The Underscore’s Bleach review 360: Shock of the Queen

The Underscore’s

Bleach Review360 Shock of the Queen

Hey there, welcome to another Bleach review. This week’s chapter had it’s fill of jokes and revealed a brand new Bankai. So it’s a good chapter if you ask me. Though there’s more to be said about the chapter of course. So after going over the poll results for last week I’ll be using the Sleepyfans scanlation to review this chapter.

poll

Poll Results

So last week I asked you the following question: “What do you think about Harribel’s current situation?”, to which a total of 77 people gave their opinion (49 at Mangahelpers and 28 at WordonMars). So what do you think about Harribel’s situation? The majority believes Harribel will be back, though the how and what differ amongst the voters. We have a tie when it comes to Harribel sacrificing something in order to return to battle (23 votes) and Harribel returning with the fight between Hitsugaya and Harribel still being able to go either way (23 votes). There are readers, however, who believe that Hitsugaya has pushed his luck by imprisoning Harribel as they believe that Harribel will come back and take Hitsugaya down (17 votes).

Others believe that Harribel is down for the count and that Hitsugaya has won this battle (9 voters). Are they underestimating Harribel, or is Hitsugaya just that great? A few readers, on the other hand, are more curious, or just plain weird :p, as they would love to lick the obelisk. Seriously, whoever came up with this option has to be really…. Anyhow, the last option, not caring about Harribel, had an unsurprising amount of 0 votes. Because whether you want to know if Hitsugaya won, Harribel will come back, or plain want to lick the icicle, it all depends on Harribel’s current situation.

So with this in mind, we won’t get to learn anything about Harribel in this chapter… But luckily we have one of the most anticipated battles taking place in this chapter, which is the one between….

Dropping the ballhttps://i1.wp.com/i362.photobucket.com/albums/oo70/Underscore_07/360-001.png

Playtime still isn’t over is it?

This is just the battle we’ve been waiting for as it holds all we seek in a battle; warrior spirits, swift moves, and… face sliding? Okay, with Soi Fon promising to show her Bankai in the last chapter this probably could have been one of the last things we’d expect to see. Nonetheless it was entertainment I wouldn’t want to miss out on even if it results in another cliffhanger at the end of the chapter! But what happened here exactly?

With Lilynette -the new spelling of her name from the title page- having drawn her sword the last time we saw her with Ukitake, we now see her charging towards her opponent. And as expected, her attack was easily dodged by the captain, resulting in Lilynette slipping all over the place on almost every orifice possible, including the face. But in true warrior fashion she isn’t down with just that. She assaults her opponent once more resulting in!!!… The exact same thing… Somehow I feel like Ukitake is the bad guy in this fight after seeing this. But we know better than this.

Making girls cry

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Maybe it’s a good thing to keep that sword away from her…

As Lilynette ends up in a pose fitting the likes of Pesche, it would seem best for her to plain give up. But our brave heroine doesn’t give up as she recovers with tears in her eyes screaming she will most certainly kill the evil Ukitake. The villainous Ukitake responds in a manner that fits this horrendous villain, by cheering her on! So that’s as far as Ukitake can go with playing the part of a villain, though Lilynette seems to be in the same predicament. The fact that Lilynette’s a Hollow can only be explained as her being a soul that was dragged to Hueco Mundo if you ask me. She doesn’t seem like a soul that was turned into a Hollow because of negative feelings, though I could be wrong.

Anyhow, with her being Stark’s fraccion she is part of the bad guys, so she has to cut Ukitake into bits though something seems amiss.

Lilynette starts to ask for her sword back, which somehow ended up in Ukitake’s possession. Ukitake plain refuses to give her back the sword -which would be for her own well being looking at the damage she did to herself even without it- while Lilynette tells him he’s a geezer. Ukitake’s advice in all this is that Lilynette should put her heart into the matter before she is allowed to get her sword back, frustrating the young maiden in the process.

