The Underscore’s Bleach Review 363

The Underscore’s

363 Superchunky from Hell

Hey there everyone, here’s another one of my Bleach reviews. This week we have chapter 363, with one of the most appropriate titles up to date if you look at the events. So before I get to “Superchunky from Hell”, I’ll go over the last two polls, and take a quick look at the colored page we’ve been given this week. Thanks go out to Sleepy Fans for the quick scanlation of this chapter and to cnet128 for his translation as it clarified a few things.

Poll Results

So I’ll start with the poll I put up in the review for chapter 360, where I asked you whether Soi Fon’s Bankai would spell Barragan’s demise. Due to some problems with the polls, I only have the results from the voters at Mangahelpers, but there were 48 voters which are enough for now. It looks like no one does not care for Barragan. No one chose that option, but there were only 4 people who believe he’s done for. And out of those four, only one was blown away by Soi Fon’s Bankai, while the other three didn’t like it. Then there were 34 people who believe that Barragan’s fine, of which 16 believe that Soi Fon will be the next one to be blown away. 10 people believe Barragan survived the attack, only to be defeated later, while 8 people think the fight between Soi Fon and Barragan is far from over. As for the wild card of the poll, 10 people were eager to watch the fight between Ukitake and Lilynette as this would probably be the battle to decide everything. Ironically, while I was just fooling around a bit with this option, it seems like it may hold true as we have seen in the last three chapters -including 363.

Now, for last week’s poll, I asked you whether Ukitake fired a Cero last week and how you would explain it. I was a bit worried that two of these options would be a bit too similar and could cause some confusion, but I think you saw through my vague descriptions in the polls. So this time I was able to put up the poll on WordOnMars as well, which resulted in a total of 72 votes. Now, I gave you 7 options to choose from, of which two considered the possibility that Ukitake fired the Cero himself, 2.5 could be related to his Zanpakutou, 1.5 could be Hadou based, and one wild card which had little to nothing to do with the question.
7 people believed Ukitake to be a Vaizard, perhaps they attributed his Tuberculosis to turning into a Vaizard or they saw his evil side while he was fighting Lilynette . 6 people thought Ukitake is just so experienced with Ceros that he figured out how to fire one himself, which could always be a possibility. There was only one person who thought the attack we saw was a new type of Hadou, and there were 8 people who just want to see Kyouraku’s Bankai -me too!- which were the options that deviated from the rest. Now, there were 50 people who related the attack to Sogyo no Kotowari, given that the 23 people who voted that the attack was reflected believe it was done by using Sogyo no Kotowari. 12 people believe this ability to be a Zanpakutou linked ability, with which I meant that the ability can also be used in the Bankai state -if you look at Soi Fon’s Bankai, her death in two strikes only seems to apply to her Shikai- while 15 people attributed the ability to Ukitake’s Shikai. And as it turns out from this week’s chapter, it is at least part of Ukitake’s Shikai ability. As a matter of fact, it complies with Hockeychaoz’s theory that Sogyo no Kotowari absorbed the attack with one end, and fired it with the other. So with the polls covered, let’s get to this week’s chapter.

The Friendly Giant

Booze and Boxing, what every 15 year old should do… Wha?

So here we have a colored page with Chad standing in what I would think is his home. I have to admit that I would imagine him having a punching bag in his home, but to think he has it right in front of his couch. Chad stands there with what I think to be a bottle of wine or some sorts. It’s always possible that it’s just a bottle of soda, though the fact that it’s a glass bottle makes me think it’s a form of liquor. Of all the people you could find in Karakura town, he’s probably the one who can pretend to be at least 25, which could explain how he could get something like that. But I’m just obsessing about the bottle. Looking at the picture of Chad himself, it is just plain old Chad. Standing there, calmly thinking things over without having to share anything. Even if the picture of Chad is a bit out of place as he is currently fighting Yammy in Hueco Mundo, while these chapters seem to focus around the battles in the Fake Karakura Town, my being a Chad fan really appreciates this picture of him. But that’s all I have on Chad for this week based on this page. I just hope we’ll be getting more on Chad once we get to the fight with Yammy, but before that I want to see something else.

