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View Poll Results: Who are the "Enemies in the Dark"?

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  • Soul Society (again...)

    15 68.18%
  • A group that we can refer to as... Kurotsuki? Kuugo's part of them...

    0 0%
  • The rest of Xcution

    1 4.55%
  • The real Vasto Lordes

    0 0%
  • I don't know

    5 22.73%
  • I don't care

    0 0%
  • I'll give you my wacky theory in a reply!

    1 4.55%
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Thread: The Underscore's Bleach review, 473: Enemies in the Dark

  1. #1
    Reviewer 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member The Underscore's Avatar
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    Bleach The Underscore's Bleach review, 473: Enemies in the Dark

    473: Enemies in the Dark

    Eyes working... nose clear... no headache... fingers.... AHHH NO FINGERS! Prinny joke! Yohohoho~~. Finally feeling better and I'm almost back on schedule with work. Now to see whether I'll be able to reply again soon... Of course, I'll need a review to which you can reply, to which I can reply in order to that - completely ignoring the last couple of reviews for no apparent reason, not to say the replies aren't appreciated. That's how we get to this week's review. I've gone a bit more old-skool in the writing process. I wonder whether you'll notice . But something that's been the same as the last +year, is the source of the scanlation. So thanks to Binktopia and Mangastream for their scanlation!

    Bleach chapter 472, Razoredge Requiem, rated by 13 voters, gets an average score of:



    Last week's chapter was the beginning of Tsukishima's end. Or so it seemed. Last week's poll was on exactly this matter: do you guys believe Tsukishima is actually done for?

    Only one voter didn't really care. There's more pressing matters than Tsukishima meeting his end or not. It's not like Tsukishima's THAT interesting, right?

    Four voters seem to think so. These four are hoping Tsukishima isn't dead yet. Things may look grim, but that doesn't mean Tsukishima should die in this manner after all the evil he's done.

    Then we have a tie in second place, with 6 votes each. 6 voters guess that Tsukishima is done for, considering the current situation and all. But the other 6 voters believe that Tsukishima must have something to get out of this sticky situation. These six weren't too far off when it came to this. Too bad for Tsukishima it didn't work...

    But seven voters were just relieved that Tsukishima FINALLY is done for. With that stupidly overpowered 'Book of the End' of his and all...

    YES! Finally! 7 25.00%
    I guess so 6 31.25%
    I hope not 4 12.50%
    No, he'll probably have something to get out of this 6 25.00%

    Strawberry >>> Moonhorse

    If only Tsukishima had real friends... like Byakuya has Kenpachi and Ichigo...

    Byakuya's desperate attack got Tsukishima good. So good in fact, that Tsukishima's actually down. But not for the count. With most of his body immobile, there's only one thing he can move: his tongue. The serpent's tongue tries to sway Byakuya in the same way he tried to manipulate Orihime and Chad after the Shinigami arrived. Trying to get Byakuya to heal him with some Kidou, he asks whether Byakuya can be so merciless to someone he owes everything to.

    Where there were no signs of Byakuya thinking Tsukishima was his bestest buddy during the last couple of chapters, things suddenly seem to have changed. Perhaps this is another prerequisite to 'Book of the End' activating its ability. This means I have to do another 'Book of the End' analysis in a relatively short time... So here we have the 4 steps for using 'Book of the End':

    The Underscore's easy guide to using 'Book of the End'

    Health and safety warning: When using 'Book of the End', be sure to be alive and/or have enough Reiatsu to manipulate victims. Effects may vary depending on what you wish to rewrite, how much Reiatsu you have, and how dear the memory that's being rewritten truly is.

    Step 1: Slash your victim through the heart using your activated bookmark
    Step 2: Read all your victim's memories and familiarize yourself with them to the point where you can imagine yourself being part of them
    Step 3: Rewrite the victim's history by telling them exactly what it is they should remember (using actual words) while focusing on this concept. E.g. Tell them you're family they saw during a funeral and they will fill in the blanks themselves*

    * Warning, Step 3 has an expiration date of a couple of days (?). The longer you wait with using this step, the more hazardous it will be to your victim. If you do decide to use this step after the expiration date is met, victims may end up with loss of mind, memory, and/or life.

    Step 4 (Optional): Undo the effect by slashing your victim through the heart a second time. Use this when you're not satisfied with the earlier results or if you just want to plain start over again.

    Disclosure: The Underscore's easy guide to using 'Book of the End' could be entirely wrong. If any of these steps prove to be wrong during the use of 'Book of the End', blame Kubo for not giving you the actual instructions.

