View Full Version : sahugani's Bleach Review 298

November 03, 2007, 03:03 PM
Sahugani’s Bleach Review 298

Kubo's spreads make the best wallpapers :D

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Let me just state for the record that Bleach is officially orgasmic this week from a reviewer’s standpoint (or anyone’s standpoint). Ahem. I don’t really want to waste my time on the intro this week, so let’s just start in. The pics for this review come from the Mangashare scanlation as does the title pic, which is a Kubo original.


i'm surprised there isn't more yaoi for these two, but i guess eyepatches aren't vey bishie

To start off this epic chapter, Kubo has given us a colored page to remind us of last week’s awesome revelation. Ichigo stares in disbelief as the demon captain of the Gotei 13 towers over him. Kenpachi mocks Ichigo a bit for looking so pathetic while Noitora’s demeanor takes quite an opposite turn. He quickly plunges some spirit energy into the ground to remove Tesla’s hand from Kenpachi’s blade. Tesla, quite oblivious to the level of power Zaraki wields, becomes annoyed and tries to smash the shinigami. For the first time, Noitora openly shows that he cares for his fraccion but his warning is too late and Tesla is slain. Up until now, it has been quite obvious to me that both Noitora and Tesla care for each other (and not in a yaoi way) but the Espada has trouble showing it. Despite the countless times that he has threatened Tesla’s life and attacked him for getting in the way, the fact remains that he has kept Tesla around as his sole fraccion for years. Between Noitora’s desire to be in control and Tesla’s repeated disobediences to protect his master, Noitora should have killed off and replaced Tesla a long time ago. The fact that he didn’t is proof that he really does appreciate the care his subordinate shows him. Up until now, I’ve been hoping that Noitora gets killed off, but now I think chances are decent that both will survive in the end.


my reaction::spaz :pmg ...:faint

With Tesla gone, Ichigo asks Kenpachi a question that has been burning in all of our minds since last week: why is he here? Yamamoto had previously said that the Gotei 13 would not help in this fight as they wanted to use the next couple moths to prepare for the war in the winter. The fact that Zaraki has arrived implied to some people that some captains had disobeyed orders. The truth is in fact much more interesting. Apparently, Yamamoto himself had commissioned Urahara to stabilize the passage to Hueco Mundo to allow for the shinigami captains to pass through. The date of the battle in winter was previously thought to be based on the assumed time it would take for Hougyoku to awaken. While that is a major factor that determined the latest possible date for the battle, it was mostly based on how long it would take to prepare a gate to Hueco Mundo. Logically, the more time that is given to Aizen to awaken Hougyoku, the more powerful arrancar he can create. Since three months is too short for most shinigami to build up enough strength such as bankai (Urahara’s three day method would likely fail for most if not all of the vice-captains), giving more time would allow Aizen’s strength to increase at a faster rate than Soul Society’s. Luckily, Urahara had taken far less time than estimated to complete this gate, so the shinigami captains could pass through. You may ask if Ichigo’s crew could pass through at that time, why couldn’t Urahara just tell Yamamoto it was done and allow the captains to pass through then. Recall how far away Ichigo, Ishida, and Chad’s entrance was from Las Noches and how unstable Garganta was for Ichigo and Chad to pass through. Kenpachi’s control of spirit particles would never have let him set foot into Garganta at that time and even if he and the other captains did get there, the only reason Ichigo’s crew arrived so early was due to riding Bawabawa. Urahara had not fully completed his work by that time and agreed to let Ichigo through for two reasons. First of all, he knew that Ichigo’s personality would not allow him to sit and wait, so allowing the quick entry would at least allow Ichigo to maintain his focus rather than sit and obsess. The second reason is that Ichigo’s crew would likely cause an uproar in Hueco Mundo that would ease the entrance of the Gotei 13 captains by acting as a distraction.