What can I say about this part of the chapter? It gave me a good laugh, I can tell you that. Ukitake also reaffirmed his place as one of my favorite captains by cheering on his opponent. So apparently Ukitake was able to -easily- take Lilynette’s Zanpakutou away from her, causing her to go apes as she is trying to live up to the position of the primera Espada’s Fracción. Ukitake on the other hand knows that she would only get in the way of the battle between Kyouraku and Stark, but just isn’t able to kill such a little girl. The funny thing in all of this is that she probably would be able to handle most Shinigami, including some seated ones -in theory. Too bad she’s facing her natural enemy here, as she probably could have faired better against opponents such as…. Hanatarou?

But I’ve had my laughs with this part of the chapter, and review as well I guess. So let’s get to the more serious part of this review… though it isn’t as serious as it should be.

Lord of the Dance

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And people claim you can’t dance to rock

Ukitake and Lilynette aren’t the only ones who are playing around as the game of tag between Omaeda and Barragan is still going on in this chapter. Barragan is clearly still waiting for Soi Fon to make her move as he is trying to entertain himself with Omaeda, telling him to keep running. Like his Fracción, Nirgge Parduoc, he couldn’t help himself but to comment on Omaeda’s appearance by referring to him as a sack of meat. Almost reenacting the conversation he had with Nirgge -the mammoth guy he fought in this week’s anime episode-, Omaeda claims that Barragan is just jealous of him because Barragan’s made of bones. Before the conversation becomes repetitious, Omeade suddenly does something I found to be rather surprising.

Omaeda releases his Gegetsuburi in order to smash a part of a building and starts to kick the debris towards Barragan. I somehow expected Omaeda to attack him directly using his Zanpakutou rather than using this ingenious way of attacking his opponent. Sadly for him, his bright idea isn’t enough to face Barragan as the pieces of the building turn to ash before even coming near Barragan. Realizing that his Zanpakutou won’t be able to help him out in this fight, he curses his Zanpakutou for not being able to use fire, ice, or Kidou. The latter, however, brings him to another bright idea.

Weaknesses

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Kidou seems to be a major weakness for most characters in this story

Omaeda came to the same conclusion I did after seeing Barragan’s ability -does that mean I’m as smart as Omaeda? :s-, that Kidou will most likely be effective on Barragan. As he prepares to cast a Kidou at Barragan he suddenly decides to use a Bakudou instead. Forming a smokescreen, pitiful in size and not even close to Barragan, he continues to run away from the Espada as he realizes that he plain sucks at Kidou. While it is to be expected from Omaeda that he wouldn’t be able to cast a Kidou to save his life -literally in this case-, I can’t help but feel something’s wrong with the Shinigami in Soul Society.

Personally I’d expect those in the second seat to be able to cast some powerful Kidou, but with Omaeda out of the picture there are only 8 lieutenants left that seem to be capable of actively using Kidou in battle -Omaeda and Renji both seem to suck at Kidou, Iba also seems the type to avoid the use of Kidou, and I don’t see Yachiru casting Kidou’s any time soon if I’m honest. This bothers me a bit to be honest, so I had to mention it here. But it would seem that I’m not the only one to be bothered by the lack of a well performed Kidou by the second squad’s lieutenant as Barragan feels that Omaeda has outlived his usefulness.

Playtime is over

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Omaeda is about to be taking part in an axessment of his abilities

Barragan, bored with his recently acquired toy, decides it’s time to clean up before going back to work. And he has the perfect tool up his sleeve to do so as a big black axe appears out of it. Surprising Omaeda in the process, Barragan reveals his Gran Caeda -Great/grand fall if my Spanish serves me right- showing us that his Arrogante’s form wasn’t just for fun. I’m glad to see the axe return in Barragan’s resureccion, though I personally found Arrogante’s design to look a bit cooler than this Gran Caeda. The chains are a pretty nice touch to the design though. Barragan then sentences Omaeda to the guillotine, as he tells him to rot and die while making movements which suggest some form of attack. But to Omaeda’s luck he is spared once more as Barragan is distracted by the cry of a Bankai and a pillar of light behind him. Barragan then turns around to see what the fuzz is about, as he sees something popping up from between the buildings.

Jakuhoraikoben Suzumebachi

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Is that a missile launcher on your arm, or are you just happy to see me?

