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True Blade
October 03, 2008, 01:14 PM
True Blade Reviews...
Bleach 328: The Knuckle Debate
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Good evening and hello fellow Bleachaholics. I am the Blade most True, and this is the review for Bleach 328. This chapter wraps up the happenings of last chapter, sets some possible character development in motion, and most importantly of all... progresses the story to what we've all been waiting for! This is a great chapter for speculation, especially regarding the numerous upcoming fights, so sit back and enjoy the reading.

Many thanks to SleepyFans for their wonderous scanlation!






Prelude to the Battle
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I can think of a few ways Matsumoto could pay off her debts to me~<3

On Recent Events
As we continue where we left off last chapter, Po is decisively defeated by Komamura's bankai. Second division lieutenant Marechiyo is in awe of Komamura's power, probably due to the fact that he's quite the wimp himself, but more on that later. Matsumoto comments on the costs of the damage Komamura's bankai has inflicted, even on a false Karakuri town. Hitsugaya comments that a captain takes responsibility for damage caused by their own squad, before squashing Matsumoto's hopes.

Of note here, Hitsugaya gives us a little more insight on Komamura's character, and the attitude that makes him a worthy captain. It's definitely his style to take any and all responsibility for the actions of those in his squad, as their leader. Of course Hitsugaya's not that nice, but that's why we love him, ain't it? Money's a moot point in Bleach mostly, with the exception of comedic effect, such as Renji's overpriced designer sunglasses, and this recent joke. Money is no laughing matter for some of us, Kubo!





Shinigami Duty
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It's easy to act tough when all you did was run away last fight!


In this section, Iba notes the difference in power between Ikkaku and Komamura's bankai, and then chastises Ikkaku for putting his own desires before the safety of Soul Society. His words seem to resonately deeply in Ikkaku. Ikkaku charges at him, but in his weakened state is easily knocked down.

On Bankai
Firstly, we're reminded the difference that having experience with one's bankai can make when it comes to a shinigami's power. Just like the Renji vs. Byakuya fight many arcs back, there is a great difference between learning bankai, and knowing it. While Ikkaku has achieved bankai, it's in name only when compared to a truely seasoned fighter, like any of the captains. While Ikkaku's fighting ability approaches captain level, it certainly hasn't reached it yet. It's safe to say he fights at or above lieutenant level, but both his ideals, and the inexperience with his bankai keep him from moving forward.

On Iba
We get a glimpse more of Iba's character here. While he is sort of coming off as a jerk, his message is something he strongly believes in. Much like his captain, Iba believes that Soul Society comes first. Shinigami are, first and foremost, soldiers of Soul Society, and winning in it's name comes first. No matter what tactics or personal qualms one may have. However, at the end of the conversation, Iba encourages Ikkaku to get stronger. It's a confusing message at first, but I interpret it as the first half being Iba's own beliefs, and the second being him encouraging one of his oldest friends.

On Ikkaku
This message seems to resonate strongly with Ikkaku. He says he puts fighting honorably first and foremost, even at the cost of death. However, when your own personal belief is at odds with your duty, what can you do? Iba gives him the answer. If he's going to stubbornly stick to his ways of hiding his true power, and enjoying the fight above all else, then he needs to become strong enough to be able to fulfull his duty while doing so. I imagine we will see some great progress in either Ikkaku's attitude, or his ability the next time we see him in combat.

Lastly, it seems Komamura overheard this conversation, but pretends as though he didn't, with his doggy ears twitching all cute like. Oh the humor!




Hornets Clash

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Barragan is noticeably unhappy that all of his fraccion were defeated, and his remaining 2 offer to finish off the weakened pillar defenders. However before they make their move, Soifon makes hers. She clashes with an as of yet unnamed fraccion of Barragan.

