I think Grimmjow enjoys 'em a little too much...
Fun chapter of Bleach this week. I'll be going on a little leave of absence for a week because I'm a little tired of spending so much time on the computer, but I didn't want to do that without finishing this review. But if I don't seem too contemplative on some comments, or just plain confusing, it's just because I'm a little bit tired at this time, so don't hold it too much against me, please.
That being said, let's take a look at what happened in the latest Bleach chapter, shall we? Feel free to comment as always!
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on Bleach Chapter 240: Regeneration! * * *
Open Sesame and then some...
1. The Tunnel of Doom. Whenever Urahara kneels and starts chanting incantations and hitting the ground with his cane, it's pretty hard not to see him as a wizard instead of what he really is - a scientist! What strikes me the most about this scene is the words he spoke, which might sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo at first, but there's something definitely poetic about them. "The black sheep's master, the stool of the noose?" Well, Tite Kubo certainly knows how to write eerie and mystical-sounding phrases, that's for sure! And they couldn't be coming from the mouth of a more cool character than Urahara, unless it's Gin.
Anyway, if the "Garganta" tunnel looks familiar, that's because we saw it once before - when the Gillians attacked the Soul Society back in Chapter 178 and "beamed up" Aizen, Gin, and Tousen to their world of Hueco Mundo.
I've always wondered what that "eye" was all about, and whether it would be a threat or not, but now I guess we know. It was just the portal through which the Gillians came to receive their new master, and it's the same tunnel that will take Ichigo and his friends into the "abyss" so to speak in order to find Orihime. It's kind of a relief to know now that it wasn't just a gigantic, cyclopean beast.
Pretty difficult job to do for two months, isn't it, dude?
2. Rogues and Secrets. With the request that Ichigo asked the former Captain of the 12nd Divison here, I had to wonder just how many times Urahara must have been asked to do similar favors. With every lie that Urahara's had to tell people, even with their best interests in mind, the more shadier his character probably became! It's hard to deceive people without becoming a part of the lie yourself. Urahara seems to take it in stride, but sometimes I wonder how the rogue manages. Keeping secrets is a tough business.
Somewhat funny that Isshin likely asked Urahara likewise to never tell his family the truth of his past as a living, breathing Shinigami too. And in order to best help him, Urahara probably had to worry even more about keeping his presence in Karakura Town a secret as well.
And now that Ichigo is a Shinigami (albeit even a substitute) himself, his sisters are the only ones left out of the loop in the Kurosaki family! Both the father and son obviously want to protect them, but sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be a better idea just to tell them the truth, so that they could prepare themselves better for what might be to come. And in a way, it would be better for Urahara as well. A man can only keep so many secrets...!
Sidenote: I don't know why it just hit me now, but in writing about Ichigo's family there, I just realized that Ichigo's mother must have been a Shinigami herself. That's the reason why the Grand Fisher was so hungy after her and decided to leave Ichigo alone afterwards, because it had sated its appetite on spiritual power. I wonder why Ichigo's mother didn't better protect herself, though...
Ichigo's just checking to see if his jockstrap's firmly on.
3. 3...2...1... Blast-Off! Just had to comment on Kubo's nice work on raising the drama and tension in this page. First, by showing the readers how the three men were preparing themselves to enter the Garganta, and then showing the determination on Ichigo's face as he gave the command to go.
Made their take-off in the next page a lot more riveting and stirring for the readers, I think, and also made it feel like a new chapter in the series opened, as well. Definitely nice art here.
DARN! Now she's gotta go back home... or is she?
4. Left Behind... Again? Well, at least Tatsuki, Mizuiko, and Asano all found out what Ichigo was up to, so that they wouldn't have to worry about it so much in the months to come. I still wonder if Tatsuki will be trying to come along, though.
At least they heard about how their friend was sorry that he hadn't told them what was going on. Also, Urahara will likely explain things to them anyway. I'm not sure if that will really let Ichigo off the hook, but hopefully we'll be seeing more from them, especially Tatsuki, sooner than we all think.
