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The Underscore
November 06, 2009, 03:37 PM
The Underscore’s
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381 Words Just Don’t Like You

After a long week of exams and essays I finally get to write more… Wait, what? Oh well, at least the subject of this review is more entertaining than that of my essays :amuse. Now I know I haven’t been able to give any replies on your comments in last week’s review and that I usually use the ‘posts that were lost but not forgotten section’, but I won’t be doing that this week due to the fact that I’ll go mad if I have to write for too long a time for the fifth time this week. The fact that I have to write two more reviews this weekend also doesn’t help with my motivation, especially as they aren’t related to manga whatsoever… Of course I did read all your comments during the breaks in my studies and I appreciated the posts, so they weren’t for nothing or unhelpful in any way -breaks from studies with Bleach = good. At least you still get a Friday review as usual. Anyways, before words stop liking me as well I’ll be going over chapter 381 quickly using the Sleepyfans scanlation. But let’s go over what your thoughts were on Unohana’s actions first.


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Poll Results

So here is what you guys thought of Unohana’s motives in last week’s poll:
Coming in last, with no votes, Unohana being in cahoots with Aizen. The thought of Unohana working for Aizen apparently is preposterous to you guys.
In seventh, with one vote, someone had the gall of saying Unohana-sama was plain lazy and decided to take a stroll… Maybe she is ;).
In sixth place, there were two people who thought it possible that Unohana was too busy looking for the Hougyoku and any other secrets Aizen could have hidden in Las Noches. Aizen has had plenty up his sleeves, so taking precautions by looking for any other hazardous objects is possible.
So no one believed Unohana would be working for Aizen. Four people knew better and plain out know that Unohana is the mastermind and that Aizen is working for her, making this option fifth in last week’s poll.
But there were more people who plain didn’t care about Unohana-sama’s motives, which is actually as bad as saying she is plain lazy isn’t it :amuse. Seven people didn’t care, making this fourth in last week’s poll.
Close to second place but just barely coming in third with ten votes were the people who admit a woman’s mind is too complex for them to understand. Though I could be counted with these people, my vote doesn’t count here.
So coming in second place with 11 votes, these people seem to have seen through Unohana’s guise and see her for the bloodthirsty demon she really is. They believe that Unohana is just as bad as Kenpachi except that she has the discipline to hold it in until she will face a worthy opponent.
But luckily for Unohana she is still respected by the majority of the voters as 22 people believe she only fights when necessary. They believe Unohana’s a genuine healer and that her blade is meant to save lives as well. Which is something I could also agree with if I would be able to understand the complexity of the female mind :amuse.
Sadly this week’s chapter doesn’t give a clear answer on this matter, but there’s plenty to go over.


The Other Gatekeeper
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Been there, heard that… You did add your own twist though…

Channeling their reiatsu into two black spheres, Mayuri and Nemu manage to open a Garganta for Ichigo and Unohana. As opposed to the way Urahara opened the Garganta, Mayuri is using someone’s help to open it as well as those aforementioned spheres. The most interesting thing in all of this isn’t so much that Mayuri managed to figure out how to open the key, but that Nemu is just as capable as Mayuri is. Admittedly she is Mayuri’s “daughter”, though she always seemed more like the brawn rather than the brain. But it seems like Nemu gives you the full package, looks, brains, brawns, and the psychotic father that would dissect you if you ever were to come close to his daughter -though it wouldn’t be because you came close to his daughter as much as his personal interest. As the Garganta stabilizes, Mayuri proceeds with giving some instructions. First off, he won’t be giving any directions to Ichigo and Unohana. Second, one misstep will trap them in the gap between worlds forever. Simple instructions if you think about it, especially when you’ve heard them before.


Sticks and Stones…
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… will hardly break any of his bones, but these words will definitely hurt him

Ichigo somehow manages to remember the words Urahara told him when he entered the Garganta for the first time as he looks at Mayuri. Mayuri asks Ichigo what he is looking at to which Ichigo replies by telling Mayuri he is reminded of the time Urahara looked down on him after opening a Garganta for him. As if that wasn’t enough to annoy Mayuri, Ichigo decides to keep talking and points out a few facts that Mayuri doesn’t want to hear from a subject in an experiment. Telling Mayuri he studied UNDER Urahara and that THEY ARE A LOT ALIKE, it isn’t all too strange for Mayuri to be slightly agitated. Where Mayuri was lenient last week, this time Ichigo chose the wrong words to use at the man who could kill him by closing the gate he just opened. That is if Ichigo actually didn’t intend to hurt Mayuri’s pride and feelings in any way….


