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The Underscore
May 22, 2011, 06:10 AM
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448 Loading to Lie

Won't waste too much time here, got too much to rant about in the review itself!
Before that, however, many thanks to Binktopia and Mangastream for this week's scanlation of Bleach!


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Bleach chapter 447, Load, rated by 20 voters, gets an average score of:

8.3

Great

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At the end of last week's chapter, Ishida was acting a bit strangely. I was curious to know what you guys thought it could be. Here's the results:

Three voters don't know what's up with Ishida. Three other voters believe that Ishida's just concerned about his attacker. Both options make sense, don't they?

Four voters believe that Ishida's decided to turn to the dark side and help out Tsukishima. It's possible considering what has happened with Orihime. Perhaps it takes time to manifest to the point of betrayal.

But there were four other voters who feel that Ishida's just grumpy from being hospitalized all this time. Wouldn't that make you grumpy as well?

But eleven of you knew what it really is. Either you're going through it yourselves, you've been through it, or you've seen it happening to someone close to you: Puberty.


Invaders Must Die
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Good thing the PSN is back online...

This week's chapter starts with the push of a button. The start button, that is. With his console hooked up to the wall, Yukio activates 'Invaders must die' to engulf Ichigo in the blackened area once more. This time Ichigo sees where the space comes from as he quickly realizes Yukio was responsible for what happened during the fight with Tsukishima. Kuugo confirms Ichigo's suspicions as he explains how the Fullbring works.

'Invaders must die' is (much like we all expected) a subspace within Yukio's console where he can manipulate anyone who inhabits the space. Just when I thought 'Time tells no lies' was overpowered... I'm honestly quite baffled at the immense power behind all of the Fullbrings. These abilities make Chad's powers look rather boorish. Then again, Chad is similar to Ichigo in this respect. Chad (as a Fullbringer) and Ichigo (as a Shinigami) both channel reiatsu through their medium (Arm of the Giant and Zangetsu respectively) in a concentrated blast of destructive energy. Other Fullbringers and Shinigami, however, have more unique abilities. Or at least, most of them do.

Nonetheless, how can Fullbringers such as Yukio and Giriko go unchecked like this? What's Soul Society doing that they can oversee these types of powers? Then again, they missed the girl who can manipulate time and space until she was at their doorstep, so it's not too strange for them to overlook the Fullbringers.

Kuugo then asks Ichigo if he's ever wanted to be inside a video game. Ichigo's a bit annoyed by the random question. Kuugo spurs him on by telling him it's nothing to be embarrassed about. Ichigo then acknowledges that he wouldn't not acknowledge that he thought about it. Kuugo then tells Ichigo that he himself never thought about it before. What's more, Kuugo admits that this question of his doesn't matter at all. The only point he wanted to make was that life inside of a video game isn't as glamorous as one would imagine. Maybe if they went past the menu things would be more interesting...


Cross of Scaffold
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Awesome game this will be: Beat up the strawberry

Kuugo activates his Fullbring, revealing its name to be 'Cross of Scaffold'. It's interesting to see how the activation of the 'Cross of Scaffold' tends to shatter the ground on which it materializes, even the 'Invaders must Die' space breaks down partially. Could it be that 'Cross of Scaffold' has the ability to undo other Fullbrings or something? During his fight with Tsukishima it didn't look like that, I admit. Perhaps 'Cross of Scaffold' has the ability to shake down foundations.

Either way, Kuugo doesn't reveal anything about his Fullbring as he wants to move on with the training session. Kuugo asks Yukio to put up hit points for him and Ichigo. Rather than going by the real life standard of HP, the two of them get 6 points each. I wonder who Kuugo is looking out for in this case. It could be that he feels his own life energy would overwhelm Ichigo, though I'd say Ichigo would be too tough for Kuugo to handle when it comes to life energy.