I was expecting her to fight Halibel, honestly, but if that fight ends up being for Yoruichi or a female vizard, I won't mind. <3 Yoruichi.
(I know I'm a little stuck on it being a female vs. female match up for Halibel, but every other match up in this arc has been mirror image match ups)

On Soifon vs Beedrill
Since we don't have names for Barragan's 2 remaining fraccion, I'll just go with the pokemon trend in the humor threads. It looks like it's going to be hornet vs. hornet in this match up. Soifon's Suzumebachi against what appears to be a hornet themed arrancar. I'm a little disappointed to see that Soifon is going to be fighting a generic fraccion, and I can't see the fight being very interesting. She's one of the more competent captains, but the fight will probably go at least a chapter or two, since I don't expect the first appearance of her bankai to be against a fraccion.

What we will see is probably the first successful use of her 2 hit kill shikai on an actual canon opponent. As for Beedrill, her abilities are obviously going to be related to stinging or poison, so it's going to be a clash of similar powers. Soifon has the upper hand, and I'd be disappointed to see this fight go very long, or to see Soifon have any trouble.

Omaeda vs. Graveler
Well. Not even sure what to think of this. Every time we see Omaeda, he is used as comedic relief. He's constantly implied to be incredibly weak, and he was one of the three lieutenants crushed by Ichigo long ago. He's never been implied to have any sort of fighting skill, and now he faces an arrancar. Legitimate lieutenants and captains have had trouble against arrancar, and now we are seeing perhaps the most laughable character in Bleach show us what he has.

I can see this going two ways. Either Omaeda is not a completely incompetent buffoon as has been hinted, and he fights skillfully, shocking every Bleach reader (Imagine if he's actually the strongest lieutenant!), or he becomes a heavy liability, in that Soifon has to basically fight 2 arrancar while protecting both herself and her lieutenant. Or maybe he'll get killed off? I doubt that, but my money is on one of the two above theories.





The Battle Begins...

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And with that, they're off, and initial match ups become a little easier to predict! Genryusai states that the real battle has begun, and... well I don't think that's true with all these pesky fraccion still hanging around, but we're getting there! I already covered the far right panel, so I'll move right to left on the remaining ones.

On Genryusai
Do you think his beard is getting bigger as this arc goes on? He gets a whole frame to talk, as does his beard. No room for an opponent here, but we saw Barragan get up and must assume that Halibel is on the move as well. Both are missing from these "match up" panels, so either could be his opponent. But I think we're all expecting Barragan, or no one at all. In which case he'll continue keeping the 3 former captains trapped and being a grumpy old dude.

Stark and Lilinette vs Ukitake and Shinsui
Well, I think all of this really depends on Stark's rank. I could see this going 2 ways. If he is in fact the number 1 Espada, I can see him facing Ukitake and Shinsui alone. We'll see the full extent of both of their shikais, and possibly that killer combo technique that is often hinted at in Bleach games (such as Bleach DS).

Of course, even if he's number 1, or a rank lesser, he might end up just facing one of them. Both Ukitake and Shinsui are powerful, loveable, honorable dudes, so while one of them faces Stark, who is probably REALLY powerful, the other will have a (probably kinda comical) match up with Lilinette. Whichever captain faces Stark is in for a very awesome fight, with a lot of new ability displaying. I'm VERY excited to see either of them fight Stark. All three of the big fighters in this panel are going to be awesome to see in action.

Hitsugaya and Matsumoto vs Apache, Mila-rose, and Sun-sun
Only Hitsugaya would get to be surrounded by hot women 24/7! I expect to see a lot out of Matsumoto in this fight, honestly. While it is 3 on 2, I would be disappointed to see captain level Hitsugaya struggle against these fraccion. I am a bit biased, because I am a HUGE fan of the possible Hitsugaya vs. Ichimaru match up that could happen. He probably will struggle initially, but ideally in my eyes, he'll only use his Shikai.

This fight is right up Matsumoto's alley, in my opinion. Her only fights in the series have been mostly skipped over, so we'll get some really in depth looks at what her zanpakuto and her can do. I think this fight will probably bring out the full extent of her abilities, and set her up to learn her bankai in the distant future.

I Only Count One...
Halibel and Barragan are noticeably missing at the end of this chapter, and there has been very little seen of the trapped three former captains. Ichimaru, Aizen, and Tosen will break out of Genryusai's trap off-screen, and make surprising reappearances as these fights come to a close, is my prediction. As for Barragan and Halibel, it's anyone's guess. Everyone but Genryusai seem to be matched up, and 2 of the strongest fighters on the arrancar side are MIA? I guess in theory Yamamoto could handle both of them. We'll have to see how the current fights play out, and if any others make appearances.



