Bleach 364: Grinning Revengers

The Underscore’s

364 Grinning Revengers

Hey there everyone, welcome to another Bleach review. With this week’s chapter coming out a lot sooner than expected, it somehow coincided with the start of my vacation. Just don’t expect my reviews to come out on weekdays starting next week. I’ll be far too busy then, though I’ll make sure to make plenty of time on Saturdays to write a review of course. But for now this week’s chapter can be seen as a nice way to ring in my 4 day vacation. In order to celebrate this vacation, and the fact that my predictions somehow all came true, I’ll be using more pictures in this week’s review. So credits go to Franky House for their release of Grinning Revengers -oh Kubo and his Engrish :)- whose scanlation I used in this week’s review. With that said, I’ll go over the current poll results for last week’s chapter.

Poll Results

So in last week’s review I asked you what you found to be the most interesting development in last week’s chapter. The readers here at WordonMars decided they didn’t have to vote, or they couldn’t find the link to the poll. But seeming as how the poll at MangaHelpers is still open until this Saturday, I’ll only go over the top three for now. So on number 1, with 18 votes, we have the arrival of the Superchunky at the end of the chapter. Let’s face it, can you look it in the eye and say it isn’t cute?… Yes you can, but after it appeared a couple of hundred chapters back, we never knew what it was and how it differed from other Menos. Perhaps the fact that it appeared now will give us some answers to what it is. Or maybe people liked the idea of it going around to wreak some havoc, which could be fun of course.
On 2, with 13 votes, the arrival of Wonderweiss was what intrigued you. Wonderweiss has shown to be a fierce fighter whose thoughts were hard to read. After playing around with Urahara, he would seem capable of toying around with other captain level Shinigami as well. This week’s chapter probably gave a pretty good explanation on why Wonderweiss appearing was so interesting.
And on 3, with 7 votes, we have the way Starrk analyzed Ukitake’s ability. It looked flashy, it was drawn out in a great way, and it showed Starrk is more capable than his demeanor would suggest. But from what we can see in this week’s chapter, all that was nothing more than a game to him.

Mr. Raindrop

It’s raining on your shopping parade!

After last week’s color page with Chad, we now have one with Ishida. Where we saw a glimpse of Chad’s room in last week’s picture, here we have Ishida with a bag full of magazines and what appears to be a notebook of some sorts. Maybe he is looking for some designs for the sewing club by buying some magazines, only to be stopped by the rain falling. As one of the ending themes of Gintama suddenly comes to my mind -Mr. Raindrop, I had some free time and was curious about this series, started to watch a few episodes, and found it to be perfectly wacky- while looking at this page, I came to think we can expect color pages for Orihime, Rukia, Ichigo, and perhaps Renji as well in the next few weeks. Probably showing us what they do when they aren’t busy fighting Hollows and rescuing friends from the clutches of evil. A nice and simple color page which I think looks really nice. Speaking of raining on parades, this week it was Wonderweiss who had to rain on Soul Society’s parade.

Enter, the Blob!

He won’t be winning any beauty pageants, that’s for sure.

As Chunky makes his way out of the Garganta, Ukitake is the one to utter the surprise on Soul Society’s behalf. With it being at least eleven times as tall as Wonderweiss -the little fellow at the base of the Garganta-, looking like it actually consists of chunks, and arriving at a time where Soul Society seemed to be having the upper hand, it isn’t really clear what it is. Komamura, who seems to be the most composed of the captains, recognizes Chunky’s eye as the same one they saw when Aizen escaped from Soul Society. But the only question that remains is what it actually is. The only masks we can find on its body are the Gillian masks on its hands -notice how this week it’s the right hand that came out first?- while it doesn’t even seem to have a hole in it’s body. Of course, these aren’t necessary to make a Hollow if we look at Aaroniero’s release -chapter 267-, which almost makes it seem like Chunky and Aaroniero are related to each other. But what purpose does Chunky serve? Is it a secret weapon to be used for the destruction of Karakura town? Does it hold the key to getting to Soul Society? Well, we’ll just have to wait for those answers as the chapter moves on to some shocking developments.

Heartfelt interest

It almost looks like he wants to take the heart out for a closer look

Wonderweiss turned to Ukitake, drawing his attention as well. Ukitake then only sees a glimpse of Wonderweiss moving as Wonderweiss’s hand suddenly sticks out of his chest. As Ukitake and Kyouraku can only look in awe at this sudden strike, Wonderweiss seems to be somewhat euphoric about his attack. With a psychotic look in his eyes, he examines the hole he made in the captain.
Somehow, Wonderweiss was able to move so fast that Ukitake wasn’t even able to respond to this attack. Behind this young boy’s innocent behavior, there seems to be a real monster. While Zommari claimed to be the fastest amongst the Espada, Wonderweiss seems to crush this reputation in one go.
The question now is why Wonderweiss isn’t one of the Espada as the only defects we can see for now are his inability to speak and his childlike demeanor. But in spite of these defects he clearly is very capable of assessing his opponent’s strengths as he tends to directly go after the strongest opponents around. Moreover, he only seems to respond to the highest level of Shinigami -Urahara and now Ukitake.
Perhaps it is his bloodlust that drives him to seek challenging battles against Shinigami who oppose Aizen. But his attacking Ukitake drew out someone else’s bloodlust.

