Bleach 233 Review By Gigantor21

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233. El Violador

A Review By Gigantor21

(Note: This is my first review of just about anything related to manga at all. Forgive me if it ends up being too wordy, too amateurish, or just plain sucks. Any comments or criticism would be appreciated—just don’t be TOO harsh about it.)

This week’s chapter of Bleach was incredibly engrossing for two reasons, or rather, two Espada—Wanderweiss and Ulqiuorra. We finally got a more substantive look at Wanderweiss as a character, beyond the gaping idiot he’s been made out to be for the past month or so, and find that he may be the most unstable (and possibly dangerous) Espada we’ve seen yet. Ulquiorra’s significance to the chapter, however, is very different. His appearance at the end of the chapter gave more solid evidence of Orihime’s importance in Aizen’s plot, as it was him who was sent after her when just about any Arrancar would do.

We start the chapter with Ichigo in rather deep shit, so to speak, freefalling to the ground without his mask and exhausted while a bloodthirsty Grimmjow advances on him. The fact that Ichigo can’t even gather enough spiritual force to stay in the air was a subtle but clever way of showing how much of a strain using his Vaizard powers was—and how much more room Ichigo has to grow. The way that the whole rematch encounter played out was brilliant on Kubotite’s part, because Ichigo was literally ripping Grimmjow to shreds in that brief period where he could materialize his mask. With that, we got to see how much of an asset those powers will be without having to force Grimmjow to get serious and release his sword. If he had, it would’ve been way too premature, and would’ve contradicted the fact that there isn’t much time for any of the characters to improve very much (as noted by both Hirako and Ukitake).

Meanwhile, Luppi was single-handedly dominating all four of the Shinigami facing her without much trouble—a testament to the strength of the Espada in comparison to the Gillian-based Arrancar that Renji and co. had barely managed to beat before. As expected, Urahara managed to step in right before someone got killed—though, surprisingly, it seemed that Wanderweiss noticed his presence long before Yamii and Luppi did, and wasted no time in going after him once he made his appearance. What struck me about Wanderweiss the most was the playful look on his face as he tried to attack Urahara. It didn’t seem like he attacked out of some sadomasochistic tendency, which has been prevalent with just about every Hollow or former Hollow in the entire series.

Rather, it seemed like he wasn’t even sure what he was doing at all, which (in an ironic way) added some more depth to his character while raising interesting questions about him. If he doesn’t seem particularly bloodthirsty at all, then why did he even attack Urahara in the first place? Does that instinct to kill, which was described in such gruesome terms by Hollow Ichigo, arise naturally from the fact that he was a Hollow? Or is there more to his character than Kubotite has shown us so far? In either case, just three pages (9, 14, and 15) made Wanderweiss a much more interesting character, which just go to show how good of a storyteller Kubotite is.

Back in Soul Society, we found Orihime passing through the gate to Earth along with two escorts to help Ichigo and the others, when Ulquiorra pops in out of nowhere to fulfill his mission. I actually kind of felt sorry for her, as she said that she only got a little stronger, yet was still confident that she’d be more useful this time. Personally, I doubt that, considering that the weakest Espada in Aizen’s army shattered her only weapon just by blocking it with one bare hand. Keeping that in mind, I doubt that she’ll be able to fend off Ulquiorra’s attacks for very long, if at all.

And even if she’d gotten much stronger than before, her location right now serves as a serious problem in itself. Remember way back when Ichigo and the others first crossed through the dimensional gate, and Yoruichi yelled at Orihime for using her shield to get them out safely? Well, that was because the three fairies (for lack of a better term) that form that shield are connected directly to her life force. If any of them had touched the spirit-trapping stuff in the tunnel, then Orihime would’ve died. So it looks like she’s not even going to be able to use her shield to defend herself, and that her only attack will be completely useless—making her helpless. Unless someone comes in and rescues her, Ulquiorra will succeed in his mission, whatever that may be.

But what is that mission? We’ve heard from Aizen himself that Orihime’s ability to manipulate space and time is of interest to him. Sblackburn pointed out in the discussion thread that this power could be used in order to accelerate the Hogyoku’s completion—which makes sense, as that would mean that he could produce as many Arrancar as he wanted without having to use any of his own energy. Considering that the Shinigami had problems fighting Gillian-based Arrancar one-on-one, Soul Society probably wouldn’t stand a chance against a whole army of them.

So with all these shocking and revealing developments, it looks like we should expect next week’s chapter to be as good as, if not better than this week’s. What I want to know is whether or not the Vaizards will finally make a move, as Soul Society and it’s allies are on the losing end of all three fronts of the current battle. But even if they don’t, I’m still looking forward to what happens next.
 

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