The Underscore’s Bleach review 377

The Underscore’s

377 Shout at the Dark

Hey there everyone, welcome to yet another Bleach review. This week we have chapter 377, Shout at the Dark. Now I’ll have to warn you guys, I’ve been sick for the past few days and I’m still not feeling too great at the moment. Nonetheless, feeling a bit better after a dose of Bleach I’ll be going over this week’s review. Though I promised last week I’d go into any posts I wouldn’t be able to answer in this week’s review, I won’t. Mind you I have read all the posts and you should feel free to keep posting, and if you really want to get an answer that the chapter and/or review didn’t give you about the story or even my opinion you can always ask and I’ll get to it as soon as I can. But right now I’m focusing on writing a decent review before I get too big a headache of staring at my screen. But enough on that, time for some Bleach! This week’s pictures come from the SleepyFans scanlation, so thanks to them for this week’s scan. But before we go to the chapter I’ll quickly go over last week’s poll.

Poll Results

So last week we witnessed how Aizen struck down Harribel for a second time as she survived the initial attack. What I wanted to know was what you guys thought of this merciless slashing and stabbing in the Tercera Espada and these are the results:
In last place was the possibility of giving Harribel a chance after surviving the initial attack with no votes at all. You all probably felt that Harribel wouldn’t last long after such an attack and/or that Aizen should finish what he started. Though some faith in her regeneration abilities would have been in its place…
Then in seventh place, with four votes, people cared little for Tia as they were too psyched to see Wonderweiss in action. They may have felt that if the Primera didn’t have a chance, the story might as well move on to the mystery fighter Wonderweiss and as such didn’t care how it happened.
In sixth place, with five votes, there were some people who were hoping to never see Tia ever again and to make sure she would stay down by saying Aizen should’ve destroyed her completely. To think you would want to make one of the most exhibitionistic characters in Bleach disappear without thinking of all the perverts in -Kon, Kyouraku, Hitsugaya, Lisa, Ichigo to name a few- and outside of Bleach -you know who you are. Though I guess it is a bit annoying not knowing whether the character will definitely be out of the game or not, so they may have a point somewhere.
Then tied in fourth place, with six votes each, there were two rather distinctive options. First there were people who expected Aizen to keep slashing her down as she failed to meet their and/or Aizen’s expectations. Admittedly I sometimes get the idea characters in stories should just die if they don’t live up to their expectations, but Harribel was doing fine against her opponents! Then the other six voters thought that Aizen’s attack was misdirected as he should have cut down one or all of her opponents. This is the more sensible approach as it is always useful to have some pawns to scout the field -arguing from Aizen’s perspective- which is to say that getting rid of it on your own is a rather strange tactic.
In third with seven votes we have people who do feel sad for Harribel, but are glad we can now move on to some other fights. Harribel has been fighting almost a year’s worth of chapters, be it in small parts of most of those chapters, so there being an end to it gives room for other fights which are bound to come.
Finishing second in this week’s poll, with nine votes, were the Aizen fans as they were exited to see that he finally did something since coming to the fake Karakura town. Having the main antagonist stand around ignoring his dying flunkies is rather boring, so him doing something other than that must be a joyous occasion for most Aizen fans -excluding the former fan Harribel .
But the majority of last week’s voters were supportive of Harribel (or plain perverts ) as they felt she didn’t deserve these attacks from Aizen. Like I’ve tried to point out over time, Harribel’s performance may not have seemed great but that didn’t mean it wasn’t something admirable. At least 10 voters thought the same and probably felt Harribel deserved to die at the hands of at least a Vizard or a captain.

Preparations for a Beat Down

Wouldn’t the beat down come AFTER the preparations?

Last week the chapter ended with Kensei stopping Wonderweiss from mercilessly attacking Mashiro and telling him he would beat him up. This week the chapter starts with Kensei returning the favor with interest by punching Wonderweiss in his right side of the face -favor returned- and smashing him into a few buildings -first part of the interest- while holding the injured Mashiro. The peculiar thing is that Wonderweiss actually looked surprised as this happened as opposed to the ecstatic look he had last week. Perhaps he realized what Kensei was saying, or maybe he was unable to notice the punch coming, but Wonderweiss did sense something bad may be happening in the nearby future.

The Splattered Bug

You’d think wearing a mask in battle would protect the face…

Following last week’s prediction, Kensei puts Mashiro somewhere save before he decides to beat up Wonderweiss. While Kensei is looking in one of his pockets, Mashiro wakes up as she asks him whether he’ll avenge her. With half her face beaten up and her right goggle cracked -seems like the goggles are on while she uses her mask MAX – it is pretty strange that she is this beaten by just this. Looking at the Bleach standards for being beaten, just one punch in the face seems a bit strange. The only explanation for this would be that Mashiro’s Reiatsu was so weak after losing her mask that Wonderweiss’ Reiatsu was high enough to beat her with a mere punch, though admittedly concussions also often help in taking people down. Somewhat comforted by the fact that Kensei is going to avenge her, Kensei doesn’t allow her this sensation as he tells her he isn’t going to avenge her.

