am going to celebrate by rereading the entire story!
am going to celebrate by buying a new volume of Bleach!
hope it will go on for at least another 8 years.
didn't even know until I read it here.
never imagined it when I started reading
don't care as long as I get Bleach
hope it will end soon...
so want to buy one of those dolls!
375 Execution, Extinction
Hey there everyone, quite the week for Bleach isn’t it? Bleach on the cover, a lot of colored pages as well, along with the -better than- usual chapter along with a brand new contest running in Jump. All for the eight years we’ve been able to enjoy Bleach. I must say this has been quite the chapter with plenty of revelations and a great twist at the end. Using the Sleepyfans scanlation and some spoiler pics I’ll be reviewing this week’s chapter and a bit of the specials, after last week’s poll results of course. I just hope I have enough time to fit in everything I want to. I guess we’ll find out once I try.
So last week’s chapter ended with Starrk being cut in two by Kyouraku’s attack, but what would this injury result in? I gave you eight options to choose from last week, and this is the order in which you wanted to see it happen.
In last place, with two votes, there was the scene change to Aizen, Gin, Shinji, and Genryuusai. Perhaps these voters wanted to see some action from the ones with most potential and least amount of action -Genryuusai beating Eón was like him sneezing, Shinji fighting the Gillian wasn’t even shown- as almost everyone else has had his/her time to shine. Kubo actually managed to throw these two voters a bone with this week’s chapter, so he’s looking out for the little guy as well isn’t he?
In sixth place, with four votes, there was the option of Starrk saving himself -the pack of wolves being the first Starrk that is- as these soul shards have only shown us their destructive capabilities -though that seems to be the Primera’s thing- and as one would expect from the Primera, he ought to have plenty of abilities. With the wolves being Starrk as well, they in turn should have more abilities right? Sadly this chapter won’t give us any hints on that end.
Tied in sixth place, also with four votes, is the scene changing to the fight between Tousen and Komamura. With all that’s happened in Starrk’s fight, some time may have passed with Komamura forcing Tousen to get more serious. Or is Hisagi still attempting to open Tousen’s eyes? But this chapter focuses on something else, though it hints at developments in this fight rather soon.
In fifth place, there was the option of Starrk being killed. Either believing in Kyouraku’s strength or hoping for some exciting twists to the story, these people got what they wanted to say the least.
In fourth place, with seven votes, there’s the scene change to Harribel and Lisa. Whether this is something we obviously could expect or something the perverts amongst us want to see, we got what we wanted in this chapter and even more!
Then in second place, with ten votes, there was the option of Starrk being knocked out, giving Kyouraku the win. It isn’t all too clear whether Starrk is finished or not, though it does look grim for him and his ambitions -as far as he has ambitions.
Tied in second place, also with ten votes, people were hoping to see Lilynette taking over with her Resurrección. After having seen the damage dealt by Kyouraku, Starrk would at least have to take some time to recover. So who better than the other half of the Primera to show what she’s got -though Ukitake already got most out of her I think.
Which leaves the last option, with fifteen votes; people were expecting Starrk to get his act together after a little pep talk from Lillynette in a continuation of what we’ve seen before. There is some continuation of certain behavior, though it isn’t Lilynette who is repeating herself.
It’s that one guy!!!
If only that Komamura doll came in life size…
Like I said, lots and lots of Bleach in this week’s Jump. Taking the cover, a double cover page, a colored page with the Vizards of 100 years back, a colored introduction for a contest, and the revelation of a Komamura and Mayuri doll, fans ought to be pleased. The reason I’m showing the cover is to point out that youngster who came in first. It seems he serves another purpose than just to annoy us with the fact that we have to wait another week for a new chapter. His name appears to be Kurosaki Ichigo, a fifteen year old substitute Shinigami who is fighting to protect his friends and family -and any random passer by he sees- from Hollows and other spiritual beings for eight years running in Jump magazine. I wouldn’t mind finding out more about this character would you?
Bleach Best Bout Contest!
I remember the protagonist wore black clothes and a blade as big as he is, but something’s off…
Like he did with the previous Bleach contest, Kon takes the stage once more announcing the Bleach Best Bout contest. Though he has had few battles himself, he too realizes that Bleach has had plenty of other fights which surpass his own -though Kon vs. Yuzu was epic in its own way- even with Ichigo and Rukia pointing out some of his own battles. I honestly have no clue how many fights we’ve had in Bleach, though I too am curious about your favorites. Depending on whether I find the time to make a list of all the battles we’ve had in the Bleach manga or whether the results come out sooner I may decide to use the weekly poll to see which one you guys like best. But who knows if I’ll do anything about that. Let’s go on with the rest of this special Bleach chapter.
