Can't choose right now, I need to see more before I can decide
Bonze (the jolly)
Ryuu (the annoying)
The little guy who vanished during this chapter
I don't like any of them
517: The Stairway to Heaven
I~~'m so~~~ lazy today... I'm not exactly pumped about this week's chapter if I'm completely honest... I guess after getting KON back, not having KON just doesn't cut it anymore... Might as well review the KON-less chapter now... But wait a sec! There's some KON in this review!!!
Ah, yes... the simplest of all polls ever taken... How awesome is KON?
There were 10 voters who said KON is AWESOME!!!
Then there were 3 voters who said KON is AWESOME!!!
Another 3 voters said KON is AWESOME!!!
20 voters obviously were just staggered by the awesomeness that is KON. That's why I decided to help you guys out by changing your reply to say that KON is AWESOME!!!... I'm not biased at all
Now, I had something in mind to explain KON's awesomeness. But luckily someone has enabled my laziness by explaining exactly how awesome KON truly is:
How awesome is KON? What kind of question is that? According to International System of Units, KON is the world’s official meter of awesomeness. And this is how it works: Let’s take some examples: Aizen is 0.999 KON awesome. Don Kanonji is 0.888 KON awesome. Ichigo is 0.0001 KON awesome. Kon himself is 1.000 KON awesome. Nobody reaches him. - Kuroi
To elaborate on this, the ISU frequently comes by The Underscore Mask's secret hideout, on reviewer island (Where is this reviewer island you ask? Why it's... in your heart), in order to check the KON standard of awesomeness. The Underscore Mask has a citadel dedicated to a single KON plushy that is exactly 1/1000th the awesomeness of the actual KON (think of the most awesome citadel you've ever seen/been to, multiply that by 100 in both scale and awesomeness, and you'll have an image of how vast and impressive the citadel is. It is a citadel that knows eternal light, which shines from its contents). Sure, attempts have been made to get this KON plushy to be as awesome as the actual KON, but it just wasn't possible. Trying to mold that much awesomeness into one figure that isn't KON just can't be done by anyone. Let me just explain the process by which we've made the KON scale of awesomeness... eh~~, Mayuri? What are you~~ew???....
What could these guys be doing all day?
Where we only caught a glimpse of the Zero division last week, we now get the full picture. These guys are morons... Okay, that was a bit harsh, I admit. Still, these guys show up, AFTER the enemies obliterated Soul Society, and they have the gall to just come out in a festive mood. Quite literally at that. There's one in the back blowing horns, while we have a Yankee yelling and screaming they're the best and that the Gotei 13 are a bunch of noobs. Admittedly, the Gotei 13 probably are noobs in comparison to the Zero division, but still. Some tact would be in its place. My first reaction was similar to that of Ichigo in that respect. Shinji's response to their appearance was what followed suit: These guys aren't playing with a full deck of cards at all...
It almost seems like Shinji gets smacked for that comment, but it turns out that it has little to do with that. Hikifune Kirio makes herself known to Shinji, commenting on how strange it is for Hiyori not to be around. As it turns out, Kirio has undergone somewhat of a change since Shinji saw her a century ago. Judging by the title Kirio obtained, "Grain King", and the utterly subtle comment made by the commander saying she's hungry, it's obvious that she's made a rather horizontal change to say the least.
What I find to be odd here is that Kirio says that it's strange for Hiyori to not be around Shinji. Does that mean she knows about the whole Visored deal? Or is it that Shinji and Hiyori were close to each other before the whole Visored deal? It isn't all too clear as to how much information the Zero division actually has on the happenings in Soul Society. Do they get regular reports? At least we have one person who thinks he knows everything.
Could this guy be more of a stereotype?
Ryuu (you know, the guy from Shaman King) reveals himself to be Unohana's teacher! Or at least... he left her with some instructions on how to master the restorative Kidou which, as far as we know, is over 1000 years old. Whatever the case, he isn't too happy about the fact that Unohana hasn't been able to use his techniques to heal everyone who got injured during the attack. Judging by the look on Unohana's face, as Ryuu (which is what I'm going to call this guy until we get his official name) mocks her for her inability to heal everyone, this Ryuu character is nothing short of annoying. We finally learn where her stern look came from! Too bad Ryuu is too slow to pick up on that.
Bonze, the big guy, then steps in. He tells Ryuu to save the banter for later. Kyouraku takes this opportunity to ask Bonze what it is they've come to do, exactly. Bonze explains they're in Soul Society to help rebuild the Gotei 13. He then turns to Ichigo, only to tell him he's going to the Royal Palace with the Zero division.