Revenge for the Fallen

Starrk thought Kyouraku was out of character last week…

No sooner has Ukitake fallen, or Kyouraku is out for the live of Wonderweiss who fatally injured his friend. The look in Kyouraku’s eyes is one we haven’t seen much in the story, and quite frankly Kyouraku was one of the last people I would expect to see using this expression. Rather than trying to get Ukitake somewhere safe before fighting Wonderweiss, he uses the tactical option as he uses the fall of his comrade as an opportunity to take out Wonderweiss. This sudden charge at Wonderweiss’s back may be something similar as to how he fought Starrk, but the blind rage just isn’t what I imagined for his character. Ukitake’s fall made Kyouraku snap, causing him to change his nature to this extend, which shows how good a friends they are. But I’m probably just as Starrk, making assumptions about Starrk’s nature while his nature is supposed to be erratic. Speaking of Starrk…

Rounding things up

I was kidding about almost killing him last week!!!

Before Kyouraku has the chance to slice Wonderweiss into pieces -which I also would love to see after him hurting Ukitake-, Starrk shows us that he has plenty up his sleeve as well. He appears behind the blindly enraged Kyouraku to fire a Cero in his back -with Lilynette- apologizing in the process. He then tells us that Wonderweiss’s appearance signals the end of their stay in the fake Karakura town.
Even though this should be big news for Soul Society as the battle may shift now, Genryuusai can’t help but show his concern for Ukitake and Kyouraku. The fact that the two strongest and most experienced captains from his academy fell in two strikes does make for a good reason to panic. But before Genryuusai is able to intervene, Wonderweiss makes another unexpected move.

Wakeup call

Everybody in the House, Scream!

After taking a deep breath, Wonderweiss starts crying out as loud as he can. His scream actually is powerful enough to shatter the Obelisk holding Harribel and to blow away the smoke hiding Barragan. As Harribel gives Hitsugaya a look telling us she is not amused and Barragan’s eyes seem to shoot fire as well -though he has no eyes, Yohoho!- , Hitsugaya and Soi Fon seem to be rather surprised by the fact that the two of them are not only alive, but completely unharmed as well. Honestly, I did expect this to happen as I have mentioned the return of these two Espada from the second they were brought into those situations, but I was hoping to at least see some scrapes and (frost) burns.
The top Espadas do seem to be powerful enough for Aizen to already make his move on Soul Society and to make the King’s key. So Aizen clearly didn’t overestimate the Espada as we have seen here. And this didn’t go unnoticed on the Soul Society side.

Breaking Up

Just because he looks like a dog, it doesn’t mean you can bark orders at him…

Kira, being ever so optimistic -sarcasm meter can’t hold it captain!- sees but one option after the fall of Kyouraku and Ukitake, the coming of Chunky and Wonderweiss, and the return of Harribel and Barragan. Komamura is to join the battle as the captains should unite against this grim situation. Even though he understands that Komamura just wants to protect the lieutenants, he feels that there’s no point to it if the captains are wiped out. Kira thinks the situation is grim enough for him to actually tell a captain what he is supposed to do. But as if the situation doesn’t look bad now, Chunky has something to throw onto the fire. Or rather, Chunky is pointing out the situation actually blows!

Well this Blows

Though it seems to suck if you had to stand in Chunky’s breath

Following Wonderweiss’s example, Chunky also starts to take a deep breath. Maybe even making a wish is the process; he blows out the Joukaku Enjou that entrapped Aizen, Gin, and Tousen. As the captains reappear from the flames, Gin can’t help but to point out that Chunky’s breath reeks. Even Tousen has to agree that it smells. As Gin points out that it reeks of death, Aizen finds that the stench of death suits the current situation. As Aizen calmly takes in what happened while he was trapped in the Joukaku Enjou, something seems to have snapped in Kira.

LN 8, SS 9

Las Noches seems to be going for a comeback

Kira can’t help but feel despair as they now have to deal with the top 3 Espada, a mysterious Arrancar who beat Ukitake, a gigantic monster, and three former captains. With two of the strongest captains down, one captain in a miserable state, four lieutenants down and two seated officers incapable of fighting, the situation does seem rather bad. In Kira’s mind, the battle is now over as the remaining captains can’t go up against these eight opponents. While Aizen seems to be rather amused by Kira’s thoughts, he’s given a reality check by one of his favorite people around.

Arrival

These guys sure took their sweet time didn’t they?