On a separate note, what really made me squeal about this chapter is the mere fact that Urahara took an order from Yamamoto. He has been banished from Soul Society, so any aid he has lent to the shinigami so far has been from his own intentions. Since Aizen’s betrayal, there are a number of factors that eased the relations between Urahara and his old boss. First of all, with the reasons for his former actions explained and Yoruichi’s friendship with Soi Fong restored, the negativity associated with his name in Soul Society has been greatly diminished. In addition to that, there is the matter of necessity. Since Soul Society learned that Ichigo was no threat and his strength could help them, they officially made him their ally. With Urahara’s name no longer being considered a disgrace (for the most part) the same should apply to him. He alone has the best knowledge of Hougyoku, is the best researched on the matter of the arrancar (short of possibly the vaizard), and his location in the real world allows him better access to Hueco Mundo than Soul Society. We have been assuming all this time that he has been helping Soul Society unofficially due to his own goals simply coinciding with his own, which has been the constant idea behind his whole character thus far. We were blinded to the idea that he could actually be working more directly with the Gotei 13.

Rukia’s Protector

spikey's release better be badass

Ok. Now the part were all waiting for. It seems that for my previous predictions on the savior captains, my mistakes can be blamed on over-analysis and a slight bias for my own hopes. I had hoped to see Ukitake’s reaction to Kaien (who along with Chad and Urahara are my favorites) and tried to put aside the logic of Byakuya being the one to save his sister. I guess I have a tendency to over-analyze toward a more plot-heavy prediction if the reality seems a bit too easy to guess. In any case, Kuchiki Byakuya is the one to arrive at Rukia’s location just as the new Espada unsheathes his sword and reveals himself as the #7 Espada, Zomari La Roux. I had previously guessed that Halibel was the #7 Espada because otherwise Noitora would try the same thing on her that he did to Neliel. I guess that he hasn’t gotten the opportunity (or she’s really a man with boobs).Given that Zaerapollo’s fight looks like its about to end soon, I’m hoping this takes its place as the battle that switches back and forth from the Noitora fight. Ichigo had a somewhat difficult time fighting a released #6 Espada with a bankai and a hollow mask while fully healed by Orihime. With this in mind, we can’t really expect Byakuya to have an absurdly quick victory against an Espada one rank below. I’m hoping we see something new out of him, but I don’t suppose I should hold my breath.

Chad’s Savior

at least i know for sure that Chad will be a-ok

On this front, I admit my guess was purely bias interfering with logic. I had guessed Komomura because Chad really has no allies amongst the captains and I saw an opportunity to bring in Tousen’s best friend. In addition, I figured that if Chad recovered, they would be like the giant duo. Instead, the ones to arrive are Unohana and Isane from the Fourth squad. As the opponents are the Exequias rather than an Espada, I guess the battle captains would be a bit of overkill (not to say anything bad about Unohana’s capability with her yet unseen combat skills). Since technically Rukia seems to be the most injured, I figured any 4th division presence would be with her group and I guess technically Hanatarou could still pop out from behind Byakuya. He was the only one who didn’t bring his vice-captain (since Renji already left before him) and so I wouldn’t doubt if Hanatarou and possibly the Renji fanboy from 6th division Rikichi appeared to take care of Rukia while or after Byakuya fights Zomari. Getting back to Unohana, she tells the Exequias that she is there to heal Injuries and would prefer not to fight, but I doubt her opponent’s will listen. Since the captains’ appearance seems to mark a wrap-up of this round of combat, I’m assuming that her fight as well as Byakuya’s will be relatively short compared to the previous Espada fights. Since these two are the medical division leaders, their battle capability has not been a major issue up till now. We have seen in the Soul Society arc that Isane’s shikai seems to have ice-based combat abilities (from the name and design at least) and that Unohana’s is a giant flying manta that heals people in its stomach. Unlike the other shinigami saviors here (except Yachiru-chan), we are still in the dark as to what they can do in combat. I’m hoping that at the start we will probably see Isane show off some shikai abilities and it will end by the revealing of Unohana’s bankai. While I would love to fit in Unohana healing Chad while Isane buys her time so that he may join the fun, I really cannot see this happening.

