The Underscore’s Bleach review 382

The Underscore’s

382 The United Front [Discordeque Mix]

Here we are again with a brand new review for Bleach. This week’s chapter has to keep us satisfied for a whole two weeks, which is a bit disappointing. But still, the chapter is a good one, even though things didn’t progress as much as I hoped they would. Whether I have the right title isn’t something I’m too sure about as I read it as Discordeque Min, rather than Mix, but I’ll go with the Mix for now as I have no clue as to what Discordeque would mean and as such whether it goes with Min or Mix. But as it is about the United Front, Mix does seem to make more sense. Anyways, as we have to make due with this chapter for two weeks I might as well try to get as much out of this chapter as I can. Before I go over the chapter with the use of the Sleepyfans scanlation, however, I’ll be going over last week’s poll first.

Poll Results

Unohana made quite the bold statement last week by saying Ichigo would be able to beat Aizen so long as he doesn’t get caught up in Kyouka Suigetsu’s absolute or rather Perfect Hypnosis. So I wondered whether you guys thought that this is all Aizen has up his sleeve making it last week’s poll. With 49 voters, these are the results:
Four people didn’t care whether Aizen’s power solely lies in Kyouka Suigetsu’s ability. Whether this is because they don’t care about Aizen at all or about how Aizen obtained his power isn’t clear of course, but they just don’t care.
Five people, however, feel that Aizen relies solely on Kyouka Suigetsu’s ability. It is always possible that everything Aizen has shown throughout the story, including the casting of high level Kidou and whatnot were illusions created by Kyouka Suigetsu.
Nine people didn’t know whether Aizen solely relies on Kyouka Suigetsu. Aizen has shown us plenty of abilities and he also holds the Hougyoku, though the abilities could also just be illusions. Most importantly, Aizen just hasn’t shown us more than Kyouka Suigetsu, so who knows what he may be able to do?
But 31 people know better than this as they are sure that Aizen has plenty up his sleeves. As Aizen already pointed out that in order to awaken the Hougyoku for the creation of Arrancar, a power several times that of a captain is required, he should have plenty of potential. And as Aizen has been striving to break though the Shinigami boundaries, he should have at least met those.
The answer to this sadly doesn’t lie in this week’s chapter, but at least we get something else in return.

Ladies First

Some things aren’t open for discussion, Unohana’s opinion is one of those things

Passing through Mayuri’s Garganta, Ichigo and Unohana are still on their way to the real world. While following Ichigo on the road he is making, Unohana notices that there are a lot of reiatsu particles breaking off the road. As she looks at the part on which she is running she suddenly remembers that she should keep looking at what is in front of her, rather than just underneath her as she almost falls down a hole in the road. Unohana, of course, has little trouble stepping over this hole, though she feels Ichigo may not be up to the task to get them all the way through the Garganta with the road he is making. As such, Unohana kindly asks Ichigo whether she would be allowed to run ahead of Ichigo. Unaware of both Unohana’s reasoning and his crappy reiatsu control, Ichigo tells Unohana that it is no problem for him to create the path for them, thinking she is concerned about his reiatsu. Ichigo is probably still caught up in the conversation he had in last week’s chapter and still be concerned about the fact that he has to fight Aizen while avoiding Kyouka Suigetsu’s ability. This distraction is causing him to miss these two critical things. Ever so patient, Unohana asks Ichigo the same thing once more while Ichigo is looking at her. Ichigo then finally realizes the unspoken rules in Soul Society are also in effect outside of it: When Unohana speaks, you listen. And if Unohana asks you to do something; you just do it. Finally grasping the notion of these two rules, Ichigo kindly allows Unohana to go up front.

