The Underscore’s Bleach Review 384

The Underscore’s

384 Can’t Fear Your Own Sword

Hey there everyone, welcome to yet another Bleach review. This week we have chapter 384, Can’t Fear Your Own Sword. Quite the interesting read in my opinion and I’m glad the chapter came out so soon. I have little else to say here this week other than the fact that I have to start deleting pictures from previous reviews soon. But that’s something I’ll have to worry about, so you guys can just read this week’s review. This week’s pictures are once more from the Sleepy Fans scanlation, so thanks to them for providing them. But first, we have last week’s poll of course.

Poll Results

As there was little doubt that Tousen would pull out a mask, I asked you what type of mask you guys thought Tousen would have. I gave you a few options and you chose the following ones:
I gave you the option to tell me in a reply what Tousen’s mask would be like, but apparently I covered almost all the bases as only one person on wordonmars chose to tell me what it could possibly look like. He even gave me a link to show me what it would look like, though it didn’t come close to what it turned out to be.
Of course, it would be possible for Tousen to pull out an awesome mask to go with his person, which just one person thought to be possible.
There were three people who thought the mask would be as ugly as all the treacherous things he has done, disagreeing with that one person.
Five people thought it would be possible to be a link between Tousen’s Zanpakutou and his mask and voted for the option of his mask having a Cricket theme to go with it.
But of the seven options we have a top three. With nine votes, coming in third, these people believed the mask would be as dull as his owner. Perhaps after seeing it in this chapter their suspicions will be confirmed, or maybe they somehow saw a hidden charm. But there were twelve people who just don’t care about Tousen’s Hollowfication, making it the second place in last week’s poll. They would rather to get it over with so the story could move on.
But in first, with twenty two votes, there was the option of Tousen pulling out a mask beyond any we’ve seen before as Aizen clearly hinted at all other Vizards being nothing more than shoddy Arrancar. This chapter at least makes it clear that the mask is truly different from what we’ve seen before.

Spiral of Demise

Blow us away Tousen…

Starting off where last week’s chapter ended, Komamura and Hisagi stand baffled in front of their former friend and comrade. As if treason wasn’t enough, Tousen has now become part of the Shinigami taboo as he draws his Hollow mask. Disappointed and angered by the fact that Tousen sought the power of a Hollow, Komamura only wonders whether Tousen really has fallen as far as to take that power. Hisagi, however, has to face the fact that his former captain and mentor has now truly become a monster, not just in his deeds, but in his appearance as well. Both Shinigami were probably hoping they would be able to get back their comrade if they would be able to show him their justice -by knocking some sense into him of course. But now that Tousen has become a Vizard, it is no longer possible for him to return to Soul Society as he too is part of a taboo. In the same way the Vizards have been sentenced to death by the Central 46 Chambers, the same will most likely hold true for Tousen, which is assuming that the new Central 46 Chambers will be as kind as the previous one. Especially if you take into account the other things Tousen has done. This leaves us with one simple question for Tousen: Was it worth it?

It’s Morphing Time!

Every true man of justice stays true to the Power Rangers!

Well at least Ishida would be proud of Tousen’s new appearance. I myself have grown to appreciate this look -all that in a few hours time – while reading the chapter and thinking it over a while. That is not to say that I Love his new appearance, but in spite of it being rather bland it still has something to it. Tousen’s Hollowfication gave him a white mask with a single opening through the middle and covered his neck, chest, and shoulders to give us the White Wonder -get it? Wonderweiss liking him, and him being the White Wonder?… I though it was clever .
When I saw the mask at first I immediately thought of the Power Rangers due to Tousen’s everlasting search for justice. Perhaps Kubo was a Power Ranger fan as well and thought it would be suitable for Tousen to look a bit similar as somewhat of a tribute, who knows.
The whiteness of the mask is rather interesting though. Ichigo’s mask has the black patterns which keep changing, and he has quite the potential as a Vizard which changes along with the patterns. Perhaps the lack of patterns on his mask suggests that Tousen is lacking something that Ichigo has been developing or maybe I’m just reading too much into things. We’ll just have to see how Tousen is going to perform as a Vizard eventually, perhaps while he faces another Vizard to make a better comparison. The other thing that’s interesting about the white mask is the fact that nothing can be read from it. Like other Hollow masks it is difficult to read facial expressions, but even so other Hollow masks are a bit more capable of showing some -all be it few and shallow- emotions and intentions through the eyes or even by the mask itself. In Tousen’s case it all remains a -greater- mystery. In that sense it is similar to Tousen’s Bankai as it too leaves the opponent blind to their opponent’s intentions. In the same way Tousen can’t read intentions from other people’s faces, his mask does the same to his opponents. Perhaps this is the link between Tousen’s Zanpakutou and his Hollow.
I have little else to say about this Hollowfication. I was expecting to see more than this in the appearance of Tousen’s Hollow form, though the fact that the mask covers up more than Tousen’s face is interesting I suppose. Another thing to note is the fact that Tousen’s shoulder guards look pretty much the same as the mask itself, but I have no idea whether there will be more to the five openings found in Tousen’s Hollowfication. One thing is for sure though, Tousen is not supposed to be able to see, be it as a Shinigami or a Hollow/Vizard.

