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gigantor21
February 17, 2007, 04:32 PM
263. Unexpected

Well, I must say—I’ve never seen so much debate generated about a chapter BEFORE it actually came out. The spoilers thread for this one was more than 15 pages long, and was full of opinions from people I’d never even seen before. That’s just a testament to how polarizing a figure Kaien is among the “Bleach” fanbase—though that wasn’t the only point of interest. Kubo also fleshed out Noritora’s personality a bit here, and his claim of being the strongest Espada stood out the most.

Now, before people go and start revising their speculative rankings of Espada by putting Noritora at #1, consider this: if Noritora is ranked first, then he’d only be behind Gin and Aizen, right? So then why would he be the most impulsive in taking down the intruders if his strength has already been acknowledged? If anything, that proves to me that he isn’t ranked 1st, but is up there in the ranks. I had an extensive debate with Jack Van Bruce about Noritora’s similarities to Zaraki, and his compulsiveness was a point I HAD to concede.

Now, in regards to Kaien (whose identity was confirmed), I was really impressed with the way that Kubo answered my question last week—“Is he or isn’t he?” Well, he is, but that may be a lot worse than if he wasn’t. He has less control over his Vaizard powers than Ichigo did when Hollow Ichigo first came out, as it looks like the Hollow is the dominant owner of Kaien’s soul. Now, Kaien is only a vessel and a power source, despite the fact that his personality and appearance are still in tact (which Lucia predicted before we had a full script).

I really want to see where Kubo takes this.

So, it looks like Renji is going to be up at bat next week against Noritora. Has his training with Chad produced a reciprocal power-up for his Bankai? And will it be enough to do much of anything, if Chad got his shit rocked? What will Rukia do? What’s going on with Zaeruapollo’s experiment? And what are the Vaizards and Soul Society doing in preparation for the war?

We’ll definitely get some of the answers next week.

Rating – 4/5

Finally, it looks like this arc is getting interesting based on the merits of the story itself. It’s quite refreshing.

alekosss_kenpachi
February 17, 2007, 04:46 PM
C mon gigantor noly 4/5 for this chapter??It was one of the most exciting chapters lately!

Toda350Z
February 17, 2007, 05:23 PM
I agree, i'd have to give this chapter a 4.5 at least, but you make a lot of good points.
Zaraki is exactly who Noritora reminds me of... probably very strong, but not the strongest... in reiatsu maybe he is though?

I also really wanna see if Kaien actually plans on helping Rukia or if his hollw form owns him.
Hopefully Renji will put up a better fight than Chad did.

gigantor21
February 17, 2007, 06:19 PM
Well, I would've given it a 4.5, but it felt mostly transitional--like this chapter was only supposed to set up something really good for next week. It didn't seem as pivotal and shocking to me as last weeks chapter was, which is why I gave it a lower score. I still thought it was really good, though.

I'm really hoping that Renji is at least able to make Noritora fight seriously. I'm not holding my breath to see him release, though. I'm also wondering what Tesla's role in the story will be, since Kubo went out of his way to give him extensive face time in his first appearance, but I can't even speculate yet.

kiddo7
February 17, 2007, 07:31 PM
I still think chad might have some role in the next chapter. After all, I was pretty sure he was out cold at the end of last chapter but he was still able to get up and fire one more attack this week, so there is a slim chance that he might still have something to surprise us with.
Here's to hoping.

gigantor21
February 17, 2007, 07:41 PM
I still think chad might have some role in the next chapter. After all, I was pretty sure he was out cold at the end of last chapter but he was still able to get up and fire one more attack this week, so there is a slim chance that he might still have something to surprise us with.
Here's to hoping.


Hope is all we have left, for now...but us fans of Chad are used to that by now, right? Right.

I'm hoping to see Chad make a triumphant comeback during the Winter War, and utterly annihilate Yammi and Noritora. And in Yammi's case, I don't see what else he could possibly contribute to the story, beyond getting his ass kicked by Chad--Ichigo made him his bitch with his Bankai, so even if Yammi released, it wouldn't matter now, because Ichigo can use the mask.