Roadwork

This is how the Soul Society captains roll

With Unohana running in front things look a whole lot different from what we’ve seen before in the Garganta. Where some instability in Ichigo’s road could have been caused by the nature of the Garganta itself, it turns out that Ichigo was just that bad at controlling his reiatsu and that Unohana is just that good at controlling it. Ichigo believes the difference in quality to be caused by the difference in reiatsu level between himself and any captain. While Ichigo is almost shocked by the fact that there’s such a difference in quality between the roads he made and Unohana’s, the captain herself feels Ichigo is somewhat confused about things. She tells Ichigo that his reiatsu is similar to that of a captain level Shinigami and that the only reason for him not to be able to create a decent road is because his reiatsu is too unstable. Ichigo then tells Unohana that she is wrong -BAAAAD move- as he just isn’t at full strength at the moment.
This part of the chapter gives us some basic information on the use of reiatsu by Shinigami. First and foremost it is used by Shinigami to fight by converting it into power -both offensive and defensive- and techniques -Kidou and Zanpakutou related- and is secondly used to heal them a bit quicker. In that sense the reiatsu of Shinigami can be seen as a regeneration ability, though not even close to, or as effective as, the Hollow high speed regeneration. After returning the Shinigami’s soul body to a functional state -not necessarily a full recovery- the reiatsu starts to recover itself. In Ichigo’s case this reiatsu recovery was apparently done by his inner reiatsu, though Shinigami and Hollows -and Quincy- take the reiatsu from their surroundings. Coming back to the regeneration ability, later in this chapter we learn that healing Kidou uses both the inner as well as outer reiatsu to activate the healing and depending on the form of Kidou can have differing effects -from closing wounds to healing broken bones.
So as Ichigo tells Unohana she’s wrong, Unohana tells him he must be talking nonsense as she already sensed that Ichigo’s power is back to that of a captain level. Somewhat annoyed by this, Ichigo starts to explain why he believes his reiatsu is still recovering.

Tensa Zangetsu’s Shihakusho

Clothes make the Shinigami

Mindset to tell Unohana that he could do a better job of making a road if his reiatsu was at full strength and that what he is saying is true, Ichigo points her to his Shihakusho, or Shinigami robe. Ichigo explains that the robe changes with his Bankai as if it is part of the Bankai -why didn’t he ever bother asking Zangetsu about it if he isn’t sure?- and that, in its current state, it can be used to show how much reiatsu Ichigo has. Ichigo apparently didn’t wait to be completely healed by Orihime as he had to get to Rukia, Chad, and Renji as soon as he could, which we already figured out, but that because of this his reiatsu hadn’t been recovered yet. Ichigo apparently already asked Orihime why his robe hadn’t been restored yet, to which she answered that she has more trouble recovering reiatsu than healing injuries. So while the coat had been recovered a little bit, Ichigo still should have waited longer before his reiatsu would have been recovered as well. But Ichigo just had to rush in as soon as he could and as such only left with half his reiatsu. With this information a few speculations come to mind:
The first thing that came to my mind while reading this is that Tensa Zangetsu may still be unstable right now. If you look at the sleeves and the bottom end of the robe you see it looks a bit torn up. I first attributed this to it sharing the same look as Zangetsu has, though with what Ichigo told us it may have to do with Ichigo’s control over it. It could be possible that if Ichigo had better control over his reiatsu the robe wouldn’t look as torn up as it does now. Of course, it looks better this way than if it looked like a normal coat or something. But we’ve been waiting for a new Bankai technique from Ichigo and we’ve been looking at Ichigo’s katana rather than his robe. Maybe Kubo is hinting at some special attributes in the Shihakusho that will be developed in the near future. Of course, the increase in speed we saw the first time Ichigo showed his Bankai may lie in the Shihakusho, but as we’ve noticed lately the increase in speed isn’t enough for the stronger opponents. Maybe Ichigo will be able to pull off some other things with his coat, though that would be a bit like Gash Bell.
Another thing that came to mind has to do with Ichigo’s last Hollowfication. As a Vizard, Ichigo’s power is at its best when there’s a balance between the Shinigami and Hollow powers. If the Shihakusho represents the Shinigami part of the powers, it is possible that the last Hollowfication failed because the balance was gone. After Neo-Ichigo’s appearance, the balance greatly shifted to the Hollow side of Ichigo’s powers. With the Shinigami powers only at half, it only makes sense that Ichigo isn’t able to create a balance between the two to maintain the mask long enough. So after Ichigo sensed his mask had gotten heavier it could be that his Shinigami reiatsu had diminished to the point that he couldn’t maintain balance anymore, causing the failure in Hollowfication the last time. Of course, with exactly half of the Shihakusho missing and Ichigo’s Hollowfication being off it could be that it has to do with the Hollow side of Ichigo’s reiatsu. It could be that the last bit of Hollow reiatsu Ichigo held was used up with the last summoning of the mask and that Shirosaki is now withholding the reiatsu from Ichigo.