    So, even though Byakuya now believes that Tsukishima is a close friend (due to Tsukishima telling him just now), Byakuya still doesn't feel like helping Tsukishima. The reason for this is simple: Byakuya still likes Ichigo better. Perhaps if Tsukishima were to be in prime condition he'd be able to have Byakuya think he's actually the dear old friend and sparring buddy Tsukishima claimed to be. But with life seeping out of him and Reiatsu along with it, Tsukishima doesn't have the energy to overwrite the importance of Byakuya's debt to Ichigo.

    With Tsukishima realizing that he can't win against a true friendship, he curses the fact that he lost in such a manner. Though his ability never failed him before, now that he truly needed it he couldn't rely on it. Thus showing that real bonds are better than fake ones... Speaking of bonds!

    A matter of time

    Is it just me, or could it be that Kenpachi is bummed that he's afraid of Genryuusai?

    No sooner did Tsukishima curse his fate, or 'Invaders Must Die' meets its end as well. Ikkaku sees that he's finally freed from the pocket dimension, revealing that Shishigawara's dimension had nothing altered in the first place. Perhaps this has to do with Yukio and Shishi not knowing each other that well, or Shishi not being aware of 'Invaders Must Die's' true potential. Whatever the case, Ikkaku had been patiently waiting for the Fullbring to disappear. Ikkaku's captain, however, had to use even more patience.

    Kenpachi notes how long it took Ikkaku to get out of the pocket dimension. Ikkaku, however, tries to turn things around by saying that Kenpachi's just early and he's on time. But Kenpachi doesn't buy it. Before the discussion goes on about whose on time and who isn't, the second person to come out of the pocket dimension comes out.

    Renji shows up, alive and well. He explains that he got out of the chatroom alright, but the explosion immobilized him for a while. Kenpachi reveals that he did hear the blast. Perhaps this means that it's possible to hear whatever is going on inside the pocket dimensions. Either that, or the blast lasted long enough for the dimension to disappear before it settled down. Whatever the case, Renji's alive. Ikkaku tries to mock Renji for being so beaten up by asking him if he at least won. Renji reveals that Jackie "probably died". Apparently she's still alive somewhere .

    Kenpachi then notes that Ikkaku's attitude is a bit too presumptuous for someone who only got out of the dimension a couple of seconds ago. Asking how Ikkaku did, Kenpachi isn't pleased to hear that one of his most trusted squad members didn't immediately kill his opponent (like he did), but that he wasted time by giving his opponent a lecture and letting him get away. Even Ikkaku started to realize how bad a plan that truly was as he's explaining it to Kenpachi.


    If it isn't on the PFP, it isn't interesting

    As Kenpachi starts to vent his frustrations on Ikkaku, Hitsugaya arrives at the scene with a frozen Yukio walking behind him (that's right, his legs are free ). Kenpachi, still looking for a fight after the more than disappointing one he had before, then tries to pick a fight with Hitsugaya (by looking like a duck of sorts ). With Hitsugaya trying to stay out of things, Yukio interrupts by starting about the deal he made with Hitsugaya. Hitsugaya then tells Yukio that he won't let him go unless he's sure that everyone's freed.

    Hitsugaya then asks where Kuchiki and Kuchiki are -Ikkaku has a great point concerning this, don't you agree? As Yukio complains that he is starting to lose the feeling in his extremities, Byakuya shows up carrying Rukia. Being the good brother he is, he of course makes sure his dear little sister is alright. Byakuya then leaves Rukia in Renji's care, long after making sure that there's nothing wrong with her both physically and reiatsu wise, of course. He explains this after Hitsugaya asks whether everything is okay with Rukia. But there's one thing Byakuya can't explain, which is where Riruka has gone off to.

    Byakuya reveals that there's no body, nor any presence of Riruka lingering after the battle. Could it be that Riruka truly has entered Rukia's body? Whatever the case, Yukio seems to have his suspicions about this situation. Which Hitsugaya noticed immediately. Hitsugaya tries to get this out of Yukio, but Yukio tells Hitsugaya that he knows next to nothing about Riruka's 'Dollhouse' because "they" -I'm guessing all the Xcution members, though it could just be Riruka and Yukio- didn't want to reveal their strengths and weaknesses to each other. Yukio wraps up this part of the discussion by saying that he doesn't know whether Riruka escaped or died, but that he's hoping for the latter.