It’s raining Bleach! The good kind!
Continuing with the colored pages, we get a double page with a couple of delinquents who are dressed to impress. It’s been a while since we last saw one of these pages from Kubo and it seems he’s taken this opportunity to show off plenty of male characters in their colored glory. The only thing that I don’t get is why he chose to put Yumichika in this colored page as he doesn’t really fit here in my opinion. Most of the characters we see here have had a couple of chapters that showed their past during the story, Yumichika’s past was shown along with Ikkaku’s past meaning Ikkaku would have been better. Or maybe Yumichika has a bigger fan base than I expected. Not that I really mind his appearance here, but between him, Chad, Ikkaku, or even Kon who’d be really out of place in this picture, he’d end in fourth place in my book -I chose four options because I know he dislikes the number four - but that’s just me I guess. It could be Chad’s supposed to be on the right of this picture as there’s an arm there, but I don’t see him here yet.
Then we also have the Vizards in their 100 year old get ups. It feels we’ve already seen this picture before, but this could be the first time we’ve seen it colored. I would’ve liked to see a colored page with all the resurrected Espada as well, to be honest, as there’s still plenty of time left to show off the Vizards. The Espada, on the other hand, seem to have met their end, as we’ll see in this chapter.
Bonding with demons
It’s sad Aizen can’t say the same
The chapter starts off with the main antagonist of the story, Aizen, approaching a few mountains of dead Hollows. He then asks the man (?) sitting in amongst the piles whether he was the one to kill them. Starrk then answers he wasn’t the one who killed them, but that they just died by being around him. Aizen then makes the proposition of which we all know the outcome, as he tells Starrk that he is looking for comrades. Starrk then asks Aizen whether Aizen and his comrades are strong, most likely to make sure he doesn’t get his hopes up before Aizen and his companions die due to his presence. Aizen then tells him he should find out by himself, after which we see a few splatters and squirts of blood flying around. This is probably Starrk testing Aizen to see whether he is strong enough to stay alive around him. The battle ends with an unscathed Aizen and Starrk agreeing to Aizen’s proposal to join his ranks.
Now there are some peculiar things to note here. First off, I was right about Hollows being crushed under the Primera’s immense spiritual power. The problem, however, is that the Primera was supposed to have split into two to make sure she/he wouldn’t be alone and perhaps even to seal a part of their power. It is possible that Starrk and Lilynette being close to each other was enough to keep the exact amount of Reiatsu as the original Primera, resulting in the same massacre as before, or Starrk (and Lilynette) alone were powerful enough to have the same results.
But the most peculiar thing is the fact that Starrk and Lilynette look exactly the same as they do now! The masks are the same and they show no signs of being any different from other humans or Shinigami with the exception of the hole in the chest. The fact that Starrk used a Resurrección is the only thing that showed us that he in fact is an Arrancar. Did Kubo screw up, or is there something else? Going with the latter, my guess is that the Primera’s original form was similar to Starrk’s released state. The splitting into two is probably what also caused a metamorphosis into two humanoid beings, probably based on the human souls’ memories of their previous lives to make a stable form -unlike the pack of wolves which tend to explode. The fact that Starrk and Lilynette look the same as Arrancar may have to do with the fact that they probably had to reunite to be turned into Arrancar, but Aizen then recreated Lilynette to function as Starrk’s Zanpakutou. But this is speculation of course.
The Crimson Dyed Town
And here we were expecting to see Starrk use the blood of others to paint the town red
As the flashback ends, we see Starrk taking the damage that was dealt by Kyouraku. With his upperbody almost cut in two -though Kyouraku’s cut was made more vertically than we see here- the blood gushes out as Kyouraku’s choice of the color black for the Irooni game put himself in enough danger to make this lethal blow. This then confirms that the area which is attacked doesn’t have to be in the same color as was mentioned, but that the damage that can be dealt is dependent on the total amount of that color on the active players.
With the game of Irooni coming to its end, Starrk apologizes to Aizen for not being able to repay him for the “friends” he and Lilynette made. He then looks back at his fellow Espada as he remembers standing behind them. Notice how the Espada are nicely lined up in numerical number from 2 to 9, where Yammy probably is supposed to stand behind Starrk as 0. But as he thinks back on his friends, he also remembers meeting his oldest friend.