Either way, Ichigo notices the twelve crosses and the counter in the sky. Ichigo immediately gets it -he's a 17 year old boy, why wouldn't he know how fighting games work?- and doesn't mind this system. Kuugo doesn't need to explain anything, but Yukio can't help but make a joke on what will happen when Ichigo loses the game. This fires Ichigo up a bit as the fight gets started.

Before going on with the chapter, I have to point out how incredibly foolish Ichigo is being here. Admittedly, he isn't as wary of people's abilities as he should be, but still. Yukio gave both Ichigo and Kuugo 6 HP. Why doesn't he think this to be cause for concern?... I can't help but wonder how many of you didn't think anything about this... Let me explain. In six hits, it's game over, and Yukio will make the game say "You're dead". This could mean that a single hit would be damaging enough to kill Ichigo for 1/6th. Ichigo can usually take a beating -just look at about every fight he's ever had-, but won't 'Invaders must die' affect this? Maybe I'm just over thinking things here, but there's obviously a reason for Chad to call for Orihime. Speaking of her.


Face off
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In this week's poll: Whose more annoying?

Bummed out a bit about Ichigo's change of demeanor and the confrontation with Tsukishima earlier that day, Riruka's contemplating a bit. She's awoken from her pensive state by the arrival of Chad and Orihime. She immediately asks Chad who he brought with him as she uses her Fullbring to leap off the building. Chad reveals Orihime to be, well, Orihime.

Riruka immediately gets into Orihime's face, most likely to vent her frustrations through someone else. She confirms that Orihime has healing abilities and wants to know whether Orihime's there for Ichigo's training. Chad senses things might get a bit hairy, but Orihime just confirms what Riruka wanted to know. Riruka then asks a rather simple question: Why would Orihime agree to keep healing Ichigo over and over again if it means he's going to get hurt over and over again as well? Orihime sees through Riruka's pretence and notices that she's worried about Ichigo as well.

Orihime then finally shows us her determination. She knows that Ichigo will get hurt more often if he keeps being healed all the time. However, she knows full well that Ichigo would still keep fighting even if he were beaten to an inch of his life. She decided to ensure Ichigo will be able to what he wants so long as he is determined. She chose to make Ichigo's determination her own. Riruka then points out something that she should keep in mind: what if her powers can't fix Ichigo? Thinking back to what happened in Hueco Mundo during the Ulquiorra fight, Orihime tells Riruka that she will never allow Ichigo to get to the point where she can't heal him. No matter what, she will make sure that Ichigo will be put back together as he was.

Orihime then proceeds to the room where Yukio as she is sent into the game as well. Yukio tells Kuugo that Orihime's arriving. Oddly, he doesn't look hurt at all and we can't even see Ichigo. As Orihime's confused to where she ended up, Kuugo can't help but smile at the arrival of the 'Healing item'. At least we know that there's some limitation to 'Invaders must die' if it requires a healer to come in for possible injuries. Sadly, we won't learn anymore about this. As Orihime has entered 'Invaders must die', Riruka has decided to wait inside the hideout with Yukio, contemplating on Orihime's devotion to Ichigo. Could it be that she's doubting herself and her "love"? Couldn't care less right now, considering the last pages of this week's chapter.


The plot thickens... again!
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Kubo has not forgotten them!

While Ichigo's Fullbring training continues, the scene changes to the Urahara store. Urahara tells Isshin that "the last one" is ready and then asks him if he's sure. Isshin tells Urahara to stop asking him that, implying it's been asked plenty of times before. Urahara then reveals why he's so concerned about Isshin's determination: Isshin is planning to take away his son's future! Could it be that Ichigo's mistrust in Urahara and his father aren't misplaced? How can Urahara and Isshin take away Ichigo's future? What kind of future are they talking about? His entire future, or just that of a normal teenager that can't see spirits? Why is Isshin so concerned by this? With plenty of questions popping up within a single page, Kubo adds more fuel to the fire by revealing a third member to this dastardly scheme: a Shinigami!
Urahara announces the finalization of the proceedings as the Shinigami tells him to do it immediately.