I don't see what Kubo is planning on doing with him beyond that, and I can't really say I'm interested in anything else.

sahugani
February 17, 2007, 09:30 PM
You beat me to it this week. In fact i'm just now starting mine due to a multitude of reasons and i just hope that i can finish and post tonight before the university computer lab closes.

as to your review, i agree completely with everything (except i am still reserving judgment on the Kaien issue because there are some contradictions in his actions i still need to ponder). Everything about Noitora are my thoughts exactly regarding him not actually being #1 and about fighting Renji next. keep it up

wish me luck as i now try to analyze the reasons for these beliefs to the max with my newly imposed time restraint.

gigantor21
February 18, 2007, 09:24 AM
You beat me to it this week. In fact i'm just now starting mine due to a multitude of reasons and i just hope that i can finish and post tonight before the university computer lab closes.

as to your review, i agree completely with everything (except i am still reserving judgment on the Kaien issue because there are some contradictions in his actions i still need to ponder). Everything about Noitora are my thoughts exactly regarding him not actually being #1 and about fighting Renji next. keep it up

wish me luck as i now try to analyze the reasons for these beliefs to the max with my newly imposed time restraint.


Oh, you'll be fine. I'm sure you can do it.

And in regards to Kaien, I think any contradictions you may have found could've easily been deliberate, since it's not entirely Kaien anymore. Either that, or Kubo's way of portraying Kaien has changed slightly since the last time we saw him--he could be different than before because Kubo doesn't want him to be exactly like Ichigo.

It'll be much more interesting if it is Kaien, so I doubt Kubo would let that chance pass up.

BigBadBuu
February 18, 2007, 10:12 AM
I still think chad might have some role in the next chapter. After all, I was pretty sure he was out cold at the end of last chapter but he was still able to get up and fire one more attack this week, so there is a slim chance that he might still have something to surprise us with.
Here's to hoping.



Chad's biggest chance now, is if Noitora were to slip in his blood and fall on his own Zanpaktou.. =/

;-)

gigantor21
February 18, 2007, 12:40 PM
Chad's biggest chance now, is if Noitora were to slip in his blood and fall on his own Zanpaktou.. =/

;-)


Yeah, pretty much...

Another thing I noticed that I forgot to mention in the revew is that I'm sure that it's really Kaien, because of how similar his reunion with Rukia was with Hinamori's reunion with Aizen--she, who knew him better than anyone, was able to confirm that it was him, and then out of nowhere he attacks her. I think Kubo deliberately made the two scenes similar in order to validate Kubo's identity.

Luckas
February 18, 2007, 01:48 PM
I'm not sure to understand what to think about the fact that "Kaien" tricked Rukia to go near him to get a free hit.
Does that mean he need that trick to fight her? Is that is fighting style? Or is there a deeper meaning in it? Or was it only a little plot hole for allowing Rukia and "Kaien" a little chat?

gigantor21
February 18, 2007, 02:39 PM
I'm not sure to understand what to think about the fact that "Kaien" tricked Rukia to go near him to get a free hit.
Does that mean he need that trick to fight her? Is that is fighting style? Or is there a deeper meaning in it? Or was it only a little plot hole for allowing Rukia and "Kaien" a little chat?


Well, I think Kaien was trying to kill her in one hit while her defenses were down, since that's probably the easiest way to take someone down, but she was faster than he thought. The conversation was probably meant to get her to lower her guard--and help confirm his identity for the readers. That's what I think, anyway.

Athena
February 18, 2007, 03:31 PM
yey! just in time for your review. great as usual!

just one question, why are you guys so sure Noritora is going to see renji? you know, it can be Ichigo since his reiatsu is the biggest.
and about Rukia being fast and dodging Kaien's attack, i don't think that's the case. here take a look:

http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/8503/m7bleachch26216ch6.png

see how fast he was? She couldn’t even see him! kaien could have finished her long ago but for some reasons he didn't; it's obvious he's toying with her. perhaps he doesn't “really” want to kill her, no?

Inana

manu
February 18, 2007, 03:51 PM
Well the dual voices Kubo drawed probably was meant to indicate that there are two opposing forces in Kaien. So its still up for grabs whether he wants to kill her but his shinigami side doesn't or if he's just a sick bastard who loves toying with people.

gigantor21
February 18, 2007, 04:11 PM
Well the dual voices Kubo drawed probably was meant to indicate that there are two opposing forces in Kaien. So its still up for grabs whether he wants to kill her but his shinigami side doesn't or if he's just a sick bastard who loves toying with people.


Yeah, exactly. There's still a degree of ambiguity as to how much control is distributed between Kaien and the Hollow, which is probably deliberate on Kubo's part. That'd also explain why Kaien's attack missed--transitioning between personalities might slow him down. Or the Hollow could've been in conrtol, and simply underestimate Rukia...it could be several different things.

And in regards to Noritora, I just get a gut feeling that Renji's next, because we haven't seen him fight yet and he wasn't held up by a fight with a Privaron. Plus, I don't see Ichigo fighting again this soon, especially against someone who could be stronger than Grimmjow.

