Even if I pick this option, you're going to twist this to make it say that KON's awesome, aren't you?
Double Bleach review 515: relics & 516: The Squad Zero
IT'S FINALLY HAPPENED!!!! KUBO HAS GONE AND DONE IT!!! LET US CELEBRATE THIS JOYOUS OCCASION!!!! The tears from joy wouldn't stop flowing ever since I read chapter 516. HE finally made his return! The man who can show us the true way finally made his return! Kubo finally responded to my telepathic messages after all these years . Now I still have to go over chapter 515 before I can get to the good part... Better make haste!
The Final Order
You could've just declared the geezer to be insane and ignore his orders...
The fourth division finally takes the stage. With thousands of injured and deceased Shinigami, the division has its hands full. Isane is the one that delivers the message plenty of us (well, I at least) had towards Unohana: Where were you guys DURING the action? Unohana, however, has no problems explaining herself. Sure, the fourth division could've gone out during the fighting to tend to the wounded. But with their average fighting skills being amongst the lowest, if not being the lowest, in all of the Gotei 13, they'd have lost a lot more Shinigami.
But Unohana isn't even thinking in terms of battle prowess. In fact, Unohana most likely would have been able to take out a Sternritter or five without blinking an eye. Unohana would've loved to go out and slay a couple of Sternritter for the geezer. Still, she stayed the true soldier that Genryuusai taught her to be. With the final order for the fourth division to stay in their barracks no matter what, Unohana's hands were tied.
Though Isane understands her captain's motives, I still have one simple question to ask... Why are the captain and vice-captain of the division stuck in their offices even though there's thousands of injured Shinigami that are being brought in? I suppose it's possible that they are both on a short break for now, but still...
A time for healing
Wait... Shinji's a surgeon?
With the fourth division doing their thing, we have the divisionless Shinigami prowling the hallways. Ichigo receives a message from a 12th division member explaining that Urahara managed to send a message from Hueco Mundo that ensures the safety of him, Orihime, and Chad. The only problem they have at the time is establishing a direct audio communication with the Hueco Mundo party... This raises yet another question for this week's chapter: Why do they assume everything is alright based on a 'message from Urahara', without confirming it with audio? I suppose Urahara has the means to add in a code of sorts to prove that he is the one who sent the message, but still. For all we know, someone's holding a Zanpakutou to his throat, threatening to chop his head off if he doesn't comply.
Before any of this could even be discussed here, Ichigo is distracted by the screams of Ikkaku. Hearing Kenpachi lost a fight is something he just can't believe. He immediately wants to go and see his captain, just so he can prove that Kenpachi never lost and that the fourth division members who are treating him are insane. The despair Ikkaku is feeling reaches Ichigo, who probably feels the insanity of this entire situation as well. But before Ichigo can wallow in those feelings, Hanataro calls out to Ichigo.
Hanataro offers to heal Ichigo up, but Ichigo immediately declines the offer. He tells Hanataro to tend to the more severely injured first. In spite of this just being classic Ichigo, who believes he deserves the injuries he's suffered for failing, Hanataro tries to get through to the thickheaded protagonist. But before he can do that, Shinji makes his entrance. He tells Ichigo that Rukia and Renji's surgeries just ended. The nurse explains that their situations are stable, meaning they've cleared the most critical part of it all. It turns out that the surgery was actually necessary in the cases of Rukia and Renji, as basic Reiatsu healing wasn't enough. As the nurse takes her leave, Ichigo and Shinji are left behind in the ICU.
Putting Ichigo in his place is a clear sign of improvement of health
Much to Ichigo's surprise, Rukia wakes up and calls to him. Somewhat shocked that Rukia can even speak a word after her surgery, Ichigo is caught completely off guard. Rukia then tells Ichigo he's an idiot for not listening to what they told him only a couple of seconds ago. Though Ichigo tries to lighten the mood a bit, Rukia immediately shows her gratitude towards Ichigo for showing up when he did. Ichigo tries to play it off cool, saying it's natural he came. Of course, Ichigo isn't one to play things off cool as he immediately shows signs of regret by mentioning the fact that he wasn't able to help out as much as he wanted.