Punk’d
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Enjoy it while you can…

Seeing Mayuri’s reaction is enough to please Ichigo as he leaps into the Garganta, followed swiftly by Unohana. The poor Mayuri who just lost a suitable target to vent his anger is left staring at the Garganta which he worked so hard on opening. The joy he felt after discovering how to open it as well as the thought that he managed to keep up with Urahara weren’t enough to take in the insults made by Ichigo. Showing what could be viewed as concern, Nemu tries to talk to Mayuri. But rather than falling out at Nemu instead of Ichigo, he suddenly realizes he found an activity that would bring him more joy than trapping Ichigo and Unohana in the Garganta: Instilling fear into Ichigo. Where the fear of Mayuri is usually a byproduct of his experiments, this time he is actually setting out from instilling great fear from the get go. Byakuya is slightly interested by this sudden turn of events while Nemu reacts to it as she would to any other experiment suggested by Mayuri by saying she will think of a plan.


On a Highway from or to Hell?
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At least give the lady a decent foothold!

While Nemu is putting more effort into maintaining the balance of the Garganta than Mayuri, Ichigo once more shows us that he still sucks at controlling his Reiatsu in spite of all that happened in Hueco Mundo. At least Ichigo has the decency of making a foothold for Unohana as well, crappy as it may be. As Unohana follows Ichigo she then decides to ask him a few important questions. She first confirms that Ichigo faced Aizen before, a question Ichigo finds rather strange. After that she asks Ichigo how the fight was, to which Ichigo honestly replied that he failed miserably as Aizen didn’t even have to use his Shikai or anything. Hearing about the Shikai part, Unohana can’t help but feel relieved. She then says that Ichigo was lucky that Aizen -read- was much stronger than Ichigo at that time. As Ichigo wonders how that is supposed to be a good thing, Unohana begins to tell Ichigo what we’ve known for a long time. Ichigo is the one that has to take Aizen down as he is the only one who can stand up to him. Surprised by this, Unohana starts to give an explanation as to why Ichigo is the only one who can do this by explaining how Kyouka Suigetsu works. But rather than immersing us into the details once more, Kubo gives us something else to pass the time instead of getting information we already have on Kyouka Suigetsu.


These little piggies went home
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He has six legs Kenpachi, not 30 fingers, so cut it off, urr out

Still continuing his rampage from last week’s chapter, Yammy keeps bashing into the general area where Kenpachi is supposed to be. The one time he actually might have hit Kenpachi didn’t work out all too well for Yammy though, as he loses two fingers in the process. Irked by this loss of fingers he grabs a hold of his arm to count the fingers he has left -using his fingers…. I know, lame, lame. As he tries to count his fingers he finds something he wasn’t counting on, the creepiest bug he will ever encounter. Playing the part of a flea, Kenpachi looks at his tasty meal as he decides he wants to draw some blood. He then proceeds to leap towards Yammy’s head while swinging his sword. Of course, Kubo doesn’t want to bore us with the details of Kenpachi attempting to cut a monster about twelve times his size in two.


Feeling Unwelcome
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I doubt the owners of the place want you there either Byakuya…

Remaining surprisingly calm about having his target taken from him, Byakuya starts a conversation with Mayuri. Asking Mayuri why he stayed, Mayuri believes Byakuya would not care for the answer. In spite of that comment, Byakuya is wondering why Mayuri would skip the opportunity of witnessing the events taking place on earth as all that is left in Hueco Mundo is Yammy. Mayuri, however, feels that there are still plenty of interesting corpses left in Las Noches and that Mayuri can wait until the Garganta is opened by others after the war ends before he goes to check up on earth. As the Garganta closes behind Mayuri during this little talk, Byakuya is surprised by Mayuri’s words.


No Pressure…
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Who thought good things couldn’t come from not paying attention?