I could have cut the picture above or given a link to it, but it makes it easier to clarify something in a bit. With the “Hornet thunder whip” shown here it is obvious that it isn’t build for speed as much as it is to be used while standing still. I was expecting something along the lines of a giant bee or hornet coming from the Bankai as Soi Fon tied herself to the building. But as we can see later in this chapter, tying herself to the building serves a different purpose.

While Soi Fon is still affected by the pain of losing her left arm, Barragan seems to be interested by the fact that he gets to see a Bankai. This would mean that Barragan was never shown a Bankai by Aizen, Gin, or Tousen, which I find to be interesting as I would expect Barragan to be someone to have seen a Bankai at least once. This could mean that he never fought any of the former captains before joining the Espada, or that they were powerful enough to take Barragan down as he hadn’t been turned into an Arrancar yet. This is of course based on the idea that Barragan is a Vasto Lorde that was convinced to join Aizen’s ranks after being shown the power of Aizen and his fellow former captains.

Barragan isn’t the only one to see a first, however, as Omaeda seems to be shown his captain’s Bankai for the first time as well. Not only that, he actually notices the sash wrapped around Soi Fon and identifies it as a Ginjotan. So not only did Soi Fon bind herself to a building, but she did it using an armored sash which weighs enough to prevent her from moving at her top speed -though being tied to a building probably results in the same. Soi Fon then tells Barragan that she didn’t want to use her Bankai, as she isn’t too pleased with its released state.

Death in one sting

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Missile launcher, got it… I was just kidding before!

It’s big, heavy, and flashy and for some reason she doesn’t want to use it. While its part of a man’s romance to be able to blow something up using excessive force -Grand Theft Auto anyone?-, Soi Fon has a good reason for not wanting to wield it. You would probably fail as an assassin if you walk up to your target with such a weapon, and you would not be able to escape with such a weapon unless you dropped it after using it -which is especially difficult if it’s part of your soul I guess. So to keep her pride as part of the covert ops, she prefers not to use her Bankai. Though with her Shikai’s ability her Bankai would be unnecessary in most cases, which makes it natural that she doesn’t have to use it often.

As for the Bankai itself, I think it looks pretty cool. With her right side being protected by armor, the size of the launcher, and the last picture of this week’s chapter it is obvious that its power is something not to be trifled with. I do find it pretty strange that Soi Fon’s Bankai doesn’t improve her speed, which is her strong point. But who cares about speed if you can blow up your opponents with a missile launcher? -thinks back to his time playing GTA…. Also, the Jakuhoraikoben Suzumebachi clearly increases the Shikai ability, as I doubt there will be many opponents that would require to be hit twice with this attack.

After pointing out her dislike towards it, Soi Fon uses her Bankai to end the chapter and showing us exactly why she needed the time to bind herself to the building using the Ginjotan. So does this spell Barragan’s demise, or will it be all flash and no bang? This sounds like a question for this week’s poll!

overview

Overview

So here we are at the end of another chapter. This chapter didn’t show as much of Soi Fon’s Bankai as I had predicted, but seeming as how it was one of my predictions it was only to be expected. With an update on Ukitake and Lilynette, Barragan showing signs of getting serious and possibly being blown up by a brand new Bankai I think this was a pretty good chapter. Perhaps the amounts of jokes in the chapter were a bit over the top, but I really enjoyed the chapter nonetheless. The art in this week’s chapter was a bit bland at first if I’m honest as the first two pages almost looked the same with small differences. Barragan’s Gran Caeda also seems a bit bland in comparison to the Arrogante as I mentioned before, so I’m a bit disappointed in the art for this week. But with the artwork on Soi Fon’s Bankai and the developments for this week’s chapter do make up for those things I was blown away in the end -though not as far as Soi Fon would have been without the Ginjotan. So what do I expect to see next week?

predictions

Predictions

Barragan may just be able to avoid certain death using his Respira. That’s the first thing I’d like to point out. The missile itself could probably be aged using his technique, though as it seems to be a pretty fast attack and we can already see an explosion forming I doubt he will be able to come out entirely unscathed. My guess would be that others will notice the explosion next week and I have two possibilities for that.