Chapter Summary

Po's done.
Iba chastises Ikkaku on his methods of combat, and encourages him to grow stronger if he plans to stick with his ideals.
The great battle has begun, and matchups are beginning to form!

shoe
October 03, 2008, 01:57 PM
Nice Review!

I also noticed that barragan and hallibel are MIA, but the 1st division lietenant is also missing. Maybe we will get to see him do something as well?

also, am I the only one that found it strange that even though all of the other captains brought their lieutenants Nanao is missing? maybe she will show up sometime soon.

Starky-08
October 03, 2008, 03:05 PM
Sasakibe might help Omaeda.

True Blade
October 03, 2008, 04:38 PM
Nice Review!

I also noticed that barragan and hallibel are MIA, but the 1st division lietenant is also missing. Maybe we will get to see him do something as well?

also, am I the only one that found it strange that even though all of the other captains brought their lieutenants Nanao is missing? maybe she will show up sometime soon.

Oh yeah, forgot he was even around. He's pretty much the most mysterious figure in the series, as next to nothing is known about him. I'm sure he'll appear against a fraccion soon.
As for Nanao, I wondered about that when they introduced who would be in this fight. Maybe Shinsui assigned her something else to do, possibly involved with what might still happen with Karakuri and the fake Karakuri.


Sasakibe might help Omaeda.

Very possible, since more than likely someone is going to need to save his sorry face.

Aikidoka
October 03, 2008, 05:35 PM
Highlight of the chapter for me was Komamura pretending not to have heard Iba's and Ikkaku's little exchange. I'm liking Komamura more and more now, he seems like a great person. The "knuckle debate" was pretty cool as well.

I don't think Omaeda will be humiliated or killed. Notice how he's the only Soul Society character who's fat, and Kubo's disparaging portrayal of him seems to imply that fat people are inherently weak and stupid. I don't support this, I have fat friends and a fat brother, and they're all respectable people.

I could just be reading too much into this though, which I'm sure (or I hope) I am. Kubo wouldn't do something like that.

MAX_COLA_POWER!
October 03, 2008, 06:41 PM
Nice review Blade^^, love your intro, Blade most True, classic^^. I love the close up we got of Kokujo Tengen Myo'o and Po. Can't believe that Po was given a green color scheme. I thought he would be painted blue since he looked like a Blue whale. Anyway, the fact that Tetsuzaemon actually made SOME sense pisses me off, since his zanpakuto is a crappy dagger and his shikai is one of the suckish shikais ever, next to Marechiyo's Gegetsuburi. Every fangirl of Bleach will want a Sajin as a pet, not a Sajin plush toy, just Sajin himself as a pet just to squeeze him after that whole serious face ear wiggle. Now then, Soifon vs. girl barragan fracción: betcha her release is gonna be something like Tear: Diente de Sable (Sabertooth). Hopefully we'll see a Suzumebachi bankai. Marechiyo vs. Graveler: I like the idea of Chojiro helping him, since I'm willing to give his Gonyomaru one more chance, since Gegetsuburi is so easily breakable, plus One Piece made fencing interesting for me^^. I think Stark will face Shunsui, lazy vs. lazy, maybe they'll have a drink together. Jushiro will face Lilinette, THIS I can't wait to see. He'll be fine, even though I wanna see some Kyokotsu and Kotowari bankai, but I worry about Jushiro's health making him very vulnerable in his bankai mode. Facing Lilinette will be just like facing Kiyone, but with less clothing, piece of cake^^. Toshiro and Rangiku vs. Mira-Rose, Sun Sun, and Apache: Toshiro will own with Hyorinmaru and Rangiku will probably use the long awaited Haineko bankai we've been waiting for since I think, next to Renji, she's the closest one to learn bankai. Finally, Genryusai vs. Barragan: GRANDPA FIGHT! LET THE TAPIOCA FLY MOTHERF***ERS!>v<, enough said.

