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sahugani
February 08, 2007, 04:17 AM
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one of my favorite desktop backgrounds

Bleach 262

Thanks to some supportive words from those who replied to my One Piece review and also from the guys here in the Bleach reviews, I’ve decided to start up here as well. I’ll try to get these out on a regular basis quickly after a scanlation appears and probably at the very least by Saturday nights. Both gigantor21 and inana do such great jobs I just hope that this will match up. Lets start!!!

Chad’s 15 Minutes of Fame

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i wished those days would last forever

After last week, we all feared that Kubo was going to end the fantastic run he gave Chad. He did. The boost in Chad’s power was one of the biggest in the series but oh no, it wasn’t enough. I for one was in denial this whole week that Chad would lose once again. Kubo uses him to set up the power of the top tier fighters. In general, I’d say that it fits his role in the manga quite nicely. Chad is a rock. Ichigo himself says during the Soul Society arc that he can’t even imagine Chad losing. The beauty of that character type in a series like Bleach is that once that character loses, it marks the point where the real threat begins. That worked out perfectly in the Soul Society Arc as his defeat also marked a major turning point in the Zaraki fight for Ichigo.

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why does Kubo hate Chad?

In this case though, Kubo seemed to want to use Chad for the same purpose, but it wasn’t quite as effective for multiple reasons. First of all, since we’ve already seen Chad lose to Shunsui, so his “unbeatable” image can no longer be fully applied. Kubo tried to make up for this by giving him a more “complete victory” against Gantenbien, but the way he rushed through 2 huge upgrades made it quite clear that he would not be getting anymore anytime soon. This being the case, all logic says that fighting an Espada directly afterwards spells certain defeat (but quite a few of us went into denial anyways). While we are sad that Chad’s character has gone down that road again, we can only hope for his safety and a triumphant return later on.

Orihime's Collapse

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What did the five fingers say to the face...? SLAP!!!

This chapter also returned Orihime to the story. As seems to be the case in nearly all of her scenes, her only interaction is with Ulquiorra. The scene is absolutely beautiful because it shows Orihime’s first open signs of resistance since coming to Hueco Mundo. Up until now she has been plotting to destroy the hougyoku in secret and all Ulquiorra noticed was a slight hesitation while he questioned her. Now Chad’s fall has caused her enough worry that she has broken her image of obedience. In terms of her status under Aizen, this hurts her ultimate goal. By letting Ulquiorra see her like this, she has proven to him that she has escaped his “psychological cage” and now he will have to use threat of force to make her act as Aizen desires. This leads into a perfect showcase of Ulquiorra skill at using psychology to get desired effects.

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He's so cold blooded and emotionless

Ulquiorra immediately senses her mental pain from Chad’s defeat and changes his tactics to a different psychological ploy. While before he elaborately set up events to remove her free will, this time he used Chad’s defeat to push her mind to its limit and reveal its true feelings. From the previous conditions of the cage, Orihime had convinced herself that her motives were hidden and safe as long as she played along with Ulquiorra’s game. By forcing her to act out of anger, he will have broken her confidence that she can pull off the charade.

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I really wanna give her a hug

While he might not know exactly what she’s planning, he knows that all her obedience was an act and thanks to her own impulsive action, she proves to herself that she cannot keep up her front long enough to reach her objective. When she slapped him, she destroyed her confidence in herself and she is once again in the position of feeling ashamed of herself.

…Kaien……WTF!!!!!!!!

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Nothing describes this better than WTF!!!

When the fake spoilers about Chad’s Abuelo were proven false, many of us lost hope that anything could make up for the pain of watching Chad fall again. Boy were we surprised when the real stuff came in. Ever since the table scene, there was something strange about the tall masked Espada. Now that we know that it is Shiba Kaien (yes I know he uses a different name and its unconfirmed if he is the real thing or not, but I’m going to call it now), there are many pieces of the puzzle that now fit and even more new ones that look like they’re from a different puzzle altogether. The reason I say that he is the real Kaien is because Kubo would be an idiot to do this otherwise. The way he is introduced and even the mere fact of the revelation both make it impossible for A’roniro to be anyone other than Kaien. If he was simply mimicking Kaien’s face the only reason would be to cause mental distress to Rukia, but if that were the case, it would have been more effective to use Kaien’s name as well. The actual setup more implies that Kaien lost his memories upon joining Aizen’s side. Also, in terms of creating an interesting and complex story, Kubo could milk all kinds of emotion and power from their relationship while otherwise it would simply be a mere one time trick to make one battle more interesting (and its not even a battle Rukia could win as she is not even near Espada level). Now lets move on to the actual analysis of Kaien’s defection to Aizen’s army.

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This was my second thought after i saw how he took off his mask in WTF

From the appearance and use of his mask, I can only assume that he is a vaizard instead of an arrancar. The mask is clearly not shattered and the way he can completely remove it has been seen among the vaizard we’ve already met. In addition to the mask related support, he also does not have a visible hollow hole and the fact that he was a shinigami first goes to pretty much solidify this theory in my mind. Now how could he have lost his memory and become a vaizard when he was apparently killed by Rukia? Here is my theory.