El Primero y La Primera
How cute can you get? <3
Starrk is seen standing in front of a new-reborn Lilynette as he asks her name. She then gives her name and wonders whether Starrk has a different name even though he is her as well. The look on Lilynette’s face, however, seems to suggest that she had her doubts on the success of splitting into two. Perhaps this was one of many attempts to split into two where there had been many failures. This would mean that Lillynette was the original of the two, though there’s always the chance that both have the same memories of the time before splitting into two parts. But something tells me Starrk is the second part, which was supposed to act like a father figure for Lilynette as well as someone to protect her in the barren lands of Hueco Mundo.
After Starrk introduces himself and throws her a cloak, Lilynette asks him what they are going to do now that they’ve become two entities. Starrk answers that they can do anything, though Lilynette is curious as to where Starrk wants to go. Starrk tells her they can go anywhere, but that, most importantly, they will stick together forever. The look of relief on Lilynette’s face that her loneliness has come to an end has been drawn out awesomely in my opinion. The focus on her reactions is also the reason why I think she is the actual original Primera Espada. But the flashback comes to an end before we find out more, as Starrk falls down to the ground.
Never changing reality
He seems to be contradicting himself again…
As Starrk falls to the ground, Kyouraku looks at his defeated opponent. Love then appears behind Kyouraku, thanking him for saving both him and Rose from the imminent doom at the hands of Starrk. Kyouraku waves his thanks away as he was just helping old friends, though Love feels Kyouraku wasn’t entirely right. Love hints that he is familiar with Kyouraku’s way of fighting as Kyouraku apparently tends to intervene in other people’s battles. Love, being someone with a rather romantic sense of battle, then can’t help but question Kyouraku’s way of fighting as he thinks that this way of fighting lacks style. Kyouraku then points out that only the victory counts and that especially captains ought to aim for victory, no matter the consequences. Because no matter how the battle starts, once it ends you will still be wrong according to him. Something tells me these aren’t his words as much as they are Genryuusai’s as these words seem to hurt him. As Kyouraku reseals his Zanpakutou while talking to Love and Rose, he looks at Aizen.
Aizen, who didn’t even look at Starrk while he was falling, does seem to be interested in the battle of his second to last Espada Harribel, who is fighting the former eighth squad lieutenant Lisa.
The Iron Blood Dragonfly
Somehow it feels appropriate to say she is compensating…
Harribel and Lisa’s fight seems to have been going on for a while as Lisa seems to have taken out her mask in the process. As the two clash swords in the air -where else with Bleach- Lisa apparently believes she’s found an opening as she releases her Haguro Tonbo. As far as I can see it looks like a lance with a bell at the end. Going by the name I would guess it may have the ability to fly around or perhaps it has something to do with water. Of course, with Kyouraku as he (former) captain, there could be quite the surprise in store for us. But before we find out what else could happen with Haguro Tonbo, another Zanpakutou is revealed.
The Beheaded Serpent
So this is what would happen if Zangetsu and Zabimaru were to merge into one…
Hiyori suddenly appears behind Harribel, releasing her Kubikiri Orochi while she’s at it. The most noticeable part of her Zanpakutou has to be the fact that it looks a lot like Zangetsu. The only difference with Zangetsu is the teeth of the blade, which look similar to Zabimaru’s teeth, and the fact that it has a guard. The strange thing is that I feel I’ve seen this sword before when Ichigo was trying to obtain his Bankai, but I’ll have to reread that chapter another time. What’s more interesting about Kubikiri Orochi, is the fact that this may explain why Hiyori was so keen on helping Ichigo surpressing his Hollow. She probably noticed the similarity in their Zanpakutou, and as such the similarity between them as Zanpakutou are shaped according to the Shinigami’s Soul. Going by the similarities with Zangetsu and Zabimaru, my guess is that Kubikiri Orochi works with energy and physical attacks. But before we see what Hiyori does, Hitsugaya intervenes as well as he summons Hyorinmaru. As Harribel then is forced to face the combined front of Lisa, Hiyori, and Hitsugaya, the scene passes Aizen once more as something we could have expected comes to pass.
Why can I imagine Gin and Shinji fans screaming this isn’t enough?
We now find out that Gin and Shinji were the spectacle Aizen was looking at while ignoring his Espada. Though both fighters seem to have plenty up their sleeve, Aizen tells Gin it is enough and that they should get things over with. A slightly annoyed Shinji -whose head wound miraculously healed while his hair has grown back- then wonders what Aizen is talking about as he feels things shouldn’t be ending by anyone’s hands but his. Though this bit reveals what Shinji has been doing, the question is what happened to Genryuusai, Kensei, and Mashiro as they probably shouldn’t have to recover from a fight right now. Could it be Wonderweiss is also playing around in the same way as Gin? We aren’t allowed an answer to that question as Aizen suddenly uses Shunpo -my guess is he isn’t using Sonido- to appear near Harribel. Harribel looks surprised at the sudden appearance of Aizen as he gives her what he thinks is a just reward for her performance.
