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sahugani
March 10, 2007, 02:28 AM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 266

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there should be more tonfa fighters

Well, once again the RAW came on Friday, but at least it came at roughly the same time as the other two big names this time. We also once again have Kylara to thank for said RAW and des for the scan. On my end, IÂ’m coming off of the flu, so IÂ’m just glad that I feel well enough to do theseÂ…I hope well. This review is a bit shorter and less analytical than normal due to the illness though (not that the nature of this chapter made it easy either).


Waves of Memory

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this shot is why i read Bleach

As cool as it was to see NejibanaÂ’s release last week, we were all still left to wonder about its style and abilities. This week we finally get to see the beautiful weapon on the offensive. NejibanaÂ’s style differs from any preconceived notion I had for trident or spear fighting but is definitely one of the most beautiful. The techniques are completely fluid to match the water nature of the zanpakuto. He keeps the blade spinning at high speed with his hand as the axis and thus maintains the full force of the attack within the head of the weapon at all times. In addition to this, the head also generates water, which both trails behind it in an arc and adds to the weight of the swing. When that constant flow is interrupted as it hits the opponent or the ground, all that mass of water crashes down at the same speed as the trident head and creates a massive crushing force.


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can't think of anything to say

As Rukia watches AÂ’roniro wield Nejibana in the same manner as Kaien, she tries to force herself not to believe all the evidence in front of her. His face, his zanpakuto, his speech, his movements, and his knowledge are all things she realizes to be KaienÂ’s but faith in the kindness of her vice-captain proves stronger in her heart than all that she can see with her own eyes. After her rage filled outburst a couple chapters ago, it was important to show that she does still have some doubt as to the identity of AÂ’roniro. If she did not have to suffer the chance that it could be Kaien, she would be showing little emotional growth. Since she can see that it could be him, she knows that there is a chance of repeating her worst moment all over again. The fact that she can see that yet still can hold her sword against him without hesitation is proof that she is now strong enough to do what is necessary. Also, since Rukia had no basis with which to deny his existence as Kaien other than her belief in his true personality, it sets her up to grasp at any evidence that says otherwise, which ties in to her actions explained later in the review.


Forced Hands

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Kame...hame...HA!!!

Well it has been a while since kido has played a major role in any battle as the Arrancar donÂ’t use it and Rukia obtained the use of her zanpakutoÂ’s abilities. As Rukia is disarmed, she is forced to resort to the use of kido again. Kubo originally set her up as a kido type and so we know she is proficient in its use. However, when she obtained the use of her Sodeno Shiraiyuki, her role in battles became short-lived as her techniques either downed the opponent quickly or were quickly deemed useless. The choice to take away her zanpakuto and instead rely on kido was a good choice on KuboÂ’s part. She is no longer rigidly tied to the same set of moves and instead can show off her advanced knowledge of sealing and destructive arts. Last time we saw her use these, they were generally lower level as her gigai could only handle so much. Now we get to witness her using high level hadou and bakudo. Her level of skill was enough to trap and terrify an Espada, which is saying quite a lot. It was also a bit nostalgic seeing her use the same bakudo that her brother used against Renji. Other than the awesomeness of it, her use of kido also opens up opportunities later in the fight. By steering the fight away from her zanpakuto techniques for a while, Kubo will be able to bring it back for a spectacular finish. I highly doubt that Rukia could come back without some new move for Sodeno Shiraiyuki, so I am expecting this fight to end as Rukia retrieves her sword and unleashes her final dance.


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i'm melting!!!

When Rukia is forced to use kido as she loses her sword, AÂ’roniro is also forced to change his plans as RukiaÂ’s blast reveals the sunlight. When given the perfect chance to strike Rukia, he instead fled to the shade. This brings us back to the chapter of his unmasking where he first brings up his aversion to light. He played it off then as a way to hide his conversation from Aizen, but it now is quite clearly more than that. Due to his fear of the light, Rukia was for the first time given the upper hand in the battle. His tactics were based mostly on convincing Rukia that he was Kaien and didnÂ’t really give issue to the fatal flaw of what would happen should she figure out his ruse. After that little screw up in his plans, I have been swayed a bit more to the opinion that it is the hollow who controlled Kaien before who is controlling this body now. Just like before, he has underestimated a personÂ’s loyalty to KaienÂ’s true character. This person likes to toy with people in exactly the same way and has a habit of underestimating people. Before, he entered shinigami and enjoyed seeing the friends of his host in pain as they hesitated to attack and were subsequently killed by a friendÂ’s sword. However, he did not expect Ukitake to be willing to kill Kaien in an effort to kill the hollow out of respect for KaienÂ’s honor. Now he is using KaienÂ’s full appearance and knowledge to mess with RukiaÂ’s head and prey on her guilt. However, he underestimated RukiaÂ’s belief in KaienÂ’s personality, which shielded her and allowed her to think objectively. After her first bakudo, he expected her to attack him out of rage as she had been doing, but his little slip up gave her a reason to trust her instincts instead of her eyes and she trapped him instead, revealing the true form of his head.