    That should be a game that Hitsugaya could enjoy with Yukio

    Yukio tells Hitsugaya that he's done enough to earn the other end of the bargain. But Hitsugaya points out that there's still one dimension intact. Yukio regains his composure as he tells Hitsugaya that the last dimension is a unique one, which he can't undo. Yukio loses his composure as he tells Hitsugaya that he isn't lying .

    Yukio tells the Shinigami a couple of interesting facts. First, Fullbringers and Substitute Shinigami can trade and share their powers. This means that this part of the story that Kuugo told Ichigo at first holds true. The mutual trading and sharing, however, weren't part of the explanation at that time. It seemed to be a one way trade of powers, but if Yukio's words hold true, it would mean that a Substitute Shinigami could give his powers to a Fullbringer as well.

    Another interesting fact here is that Kuugo had the Fullbringers share their power with him as a part of the entrance ceremony for joining Xcution. Note that Yukio is talking about power here, not ability per say. This could explain why the Fullbringers were relatively strong during their fights against the Shinigami. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, as it were. With this exchange of "power" the Xcution members also made a promise with Kuugo concerning their powers. One that is embedded into their Fullbrings abilities. In Yukio's case it's that he isn't allowed to dispel his ability without the explicit order from Kuugo. My guess is that Kuugo made similar deals with the other members, including Tsukishima with his 'Book of the End'.

    Of course, there's one thing in this story that's actually more important than what Yukio explained, though it's an intricate part of it: Kuugo still has his Shinigami powers. The requirement for the exchange in powers is that both Fullbring and Shinigami powers are needed to exchange/take/move either power. The controlling factor in all of this, however, is the Shinigami powers. This means that Kuugo taking Ichigo's FULLBRING powers required Kuugo to use his OWN Shinigami powers to take them -and share them amongst the other Fullbringers after. I guess this means that using Fullbring it is possible to channel Shinigami powers through an actual living body... What's more, this means that Kuugo actually has plenty in reserve besides his initial Fullbring powers. Not only that, it's possible that he made a "promise" with Ichigo, without Ichigo realizing it because of the exchange of Reiatsu and the forming of the Fullbring. So, what's going on inside the final remaining dimension?

    When substitutes clash

    Could it be that Ishida's actually coming up with a plan right now?

    After Yukio revealed the "promise" he made with Kuugo, the scene changes to this manipulative person. Ichigo and Kuugo are exchanging Getsuga's, though Ichigo's (original) Getsuga Tenshou seems to have a slight upper hand in this situation. The battle can go either way judging from this exchange of blows. It's not like either of these two substitutes has an actual upper hand. I guess that has to do with Kuugo being high on Fullbring energy and having a Shinigami backup, while Ichigo is still in his Shikai state (though the same could be said for Kuugo on some level).

    It's good to see that Ichigo's prowess with Zangetsu hasn't diminished over the past 17 months. Even though Kuugo should have the upper hand when it comes to experience, Ichigo has faced too great an opponents to come short when it comes to basic swordplay. Kuugo, however, isn't too pressed by Ichigo's efforts. Kuugo tells Ichigo that he is impressed by Ichigo's current state, though he feels that Ichigo is being a bit too careless.

    Ichigo tells Kuugo that he isn't being careless, but Kuugo finishes the sentence by saying that Ichigo is just doing his best. But Kuugo can't help but be curious as to WHY Ichigo is fighting. Ichigo doesn't quite understand how Kuugo could ask such a stupid question as it's obvious that Ichigo wants to stop Tsukishima. But Kuugo reveals that Tsukishima is dead.

    Hearing this news, Ichigo loses his focus for a moment, which Kuugo obviously intended to do with his revelation. As Ichigo backs up a bit, Kuugo reveals that Tsukishima isn't actually dead right now. But he will be in 10 minutes. But that's not all...


    I really hate you right now Kuugo...

    That's right. This time, Kuugo reveals that when a Fullbringer dies, all traces of their ability will disappear as well. In a way it makes sense. Though on the other hand, it doesn't. It makes sense because without a user, the ability shouldn't be able to linger because of a lack of energy being supplied. On the other hand, with Fullbring being charged by using Spiritual energy, being dead shouldn't really be a problem in powering a Fullbring (e.g. Shinigami and Hollows using powers). Admittedly, I was a fool for believing that even one part of what Kuugo told us up to the point where he revealed his true nature was real. Remember: Everybody lies (Gregory House)(that's right, even time lies Giriko ). But the whole 'killing him may not be sure to dispel the ability' concept was interesting enough. Too bad Kubo didn't stick with it. Though with Tsukishima having died, it would be hard to have him slash people back to normal .