A True Trump Card

You didn’t think Ichigo was just an exhibitionist now did you Unohana?

As Ichigo’s words sink in, Unohana can’t help but feel surprised at this new piece of information. Closely observing that there’s even less than half of the Shihakusho left, she realizes that she was too quick to conclude that Ichigo was back at full strength just because his reiatsu was at the level of a captain. Unohana then tells Ichigo that he should start running in front again while she recovers Ichigo’s reiatsu. Surprised by this, Ichigo wonders if Unohana is even able to do such a thing. But Unohana’s excitement causes her to quickly interrupt Ichigo before he asks something ridiculous as to whether she’s able to do such a thing as she quickly explains how healing Kidou work. As I’ve pointed out in this review, the healer first replenishes the target’s reiatsu to use it to recover the soul body with its innate ability while the Kidou is used as a means to increase the effect. As such, recovering the reiatsu without having to heal anything is easier than healing injuries. Content with the fact that Ichigo’s power will double after she restores the reiatsu, Unohana now has more faith in Ichigo than she had before. The question, however, is whether Unohana managed to make a good estimate of Aizen’s power if she is this sure Ichigo will be able to face him with that much power.

Kenpachi loves Count Count

Keep this up Kenpachi, make sure I’ll be right about Yammy’s legs

First off, I have to apologize because of what I wrote in last week’s review where I said Yammy had six legs and not 30 fingers. While I was right about the fingers, I was WAAAY off with the legs. When Yammy first released in chapter 354 he actually had 14 (!) legs rather than just six, but I was too hasty by saying he only had six legs last week -though in my defense I had just finished my exam week and my mind was a bit fried at that time- so my apologies for that. But same as you guys, Kenpachi didn’t say anything about that -how nice of you – and Kenpachi is even as kind as to make sure I would be right. This is shown by the fact that Kenpachi already cut off at least one more leg to get to the six I said Yammy had. Of course, Yammy has to ruin things by falling down after losing one more leg -while he has 12 more left to stay in balance, what’s up with that?- as we see here. Kenpachi tells Yammy he is pretty tough and asks him if Yammy is done for. With Yammy playing possum, Kenpachi no longer feels like helping a reviewer out – why Kenpachi, WHY!?- or finishing the fight. Not one to clean up his own mess, Kenpachi calls on Byakuya to do the cleaning.

To each his own pride

Is this really the time or place to start this again?

Byakuya asks Kenpachi what he is thinking telling Byakuya to finish things off. Kenpachi fakes kindness by telling Byakuya that he thought Byakuya might be bored just standing around and that he would let him finish Yammy off to make up for it. Not even fooled for a split second by Kenpachi’s so called motives, Byakuya makes it clear that he is by no means someone who cleans for others. Kenpachi then shows his true motives by telling Byakuya that he just plain doesn’t want to kill weaklings. Byakuya, having his own pride, tells Kenpachi that he should do it himself as he is the savage of the two. Taking this as a challenge Kenpachi almost wants to start a fight with Byakuya. But before the two can face off, Yammy comes to the realization that playing dead won’t give him the attention he wants as he slams into the ground once more. This time we can also see that the attack Kenpachi aimed at Yammy’s face in the last chapter connected, be it on his forehead. As Yammy towers above the two captains, they aren’t the slightest bit concerned by this. Yammy then proceeds to charge a Cero, which almost seemed to start off as a Cero Oscuras. Sadly it was “just” an overpowered Cero with enough force to give it a full one and a half page of space in the chapter.