I don't think he's just gonna clean his hat...
5. So Mysterious... Once again, Tite Kubo teases us a little bit about Urahara in particular. He's still got a part to play in this whole affair, it looks like. So what is sandal-hat going to do now? Will he be going to Hueco Mundo himself? I don't think so, because he would have gone with Ichigo's group here if that was the case.
Will he be going to meet the Vizards? I think that's a more possible scenario. Maybe Urahara might be interested in working with them. Or maybe he's just going to prepare the rest of his workers at the shop in order to be ready against another possible invasion from the Arrancars?
Or might it be that Urahara is planning to initate a plan that might get the Soul Society more willing to attack the Arrancars at this time?
Either way, guess it was a little too much to hope that Urahara would ever be a front-line fighter with Ichigo and friends. He was always one to work behind the scenes.
At least he's not whipping her, I guess...
6. Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here... After the enormous spiritual pressure that Aizen exerted on poor Orihime at Las Noches, it's become pretty obvious that all he's after is power, and especially dominance over others. That's how he seemingly gets off - intimidation, humiliating others, and being the strongest of all. Pretty brutal guy to just scare an innocent kid like Orihime out of her wits like that without even being provoked.
It also pretty much makes Aizen an effective torturer without even as much as lifting a finger. Just imagine how much all the terrorists in the real world would love to have this power. Kinda unsettling, isn't it? Just imagine how Orihime must be feeling here. So vulnerable.
Sidenote: I think Tite Kubo hit it on the head as far as creating the perfect villain, though. Aizen seems the best example of a Lucifer-type individual that I've seen in manga, who can be handsome and charming yet ruthless and diabolical at the same time. There's too many villains in comics that aren't quite realistic in that they don't SEEM like they would deceive anybody with their looks, but as we've seen, Aizen not only surprised the characters in the series but also the readers, as well. That's a very good job done by Kubo.
Being dissed doesn't feel so nice...
7. Not a Good Idea At All... Gotta be honest here, I wasn't even thinking that Luppi would be somehow involved again in the series. Not as a big factor against Ichigo's group, except a possible rematch with Hitsugaya at some point. Although in retrospect, we should have known that wasn't going to happen because Luppi had already shown his trump card a few chapters ago. Most Arrancar doing that have already died by now.
But I also didn't think Luppi would actually be so discouraged that he would publicly question Aizen in his own castle.
Not a good idea at all. Nope. You want almost instanteous death? Yep, you got it right there. When your boss is so powerful that he could actually stop Zangetsu with a finger, and so evil that he calmly thrust a sword through the chest of a little girl who only wanted to love him, if you treasure your life... you don't say a word.
I think Luppi's discontent here was what eventually led to his demise. After Aizen saw him being nearly beaten and killed and then sensing that his loyalty might not be so unshakeable anymore, it was just time for Aizen to... "demote" him.
Best nurse. Ever.
8. Surprise, surprise... Don't know why I didn't see this one coming. Maybe it was just because we were getting so comfortable with the idea of Grimmjow being one-armed, and that he still already seemed more than strong enough to match up with Ichigo. Even without releasing his sword to this point.
Now, what will Ichigo do? Grimmjow's got all his power back, evidently, so that's going to mean a boost in power for him, and Ichigo's still not even gotten his mask under control for more than a few minutes yet. And what will Ichigo do against Ulquiorra, as well? Hmmm. Well, I suppose it's nice to see Ichigo being the underdog again...
Anyway, the best thing about this turn of events was that we learned more about Orihime's powers:
Which, of course, as Aizen said, is the 'Rejection of Events' - I've always thought Orihime's power was awesome, but I didn't realize it was THAT ridiculously powerful. I would even have been fine with "time restoration" as Ulquiorra had suggested, but this... the ability to reject events as if they never happened... I don't know how I feel about it now. But I suppose that explains why certain people such as Unohana was so amazed by Orihime's healing ability. It's definitely not the same thing as what the Fourth Divison is best known for.