Well then, to wrap up this week's chapter, let's take a quick look at these last two pages of the chapter. A Shinigami is working with Urahara and Isshin on something concerning Ichigo's future... Let's see, how many Shinigami do we know that could be concerned with Ichigo, don't wear Captain haori, and would contact Urahara? That's right, two: Renji and Rukia. But why would either of them do something to ruin Ichigo's future? Most importantly, what in heaven's name would they be doing to Ichigo that they don't feel like telling Ichigo about? Does it even work without Ichigo in the nearby area? So many questions, so little answers... great job Kubo ;)

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Awesome chapter. The best one in ages. The plot moved on amazingly, there was a bit of humor -not funny haha, but still-, a confrontation between two girls with a love interest for Ichigo, training taking place without taking up to much space, and a cliffhanger that has bothered me for days and will continue to do so until I finally get my answers. Besides this, the art was awesome as well. Could you ask for anything other than this? Exactly, the next chapter!

In a way, the chapter could be split in three parts -though in this review I did it in four :amuse. First there's the start of the next stage in Ichigo's training inside Yukio's Fullbring. Though I'd tend to say this part was a bit dragged on because of Kuugo, this part really explained some important things in regards to what will presumably be the final stage in Ichigo's training. Not only that, Kuugo managed to have Ichigo lower his guard a bit, which will be crucial in the reason for Orihime to be present.

This brings us to the arrival of Orihime at the Xcution training site. Riruka was showing a more softer (and even more predictable) side of herself before Orihime and Chad showed up. Riruka finally confronted Orihime with her lack of backbone, revealing that she actually has more backbone than you'd expect. Even though she doesn't take up a sword herself, she ensures that Ichigo is able to do so. Though this sounds a bit strange, we shouldn't forget that Orihime is obsessed with Ichigo and she's a bit loony on the side. She probably realizes that she can't prevent Ichigo from fighting. What's more, she knows full well that Ichigo wants to take on every opponent himself in order to make sure his friends won't have to (to a flaw even). Realizing that Ichigo can only be happy while fighting (look at his inner Hollow and the Kenpachi shadow in Ichigo's soul), she has decided to let him do just that. She then enters 'Invaders must die' to help out in Ichigo's training. Too bad we couldn't see Ichigo here as I'm convinced that his Fullbring should look like his Bankai ever since he confronted Tsukishima the final time before being snatched away.

But my favorite part has to be the scene in the Urahara store. This has to be the most interesting development of this entire arc. Could this be the 'Lie' that the chapter's title is referring to? Honestly, I can only give you questions, which I already did. So all we can do now is to wait until the next chapter.


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Urahara, Isshin, and the mystery Shinigami seem to have some plans in mind for Ichigo. This coincidentally takes place during Ichigo's training with Kuugo.
Could it be that they are restoring Ichigo's powers, or that they are planning on sealing away all his powers and memories instead?


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Next week will start off with Ichigo's training. We'll see what Ichigo's Fullbring looks like right now and why Orihime is needed there at the same time. Ichigo will probably reveal what Kuugo's Fullbring does as well with an inner monologue while he is being healed by Orihime. Orihime will probably ask him why he wouldn't go to Urahara, Yoruichi, or his father for help. Ichigo will then confidently tell Orihime that it's fine and he wants to do it on his own, only for one of two things to happen:

Option 1: Ichigo collapses due to whatever Urahara and Isshin are doing, ending the chapter.
Option 2: The mystery Shinigami will arrive at the Xcution hideout, walk in, undo 'Invaders must die' and tell Ichigo to come with her. (That's right, HER ;))

That’s it for this week’s review. Somehow my ranting was over more quickly than I anticipated... I hope you guys enjoyed it anyway :amuse. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter and/or review, give any theories that you may have and to vote in this week’s poll. Don’t forget to rate this week’s chapter! I’ll see you guys again next week!


http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab137/Underscore_007007007/ChapterRating2-3.png (http://polldaddy.com/poll/5072299/)


Rate this week's chapter by clicking on the picture above!

