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Translations: Bleach 600 (2)
As you probably noticed from the title, I'm reviewing three whole chapters this week. So I apologize for making it longer than usual but there was really no helping it.
The poll on whether or not Baam would still be under control of FUG when he leaves the 30th floor was dead even. Which bring me immense personal satisfaction (I love it when opinion is divided.) We'll just have to wait and see which group turns out to be correct.
Now onto the review!
Chapter 118, 119, & 120 Review
Never underestimate a protagonist.
In the blink of an eye two years have passed all the players are moving toward the stage that is the 30th floor. These chapters were all a part of making that grand transition.
The prologue focused on a new character, a seemingly innocent and charming chat bot named Emile, whom I'm already a fan and I'll get into why a that later on. Most of the prologue consists of her chatting up various familiar faces and at the very end of her short chapter the a mysterious chat message tells her that "The 25th Baam is alive".
The next chapter showed Koon's group, as they pass the test on the 29th floor due to their overwhelming abilities and some advice from Emile. There is a bit of internal fallout afterward however, since Edin Dan varied from Koon's plan and used information from Emile to win. Koon chastises him for his reckless improvisation and keeps the chatting device afterward. But after Edin walks out he sees the message in Emile's chat that reads "The 25th Baam is alive".
Next up is Baam's group who are taking the test on the 28th floor. Their group was the most impressive to me because of how well they worked together as a team. Using their unique talents to deal with the opposing team quickly and easily till only one remains.
The prologue and the chapter with Koon's team looked quite good. Even though much of both were largely in Tower of God's cartoon-esque low detail style. Which, though not as impressive as Tower of God's high detail dramatic style, comes across as a lot more lighthearted and innocent which I thought ended up creating a really good contrast with the few more ominous scenes. Like the "Dark side" of the Emilie plot thread and the moment between Edin and Rachel.
However, the chapter with Baam's group looked pretty rough. It wasn't bad exactly but it seemed...unpolished. Adding to that was who many of the perspectives in the panels were so "close". So you ended up seeing only one or two characters instead of a wider shot that would have given a better idea of what was going on.
There wasn't a whole lot for me not to like in these three chapters. Emile's character was great and showing the groups closing in on 30th floor builds up good sense of anticipation. The artwork was a weakness at times though, which holds the experience back from perfection.
I give them a 4 out of 5
Points of Interest
Emile, The Chat Bot with a Heart
And people wonder why I like Miseng so much.
Emile's introduction was a huge success with me almost instantly. The reason I thought it worked so well was because how her own character was revealed by chatting with characters we already know. Her interaction with Edin, Meseng, and Androssi provided the thing that Wangan's introduction lacked; a sense of personal connection to characters I already have an emotional investment in.
This also provided her character with a pretty unique role. She's actually a bridge of sorts between all 3 groups even though they themselves don't seem to realize it. Making her a potentially vital link going forward.
Her personalty is also interesting in it's whimsical innocence combined with insightfulness. One of the more telling moments I think was when she showed just how well she had been able to understand Andross by referring to her as a "A Lonely girl who wants love.". This showed she didn't just "speak to Androssi" but "understood her".
Layered on top of all this is her own story thread which seems like it could be surprisingly dark. With a young man calling himself "Traveler" declaring his love for her coming to meet her in person, and her true form being somehow related to a machine hooked into a dark haired girl's head in a lab-like room who screams out that she's a monster and will never be human. Will this story be a Fairy Tail romance or something dark? I can't wait to find out.
And Then the Cat Jumped out of the Bag...
As the old saying goes, "Once it jumps out, there's no putting it back in".
This chat message that Baam still lives creates so many questions. Who sent it? Why did they send it? Was it meant for Emile or those who read her through her chat blog thingy?
The suspects for who sent it are many. Pretty much anybody who has the information could have some believable reason for putting it out there, it could be part of Repellista's plan, it could be Jinsung decided it's time, it be Hwa Ryun was feeling especially crazy that day, it could be Karaka did it to try and stir up trouble, or it could also be someone entirely new. There is really just no way of knowing.
As for why it was sent. I think that's pretty obvious, somebody wants people to know Baam is alive without having that information be tracked back to them. Whether or not they will believe it is another question though.
I tend to think this information wasn't meant for Emile so much as Baam's friends and allies. Whatever Emile's role in the coming chapters, the name "The 25th Baam" just doesn't carry much meaning to her. To people like Koon and Androssi that name means a great deal; and I highly doubt it's a coincidence that that person said he was alive in a place in which they could read it.
The Progress of the Groups
I'm all for team unity but if your group want to make the uniform pink with little white stars, say "no".
We've now seen both Koon and Baam's groups after the passing of around 2 years.
Koon's team is pretty powerful but the don't seem very tightly knit. In other words they struck me as able to work together but not particularly care about one another. In a way this is probably a reflection of the man that brought them together. Koon seems to view them as pawns in his game, which makes me think they won't hold together too well in the long term and if Koon isn't careful Rachel could chip away at who they are loyal to.
Baam's group was much more impressive to me. Mainly due to how everybody worked together. Miseng and Goseng showed the ability to contribute effectively and Yihwa learned how to work as a team within her limitations. Baam has, of course, grown individually stronger as well. Overall, this has become a very capable team and they display a sense of unity that Koon's team lacks.