    Ichigo is shocked to hear this (which is a bit disappointing as he held his composure so well after being back in black). Hearing that he doesn't need to fight Kuugo anymore because he lost his purpose to fight (to get to Tsukishima) makes it that Kuugo has a point: What is Ichigo fighting for right now? Ichigo can't really provide a decent answer. I guess that it's hard to tell your opponent that you're intent on fighting him just because you think he's a major jerk and/or you actually enjoy the thrill of the fight .

    But Kuugo has an answer for Ichigo. Or rather, a brand new purpose. He's going to reveal the TRUE enemy Ichigo should be fighting (alongside him, I suppose)...

    Pretty good chapter this week. Nice pacing, most battles nicely wrapped up, and most importantly, we're heading to the conclusion of this arc. The way Tsukishima came to his end might have been a bit too easy in the end. But his final moments are more than fitting in my opinion.

    The conversations between Ikkaku and Kenpachi were enough to give me a good chuckle, meaning this chapter had some laughs as well. Rukia's lack of victory is a sign of things not going entirely for the "good guys". Sadly it is at the expense of Rukia. I'd rather have Renji's failing to save Jackie be the only loss for the Shinigami in this case (basically because the Fullbringers don't entertain me as much as the Shinigami that are currently present).

    Yukio revealing more about the actual exchange of powers between Fullbring and Substitute Shinigami was interesting as well. This means that there should be more to Fullbring than what we've seen up to now. Or at least to the Fullbring of Kuugo's. Seeing Kuugo going toe to toe with Ichigo even though he's only using his Fullbring powers at the moment (just look at his feet during the exchange of blows with Ichigo) at least means there's a chance of Kuugo showing something good enough to have Ichigo use his Bankai. Or a Hollow mask... Just a Hollow mask would be fun though. That way the Bankai can be saved for the next villain to step up to the fray.

    Speaking of that villain. Kuugo seems to have a suggestion as to who that could be. I wonder whether Kuugo will come up with a good excuse for having done what he did. Well, not so much a good excuse as much as an entertaining one. One beyond 'you should fight Soul Society because they're jerks'. But that's for next week's chapter, I guess.

    All in all, a good chapter. Art was good, story progression was good, and the setup for the next chapter (and in a way for the next arc) worked as well. I'm really curious to see what will happen next week as I've been pondering about this for a while now.

    This week's headspinner is going to boggle your minds. Try getting to the answer of this one: Which Kuchiki's which in Hitsugaya's mentioning of them in this week's chapter? Just think about it, is it Byakuya and then Rukia (alphabetically or by social ranking/ranking in the squads) or is it Rukia and then Byakuya (ladies first, snow Zanpakutou users ganging together, or just by plain greatness)?

    Next week will be the first of a three chapter flashback. The first chapter will be about how Kuugo became the first Substitute Shinigami. The second about what happened for him to turn away from Soul Society (revealing the "true enemy" at the end). The third chapter will be about Kuugo assembling Xcution and explaining how that is supposed to help with fighting this "true enemy".

    Either that, or Kuugo will reveal that he is part of this "true enemy". The flashback will be about Kuugo meeting up with the true instigator behind whatever evil plan is being set in motion. Aizen will be part of this "masterplan" as well, explaining how Kuugo got all his information... I'd better stop here as this is sounding too much like Naruto, where Orochimaru was revealed to be part of Akatsuki and them being the real perps and all... Hopefully Kubo won't go that far .

    That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter and/or review, give any theories that you may have and to vote in this week’s poll. Don’t forget to rate this week’s chapter! I’ll see you guys again next week!

    Rate this week's chapter by clicking on the picture above!
    Last edited by The Underscore; November 20, 2011 at 06:29 AM.
    The Underscore made his return (again)! Check out this week's review!

  2. Thanks 6 Member(s) thanked this post
  3. #2
    Reviewer 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Re: The Underscore's Bleach review, 473: Enemies in the Dark

    I went with the wacky theory because I figure Soul King/Royal Guards are the most likly suspects, but I don't think they should be grouped in with reagular soul society. But I could be wrong. Maybe Kuugo is still upset about the Quincy Genocide. Of course even if Kuugo thinks of someone as an enemy, that doesn't mean Ichigo will agree. I do think that it'll shake Ichigo's resolve, and it'll be up to Ishida to snap him out of it.

    What does it mean? It means your about to get your butt kicked!