Hirako tells Ichigo to King it like Kong for once, be glad with what he achieved by chasing off Bach and his motley crew. If only Hirako knew that they actually had Aizen to thank for that one . But before Ichigo can react to those words, a member of the 12th division shows up to take Ichigo to Mayuri. As Ichigo makes his way to Mayuri, Hirako and Rukia have a moment to themselves. Rukia noticed something to be off about Ichigo. Hirako explains that it has something to do with his broken Zanpakutou, the after wake of the invasion and his guilt about everything that happened because Ichigo couldn't be there in time to help out.
Rukia, however, noticed that there was more going on than that. She noticed Ichigo is trying to hide something from everyone else. Seeming as how Ichigo has hidden his Hollow powers from Rukia once, it's not so odd for her to notice that he might be hiding something else this time. Though this time, it's a whole different kind of power.
Here we were, thinking he never listened to the geezer
The scene changes to the captains' meeting grounds, where seven captains gathered around the remains of Genryuusai's Zanpakutou. With Genryuusai's body completely eliminated (the only guarantee that anyone will actually stay dead in Bleach), Ryuujin Jakka/Zanka no Tachi is all that remains for Soul Society to commemorate the most powerful of all the Shinigami. As the captains hold a moment of silence in honor of the old geezer, a messenger appears.
The messenger brings news of Kenpachi and Byakuya. Apparently, both of them are still alive. Quite frankly, this ticked me off quite a bit. Kenpachi surviving is one thing, but after all we've been through with Byakuya, he should've just died. Seriously, what was the point of all that happened with his final wish and whatnot. Sure, they aren't sure whether Kenpachi and Byakuya can even awaken from their current state. Even if they do, it can't be said whether they will be able to continue their duties as captains. Nonetheless, I'm a bit disappointed with Kubo here. Though there's one person who's ticked off even worse than I was.
Soi Fon tells the messenger to get lost (guess she never heard the phrase, don't kill the messenger?) as they've already got plenty of bad news with just the captain commander's death. Though Ukitake knows he should say something, he can't because of his sorrow surrounding his master's death. Kensei then tells Soi Fon to calm down, though this is reason for Soi Fon to go on the offense as well. Saying that Kensei most likely enjoys the fact that Genryuusai died, she causes a chain reaction of pent up emotions bursting out. From an argument almost starting between Kensei and Soi Fon, to Komamura suddenly showing his wild side. He points out that no one in the room doesn't feel anger due to the loss they've experienced this day.
Then the voice of reason appears, in the form of Kyouraku. As the expert in being scolded by the old man, he points out that Genryuusai would slap the whole lot of them for mourning the loss of an old man who died on the battlefield. They are Shinigami sworn to protect Soul Society, not to wallow in the sorrow brought by death. For no matter what happens, they are the Gotei 13.
This has to be the best part of the chapter. Kyouraku stepping up to fill in Genryuusai's shoes. Sure, it isn't official yet, but something tells me he will be the one to lead the Gotei 13 in the end. Perhaps not from the position of the 1st squad, but who knows. I'm just hoping that he'll let Orihime heal his ear at least. The eye-patch actually suits Kyouraku, though .
The bad news
He only used this Bankai three times!
The chapter starts with a glimpse of a distant location, where people are gathering in front of a pillar. The only thing we see here, is a captain's robe with an unknown mark on the back. Could they be?...
The scene changes to a broken Zangetsu. Though it would have made more sense for it to be fixed after Ichigo had been summoned by the 12th division, Zangetsu's still in twine. Ichigo gets angry with Mayuri for not fixing Zangetsu, even though Mayuri managed to fix his own broken Zanpakutou before. Mayuri then corrects Ichigo by pointing out that he modified his Zanpakutou, but he never truly fixed it. Mayuri then goes on to explain how a Zanpakutou can easily be fixed by its owner pouring in his Reiatsu. Ichigo sees this as a sign that he can just take Zangetsu home and everything is going to be alright. But Mayuri points out that this only applies to a Zanpakutou in its Shikai state.
A broken Bankai can never be returned to its former state. Hearing this is quite the mental blow for Ichigo, especially considering everything he's been through in a short time. Mayuri, being the people person he is, completely ignores Ichigo's response and explains that there are exceptions to the rule. Or rather, one exception. Komamura and Kokujou Tengen Myou are the only ones who can fix a Bankai, as the two of them are one in body and soul (more so than other Shinigami and their Zanpakutou ). Whenever Tengen breaks, Komamura breaks and vice-versa. This 'flaw' is also what allows Tengen to restore itself when Komamura heals up.