The Preparations

Putting brats in their place is his thing

Taking his Tachikaze out of his pocket, Kensei tells Mashiro that there’s no point in avenging someone who doesn’t listen to his advice. As Wonderweiss flies out of the building he was smashed into, Kensei tells Mashiro he is going to put Wonderweiss in his place using his fist, even though he’s holding a dagger.
Now there’s one thing I have to go into quickly when it comes to Tachikaze. In the Turn Back the Pendulum arc, Tachikaze was in its sealed state until he released it. But ever since Kensei became a Vizard it seems like he keeps Tachikaze in its Shikai state. Perhaps it is so that he can have it hidden on him all the time, but it is rather peculiar to see from at least a captain class Shinigami. It is also possible that sealing Zanpakutou is a rule in Soul Society which Shinigami are forced to follow -if possible- and that Kensei never liked the rule. But enough about Kensei’s Shikai. As Wonderweiss’ face once again shines with joy, Kensei fans probably feel the same with the introduction of Tachikaze’s Bankai!

Tekken Tachikaze

Why are you destroying the building where you let Mashiro rest up?!

Tekken Tachikaze, probably one of the smallest Bankai since Tensa Zangetsu, brother to Gantenbein’s Dragula, these were thoughts that came up when I first saw it. But somehow it suits Kensei. With his arms wrapped in some form of cloth which sticks out behind him as well as two claws in his hands it seems we can expect Kensei to do some major damage. I honestly don’t know how it could work other than probably increase the strength of Kensei’s arms and maybe his speed. In its Shikai state it seemed to be able to blow destructive slashes of winds which exploded on contact with the opponent (Turn Back the Pendulum 5), so perhaps the Bankai will multiply the damage it can do.
As Wonderweiss starts to use his WHINE ability -see last week’s review if you don’t know what I mean by that- as Kensei pumps himself up by screaming as well. As the sparks start flying we turn to the other group in the fake Karakura town.

Approach with caution

Do Not Feed the Lady Killer

As the battle between Kensei and Wonderweiss starts, tension runs high amongst those facing Aizen. As Hiyori’s mask disappears -to recharge- we see she is itching to beat him down. Shinji notices this and as Aizen’s former captain he tells everyone to be cautious of Aizen’s power as any slipup could have dire consequences. Aizen has a slightly amused look on his face as he listens to Shinji’s warning while staring right at Hiyori. While Hiyori knows that Shinji is actually referring to her having to be cautious, her hatred towards Aizen makes her even more impatient. She lets Shinji know that she gets it, to which he replies in his usual manner of telling her he wasn’t talking to her, though he still is trying to have her calm down a bit.

Pushing Buttons

I’m still not sure what’s sharper. His sword or his tongue…

Aizen took heed of the situation and quickly devised a little scheme to entertain himself a bit. Aizen starts to tell his opponents that being cautious won’t help them at all as their fate had already been decided a long time ago. The most notable reaction is Hiyori’s, who is easily irritated by Aizen’s mockery of Shinji’s warning. Aizen then tells them that their demise had been settled a long time ago, a remark which the former captains already know the result to. Though Shinji tries to stop Aizen’s plan from coming to fruition, Aizen’s provocation continues as he tells the Vizards that they already died 100 years ago.

Aww Snap

Congratulations Aizen, you managed to anger Hiyori… Like that’s hard to do…

The straw that broke the camel’s back, telling the Vizards that they died 100 years ago broke the last of Hiyori’s patience. Before Aizen’s cruel experiments, her live was good as lieutenant of the 12th squad, third in command of the research department, plenty of comrades and an everyday live. Then Aizen turned her into a Hollow and put the blame on the man she came to open up to after such a long time and who helped her regain her sense of self. Her live ended 100 years ago as she was forced to live while being shunned by her former comrades and being in constant hiding. Having the culprit pointing this out to you is just adding insult to injury. While the other Vizards were able to come to terms with these facts, Hiyori being the youngest was most troubled by all of this. As Hiyori charges towards Aizen with her Kubikiri Orochi, blinded with rage, she is suddenly attacked by a beast viler than Aizen.

Gin’s Back

Just when you thought Gin was starting to behave

A sudden swipe of a blade as Hiyori’s attack is stopped in its tracks. As the pain starts to set in Hiyori sees her legs falling down as she sees Gin standing behind her with his ever mischievous smile holding his Shikai. If only she had focused on her surroundings or at least had her mask on to increase her abilities to start evading as soon as Gin’s blade struck her side. But Gin’s attack is as merciless as when we first saw it as it slashes straight through the young Vizard as if it was nothing. Gin then retracts his Shinsou while showing us that he is at least as good at making provocative remarks as Aizen with his little “one down” comment.

