513: The Dark Moon Stroke
Are your eyes deceiving you? Is 'The Underscore' actually posting a new review only one week after the last one? Is this a sign of the apocalypse??? I hope not, because I want to finish the entirety of Bleach first... and One Piece... and Naruto... and then I still want to read this, that, watch this, that and, and...
Anyways, it's here. This week's Bleach review! Many thanks to Mangastream for their scanlation!
Thus the cherry blossoms whither
This week's chapter begins with the end of Kuchiki Byakuya. This time, it's his final, final moment. Thinking back to his conversation with Ichigo moments before, he walks away from the wall supporting his broken body. With Byakuya's final request delivered to Ichigo, Byakuya saves his final bit of pride. Rather than dying shamelessly, pinned to a wall, he stands on his own two feet for his final moments.
Though Ichigo never spoke of his promise to Byakuya, Byakuya knows that Ichigo will honor his dying wish. Speaking his final words, he tells Ichigo that he's counting on him, knowing that this message already reached Ichigo. With his final bit of strength leaving his body, Senbonzakura falls and scatters one last time, never to be reformed again...
Honestly, I already made my peace with Byakuya's death a couple of weeks ago. In a way, this felt somewhat redundant. On the other hand, this way of dying suits Byakuya better than if he were buried into a wall. Sure, I'm going to miss Byakuya. He's always been quite the character and I most certainly enjoyed most of his fights. Besides that, he was Rukia's brother. Even though he wanted to kill her at a certain point, he never wanted to kill her, which makes everything okay. Also, Kageyoshi Senbonzakura was an awesome Bankai to witness.
Meeting in ruins
You could cut the tension with a Zanpakutou
Bach and Haschwald were just about to leave Soul Society for the time being, all for the purpose of preparing for the 0th division. Ichigo dropping in, however, wasn't part of the plan. As the two Vandenreichers look at Ichigo, it almost seems that it is with some regret. Haschwald wants to act, but Bach decides to play out this given situation.
Admitting that he actually held confidence in Opie's jailing abilities, Bach congratulates Ichigo and tells him that he's surprised to see Ichigo escaped. Nonetheless, Bach has his doubts as to whether Ichigo would fight him in his current state. Ichigo, however, doesn't care about that. All he wants to know is whether Bach is the enemy's leader.
We then get one of those exchanges of "meaningful looks and vague statements". Bach laughs at the idea of being seen as "the enemy", though Haschwald is piercing into the back of Bach's head with his stare in the hopes he won't say anything more. Obviously, there's bound to be a relationship between the Vandenreich and Ichigo. Though I can't be sure what it could be, >COUGH, COUGH, Ichigo's mother was a Quincy, closely related to the Vandenreich, but she chose to be with a Shinigami at the expense of her abilities, Bach swore he would leave her and her family alone and Haschwald is also blood relations COUGH, COUGH< -that sure was one nasty cough - Bach gives the every vague answer of "yes and no". Though something tells me what he meant to say was no and yes -no to the enemy part, yes to the leader part. Ichigo has never been one to enjoy vague answers, especially after having dealt with the likes of Aizen and Tsukishima. So he rephrases his question: Did Bach cause all of the destruction that just occurred in Soul Society?
Bach, gladly admit that he's responsible.
Does me enjoying this sight make me a bad person?
Ichigo's reiatsu flares up along with his rage. Seeing this, Haschwald tries to warn Bach to prevent him from doing something he shouldn't do. But Bach sees this burst of anger out of Ichigo as a sign that the previous plan is off the table. With Ichigo going into a rage, all he can do now is crush Ichigo.
Ichigo charges towards Bach, looking pretty awesome while doing so. He then fires off a Getsuga Tenshou, which honestly looks a bit... floppy? I'm not sure what it is about this particular Getsuga Tenshou, but every time I see it, it looks odd. Perhaps it's the angle at which Kubo drew this one... I don't know. I'm just really bothered by this Getsuga.
Anyways, Bach isn't impressed by the Getsuga either, as he easily took on the blast and immediately reaches out to grab Ichigo. He manages to take Ichigo down to the ground by his arm, using only one hand. The thing that happens next is something I was quite impressed by. Ichigo tries to pluck out Bach's eye using his left hand! Seriously, did you guys see that? Ichigo's hand was mercilessly going for Bach's right eye! I mean, wow, talk about ferocious fighting. I guess there's more of Neo Ichigo/Ichigonator inside of Ichigo than I thought.