Zaerapollo’s Nightmare

now is the time to run you overdramatic bastard

If my error in Chad’s helper was purely bias, my error here was purely over-analysis. This fight has been going on way too long and I expected that the arrival of the shinigami captains would mean some quick victories. I counted Mayuri out as an option because his personality in clashing with Zaerapollo’s would take a hell of a lot longer than Byakuya simply finishing the bastard off. Now I’m thinking that the captain fights won’t take as long as the previous Espada fights but will not be the quick victories I previously thought. Under that logic Mayuri makes sense. I figured Byakuya’s quick victory style would be the best way to win as it destroys the chance for Zaerapollo to disintegrate any second attacks. Since the battle’s a bit longer, Mayuri’s style makes more sense. Zaerapollo is a scientist who manipulates his surroundings to negate his opponent’s abilities and torture them. Mayuri is a scientist that manipulates his own body to attack and torture his victims. The best description is that Mayuri is to Zaerapollo what Kenpachi is to Noitora. As I have stated before, Noitora fights to feed his ego and prove his dominance while Kenpachi fights just for the hell of it. Similarly, Zaerapollo studies his subjects so that he can cripple them and prove he is better than them while Mayuri studies and dissects his victims just because he wants to know. Mayuri and Kenpachi are purists of their dark hobbies and are thus here to crush these imposter arrancar who encroach upon their images. As for the other people scattered around here, while some might worry about the safety of Ishida, Pesshe, and Dondo-Chakka, I’m not. Mayuri has found in Zaerapollo a far more interesting specimen than any of the other people there. While he was interested in Ishida before, it was only for the study of a few techniques while Zaerapollo offers the opportunity to study a whole new class of specimens. Also, by keeping the Espada alive, he can extract the research that Zaerapollo himself has done. While I really wanted this fight to end by Renji’s blade, it looks like he and Ishida will be under Nemu’s care while the captain finishes the job.

Noitora’s New Opponent

this deserves the title "clash of the titans" (unless Chad and Komomura fight in which case it goes to them)

At the end of the chapter, the fight returns to Zaraki Kenpachi and Noitora Jiruga (finally a full name for this guy), which definitely promises to be the central battle of the four. As both exchange names, each admits the strength of the other and seems excited to start (though Noitora’s still seems to waver between thrill and fear just like when fighting Neliel). As for how this fight will progress, I can make a few assumptions. First of all, no matter how much I wish it would happen, I doubt we’re gonna see Yachiru’s fighting strength unless somehow Tesla survived and still has the strength to fight (and while I doubt it I REALLY hope this is the case just for the excuse of seeing Yachiru). Regarding the main fight, it is evident that neither is starting at full strength, but the question arises of what their boosts will be. For Kenpachi, it is easy to say that somehow he reconnected with his sword and can now use shikai (and there are even a few who say bankai just cause of his sheer power). I can say with some certainty that this will not happen. First of all, just for the type of character he is, I just get the strong feeling that it is not in him. As for actual evidence, I say to look at his sword. It has been said before that the jaggedness and uncared-for appearance stem from the lack of a connection between himself and the sword. Since the blade has not repaired, the disharmony between the two still exists and he cannot call upon its power for help, thus making shikai and bankai impossible. For Noitora, the question is what the shape of his release will be. At the start of the fight between Ichigo and Noitora, I pointed out the similarities in characterization and design between Noitora and a cobra or rattle snake and how that differed from how other characters like Ichimaru and Renji use snake symbolism. Some people have taken this theme very far and guess that it is the basis for his release. However, with arrancar releases, the shape and type is not always so obvious as it is based more on the person’s personality than anything. Grimmjow was a bit of a rare case in which his predatory personality matched his feline symbolism, but the same cannot be said of Nel’s unexpected release. Since Noitora’s recent hesitations and care for Tesla don’t really seem to fit with the cobra/rattlesnake theme, it might be something completely different.


As I said in the intro, the best way to describe this chapter is orgasmic. For the hell of it, I’d also call it fantabulistic and scrumtralescent as real words fall short. This is truly the pinnacle of the series since I’ve been reviewing the series. The way Kubo cut the various scenes together proves he is one of the most cinematic mangakas I’ve seen. In addition to the beautiful artwork, the way it cuts from one location to the next makes it seem a bit more fitting for a climax in a movie (and I hope the anime keeps this cutting style when they get here). And in addition to that, if only you could hear the squeal I gave when I read that Urahara had worked under Yamamoto’s orders. It is now official that Bleach has for the time taken the title of my current top series (though overall, I’m sorry but I can’t put it above One Piece)

November 03, 2007, 05:19 PM
Sorry for asking, but in the colored page of the manga is written: "phones, are tie me to you" :blink :s

November 03, 2007, 05:21 PM
hahaha. yes that is what he wrote. kubo needs some work on his engrish

November 03, 2007, 05:31 PM
I think we should resign about that :(

November 03, 2007, 07:48 PM
Great review!