First Momo, now Tia, damn you Aizen!
Aizen cuts Harribel casually, ignoring the fact that he could have done the same to his enemies instead of his allies, as reality sinks in with Harribel. It seems Aizen still has the bad habit of killing the women who idolize him once he has no more use for them as we can see here. He flat out tells Harribel that he is done with her as she is not strong enough to fight for him. As Harribel falls apart, Aizen tells Gin and Tousen that they have to go, ending the chapter with quite the surprise.
Whew, so much Bleach this week. As I have to round things up for today I’ll leave things at this. The chapter was awesome. Sure, Harribel and Starrk dying like that isn’t exactly what I wanted to see, but Starrk’s past revealed, or rather Lilynette’s if I’m right, as well as two new Shikai finished with quite the twist at the end made this chapter great nonetheless. With the story progressing at a high pace and Aizen deciding he and the other former captains should be going, I am eager to see what Kubo has in store for us now. Will he pull out the Escudo I’ve been hypothesizing about since 2009 started? Or has all of this been part of Aizen’s illusions? And most importantly, what will Kubo do now? Here’s my guess:
Next week I predict total chaos. The three former captains could gather at one point, chat a bit about how they will move on, and then pull out their masks. The scene will then change, of course, to Las Noches where we will see Yammy rampaging as he too will be overwhelming his opponents. The next part of the story will most likely take place in Hueco Mundo for now, where Ichigo will find out what Aizen’s next step will be before he sets out to stop Aizen in his tracks. Perhaps we will also see Wonderweiss for a bit next week and maybe even Lilynette. Lilynette could be confirmed as the actual Primera as she weeps over losing Starrk before returning to the true Primera’s form, whatever that may be.
Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I think I probably overlooked quite a few things in this chapter with so much happening and things have been rushed a bit due to time constraints. I really would love to read over my review before posting, but I won’t have the time to post it until Sunday morning if I don’t do it now… I just had to put as much as possible into this review to celebrate the eight years of Bleach…Maybe I’ll post a second version if I find the time to do so. Just be sure to let me know what I overlooked, perhaps what you want my opinion/theories on, to share your thoughts on this chapter and/or review, and to vote in this week’s poll. Also make sure to give your predictions as I only had time to post one. Anyways, I’ll see you again next week!
Great review, thanks. Since you're asking for predictions... =p
Everyone seems to be looking for some sign of Harribel's sacrifice aspect. And while I think it's quite likely we'll get no further illumination on that topic, if we do...
I see her coming back into the battle at a key moment and giving up her life to provide some small, or maybe big, brief aid to SS. That's easy to say as it's been done in many other stories past.
I think it's time to visit Yammy as well. Everyone is certain this will be Unohana's time to shine, but I don't think there's anything stopping Ichigo from joining in either; something I haven't seen anyone mention.
Ugh, I just had a thought for next week - Unohana soundly beats Yammy with a Shikai and everyone sighs.
Last edited by Rubicant; September 25, 2009 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Had a thought
AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING review once more Underscore-san. For having to rush things you sure analyse at the speed of light. I can only imagine what you would have been able to contrive had you more tome. Great work, really fabulous.
Ok before you start reading the rest of this I should warn you, it's gonna be long. So I'll understand if you don't reply.
About this chapter, I have to say, I personally want to axe off Sosouke's head and then stump repeatedly on it until it is nothing but mush. The turd! I'm not as angry at the fact that he killed a lady as I am at the fact that she was fighting for his cause and was cut down just because the tweed thought she was 'not strong enough'. OOOOOOOhhhhhhh, I'm seriously itching to kill the whelp...but enough of my rage, for now.
About Hiyori's zanpakutou. Really looks like the hybrid version of Zangetsu and Zabimaru and it does look like one of the counterfeit Zangetsu's present at Ichigo's Bankai lessons.
About Katen Kyoukotsu's destructive abilities. I am truly amazed and infact awed at its magnitude. I was just thinking about how she might work out her rules in the Irooni game and I'm guessing it's that if after Kyouraku had called black he had been struck by Starrk he would have suffered a most noisome injury as he was all in black ergo Kyouraku's being able to finish the Primerra off with that hit. Dunno though but I think that's why Kyouraku sort of made sure he would be the only one to land a hit after he called out the colour.