Going from question to question, Ichigo learns the -if you think about it- rather peculiar restriction placed on Aizen’s Kyouka Suigetsu. Unohana tells Ichigo that anyone who might have a chance to fight Aizen has already been put under Aizen’s absolute hypnosis, with the exception of Ichigo that is. This has to be one of the most levelheaded explanations given in Bleach up to date. Rather than saying she might be able to find a way to break the absolute hypnosis, Unohana already makes it clear that not even she is able to go against the hypnosis. The strangest thing in all of this is what Unohana has said here. When she spoke of all on earth who could face Aizen, she actually included the Espada and the other Arrancar. It is almost as if she is implying that Aizen’s power isn’t as great as we have been let to believe all this time. Aizen’s powers were briefly shown when he obtained the Hougyouku, and they weren’t that trivial as Unohana seems to suggest here. What’s more, Aizen held the Hougyouku for quite a while and with its ability to increase the power of souls it could have devastating results.
But none of this matters -for now- as Unohana continues her explanation of why Ichigo would be able to face that monster. She tells Ichigo that having captain class Reiatsu isn’t even his biggest advantage as much as not having seen Kyouka Suigetsu. She even goes as far as to say that the war will be lost as soon as he witnesses Kyouka Suigetsu’s Shikai. So the question is whether Ichigo will be able to fight Aizen while being cautious of the Shikai release as well as the problems he currently has with his Hollowfication. Remember, those who have obtained Bankai can use their Shikai with little effort and as far as we know Aizen only needs to show his Shikai for a brief moment.


Trust
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Good to know the captains have faith in you, but what of the readers?

The scene then changes back to Mayuri and Byakuya for a moment. Mayuri is getting worked up again due to his curiosity, this time about what Byakuya seems to be suggesting. Byakuya then explains that the words chosen by Mayuri seem to suggest that Mayuri believes in the lab rat known as Garganta subject 1. Strangely affected by this, Mayuri glances at Byakuya. The scene then shortly changes back to Ichigo who gets things straight. He thanks Unohana for telling him all he needs to know about Aizen’s abilities and probably for her faith in him as well. With all Unohana told him he believes things are settled and that he will defeat Aizen. The look on Ichigo’s face, however, suggest otherwise. The same look he had a few chapters back is still on his face and rather than the usual determined frown Ichigo seems to be somewhat worried. Though it isn’t too strange with the lives of his friends, family, and the rest of Karakura town all put on his shoulders along with the burden left by Neo-Ichigo’s appearance. Mayuri then gets the last words in by pointing out the words chosen by Byakuya weren’t what he expected either. Which is funny as last week’s chapter already made it clear that Byakuya also has faith in Ichigo, or at least as he much as he could possibly muster. With all eyes on Ichigo, the chapter ends with an even more troubled look on Ichigo’s face than when he spoke to Unohana. Will this go well or is this the sign of imminent disaster?


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Overview

Whew, almost done with the review. Not that I really mind writing this review as there was plenty to cover. Ichigo pulling Mayuri’s leg, Kenpachi pretending to be a homicidal flea, Unohana giving an explanation as to why Ichigo might have a slim chance of beating Aizen, and Mayuri showing something that could be called faith in Ichigo. The fact that Ichigo is troubled by all of this shows us there’s plenty to see in the upcoming few chapters. This chapter was quite an interesting read in spite of Ichigo’s departure taking more time than I expected at first. But this certainly shed some light on matters such as the hinted possibility of the Espada actually being powerful enough to face Aizen if it weren’t for the absolute hypnosis. But this could also be a very wrongful interpretation from Unohana’s part. Let’s just take a look at what I predict might happen.


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Predictions

Ichigo is finally inside the Garganta with Unohana, so there’s a pretty big odd of next week’s chapter starting with a Garganta opening. The location of that Garganta might even be Urahara’s basement as Mayuri pointed out that Ichigo has to find his own way back, so maybe we will see what Urahara has been up to. Of course, the odds are greater that Ichigo will end up in the middle of the fake Karakura town to witness the result of Aizen, Gin, and Tousen cutting loose. Perhaps we will catch a glimpse of what may have happened between Wonderweiss and Kensei as well. My guess is that there will be a lot of injured people as well as plenty of people who are giving their all to keep up with the terrible threesome and Wonderweiss. Unohana will most likely attempt to save Hiyori, as Ichigo has to face off against Aizen once more. Aizen will most likely greet Ichigo in the same manner as we could expect from him and he may even be able to see through Ichigo’s problems with his Hollowfication at the start. The chapter will most likely end with Ichigo telling Aizen he will fight him.
Another option is that the fight between Yammy and Kenpachi will be shown once more, maybe giving a reason for Byakuya to claim his part of the fight. Of course this would be coupled with a few scenes from fake Karakura town during the time where Ichigo is proceeding through the Garganta with Unohana.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. Seems like I managed to get it out on a Friday one way or another. Too bad I don’t feel like reading over the review again before posting it… I hope you guys were able to enjoy it even though this is a quick review -less than 2 hours instead of the average 3. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this chapter and/or review and to vote in this week’s poll. Next week I will be sure to take the time to reply to all your comments with my exams and essays finally being over with. Anyways, I’ll see you again next week!