But Ichigo's attempt at taking Bach's eye is easily prevented by Bach. He just uses his free hand to slap away Ichigo's hand, only to pull out his sword in the process. He then stabs Ichigo in the neck.
It's official, Ichigo's thick necked!
Haschwald seems rather shocked to see Ichigo being stabbed by Bach. But Bach immediately checked to see whether Ichigo was still breathing, by checking his pulse as well. Bach assures Haschwald that Ichigo's still alive and that they can take him back to base in order to resurrect and recruit him. After hearing this, Haschwald feels reassured. Bach, however, realizes something's a bit off. Perhaps it's the fact that Ichigo is actually breathing with a blade, almost the width of his neck, cutting off a crucial part of his respiratory system? Oddly, no. It's the prying eyes of an orange haired boy with a blade held against his neck.
Bach then sees an odd pattern forming on Ichigo's neck: Blüt Vene. No sooner does Bach realize this, or Ichigo explodes with power once more. Is Ichigo awakening again (again)?!
Yeah... Ichigo is suddenly given 'Blüt Vene'... I'm not sure what to make of this either. You'd think that a Shinigami/human/Hollow hybrid wouldn't need another ingredient added to the mix, right? Then again, the thought of Ichigo also being a part Quincy did cross many a mind when Aizen revealed to Ichigo that he was a special case. But honestly, I'd rather had seen Ichigo using Kenpachi's trick for preventing blades from skewering him, than Ichigo using Blüt Vene... Not that I mind Ichigo could be Quincy related and all. It's just that Blüt Vene doesn't come across like a technique you can just pick up in a jail in the Garganta within a half an hour time (or however long Ichigo was trapped in there). But who knows, perhaps listening to Urahara's explanation of the ability and realizing how it helped Opie was enough to make Ichigo realize how he could do it himself? I'm just a bit disappointed that there was no Hollowication involved, even though I had anticipated it last time we saw Ichigo before Genryuusai's fight.
I'm pretty sure Kubo has a good explanation for this one .
The Dark Moon Stroke, would suggest it's all about Ichigo. A certain darkness surrounded Ichigo during this entire chapter. It was obvious in his attempt to murder Bach. Sure, he failed miserably, but at least he's still got his head on top of his neck!
It was a short, but good, chapter. Basically it boiled down to Byakuya speaking his last words before dying, Haschwald giving us a not so subtle hint to Ichigo's ties with the Vandenreich, Ichigo going berserk, Bach stopping Ichigo from going berserk, to the conclusion of Ichigo having a Quincy ability.
The Byakuya part was one I still feel didn't quite fit in this week's chapter. Yes, Byakuya earned his final curtain call, that much is true. Besides that, Kubo couldn't stall this any further, considering how Byakuya was supposed to have died a couple of chapters ago and it would be a bit odd if Byakuya still lived by next week's chapter considering the amount of time Unohana would have had to try and heal Byakuya. Which reminds me of a headspinner I should have brought up last week .
The conversation between Ichigo and Bach was a rather classic one. "Are you the bad guy?" "No I'm not, but I'm not going to tell you this directly." "Well, I don't like that answer, so I'm going to get really angry." "Sure, go ahead and try to kill me." You know, classic . Perhaps a bit bland, but given the situation and the amount of time Bach (read: Kubo) had to have this conversation considering the fact that the 0th division's on their way (not to mention the amount of pages Kubo had left for this week's chapter) it was alright.
Bach stabbing Ichigo, only to discover that Ichigo managed to block the attack using Blüt Vene is something I already covered during the review, so I'm leaving it at that. All in all, it was an okay chapter. It felt too short and it had its odd moment, but at least we're still making progress with the plot! Keep up the pace Kubo!
We've seen Unohana sitting in her office during Genryuusai's fight. We know that she's supposed to be an expert swordsman and is the greatest healer in all of Soul Society. Which raises the simple question of: What is she doing, sitting in her office!?