SaintSheik
May 22, 2011, 09:49 PM
Underscore! Ever since that golden week, I was kind of reminded to read recent chapters through the reviews here. Kind of late, but I found the Reviewer Island bonus very entertaining :amuse

Anyway, I'm a bit iffy on recent chapters. The flow with the new arc is a bit..off. The best part about the new chapter, obviously, was towards the end. But if you look closely, the text towards the end of the chapter..At long last..something about a jumbo color spread...I don't think this points at anyone short of Rukia, no pun intended.

Still, Isshin being around leaves the interesting prospect of a certain Kurosaki Karin being an option. Of course we have options like Tessai, Yoruichi and more hilarious ones like Gin or Aizen but Kubo isn't that hilarious.

Not too much to say aside from small observations like Kuugo also having a scar, much like the ex-Xcution leader..That and the whole Kuugo being in the game thing, not to mention what we've seen from his Fullbring, makes me think Kubo just discovered the greatness that is Final Fantasy VIII.

Thanks as always for the review.

The Underscore
May 23, 2011, 12:34 PM
Underscore! Ever since that golden week, I was kind of reminded to read recent chapters through the reviews here. Kind of late, but I found the Reviewer Island bonus very entertaining :amuse

Anyway, I'm a bit iffy on recent chapters. The flow with the new arc is a bit..off. The best part about the new chapter, obviously, was towards the end. But if you look closely, the text towards the end of the chapter..At long last..something about a jumbo color spread...I don't think this points at anyone short of Rukia, no pun intended.

Still, Isshin being around leaves the interesting prospect of a certain Kurosaki Karin being an option. Of course we have options like Tessai, Yoruichi and more hilarious ones like Gin or Aizen but Kubo isn't that hilarious.

Not too much to say aside from small observations like Kuugo also having a scar, much like the ex-Xcution leader..That and the whole Kuugo being in the game thing, not to mention what we've seen from his Fullbring, makes me think Kubo just discovered the greatness that is Final Fantasy VIII.

Thanks as always for the review.

You're welcome.

No one mentioned anything about the second chapter of my great adventure to reviewer island... after all the trouble I went through, no one bothered to even mention it, let alone review it :crying. At least make a prediction of what could happen during the final chapter of my epic adventure :crying.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the flow of the current arc being a bit off. You mean how Kubo isn't combining the subplots for this arc together in a sensible way? Either way, with a jumbo color opening and whatnot, this had better be Rukia. Unless... Kubo gets a full color chapter to reintroduce Rukia and Kon to the story! -leave me with my delusions for a moment :amuse. Can't really imagine anyone other than Rukia as the Shinigami, though (excluding Renji, that is). Either that, or it's another new character, but for the purpose of symmetry it has to be Rukia once more (the first Shinigami Ichigo met and all).

In a way Kubo seems to have rediscovered Final Fantasy VIII hasn't he? Still, the environment in which Kuugo and Ichigo are standing right now reminds me more of the very last battle of Final Fantasy VII :amuse.

benelori
May 24, 2011, 07:56 AM
Hi there!! It's been too long...but I'm finally in the mood to post about manga, so here I am:p...

First things first, the review seemed a bit short, at least in previous reviews the number of panels was higher...is this somehow in contradiction with the fact that this is the best chapter in ages?
Length aside, the content is top notch as it will ever be, so thanks again...:beer

Now...you mentioned overpowered abilities...as far as we knew until a certain point, Soi Fon was overpowered as well, and just with her shikai...
So I think there's no such thing as overpowered, as long as there is somebody with higher amount of raw power around, or just an ability that can counter the "overpowered one"...
You mentioned Kuugo ripping the fabric of the space...well that's an example, not even mentioning Orihime...of course we can argue about Yukio letting Kuugo summon his sword and letting Orihime to be a healing item, but I don't have doubts that Orihime would be able to counter attacks or just heal while being in a position as invader...

