The Underscore’s Bleach review 375

The Underscore’s

375 Execution, Extinction

Hey there everyone, quite the week for Bleach isn’t it? Bleach on the cover, a lot of colored pages as well, along with the -better than- usual chapter along with a brand new contest running in Jump. All for the eight years we’ve been able to enjoy Bleach. I must say this has been quite the chapter with plenty of revelations and a great twist at the end. Using the Sleepyfans scanlation and some spoiler pics I’ll be reviewing this week’s chapter and a bit of the specials, after last week’s poll results of course. I just hope I have enough time to fit in everything I want to. I guess we’ll find out once I try.

Poll Results

So last week’s chapter ended with Starrk being cut in two by Kyouraku’s attack, but what would this injury result in? I gave you eight options to choose from last week, and this is the order in which you wanted to see it happen.
In last place, with two votes, there was the scene change to Aizen, Gin, Shinji, and Genryuusai. Perhaps these voters wanted to see some action from the ones with most potential and least amount of action -Genryuusai beating Eón was like him sneezing, Shinji fighting the Gillian wasn’t even shown- as almost everyone else has had his/her time to shine. Kubo actually managed to throw these two voters a bone with this week’s chapter, so he’s looking out for the little guy as well isn’t he?
In sixth place, with four votes, there was the option of Starrk saving himself -the pack of wolves being the first Starrk that is- as these soul shards have only shown us their destructive capabilities -though that seems to be the Primera’s thing- and as one would expect from the Primera, he ought to have plenty of abilities. With the wolves being Starrk as well, they in turn should have more abilities right? Sadly this chapter won’t give us any hints on that end.
Tied in sixth place, also with four votes, is the scene changing to the fight between Tousen and Komamura. With all that’s happened in Starrk’s fight, some time may have passed with Komamura forcing Tousen to get more serious. Or is Hisagi still attempting to open Tousen’s eyes? But this chapter focuses on something else, though it hints at developments in this fight rather soon.
In fifth place, there was the option of Starrk being killed. Either believing in Kyouraku’s strength or hoping for some exciting twists to the story, these people got what they wanted to say the least.
In fourth place, with seven votes, there’s the scene change to Harribel and Lisa. Whether this is something we obviously could expect or something the perverts amongst us want to see, we got what we wanted in this chapter and even more!
Then in second place, with ten votes, there was the option of Starrk being knocked out, giving Kyouraku the win. It isn’t all too clear whether Starrk is finished or not, though it does look grim for him and his ambitions -as far as he has ambitions.
Tied in second place, also with ten votes, people were hoping to see Lilynette taking over with her Resurrección. After having seen the damage dealt by Kyouraku, Starrk would at least have to take some time to recover. So who better than the other half of the Primera to show what she’s got -though Ukitake already got most out of her I think.
Which leaves the last option, with fifteen votes; people were expecting Starrk to get his act together after a little pep talk from Lillynette in a continuation of what we’ve seen before. There is some continuation of certain behavior, though it isn’t Lilynette who is repeating herself.

It’s that one guy!!!

If only that Komamura doll came in life size…

Like I said, lots and lots of Bleach in this week’s Jump. Taking the cover, a double cover page, a colored page with the Vizards of 100 years back, a colored introduction for a contest, and the revelation of a Komamura and Mayuri doll, fans ought to be pleased. The reason I’m showing the cover is to point out that youngster who came in first. It seems he serves another purpose than just to annoy us with the fact that we have to wait another week for a new chapter. His name appears to be Kurosaki Ichigo, a fifteen year old substitute Shinigami who is fighting to protect his friends and family -and any random passer by he sees- from Hollows and other spiritual beings for eight years running in Jump magazine. I wouldn’t mind finding out more about this character would you?

Bleach Best Bout Contest!

I remember the protagonist wore black clothes and a blade as big as he is, but something’s off…

Like he did with the previous Bleach contest, Kon takes the stage once more announcing the Bleach Best Bout contest. Though he has had few battles himself, he too realizes that Bleach has had plenty of other fights which surpass his own -though Kon vs. Yuzu was epic in its own way- even with Ichigo and Rukia pointing out some of his own battles. I honestly have no clue how many fights we’ve had in Bleach, though I too am curious about your favorites. Depending on whether I find the time to make a list of all the battles we’ve had in the Bleach manga or whether the results come out sooner I may decide to use the weekly poll to see which one you guys like best. But who knows if I’ll do anything about that. Let’s go on with the rest of this special Bleach chapter.

