Bleach 269 Review by Gigantor21

gigantor21

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(Two more Espada named in one week? Oh, fuck yeah!)

269. The End Is Near

Overall, I thought that this was a really good chapter. But my feelings are kind of mixed.

We started out getting confirmation of A’Roniro’s death, which is the main source of my ambivalence. On one hand, we finally got to see Rukia kick a major opponent’s ass AND reconcile her feelings about Kaien, which kicks some serious ass in and of itself. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem likely that she’s going to get any more big fights until after the Winter War is over. And if the Royal Key arc is the last in the series (which I predict will be the case), we may have just read Rukia’s first and last big fight ever.

Personally, I can’t say I’m surprised, since Rukia was barely able to eke out a win against the 9th Espada. Since there’s no way in hell that she’s getting Bankai, no matter how many times people say she will, I don’t see her contributing much more to the War from a combat perspective. If she does heal up in time to help with the War, I doubt it’ll be more than a support role in Karakura—Aizen is only going to bring the best with him to the Royal Palace, and I’m sure he’ll find a way to get there.

So we got the names of HAG/Gangurou and Sleepy Bear, which was nice—and a few new Arrancar (Lilinet, Lumina and Belona). So apparently, the Espada get their own personal attendants, which suggests that they’ll become opponents for the weaker characters during the War. Maybe Rukia can fight one of them, along with Chad, Ishida, and the other Captains. They all need to do something during the war, after all.

Reiterating what I said in the Spoiler Discussion thread, there’s no way that Ichigo can fight Ulquiorra if they do clash swords (as if Ulquiorra even needs his). If they do fight, it’ll only show how much more Ichigo needs to grow to take on the higher ranked Espada, and Aizen. There a chance for a Zaraki-style power up here—but even if he gets it now, Ichigo will still need another one to fight Aizen. It wouldn’t make sense for Ichigo to grow enough to take on Ulquiorra now.

Rating – 4 out of 5 (Very Good)

Despite it seeming as though Rukia won’t be a big part of the story after this, I still thought this was a really good chapter. I’m really looking forward to seeing what’ll happen next week.
 
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