The first that could notice the attack would be Stark, as he also noticed Hitsugaya’s Tenso Jurin last week. He may feel pressured to turn it up a notch in order to force a Shikai release from Kyouraku and maybe we’ll be shown more of their fight as well.

A second option would be Hitsugaya noticing it as the obelisk of ice behind him trembles due to the impact. Harribel could then break free from the ice, using her own ultimate attack in response to Hitsugaya’s attack.

It would also be possible that the chapter shows both of these things happening, though I’m afraid we won’t be able to see Ukitake and Lilynette’s fight next week. This fight will probably be shown once Stark releases I think.

So that’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed this review. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this chapter and/or review and to vote in this week’s poll as well. I’ll see you again next week!

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~ by The Underscore on June 5, 2009.

7 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 360: Shock of the Queen”

  1. Sweet im first cool summery to me this chapter was just to make us laugh and draw our attention away from the good fights #1 espada and Kyouraku, hitsugaya and hailbel and when soi fon was getting ready to fight to be continue. How long will it take for us to see some real fighting. and when i say this i mean a whole chapter worth. one more thing it should be time for those in heco muendo to take on the zero espada really soon that probly happen before there fight with aizen

  2. I think Barragan will be seriously injured but not dead. he wll attack Soi Fon At wich point someone like Yamamoto Genryuusai will intrvein and finally show his Bankai. That shold be interesting to see

  3. @ sam_i_am
    I think that Kubo is planning on saving the chapter long battles for Ichigo and the others, rather than the captains and the top Espada. This is because he has to show the character development in the captains during the fights as well. But I also expect to see the fight against Yammy before the fight with Aizen begins. It is also possible that we won’t get to see the fight against Aizen himself, thus hiding his abilities until Ichigo faces him.

    @manny
    Well, a serious injury for Barragan could be expected with Soi Fon’s Bankai aimed at him. But I doubt Genruusai will bother with using his Bankai against someone like Barragan -given that he interferes. I wouldn’t put it past him to just use his Shikai in order to bring shame to Barragan.

  4. Source: 2ch
    Credits: Ohana
    Verification: Confirmed

    Soi Fong’s Bankai was somewhat like a rocket launcher.
    Omaeda was blown off the building by the explosion’s crash. Soi Fong’s silver cloth was torn, Omaeda got caught in the explosion.
    Omaeda “Captain, you did it….!”, Soi Fong “… Get away from me, it’s disgusting..”

    361,Hate Loneliness, But it loves me

    Stark saw Soi Fong’s battle and asked, “Everyone’s bankai sure is sort of powerful, aren’t they?”. He also asked, “I also wonder which one of you and Hitsugaya is stronger…”
    Kyouraku “Because he’s a genius, If he had lived a century more, I think he would surpass me.”
    Stark “Well, if that’s the case, I’d be right if I said that right now, you’re stronger than he is. Seeing your bankai has been on my mind for some time now.”
    Kyouraku left his haori with Ukitake.
    Stark called Lilinette, Kyouraku asked, “Why that kid?”
    From there starts the explanation.
    By being two, we are one. The time we evolved from being Hollow, we separated into body and blade. Our Hollow power is separated into two bodies.
    When we return back to being one, our power is released. [He] pats Lilinette’s head, And simultaneously, they do the Resurrecion.
    “Kick about, Wolf Pack (Los Lobos)”
    Kyouraku also starts to understand.
    Stark’s Resureccion will be next week.
    Carrying two weapons, a small gun barrel and a long gun barrel, the left eye seems to have a scope, and looks like an attached scouter.

  5. Spoiler Pic 1

  6. Spoiler Pic 2 Stark’s Resurecion !!!

  7. That’s not Stark’s Resurreccion yet ! He only fused with Lilinette.

    @manny814: Shoot, Yamamoto’s Bankai is probably so crazy, it’d burn the person reading the manga, lol. I’m more interested in Aizen’s Bankai though. All Yamamoto uses is fire, fire, fire, waves of endless fire. Nothing interesting.

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