(And are you doing a review this week, inana? Please say you're doing a review this week.)

Athena
February 18, 2007, 07:40 PM
And in regards to Noritora, I just get a gut feeling that Renji's next, because we haven't seen him fight yet and he wasn't held up by a fight with a Privaron. Plus, I don't see Ichigo fighting again this soon, especially against someone who could be stronger than Grimmjow.

(And are you doing a review this week, inana? Please say you're doing a review this week.)



well your logic makes more sense than mine! lol but renji too is no match for this guy unless he has reached a level beyond his bankai in couple of months! however he has one of nell's friend with him; those "things" are capable of doing some really weird stuff! :D

About the reviews, i think you two are doing a great job, there is no need for me to write anything :)
i rather add my comments in your section. Believe me, yours is very comprehensive :amuse


Inana

sahugani
February 18, 2007, 08:40 PM
i'm sorry to say that i will be skipping the reviews this week. My computer went into a coma tuesday and since then everything has conspired against me. i tried doing it at the university's computer lab but it doesn't work with my style because i don't work well with time limits and thanks to presidents day weekend, the time limit is rediculously early. time limits (in addition to other matters that popped up Friday to Sunday) cause me stress and i work slower, so i'm giving up for this week. Next week, either i'll have my computer back or i'll be better able to work through the university computer so i don't anticipate any problem.

for now i'll post ideas i do have here

about Renji being the next fight for Noitora, i came up with some reasoning. first of all, the others can't as Chad is down, Rukia is occupied, Ichigo is set up for Grimmjow, and i refuse to believe that Kubo will give Ishida another big fight after Maiyuri. I think that since Chad confirmed that Noitora was slow, the range of Renji's bankai will allow him to at the very least hold a decent fight until Noitora releases. do i think Renji will win? no, but i think that his fight will be used as an excuse to bring in Soul Society's reinforcements.

here is my theory on the SS reinforcements. being that it's supported only by my own analysis and the best reason for its necessity lies in a seperate theory of mine it likely is best classified as my own rambling as i just let my thoughts unfold. but it was one of the ideas i liked best from the review i couldn't finish and so i wanted to post it

It is clear to me that we will see SS send support. First of all, Ichigo is the only one somewhat ready to face espada out of the 5 and so either Chad recovers to help Renji take down Noitora or Ichigo will be the only one taking down the powerful 10. Also, specific subplots call for members of SS. Kaien's reappearance would affect more than just Rukia and we need to see the SS reaction to that. I also strongly believe that this arc will include the fall of Tousen through capture or death (thats a whole other theory involving Wanderweiss that i don't have time to explain) and so there must be an excuse for Komomura and/or Hisagi to be there.

That being said there is no better way to slip this relief force into the story than saving Renji. no other team member has the number of connections in SS than him. If a captain stepped in to save Ichigo, it would diminish Ichigo's strength in our eyes and that is unacceptable for him at this point as he'd refuse help and the meaning of the captain's arrival would be trivial. Saving Renji would be more meaningful as it would pass off responsibility to deal with fighting to others while our five concentrate on saving eachother and Orihime. We saw Chad's usefulness against Noitora and though i think Renji stands a better chance due to his range, he's not capable of beating him. however, it would be bad writing to have a character like Noitora simply plow through 2 out of the 5 heroes, so it is necessary to have a captain step in. I have three in mind and all would have different circumstances. If Byakuya saves Renji, it would be meaningful because it brings in the person who would be affected most by Kaien's reappearance next to Rukia (who's already there) and Ukitake (whose illness would prevent his participation). remember that Byakuya was in the 13th division before becoming captain. The second option (and my favorite but least likely) is that Zaraki will show up. Just like with Byakuya, this would be a result of a direct order from Yamamoto, but this would be meaningful only for entertainment purposes as we see two superpowers clash. I'd also like to see (but won't :crying)Yachiru fight Telsa. the last option for Renji's support is Komomura (which i think is most likely) while Hisagi fights Telsa. The meaning behind their appearance would imply that the relief force is small as Yamamoto cannot afford to send many, but appeals from many below him have moved him to act. this option brings in those who are necessary only so that the hero forces don't seem over powered. if i had to guess the people who would be a part of the group and their roles i'd say Komomura and Hisagi save Renji from Noitora and Telsa, Isane (4th div. Lt.) appears at the same time and takes care of Chad, and i'd say either Ganju or Kukaku to show reaction to Kaien as i doubt Ukitiake would go.

and i am sorry to hear that you wont be reviewing anymore Inana

gigantor21
February 18, 2007, 10:26 PM
Interesting theory, there, sahugani.