Lazy Captains don’t do Bankai

You’re making me want to root for Starrk if you keep this up Kyouraku…

Picking up where we left off last week, Starrk dodged the Cero fired by Ukitake. While Starrk is sure that it was an actual Cero, Ukitake and Kyouraku have a talk about his interfering. While Kyouraku wants to keep Ukitake out of the fight, Ukitake understands why and says that he is allowed to join the fight as it has been Starrk and Lilynette versus Kyouraku. So his joining the fight would only make it a fair fight and give us the tag team battle I wouldn’t mind seeing.
Other than that, Ukitake has read Kyouraku like a book, as he knows that Kyouraku doesn’t want to use his Bankai. Kyouraku responds to this in a manner we have all come to know him, by saying he’ll do it eventually. If he would have said this with a straight face, I would have started to root for Starrk blowing him away up to the point of forcing a Bankai release. But with the look Kyouraku has on his face here, I can’t help but chuckle at his behavior. Of course, Ukitake doesn’t help with Kyouraku stalling his Bankai. Ukitake proves to be the real villain to us readers as he tells Kyouraku that he shouldn’t release where anyone could see his Bankai. By saying this, I now have decided that I MUST see Kyouraku’s Bankai as soon as possible and that I just can’t wait! Too bad we’re all forced to wait while Kubo teases us with the idea of Kyouraku’s release. The fact that Kyouraku even gets serious when it comes to the subject of his Bankai also doesn’t help here. But at least Ukitake makes amends for stalling Kyouraku’s Bankai, as his own Zanpakutou is wrapped in an equal amount of mystery. Ukitake even declares his abilities to be best suited for the fight against the gun wielding Espada, so what makes him say that?

The Magician’s Secret

Ukitake must have been a kindergarten teacher before becoming a Shinigami…

Starrk’s desire to see Kyouraku’s Bankai seems to be swept away by his curiosity, as he is eager to know how Ukitake fired a Cero at him. Ukitake responds to his question as if he was talking to a small child that wants to know how to perform a magic trick, telling Starrk to pay attention when he does it again. Starrk takes Ukitake up on his offer, as he decides to fire another Cero at Ukitake. The funny thing here is the fact that Starrk immediately starts to fire a Cero at Ukitake. Even though Ceros are his main way of attacking and it only makes sense to attack Ukitake to force another Cero from him, I believe that Starrk already had a hunch on what Ukitake’s ability is.
As Starrk readies to fire another Cero, Lilynette tries to warn him that it is probably a trap. Lilynette’s experience fighting the captain probably is the reason for her to be as cautious as she is here, but Starrk tells her to shut up as he attacks Ukitake. As Starrk fires his Cero at Ukitake, another Cero is almost immediately sent back at him. While it is still unclear as to how Ukitake did this, Starrk seems to be figuring out how the attack works.

What goes around…

No wonder it seems Ukitake can take on everything that’s thrown at him

As Lilynette tries to tell Starrk that she was right and that he should stop attacking Ukitake, he ignores her completely and fires another Cero at Ukitake. This time, however, Starrk takes an even better look at Ukitake’s move as we are all shown how it works. The Cero is absorbed by the tip of the left blade, passes through the rope connecting the two swords, and is fired back through the tip of the right blade. Starrk easily avoids the returned attack with his Sonido as he ends up next to Ukitake. He then gives the same explanation I’ve given here, though he also elaborates on the five tags hanging on Sogyo no Kotowari. The Sleepy Fans translation on this part was a bit confusing to me if I’m perfectly honest. The translation used in the Sleepy Fans scanlation made it seem as if they moved in front of the attack to disturb it as well as the opponent in order to make sure the attack hits.
But thank goodness we have cnet128’s translation to clarify things and to confirm my suspicions. The five tags are used to adjust the speed and pressure of the attack that is returned, in a manner that is similar to Nell’s Cero Doble. The question that remains is whether this works on all non-physical attacks. Could you imagine one of Genryuusai’s flames passing through Sogyo no Kotowari with some added power and speed? But the fact that Ukitake can already do this with Ceros is impressive enough, as pointed out by Starrk. So with his opponent having seen through his ability, Ukitake can’t help but feel… impressed.

