sahugani's Bleach Review 272

sahugani

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Sahugani’s Bleach Review 272


other than when we get new Kubo originals, after this week, i'll be using deviantart pics for these

I seriously cannot decide whether I love or hate Kubo this week. On one hand, he has created his best chapter in a while and that makes me smile. On the other hand he timed this chapter right after I announce my vacation and its goodness is too tempting to ignore, thus making me look foolish for making such a big deal about a 1 week vacation. Regardless of that, I do have a review this week and here it is. The pics are from blood Edited Mangas’ latest scan and the cover pic is a cleaned Kubo original from a manga-rain Edited Manga.

Also, I apologize for my reviews being a bit late. There were a number of issues that forced writing these reviews into the background for a while, but I got it done eventually

Ichigo’s Defeat


Ulquiorra doesn't give any shred of likability EVER (but he's just so fun to analyze)

At this point, Ichigo’s defeat seems pretty undeniable. Over the past couple chapters, he has hit the Espada Cuatro with the most powerful attack he has ever unleashed in the history of the series only to tatter his enemy’s clothes and then suffered a quick and crushing blow that left him on the floor. Ulquiorra’s reaction to Ichigo’s pitiful state gives another good insight into how he differs from his allies. Once again he displays lack of interest in killing and prefers to continue his battle through words instead. Of all he says in his victory speech, there is only one phrase I am sure is genuine. When he refers to Ichigo not meeting his expectations for growth, it seemed to be more like he was talking to himself. While we have known him, we have seen his tendency to formulate detailed analysis, psychological plots, and theoretical predictions, after which he reviews his previous estimations to see where there was fault. This characteristic leads me to believe that the rest of his speech was not entirely direct. By leaving him to die and taunting him about his weakness, he is trying to unleash Ichigo’s potential. Through his encounters with Ichigo, he has likely come to realize much about Ichigo’s inner hollow through his own analysis, possibly more than Ichigo does himself. He knows Ichigo’s power increases in rapid bursts and is trying to initiate one so that he can fulfill his promise to either recruit a powerful ally or kill a powerful threat.

The Black Curtain


i really hope Kubo gets more creative than what he is implying here

As Ichigo suffers the cold words of Ulquiorra, his bankai breaks and reverts to shikai while a jagged black shroud falls over him. While this could be a stylistic choice by Kubo, it seems to mean more to me. The way things have been going, it is looking like my prediction of Ulquiorra running ain’t happening and we will see Ichigo kill the cold-hearted bastard. If that is the case, he will need some type of boost to not only bring him out of his current state, but bring him to a level strong enough to match Ulquiorra. Having Hollow Ichigo take over or having Ichigo meet with Zangetsu would seem too repetitive even by Kubo’s standards. We may see a unification of the two themes where Ichigo’s hollow finally decides to cooperate, though even that would seem somewhat expected. While I cannot be completely certain as to what will give Ichigo the power, I do expect that it will revolve around his hollow. This would fit in perfectly with the way Kubo has developed Ulquiorra thus far. As I’ve mentioned before, Ulquiorra likes to make predictions and analyze his mistakes afterward. He saw in his first contact with Ichigo that with the inner hollow acting out, Ichigo was more powerful than him. Ulquiorra declined to kill him both then and now because he wants to see how far Ichigo’s growth will take him, so it would be beautifully fitting for him to die because of one of his “minor miscalculations.”

Demon Children


those are eyes that make little children afraid of the dark...and psychopathic women

While Ichigo is suffering, Orihime can sense his pain from her room. She remains frozen in disbelief that Ichigo could be the next one to fall. Unlike when she broke out in tears over Rukia, she is simply paralyzed. As far as she can tell, the man she loves is dying in an attempt to rescue her. What comes next is rather unexpected. The two guards who Aizen sent away, Lolly and Menoly, have come to pay Orihime a little visit. I always expected those two to make a return, but not in this context. We have witnessed the immense fear that all arrancar have towards Aizen and while a few are willing to push the boundaries of acting against his will, I thought I would be hard pressed to find anyone who would dare attack his guest of honor. All I can really say here is that Loly is one psychotic bitch.