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And finally the WTF from before i started reading Bleach

I can’t say it’s perfect yet, but it is the best explanation I can come up with. First of all, remember how Rukia’s shinigami powers helped awaken the latent ones within Ichigo. It is likely that the hollow that possessed Kaien awakened hollow powers within him. At first those hollow powers were weak and were insignificant compared to the actual hollow possessing the body, so it remained dormant as Kaien “died.” We’ve seen the regenerative capability of Ichigo, whose hollow has been strong from the start, so it is likely that even that weak an inner hollow would have enough power to stay barely alive from one stab of an unreleased zanpakuto. From that point, as the inner hollow grew inside his corpse-like body, it did not have any resistance from the shinigami part of his soul as the zanpakuto was destroyed and the he became a hollow-dominant vaizard after the body had healed. The hollow was born just about when Kaien died and since his shinigami half was so far suppressed, the dominant hollow basically started a new life with new memories. As I said, the theory isn’t perfect (and chances are low for it being the actual explanation in full), but it gave my mind some exercise to try and logically justify it, so I like it.

Overall

Wow!!! Just…wow!!! I’d expect Oda to do something like this (and he has), but this took me completely off guard. I mean the repetitive nature of Chad’s sad role in this manga definitely saddens me but still, the final page is just so fantastic that it makes me forget about the flaw at the chapter’s start for a while. This is something that no one could have guessed and I just can’t wait to see how he will develop it.

edit: accidentally mislabeled the chapter number initially cause i was looking at a file with an old reference pic

gigantor21
February 08, 2007, 08:23 AM
GAAAH! YOU BEAT ME!!

Seriously, though, this was awesome. I agreed on basically every point (even the theory of Kaien being a Vaizard, albeit not completely), but the two that stuck out most were the points on Kubo ineffective use Chad's role in the story and Ulquiorra's psychological breakdown of Orihime. Those analyses were at rocker2 or Gold Knight level--I thought I was reading a modified "10 Comments" for a second.

Now I'm even more glad that we have you reviewing here with us. Excellent job.

venicia777
February 08, 2007, 09:02 AM
Those analyses were at rocker2 or Gold Knight level--I thought I was reading a modified "10 Comments" for a second.



You certainly dont know Sahugani that well-- his analysis in posts are very good.



Wow!!! Just…wow!!! I’d expect Oda to do something like this (and he has), but this took me completely off guard.

Is it Kubo or Oda :eyeroll

Anyways--- your final analysis seems to be a reflection of what we were talking about not long in either the predictions or spoiler thread some days back. The trips back to memory lane were getting too much (i just watched de ja vu last week :p). But Kaien's introduction is just superb. It actually is the best move thus far to me in this whole arc.
it certainly whipped up more interest in me. I wonder if ichigo is going to see his mum next time :occa

Silhouette
February 08, 2007, 09:58 AM
I love your review and hope to read more in the future :)

Ulquiorra mind games analysis was such a good part

About your theory on Kaien. If his hollow took over then his physical appearance would've changed (like when hollow Ichigo came in control for a while) and then he would've had a broken mask just like the rest of the Espadas. I think Kaien was in Aizen's team since the very beginning and Aizen just faked his death. Then Kaien was sent as a messenger to the menos in HM

sahugani
February 08, 2007, 11:15 AM
GAAAH! YOU BEAT ME!!

Seriously, though, this was awesome. I agreed on basically every point (even the theory of Kaien being a Vaizard, albeit not completely), but the two that stuck out most were the points on Kubo ineffective use Chad's role in the story and Ulquiorra's psychological breakdown of Orihime. Those analyses were at rocker2 or Gold Knight level--I thought I was reading a modified "10 Comments" for a second.

Now I'm even more glad that we have you reviewing here with us. Excellent job.


Thank you very much. ever since you urged me to start this your opinion has been one of the ones i've been looking forward to most of all



You certainly dont know Sahugani that well-- his analysis in posts are very good.
Is it Kubo or Oda :eyeroll

Anyways--- your final analysis seems to be a reflection of what we were talking about not long in either the predictions or spoiler thread some days back. The trips back to memory lane were getting too much (i just watched de ja vu last week :p). But Kaien's introduction is just superb. It actually is the best move thus far to me in this whole arc.
it certainly whipped up more interest in me. I wonder if ichigo is going to see his mum next time :occa


hahaha. now i'll be working on my One Piece review today, so check it out when its done

and when i said Oda, i meant Oda. i guess its just because Kubo got to the 2nd big arc while One Piece has been around longer, but the Kaien thing in addition to Isshin and Ryuuken reminded me of Garp's reintroduction as no one expected it



I love your review and hope to read more in the future :)

Ulquiorra mind games analysis was such a good part

About your theory on Kaien. If his hollow took over then his physical appearance would've changed (like when hollow Ichigo came in control for a while) and then he would've had a broken mask just like the rest of the Espadas. I think Kaien was in Aizen's team since the very beginning and Aizen just faked his death. Then Kaien was sent as a messenger to the menos in HM


well i said my theory on Kaien's vaizard transformation wasn't perfect. I'll be trying to tweak my theory probably over the weekend when i've got a large chunk of time to fix the errors of my current version and include something on the aversion to light that i forgot to mention

Crello
February 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the great review!

juUnior
February 13, 2007, 09:21 AM
Great first revie on Bleach xD


Chad is a rock. Ichigo himself says during the Soul Society arc that he can’t even imagine Chad losing. The beauty of that character type in a series like Bleach is that once that character loses, it marks the point where the real threat begins. That worked out perfectly in the Soul Society Arc as his defeat also marked a major turning point in the Zaraki fight for Ichigo.
Indeed. But why always Chad must be that person. I dont like it heh ;p


This leads into a perfect showcase of Ulquiorra skill at using psychology to get desired effects.
Agree.


From the appearance and use of his mask, I can only assume that he is a vaizard instead of an arrancar.
Great point. I didn't thought of that, when he put off the mask. Maybe he really is Kaien with no memory, and in Espada is one vaizard xD Hopefullry we will be resolve on that in new chapter xD