Lazarus812
November 06, 2009, 06:32 PM
Great Review as always. You tend to give me insight to things I sometimes overlook when I read the chapter I totally overlooked Ichigo's face when he said he'll defeat Aizen.

That got me thinking as to why would he still have that worried look? and maybe he knows if he couldn't take on Ulq. without losing control; he then couldn't take on Yammy without losing his Mask, how can he honestly feel he can kill Aizen, who whupped his behind with an unreleased sword.

To answer the question you asked towards the end of the review as to wether the readers have as much faith as the captains do, and I personally do have faith in Ichigo, that while he shouldn't and hopefully won't destroy Aizen at the very least he should be able to force a retreat or even make aizen give a slight look of concern from Aizen.

IMHO in my head right now Aizen represents a common goal for ichigo and his hollow side. We all know Ichigo power fluctuates and when he has a clear focus he's able to grow stronger and when his hollow is on board he is a monster, but we see his hollow side no longer wanting to fight unecc. fights I really think that upon seeing Aizen, ichigo and his hollow side should be able to work perfectly together...never has their individual goals been so insynch...or maybe its just me looking too much into it, it happpens

Anyway great review and I really can't wait for next weeks chapter, hopefully we see an Aizen/Ichigo preview.

blackjack612
November 06, 2009, 06:55 PM
After this chapter, I have a strong feeling that this is only Act 2 in a three act structure. I don't think anyone is going to defeat Aizen currently. I predict that either Ichigo won't be able to avoid seeing Aizen's shikai, or that in order to preserve any chance they have at winning the war, Ichigo will have to remove himself from the battle and avoid Aizen's shikai. Unohana and this chapter made it very clear that unless someone figures out how to overcome Aizen's shikai, no one stands a chance right now against him. Either way, Aizen will probably accomplish his goal, whether it is to make a King's key or not. I mean, there's just too much that hasn't happened.

We've got at least 3 captains that have yet to bankai, and Unohana and Komamura have yet to put up a decent showing in a captain class fight. And a majority of the captain class vaizards still have to bankai. This is all too much for the current arc unless maybe two things happen. 1) The vaizards end up being a third player that fights soul society (doesn't make sense to me) or 2) Aizen is so uber powerful that everyone will have to fight him together with their all. I admit that the latter situation would be fun to see, but I doubt it will happen.

LordZet
November 06, 2009, 07:11 PM
Kenpachi once again proves there is no such thing as powerlevels in bleach...

yammy is getting beat up by kenpachi? How the fuck is he cero espada again? Starrk was effortlessly beating 2 vizard captains in shikai and didn't get a single scratch on him...

yet yammy is fighting kenpachi with a unreleased shikai and LOSING. that's it thye espada were just fodder.

Snake_Cowboy
November 07, 2009, 03:36 AM
Nice review again, Underscore. :D

I heavily agree with blackjack612 up there. This chapter has red flags written all over it.

The most interesting and important thing we've learned chapter is that Kyouka Suigetsu is pretty much permanent: seen it's shikai once and you're screwed. The fact that Aizen didn't even need to use his shikai to defeat Ichigo on Soukyoku Hill last time is one of those details that many (including me) miss and Kubo has found a wonderful use for it here. This makes Ichigo far more important compared to the captains and is only better for his status as main character.

But, while I don't doubt that it will be Ichigo that finally defeats Aizen in the end (this is a Shounen, after all), that 'end' seems like a long, looooong way off to me.

Looking back at it, Ichigo has been sucking throughout the entire Arrancar Arc: he was unable to defeat Yammy, he was unable to defeat Grimmjow, after arriving in Hueco Mundo he had to use his Bankai against a Privaron Espada, the first time he faced Ulquiorra he got his ass handed to him, the SECOND time he faced Ulquiorra he got his ass handed to him again and he was unable to defeat Yammy now too. When you think about it, the only highlight he had in this entire arc was defeating Grimmjow.

And now, after his fight with Ulquiorra, his Hollow powers are malfunctioning and he's supposed to defeat Aizen? Aizen frickin' Sousuke, who, without the use of Kyouka Suigetsu, stopped Ichigo's Bankai with just one finger? Who took down a captain with a failed 90-level Kidou with the incantation skipped? Who fooled the entirety of Soul Society? Who humbled the King of Hueco Mundo into serving him? Who aims to overthrow the Spirit King and become a god? Even if Aizen relies a lot on Kyouka Suigetsu, the power he used against Ichigo last time should be enough to prove that he doesn't need it.