About Lisa's zanpakutou. I had the feeling it would be a spear-like zanpakutou from the way she kinda thrusts her sword when fighting (in the Pendulum arc, against Kensei's hollow). And yes, looks like she's compensating...
About Aizen...again. Kubo really delivered on the character. He (Aizen not Kubo) is sick, sick, sick. You know, the way I think Aizen will go down will be by Tousen's sword. Ok maybe Tosuen won't succeed but I bet he's going to try. It's just like in the Diamond Dust Rebellion when Hitsugaya looked like he was teaming up with Kusaka I think Tousen is doing an insider job; getting very close to Aizen and when the time is right, strike the inglorious animal where it hurts most. Oh and there's also the fact that Tousen is the only person known to be impervious to Aizen's Kyouka Suigetsu... But damn that guy is sick. Poor Tia and Momo, two hapless chicks who fell for the wrong guy...
About Bleach's 8th Birthday. I remember the first time I heard about Bleach. It was from a friend of mine whose brothers were anim-maniacs. He told me they had a series called Bleach and I go, "Bleach?! As in washing formula?" He said yup and made me watch my very first episode, one I will never forget and hope to vote for when I get the chance. The fight between Ichigo and Zaraki! Awesome! The part that got me most was when Zaraki removed his eye-patch and, with just one swipe of his blade, cut the building in half. Mehn, I was like that Ichigo dude ain't gonna ressurect if one of those hits him. And from that day I became a Bleach disciple, a Bleach maniac, Bleach whatever, I am hooked. I am a one manga man and my manga is Bleach...
Truth is Bleach allows me to escape the harsh cruel and summarily inhumane reality I live in. God bless Kubo, God bless Bleach and God bless you Underscore, your posts are always a great read.
Amazing review as always. I agree it was a great chapter, and even though I'm disappointed how both espada's fights ended, the ending more than makes up for it. I feel a big plot twist coming that'll make us kick ourselves for not seeing.
Good review, Underscore but I disagree that we'll be seeing lilynette anymore. Look at this page:http://www.onemanga.com/Bleach/375/09/
The mask around Stark's left eye is breaking apart. That scope like mask only appeared after Stark did the release and he combined with lilynette and was originally a characteristic of lilynette's design. I think this is the end for both of them. Also what are Escudos?
Great review as always Mr Underscore, it was an eventful chapter this time around and quite an aptly named one at that.
First I have to say that the defeat of Starrk at the hands if Shunsui and his brutal technique was something that I was hoping to avoid as he's quite a likable character, but I'm glad that if this is the end for him that we at least we got a little insight not just his into his character but that of Lily who's both mysterious and MIA at this point. Not to mention Shunsui who seems to gone from showing undertones of disdain to feeling pity towards his fallen opponent.
While we were ready for Starrk's defeat we couldn't have predicted that Harribel would be struck down by Aizen in the same chapter. To me this seems to be done mainly with the desire to speed up the pace a little (maybe his editor finally said "enough" on the FKT arc fights ) though its definitely not out of character for him to do something like this. Regardless of her being cut down she gets props for seemingly blocking the blows of 3 different shikais all at once.
As far as predictions go I do have a few ideas. While it's likely that the focus of the story will switch back to HM he should conclude the happenings in FKT formally before he does so. Just a couple are
1) Aizen, Gin and Tousen gang up on the others. This would work better if his espada actually managed to kill anyone so they wouldn't be going up against such a large force. Not only that but Aizen seems to shy away from direct confrontation.
2) Actually an idea I thought a while ago as a joke but has begun to seem less bizarre; the option has Aizen using the Gotei 13, vizards and what remains of his fallen espada as ingredients in the creation of the Royal Key ala Fullmetal Alchemist. Of course Aizen and co would have to leg it past at least 14 captain level enemies to escape and would have to find a way to seal the fake town so his "ingredients" couldn't escape.
3) Aizen will somehow trap his enemies in FKT till he does whatever he's meant to be doing. Soul Society and the vizards would probably then convince one of the dying espada to open a Garganta so they can escape or something along those lines. Not keen on this idea either as it'd just prolong the series for even longer.
Regardless I think the one thing we can all agree on is that we'll be expecting a lot from Bleach next week, I just hope Kubo doesn't disappoint.
Last edited by Eternal_Breath; September 25, 2009 at 10:35 PM. Reason: grammar and phrasing
Because I have that much time...
