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patedecarne
July 01, 2008, 08:45 AM
Long time no see, huh, people? At least in the weekly Bleach reviews! But after the gaiden saga, I`ll write again regular reviews. This one is kind of late, but unfortunately, as I said in the Naruto review, I was affected by some unknown disease, thus being unable to write it earlier, but here`s the review, better late than never!

Scanlations by SleepyFans


Bleach 316 – Swang the Edge Down



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Relax, my dear hollows, the battle will begin now!




OK, back to the present time! Even though I was enjoying so much the gaiden past, now is the time to progress in the main storyline. First, we can see some hollows exploding and them others are hiding themselves, even in an area about 22 kilometers away from Karakura. The most obvious reason for that is that abnormal reiatsu in fake Karakura. This isn`t a surprise to anyone: we have Aizen, Tousen, Gin, the most powerful espadas and about half of Soul Society. Let`s put all the reiatsu in just one recipe, and look we got: a tremendous reiatsu`s disruption in that place. And I`m assuming that Yammamoto and the other still don`t break the limits. Probably if/when the captains and vice captains are to break the limit, this disruption could be sensed about the whole Japan!

An interesting detail I`ve noticed here is that the captains aren`t showing any kind of fear. Just now I can think about two options: Or the captains are trying to hide their fear, which I think is a very unlikely possibility, they`re warriors, after all, or the combined reiatsu from the bad guys is at the same level from the good guys, and being the last option, we can conclude that this fight will be a very close one. None of the two sides has a good advantage over the enemy. But of course they could be hiding their reiatsu right now, we`re just in the beginning of the fight, but just analyzing this chapter, I`ll say this fight is unpredictable at this point. Kubo is hiding very well the warriors`s true powers now, but at least now, I`m relieved to see that Aizen isn`t being the monster we thought, and I`m hoping that Kubo keeps things this way




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Seems Komamura is reading the Art of War!




Well, at first, I thought that we would see some 1 vs 1 fight, like for example Aizen vs Yammamoto or even Komamura vs Tousen, but for my surprise, the SS warriors are making some strategy to defeat the espadas first. Like Komamura said, Aizen deserves a special attention, and my guess here is that SS doesn`t wants a 1 X 1 fight against Aizen: a group fighting against him could make things a bit difficult to Aizen at this point, and probably this is Yammamoto`s thoughts right now. In my point of view, Yammamoto is able to fight equally against Aizen, but he doesn`t know the espadas`s true power, then, a 1 X 1 fight could be a blind shot, because if an espada were to interefere in the fight, it could be disastrous; instead, Yammamoto himself will fight with the espadas, and after that, without any obstacles, they`ll attack Aizen. This is a good move to be used here, but still we don`t know if Aizen has some B plans, and we know how smart he is, I`m guessing Aizen will do something else.

I`m glad to see that Kubo is writing some strategy here: I love strategic battles, and we`re seeing right now the famous: split to conquer! Let`s just hope that Kubo has learned with his past mistakes ( Noitora vs Kenpachi), making coherent battles with reasonable explanations, using tactics to win the battles. This chapter gave me a good feeling about the upcoming events, and let`s just wait for good things.




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Armageddon or Apocalypse? Make your choice…




And now, the best thing in the chapter, in my opinion. As Hitsugaya and Matsumoto are discussing about some way to counter Aizen, Yammamoto suddenly releases his sword, Ryujin Jakka, in Shikai mode. I must say this was totally unexpected, but was great. To prevent Aizen, Tousen and Gin from entering in the fight, he has used a special skill from his shikai, Jokaku Enjo. I`m curious to see Yamma-jii fighting in these battles, and with his Shikai so soon, I`m really believing that we`ll see his Bankai for now. He`s a true general, because his flames even scared Stark, which I believe to be the 2º espada. And this technique was used with minimum effort, Yamma still isn`t even playing serious! And unlike that time with Shunsui and Ukitake, he doesn’t have any reasons to hold himself. I couldn`t ask more from Yamma in this chapter, and he`s using his strategy perfectly. And that panel with his face using the skill was great too; it shows how omnipotent he is. I think he`s even more powerful than we think, and this is just a single skill from his Shikai. Probably in his fight against the espada, he`ll fight against the primera espada, and we`ll see THE showdown.