Well, I do agree that it'd be quite repetitive to just have Noritora and the other Espada kick the asses of the rescue team, and we've all had more than our fair share of repetition during this arc. One of the main reasons this arc in general hasn't worked for me is that there aren't enough different story angles being exploited by Kubo--there's just been a lot of fighting, and many of the fights haven't been that interesting. Now, Kubo's starting to turn it around, but it still feels too straight forward.

I'm not sure if bringing in people from SS will help to alleviate that sense of over-simplicity, since it could easily be interpreted as Kubo bringing back fan favorites to rally the fans via exploitation of the characters' popularity. I think it'd be better if there was just more stuff going on behind the scenes in HM--that's what made the Soul Society arc work so well, and I know Kubo can pull it off here because there are plenty of springboards to work from.

The most viable ones to me are Zaeruappollo's plot, and fleshing out the other Espada as characters. Both of those could be interconnected in some parts, but it could also be that there are more Espada who are doing their own thing just for their own purposes. If that could be integrated with intervention from Soul Society AND the Vaizards (though that's a stretch), then someone with Kubo's storytelling skill could easily spin gold out of it.

The fact that he isn't yet just shows me that this arc is just being used to play for time, and that Kubo had no choice but to jump into it without a plan beforehand. But that's just me.

(And are you really not going to do anymore reviews, inana? That sucks!

I'll miss the humor and interactivity of your reviews. I'm glad that you're still gonna stick around, though.)

Gold Knight
February 18, 2007, 11:14 PM
Agreed with your review of the chapter and the rating, Bleach is getting much more interesting again.

As for Noritora at #1, I don't think so either. I think his boasting is just that, boasting. After all, wasn't it a while ago that we saw Luppi mock Grimmjow? Believing, obviously, himself to be stronger, then when Grimmjow got his arm back - it's hasta la vista baby time, Luppi.

I think all the Espada believe themselves to be stronger than each other, and that's just the way of cutthroats and gangs. Of course, they all acknowledge Aizen as the main power, and they're just trying to prove themselves to him.

But I suppose we'll find out for sure sooner or later. I agree that Noritora definitely has a striking resemblance to Kenpachi. Would be interesting if these two fought at a latter point, too.

As for Kaien, I agree with your viewpoint on him being controlled by his Hollow side. Is Rukia going to have to kill him all over again...?

gigantor21
February 19, 2007, 08:18 AM
Agreed with your review of the chapter and the rating, Bleach is getting much more interesting again.

As for Noritora at #1, I don't think so either. I think his boasting is just that, boasting. After all, wasn't it a while ago that we saw Luppi mock Grimmjow? Believing, obviously, himself to be stronger, then when Grimmjow got his arm back - it's hasta la vista baby time, Luppi.

I think all the Espada believe themselves to be stronger than each other, and that's just the way of cutthroats and gangs. Of course, they all acknowledge Aizen as the main power, and they're just trying to prove themselves to him.

But I suppose we'll find out for sure sooner or later. I agree that Noritora definitely has a striking resemblance to Kenpachi. Would be interesting if these two fought at a latter point, too.

As for Kaien, I agree with your viewpoint on him being controlled by his Hollow side. Is Rukia going to have to kill him all over again...?


I wholeheartedly agree on the power thing--it's a very easy way for Kubo to throw off our predictions of the ranks, and our perception of how strong they are in general. I never even considered the angle of proving themselves to Aizen, but that makes sense when you consider how much Aizen favors Ulquiorra. Anyone would want that sort of backing from their boss, especially since they know he wouldn't giva a shit if one of them died in battle.

Noritora vs. Kenpachi? I'd love it--especially if we got to see Zaraki's release. He and Byakuya are certainly strong enough to take out a few of the lower ranked Espada as it is.

I really feel sorry for Rukia, to be honest. She's been getting screwed around with by Kubo since the beginning of the goddamned series--all the trouble with Urahara's faulty gigai, nearly getting executed just so Aizen could get the Hougyoku, nearly getting killed by Grimmjow twice, and now this. As if she didn't feel guitly enough about accidentally killing Kaien...now, as you say, she might have to do it deliberately.

dfcarolinaguy
February 19, 2007, 05:01 PM
Great review Gigantor and I agree with you about the arc getting refreshing now because lately bleach has been worse then Naruto and well lol that just explains itself :noworry

gigantor21
February 19, 2007, 05:10 PM
I'm not following Naruto much anymore, to be honest, so I wouldn't know. It just got too boring for me.

But yeah, I'm glad were finally getting out of that slump that we'd been in since Ichigo vs. Doldooni. It certainly took Kubo long enough.