And apart from the trouble of avoiding Aizen's shikai the moment it releases (which seems very difficult to do, even with Ichigo's speed), Ichigo can't summon his mask! As you pointed out, Underscore (I happened to miss it), Ichigo knows this and he's not looking too confidant.

No matter how you look at it, Ichigo is totally screwed and Aizen will not be defeated this arc. I don't know how things will proceed with certainty, but he will obtain the Royal Key and escape. There's a reason why Aizen is always smiling so confidantly - it is inevitable. The way I see it, this is another opportunity for Ichigo to get knocked down and get back up: that way, he'll be a totally different man the next time he faces Aizen.

So, what do I predict will happen next chapter? There are a lot of possibilities, so I'm not very certain, but here's what I think will happen. We might see some more of the Kenpachi/Yammy fight, perhaps with Yammy knocking Kenpachi aside or grabbing him, prompting Byakuya to enter the fray. Either way, we'll switch back to Fake Karakura Town for a bit, perhaps showing some more of the fight between Kensei and Wonderweiss or Aizen and the remaining captains and Vizards. The only thing I'm quite certain of is that we won't be seeing Ichigo arrive immediately and, in the unlikely even that we do, it's possible that some time has passed and the captains are even more battered than last time we saw them.

MAX_COLA_POWER!
November 07, 2009, 01:43 PM
Cool review like always Underscore. People are really getting upset by the seemingly easy, but slow owning of Yammy courtesy of Kenpachi. I will give 2 reasons why it's normal that Ira boy is getting wasted so easily. 1- There is something called giving up all other abilities for just power. Can someone tell me how anyone THAT SIZE could do Sonido? Also, Ichigo's full power Getsuga Tensho with his new mask barely nicked him, so we know the Hierro is still there. 2- IT'S F***ING KENPACHI ZARAKI! LIVE WITH IT! STOP USING HIS FIGHT WITH ICHIGO AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MUCH POWER HE HAS! We can pretty much tell that he's an endless pool of energy, so of course he would have no problem against Yammy. If he took off the eyepatch, would that make it a more balanced fight? Sorry I had to use your thread for this Underscore. Anyway, I like the fact that everyone in the Gotei 13, in their own style, shows faith in Ichigo's abilities, even though they're not friends with him^^;;, or want to for that matter. So Ichigo is the only one who can beat Sosuke huh? That'd be good if not for the fact that Sosuke is the closest thing to a God. He excels in every single aspect of Shinigami fighting style. Something tells me that this fight will end inside the realm of the King, where we will finally see squad 0.

The Underscore
November 08, 2009, 03:26 PM
Great Review as always. You tend to give me insight to things I sometimes overlook when I read the chapter I totally overlooked Ichigo's face when he said he'll defeat Aizen.

That got me thinking as to why would he still have that worried look? and maybe he knows if he couldn't take on Ulq. without losing control; he then couldn't take on Yammy without losing his Mask, how can he honestly feel he can kill Aizen, who whupped his behind with an unreleased sword.

To answer the question you asked towards the end of the review as to wether the readers have as much faith as the captains do, and I personally do have faith in Ichigo, that while he shouldn't and hopefully won't destroy Aizen at the very least he should be able to force a retreat or even make aizen give a slight look of concern from Aizen.

IMHO in my head right now Aizen represents a common goal for ichigo and his hollow side. We all know Ichigo power fluctuates and when he has a clear focus he's able to grow stronger and when his hollow is on board he is a monster, but we see his hollow side no longer wanting to fight unecc. fights I really think that upon seeing Aizen, ichigo and his hollow side should be able to work perfectly together...never has their individual goals been so insynch...or maybe its just me looking too much into it, it happpens

Anyway great review and I really can't wait for next weeks chapter, hopefully we see an Aizen/Ichigo preview.

Thanks, it's always good to hear these reviews help to give some insight into the story.
Ichigo's look at the end of this chapter most likely had to do with his troubles concerning his powers. He has been relying on his Hollowfication during each of the Espada fights, so the fact that he now has some difficulties with it may have him contemplating on whether he'll be able to fight Aizen now. With that he could also be thinking whether he could have managed to come that far without using his Hollowfication. But Unohana at least gave him some confidence by telling him he possesses captain level Reiatsu, which could at least have Aizen look at him during the fight with some interest if the Hollowfication fails like last time.
As for what you said about Aizen being a common goal for Ichigo and Shirosaki, I'm not too sure about that one. It is true that Shirosaki won't let Ichigo be killed as he wants to take him over, but I don't think that's enough reason for Shirosaki to just go along and give it his all. But who knows what Shirosaki is thinking right now, perhaps we'll find out around the time Ichigo fights Aizen -could even be after a first attempt at fighting Aizen-.