Outclassed


Oh my god!!! The freakiness of One Piece's Thriler Bark has infected Bleach

In another of the story jumps I have so missed in the latest chapters, we return to the duel between Renji and Zaerapollo. Suffice it to say that Renji is getting his ass handed to him. Zabimaru is taking just as much of a beating as its partner in its shikai form. The Octava Espada has even resheathed his sword and is still destroying Abarai. Due to the power type abilities of Zabimaru, Zaerapollo is bored and passes of the job of finishing off Renji to his subordinates. Here we get a major insight into the subordinate system of the Espada. Instead of having a simple hierarchy system of captain/vice-captain/soldiers like in SS, the Espada pick and choose the number and individual members of the numeros to serve them. For a cocky ass like Noitora, if he pick any subordinates besides Tesla, he probably killed them already. Zaerapollo on the other hand modified normal hollows before removing their masks to make them his Fraccion (the term for the subordinates). As a mad scientist, he has basically created a whole crew of subordinates fully willing to be his test subjects, so we can assume that while each individual member of his fraccion may not meet the strength of the other Espada’s fraccion, their abilities are a great deal weirder and more unpredictable.

Unlikely Pairing


i still don't see why Kubo likes Ishida so much more than Chad

Just as Renji is about to be shamed by defeat at the hands of mere arrancar subordinates, we see the return of the long lost final member of the five heroes, Ishida Uryuu. I am happy for this turn of events in some respects, but saddened by others. On the plus side, this pretty much guarantees that Zaerapollo will be killed by Renji’s bankai as I’ve said from day 1. Now that I think about it there is no better person for Renji to have with him at this point in terms of compatibility with the battle situations. Ishida offers two things that are critical for defeating Zaerapollo. First of all, his ability to manipulate spirit particles will be able to disrupt the bankai block set on the room and will allow Renji to use the destructive power that Ishida lacks. Also, Ishida’s intelligence will be able to counteract any measures Zaerapollo takes in trying to prevent the block from being removed. As for negative aspects, it is more just personal preference. At the start of this arc I REALLY wanted to see Chad and Renji combo against an Espada or two to show off a teamwork developed through their training (and because I want Chad back to kick some ass). Also, I’m not a huge fan of Ishida as Kubo seems to love giving him victory and Chad defeat. It’s not fair. Anyways, the story continues with Orihime after Ishida’s flashy entrance.

Unexpected Guest


those brats are in deep shit

We return to Orihime being savagely beaten by Lolly. She seems to have a serious superiority complex and is threatened by the attention a mere human is receiving from Aizen. While she is wreaking havoc on the poor girl, Menoly seems to be a bit more level headed and seems scared that they will be caught and punished (which they should be in a very painful manner for what they are doing to the sweet girl). Well those fears become reality as Grimmjow bursts in on them quite unexpectedly. While the rest of the chapter was extremely intriguing and fun to review, this was the clincher that brought me back to this review so soon. His appearance here guarantees the continuation and victory in Ichigo’s fight with Ulquiorra. The biggest reason I had for my theory of Ulquiorra leaving the fight was due to his connection to Orihime, but now it seems that Grimmjow has taken an interest and Ulquiorra is no longer needed for that role. As for the reasons for his appearance here and the direction it will lead his character, I have some thoughts. I have the inclination that his reason for being here was mere boredom as he waits around for Ichigo to come to him as Aizen commanded. He probably just sensed Lolly’s reiatsu as she was beating Inoue and decided to take interest. As she was the one that healed him, he will decide to stay with her for a little bit after sending out the brats. This seems to be leading to the path of Grimmjow converting to the good guys, but I’ve got some more specific thoughts regarding that. A fight with Ichigo would be anti-climactic after the Cuatro Espada fight and since he had that tie to Ichigo, any other fight is highly unlikely. Being that his character is so similar to Renji in so many aspects, I expect him to die in the process of helping the heroes escape with Orihime. His conversion also fits with my theory of Tousen’s death in this arc as a reformed Grimmjow is much better for dealing the finishing blow than a crazed Wonderwiess for story reasons (though I still think the kid will get some ass kicking in on Tousen first).

Overall

Well I must say that was a damn fun chapter to review. It wasn’t quite what my first review was but it was still damn refreshing after the stuff Kubo has been supplying lately. He has given me so much more material with which to analyze and has found a way to shift the former beauty of Ulquiorra’s potential for analysis to Grimmjow, which I would not have thought possible before. Now I just need one thing for complete happiness…CHAD!!!!
 

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