I agree about Kubo's colored spreads making great wallpapers. My office desktop is the last colored spread (tooth and nail or something).

I couldn't tell clearly, but it almost looks as if Tesla was cut into two. I may be wrong. I am defintely enjoying these chapters. It is a very cinematic chapter. Will be interesting to see how Isane and Unohana handle the execution squad. I like your idea about Hanatarou being with Byakuya.

Great analysis about the time issue with the winter war and how Urahara is helping SS.

Keep up the good work!

November 03, 2007, 09:19 PM
It's amazing how similar our thoughts are. The first thing that surged through my pulsing head when Noi&Ken crossed blades was "Clash of the Titans"! XD how surreal.

Anyway, great review. I agree, kenpachi and his zanpakutou are still at a stand-still but I've also considered that the sword's rough, jagged edges reflects Kenpachi's rugged agression and resolve for battle. Maybe he's more in sync with his sword than we think.

November 04, 2007, 12:34 AM
fun review, though I didn't get as 'orgasmic' as most people, I think this chapter pulled a lot of pleasant surprises. What I loved most though, was the part where Kenpachi kicked Ichigo away. It was a bit of comedy that I kinda missed, especially when Kenpachi talked about Orihime, that one panel where she's shown in a somewhat 'deformed' form reminds me that they're just a bunch of kids again.

Well, it's true, though I love Bleach more than One Piece, I'd be one of the first to admit that One Piece is better than Bleach overall. I think One Piece exemplifies a lot of Shounen ideals (love of adventure, action, friendship, freedom) more perfectly than Bleach. I'm not quite sure what I love about this series, but I do.

November 04, 2007, 01:09 AM
OMFG this chapter was AWESOME same goes for the review.
I really hope Unohana heals Chad and lets him taken on the those Exequias bastards , yey, go Chad :spaz. As for Byakuya's fight i think it will be very short, hence the pairing with a rather weak espada. Zaerrapollo will most likely try to retreat as he has no info to back him up against Maiury, ofcourse Maiury won't let such a precious specimen get away XD.
Kenpachi!! Kenpachi!! yey :spaz it's a given that he will beat the crap out of Noitora , can't wait to see that
I don't will see any Yachiru action though

November 04, 2007, 01:50 AM
@Luckas - haha. yes i think we should be concerned

@CNK - of course. my personal favorite is the one where Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Rukia are lounging on couches. i had that as my wallpaper for a long ass time.

as for Tesla, we've seen others recieve cuts that look just the same yet they stay in one piece and survive, so its not out of the question here (and i hope thats the case cause i want Yachiru-chan!!!)

@ShinobiWrath - its possible, but i don't think any sword's regular appearance would be that of a neglected blade.

@maaru - hahaha. you're right about the kids thing. its like they're children being scolded for picking a fight (and losing).

as for One Piece vs. Bleach, One Piece is truely my love and if i could only read one series i would pick it in a heartbeat. its just that in the short term for reading manga on a weekly basis, Bleach has become more interesting. i guess i like bleach because it offers me the exact opposite of One Piece, so i get the best of both worlds. One Piece is very plot heavy and finds a way to work comedy and emotion into every fight (and everywhere else too). Bleach is just pure beautiful artwork and a very cinematic display like a high-budget action movie you watch for the fight scenes.

@Serpent - Yaay for the spaz smiley!!! it is really needed for this chapter.yes i hope Chad gets to fight too, but as the other three fights look to be only the captains taking on the enemy, it goes against the theme enough for Isane to fight let alone Chad. As for Byakuya and Zomari, i think it will definately be shorter than the Grimmjow fight, but i don't think it will be that short. I think Mayuri will finish off Zarapollo, then Unohana will decimate the Exequias, then Byakuya will slay this guy, then Kenpachi will destroy Noitora. these won't be long foghts, but they will be quite well fleshed out. as for Yachiru, i know its unlikely, but i can dream dammit!!!

