, but then again this chapter is not necessarily a bad omen. If any, i think that this signifies a progression in Orihime's character as opposed to her tragically teary state as she watched Ichigo torn into shreds. Not to play down Tesla's abilities, and not to play down Nnoitra's naughty fingers - but she is not seen to be as weak as some fans would like to describe her, despite such torments that was inflicted to her since the happy days of post-SS arc is over.

But i have to admit that this request of Ichigo is a probable setup for the failure of the retrieval mission, and this is something that i had an inkling will happen, and i am dreading it.

Thanks for the review as always, hope you do not mind this long post.