Overkill

No matter how many times I count, he still only has one head guys…

Not familiar with the concept of Cero Oscuras, Kenpachi is just glad that Yammy still had enough power to fire a Cero of that magnitude. Being enough of a reason for Kenpachi to fight Yammy again, he rushes towards his target. But this time Byakuya can’t help but comment on Kenpachi’s observation skills as he points out that Yammy clearly isn’t done for yet. Kenpachi retorts by saying Yammy was weakened enough for him to finish it off and that it must be that Byakuya is too weak. Calling Kenpachi’s bluff, Byakuya releases his Senbonzakura Kageyoshi while telling Kenpachi to prove he would be able to finish Yammy off in the state he is in right now. Of course, now both of them are eager to prove their worth and aren’t even thinking of giving the other the first swing at finishing Yammy off. The reasoning behind that would obviously be that if the first one was to fail where the second succeeds it would be because the first one had weakened him for the other. Of course if the first one was to succeed the second one would never be able to prove to the other he was capable of doing it. So telling each other to move out of the way, they both mercilessly attack Yammy in his face to finish him off in one blow. Ending the chapter with this merciless attack by both captains we are left with the following questions: Is this enough to finish off Yammy? If Yammy dies because of this attack, who will get the credit and what will that discussion end in? And most importantly, what are we to do with Bleach on hiatus next week!?


Overview

So with Ichigo and Unohana still moving through the Garganta while restoring Ichigo’s reiatsu and Byakuya and Kenpachi having a little competition we’ve had a pretty entertaining chapter. Even though the part with Unohana and Ichigo did take a bit too much time and had a rather crude conclusion made by Unohana, Kubo still did something interesting by finally going into the Shihakusho. Perhaps he may even go into the whole chain business of Tensa Zangetsu as the only thing we’ve seen there is the small chain at the end of the katana. Or better yet, he may reveal the conditions that were made for Ichigo to obtain his Bankai in a conversation with Unohana during one of the upcoming chapters. Kenpachi and Byakuya were also pretty entertaining, even though Yammy was a bit disappointing for the umpteenth time. Nonetheless, Yammy has proven once more that he is a lot more durable than his constant beating seems to suggest. But we’ll just have to wait and see how many legs Yammy can lose before he stays down or whether this blow to the head is enough to finish him off for good.

Predictions

Yammy’s face gets to endure two lethal blows, yet something tells me it won’t be enough to kill him. No matter how I look at it I feel that Yammy has to push Kenpachi and Byakuya more than he has done now for him to be considered as stronger than Starrk. Even though Kenpachi and Byakuya are no pushovers, Yammy will have to push them a bit harder. This is why I believe Yammy will somehow manage to do so. Whether it is by using a few Cero Oscuras or Bala Oscuras; sucking energy from Kenpachi and/or Byakuya; or even a Segunda Etapa, he will show us that the Espadas weren’t completely worthless against Soul Society. Nonetheless I think that Yammy will only hold out for no more than 3 chapters if Kubo decides to finish that fight first. This is of course only if Yammy manages to pull out something drastic, though I wouldn’t mind seeing Yammy pull out something so impressive that he will survive longer than those three chapters if it means pushing his opponents to fight even harder.
As for Ichigo and Unohana making it to the real world, I think it might take a bit longer than we expected at first. Perhaps it will take a conversation or two before the two finally arrive, hopefully discussing something interesting such as Tensa Zangetsu or maybe even something about Unohana.

Well, that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the review as this one has to last for two weeks. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this chapter and/or this review and to vote in this week’s poll. I can imagine this chapter and review will give you guys enough to speculate about or make predictions with so be sure to post them here (as well). That’s it for this week’s review, so I’ll see you again in two weeks!

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~ by The Underscore on November 13, 2009.

7 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 382”

  1. @Underscore: you great with your reviews, on another note your review made me think about ichigo’s bankai. Since ichigo focus all his bankai power in his speed what do you think would happen if he balanced it out? It is possible his robe could change to. All the bankai we’ve seen so far have alter the person that using them appearance somehow, and their techniques, even renji has two tec and he’s not even a captain.

    On The Side possible spolier for cave ppl (at the end): I remember the episode when ichigo was fighting zangestu ogihci told him he would help him out if he promise not to use bankai anyone ever wonder why? I thought that if he did he would look like the hollow that killed espada #4

  2. Yammy should have a segunda etapa that turns him into a butterfly! 🙂 It’d go with the crazy caterpillar theme he resembles. The whole eat and rest for strength, the growth, and his legs in his release.