November 04, 2007, 04:22 AM
This chapter, as they say on the intarwebs, was made of pure, unadulterated, high quality win!!!!
Your review just made it that much better. Though I will have to admit it was a little confusing at first, Kubo sensei really was going crazy with his transitions to the point where at first I could not tell whom Unohana and Mayuri where facing.
Anyway I loved the appearances of Yachiru, Unohana, and Byakuya was pretty badass too. He is so sweet when he shows he cares for his sister. :wtf
Yachiru is just pure awesomeness and I to hope against all hope that we finnaly see her kick some ass. It would be even more fun if we found out that somehow she is nells long lost sister/cousin but that is about as likely as Kenpachi transforming into a kitten. lol
Unohana is just cool because we did not get a lot of her story or abilities so far, and I and curious to see her fighting. on the other hand though she did say she has no intention to fight and she seems like the kind of person that does not let herself be moved from her intended path by anything or anyone. If I am right about this, then it is more than likely that she will either just grab chad and leave or heal him quickly and let him fight. BUt once again, this is just the way I see things, how about you.

edit: I am a little bit surprised that nobody mentioned Mayuri's new head gear, this is not something that usually escapes the watchful eyes of such esteemed reviewers as yourself.

November 04, 2007, 05:38 AM
Sahugani, great review as always. Thanks for bothering to do this every week.

First, let me thank Kubo Tite for delivering such awesomeness for a chapter. Just looking at Zaraki Kenpachi on last week's chapter almost make me jump in excitement. And the sight of other Captains in this week chapter makes me wanna cry happily. Okay, maybe that's exaggerating. But that's pretty much what happened to me. Never, I mean never, have I been this excited and eager in reading Bleach nowadays, especially Las Noches arc. The last time I got excited like this is in Soul Society/Saving Rukia arc. This week's Bleach is more than making up for the absence of the now-boring-Naruto for me.

I hope Kubo keeps giving us all awesome chapter next week. I want to see Kenpachi beat the crap out of Noitora (+ Tesla) and Kuchiki Byakuya in action. I miss that Senbonzakura and Kenpachi's craziness...

Lastly, about Kubo's 'engrish', I think that's what differ Bleach from other series. Somehow I think it's cool (and silly at the same time :)).

Sealed Melody
November 04, 2007, 09:25 PM
Thanks for the review!

November 06, 2007, 12:58 PM
@kiddo7 - i have to agree with every point of your first part. this chapter IS pure win, the entrances were great, and underneath it all Byakuya is really a snuggly bear. as for the entrance sequence being confusing, it is merely one of the most promenant examples yet of what i call Kubo's cinematic style. after you actually sort out who is where and read through it again, you realize that that type of scene really is better played out on screen. i just hope the anime does this justice

while i think you're right about Unohana not letting obsicles get in her way, i think her solution would be to quickly eliminate the threat so she can get to work. i think in Chad's state, moving him (especially at shunpo speed) could worsen his injuries. however, unlike the other captains there, she is not the type to play the one-man show, so her fight will be the only one that is a tag team or combined effort with her vice-captain. if (and i REALLY hope this) Yachiru gets to fight an opponent, it will be seperate from Kenpachi's fight.

as for Mayuri's new look, while its definately a very noticable aspect while reading, its an easy detail to forget when i'm wrapped up in the awesome plot development analysis. i think along with his new look there will be different body modifications than last time, so i look forward to seeing these

@Az3r - that is not exaggerating in the least. this chapter is enough to bring tears and fangirl giggles to all kinds of readers male and female, butch and sappy. there have only been two other points in the series (or this arc i should say) that have gotten me this giddy. those were Chad's double powerups in the Gantenbien fight and the release of Nejibana in the Aaroniero fight. however, those moments stemmed from me being a fanboy for Chad and Kaien while this is just pure plot awesomeness

Gold Knight
November 07, 2007, 06:57 AM
Good review, Sahu!

He quickly plunges some spirit energy into the ground to remove Tesla’s hand from Kenpachi’s blade. Tesla, quite oblivious to the level of power Zaraki wields, becomes annoyed and tries to smash the shinigami.

Really? I had thought that Noitora was merely trying to sense Kenpachi's reiatsu, attempting to sense how strong he was - but that makes sense too. Hmm.

Up until now, I’ve been hoping that Noitora gets killed off, but now I think chances are decent that both will survive in the end.