Mayuri explains that he has researched all the Bankai in Soul Society and that there are no other Bankai that can restore themselves. The most recent example of a broken Zanpakutou not being restored is Ikkaku's. During his tussle with the Arrancar Eduardo Leones, his Bankai broke to pieces. But his Bankai never got restored after that fight, massively reducing its power in the process. At least this explains why we haven't seen Ikkaku's Bankai since (in the canon storyline at least).
The thing that interested Ichigo the most, however, was the mentioning of Ikkaku's Bankai. Mayuri remembers that he wasn't supposed to tell anyone about it, but once again, he doesn't care. Ichigo then raises the point of Renji's Zabimaru, which was broken before. Mayuri then points out that Renji lost the parts that were destroyed by Byakuya forever. Hearing this only frustrates Ichigo more. Just as Ichigo wants to ask Mayuri what he should do now, something good happens...
KING OF NEW-YORK!
Guide us, oh great leader!
We finally come to the part of the review everyone has been waiting for. Let's face it, it's all that there is to it. Yes, that's right... HE made his return: KON-SAMA~~!!! With an awesomeness that blew Ichigo away, he made his glorificous (not an actual word) return! Finally Bleach can be Bleach again. Finally the master will show us the way of the pervert once more! With KON having been missing for years, Ichigo clearly couldn't recognize KON because his magnifawesomeness (not an actual word) blinded the misguided young man. Finally Ichigo will be guided on the path to awaken his true self by the master himself!
With the most important event that happened in Bleach in years finally taking place. The rest of this review will solely be dedicated to KON-sama's God like jaw line, his million dollar smile, and the rest of his bad boy features! This will be done in the form of a 10.000 word interview with KON-sama himself where he will tell us all about what happened to him since the last time we saw him. So, without further ado, let's welcome the one, the only... KON-SAMA~~~~~~aaaeh~~? Mayuri?
Damn you Mayuri!... Fine, I'll get back to the review if you don't inject me with that needle!
Completely ignoring the awesomeness of KON, Mayuri pushes a button that somehow reduces KON-sama's size... though his awesomeness still remains. Oddly, KON gets taken away while Mayuri receives a call. Mayuri then tells Ichigo that he should come with, as they are going to meet up with the Zero division.
All the captains (and Ichigo) gather in front of the spirit wall. Shinji tells Ichigo he should just leave as there's nothing to see for him. Instead of leaving, Ichigo asks about some things he would like to know about the Zero division. It boils down to: "Where are they?" and "Why weren't they in Soul Society during the invasion?". Kyouraku is the one to give Ichigo the answers. Much like we already knew, Kyouraku confirms that the Zero division is with the spirit King in the royal palace. Not only that, the royal palace can be accessed from Soul Society. This is the reason why the spirit-wall (I believe it was bloodstone?... can't really recall right now... guess I'll have to reread BLEACH from the beginning again ) is in Soul Society in the first place. After all, why would it be there if it wasn't guarding anything?
Just as Ichigo realizes that there should be more to everything he just heard, Kyouraku points out that the Zero division is arriving now. A giant pillar (Tenchuuren) falls from the sky. As the pillar starts to open, Ichigo can't help but wonder how so many people can fit inside that single pillar. Kyouraku then reveals the truth behind the Zero division: They are only five Shinigami!
Down to Zero
You don't suppose these guys have gone insane from being sealed off from the world all this time?
Five Shinigami who have a combined power that surpasses that of the Gotei 13 make their entrance. Reading this, I couldn't help but wonder whether Kyouraku is referring to the Gotei 13's current state, or the one in their prime. Nonetheless, they're finally here! Sure, their appearance has clearly been underwhelmed due to KON-sama's return, but still.
Anyways, let's take a look at the damage here... The guy on the right looks a bit moronic to be honest. The lady on the right ought to be interesting. Something tells me KON is going to have his work cut out here. The guy in the middle looks like he could've been on good terms with Genryuusai. Somewhat of a 'gentle giant' vibe coming off this one. The guy with the chopstick in his mouth most likely is the troublemaker of the bunch. Finally, the lady on the left just has to be Kirio Hikifune. She just has that motherly vibe coming from her. But who knows, it could be the other lady.
All in all, I'm curious as to what the Zero division is going to do now. Either they're going to prepare the Gotei 13 for the upcoming battles, or maybe they're just going to waltz over everything on their own pace. Whatever the case, things are going to pick up next week!