I feel like the odd man out but personally I didn't feel for Halibel when she was killed. For one Aizen is just that kind of person, so the shock factor was gone, plus, Halibel hasn't really been developed like some of the other Espada -- we know even less about her than we do about Zommari. I didn't know enough about her to feel sympathy.
That said, I agree with you that the Sacrifice aspect will play a part, but not in the way you said. I think it was you yourself who mentioned a while back about how ancient cultures would sacrifice their own people to appease the gods. This is what (IMO) Aizen has done with Halibel, kill her for the greater good, whatever that is. Rather than Halibel killing herself.
Eternal_Breath's theory is a good one -- I think someone said something in the discussion way back about Aizen using the FKT Arrancar as a supply of souls: Arrancar were Hollows and Hollows have several souls within them, which is what Aizen needs for the Ouken...and despite it not being the "real" town, FKT is still in the same location on Earth from what I got from that chapter that explained the process. If it's the relative location that matters, and not the superficial properties of the place, that matters, Aizen can still make the Ouken here.
If not, and he still has the ingredients for souls, Aizen can just move on to the real KT and finish things.
And I think Yama said something about the souls being Pluses...but like with the Hogyoku not reaching full power till the winter, it could just be that Yama doesn't know the full requirements of making the Ouken.
For having little time, you sure wrote another great review, Underscore.
I loved this chapter. The way I see it, this basically wrapped up the fighting in Fake Karakura Town and prepared us for what's coming next. The Espada and their Fraccion are all dead now - the only Arrancar left to serve Aizen, Gin and Tousen on the battlefield is Wonderweiss and we're still uncertain of his rank and purpose, if he even has one. I was glad to see that Gin was fighting Shinji, so that matter has finally been cleared up (now all we need to know is what Kensei and Mashiro are doing).
I was slightly surprised by the death of Stark. I thought he might've had more tricks up his sleeves, but even if he did, he just didn't get the chance to use them. It seems that Kyouraku dealt massive damage through Stark's black hollow hole in Katen Kyoukotsu's colour game and simply dealt Stark a killing blow. The fact that Kyouraku was able to defeat the Primera Espada with only his shikai (whereas Ichigo stood no chance against #4 even with his Bankai and his Hollow mask) shows what a power-house Kyouraku really is and how much Ichigo still has to learn to fully master Zangetsu.
I found Stark's flashback with Lilynette to be very touching. I feel a bit of pity for Stark for his loneliness and the fact that he was so eager to repay Aizen for alleviating it (as I suspected), even if Aizen didn't really give a damn about Stark. It's rather ironic that the strongest Espada was also the kindest.
I'm glad we finally got to see Lisa and Hiyori's shikais, but I wonder about their abilities. For some reason, I always imagined Hiyori to have a lightning-based Zanpakutou (due to her sparky personality), but it looks like we won't be seeing the full abilities of hers or Lisa's, at least not against Hallibell... Still, while some fans consider Hallibell dissappointing, I think she proved her worth: she survived Hitsugaya's strongest attack without a scratch on her and held her own against two shikais (plus Hollow Masks) and a Bankai. That seems impressive enough.
Aizen suddenly chopping up Hallibell came as a major shock to me, though I suppose we could've anticipated it. The fact that Aizen has been so calm, eventhough his top Espada were losing since the arrival of the Vizards already hinted that he's got more in the works. By the looks of things this chapter, he was actually intending the Espada to lose. I guess he broke his promise of not even lifting a finger, but he could've chosen too if he had to: Hallibell would've lost eventually. As Stark remarked earlier, Aizen is simply getting impatient and it looks like he didn't want to wait for Hallibell to get killed. Thus he just did it himself.
But the question remains: why? And what is the next step in Aizen's plans?
Even if Aizen had an additional group of more powerful servants standing by, it seems stupid not to give Hallibell her chance to at least wound Hitsugaya, Hiyori and Lisa some more. My guess is that the deaths of the Espada were crucial to his plans somehow. I've been a big fan of the theory that Eternal_Breath mentioned, though I wouldn't be surprised of the big twist is going to be something different. Remember: we had no prior knowledge of the Hogyoku at the end of the Soul Society arc until Aizen finally revealed it, so we couldn't possibly foresee it. It wouldn't surprise me if Kubo is going to pull another stunt like this.
So what do I suspect to happen next? We'll either switch back to Hueco Mundo again, with Ichigo, Ishida and Orihime re-uniting with Chad, Renji and Rukia against Yammyzilla (though I think it will be Unohana that shows up to utterly pwn him and save the day). Or we'll get the big twist immediately and Aizen starts to make a get-away.