Somehow I doubt that. If Kenpachi knows how to unseal his sword by knowing its name (as we all suspect he does now) then he's going to mop up the floor with Noitora with it for dramatic effect. I don't think Noitora will survive this one. Even if he escapes, I don't see him escaping the same fate as Luppi if he runs into Aizen or one of the others.

On a separate note, what really made me squeal about this chapter is the mere fact that Urahara took an order from Yamamoto. He has been banished from Soul Society, so any aid he has lent to the shinigami so far has been from his own intentions.

I agree. This may mean that Urahara will soon be re-admitted by the SS, or at the very least an acceptable ally again, gaining some forgiveness and a pardon for his past transgressions. I have a feeling Yoruichi had a large deal to do with persuading Old Yama to look upon Urahara favorably again, since she had a big part in assisting with weeding out the traitors in the SS arc.

With this in mind, we can’t really expect Byakuya to have an absurdly quick victory against an Espada one rank below. I’m hoping we see something new out of him, but I don’t suppose I should hold my breath.

I do think we will see something new from Byakuya. He's obviously going to have been training after having suffered defeat at Ichigo's hands, and he also knows that a far more dangerous threat looms in front of him - Aizen. He can't be an effective Captain if he can't protect the Soul Society from one such as him, so he's likely developed some new tricks, I think.

That being said, I don't think he will show much against the 7th Espada, he's likely to tease us with some uber-move and then move on, and we won't see too much of him until whenever it is that we will see Aizen, Gin, and Tousen in action again.

Since technically Rukia seems to be the most injured, I figured any 4th division presence would be with her group and I guess technically Hanatarou could still pop out from behind Byakuya.

I have a problem with that though - how would they know they needed three healers? (Isane is a healer too.) I don't know. Seems just a tad too convenient for me. I think Byakuya might possess some healing powers of his own. When he's not exhausted, as he was against Ichigo (and Aizen). Just a guess, though.

Zaerapollo is a scientist who manipulates his surroundings to negate his opponent’s abilities and torture them. Mayuri is a scientist that manipulates his own body to attack and torture his victims.

Excellent comparison. I can't wait for this battle - this is the one I'm looking the most forward to - while I may have hated Kurotsuchi when he was fighting Ishida, I can't deny that he was fun to see in battle. And the dialogue is going to be priceless. Szayel is not going to take kindly to Mayuri seeing him as a potential experiment, when he considers himself a scientist too!

Regarding the main fight, it is evident that neither is starting at full strength, but the question arises of what their boosts will be.

Not sure on that one. Noitora had been banged up by Nell far more than Kenpachi had been by anybody at this point. To be honest, I'm pretty impressed with Noitora in that he decided to challenge Kenpachi anyway despite his current condition, even knowing that Kenpachi was far stronger than Tesla, and probably his equal as well.

November 08, 2007, 11:38 PM
I just have to say, that I think everyone is underestimating the Espada...probably Kubo included ._.

New chapter is almost out, but that doesnt stop me from really predicting. I think the fights will be stopped soon somehow, we cant see all 10 espada die, and at the moment if all the shinigami succeed the espada will be decimated by half. Hardly the scariest villians in the world right? If Kenpachi beats Noitora after Ichigo beat him ages ago...*eye twitches*...

Either it will be stopped soon, they will retreat OR we're going to see an assload of captain level people turn up with the hope of finishing it now...and then it will be stopped anyway. Success, even with the latest twists, seems unlikely to me.

Oh and, is it time for Uliquorra to turn up yet? I think it is soon, it would be typical Kubo to not reveal any of the top 3 when he can bring back no 4.

Anyway, good review as always. I enjoy reading them.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and what Gold Knight said about Noitora plunging his finger into the ground was what I thought happened also. The shocked eye of Noitora gives the impression that he just realised something. I also found Tesla's glance towards Noitora as he fell weird...perhaps I'm over-analysing also...

November 09, 2007, 05:01 AM
are you hinting at a relation between noitora and kenpachi??? For the record I have suspected that too. When they first got a good look at each other I thought I saw something in noitora's gaze. As if he recognized kenpachi from some long past time.

December 04, 2007, 12:42 PM
you know how awesome it would be if they did know each other from the past ??? thats proves the whole arguement of "did aizen created the espada's" then but this isnt the thread for that :p
but i have somehow missed that glaze that u mentioned :( and nice review for this chapter with the appearance of all three captains and actions taken :D