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The Underscore’s Bleach Review
339 The Deathbringer Numbers
So this week we had a very early release of the chapter, and boy what a great chapter this was. We finally got to see the rankings of the top 3 Espada’s (which were just like the ones I predicted in my first review), the story finally sped up a bit (faster than I predicted), and even more! Of course I will be going over these points as I have in my previous reviews. The scans for this week’s review are from Anonymous X instead of the usual M7 scans, but I just couldn’t wait to get started. For those of you who haven’t read the review of chapter 338, you can read it here. But for those of you who already read it (or aren’t interested in it because it’s outdated), the review for chapter 339 starts here.
Life in Technicolor
If the gift was a rectangular box, it could have been this chapter
So as a little extra on the side of this chapter, we get a colored page with Orihime. I’m saying on the side, because this chapter is the one we’ve been waiting for a pretty long time, one with some story progression! Nonetheless it’s a nice picture of her, showing a bit of the holiday spirit. But enough about this, lets get to the story.
Charging to their doom
Now I see where Eón got his temper from
So the chapter starts of with Eón burning while Kira gets advised to keep his barrier up by Genryuusai. No sooner did Genryuusai say this, or the three fractions charge towards him. As Genryuusai complements them on their fighting spirit, for fighting with one arm, he cuts them down with an attack similar to that of last week (Again, I’m guessing it isn’t his Shikai, but you can read about that in my previous review). The difference with this week’s attack however is the fact that Mila Rose, Sun Sun and Apache survived this attack, whilst Eón was burned away. This however was only out of kindness from Genryuusai, and like that, the Fractions fall (literally). The only thing that I’m disappointed about is the fact that Genryuusai himself finished them off instead of Komamura or Ikkaku. But the bright side of this is the fact that we’re finally making some progress in the story department.
Those left behind
Does this answer why Hitsugaya was distracted?
So as her Fractions fall down from the sky after being burned, Halibel seems a bit distracted. I had to show this picture because it reminded me of the chapter where Hinamori suddenly appeared, distracting Hitsugaya. Though this time, it’s Halibel who is distracted. After this we see a bit on how the fight between her and Hitsugaya was going. I’m guessing Hitsugaya had been on the defense most of the time because if he was on the offence, he certainly let a great opportunity slip. After this short break, Halibel resumes the fight with some flashy attacks. Halibel’s attacks seemed to be pretty strong and looked pretty interesting with the waves of Reiatsu following the swings. As Hitsugaya is knocked back by one of her latest swings, Halibel decides to show us what we wanted to see from the time she was introduced…
That’s what we wanted to see!... The number I mean…
So Kubo decided we’ve been waiting long enough and decided to show us Halibel’s… ranking… with a little fan service of course, given that he had to make up for some things from the last few chapters. And just like I predicted, Halibel is the third Espada. Hitsugaya on the other hand is surprised by the fact that someone so powerful is only ranked third.
You can zip up nowCan’t say she’s just a pretty face…
So as Hitsugaya shows his surprise about her power, Halibel tells us she hasn’t even begun to show the extent of her it. The thing I noticed here is the fact that Halibel isn’t just showing her mask here, but also some of her (Hollow) personality (with the brat comment). Before she unzipped she seemed to be more reserved than what we’re seeing now. Maybe it has something to do with her Fractions being defeated, or maybe it’s something that happens when she shows her mask. And what a mask it is. It somehow looks like a mix between Ichigo’s mask and Grimmjow’s resurrection to me. At least that was the first thing that came to my mind. I actually like her design here and it’s making me very curious about her released state. After seeing Halibel like this, Hitsugaya immediately goes to his Bankai. Just as the ice making up Daiguren Hyourinmaru takes shape, Halibel strikes down on Hitsugaya.
Taking it easy
You can’t always get what you want Kyouraku
As Halibel strikes at Hitsugaya, the scene smoothly changes to Kyouraku and Stark in what I find to be one of the best transitions I've seen in most manga's. Stark notes that the Shinigami who are in the fake Karakura town are strong, and let’s Kyouraku know that he was hoping he could just fool around a bit. Kyouraku then starts to make his own ranking of the Espada’s based on his suspicions and desires. In his ranking of the Espada’s he shows his observational skills and his ever laidback attitude. I thought it was pretty funny when he said it would be easier on him if Stark was the second Espada, it’s just so like him. His joking aside, his ranking of the Espada’s is spot on. One thing that was noticeable during the ranking of the Espada’s is the fact that Barragan seemed to have gotten up from his throne, so I’m guessing he’s busy with Soifon and Marechiyo. Anyhow, as Stark shows his true colors as the primera Espada, Kyouraku does the same as one of Soul Society’s strongest captains (with probably the most evil smile in the Bleach universe up ‘till now ). Though this fight is one I would love to see, the chapter shifts to another highly anticipated fight…
Long time no see!
So we finally get to see Ichigo again since his last appearance 21 chapters ago. The blast we saw during the change from the fake Karakura town to Hueco Mundo was apparently caused by Ulquiorra who deflected one of Ichigo’s attacks. Though at first glance one might think we haven’t missed much in this battle as of yet because Ichigo hasn’t got his mask on, a cut on Ichigo’s right shoulder can tell us a different story. But in spite of this cut Ichigo seems to be ready to take on the fourth Espada…
So we had an early release this week, and with it you get an early review. This chapter really got me exited about Bleach again (in comparison to the last few weeks), and I’m guessing I’m not the only one. I hope I didn’t forget anything in my excitement, I may have rushed this review a bit because of it . But if you guys saw something I didn’t, or you have something to add to this, feel free to post it here. As for my prediction on the next chapter, I’m guessing Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra. I’m afraid I can’t say it will be definite seeming as how almost all of my predictions about the chapters have been wrong. But I guess it’s save to say that the fight between them is finally going to start.
So that’s it for this week’s review, I hope you guys enjoyed it.
Nice review Underscore. I guess my friend's was right, since Stark was so much like Shikamaru from Naruto, he turned out to be #1. R.I.Pieces, lesbian trio. Was Genryusai really showing honor? Or was he just being cruelly sarcastic? Seeing Halibel unmasked reminds me of the characters Baraka and Mileena from Mortal Kombat. She's like the Eve of Hueco Mundo, does that make Sosuke Adam? We only have one fracción left, Lilinette. She'll wish that she had a ball to play with now>v<.
Wow, we're finally back to ichigo's fight, but now we're into the top three's fights. That sort of sucks. I'm still tired of ichigo's drawn-out fights. *sigh* oh well, we learned who the top3 are anyway. Nice review!
Thanks so much for the review, The Underscore! I do hope you will continue ^^
I'm totally with you on this being the most exciting chapter in a long while. Wow, I didn't realize that it has been 21 weeks since we last saw Ichigo. That's pretty ridiculous >.> I hope that the next chapter will pick up where this one left off (at Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra) and we can see more of him. I've missed the little guy!
Ooooh, also want to say that I like your take on Halibel "opening up" when she unzipped her top. Interesting observation.
And Hallibel opening up because of her unzipping isn’t for sure, as I pointed out. But it is my favorite option for her to make that comment at Hitsugaya . The other option of her reacting that way out of concern for her Fraccións is more humane. But it doesn’t really go with her newly revealed look right ?