Chapter 515 was somewhat disappointing in my opinion. Sure, it gave some closure on most parts. Unohana's devotion to Genryuusai's orders can be considered to be commendable, but I still think she should've gone to the battlefield herself while leaving the rest of her division behind. Then again, she would be the only one capable of protecting the fourth division... The rest of the chapter was about the turmoil amongst the Gotei 13 in the aftermath of it all. The events at the fourth division weren't all that spectacular. At least we know that Rukia and Renji are doing fine. The part with the captains was somewhat reassuring. Sure, the internal bickering was a sign of weakness if I'm completely honest. Luckily Kyouraku stepped up.
Chapter 516, however, was the best chapter in ages! Sure, we could say that it was all about the Zero squad appearing, but let's face it, we all know the truth... Which is why I'm about to start the interview with KON-sama right NO~~oo--www... what did you inject me with? Damn you Mayu~~~....
The Zero squad will make its inspections and reveal that they know Isshin.
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 chapters and/or review, give any theories that you may have and to vote in this week’s poll. I’ll see you guys again next week~~~... damned sedative.... Damned MayurZzzzzzz.....
I also love that Kon is back, and I admit to being curious about the zero division. But I don't see why people are so down on Byakuya surviving. There are some really good reasons, both why Kubo had him go down the way he did, and why it shouldn't be either surprising or disappointing really that he lived. Byakuya was handily defeated the way he was, first, so that Kubo could dramatically display a really powerful captain falling victim, not so much to the enemy (because Byakuya was able to handle As Nodt's arrows and still attack), but to his own zanpakutou. And let's face it, Senbonzakura is a really beautiful and impressive zanpakutou. It was bound to really mess Byakuya up (as was foreshadowed in the fullbringer arc). What other zanpakutou could be that devastating? None of the other three stolen bankais would have been that impressive. And the way that Byakuya acted afterward indicated that he really believed he was going to die, adding realism to the moment (because no one really knows when they are going to die). The fact of the enemy declaring Byakuya dead underscored that (although there are many instances in Bleach where characters have been declared dead by the enemy, but lived...Rukia when fighting one of the Espadas, for example.) And Ichigo arriving to find one of the strongest and proudest captains defeated, demoralized and dying paved the way for showing how much Ichigo has changed, so that his despair doesn't get the best of him so easily.
But none of that means that Byakuya should die. And there are good reasons for him to stay around.
First, Byakuya is a very popular character and as Harrison Ford found out upon musing years ago that Han Solo should have died, he was politely informed that there wasn't so much of a market for 'dead Han' toys. I know it's not at all plot related, but we only have to go on Amazon to find tons of things 'Byakuya.' Secondly, (and this is plot related!) it was not by accident that Byakuya's picture appeared right next to Ichigo's words, "I won't let you die." Granted Ichigo didn't save Byakuya, but that was a foreshadowing that he would survive. Third, Kubo foreshadowed something else earlier. It was no mistake that Byakuya stood there at Sasakibe's funeral, telling Renji about the man's loyalty to his captain. It's likely a sore spot between Bya and Ren that Renji has betrayed and had ambitions against his own captain in the past, but that their relationship has changed. Byakuya displays deep protectiveness, not just of Rukia, but of Renji (He shows up to help, steps in Renji's place in the fight, orders him back and protects his bankai. Not to mention, after being hit with his own bankai, he sees Renji attacking and drags his badly damaged body off the ground to use his shikai to defend Renji). And Renji responds dramatically when Byakuya is badly wounded, screaming that As Nodt is not worthy of using his captain's bankai, then losing his cool as Byakuya is destroyed before his eyes. Yup, things have changed on both sides, and now Renji has the chance to show his loyalty to his captain by perhaps recovering Byakuya's bankai (We saw one of the guys hit by Yamamoto's attack survived, so likely As Nodt did as well, and Renji could face him later. But...that being said, there is an opportunity for Byakuya to make a return to the battlefield later to protect Renji as he tries to do that, and to work with him in that fight. Also, it will be interesting to see someone like Byakuya struggle to deal with the loss of his power).