After this chapter, I have a strong feeling that this is only Act 2 in a three act structure. I don't think anyone is going to defeat Aizen currently. I predict that either Ichigo won't be able to avoid seeing Aizen's shikai, or that in order to preserve any chance they have at winning the war, Ichigo will have to remove himself from the battle and avoid Aizen's shikai. Unohana and this chapter made it very clear that unless someone figures out how to overcome Aizen's shikai, no one stands a chance right now against him. Either way, Aizen will probably accomplish his goal, whether it is to make a King's key or not. I mean, there's just too much that hasn't happened.

We've got at least 3 captains that have yet to bankai, and Unohana and Komamura have yet to put up a decent showing in a captain class fight. And a majority of the captain class vaizards still have to bankai. This is all too much for the current arc unless maybe two things happen. 1) The vaizards end up being a third player that fights soul society (doesn't make sense to me) or 2) Aizen is so uber powerful that everyone will have to fight him together with their all. I admit that the latter situation would be fun to see, but I doubt it will happen.

To be honest I too am starting to think we will be going into some form of intermission soon. It could either be under the illusion put up by Aizen, perhaps manipulating illusions powerful enough for Ichigo to think all of this never happened while he has to recover with the help of Zangetsu and Shirosaki. Or Aizen may lose part of the recovered power of the Hougyoku forcing him to wait before he can create the King's Key. Or maybe in a twist of faith Aizen somehow manages to get an existing King's key to save Karakura town for a while. But who knows how Kubo intends to play this out, though a third act wouldn't be a bad thing if he does it right.


Kenpachi once again proves there is no such thing as powerlevels in bleach...

yammy is getting beat up by kenpachi? How the fuck is he cero espada again? Starrk was effortlessly beating 2 vizard captains in shikai and didn't get a single scratch on him...

yet yammy is fighting kenpachi with a unreleased shikai and LOSING. that's it thye espada were just fodder.

Powerlevels do seem to have a tendency of only showing up to make it seem like the opponent is too powerful to face immediately. Saying Yammy is a weakling might be a bit too much though. Kenpachi is still a ridiculously powerful Shinigami, even without an awakened Zanpakutou. I say awakened as I still can't say for sure whether it is in a Shikai state or not, but without the name it isn't really there yet. And Ikkaku once said most Shinigami let their Zanpakutou sleep, so awakened. Anyways, back on topic, you may notice that Yammy isn't exactly worried about the beating he's been receiving. Either Yammy is too dense to notice it, or -the one I'm going with for now- he has something up his sleeve to turn things around if needed. Ulquiorra did say Yammy could fight the captains on his own, and I doubt Ulquiorra would have missed at least Kenpachi's full power when Kenpachi fought Nnoitra.


Nice review again, Underscore. :D

I heavily agree with blackjack612 up there. This chapter has red flags written all over it.

The most interesting and important thing we've learned chapter is that Kyouka Suigetsu is pretty much permanent: seen it's shikai once and you're screwed. The fact that Aizen didn't even need to use his shikai to defeat Ichigo on Soukyoku Hill last time is one of those details that many (including me) miss and Kubo has found a wonderful use for it here. This makes Ichigo far more important compared to the captains and is only better for his status as main character.

But, while I don't doubt that it will be Ichigo that finally defeats Aizen in the end (this is a Shounen, after all), that 'end' seems like a long, looooong way off to me.

Looking back at it, Ichigo has been sucking throughout the entire Arrancar Arc: he was unable to defeat Yammy, he was unable to defeat Grimmjow, after arriving in Hueco Mundo he had to use his Bankai against a Privaron Espada, the first time he faced Ulquiorra he got his ass handed to him, the SECOND time he faced Ulquiorra he got his ass handed to him again and he was unable to defeat Yammy now too. When you think about it, the only highlight he had in this entire arc was defeating Grimmjow.

And now, after his fight with Ulquiorra, his Hollow powers are malfunctioning and he's supposed to defeat Aizen? Aizen frickin' Sousuke, who, without the use of Kyouka Suigetsu, stopped Ichigo's Bankai with just one finger? Who took down a captain with a failed 90-level Kidou with the incantation skipped? Who fooled the entirety of Soul Society? Who humbled the King of Hueco Mundo into serving him? Who aims to overthrow the Spirit King and become a god? Even if Aizen relies a lot on Kyouka Suigetsu, the power he used against Ichigo last time should be enough to prove that he doesn't need it.