Ichigo will explain how he got out of Opie's asylum. This will provide Bach with enough information on how Ichigo managed to awaken his Blüt Vene. Ichigo and Bach will fight a little, only for the 0th squad to arrive. The Vandenreich will then create a diversion that will allow for the Sternritter to escape.
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!
I think/hope that Ichigo's father was in zero squad of maybe he was the captain there because Ichigo saw he is a shinigami but after that we learned nothing about him so maybe we'll see him when the squad zero comes
Last edited by Krina29; October 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM.
One thing I do agree with you,is that Byakuya's death was somehow stretched,I mean the last chapter was a good enough moment to let Byakuya die,it seemed a bit stretched and akward to see him again in this chapter,but indeed,it fits his character to die on his own feet.I'll also miss Senbonzakura,I hope Kubo inserts a character with a Bankai at least as awesome as that one.Originally Posted by The Underscore
I wonder what his previous plan was,if I'm not mistaken Bach supossedly wanted to simply sway Ichigo to his side,by smooth-talking and presenting shocking truths and certain actions that would put SS in a bad light ? Kinda like what Ginjou tried ? Or what? Either case,Bach clearly intended to RECRUIT Ichigo,but since he failed,now he simply wants to brainwash him lol.Originally Posted by The Underscore
Well,there might be another possibilty,that the Blut Vene was somehow implanted in Ichigo (either by Urahara either by the mysterious Zanpakutou-wielder or whoever),and it auto-triggered itself,kinda-like how Itachi's Mangekyo appeared in Sasuke's eyes when Tobito took his mask off in front of Sasuke.I'm also disappointed there's no Hollowfication,though from the images shown when Ichigo was in the jail,it seemed pretty obvious that he was going to undergo a transformation,and the first kind to come to mind is Hollowfication.What really makes me wonder,is that we know that Ichigo had a piece of armor around his neck in Shikai,and in Bankai it turned to a black-piece-armor around his neck,yet here he doesn't have that piece anymore.It would have been a MUCH better choice(imo)for Kubo to utilize that piece of armor to block Bach's sword rather than using Blut Vene,as it seems a bit weird for Ichigo to suddenly use it,without nu previous mention to it.Originally Posted by The Underscore
In my view,it's actually quite simple to guess the reason as to why Unohana-sama didn't go out of her office.The VR are quite obviously more than well-informed,and they know that the only capable healer in SS is Unohana-sama,so if she goes out,it seems most likely that MANY SR would go to her so they can cut off the means of recovery for SS.If you kill the healer,then the party is doomed(relating this to MMORPG's lol).So I think it's actually wise that she stays there,so she mustn't put her life in danger,she is most likely on the top-list of VR's list to "immediately dispose of"people.She's extremely dangerous,because of her healing skills,so if she goes out there,she will be the first target the VR would want to kill.Originally Posted by The Underscore
Nice dude. I love reviews. Always brings out more of the chapters and so did this one.
Is ichigo going to be the next soul king? He's pretty much a mix of every soul now isn't he? Just a thought.
I think the reason why there was so much emphasis on Byakuya's death could be two reasons. One could be the fanbase he may have been drawing out the death just to see how the fans would react to it then if he didn't see much backlash he would confirm his death. The other reason is the impact that Byakuya has had on Ichigo, Byakuya was Ichigo's true first major "villian" in a sense that lasted quite a bit unless we consider Ichigo/Renji but taht's more of a rivalry and Ichigo/Grand Fisher is more of revenge. The bouts before Byakuya were skirmishes that lead him to Byakuya, but it was Byakuya alone that pushed Ichigo into a far enough corner for his hollow form to take control.
I would also say opening the chapter with Byakuya made a bit of sense cause Ichigo did kind of give Byakuya the cold shoulder, not even a response to what he was saying, just anger and silence swelling up over Ichigo. As a finale for Byakuya it would only be natural to think in a sense, even after tossing his pride away and requesting Ichigo to save SS he still acted in the same manner as always not even responding, but he understands the kind of person Ichigo is and knows that he can trust him to handle the situation.
It's quite an interesting scene and I'm definitely looking forward to how Renji/Rukia cope with it once Bach's troops leave since they both are somewhat responsible ina sense for Byakuya's death in the sense that they weren't strong enough to take care of themselves and they themselves may have always relied on his strength which was shown in HM arc. Even after all the training they still are nowhere close to being as strong as he was.