Happy Anniversary

It’s raining Bleach! The good kind!

Continuing with the colored pages, we get a double page with a couple of delinquents who are dressed to impress. It’s been a while since we last saw one of these pages from Kubo and it seems he’s taken this opportunity to show off plenty of male characters in their colored glory. The only thing that I don’t get is why he chose to put Yumichika in this colored page as he doesn’t really fit here in my opinion. Most of the characters we see here have had a couple of chapters that showed their past during the story, Yumichika’s past was shown along with Ikkaku’s past meaning Ikkaku would have been better. Or maybe Yumichika has a bigger fan base than I expected. Not that I really mind his appearance here, but between him, Chad, Ikkaku, or even Kon who’d be really out of place in this picture, he’d end in fourth place in my book -I chose four options because I know he dislikes the number four – but that’s just me I guess. It could be Chad’s supposed to be on the right of this picture as there’s an arm there, but I don’t see him here yet.
Then we also have the Vizards in their 100 year old get ups. It feels we’ve already seen this picture before, but this could be the first time we’ve seen it colored. I would’ve liked to see a colored page with all the resurrected Espada as well, to be honest, as there’s still plenty of time left to show off the Vizards. The Espada, on the other hand, seem to have met their end, as we’ll see in this chapter.

Bonding with demons

It’s sad Aizen can’t say the same

The chapter starts off with the main antagonist of the story, Aizen, approaching a few mountains of dead Hollows. He then asks the man (?) sitting in amongst the piles whether he was the one to kill them. Starrk then answers he wasn’t the one who killed them, but that they just died by being around him. Aizen then makes the proposition of which we all know the outcome, as he tells Starrk that he is looking for comrades. Starrk then asks Aizen whether Aizen and his comrades are strong, most likely to make sure he doesn’t get his hopes up before Aizen and his companions die due to his presence. Aizen then tells him he should find out by himself, after which we see a few splatters and squirts of blood flying around. This is probably Starrk testing Aizen to see whether he is strong enough to stay alive around him. The battle ends with an unscathed Aizen and Starrk agreeing to Aizen’s proposal to join his ranks.
Now there are some peculiar things to note here. First off, I was right about Hollows being crushed under the Primera’s immense spiritual power. The problem, however, is that the Primera was supposed to have split into two to make sure she/he wouldn’t be alone and perhaps even to seal a part of their power. It is possible that Starrk and Lilynette being close to each other was enough to keep the exact amount of Reiatsu as the original Primera, resulting in the same massacre as before, or Starrk (and Lilynette) alone were powerful enough to have the same results.
But the most peculiar thing is the fact that Starrk and Lilynette look exactly the same as they do now! The masks are the same and they show no signs of being any different from other humans or Shinigami with the exception of the hole in the chest. The fact that Starrk used a Resurrección is the only thing that showed us that he in fact is an Arrancar. Did Kubo screw up, or is there something else? Going with the latter, my guess is that the Primera’s original form was similar to Starrk’s released state. The splitting into two is probably what also caused a metamorphosis into two humanoid beings, probably based on the human souls’ memories of their previous lives to make a stable form -unlike the pack of wolves which tend to explode. The fact that Starrk and Lilynette look the same as Arrancar may have to do with the fact that they probably had to reunite to be turned into Arrancar, but Aizen then recreated Lilynette to function as Starrk’s Zanpakutou. But this is speculation of course.

The Crimson Dyed Town

And here we were expecting to see Starrk use the blood of others to paint the town red

As the flashback ends, we see Starrk taking the damage that was dealt by Kyouraku. With his upperbody almost cut in two -though Kyouraku’s cut was made more vertically than we see here- the blood gushes out as Kyouraku’s choice of the color black for the Irooni game put himself in enough danger to make this lethal blow. This then confirms that the area which is attacked doesn’t have to be in the same color as was mentioned, but that the damage that can be dealt is dependent on the total amount of that color on the active players.
With the game of Irooni coming to its end, Starrk apologizes to Aizen for not being able to repay him for the “friends” he and Lilynette made. He then looks back at his fellow Espada as he remembers standing behind them. Notice how the Espada are nicely lined up in numerical number from 2 to 9, where Yammy probably is supposed to stand behind Starrk as 0. But as he thinks back on his friends, he also remembers meeting his oldest friend.