And apart from the trouble of avoiding Aizen's shikai the moment it releases (which seems very difficult to do, even with Ichigo's speed), Ichigo can't summon his mask! As you pointed out, Underscore (I happened to miss it), Ichigo knows this and he's not looking too confidant.

No matter how you look at it, Ichigo is totally screwed and Aizen will not be defeated this arc. I don't know how things will proceed with certainty, but he will obtain the Royal Key and escape. There's a reason why Aizen is always smiling so confidantly - it is inevitable. The way I see it, this is another opportunity for Ichigo to get knocked down and get back up: that way, he'll be a totally different man the next time he faces Aizen.

So, what do I predict will happen next chapter? There are a lot of possibilities, so I'm not very certain, but here's what I think will happen. We might see some more of the Kenpachi/Yammy fight, perhaps with Yammy knocking Kenpachi aside or grabbing him, prompting Byakuya to enter the fray. Either way, we'll switch back to Fake Karakura Town for a bit, perhaps showing some more of the fight between Kensei and Wonderweiss or Aizen and the remaining captains and Vizards. The only thing I'm quite certain of is that we won't be seeing Ichigo arrive immediately and, in the unlikely even that we do, it's possible that some time has passed and the captains are even more battered than last time we saw them.

Thanks.

Like I pointed out, I too doubt Ichigo will defeat Aizen in this arc and that an interlude is required. The only way for Ichigo to defeat Aizen in this arc is for him not to be the final antagonist. But like you pointed out, this being Shounen, Ichigo will need time to sort things out so he can go at it giving his all. The problem right now is that with all the fights and the pressure put on Ichigo he can't do that. Besides, there are so many questions left to be answered before Bleach can come to an end that it can't end with this arc.
But Ichigo right now can't really beat Aizen unless the only edge Aizen has right now is his Shikai, which I highly doubt. Kyouka Suigetsu has a frightful ability as it's effect can be maintained for such a long time. And Aizen only went for the Hougyoku because he had reached the limits of his Shinigami powers. So we'll just have to see what will happen and how in the next 10 chapters I guess.


Cool review like always Underscore. People are really getting upset by the seemingly easy, but slow owning of Yammy courtesy of Kenpachi. I will give 2 reasons why it's normal that Ira boy is getting wasted so easily. 1- There is something called giving up all other abilities for just power. Can someone tell me how anyone THAT SIZE could do Sonido? Also, Ichigo's full power Getsuga Tensho with his new mask barely nicked him, so we know the Hierro is still there. 2- IT'S F***ING KENPACHI ZARAKI! LIVE WITH IT! STOP USING HIS FIGHT WITH ICHIGO AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MUCH POWER HE HAS! We can pretty much tell that he's an endless pool of energy, so of course he would have no problem against Yammy. If he took off the eyepatch, would that make it a more balanced fight? Sorry I had to use your thread for this Underscore. Anyway, I like the fact that everyone in the Gotei 13, in their own style, shows faith in Ichigo's abilities, even though they're not friends with him^^;;, or want to for that matter. So Ichigo is the only one who can beat Sosuke huh? That'd be good if not for the fact that Sosuke is the closest thing to a God. He excels in every single aspect of Shinigami fighting style. Something tells me that this fight will end inside the realm of the King, where we will finally see squad 0.

Thanks.
The Yammy fight does seem to be quite the source of frustration for a lot of people. At first glance it does seem too strange to have Kenpachi cutting off the Cero Espada's limbs with so much ease while he has his eyepatch on. But like I pointed out in this post, Yammy doesn't seem too worried about losing so much of himself to Kenpachi, so I think he will be able to pull something more out. But Yammy certainly only seems to be going with strength for now of all the powers Hollows could have. Though he did master the use of Bala's... Seeing Aizen and his companions face off against the 0 squad could be a way to give Ichigo some time to truly prepare for his final fight with Aizen. Perhaps the 0 squad can hold Aizen and his companions at bay for a week or two for everyone to prepare themselves. But like I said, we'll have to wait a few chapters to say how and if things are coming to an end.

benelori
November 09, 2009, 05:08 AM
Nice review...

