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gigantor21
July 01, 2006, 09:56 PM
233. El Violador

A Review By Gigantor21

(Note: This is my first review of just about anything related to manga at all. Forgive me if it ends up being too wordy, too amateurish, or just plain sucks. Any comments or criticism would be appreciated—just don’t be TOO harsh about it.)

This week’s chapter of Bleach was incredibly engrossing for two reasons, or rather, two Espada—Wanderweiss and Ulqiuorra. We finally got a more substantive look at Wanderweiss as a character, beyond the gaping idiot he’s been made out to be for the past month or so, and find that he may be the most unstable (and possibly dangerous) Espada we’ve seen yet. Ulquiorra’s significance to the chapter, however, is very different. His appearance at the end of the chapter gave more solid evidence of Orihime’s importance in Aizen’s plot, as it was him who was sent after her when just about any Arrancar would do.

We start the chapter with Ichigo in rather deep shit, so to speak, freefalling to the ground without his mask and exhausted while a bloodthirsty Grimmjow advances on him. The fact that Ichigo can’t even gather enough spiritual force to stay in the air was a subtle but clever way of showing how much of a strain using his Vaizard powers was—and how much more room Ichigo has to grow. The way that the whole rematch encounter played out was brilliant on Kubotite’s part, because Ichigo was literally ripping Grimmjow to shreds in that brief period where he could materialize his mask. With that, we got to see how much of an asset those powers will be without having to force Grimmjow to get serious and release his sword. If he had, it would’ve been way too premature, and would’ve contradicted the fact that there isn’t much time for any of the characters to improve very much (as noted by both Hirako and Ukitake).

Meanwhile, Luppi was single-handedly dominating all four of the Shinigami facing her without much trouble—a testament to the strength of the Espada in comparison to the Gillian-based Arrancar that Renji and co. had barely managed to beat before. As expected, Urahara managed to step in right before someone got killed—though, surprisingly, it seemed that Wanderweiss noticed his presence long before Yamii and Luppi did, and wasted no time in going after him once he made his appearance. What struck me about Wanderweiss the most was the playful look on his face as he tried to attack Urahara. It didn’t seem like he attacked out of some sadomasochistic tendency, which has been prevalent with just about every Hollow or former Hollow in the entire series.

Rather, it seemed like he wasn’t even sure what he was doing at all, which (in an ironic way) added some more depth to his character while raising interesting questions about him. If he doesn’t seem particularly bloodthirsty at all, then why did he even attack Urahara in the first place? Does that instinct to kill, which was described in such gruesome terms by Hollow Ichigo, arise naturally from the fact that he was a Hollow? Or is there more to his character than Kubotite has shown us so far? In either case, just three pages (9, 14, and 15) made Wanderweiss a much more interesting character, which just go to show how good of a storyteller Kubotite is.

Back in Soul Society, we found Orihime passing through the gate to Earth along with two escorts to help Ichigo and the others, when Ulquiorra pops in out of nowhere to fulfill his mission. I actually kind of felt sorry for her, as she said that she only got a little stronger, yet was still confident that she’d be more useful this time. Personally, I doubt that, considering that the weakest Espada in Aizen’s army shattered her only weapon just by blocking it with one bare hand. Keeping that in mind, I doubt that she’ll be able to fend off Ulquiorra’s attacks for very long, if at all.

And even if she’d gotten much stronger than before, her location right now serves as a serious problem in itself. Remember way back when Ichigo and the others first crossed through the dimensional gate, and Yoruichi yelled at Orihime for using her shield to get them out safely? Well, that was because the three fairies (for lack of a better term) that form that shield are connected directly to her life force. If any of them had touched the spirit-trapping stuff in the tunnel, then Orihime would’ve died. So it looks like she’s not even going to be able to use her shield to defend herself, and that her only attack will be completely useless—making her helpless. Unless someone comes in and rescues her, Ulquiorra will succeed in his mission, whatever that may be.