Another curious thing in this chapter: seems that, for the first time, Aizen is unable to make his move. Like Gin stated (let`s not forget Gin, his coolness is always great!), they cannot do much surrounded by flames, and probably Aizen is stuck in that place too. But here lies another great problem: Aizen is too self-confident about his victory, even if he won`t join in the fight. Aizen said that there`s no need to move a finger, because the fight will end without them. And in this moment, the panel focus was in the three espadas, then I`m concluding Aizen is relying in the espada`s powers to win the fight. Are only 3 espadas enough to defeat half of Soul Society? No, I don`t think so, Yammamoto himself should be able to fight equally with the primero espada, unless the espadas`s powers are beyond all the limits, but being the case, then no one would be able to defeat them. But like I said before, it`s possible that Aizen has some kind of secret plan, but judging for this chapter, Aizen is going too far in his self-confidence.




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And about you, Orihime? Will you be a second Kaien?




And now we can see again Orihime and Ulquiorra, where he`s trying to mentally break Orihime, asking her if she`s scared from everything. What really caught my attention here is why Aizen still keeps Orihime as a captive, even when he said he doesn`t need her anymore. My guess here is Aizen has some plans to Ichigo, and Inoue will take part in this plan. A more extreme prediction now is that Ulquiorra is just held her as captive to kill her right in front of Ichigo, or even worse: Ichigo could be the one to kills her. In the turmoil of the battle, Ulquiorra could use Inoue as a shield, and Ichigo won`t be able to stop his attack, thus killing Orihime in the process. As many people here already have predicted, Orihime is kind of useless now, and her only use could be related to some kind of powerup to Ichigo. A scenario where Orihime will be killed, and Hollow Ichigo will take full control could be a likely one: He`ll enter into craziness mode, and probably Aizen already knows his true potential, then it`s possible to Aizen to try to gain Hollow Ichigo as an ally.

And whether her fate will be death or not, her last speech: “My heart is with my friends now”, is a strong hint that something could happen to her soon. Let`s not forget Kaien: He said these same words to Rukia in the past, and unfortunately, we know his fate. These last pages were another great moment in the chapter: while nothing really important has happened, I can see some drama involving Orihime, seems as she already is prepared for her death, as if she knows that something will happen. She knows that Ichigo will try to rescue her, and I don`t think she wants to see another enemy hurting him again, and probably she could have something in mind, as well. Ichigo vs Ulquiorra is inevitable now, and Orihime won`t be so passive like in Grimmjow vs Ichigo, not for a second time.






***Key Points***

Yammamoto`s new skill
Aizen self-confidence
Dramatic speech involving Ulquiorra and Orihime



Summary


The chapter was good, though the plot progression wasn`t so satisfactory. The great highlight here was Yammamoto and his preemptive attack to prevent Aizen, Tousen and Gin: Not only this attack has worked, but we can see a little more about the great general and his powers. The chapter was a bit dramatic too, with Ulquiorra and Orihime, and my instincts are telling me that something really important will happen in that fight, this battle has the potential to be epic, even more if Orihime is planning to do something (which I believe). Aside Yammamoto`s attack, not much action here, instead Kubo is just setting up the environment for the new battles. And the worst thing is the hiatus. This hiatus could be just after the gaiden saga, at least this cliffhanger wouldn`t exist, I`m really don`t understand why Kubo put this cliffhanger just now, but now it cannot be helped. Unfortunately, the only thing we can do is wait.
Ok, then, we`re meeting again in the next chapter!

Raysen_ht
July 01, 2008, 11:09 AM
good review!

The only thing i dont agree, is that Orihime is kind of useless....
If her atacking power got as strong as her negate events thing (Thats an AWESOME ability!!!), she could do real damage now...