After almost 100 years, Aizen is faced with his former captain and the other Shinigami whose lives he’s ruined. Surprising both Kira and Aizen -to a certain extend- the eight Vaizards take the stage as they are ready for battle -though Love, Rose, and Mahshiro seem to give off a different impression. Kira’s expression before the Vaizards are shown is one I have to point out though. Something tells me he thought the Vaizards were more Arrancar, even though we all know better. I believe Kira may be the one to show the hatred by the Shinigami that Shinji and Hiyori were talking about. But I’ll go over that in the predictions in a sec. All I can say is that I’m glad my predictions all seem to have come true and that I’m curious on how the Vaizards and Soul Society will work together to fight the forces from Las Noches.


Overview

Well, with an early release and plenty of developments, this chapter was very good one. The upsides of this chapter being the return of Harribel, Barragan, Aizen, Gin, and Tousen, Wonderweiss and Chunky’s display of power, and last but certainly not least, the arrival of the Vaizards. There were some downsides to the chapter of course. Ukitake being fatally injured in one go by Wonderweiss may have been too much. Ukitake seems to be in no state to return to the battle, which is a waste as we almost could have seen his Bankai if things kept going the way they were at the start of the previous chapter. Kyouraku’s fall is one I can overlook for now as he only seems to be knocked out. I expect him to return for a battle against Starrk with his Bankai soon enough, maybe with a little help from Lisa as well. Of course, the downside to him being knocked out is the fact that we have to wait even longer until we see his Bankai. Another thing I found to be rather disappointing is the fact that Harribel and Barragan are completely unharmed. I admit that it isn’t the worst thing to happen, but I think at least some torn clothes and scratches could have been in place. But still, this chapter was just what we ordered a few months ago when we complained that things were going too smoothly for Soul Society and that it seemed like the Vaizards would be overkill. So what will Kubo do now? Will he stick with the Fake Karakura town, or will he go to Las Noches where the protagonist of our story resides? You know, the guy with orange hair, Berry-tan or something… :p Well, here’s what I think could happen.

Predictions

Next week’s chapter will lay the basis for the cooperation between the Vaizards and the Soul Society captains and will give us the new match ups. Or that’s what I expect to see. The most important factor would have to be Genryuusai as he is the only one who can tell the captains to cooperate with the Vaizards. Of course, Genryuusai’s opinion on Vaizards is one we aren’t familiar with yet. It were the 46 Chambers who sentenced the Vaizards to death as we saw in the Turn Back the Pendulum arc and we don’t know what Genryuusai’s personal involvement is with the former captains and seated officers. Genryuusai has already enlisted the help of Urahara, so perhaps he will ask the Vaizards to join in as well.
Of course, the Vaizards will have to agree to help too. Part of me believes that they will agree as long as they get to fight Aizen, but I wouldn’t put it past them to tell Soul Society to suck it as they handle it by themselves. But the next chapter will probably show us how this will work out. But then Kubo has to decide what he’ll do next as he can use this opportunity to go back to Hueco Mundo, or have the Vaizards have a ball first.

If he sticks with the fight in the fake Karakura town, I think/hope the Vaizards and Captains will join forces. The following fights could happen:
Shinji versus Aizen -revenge-
Kensei versus Tousen -revenge-
Rose versus Gin -seems to make more sense than Love versus Gin-
Lisa versus Starrk or Lisa versus Harribel -first to get revenge for Kyouraku, second because she’s a perv-
Hachi versus Barragan -given that spells work on him-
Hiyori versus Harribel -jealousy for her looks- or Hiyori & Hitsugaya versus Harribel -I think it would make for some great interaction between the two-
Love versus Wonderweiss -only captain left for now-
Mashiro versus Chunky – someone has to keep Chunky busy-
Of course Genryuusai and Komamura could also get involved in some of these fights, but I can’t think of fights where they can join in.

But if Kubo decides to go to Hueco Mundo I’m hoping to find out what the repercussions are for Ichigo turning into Neo Ichigo, what is hidden in Szaellaporro’s lab, what Unohana has been doing, and how Chad, Rukia, and Renji are holding up against Yammy. But for the sake of Ichigo getting the spotlight he should have, I expect to find out what Ichigo plans to do now.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed the early 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. I’ll see you again next week!

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~ by The Underscore on July 2, 2009.

4 Responses to “Bleach 364: Grinning Revengers”

  1. Yay, Vizards. Mashiro FTW !!!

  2. Oh my god this chapter left me WHOA!! When I say Hirako biting his hair, I started laughing and celebrating! I can’t wait for next week!!

  3. Sweet review Dan ^__^

  4. I don’t think that Kira was necessarily thinking that the Vizards were more Arrancar. Three former captains + the top tree espada + wonderwise and superchunky is already something to fear. Although it did surprised me that Kira was the one that took this role I wasn’t surprised to see that someone thought that Soul Society was doomed at that point.

    I can see Komamura’s Bankai fighting the gigantic Super chunky monster. Who knows maybe Mashiro could help. It would make for a good double team . Someone with comparable size + someone with great stamina.

    I’m really glad that the Vizards are here although its troubling to think that there will be a scene change from all of this action soon.

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