But what is that mission? We’ve heard from Aizen himself that Orihime’s ability to manipulate space and time is of interest to him. Sblackburn pointed out in the discussion thread that this power could be used in order to accelerate the Hogyoku’s completion—which makes sense, as that would mean that he could produce as many Arrancar as he wanted without having to use any of his own energy. Considering that the Shinigami had problems fighting Gillian-based Arrancar one-on-one, Soul Society probably wouldn’t stand a chance against a whole army of them.

So with all these shocking and revealing developments, it looks like we should expect next week’s chapter to be as good as, if not better than this week’s. What I want to know is whether or not the Vaizards will finally make a move, as Soul Society and it’s allies are on the losing end of all three fronts of the current battle. But even if they don’t, I’m still looking forward to what happens next.

Gold Knight
July 02, 2006, 03:05 AM
Hey, finally, a Bleach review! ;D

Very nicely written review! I liked it a lot. Now to comment on your thoughts:


The way that the whole rematch encounter played out was brilliant on Kubotite’s part, because Ichigo was literally ripping Grimmjow to shreds in that brief period where he could materialize his mask. With that, we got to see how much of an asset those powers will be without having to force Grimmjow to get serious and release his sword. If he had, it would’ve been way too premature, and would’ve contradicted the fact that there isn’t much time for any of the characters to improve very much (as noted by both Hirako and Ukitake).

I must admit I've liked this rematch: it clearly shows that Ichigo is not yet ready to be a full-fledged Vaizard or whatever sort of combatant that he is training to be with the other Vaizards, but it also at the same time shows all the potential. I have a feeling the other Vaizards are going to step in, now.


What struck me about Wanderweiss the most was the playful look on his face as he tried to attack Urahara. It didn’t seem like he attacked out of some sadomasochistic tendency, which has been prevalent with just about every Hollow or former Hollow in the entire series.

Rather, it seemed like he wasn’t even sure what he was doing at all, which (in an ironic way) added some more depth to his character while raising interesting questions about him. If he doesn’t seem particularly bloodthirsty at all, then why did he even attack Urahara in the first place? Does that instinct to kill, which was described in such gruesome terms by Hollow Ichigo, arise naturally from the fact that he was a Hollow? Or is there more to his character than Kubotite has shown us so far?

I get the feeling that Wonderweiss may sense that somehow Urahara is responsible for his own existence (considering he was born with the help of Urahara's invention, the Hogyoku. I agree that his reaction is definitely of a different nature from the other arrancar.


I actually kind of felt sorry for her, as she said that she only got a little stronger, yet was still confident that she’d be more useful this time. Personally, I doubt that, considering that the weakest Espada in Aizen’s army shattered her only weapon just by blocking it with one bare hand. Keeping that in mind, I doubt that she’ll be able to fend off Ulquiorra’s attacks for very long, if at all.

Sometimes I get annoyed by Kubo's slow patience in developing Inoue's character to the point where she could finally defend herself in serious battle against these powerhouses. I feel like there is so much potential in her powers, and yet it's rarely in use at all. Hopefully this will change very soon, as a result of this story-arc, although I sure hope it doesn't end up being a "Damsel in Distress" sort of thing.


Remember way back when Ichigo and the others first crossed through the dimensional gate, and Yoruichi yelled at Orihime for using her shield to get them out safely? Well, that was because the three fairies (for lack of a better term) that form that shield are connected directly to her life force. If any of them had touched the spirit-trapping stuff in the tunnel, then Orihime would’ve died. So it looks like she’s not even going to be able to use her shield to defend herself, and that her only attack will be completely useless—making her helpless. Unless someone comes in and rescues her, Ulquiorra will succeed in his mission, whatever that may be.

True. That's a very unfortunate situation for Inoue.


But what is that mission? We’ve heard from Aizen himself that Orihime’s ability to manipulate space and time is of interest to him. Sblackburn pointed out in the discussion thread that this power could be used in order to accelerate the Hogyoku’s completion—which makes sense, as that would mean that he could produce as many Arrancar as he wanted without having to use any of his own energy. Considering that the Shinigami had problems fighting Gillian-based Arrancar one-on-one, Soul Society probably wouldn’t stand a chance against a whole army of them.

Hmmm... yeah, that would be a good reason for Aizen's interest in Inoue. And probably why they attacked so quick. Why bother waiting until a war when you can win the battle before it's even started?