Cutting Ties

Talk about adding injury to insult

Still not believing his former captain has become a Vizard, Hisagi asks Tousen whether he truly used Hollowfication. Not all too surprising as the most monstrous about Tousen right now is probably his reiatsu. Tousen confirms that he has used Hollowfication with a short reply, leaving Hisagi to wonder why Tousen would want to become a Vizard at all. The only answer Tousen has for Hisagi, however, is his sword. Tousen has now shown that he is done with Hisagi as he won’t even take the time to explain things to him as he did in the past. Striking to kill also helps to show he is done with Hisagi of course as Tousen cuts through Hisagi. Tousen easily managed to attack Hisagi with his Sonido as we can see here, and apparently he is so good at it that he can even slip past a captain such as Komamura with ease.

More Ties to Cut

Striking Tousen in his blind spot never worked before, so why would it now Komamura?

Komamura wasn’t even able to keep up with Tousen’s speed when he struck down Hisagi. Komamura immediately turns around and uses his Tengen’s Shikai ability as a giant sword strikes down on Tousen. It is now made clear that Tengen does not harm Komamura at all as it easily passes through him while still striking at Tousen -especially useful when he uses his Bankai. Tousen, however, doesn’t need it to pass through him as he easily parries the attack and uses a counter by kicking Komamura’s side followed by an immediate kick to his face. Komamura can’t help but be surprised at the fact that the scrawny Tousen was able to parry his Tengen with ease while kicking him with so much force as he is sent flying to the ground while being pushed through a building or two.

Passing Judgment

Greed is still a sin Tousen, deadly at that

Tousen then turns his attention to Komamura as he wonders how it is that Komamura despises him so. Like Ichigo, he has obtained the powers of a Hollow, so in that sense they are no different. Komamura, however, points out that Ichigo never wanted his Hollowfication as he always wanted to fight with his own abilities -in Ichigo’s mind Shirosaki and Zangetsu are individuals as opposed to a part of him in spite of what everyone has told him. While Ichigo was forced to undergo the transformation, Tousen voluntarily chose to become a Vizard even though he was already quite powerful as a Shinigami captain. Tousen sees this argument of Komamura’s as narrow minded as he only obtained more power, be it an unorthodox one. Komamura then explains what the real problem is as he once more points out how Tousen has betrayed hundreds of people just to obtain power he never truly needed. For a moment it almost seems like Tousen wants to say something about this, be it an excuse or perhaps even an apology, but this moment left an opening which was gratefully accepted by none other than Hisagi.

Blast from the Past

It turns out Hisagi did ask to be cut from his position

Hisagi’s Kazeshini wraps around Tousen’s neck as it pulls him down to earth. Hisagi then pins Tousen down, giving Hisagi an excellent opportunity to finish this fight. Not really caring for his situation, Tousen can’t help but feel that he underestimated Hisagi as he wasn’t able to kill him in one strike. Hisagi, however, points out that it wasn’t just luck that Hisagi survived as he only used one of the things Tousen taught him. This makes Hisagi realize even more how much he is indebted to Tousen as he starts to look back at one of the most crucial events in his Shinigami career. We finally see how it was that Tousen explained that fear is an essential part as a soldier. We find out that Hisagi wanted to be removed from his seat because of his experience in the real world seen in chapter -17. The pain he felt at that time was enough to scare him every time he faced an enemy, which is why he came to the conclusion that he should give up his seat. Tousen, however, argued that his fear is what would give him the strength to protect others who are experiencing fear. Those who do not know fear do not make a good soldier, which makes sense as courage is something that’s needed in battle. Seeming as how fearlessness and courage are two completely different things, I can’t help but agree with Tousen on this one.
This flashback is a rather interesting one as it shows us how greatly Hisagi’s life has been affected by Aizen. From being attacked by a Hollow and losing the man who saved him; to being scarred for live -in every sense of the word- due to Aizen’s experiments; and finally losing his captain to Aizen’s plots, I’m surprised that Hisagi hasn’t joined the Vizards in their attempts to kill Aizen as soon as possible. A nice little touch to this flashback is that we see that the tattoo on Hisagi’s face still hasn’t been completed at this time as the black part under his eye is still missing. For a character who started out as only looking almost identical to both Ichigo and Kaien, his story has become quite interesting for a side character. Perhaps Kubo has more up his sleeve when it comes to Hisagi, though the following developments do seem to put a damper on that one.