About Ichigo's future...that was a bit of shocker for me...but here are my thoughts...maybe someone from SS would be a threat to Ichigo if he would regain his powers and she,:p yup I agree it's Rukia, who came to convince Ichigo not to pursue this goal anymore, for the sake of them for the sake of his father or maybe involving Karin as well?
Or maybe SS just targets the Fullbringers, and they don't want Ichigo to have to step up against old buddies...

Anyway I think that Isshin is trying to oppose Ichigo being a shinigami...this is the most obvious prediction, however it is the best moment to include a twist as well...

Thanks again! Here's for hoping that I would post here for the next chapter as well! Cheers!:beer

PS:btw...I ignored the point of the poll:tem

The Underscore
May 24, 2011, 03:54 PM
Hi there!! It's been too long...but I'm finally in the mood to post about manga, so here I am:p...

First things first, the review seemed a bit short, at least in previous reviews the number of panels was higher...is this somehow in contradiction with the fact that this is the best chapter in ages?
Length aside, the content is top notch as it will ever be, so thanks again...:beer

Now...you mentioned overpowered abilities...as far as we knew until a certain point, Soi Fon was overpowered as well, and just with her shikai...
So I think there's no such thing as overpowered, as long as there is somebody with higher amount of raw power around, or just an ability that can counter the "overpowered one"...
You mentioned Kuugo ripping the fabric of the space...well that's an example, not even mentioning Orihime...of course we can argue about Yukio letting Kuugo summon his sword and letting Orihime to be a healing item, but I don't have doubts that Orihime would be able to counter attacks or just heal while being in a position as invader...

About Ichigo's future...that was a bit of shocker for me...but here are my thoughts...maybe someone from SS would be a threat to Ichigo if he would regain his powers and she,:p yup I agree it's Rukia, who came to convince Ichigo not to pursue this goal anymore, for the sake of them for the sake of his father or maybe involving Karin as well?
Or maybe SS just targets the Fullbringers, and they don't want Ichigo to have to step up against old buddies...

Anyway I think that Isshin is trying to oppose Ichigo being a shinigami...this is the most obvious prediction, however it is the best moment to include a twist as well...

Thanks again! Here's for hoping that I would post here for the next chapter as well! Cheers!:beer

PS:btw...I ignored the point of the poll:tem

It really has been a while. At least you remembered where to find the Bleach reviews after all this time :p.

I'll admit that the review was a lot shorter than I intended it to be. Usually I try to use one panel for each "part" of the chapter. Like I mentioned in the review, this week's chapter could be cut in three parts, so using four panels was more than I felt was required. Still, this has been the best chapter in ages. Not to say that there haven't been a couple of good ones in this new arc, but when it comes to plot twists and plot progression, this one really outdid the others. I suppose that's because this chapter revealed something that previous chapters have been building up towards...

In a way there aren't overpowered abilities in Bleach I guess. Even though a lot of abilities seem to be overpowered, there's almost always a way to work around them. With Orihime, her ability can be stopped by a strong reiatsu or easily be broken (how often has the shield been broken by now? Also, remember the last time Tsubaki saw some action?). I guess the real reason I called these abilities overpowered has to do with the fact that these powers are too great to have gone unnoticed for this long.

In Aizen's case, the going unnoticed was part of the ability, but you'd expect that powers that rival that of Chad when he was capable of taking on a privaron-Espada wouldn't go unchecked. Then again, Ryuuken has been ignored as well... Though you could argue that he hardly used his powers...

I wonder what Rukia's motives could be. Preventing him from becoming a Fullbringer could hold true, but I'm not sure why she would use such a roundabout way for that. She would only have to pop into a Gigai, kick him (in the face) and tell him to not do it. Then again... why wouldn't Rukia meet up with Ichigo like that in the first place if she's already meeting up with Urahara and Isshin concerning his future?

Anyways, I'll be expecting a comment from you in the next chapter :eyeroll.

P.S. I get the impression that there's more people ignoring the purpose of the poll than covering the actual purpose :blink.