Talking things over

Why does it feel like neither one of them is taking this seriously?

Ukitake acts genuinely surprised by the fact that Starrk saw through his technique to this extend after seeing it only three times. Starrk somehow is able to fit the mood set by Ukitake’s laid back behavior as he thanks him for the compliment and casually tells Ukitake that he’s glad that his powers work like that. As Starrk noted, the fact that Sogyo no Kotowari has to absorb the attacks before firing them isn’t quite as dangerous as directly reflecting the attacks. Of course, directly reflecting the attacks would negate the advantage of powering up the returned attack, so it probably balances each other when it comes to the speed at which it is fired. Starrk also reasoned that if Ukitake has to absorb the attacks before returning them, there’s probably a limit to how much Ukitake can take in. With this in mind, Starrk believes that Ukitake can’t return his Ceros if he fires a thousand at once. Too bad we can’t see how Ukitake responds at these speculations and the prospect of a 1000 times as powerful a Cero being fired at him, as Kyouraku seems to be out of character by not chatting casually with Starrk and Ukitake.

Close call

Of all the times to drop a quarter…

Kyouraku tries to lop off Starrk’s head by attacking him from behind. Starrk noticed this right on time as he ducks to immediately counter with a Cero fired with his left gun. The way these actions have been drawn out was done excellently, so kudos to Kubo and his assistants. But I’m a bit disappointed that the left gun only fired a “plain” Cero, as Starrk seemed to have only been using his right gun the entire time as if to save up a special attack hidden in the left gun, which I guessed to be Lilynette.
But Starrk has other things on his mind, as he believes Kyouraku to be behaving out of character. Now here I have to go to cnet’s translation again as the sleepy fans translation once again seemed too far out of place. Where Kyouraku says Starrk is the one to be out of character, which doesn’t make much sense to me, the cnet translation said the following for page 14:

Starrk: I thought I told you already to stop doing stuff that’s not like you, Mr. Captain!
Shunsui: I’m not sure I like you deciding what is and isn’t like me, Mr. Espada. // If you really want to go into this… / I’d say it’s a lack of such distinctions that makes up my identity.
Starrk: Tch… / And there I was thinking… // …that the two of us were similar.

Now that makes a bit more sense than the translation used in the Sleepy Fans scanlation right? This even gives an explanation on how Kyouraku’s Shikai relates to his personality. In the same way his Zanpakutou uses wind to attack, his personality is just as hard to grasp as the air. Or something along those lines . Starrk does seem to have a point when it comes to Kyouraku’s actions though, as they do seem a bit out of character. But maybe this is how Kyouraku gets once he is faced with a worthy adversary, or he just wants to get the troublesome fights over as quickly as possible to get back to relaxing. Starrk, however, feels that the two of them are no longer similar to each other. But before the conversation and the battle continue, everyone is surprised by the guest appearance of none other than Wonderweiss and the little surprise he brought with him.

It’s a Superchunky from Hell!

Or could it be the stay puff marshmallow man… From Hell!

The fight between Ukitake, Kyouraku, Starrk, and Lilynette is interrupted as a gigantic Garganta opens in the sky. The Garganta is big enough to make Genryuusai’s prison of flames seem like the light of a candle, and the being that comes out of it seems to be big enough to blow that candle out. As Kyouraku and Ukitake are left to wonder who could be coming through the Garganta as the top 3 Espada are already present, Wonderweiss makes his appearance. As Starrk is the one to identify Wonderweiss for the Soul Society captains, Wonderweiss turns to his fellow traveler. As a gigantic hand comes down next to Wonderweiss, we see that the size of his fingers alone is big enough to have Gillian masks for nails. Whether this monstrosity is as powerful as its size is of course something we can’t be sure about. If you take into account that the most powerful Hollows are supposed to be human sized according to the information Soul Society has, the captains may have more trouble with Wonderweiss than the Superchunky. Or could this Superchunky be some kind of mobile laboratory or base to be used to open the way to Soul Society rather than an opponent? All I can say is that this oversized, longhaired behemoth could be signaling in the return of Harribel and Barragan.