Overall you did an excellent job here of presenting your thoughts with the most interesting parts of the chapter, Gigantor21! And it's very good to see somebody reviewing Bleach so that I can put in my own quick thoughts as well.

The only missing is how you would rate this chapter in comparison with other chapters! ;D

Thanks and keep it up. :)

Dragonzair
July 02, 2006, 05:17 AM
Amazingly written. :tem Bleach is my most fave, so I really appreciate you doing this. ^_^


Rather, it seemed like he wasn’t even sure what he was doing at all, which (in an ironic way) added some more depth to his character while raising interesting questions about him. If he doesn’t seem particularly bloodthirsty at all, then why did he even attack Urahara in the first place? Does that instinct to kill, which was described in such gruesome terms by Hollow Ichigo, arise naturally from the fact that he was a Hollow? Or is there more to his character than Kubotite has shown us so far? In either case, just three pages (9, 14, and 15) made Wanderweiss a much more interesting character, which just go to show how good of a storyteller Kubotite is.

XD

Okay. You are very right in him noticing Urahara before everyone else did. It was at that point where he was about to (or is, actually) eating the bug. He looked straight ahead, knowing someone's on the way.

But yeah, I totally agree on how he really didn't know what he wa doing. And if he did, it's not because he wants to attack Urahara, moreso maybe becuase something attracted him to there. Like how a child is attracted to candy. (HEEHEE. He wants the candy! j/k XD) I don't know about you, but I have a feeling he's interested in Kisuke's hat. :oh

And, I'm expecting mroe from you!!!! Keep them coming!

gigantor21
July 02, 2006, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the positive feedback, you guys...I really appreciate it. I'll do my best to review each week's chapter from now on.

Gold Knight - I've been bothered by Inoue's lack of growth ever since the Soul Society arc ended. It's like her relevance to the plot is being slowly written away by Kubotite, or something, which is a real shame because I like Inoue. I don't want her to become nothing but a liability to Ichigo and co., but she hasn't been of much use beyond relief work--and once 4th squad members are deployed, she won't even be needed for that anymore. I really hate that.

Dragonzair - Hell, I'd jack Urahara for his hat, too, if I was strong enough!

But, seriously, though, I agree with you on the childlike nature of Wanderweiss's attack. If it had been any other Espada, I doubt Urahara's Shikai would be enough anyway (considering how Ulquiorra just sort of swatted his attack away), but Wanderweiss seems especially dangerous because it looks like he doesn't even know what he's doing.

Personally, I don't think Urahara has any choice but to use his Bankai--which doesn't really bother me, because I've wanted to see it since we first found out that Bankai's even existed (during the Ishida vs. Mayuri fight, all those volumes ago).

Gold Knight
July 03, 2006, 01:36 AM
Indeed! It's time we saw the true power of the Crimson Princess! :D

gigantor21
July 03, 2006, 07:36 PM
Indeed! It's time we saw the true power of the Crimson Princess! :D


Isn't it, though? It'd be a waste if we didn't...

pocketmofo
July 03, 2006, 11:23 PM
Nice job on the review, Gigantor21! I always enjoy Gold Knight's reviews of Naruto so it's great to see Bleach get the same treatment.

What I liked about this chapter was the sidetext for Luppi's cover. It really describes his character well:

The world is a toy. A boring toy. Let's at least dye it in bloody rapture...

I hope we get to see more craziness from his power in the coming chapters.

gigantor21
July 05, 2006, 10:09 PM
Nice job on the review, Gigantor21! I always enjoy Gold Knight's reviews of Naruto so it's great to see Bleach get the same treatment.


Thanks!


What I liked about this chapter was the sidetext for Luppi's cover. It really describes his character well:

The world is a toy. A boring toy. Let's at least dye it in bloody rapture...

I hope we get to see more craziness from his power in the coming chapters.


Hmm...just read the script for 234, and it doesn't look like it...

What do you think the sidetext for Wanderweiss would say? "....Ohhh'"?

Dragonzair
July 08, 2006, 07:42 AM
:wtf

Next chapter's reviews?

gigantor21
July 08, 2006, 11:58 AM
I'll have it done later today, I promise.