One thing's for sure: I can't wait for the next chapter.
Thanx for the review...good reading...I was certain about starrk's death so that's no surprise...I would've liked lisa and hiyori fight a bit, get to know harribel a bit more...guess aizen screwed my plans....what I wasn't expecting at all, and as U said it's a great surprise, it's aizen on the move...though I don't think they are on the move to fight gotei...tousen fought a bit, gin,too as it seems...I still think aizen himself won't lift a finger vs.gotei(he lifted vs.harribel)...I sense aizen's futher planning here...off course it would be awesome if they would fight, but I don't think that will be the case.So this is one of my predictions. If the first will be true, than a counter plan by urahara would be nice, or yama making a move...if the latter...well gin vs. shinji would be awesome, they are funny characters, smiling and everything...we know about tousen...so aizen vs. who the hell? yama? I dunno...it's too soon IMO...though I read the spoilers and as expected the chapter showed a lot more things...I wanted to see kensei in action...he's my fav. vizard...it's weird though he didn't receive screentime...maybe aizen's surprise I mentioned earlier will involve WW's release...then maybe kensei will step up...
What was the coolest IMO...kyouraku's speech==shut up noobs, this is war...liked it a lot...
About HM thing others mentioned...I would like to see unohana...but it won't happen...these big characters like unohana,yama,aizen fighting is just too much...I don't know what would kubo keep in storage after fights like these...so nakama vs yammy, until yammy grows so big he'll explode, than unohana will heal everyone... since her arrival she said she's there for healing...she seems to be quite honest...also kyouraku defeating primera in shikai...I dare to say yammy is not even close to unohana...and she knows it,too...
Thanx again for a well-thought review...aprreciate UR opinions....
Also U won the battle about kyouraku's irooni game, but there will be other matches I look forward,to ...
Last edited by benelori; September 26, 2009 at 07:30 AM.
As for your predictions, Harribel using her sacrifice would be more plausible to happen directly in the next chapter for Aizen's sake rather than for Soul Society. Maybe once she's sacrificed she either gives her power to an ally or is "reborn" with an increase in power -which would explain why Aizen said she was too weak. If the latter were to apply it would be strange for Harribel to look shocked though, so don't have too high expectations for that option.
As for Yammy being beaten by Unohana with just her Shikai. It's preposterous, how could you even think of such a thing? Unohana would obviously beat the living out of Yammy with her bare hands . How anticlimactic could it get if that were to happen .
I did analyze as fast as I could, but as I haven't had the time to read over my own review I still feel I may have forgotten a load of small things -Harribel possibly surviving through her sacrifice ability theory for one- and I spent more time on the cover etc. than I intended. As for the long read, I might as well get started....
I see you're quite unsettled by the fact that Aizen treats his subordinates like trash in spite of their loyalty, and I can't blame you. The only thing I can say in his defense is that he probably doesn't feel affection to those who worship his illusion, if that makes sense . Tousen fighting Aizen would be rather entertaining to see to be honest. Maybe it will go as far as Tousen ending up beating Aizen and taking over his plans as the new king of Soul Society. That would be quite the unexpected twist as no one would see it coming with him being considered the weakest of the three treacherous captains.
To think you actually had other people tell you to watch Bleach in person. I only got into Bleach through the Anime as well, though it was via Full Metal Alchemist and Naruto -@FMA they said Naruto was the greatest, so I watched, @ Naruto they said Bleach was better, so I watched that as well, and I even got into One Piece in the same way.
Bleach does help the boredom, I agree, though sadly I lost the balance a bit between my homework and Bleach... Guess I'll have to get things into order soon, but I'll work on that .
The end of the Espadas' fights were a bit bland as both died with just taking one blow -given that they are actually dead- , especially looking at Starrk who dodged most attacks until being struck about three times by Kyouraku before he died . But we'll see whether the plot twist will be so obvious that we should've seen it coming, it would be rather entertaining on the one hand, though it would be more fun to see something entirely unexpected on the other.
Well, I guess it is wishful thinking from my part, though losing the scope could always mean that Lilynette ended the Resurrección -something I think I overlooked in the review. As for the Escudos -Shields as opposed to the swords (Espadas)-, they are the hidden Espada which were thought up by me -and probably more people- as a group of Vasto Lorde Arrancar that would join the battle as Aizen's side seemed to be in quite the disadvantage at the time. Maybe I'll go into it again in next week's review as soon as I can remember in which reviews I posted the theory.