Still continuing his rampage from last week’s chapter, Yammy keeps bashing into the general area where Kenpachi is supposed to be. The one time he actually might have hit Kenpachi didn’t work out all too well for Yammy though, as he loses two fingers in the process. Irked by this loss of fingers he grabs a hold of his arm to count the fingers he has left -using his fingers…. I know, lame, lame. As he tries to count his fingers he finds something he wasn’t counting on, the creepiest bug he will ever encounter. Playing the part of a flea, Kenpachi looks at his tasty meal as he decides he wants to draw some blood. He then proceeds to leap towards Yammy’s head while swinging his sword. Of course, Kubo doesn’t want to bore us with the details of Kenpachi attempting to cut a monster about twelve times his size in two.
This was the best part...I laughed my ass off...good stuff...
As one of the readers...I don't have faith in ichigo...at least not now...ichigo vs. aizen all-out massacre is too early I think... This is one of those chapters from where kubo can head in any direction...there's still yammy business, more garganta talking, in FKT some kensei fight, maybe what U said...so I'll restrain myself and not write a prediction, though I want to see kensei sooo much...and there's WW around who's said to be Aizen's trump card...considering that there are infinite possibilities

UnknownQuincy
November 09, 2009, 10:26 AM
I haven't read an earlier review of yours than this, but as a chapter, I think this one is a good one to start off on ! There is just so much here to go over, it is nice to have others working on it, hah.

I had the theory before Unohana Taicho left Hueco Muendo, that Yammy would use an ultra powered form of this and cause her to fight to save the wounded there:

http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/191/09/

We have yet to see any hints of that kind of attack at all from Yammis released form. I may be forgetting something, but I have not seen anyone else in Bleach do something like that... if he could do a more powerful version of that, possibly draining Kenpachi's reiatsu to heal himself... yikes !

Great review, thanks for taking the time and effort! Looking forward to next weeks .... *cracks whip* :D

The Underscore
November 10, 2009, 05:51 AM
Nice review...

This was the best part...I laughed my ass off...good stuff...
As one of the readers...I don't have faith in ichigo...at least not now...ichigo vs. aizen all-out massacre is too early I think... This is one of those chapters from where kubo can head in any direction...there's still yammy business, more garganta talking, in FKT some kensei fight, maybe what U said...so I'll restrain myself and not write a prediction, though I want to see kensei sooo much...and there's WW around who's said to be Aizen's trump card...considering that there are infinite possibilities

Thanks.
Good to hear you liked the quick summary of the Yammy and Kenpachi fight for this chapter :tem. Anyways. Kubo certainly has plenty of ways to go with the story right now. We'll just have to wait and see whether we'll see a fight or two in the upcoming chapters or perhaps just the results of the fights that took place in Fake Karakura town. Wonderweiss will probably be one of the most interesting Arrancar to see in a fight once as only he and Yammy can defend the Hollow honor. The question that remains, however, is whether it will take Kensei's life and/or reputation to prove Wonderweiss' abilities.


I haven't read an earlier review of yours than this, but as a chapter, I think this one is a good one to start off on ! There is just so much here to go over, it is nice to have others working on it, hah.

I had the theory before Unohana Taicho left Hueco Muendo, that Yammy would use an ultra powered form of this and cause her to fight to save the wounded there:

http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/191/09/

We have yet to see any hints of that kind of attack at all from Yammis released form. I may be forgetting something, but I have not seen anyone else in Bleach do something like that... if he could do a more powerful version of that, possibly draining Kenpachi's reiatsu to heal himself... yikes !

Great review, thanks for taking the time and effort! Looking forward to next weeks .... *cracks whip* :D

Indeed, it's always nice to have other people do the work... :blink. Anyways, glad you enjoyed the review enough to make you come back for more.
Now for you theory, I did overlook that soul sucking ability of Yammy's as I assumed that he is only able to use it to charge himself for his release. But it is be possible that after Yammy loses a great part of his power -and limbs- he will use that ability to get back to top shape. If he were to suck Kenpachi dry it would make for quite the entertaining turn of events, be it at the expense of Kenpachi. Of course there's quite the difference between sucking that immense pool of reiatsu and normal souls as was pointed out in the same chapter you referred to. But perhaps the resurrección is to take care of that problem. So who knows.
And before I forget... *runs from whip* :tanuki

benelori
November 10, 2009, 07:47 AM
No no no...yammy is not defending hollow honor at all...only ulq and maybe starrk managed something, but yammy...kenpachi without the mask is toying around and if U remember every top espada needed in the process of defeat at least two enemies...
Of course byakuya and mayuri are near yammy, but so far it seems like it's yammys territory...let's hope WW will not be like that...