True Blade
October 04, 2008, 01:16 AM
Highlight of the chapter for me was Komamura pretending not to have heard Iba's and Ikkaku's little exchange. I'm liking Komamura more and more now, he seems like a great person. The "knuckle debate" was pretty cool as well.

I don't think Omaeda will be humiliated or killed. Notice how he's the only Soul Society character who's fat, and Kubo's disparaging portrayal of him seems to imply that fat people are inherently weak and stupid. I don't support this, I have fat friends and a fat brother, and they're all respectable people.

I could just be reading too much into this though, which I'm sure (or I hope) I am. Kubo wouldn't do something like that.

Haha, well I'm not sure what to say about Kubo and fat people. It's true that everyone in Bleach is in incredibly good shape, with the exception of him. Who knows, maybe underneath that Shinigami garb lies a rock hard chiseled exterior! Think of it this way, if he is humiliated and shown to be weak, it's less to do with him being fat, and more with him being unrightfully arrogant, spoiled, and cowardly.


Finally, Genryusai vs. Barragan: GRANDPA FIGHT! LET THE TAPIOCA FLY MOTHERF***ERS!>v<, enough said.

Haha. Oh man, I... I don't want to imagine the tapioca and spongebath when it comes to Genryusai! There's still the Visored and Yoruichi/Urahara to account for in possible match ups here, however just because certain characters like Hitsugaya and Ukitake might not get another fight, I'm not sure I want to see them forced to release their bankais against relatively weaker opponents. But then again, a part of me is uber curious to see everyone's bankais all at once. Can one arc handle that much ownage?

Essence
October 04, 2008, 03:45 PM
Great review

With the focus back on the captains, i'm once again very dissapointed in terms of the matchup. Kubo simply should have made the lieutenant fight only with the fraccion while the captains take on an espada. I like the idea of two captains at once take on an espada instead of a captain struggling against a fraccion.

While i'm not thrilled at the idea of the matchup of the chapter except for stark fight, I think Kubo has his reasons. I think the reason kubo did it this way was because he wanna save some battles for Yoruichi, Urahara, and the vizards.I think that should keep us excited.

With This chapter setting up an atmosphere for an intense battle, We only saw one espada getting ready for battle which is Stark. With the other two espdadas kind of laying back, does that mean that Stark is number 3? your idea of yoruichi fighting against halibel is one i like, so who do you think urahara going to battle with?

True Blade
October 06, 2008, 09:29 PM
Great review

With the focus back on the captains, i'm once again very dissapointed in terms of the matchup. Kubo simply should have made the lieutenant fight only with the fraccion while the captains take on an espada. I like the idea of two captains at once take on an espada instead of a captain struggling against a fraccion.

While i'm not thrilled at the idea of the matchup of the chapter except for stark fight, I think Kubo has his reasons. I think the reason kubo did it this way was because he wanna save some battles for Yoruichi, Urahara, and the vizards.I think that should keep us excited.

With This chapter setting up an atmosphere for an intense battle, We only saw one espada getting ready for battle which is Stark. With the other two espdadas kind of laying back, does that mean that Stark is number 3? your idea of yoruichi fighting against halibel is one i like, so who do you think urahara going to battle with?

I don't think Stark is number 3. Barragan telling Stark "he'd better not have a problem" with Barragan giving commands, despite the fact that anyone who knows Stark would know he would not have a problem, even less so if he was a lesser rank, implies that he's at least higher than Barragan. Also, considering he's going to fight either Shinsui or Ukitake, who are the second strongest captains, says that he's probably 1/2.

I'm not sure who Urahara will fight, or if he'll fight at all. Like I said in the review, this entire arc has been mirrored matches. Ichigo/Grimmjow, Mayuri/Syazel, Kenpachi/Nnoitra, etc etc. The only person I can think of that is kind of similar to Urahara is Aizen, and I imagine that he'll be in combat with one of the Visored (Shinji) when they make their appearances. Not to mention he might be in charge of some back up scientific plan to foil Aizen's plot.

Actually, scratch that, I could see him having a rather intense fight with Wonderwise Margera. I believe he's as powerful as a top level Espada, and the sort of aloof personalities would sort of match.

Or maybe he'll just toy with Yammy some more?