Overview

So what can I say about this week’s chapter? Well, Kyouraku postponing his Bankai is something that I didn’t appreciate at all, but seeing Starrk and Ukitake’s interaction and the way Kyouraku keeps making attempts to kill Starrk in one blow did make the chapter rather interesting. Wonderweiss’ sudden appearance was also a nice touch as most of us probably have been wondering where he was. The Superchunky at the end also raises a lot of questions, as it could either be a fraccion of Wonderweiss, a candidate to be turned into an Arrancar, or perhaps it already is an Arrancar that is part of another group besides the Espada -like the Escudo maybe….
The fact that there’s such a gigantic Garganta in the middle of Fake Karakura Town could even mean that Ichigo and some of the others will be coming through it as well, or perhaps some of the Soul Society party may find it later. With all these possibilities that have been made with the appearance of Wonderweiss, I found this to be a pretty good chapter. I honestly can’t wait until next week’s chapter.

Predictions

So what could we expect from next week’s chapter? One possibility is the return of Harribel and Barragan. Perhaps the arrival of Wonderweiss is something of a signal to warn the Espada that they are running out of time. Another possibility is that Aizen, Tousen, and Gin will be freed by Wonderweiss, followed by the revival of Barragan and Harribel. Or maybe this interruption will make way for Kubo to go back to Hueco Mundo and check up on Ichigo and the others. Well, I’ll go for the following prediction for now:

Wonderweiss frees Aizen from his fiery prison, who in turn tells his Espada to report to him. Harribel and Barragan turn out to be safe as they return to Aizen’s side while Starrk follows later. Soul Society is then pressed due to the overwhelming power of all their foes as the chapter ends with the Vaizards showing up.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I don’t have the time to glance over my review, so some things could be a bit off. But as usual, be sure to let me know if I misinterpreted, overlooked, or if you have a better theory/explanation for something. I hope you guys enjoyed the review and be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this chapter and/or review and to vote in this week’s poll. I’ll see you again next week!

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~ by The Underscore on June 27, 2009.

4 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach Review 363”

  1. great breakdown! i was laughing a lot at the dropping a quarter part. i hope barragen and halibel come back because so far i havent seen any reason why hallibel is ranked higher then uluquiorra. just looking at his first relase versues hers i think he would win. if she loses this esaily then i dont see why she was number three

  2. Thanks, glad you enjoyed the read.
    I do expect Barragan and Harribel to come back with a bang, so there’s little to worry about there if you ask me. But Harribel having so much trouble with Hitsugaya does seem to suggest that either she’s weaker than Ulquiorra, or that Hitsugaya is at least as powerful as the segunda etapa Ulquiorra. But I think she’s going to show us why she’s third one of these chapters.

  3. sweet review: Do you think the creature that wonder-wise brought in was a creation by Aizen? I think Aizen he created it for a distraction, see while the hollow is terrorizing he may draw out head captain yammotto while he deals with it Aizen escapes using his bankai it would show in the chapter. The when squad 1 captain finishes he is astonish and ask Aizen how he escape his flames. Aizen say’s simple i just use my bankai that all.

  4. Bleach Chapter 364
    Verification: Confirmed
    Credits: Cezaria

    The progress seems epic this time
    COLOR PAGE IS ISHIDA

    Wonderweiss with the huge thing that was with Aizen before)
    Wonderweiss attacks Ukitake. Don! “Impossible…” (WW’s hand tore through Uki’s back)

    Shunsui, after seeing, slashes at WW, but at that time, Stark shoots him in the back.

    The two of them (Uki and Shunsui) falls to the ground, and Stark looks on.

    “Sorry. Seems like Aizen-sama wants to hurry this up, sending out Wonderweiss. Nothing personal…”

    Wonderweiss cries a very powerful battle cry. (OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!)

    From inside the ice mountain, Harribel is seen with a mean/scary look on her face.

    And the form of Barragan is seen standing amongst the smoke. Soifon looks shocked (Cez: I think)

    Kira calls to Koma, “Leave this to me, please go, Taichou”
    In the next second, the fire prison disappeared in the blink of eye, and the 3 people are there.

    Kira: “Is it over…?”

    Aizen steps forward

    “Wait! Long time no see, Aizen!”

    With that, the vizards have arrived.

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