Starrk's death was worked out really well, I agree, even if he didn't manage to force a Bankai from Kyouraku. The fact that we also got to see a bit of Kyouraku's view on things was a nice bonus in my book.
You may actually be one of the first I see who isn't complaining about Harribel's performance and actually noticed that she has been unscathed after being attacked by 2 Vizards and a captain who all started to use their Shikai as well. Most people immediately say that Ulquiorra deserved third instead of her, though I think Ulquiorra may have had just as much trouble as Harribel depending on the opponents he would face.
As for your predictions, the first option sounds really plausible in spite of the somewhat characteristic behavior from Aizen you mentioned. The second prediction may also hold true to some extend, though I think the captains and Vizards would only be part of the sacrifice and that all the other souls are still necessary. Now that I think about it, Fura may have actually be one to hold the fabricated souls necessary for the creation of the key if I think about it now.
But we'll just have to wait until next week to see what will happen and I too am expecting quite a bit .
As for what you said about the making of the Ouken. Maybe Genryuusai wasn't wrong about the awakening of the Hougyoku, but Aizen may be planning to use the Shinigami captains to forcefully awaken it. He's done it in order to create Arrancar with his own power, so he may be planning on doing the same now. We'll see if Eternal_Breath's theory will hold in one of the upcoming chapters -or maybe much later depending on Kubo's mood.
I have to put the replies on hold for now, I'll get back to Benelori and Snake_Cowboy tomorrow. So try to be patient .
Good stuff.....Always look forward to reading your reviews. They give me a bleach fix for sunday. I would really like to just find out what Aizen is really up to. It will be interesting to see if the 3 of them can really take out all the remaining captains/vizards. Or if he pulls a trump card in WW or something else(hollow masks?) Either way much to look forward to in the Bleach world.
i thinks harribles self sacrifice was a good touch.It was i admit unexpected for me cause i kinda assumed we would have watched her battle. I wished we did i wanted to see more of toshiro hoping that he would have realesed a new move or somthing But what now what is Azien up to he finally made a move and he kills his own which i guess is self explanatory but why i rfuse to think that his entire battalion of espadas were a waste a means of searching for monumental strength? but w are gonna find out soon enough.and when will kiskue come and yorichi ahh this chapter only asnwers questions with more question grrr
This chapter would be a good way to wrap up this arc, Kubo could get all his readers anxious for the developments here just by changing scenes at the start of the next chapter without showing us any more. But I wouldn't mind seeing half a chapter dedicated to Aizen's next step before changing scenes IF he decides to change scenes.
Kyouraku's strength has been proven by beating the Primera with "just" his Shikai, and go figure that Genryuusai is able to go up against him and Ukitake -who I hope to catch a glimpse of before the story moves away- at the same time! The upside of Starrk's death certainly was the flashback as it really confirmed quite a few theories I had about the Primera and his allegiance with Aizen.
Harribel suddenly being cut up like that certainly was unexpected, when I first saw it I had quite the WT moment as I didn't expect Aizen to be the one to do her in. His reasoning behind that action was misplaced as well as Harribel could've gone wild with her best technique or a few Cero Oscuras, but I guess Aizen has high standards.
But we'll have to wait until this Friday to see whether Aizen will reveal the Escudo, sacrifice all those present in the Fake Karakura Town to make the King's key, or if he'll just start cutting away at other girls -notice how he mainly uses his sword against women, but Kidou against men .
We'll have to wait and see whether Aizen's plans will involve the release of Wonderweiss. I think Wonderweiss' purpose in Aizen's plans will be revealed before his resurrección if you ask me. But it is possible that they will both occur at the same time, but it all depends on Wonderweiss in the end. But a backup plan from Urahara would be a nice twist -maybe a pair of deadbeat dads could show themselves on the battlefield for once- just to show how things won't necessarily go as Aizen planned it.
As for Yammy's fight, Unohana did say she was only there for healing which would then make it logical for her not to interfere. But that doesn't mean I don't want to find out why people fear her so . But the Yammy fight would be more interesting to see as a group battle between the Karakura six -Orihime finally participating in battle is also something I'd love to see- and Yammy. The fight against Yammy will probably be unlike anything we've ever seen if Kubo plays his cards right. Of course, if the editor has anything to say about it he may just have to end it with a well placed Zenbonsakura.
Bleach really has the opportunity to go back into the story more than we've seen for quite some time this year, so the revelation of one of Aizen's trump cards would make for quite the spectacle indeed. We'll have to wait until Friday to learn more though .