El Primero y La Primera

How cute can you get? ❤

Starrk is seen standing in front of a new-reborn Lilynette as he asks her name. She then gives her name and wonders whether Starrk has a different name even though he is her as well. The look on Lilynette’s face, however, seems to suggest that she had her doubts on the success of splitting into two. Perhaps this was one of many attempts to split into two where there had been many failures. This would mean that Lillynette was the original of the two, though there’s always the chance that both have the same memories of the time before splitting into two parts. But something tells me Starrk is the second part, which was supposed to act like a father figure for Lilynette as well as someone to protect her in the barren lands of Hueco Mundo.
After Starrk introduces himself and throws her a cloak, Lilynette asks him what they are going to do now that they’ve become two entities. Starrk answers that they can do anything, though Lilynette is curious as to where Starrk wants to go. Starrk tells her they can go anywhere, but that, most importantly, they will stick together forever. The look of relief on Lilynette’s face that her loneliness has come to an end has been drawn out awesomely in my opinion. The focus on her reactions is also the reason why I think she is the actual original Primera Espada. But the flashback comes to an end before we find out more, as Starrk falls down to the ground.

Never changing reality

He seems to be contradicting himself again…

As Starrk falls to the ground, Kyouraku looks at his defeated opponent. Love then appears behind Kyouraku, thanking him for saving both him and Rose from the imminent doom at the hands of Starrk. Kyouraku waves his thanks away as he was just helping old friends, though Love feels Kyouraku wasn’t entirely right. Love hints that he is familiar with Kyouraku’s way of fighting as Kyouraku apparently tends to intervene in other people’s battles. Love, being someone with a rather romantic sense of battle, then can’t help but question Kyouraku’s way of fighting as he thinks that this way of fighting lacks style. Kyouraku then points out that only the victory counts and that especially captains ought to aim for victory, no matter the consequences. Because no matter how the battle starts, once it ends you will still be wrong according to him. Something tells me these aren’t his words as much as they are Genryuusai’s as these words seem to hurt him. As Kyouraku reseals his Zanpakutou while talking to Love and Rose, he looks at Aizen.
Aizen, who didn’t even look at Starrk while he was falling, does seem to be interested in the battle of his second to last Espada Harribel, who is fighting the former eighth squad lieutenant Lisa.

The Iron Blood Dragonfly

Somehow it feels appropriate to say she is compensating…

Harribel and Lisa’s fight seems to have been going on for a while as Lisa seems to have taken out her mask in the process. As the two clash swords in the air -where else with Bleach- Lisa apparently believes she’s found an opening as she releases her Haguro Tonbo. As far as I can see it looks like a lance with a bell at the end. Going by the name I would guess it may have the ability to fly around or perhaps it has something to do with water. Of course, with Kyouraku as he (former) captain, there could be quite the surprise in store for us. But before we find out what else could happen with Haguro Tonbo, another Zanpakutou is revealed.

The Beheaded Serpent

So this is what would happen if Zangetsu and Zabimaru were to merge into one…

Hiyori suddenly appears behind Harribel, releasing her Kubikiri Orochi while she’s at it. The most noticeable part of her Zanpakutou has to be the fact that it looks a lot like Zangetsu. The only difference with Zangetsu is the teeth of the blade, which look similar to Zabimaru’s teeth, and the fact that it has a guard. The strange thing is that I feel I’ve seen this sword before when Ichigo was trying to obtain his Bankai, but I’ll have to reread that chapter another time. What’s more interesting about Kubikiri Orochi, is the fact that this may explain why Hiyori was so keen on helping Ichigo surpressing his Hollow. She probably noticed the similarity in their Zanpakutou, and as such the similarity between them as Zanpakutou are shaped according to the Shinigami’s Soul. Going by the similarities with Zangetsu and Zabimaru, my guess is that Kubikiri Orochi works with energy and physical attacks. But before we see what Hiyori does, Hitsugaya intervenes as well as he summons Hyorinmaru. As Harribel then is forced to face the combined front of Lisa, Hiyori, and Hitsugaya, the scene passes Aizen once more as something we could have expected comes to pass.

Finishing things

Why can I imagine Gin and Shinji fans screaming this isn’t enough?