/i cant stand the hiatos!!!!!!!

gold349
July 02, 2008, 10:52 AM
Great review. One thing, Yamamato has sheathed his sword, it might be a while before we see his bankai that's if he participates in the fight (which he should, then again he might leave it up to the captains and his role might be a totally different to actually taking part in the fight himself).

patedecarne
July 02, 2008, 01:32 PM
@Raysen_ht
Yes, that's most logical explanation: Making some kind of paradox, ir her defense is so high, edging the god's limits, then her attack power could be that powerful as well, but I'm afraid that Kubo won't put so much effort in her attack, because making more comparisons, she could be able to defeat even Aizen with her power;
And in the current context I don't know if would be a good move to Kubo to develop her powers, instead sacrificing herself or even being killed not only would give a boost to Ichigo, but a great twist in the story as well!


@gold349
Regarding Yammamoto's role in the event, I'm about 99% sure he'll fight together with the other captainsm even because I don't think SS could stand a chance without him, but his bankai probably will be the last one in this fight: His Bankai must be the most powerful among Soul Society, and still we cannot make comparisons between Yammamoto and the other espadas just now to determine whether he'll use his bankai against them or not;
But anyway, if by chance Yammamoto comes to fight with Aizen(that's my hope) then his bankai will be a must, and so Aizen's bankai too!

gfire2
July 06, 2008, 05:01 AM
i realli enjoyed reading it and pretty much agree with everything (even the orihime part) except some points:

1) i dont believe yama would fite the espadas becoz if yama goes head to head with them he prolli will get kinda exhausted and yama noes that unless he can fight aizen at full power he prolli wont win

2) technicalli they are in soul society (if im correct) so there realli isnt a need to use the limits

3) i reckon aizen can get outa that easil except he just chooses the watch

4) stark is no1 :P

patedecarne
July 07, 2008, 01:13 PM
Well, the "exhausted" problem is almost a fact, not only to Yammamoto, but to the remaining captains as well; Even if Yammamoto is saving his powers to Aizen, Gin and Tousen are there as well, and I don't think Yamma jii is able to take all of them together, and after the espadas battle, probably all the captains will get fatigued and exhausted, thus making them unable to fight with Gin and Tousen;

Probably the vizards are the most reasonable option in this context, and I don't think Soul Society has a chance against the espadas without Yamma jii's help!

Flight-47
July 10, 2008, 02:58 AM
Man, nice review. O.o

You're a very observant and intelligent person!


As for the Captains, I don't think they stand a chance. If anything, Genryuusai would be the only one to put up a fight, since it was stated that Vasto Lorde stronger than Captain level Shinigami, and Genryuusai's Captain Commander, so he should be above them all.


There's a chance the Vaizard won't join SS, since they do hate Soul Society for how they were going to discard them, and Hiyori in the past even said she hated humans and Shinigami.

patedecarne
July 10, 2008, 09:29 AM
Thanks, Flight-47 ^_^!

Regarding the Vizards, I think they'll pay an important role in this upcoming fight, but just like you said, there's a possibility that the Vizards won't join sides with Soul Society, they hate both of them, and speaking in strategic terms, SS and Aizen's collapse are great opportunities to the vizards, and could emerge as a new faccion or even a new ruler!

Akabeth
July 10, 2008, 08:56 PM
These last pages were another great moment in the chapter: while nothing really important has happened, I can see some drama involving Orihime, seems as she already is prepared for her death, as if she knows that something will happen. She knows that Ichigo will try to rescue her, and I don`t think she wants to see another enemy hurting him again, and probably she could have something in mind, as well. Ichigo vs Ulquiorra is inevitable now, and Orihime won`t be so passive like in Grimmjow vs Ichigo, not for a second time.


That extract nailed it. Great review Pat.

Flight-47
July 11, 2008, 03:57 AM
I was hoping to see Komamura VS Tousen and a re-match between Gin and Toushirou but it doesn't look like that'll happen.

Unless the Vaizard arrive unexpectedly, and Aizen is forced to break through Yamamoto's technique and join the battle. That'd be nice. Shinji VS Aizen all the way eh? >.<