    It’d make him look better than this. 😛

  3. @sam_i_am:):
    Thanks. It is possible that the Bankai may change shape if it were to increase more than just his speed. The question is of course whether the Bankai will be able to change after it has been obtained. If it could somehow become different after it has been obtained we might be able to see some form changes. But somehow I doubt it will go that easy. But I also hope we will be seeing a new Bankai technique from Ichigo, rather sooner than later.
    As for the Anime department. My guess is that Shirosaki put that restriction on Ichigo just so he could boss him around. Or maybe it would cause an accidental Resurrección rather than a Bankai without Zangetsu around. I just don’t know how much of a hand Kubo has in this Anime arc, if he does it might give us a few hints on what could happen in the Manga.

    @Tony:
    He does seem to have more of a caterpillar thing going on than a scorpion, especially with the things you pointed out… But still, Yammy turning into a butterfly would just be… ‘-_-…. You know…. Somehow I think he’d still look bad, but in a totally different way.

  4. goddamit Yammi… Would anyone else like to see a cero espada that actually kicked ass and proved that it deseved to be the strongest espada? i certinly would.
    Anyway, the whole thing about ichigo’s rob=amount of power he has left has some intresting implications for his power level, but i think its more then a little ridiculous. so if ichig is in a fight and half his robe gets blown off (like when ulquiorra hit him with the Black Cero) does that mean he loses over half his spirt energy?

  5. This sam didn’t had time to log in, i have a question. since all soulreapers have a all black rope or shihaksho is aizen, gin, or tosen, no longer consider to be a soul reaper? i remember in the anime he said no one stands at the the top and then goes to say i will stand alone goodbye soul reapers. even the vizards used to be soul reapers with black robes and now there dress like regular people.

    @ Underscore what do u mean by accidental Resurrección

    side note ichigo fights with espada 4, 6, byakuya he had a part of his mask on his face does he resemble more to a vizard or more to an arrancar

    last note ogihci told ichigo if he really serious about wanting to control his hollow powers don’t die until i see you again could this mean the full hollow form like when he fought zanguestu or the one where he killed #4

  6. @ TakashiD:
    I don’t think that the robe thing works like that. It is true that whenever Ichigo gets weaker his robes do seem to get more torn up, but I think it works in the same way Kenpachi’s defense works to some extend. Where Kenpachi’s reiatsu blocks most attacks, in Ichigo’s case this is materialized in the form of his robe. As such, if Ichigo’s guard is broken, it is at the expense of part of his reiatsu and as such his robe.
    As for Yammy having to kick ass. I too would love to see it.

    @sam that didn’t have time to log in (:P):

    For the Shinigami robes. I think that the robes are a basic attire for the soul type. Normal souls get white clothes, while Shinigami get black robes once they become soul bodies (read, once they die). Other than that, they are free to change their clothes freely. As such you can’t judge a soul by his/her clothes as they are free to change their wardrobe. Whether Aizen and co. are still Shinigami or whether they have become “true” Vizards is still to be seen.

    As for what I said about the accidental resurrección. As Zangetsu is the form of Ichigo’s Shinigami powers, and the Bankai releases that power to the maximum, it would mean that if Shirosaki is in control -the form of the Hollow powers- and Zangetsu is not around it would mean that the Bankai only releases Hollow energy. So in the same way Arrancar release their Hollow powers with their Zanpakutou, Ichigo would do the same without Zangetsu around :). It would be accidental as neither one of them would have intended to do so.

    And Ichigo did often have but a part of his mask on during fights, but I don’t know whether that is for artistic purposes -so we can clearly see his facial expressions- or some form of Arrancarization -just made up a new word- to the Hollowfication. Perhaps that is what Aizen also intended to do… or maybe not :).

    As for the confrontation with Shirosaki: I have no idea. I think it should take place in Ichigo’s soul again for it to be called a real meeting again, but if Shirosaki took control it would mean that they have already met again. But for now I’d say the new confrontation between the two still has to take place.

  7. @ The underscore: i did have time to log in but forget lol, nice word (arrancarization) i like it. i just check out the spolier and boy it was up there trust me this chapter will be supper. thanks for the explanation never thought of it that way.

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