We now find out that Gin and Shinji were the spectacle Aizen was looking at while ignoring his Espada. Though both fighters seem to have plenty up their sleeve, Aizen tells Gin it is enough and that they should get things over with. A slightly annoyed Shinji -whose head wound miraculously healed while his hair has grown back- then wonders what Aizen is talking about as he feels things shouldn’t be ending by anyone’s hands but his. Though this bit reveals what Shinji has been doing, the question is what happened to Genryuusai, Kensei, and Mashiro as they probably shouldn’t have to recover from a fight right now. Could it be Wonderweiss is also playing around in the same way as Gin? We aren’t allowed an answer to that question as Aizen suddenly uses Shunpo -my guess is he isn’t using Sonido- to appear near Harribel. Harribel looks surprised at the sudden appearance of Aizen as he gives her what he thinks is a just reward for her performance.

Lady Killer

First Momo, now Tia, damn you Aizen!

Aizen cuts Harribel casually, ignoring the fact that he could have done the same to his enemies instead of his allies, as reality sinks in with Harribel. It seems Aizen still has the bad habit of killing the women who idolize him once he has no more use for them as we can see here. He flat out tells Harribel that he is done with her as she is not strong enough to fight for him. As Harribel falls apart, Aizen tells Gin and Tousen that they have to go, ending the chapter with quite the surprise.


Whew, so much Bleach this week. As I have to round things up for today I’ll leave things at this. The chapter was awesome. Sure, Harribel and Starrk dying like that isn’t exactly what I wanted to see, but Starrk’s past revealed, or rather Lilynette’s if I’m right, as well as two new Shikai finished with quite the twist at the end made this chapter great nonetheless. With the story progressing at a high pace and Aizen deciding he and the other former captains should be going, I am eager to see what Kubo has in store for us now. Will he pull out the Escudo I’ve been hypothesizing about since 2009 started? Or has all of this been part of Aizen’s illusions? And most importantly, what will Kubo do now? Here’s my guess:


Next week I predict total chaos. The three former captains could gather at one point, chat a bit about how they will move on, and then pull out their masks. The scene will then change, of course, to Las Noches where we will see Yammy rampaging as he too will be overwhelming his opponents. The next part of the story will most likely take place in Hueco Mundo for now, where Ichigo will find out what Aizen’s next step will be before he sets out to stop Aizen in his tracks. Perhaps we will also see Wonderweiss for a bit next week and maybe even Lilynette. Lilynette could be confirmed as the actual Primera as she weeps over losing Starrk before returning to the true Primera’s form, whatever that may be.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I think I probably overlooked quite a few things in this chapter with so much happening and things have been rushed a bit due to time constraints. I really would love to read over my review before posting, but I won’t have the time to post it until Sunday morning if I don’t do it now… I just had to put as much as possible into this review to celebrate the eight years of Bleach…Maybe I’ll post a second version if I find the time to do so. Just be sure to let me know what I overlooked, perhaps what you want my opinion/theories on, to share your thoughts on this chapter and/or review, and to vote in this week’s poll. Also make sure to give your predictions as I only had time to post one. Anyways, I’ll see you again next week!


~ by The Underscore on September 25, 2009.

7 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 375”

  1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Starrrrrrk!! wtf kubo my favorite espada after ulquiorra couldent even get his opponent to pull out bankai!? man, and aizen is a complete monster killing harribel like that. i have so much to say, but first why the hell did he kill harribel insted of toushiro or one of the two vizards? i mean wtf it was so pointless to kill her like that! this is the ultimate example of kubo refusing to kill a good guy, aizen could have slashed any one of those three enemies and he chooses one of his own espada? WTF. Why was Harribel ranked higher then ulquiorra anyway? her relase was weak, ulquiorra probobly could have beat her without even using secounda etapa.

    sorry for the rant. My last favorite espada died to a SHIKAI!!?? and i am pissed (Please Yammi zero, turn out to be a badass and not a big dumb idiot like your pre relase state)

  2. Maybe Starrk and Lillynette were already arrancars before meeting Aizen? Its rare but has happened over the years in Bleach like Grand Fisher and Arturo Plateado. Well there could be some hope. If Lillynette is the original of the two maybe she could just remake Starrk since the two are entwined and give Shunsui another go.

    Man, Harribel was just boring. No backstory, interest, and totally weak for number 3 like Takashi said. I would love to know what her Sacrifice aspect meant though, she needed something to give her a serious strength boost.