Now it's almost as if Orihime is as ridiculously powerful as Ichigo. At the very least if Orihime is ever by Ichigo's side, he'll never have to worry about being killed, because Orihime will likely reject that possibility just as strongly as anything else.
Just how did she come by this power anyway? I had always imagined that Orihime had acquired the ability through some kind of spiritual awakening that was caused by seeing her brother again in Hollow form, followed by defending her friend from Hollows. But this goes beyond spiritual awakening - unless Orihime is some kind of modern female Jesus Christ.
I hope Tite Kubo intends to explain this, I really do...
I don't think Luppi wants to know...
9. Grimmjow's Return to the Espada! I just have to tell you guys, this single page is part of why I love to read comics and manga so much. No, it wasn't the death of Luppi that occured the following page. Why would I be attracted to something so bloody and shocking as that? It was more or less the change of facial expression on Grimmjow's face as he slowly turns to respond to Luppi's inquiry with a hideous grin marking his face and almost a growl-like "Huh?" You almost didn't even have to turn the page to know what was coming.
I always love that kind of slow process from a seemingly quiet and calm scene to an unexpected, startling moment full of chaos and violence. Kubo pulled it off in a masterful way here, and in doing so, created one of the most memorable scenes so far in the series.
Grimmjow's grin also reminds us that Arrancars are not really human at all, or at least, they've nearly lost all their humanity. They are first and foremost... monsters!
And I'm glad about that. A monster celebrates his good luck only by drawing the blood of others, as we saw here. I had been thinking that Grimmjow would sometimes actually renege on Aizen and become at least a temporary ally of Ichigo. That would have somewhat disappointed me, considering that he had been such an evil-looking fellow. But after this scene, there's no way Grimmjow will ever be on the side of the angels. He's most definitely bad to the bone!
Yeah, I'll be willing to admit, this chapter has made a Grimmjow fan out of me. No, I don't usually adopt villains as favorite characters at all, usually because they so often die or become redundant. But Tite Kubo has done an amazing job of delivering a true, bad-ass character with this dude. I think he'll be around quite a while, even if I do kind of foresee a grisly death for him at some point. But one thing's for sure, he'll be going out with a bang.
That being said, I must say I'm sorry for Dragonzair. I know she liked Luppi. Sorry he had to be the victim, Sara.
But ya know what? Luppi kinda had it coming... after he taunted Grimmjow a while ago. If you're smart, you don't really do that to a mad dog, even one who might seem locked into its cage... simply because you never know when it'll break out and tear your throat out with its teeth. Luppi found out that lesson here, but it was too late for him...
They didn't like the joke, I think.
10. Shock. I found it interesting how everybody reacted to Luppi's death and Grimmjow's laughter of victory. Orihime, obviously, looked very pale and disturbed, but she didn't faint like your typical teen girl. After witnessing so many people nearly getting torn apart and having to heal them, I've got to think that has something to do with her strength here, even if it's faltering a little bit here (not that I would blame her).
Ulquiorra seemed to almost act in the same serene manner as Byakuya, closing his eyes and giving a detached look, as if it was all just merely an expected incident. Yama seemed surprised, and almost kind of worried that he'd have to be working with Grimmjow again.
Wonderwyce's reaction seemed the most interesting, though. He seemed to be scared too, himself. He definitely seems too gentle to be an Arrancar. Might he be the unexpected thorn in Aizen's side at some point?
RATING: 5 out of 5 stars. Very dramatic chapter, and it certainly got my adrenaline running. Glad to hear more about Orihime's power, to see Tatsuki and friends knowing what's going on, and finally, Grimmjow is going to be a darn good villain.
Predictions: I'd say we'll see what the inside of Garganta looks like, and also perhaps what Urahara is up to.
Credits: Thanks to des's scanlation!
Hope you enjoyed, and looking forward to seeing what you think!
C'mon out and comment! <3