sahugani's Bleach Review 282

sahugani

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Sahugani’s Bleach Review 282


Chibi makes everything more enjoyable

Another week comes and another chapter arrives. The good thing about last week’s delay is we had to wait less time for this week’s chapter. There’s really not all that much that happened in the time since my last review that is worthy of announcement, so I’ll just get down to it. The scan for this week’s chapter was done by bludshock & blood-Edited Mangas. The title pic comes from captain-x over at Deviant, so head on over to her gallery and check out the rest of the artwork.

Peanut Gallery


just one word...sexy

In this week’s chapter, rather than start with the fight right off the bat, Kubo begins with some commentary from a trio of women who appear to be Halibel’s fraccion. The group consists of two named Mira Rose and Appache who seem highly competitive with each other and a third unnamed woman who calmly mocks them both. They note that Grimmjow’s Gran Ray Cero caused the surroundings to distort and that the particular reaction was in some way related to the fact that they are within Las Noches. Before even entering the place, Ishida noticed that the atmosphere of Hueco Mundo was dense with spirit particles and the sky was dark as night. The fact that within Las Noches it looks like daytime implies that the spirit particles are denser and somehow controlled to create the daylight. An attack as massive as the ultimate cero could easily disrupt the state of the atmosphere and cause all kinds of distortions. Anyways, despite their big talk, these three arrancar tremble in fear as they feel the monstrous reiatsus of a Grimmjow and Ichigo. In any case, the fear these three feel likely means they won’t be much of a threat to Ichigo should they cross paths. They make me think that even if Ichigo wins this fight, Halibel and her subordinates will simply remain as observers for the time being if they are not called away by another matter before that.

Halibel’s Mystery


Anyone else think she's the test tube baby of Yoruichi and Soi Fong?

Like Stark, Halibel seems to have some feeling of compassion towards her fraccion (Stark has to or why else would he put up with one that annoying). When they start to tremble from simply witnessing the battle, she tells them that it is how they should feel when in the presence of a released Espada. In order to fulfill their duties, they need to become accustomed to that fear and get beyond it, so she tells them to keep watching the fight. Though she doesn’t mention it to her fraccion, she is concerned about Grimmjow’s opponent. While she was told during Aizen’s briefing that Ichigo was a human, she is shocked at both his level of power and the nature of it. She likely senses the hollow powers as a large part of his reiatsu and is surprised that it is so similar to that of the Espada. Her shock is one reason I don’t (and never really have) thought she was the Primero Espada. To me, it is just too soon for her to reappear if she was. If she is even somewhat fearful of Ichigo’s power, Aizen would not have her at the top of the ranks. In addition, I’d think that the top Espada would have fraccion a bit more reliable than hers. All in all, she just doesn’t feel right for the title.

Words of Joy


cue the kick ass music

Anyways, after cutting off Halibel’s thought mid-sentence, we return to the fight between Ichigo and Grimmjow. The Espada comments that Ichigo has extended the length of time he can use the mask, thus confirming that we did not misinterpret the amount of time spanned in the previous chapter. Ichigo really has broken his time limit. Now Grimmjow can no longer rely on the mask breaking to give him a sudden advantage in the fight. Here, Grimmjow starts to reveal that he is not as principled a man as I took him for at the battle’s beginning. I took all his actions, though cruel in nature, as a method to retain a fair playing field with both Ichigo and Orihime while still getting what he wants out of them. Now that Ichigo’s mask is sticking around and giving Ichigo the advantage, Grimmjow takes a shot at breaking the mask.

A New Ichigo


Oh shit!!!

We soon see the consequences of Ichigo retaining his mask. While technically, he is still the controlling party of his body, his personality has shifted to a darker tone and he enjoys the battle the same way Grimmjow and Zaraki do. In addition to his new more sadistic outlook on fighting, it has also affected his fighting style. Whereas before, he pretty much stuck to straight swordsmanship, speed, and the getsuga tenshou, now he has opened up to make it more improvised similar to Grimmjow. He grabs Grimmjow’s hand that was attacking him and uses it to pin his opponent while he sliced with a getsuga tenshou. Ichigo is having the time of his life in this fight and loves the feeling that his mask is giving him. He refuses to take off the mask or let it break. While the claim could be taken as him deciding that he needs its power to achieve his goals, in the context of his current statements and actions, it is clear that his motivation lies solely in enjoying this fight. In instances of his mask appearing before suppressing it, his shinigami and hollow selves competed directly for control of the body. Now that Ichigo has fully awakened his hollow powers, the natures of the two personas are fused to an extent while he is in his mask. While he is in his vizard form, he is simultaneously drawing from both sides of his power and so it is logical that both sides of his personality act in harmony as well. This proves that he is no longer simply using his hollow powers like a technique, but it has become just as much a part of him as his shinigami powers.

Poor Sport


What else could come out from beneath his skin?

After our little realization with Ichigo, Kubo gives us a lengthy segment of pure battle screens. At the end of this, Grimmjow has realized that he is at the disadvantage and as I said before, Grimmjow has revealed himself to be less principled than I previously thought. With his elbow, he launches spikes at Orihime. Due to my former opinion of Grimmjow’s need to have equal grounds with others on principle, I had thought he might return later on (and hopefully kill Tousen). Now that he has broken that one shred of humanity, I find it much harder to see him coming back. It is still possible and I still strongly believe Tousen will die, but I’m less certain that Grimmjow will be the one to do it (but I still want it to be the case).

Redeeming Evil Eyes


what would you do for love?

Grimmjow’s cheap shot against Orihime acts as the trigger to snap Ichigo out of his sadistic battle mode. Ichigo blocks the shots with his body and for the first time is forced to look Orihime dead in the eyes in his masked form. That instant is a crucial moment for both Orihime and Ichigo. As I said, it made Ichigo realize what his mask has done to his personality and sees that he almost caused Orihime to die due to his own lust for battle. Since he is once again seeing reason for fighting instead of the bare instinct that drove him to break his mask’s time limit, we may now get to see the mask break again in a little while and he gets his ass kicked till he recalls it and slaughters Grimmjow. For Orihime, looking into Ichigo’s black eyes was also vastly important. Until now, she had only her fear of the hollow/shinigami hybrids and so was hesitant to trust Ichigo’s words when he spoke them from beneath a hollow mask. Now she has seen this demonic face while he shielded her with his own body, so she knows that at his core, Ichigo has not changed and she can now put her full faith in him. However, due to the fact that he took those critical hits, she will be worried as hell and may try to help despite Ichigo’s wishes. One last thing that should be noticed is that Kubo is still holding back exactly how strong Orihime’s barrier is now. We have seen her healing powers grow to revive the recently dead, so we should expect similar breakthroughs in her defending and attacking power. She may have even been capable of blocking those spikes on her own, but Ichigo did not want to take that risk. This seems to be leading up to a huge moment of Orihime showing off and saving Ichigo with her uber god powers in the future of this arc.

Overall

I must say this is one of my favorite chapters in a long time. The appearance of Halibel and her fraccion was a real treat and gave us a bit more insight into her character. While I am somewhat disappointed that Grimmjow has become a poor sport, I guess it makes the current fight better at the expense of later development for him. The best part for me though was watching Ichigo go fuckin evil on us. We cannot expect his inner hollow to just go silent ever since he was suppressed, so now we’re starting to get hints at his reappearance as his personality influences that of the real Ichigo while the mask is on. After being brought back to his normal self by Orihime, I expect to see him get a bit of an ass whooping next week.
 

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sahugani

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