  4. #3
    Registered User 中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member Jamil2009's Avatar
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    Re: The Underscore's Bleach review, 473: Enemies in the Dark

    You're back! Yay!!! Okairi na sai, senpai. It really is good to have you back and healthy.

    Polls 'Pinion.
    I have what you would call a plethora of ideas as to who the 'real enemy' could be so I choose to not bother declaring my thoughts on the issue, save that we might just find that Urahara and Yoruichi have something to do with it.

    "Rukia, Riruka, where art thou be?"
    The concept of sharing powers ties in well with the entire Bleach story considering that the very first part of the first arc featured Rukia attempting to give Ichigo some of her Shinigami powers (which was a failure as Ichigo ended up with every last drop of it). And how this was even the reason she was slated for execution...sorry, 'xcution' . So, we now know that it is not only possible for a Shinigami to share their powers with a human being but with a fullbringer as well. Oh, and this also explains how and why the captains were able to transfer their reiatsu to that sword (I didn't get it before). I doubt this would be last time we hear of this sharing galore.

    Concerning Riruka, I agree with what you opined. What is the one thing Riruka now has in common with the Hogyouku? They have both been stored in Rukia. Maybe she found Rukia cute (she actually is kinda cute, that Rukia ; could be why Urahara chose her as Hogyouku Central) and then stored herself in her which should make for a very interesting show. But why does Rukia end up being the vessel of choice for unsavoury entities? Perhaps there is a reason for this which could play into the real enemy situation (Urahara, anyone?). Or it could simply be that Kubo secretly hates Rukia for being so cute .

    The True Kuchiki & Tsuki.
    In response to your head-spinner, Hitsugaya definitely went for rank first. I mean, it's Hitsugaya we're talking about .

    It may not have been that Byakuya felt a closer bond to Ichigo as did Inoue and Chad, but that he was sticking to the orders of Genryussai that the captains were to help Ichigo at all cost (hope this is correct, cos I can't really recall Yama's true words.) If this was the case then it would seem that Tsuki did not really understand Byakuya's heart as to where his head would lie in a conflict-of-interest situation. He probably didn't recall that Byakuya was willing to personally behead his kid sister once the order had been given (and that he even lead the expedition that captured her in the real world). So, in other words, stick to all orders and relationships be damned. Either way, I'm glad that prissy, bookmark-totting thug is dead. (I now also understand how the petals worked ).

    Aizen's Protege, Aizen's Paradox.
    Remember when Aizen tried covering his tracks by blaming Hitsugaya for his death? Notice how Kuugo is about to do some blaming of his own? Ok, I know I'm ignoring a pile of differences, but they do share that in common .

    Now, remember when Aizen confessed that he had planned all of Ichigo's fights, and in response Ichigo called him a liar? And Aizen tells him that though he called him a liar he was willing to believe an earlier staement he made? This is what I have dubbed Aizen's Paradox.

    Aizen's Paradox:
    How do you know when a liar is lying when he has not expressly told you that he is lying especially when he is the only witness? (Head-spinner extraordinaire )

    So how do we know that what Kuugo is telling Ichigo now is the truth? Just saying . But I can relate to how a fullbringer's ability fades after their death cos the same thing works for kidou (I think).

    Back to the protege, Kuugo is not just a jerk. He's the jerk who intiaited the whole shebang according to the tale Kuugo told under the rain.

    "In The End..."
    I enjoyed this chapter as well and I hope the plot progresses appreciably in the next chapter cos this cliff hanger is killing me!

    Once more, welcome back to the world of the healthy ones and we hope to have you for good . Thanks alot for the review. Till next time.
    Last edited by Jamil2009; November 21, 2011 at 07:34 AM.

    Great things come in (sm)all sizes!

  5. #4
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member MAX_COLA_POWER!'s Avatar
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    Re: The Underscore's Bleach review, 473: Enemies in the Dark

    Yo U.S., I think you mean Moon Zebra, that's what Tsuke's name translates to^^;;, other than that, superb review as always^^.

  6. #5
    Custom Title MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Darjaille's Avatar
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    Re: The Underscore's Bleach review, 473: Enemies in the Dark

    I expect Ginjo ranting about Soul King being the worst thing ever etc but it depends on Ichigo how he'll react. Will he try to fight the King, or he'll take the same stance as Urahara (bad, but needed)? I want to hear what Isshin thinks of the King thing.

    Head spinner: 'Kuchiki and Kuchiki' is 'Byakuya and Rukia' ..well, he's not a friend of Rukia, he knows Byakuya better I guess.

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