  3. i also wonderd about her sacrifice aspect, maybe it will kick in now that aizen “sacrificed” her? lol

  4. I really loved the section about Stark and Lilynette. And i agree with you that the scene where Lilynette looked at Stark with that serenity and pure happiness was a great moment that summed up their relationship. It made me think for a second that she might be the true primera. however i think that neither of them is the true hollow that once existed. I think that when the souls split two brand new people were created. Maybe that’s why neither of them remember who was the original.

    Its really hard to believe that the espadas have all been defeated (except for zero). Even harder to believe is that they would both fall in the same episode and on by only one slash through the body. I mean really if everyone died from a tiny slash like that everyone in Bleach would be dead. Right? maybe i’m being a bit too optimistic. And i’m probably still in shock from their deaths.

    I think that now the Attack on Karakura town will begin. Maybe team Aizen are going to go destroy the barrier posts that were being protected a while back so that they could fight in this fake replica.

    By the way your intuition about Kubikiri Orochi. We did see a similar version of this sword way back when Ichiwho was working on his 3 Day Bankai training. Its over on the left side of the page.

    Although even this version has differences from Hiyori ‘s Zanpakutou.
    The Jaged edge is on the opposite side of the katana and it still doesnt have a guard.

    @TakashiD: You’re right Kubo doesn’t like killing the good guys. Maybe he’ll suprize you now that Aizen (lady killer) is in the fight.

  5. @TakashiD
    This chapter has been hard on you I guess. Harribel’s sudden death could be related to her sacrifice aspect, I wanted to go into that possibility if I would have had the time. Harribel’s power didn’t really show in her fights if you ask me. Ulquiorra faced Neo Ichigo in a fight to the death, where the chapter had plenty of time to show how much effort both fighters put into the battle. Harribel’s fight, on the other hand, kept being interupted by other fights, where we didn’t even see her facing off against 2 Vizards and a Captain at once without any actual damage -another thing I wanted to point out. I do agree though that it is sad to see Starrk fall without catching a glimpse of Kyouraku’s Bankai, even if Kyouraku was tough as it is.

    Like I told TakashiD, Harribel’s strength just wasn’t showed properly, no matter how you look at it. She could have used more background though, that’s true. Right now all she was is the last female Espada worth watching -Lilynette’s too young for my tastes, and seeing Kon brings back the pervert in me ;p- and her aspect of death hasn’t really been shown. Even the other Espadas’ aspects were shown better even before we knew those ten aspects existed.
    As for Starrk and Lilynette, there’s the possibility that they are natural Arrancar as there have been cases in the past -your examples and hints in past conversations. If I’m right about Lilynette still being alive as well as being the original Primera we may be able to see quite the event unfolding. But that’s just speculation from my part :).

    It is pretty strange to see two Espada fall in one chapter, especially both with one lethal cut -Starrk actually managed to evade all attacks except for Kyouraku’s. If Harribel dies with one blow from Aizen, it is just to point out how crazy powerful he is.
    Now we’ll have to see whether the real Karakura Town will be attacked first or whether Las Noches will be shown. perhaps they will finally aim at the barrier posts instead of taking on the challenges of Soul Society.
    As for the Kubikiri Orochi, it would have been rather lame if it looked exactly like one of Ichigo’s Bankai candidates, though the similarities were certainly there in my memory and this confirms it.

  6. Great Review, first time posting read many review…idt Stark and Harribel are dead. It’s prob one of those Grimjaw things where the character is to popular to kill of so they knock them ou8t and bring them back later. Maybe the Shiks wil heal them and imprision them

  7. yeah underscore i agree that Hallibel didnt get as much of a chance to show her power, but i just didnt like her relase form. besides the obvious fanservice there wasent really anything that great about it. i really started disliking her at the point where it seemed like she cut hitsugaya in half and then it was a “mirror/ice” clone and she started fighting him again. I did not understand why she did not just cut him in half again! Before she relesed she was kicking his ass! then after the clone thing it was like suddenly they were even!? That made no sense to me. so im hoping she shows us what she can do, maybe right before she dies she uses all the water hitsugaya and her made during the fight to attack aizen or something. maybe we will get a flashback from her that will explain the “sacrifice” aspect?

    P.S does anyone else feel that this whole espada arc has been kind of pointless? all of the espada except for zero are dead and only barragen and ulquiorra managed to do any lasting damage by destroying soi fon, Hachi, and ishida’s arms. Its a little riduculos that with the nine espada we have seen so far only Ulquorra managed to kill a good guy(ichigo) and even then the good guy came back to life! Twice!

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