As for where all these groups are. Koon's group seems headed to 30 floor, or close to it, I take this to mean that Leesoo's group is already waiting up there. Baam's should be moving up to the 29th after this test, which peaks my interest. SIU could have easily skipped right to the 30th floor and the fact that he didn't makes me think something pretty interesting is going to happen during that test.
Last edited by Jammin; November 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM.
I'm surprised that only "3" bangs is already seen as an achievement. Enryu was said to be able to manage over 9000 bangs.
Just how strong are Enryu & Pandemonium ? I find this element important because it also show that Baam & co are still at the beginning of their journey.
Last edited by zelllogan; November 26, 2012 at 02:52 PM.
I can't wait to see how much change and growth will have occurred by the time these characters become rankers. Supposing certain character even make it to the top at all because, unlike a lot of series, I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that most of these character will make it even past floor 30, much less all the way to the top.
The time factor is also something to be considered. Baam and the rest have been in the tower for a little under 10 years. The average time it takes to climb the tower is 500 years. Some special people have done it it less, like Yuri(who did it in 200 years) and Mazino (who did it in 50). So there is a lot of time for these characters to grow into real monsters. I mean, Yuri despite being considered fairly young is actually over 600 years old.
Last edited by Jammin; November 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM.
What I found noteworthy was that Prince besides being relative weak was way less of a scaredy cat than what he used to be. Sure in the end his character is still the same but he thought of his team and didn't hesitate one bit when he saw the chance. Like Jammin said it's another proof that they're a pretty close group and care for each other.
It took Ren two years to create one Bang (and he was labeled as a genius) and Baam didn't even need two weeks (wtf ) and he states that creating more Bangs is extremely difficult. Baam describes it as using "another hand". I guess this makes clear how extremely difficult it is to handly a lot of Bangs. Giving the fact that High Rankers (who've lived for hundreds of years) can control around 35, it's quite a feet to be able to control three bangs in just a few years.
I could imagine Baam being able to use even more than 5 bangs by now though, just because he's such an extreme genius.
A nice review.
I can see Koon's team breaking apart, as as you said, they're not really a team. It could start with Edin joining Rachel or something. I definitely believe that Ran will go on with the final team though because every Koon has remained in the story. Hachuling's come back into the story, for example.
I'm wondering, where is it mentioned that High Rankers can usually control roughly 35 Bangs?
In the official post @ the ToG fan cafe.
It was actually 30-50 room.
I'll modify my first post.
Indeed, the 30th floor will be pure madness!
I bet my liver that Jaina has something to do with Emile knowing about Baam, come on she has an Opera, she know almost everything that happens in the tower (since her lighthouse has infinite range), and she is just too suspicious.
And wtf is SiU trolling us again with Quatro's gender -.-" But well after Yu Han Sung everything is possible...
Maybe I was a bit too quick to vote but meh I still think they will be together, at least if things stay as like this. Chances are though that Agero will merge with Leesoo's group since I'm expected the 30th floor to be chaotic
About the poll:
I at least hope that Koons team falls apart. As I mentioned before, I like the part 1 characters much more than the new ones in Koons and Baams team. Koon, Baam, Hatsu, Androssi, Anak, Laure, Ship and Rak are the characters I want to see the most. The separation of Baam, Koon and the rest limited the overall appearance of my favorite characters, which obviously didn't play in my favor.
Fairy Tail? How Mashima did ANYTHING similar? @_@
As for the new group versus the old. I'm not sure if I've said my piece on that one since you've picked up the series so I'll throw it out there one more time.
I think SIU made a bad decision in trying too keep Baam mysterious and distant when he went about introducing the new part 2 cast. They just didn't have much emotional traction with me since there was no familiar character through which I was able to relate to them. Wangan was kind-of used like he was that character but for me that was a fail. Because he was as much a stranger to me as they were and it resulted in them all seeming like second class characters to me.
This, in my opinion hamstrung 80% of the last arc. It wasn't until Baam was reintroduced to us that we could start building a real emotional connection to his group. And I don't think it's an accident that immediately after that point the whole series improved dramatically. A few characters like, Yeon and Arkraptor might even be on par with the old cast to me now but they all had a rough start. I expect from now on the whole group will seem to get better as they move forward.
As for Koon's group. My connection to all of them is pretty flimsy but I suspect that's intentional for the most part. That team is about Koon and Rachel at the moment. The rest of the characters seem somewhat disposable.
I was referring to the classical kind of romance like in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" or "Cinderella"
Last edited by Jammin; November 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM.
"the 25th Baam" [Chapter 119] was sent by "Handsome" to Emile and we know that "Handsome" = Dan [Chapter 118]. That's why I think that Koon is the one who sent that message (using Dans device & user account).
You pretty much summed it up. In fact, Arkraptor and Yeon are also the characters I like in Baams team, but not as much as the old ones... not yet.
Things can change, things already changed, since I disliked most of them at the start, which is not the case anymore.
So it's actually an entirely different exchange than in the prologue chapter where some mysterious person gave Emile that information.
I guess that answers the question of who that information was intended for but the big questions of "who" and "why" still remain.
Last edited by Jammin; November 27, 2012 at 12:20 AM.