I also have been wondering, both at the disgraceful final battle Byakuya suffered and the fact that despite Ichigo's earlier promise to Byakuya, Renji and Rukia that he would not let them die, Byakuya is still dying. As much as Byakuya is suffering disgrace, Ichigo will too with Byakuya's death. I don't remember him ever failing to protect a friend. And it's interesting that he said Byakuya's name specifically, and also that Byakuya's picture appeared directly next to the words "I won't let you die." It will be hard for me to keep my respect for Ichigo now, because of that. I think Ichigo should show some signs of guilt over that, at least one would hope that he would.
And now, my dislike for Rukia is complete. If Byakuya hadn't married Hisana. If he had obeyed his clan's rules, then he wouldn't have been obligated to protect Rukia, and therefore wouldn't have been mentally 'undone' during his battle by his fears for her. At the same time, it is that Byakuya followed his heart, both in marrying Hisana and in taking Rukia as his sister, that he ended up growing as a person, through gaining a closeness with her, and finally in the end showing a brother's love for her. So, in this manga, Byakuya gained a heart and died because of it. Strange, isn't that why Juha Bach said that Yamamoto became weakened and easier to kill? Do I sense a theme here? Heartless person+gaining a heart = weakness and death? Ouch...
But Byakuya didn't just gain a closeness with Rukia. He also indicated in what he said to Ichigo that he cared deeply about what happened to his subordinates, something Renji accused him of not doing, in their battle over Rukia's fate. So, he grew there too.
And finally, he grew in his connection with Renji. He started out not really connected at all, but grew to respect Renji because of their battle. And after Rukia's rescue, he acted in what ways he could to protect Renji and Rukia. It started out small, but grew steadily until he was stepping in repeatedly to save Rukia, and until that last battle when, despite the looming threat of his own death, he acted several times to directly protect Renji. Honestly, I thought the battle with As Nodt sucked and didn't do Byakuya any honors, but the interactions between Captain and vice captain were touching. I just hope that if Kubo does a final flashback, he shows Byakuya giving Rukia those pretty, long gloves she has now...and does anyone besides me think that he gave Renji those 'custom made' hair ornaments and wristbands?
So now, I can be grateful to Kubo this week for showing me that I should be a heartless bitch if I want to live and only follow my heart if I want to die because of it...
Ah...so the sixth division is no longer the hottest captain/VC team in the Seireitei. A shame, that. But it's always the beautiful ones that die young, because the ugly world hates them.
Kubo, you deserve some serious karma. I hope it gets dished out soon.
---------- Post added at 03:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:39 PM ----------
That was a good review
- I am not sold on ichigo being quincy, so parts of it felt like __> wishful thinking?.
n thats cool an all, -- Im just not sold on that concept yet, tho I do admit its possibility, Im kinda wishful thinking myself cause I dont really favor that course of events.
nice touch with the cough cough bit.
looking forward to the next chapter and the next review.
Great review! I also miss the Hollow.
Whether Ichigo's implanted with Quincy or is Quincy, it'll interesting
it's just the wait that's painful
Hopefully Kubo-sensei doesn't just skip to somewhere else next chapter...
I remembered the Soul King was referred to as a "thing". What if he's a machine-like being...
Good to see you on the run again, Underscore!
To be honest, I, too, am a bit disappointed with no hollowification going on, but at the same time am happy that it's not the usual. Kubo has been throwing us hints about Isshin and Masaki, and it needs to be explained sometimes. The story wasn't really progressing towards that before, but now it seems there are revelations on the way.
great review,man! about the main poll: I voted 50% for a (stupid but) funny reason: either she is or she's not!!!!!!
I think Ichigo's fight with Opie and the fact that Juha stabbed him with a Quincy blade, is the reason Ichigo's possible heritage has been awakened.
I mean maybe that was like jumpstarting Ichigo's Quincy-blood. Just like how Rukia stabbed Ichigo to jumpstart his Shinigami powers back.
Also I'm not even gonna assume Byakuya is dead yet. We've seen zanpakutos break before without death, but Kubo probably wants to keep us on our toes.
Hehe I've actually suspected that she may already have achieved Bankai, because she used her ice powers on Riruka without saying the zanpakuto's name. Although maybe that's only required for when it changes form