This raises even more questions. Does Bonze know the Kurosaki family? Or does he only know of Ichigo from the reports that the Zero division received after the Vandenreich assault? Whatever the case, some big shots want Ichigo. And they want him now!
Ignoring or ignorance?
You'd think these guys would be excited about some human interaction with other people...
Soi Fon decides to take her stand. She tells the Zero division to stop messing around. Though her fellow captains are willing to listen to her, the Zero division completely ignores her. She then explains her frustrations. The all mighty division who did not act until after the deed, suddenly appears with an ego that is second to only Aizen's. Apparently, the one who feels he's closest to Aizen's ego, however, decides to give his opinion on the matter.
Ryuu appears right behind Soi Fon and holds her down by her arm. He then points out that she shouldn't be acting so high and mighty either. With the Gotei being just that, meant to defend the society, she shouldn't be expecting the Royal Guard to clean up their mess. Admittedly, I'm not charmed by Ryuu, but he's most certainly got a point right now. Sure, a more proactive stance from the Zero division could've made a major difference in this matter. But this doesn't change the fact that Sereitei is the responsibility of the Gotei 13. If Seireitei were to fall, it would mean that the Gotei 13 hadn't prepared themselves properly.
As Ryuu is on a roll, dumping on people, Bonze hammers in the words he said at first: Leave the banter for later!
They just keep getting weirder and weirder...
The trumpeter makes her appearance once more. This time, she's holding four surprise eggs with Bleach collectables! The only one this little girl needs to complete her collection, is an orange strawberry! However, there's one girl who doesn't like that her collection gets taken away, as Unohana points out that the Kuchiki set and Renji can't be taken right now, due to the condition they're in. Ryuu then decides to open his mouth (again) and points out that Unohana 'doesn't have the skills to pay the bills'. With frustration after frustration building up in Unohana, only Kyouraku seems to empathize with her.
On the other side of the empathy spectrum, we have Mayuri. Mayuri isn't all too happy with a piece of his collection being taken: Tensa Zangetsu. The only thing that upsets him more than this, is the fact that his lab was broken into. Shutara Senjumaru then adds fuel to the fire by looking down on Mayuri to the point of telling him that he hasn't even been able to reach her level from the time when she was in the Gotei 13. This makes one wonder, what she did in the Gotei 13. It would seem that she's a researcher, much like Mayuri. However, with Urahara being the one who founded the research centre and remodeled the 12th division to be part of it, it makes one wonder what division Shutara was a part of.
I'd say paint bombs that form messages that look like suicide notes would be more appropriate for the Zero division...
Ichigo doesn't seem to be bothered by the fact that three of his friends and his Zanpakutou get taken away. He has matured to the point where he was able to hear that they are only taking these four to be healed. Ichigo then tells Bonze that he doesn't need any healing, so that there's no reason for him to go to the Royal Palace. If anything, Ichigo has plenty of other things he can do, rather than go on an excursion. Bonze then tells Ichigo that he is fully aware of his health bill, but that Ichigo is to be taken for a completely different reason.
Just as Ichigo is about to hear why Bonze wants to take him, a certain someone comes along with a message. Judging by the tone of it all, we can be sure that Urahara has a hand in this message. I'm curious how Urahara is sending the message though...
The Stairway to Heaven is obviously a reference to the Zero division's plans to take Ichigo to the Royal Palace. Though I wonder how much of a heaven this palace truly is...
An okay chapter. It set the tone for the next couple of months of Bleach, with Ichigo going to the Royal Palace. I'm rather curious to see what we'll see. I mean, Aizen wanted to go there rather eagerly, to the point of scheming for over a century. Ichigo, however, gets to go there, just cuz he can.
Apparently Unohana, Kyouraku, Shinji, Mayuri, and I would assume Ukitake, are familiar with at least one or two of the Zero squad members. There's an odd tension between both groups, which Ichigo manages to ignore completely. I suppose that the Gotei are annoyed by all the events surrounding the invasion where they were proven to be powerless. The fact that the Zero division then waltzes right through, only pointing out their failures, doesn't help here.
All in all, this wasn't a bad chapter. The only thing that was of significance here has to be the news that Ichigo's going to the Royal Palace. But quite frankly, after seeing these guys, I'm not nearly as excited as I was at the prospect of Ichigo arriving there during the Deicide arc (when it started, that is). I wonder how Urahara managed to pull the strings to get Ichigo into the Royal Palace though.
Where'd the little guy go off to?