The Two Faces of Truth

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2 heads are better than 1, but these 2 seem too F'ed up to be useful

Well IÂ’m sure that everyone who said that AÂ’roniroÂ’s was not really Kaien is having a little victory dance, but IÂ’m still not convinced. Sure my vaizard theory seems pretty null and void now, but I do still believe he is Kaien to an extent. All of the evidence is still there. He wields KaienÂ’s trident, fights with KaienÂ’s style, and bears KaienÂ’s knowledge. With all that in mind, it is clear to me that AÂ’roniro was at least born of Kaien. As I said before, I am now of the opinion that he is also comprised of the hollow that controlled Kaien before. The best explanation I can come up with is that the 2 heads are the result of an incomplete separation of Kaien and the hollow as it came to Heuco Mundo after Rukia killed the combined form. Seeing as he hid some truth in with his story regarding the dislike for darkness, I find it believable that other parts of the story were merely incomplete truths. The two likely did come to Heuco Mundo is a fused being, but Kaien was not in control and the physical composition of the resultant being was skewed. That is at least how I am explaining it to myself for now. Kubo has thrown the issue into the air so I guess anything is possible. As long as he makes sure to tie AÂ’roniroÂ’s creation to Kaien, I will be happy. I donÂ’t know if I could stand it if he dismissed the whole thing as AÂ’roniro playing the part flawlessly somehow through reading Rukia's mind or preperation with Gin.


Overall

This chapter made me realize how hard it is to analyze scenes that are either battle-heavy or random. The former is mostly for pure entertainment and any development is actually the reiteration of earlier examined themes. The latterÂ…well its hard to find reasons for 2 skulls in a tank without a little bit of warning. The chapter was good and though I am holding judgment on AÂ’roniroÂ’s true faces until I get a bit more explanation from Kubo, seeing Nejibana in action was a real treat. I think next week, we may get a bit of an explanation of this freaky twist, but it wonÂ’t be the whole truth. Personally, IÂ’d rather get back to RenjiÂ’s fight right now, but I doubt it as RukiaÂ’s fight serves an alternate purpose of filling the time as Renji runs around helplessly without Bankai for a while.

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic
March 10, 2007, 02:39 AM
Great review, sahugani! :D
And you're absolutely right, some of the scenes in this chapter is exactly why lots of people fell in love with Bleach. :D

Luckas
March 10, 2007, 06:51 AM
Excellent review, but my thoughts is that Rukia fighting style is a combination of zanpakotou and kidou. And now that we know for sure that she is fighting espada 9, I believe we will have a clear idea of the extent of her power. Is she a vive-captain level or more near to captain level? Does she have bankai? What can she do again espada without bankai?
Sorry for my randomness, maybe later try to add something more comprehensible.

sahugani
March 10, 2007, 11:26 AM
Excellent review, but my thoughts is that Rukia fighting style is a combination of zanpakotou and kidou. And now that we know for sure that she is fighting espada 9, I believe we will have a clear idea of the extent of her power. Is she a vive-captain level or more near to captain level? Does she have bankai? What can she do again espada without bankai?
Sorry for my randomness, maybe later try to add something more comprehensible.


in my opinion she is clearly vice-captain level and she has shown that with both her combat skill and emotional strength. she has been put in a similar situation as Hinamori but while the 4th div. Lt. went into a paralyzing denial, Rukia is remaining strong. I think that is why Ukitake has not named a new vice-captain yet as he is waiting for Byakuya to realize Rukia's strength and let her live her own life. As to her fighting style, i agree that it is a combo, but ever since Sodeno Shiariyuki was introduced, we have seen very little kido. this break into kido use is giving us a break to make the final dance of Sodeno Shiraiyuki even more spectacular.

qwan3356
March 10, 2007, 12:41 PM
Great Review sahugani !
And hope things go well for u wit that getting ova the flu.

sahugani
March 11, 2007, 02:59 PM
Great Review sahugani !
And hope things go well for u wit that getting ova the flu.



thanks. i'm feeling alot better now than i was last week

Just one more thing i'd like to add on the prediction end. the number of revalations surrounding A'roniro makes me think that this fight will be over pretty soon, like within two chapters. However, he has still not really shown anything that proves his status as an Espada. even the numberos were able to match a shinigami bankai, so i doubt that a shinigami shikai is the limit of his releases. i think the next chapter will give us some explanation for the heads in a jar and the following chapter will see some final release be it bankai, arrancar release, vaizard hollow, or something inbetween and it will be ended with a final unresolved clash against Rukia's final dance, which may only be a shikai move, but it is a technique Kaien would not have known about and thus would not expect