Cruel Reality

No matter how you look at it, this picture is gruesomely awesome

Shinji immediately rushes to catch Hiyori’s upper body after which he tries to get her to respond. With the most gentle face we’ve seen from Hiyori since, well, ever she apologizes to Shinji for being so impatient. As Shinji notices that Hiyori is still alive he immediately reacts by calling out to Hacchi. But as he looks at Hacchi he sees that Hacchi’s as stunned as he is by the sight of the damage dealt to Hiyori. From what I can make up of this situation, Hacchi’s healing abilities are probably available to him when he has two arms and even then they are bound to certain limitations. This was also shown in chapter 237 where Hacchi wasn’t able to completely heal Ichigo -although that had to do with other limitations as well. We then see a glimpse of Orihime in Shinji’s flashback as he remembers there’s someone who can even heal this level of injury.

A Shout at the Dark

Where’s the fourth squad when you need them huh?

Shinji says to himself that if Orihime were there, she’d be able to heal Hiyori. Shinji’s composure starts to fade as the girl who he cares so deeply for lies heavily injured in his arms. The same girl who he always loved to tease, the girl he kept treating the same way as always for the past 100 years to make sure she wouldn’t feel like she lost everything, the girl that he treated as family for as long as he can remember may now be dying unless Ichigo manages to make it in time. Crying out into the sky he wonders whether Ichigo can finally come back, as the scene changes to the only chance Hiyori has left.

Return of the Deathberry

It’s that protagonist guy!

Well I’m back to being wrong with my predictions as I thought that Kubo would stick in the fake Karakura town for a while. But I’m glad we finally go back to Ichigo, though with all the critically injured in the fake Karakura town, Ichigo had better bring Orihime there as soon as possible. Where Ichigo didn’t have to make haste at first as the Gotei 13 and the Vizards were taking care of things on their side, the pressure is on for him to quickly get all his friends and allies back to one place and to take Orihime back with them. Things to note are the fact that Ichigo’s still running around with his clothes torn up and his left arm wrapped in bandages. Instead of re-releasing his Bankai to at least get the coat back or having Orihime restore everything, Ichigo’s arm was wrapped up quickly to go down the white tower. So Orihime probably is busy healing Ishida’s injuries as Ichigo somehow managed to regenerate himself, where even Ichigo sensed the release of the 0 Espada Yammy. Knowing Ichigo he only agreed to put on the bandages on his left arm so that he could get to Rukia, Chad, and Renji as soon as possible while having Orihime heal Ishida first so that he can keep her save. Ichigo’s such a simpleton that way .


Overview

So what can I say about this week’s chapter? Kensei showed us the first of the Vizard’s Bankai -just as the first Vizard Shikai-, Aizen showed us that he still enjoys small schemes to entertain himself, Gin is the same bastard as he’s always been, Hiyori will die unless Orihime gets there on time -the same may hold true for Ukitake-, and finally we get to Las Noches again. It was a really good chapter even though Kensei’s Bankai was rushed a bit -I just wanted to have a better look at it- as we finally get back to Ichigo. Of course it is a bit disappointing that it had to happen at the start of Kensei’s fight. So what do I expect to see next week?

Predictions

I guess it’s clear what I’m going to predict. Ichigo flies down the white tower as the scene will change to Orihime and Ishida to confirm the expectations I put up at the end of the chapter. The scene may change to Kenpachi, Mayuri, Byakuya, and Unohana for a bit as well to see whether they noticed Yammy’s release. Then we’ll see Ichigo coming to the ground as he witnesses the situation with Rukia, Chad, and Renji before the chapter ends.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I’m going to take some aspirins… I hope you guys enjoyed the review. Be sure to let me know if I overlooked anything, to share your thoughts on this chapter and/or review, and to vote in this week’s poll. I’ll see you next week!

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~ by The Underscore on October 9, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 377”

  1. sweet breakdown! OMG Hiyori!? that’s all i have to say right now, ill comment more later

  2. Get well soon first of all!

    Wow, plenty of action today! I’d think its going to take a combination of all the Hueco Mundo forces to deal with Yammy since so many are in various states of injuries at the moment.

  3. All the woomen in fake Karakura town better wach out. Team Aizen is full of Lady Killers !!!! Sucks for Hiyori. A long time has gone by, Ichigo better hurry and kick some Zero Espada ass and get Orohime back to fake Karakura town. At this rate we’re going to loose alot of people in fake karakura town concidering that most have been fighting really hard for a while and are terribly injured.

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