Urahara is going to explain that Ichigo needs to go to the Royal Palace for a couple of reasons. Besides getting Zangetsu fixed, he'll need to hide from the Vandenreich. Also, he'll need to learn more about his parents, where the Royal Palace will have an archive on everything that has ever been... in HD 3D!
That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it, though I've written this one rather lazily . 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!
thnaks the underscore. I haven't got much time now,I will just reply to your question concerning shutara: she seems to have been in the 12th division,but unless she is younger than kirio (according to their look,it may be),she wasn't in the research lab. btw,it looks like mayuri used to be a captain even before being locked,maybe that's the reason why he was the only one in a jail...
Nice review Dude and about Shutara, yeah she's pretty misterious (as well as her powers).
Anyway the 0 brigade sure is a bunch of weirdos, but I guess that their power is real.
I get the feeling that Kubo does not want us to like the Zero division much.He probably wants to do away with them at some point without any fanboy grief....it is for this reason that I am certain Shutara is actually and Okama and not a girl. Anyway about your prediction on Urahara's intent, I feel the exact opposite: I predict he will ask them to leave Ichigo out of it and not take him to the palace...The final last panels of Bonze show a harder demeanor than his jovial intro self...I don't think it will all be candy and roses waiting for Ichigo up there and Urahara knows this since he knows Isshin's involvement unlike the captains of G13
Hello there, my number one penguin in the world (excepting Ricco from Madagascar), how goes Reviewers' Island (which should be in my heart but I just cannot seem to find it)?! I have to say, I have missed posting replies to your awesome reviews which are so awesome I could say they were 1.0 KON-awesome but as is the ISU law, nothing can be as awesome as Kon himself. Hope you have been doing good. Thanks for the time and energy you put into these reviews. Since it has been ages since I last aired my thoughts I have discussed a number of disparate issues below.
I think the question we would all like answered is what Ichigo isn't. He began as the simple human Berry-tan who could see ghosts, morphed into DeathBerry the kick ass and reckless Substitute Shinigami, underwent further transformation to become Shirosaki the Visored, transmorgrified into Neo-Ichigo a full Shinigami-Hollow Hybrid and now we have been informed that Ichigo has Quincy reiatsu. Given all this I'd say the reason why Ichigo is being taken to the Palace is to meet his predecessor as he has to be the next King of Souls. But I hope Kubo knows what he is doing and doesn't end up with another Fullbring-like debacle on his hands. Stuffing a character full of abilities hardly does much good for the plot. By the way, once upon a head spinner you wanted to know why Aizen did not try Kuugo out as his lab rat and the reason seems to be that Kuugo was not the complete package while Ichigo is.
With one swing of Haschwald's blade Tensa Zangetsu (TZ) was split in two. While this was an interesting development on one hand as Haschwald proves to be worth his Right-Hand-Man salt, it was disappointing to see TZ cut so cheaply. And given that this was supposed to be the most powerful form yet only makes it more confusing that it would be broken just after three appearances. Now, as far as Mayuri knows broken bankais are irreparable except Komamura's which makes me wonder why Shuutara is taking TZ to the Palace. Is TZ going to be patched up or made completely whole or does the King have the pover to give Ichigo a new bankai?
BAD GUY BEHAVING BADLY
It's official! Aizen puts the BAD in BADASS!!! Like you mentioned, he has only an eye exposed and is still capable of messing up mortals stupid enough to request his godship for hire. Just plain evil. But I wonder if this capability to manifest his ability without Kyouka Suigetsu (KS) stems from the primal connection between him and KS or if it is an upgrade from the Hoyouku. Whatever the case I was happy someone was able to screw Juha over even if by so little. And Aizen's message was clear; stay off my territory or you will pay.
SWAN SONG OF SHIGEKUNI, SHATTERED SENBONZAKURA
So Yama-jii has kicked the proverbial bucket and in a very classless manner I might add. It was sad to see him go but I am glad Kubo has finally shown commitment to thinning out the good guys. In fact I would have been much happier if Byakuya had died and stayed dead. But NO~~~OO...for whatever reason Kubo kept him alive. I was already over the guy (I cried and everything) and then Kubo does something as shallow as this. I am usually not one to attack the opinion of others but there is no justifiable reason for Byakuya to still be alive. He, even more than Yama, has shown us everything he has to offer and has brought nothing new to Bleach in ages. It was high time he just upped and dropped dead. And even worse he is going to be a spectator or, worse yet, a vegetable?! I really really hope Kubo knows what he is doing because this stinks of fan-induced plotkai (much like Hitsugaya's little ice trick against Harribel). As for the shattering of Senbonzakura, I guess Byakuya's soul-chain and soul-sleep have been broken thus resulting in the loss of his powers.