So, I don't understand why people harp that Byakuya should have died. We got a lot out of his downfall, and will gain from one of those epic, dramatic returns later on (Sorry Kon, but I think Byakuya's return will be more epic...) I know some readers are kind of bloodthirsty, but really, Byakuya dying would not have added anything useful...Ichigo was already shocked and driven, Renji would already have been determined to go after As Nodt to recover Bya's bankai. And Rukia and Renji are still going to be devastated and have opportunity to grow. Some say that after all of the buildup, he should have died, but it would have served no purpose. Yama's death proved Kubo's seriousness and drove home the precariousness of the situation. We didn't need Bya's death to show how badly Soul Society was screwed. The point was already made. The only ones to 'benefit ' from his death would be people who don't like the character or just don't care about him (Oh yeah, and Kon lovers who were offended by my comment before! lol). And that wasn't reason enough to kill him. There's far more potential in seeing him return...perhaps alongside frenemy, Kenpachi. Those two love to quarrel! I wish we'd seen more of that fight with Yammy! I would bet the two damaged each other more than Yammy damaged them. Kubo seems to love playing up their rivalry and antagonism, so that could bring much needed humor later.
It was obvious Byakuya wouldn't die. Shounen rule #1311: No flashback, no death.
First thing to say: Nice review as always.
I also didn't really believe Byakuya died. Although I'm not disappointed by his survival I still don't fully get the reasons for his near death. It made things more dramatic, but declaring him dead wouldn't have been necessary, letting him lie there gravely injured would have been enough.
So yeah, Kon's comeback. Well, I've never really liked him to be honest.
Ichigo's broken Bankai? A serious reason to look for some communication with Tensa Zangetsu or improve his Quincy powers. I wonder if Tensa Zangetsu's appearance is also changed. Well, maybe Urahara has some ability to repair Zangetsu in some way.
Zero division. Kind of interesting that their character design is quite cranky. I would have expected them to be 5 guys looking totally badass, but I also like how it got to be. I'll expect at least one of them to be a member of a royal family, mayhaps related to Byakuya (Well, I guess it's Renji's job to defeat As Nodt, but I would also enjoy As Nodt + Senbonzakura getting stomped by a Kuchiki. Don't think that will happen, however, because As Nodt (if still alive) already got stomped by Yamaji once.)
All in all I'm only sure about few things regarding Zero Division:
They are all pretty badass. And Isshin was one of them. They'll definitely be aware of the name Kurosaki. Or maybe not because it would be kind of lame if Isshin had been sent to earth because of any reason.. and kept his original name. Whatever, comparing his power level as seen in the fight against Aizen with the other captains it is clear that he is one level above. Zero Squad
thanks the underscore! I want just to reply your question about kyoraku's statement: imo,he is reffering to the whole gotei 13,including yamamoto. but of course aizen is not included,as he alone owned gotei 13 and vizards . in fact,aizen's real abilities were unknown by gotei 13...
At first I didn't take Kon's introduction as much but then it struck me, Mayuri performed some sort of experiement on him that turned his stuff body into a muscular type body set. This in itself feels like Mayuri allowed Kon to use fullbring, since you can consider that the inanimate body that his soul is attached to has a close connection to him and because of that he's able to mold it to his or rather Mayuri's will. The switch Mayuri used was pretty much a way for him to control Kon's Fullbring to see how he can manipulate it. If anything Mayuri's ability to manipulate Kon's body is the same as his ability to remodel his bankai which might mean that Mayuri knows a lot about the power concepts in Bleach that he hasn't let on yet. Since he has done a lot of experiments on Quincy he knows a good bit about them and if anything with all his research he is learning how all these different power types may be connected to one another in one way or another.
Though yea, as first I thought the pages used for Kon were purely gag but seeing how the way his inaminate body was manipulated like a Fullbring does make me wonder why exactly was he experimenting on Kon like this or why Kon even went back to SS in the first place.
@the underscore@Firebird0neActually, he used his Bankai eight times.
Kon is not as great a character as you seem to like to make out, and all his inclusion in this chapter served is to extend it a bit.The actual statement is that the Royal Guards' total power exceeds the entire Gotei 13, not each individual member
Last edited by shane1594; November 20, 2012 at 04:43 AM.
Nice review ! As it concerns Byakuya though I agree with FirebirdOne's post and I'm glad he's not dead. There's alot of room for him to growth now. Maybe not just in power but definitely in character. Here we have a proud (at times too proud) shinigami defeated and his bankai taken. I bet he might prefer death to the humiliation he thinks he suffered. And with current state and Byakuya comatose we still have room for Renji and Rukia to grow as well.