We have known Kenpachi for his mad battles and insane fights always certain that he would come out on top. But Ken has had his dog-days of defeat as well. The first time he fell was during his battle with the then Rookie Berry; Ken went down hard, admitted to losing the fight and his sword was broken. The second time he fell was while he fought against Espada No 5, Nnoitra Jiruga; Ken got right up and confessed that he had simply been thinking about how to deal with Nnoitra's regenerative abilities. And now, for a third time Kenpachi has fallen, this time courtesy of...Royd Lloyd?! It would have been one thing if it had been the real Juha who had cut him down but it was a corporeal copy of Juha who did the trashing. It makes no sense. Kenpachi had just cut down three SRs without so much as breaking a sweat only to be defeated by another SR who only had the looks and memories of Juha but not his powers. Whether Royd was driven to insane levels of strength at the sight of his fallen brother or he is just that powerful I, much like Ikkaku, cannot believe Kenpachi lost to Royd.
YAA~~~~~YYY!!! He is BACK!!! The perve we all love to love, KON-SAMA. It really feels good to have him back; makes Bleach feel whole again. I had suggested many posts before that Kon might have found his way to Soul Society and had been given a new body more suitable for battle complete with armour and sword and the whole shebang. But what we get is even more awesome; a macho-manly-man-machismo physique that deflates at the press of a button. Talk about your six-pack in a pocket. I am not surprised that Mayuri is the reason for Kon's new looks and I'm sure he's got some awesome new abilities but I hope he will be some good in the coming battles; it's high time he got some fight-time, he's earned it. But I wonder when he got to SS and where he had been throughout the Aizen war. Anyway, I'm looking forward to some KON-citing adventures.
VISOREDS NON VICTORIOUS
I noticed that Nanana Najakoop was one of the SRs that attacked Yama which made me assume that Rose had been cut down and evidently none of the other Visored Captains faired any better. The only explanation that I arrived at for this dismal show of prowess was that they had sworn off the use of their Visored sides and stuck solely to their Shinigami abilities. Otherwise, Rose, Ken and Shinji should have, at the very least, dealt some serious damamge to their opponents. As for the possibility that they did swear off their Visored sides, that would not have been a brilliant thing to do. Just as Kyouraku told Rose and Love after defeating Stark, in a fight all fancy nonsense goes out the window and all that matters is winning the fight. And I hope Kubo has plans to use the Visoreds soon.
TILL NEXT TIME...
Thanks again for the reviews. I have exams soon so I guess I'll be on a post-hiatus of sorts. So farewell till next time.
In addition to all of this, Kubo has been building up the connection between Byakuya and Renji. Where Renji once planned to get stronger, so that he could defeat his captain, Byakuya is now his mentor and a concerned protector (which he shows in his speech at Sasakibe's funeral and also in the way he not only defends Renji in the fight with As Nodt, but afterwards when Renji was right up there with Rukia on the list of people to apologize to for his failure, and who to ask about when Ichigo arrived.)One might argue that Kubo did it to make Renji avenge his captain, but perhaps Kubo is taking the more interesting path of letting Renji show some loyalty to his captain by standing by him, even when he has failed and has lost his powers. Much less cliche and more interesting, to my mind.
Now, as to "having shown us everything he has to offer," that is ridiculous. As stated prior, Kubo set Byakuya up as the leader of the greatest of the noble clans and one that others have stated in canon as the strongest leader in the clan's history. As formidable as what we've seen of him is, I am more than willing to believe that a man like that is capable of showing us some new tricks. As much as he was raised by stuffy relatives and seems set in his ways, Byakuya showed great poise and the ability to think quickly and fight more spontaneously in his fight with Tsukishima. That, my friend, was the sign of a character who can evolve, not one who should just 'up and drop dead.' The zero squad guy said that Byakuya is going to be healed. And when he is, I think he will get a sternly worded reminder of just what his service to the crown entails...Okay, Kuchiki, get off your butt, take back what he stole and DO YOUR JOB! And just to tweak him, he might be told that as he so carelessly let the enemy steal his bankai, he is responsible for what damage it causes, and he will have to depend on Renji and his bankai in his efforts (That would bring a giggle or two, and make sense at the same time.)
With Byakuya's connections to Ichigo, Rukia and Renji, as well as the fact that Kubo foreshadowed Byakuya's survival way back in Chapter 503, having Ichigo specifically name him along with Rukia and Renji, then placing the panel of Ichigo saying "I won't let you die" right next to Byakuya's picture, I do not think you have grounds to say "plotkai" or to claim he caved in to anyone. He has his own plan for Byakuya, and the last time I checked, Kubo was the author and we, my friend, are his supportive readers. Byakuya's survival did not 'come out of left field,' happen because of the fangirls crying so much they threatened to drown the world, or spring from thin air. It was developed and foreshadowed. You just overlooked the subtle things that pointed to it. And if you had really been crying over his demise, you would have been as breathless as others were when word reached the captains that he had survived. Most, at that point, figured that Kubo had 'caved in' and pulled plotkai out of his hat. But if so, then he needed only to let Bya play 'Sleeping Beauty' forever or die after thanking Renji for freeing Senbonzaura. But the fact of Zero Squad giving him the healing he needs, means that he will be a part of the action, something that true Byakuya fans will love. Embrace it. It's a good thing.
Dude, first off, it was my opinion which, though admittedly uncharacteristically critical of others' opinions, is still my two cents on Byakuya still breathing. But I appreciate your efforts to try and convince me otherwise.
I would like to make a bet with you that Kubo will have either too little or nothing at all to elaborate as regards Byakuya's skills and power. But this might be tricky to decisively call as Bleach can be very subjective. Concerning Byakuya's history and battle prowess however, the former could still have been explored with Byakuya dead (as I'm sure we will soon witness in Masaki's and Yamamoto's case) and the latter is ultimately irrelevant as it could be argued that many other characters who have been killed off could still have shown us a lot of skill on the battlefield. And even though I cried at his supposed passing (ok, maybe it was just a sniffle) I'm miffed because I was already over Byakuya and I was happy Kubo was going after some of the perceived 'big guns' of the Gotei 13. As regards Renji's revenge and further development; one, won't it make for a better story of vengeance if Byakuya died; two, Renji's statement that he had been training to defeat Aizen puts laid to the notion that he wants to simply surpass his captain; if anything he has accepted his place as a student to Byakuya's tutoring and will be content to defeat his enemies without aspiring to defeat his captain.
In summary and IMO, history or not, relationships or not, connections or not, Byakuya has served his purpose; time to throw in the towel and go.
All of a sudden, Mayuri is the person whom I'm interested in the most. It looks like he wasn't jailed for some ordinary reason.
---------- Post added at 05:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:24 PM ----------
And it looks like Shutara Senjumaru is the most popular Royal Guard.
It's understandable. Definitely the coolest amongst all five.
I will have to very respectfully disagree with you. Byakuya has not 'served his purpose,' as his purposes have always been to honor and protect the pride of his clan, to love and protect his sister, and to defend Soul Society. Plenty of other characters have fallen in battle and have been given their chance to grow strong again and shine anew. Why should Byakuya be any different in that way? Why does it make sense that the strongest leader in the history of the clan should go down in such a humiliating way, not even using the capabilities that we know he has? Certainly, his downfall here underscored the total defeat of Gotei 13 (Yamamoto) and the servants of the soul king (the noble houses). However, having him die in a whimper would be completely unfitting for someone who has always been represented as a strong character who is able to learn and evolve from his mistakes. Renji shouldn't have to dig Byakuya out of this one. He should have to do what Ichigo does every time he gets killed (It's not even funny how many times he's been killed or nearly killed and brought back.). He should have to dig his heels in, fight harder and win back what he lost the hard way. He is not some child who needs his VC to fight his battles for him. He is a fallible being who has been humiliated and has every reason to get up and fight on.
well,about the fact you agreed with ryuu,the underscore, I disagree with him completely: sure gotei 13's role is defending soul seiritei,but that does not mean that if someone too strong appeared,they had to deal with that enemy themselves. actually,the gotei 13 already saved the day when they intercepted aizen in the false karakura town. their job was to protect seiritei,so they could leave the killing of the king in the royal guards' hands,who would have been owned by butterfly-aizen. this time again,gotei 13 has been defeated,what do the RGs think vandenreich's next target is? I hope juha bach will teach them something,so maybe they will pay for this mistake!
Shinji and Hiyori knew each other long before the incident. Since it was Shinji that helped Urahara deal with her ina sense by giving him advice since he knew what she was like. I believe he even commented on how the old captain was like a mother to her and that it would be a tough pair of shoes for him to fill as a knew captain. Plus that whole childish nature they had with one another, Hiyori kicking Shinji for making a comment and actin a certain way and Shinji making faces at Hiyori to mess with her.
While it is possible the Royal guard could know about the whole visor situation I"m pretty sure she's only basing what she said on the above.