His Fears

Tousen probably should have taught you to fear other swords as well…

Hisagi asks Tousen what he fears, now that he has thrown away everything he had and was for the sake of power. Exploiting that opening, Tousen stabs Hisagi. The lieutenant then finally seems to have reached his limit after all the damage he has endured while coming to the realization that he didn’t manage to get through to his former captain. Showing how much of a monster he has become, Tousen lifts Hisagi with his sword en then kicks him down from the building without mercy. Tousen then shows Hisagi one final honor by telling him the one thing he fears most: Dying like/as a Shinigami.
While the translation here says die like the Shinigami Hisagi is, I would say he is trying to say die as a Shinigami. This has to do with the fact that if he is saying that, I can justify the following theory. From what we know about Tousen, he had a friend who also became a Shinigami. This friend of his eventually died at the hands of a Shinigami -her husband- only because she reprimanded him for killing a fellow Shinigami over something trivial. Something makes me believe that this is what triggered his fear for becoming/being a Shinigami. Perhaps he thought that Shinigami only use their power for violence in order to exact their own personal judgement, while he beliefs there is a greater justice without bloodshed. Perhaps this is what made him want to become something different than a Shinigami, so that he would not be caught up in the so called black and white sense of justice as Shinigami have towards Hollows. Aizen, being who he is, probably saw through this and used this to manipulate Tousen to join him as he could offer Tousen the opportunity to become something beyond a Shinigami.
With Aizen’s help, Tousen no longer has to fear dying like a Shinigami, though Komamura’s Bankai makes it obvious he should still fear death as the chapter ends with Kokujo Tengen Myou appearing.


Overview

What can I say, I enjoyed this chapter. Showing us Tousen’s Hollowfication and his past with Hisagi while pushing Komamura to use his Bankai was enough for a really good chapter. The pacing of the chapter was excellent in my opinion as it covered plenty of things that were touched upon throughout the story. Even though I’m not Hisagi’s biggest fan, I especially enjoyed seeing how he has been affected by events before and during the story. While some people may be annoyed by Hisagi’s cowardice, I find it to be something that makes Hisagi a rather relatable person. Tousen’s Hollowfication was somewhat disappointing to me, though like I’ve attempted to point out in this review there’s more to it than you can see at first glance. Something interesting that I haven’t pointed out yet is the fact that Tousen suddenly started to kick pretty often after using his Hollowfication. Perhaps he subconsciously copied part of Mashiro’s fighting style. Komamura’s part in this week’s chapter wasn’t too big as he only helped us to give insight into Tousen’s personality. The things he said were basically the same as the things he’s said before. Komamura’s Bankai at the end was the best he has done as it shows us that things will get serious in their fight soon. In the end, this chapter really managed to give Hisagi enough to work on his issues with Tousen’s betrayal. Whether it is enough to get him to give up on Tousen can’t be said, but he most likely won’t interfere in this fight any more as he should be worn out with all that has happened. This will give room for Komamura and Tousen to go over their issues now, which is how I came to the following predictions.

Predictions

As Hisagi will most likely be down for a while, next week’s chapter will probably do the same for Komamura as this week’s chapter did for Hisagi. With some luck it will give us a little bit more insight as to why Komamura is so angered by Tousen’s betrayal other than the reasons given in this week’s chapter. Perhaps we will find out how Komamura became indebted to Genryuusai and whether there’s more to Tousen than just being the first person not to judge him for his appearance. The chapter will probably cover plenty of talk to give room for enough action to end this fight between former comrades in a chapter or two after that. Personally I would love to see Mashiro and Kensei getting involved with this fight as well, but as Mashiro is down for the count and Kensei will probably have his hands full with Wonderweiss I would think that it will be up to Komamura to defeat Tousen -assuming this is the time where Tousen should be beaten. After things with Tousen are solved we’ll probably see some of Kensei’s fight with Wonderweiss before we get to Shinji and Aizen.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Like always, be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter and/or review and to vote in this week’s poll. Your own predictions are welcome also welcome as always. With some luck I’ll be able to get next week’s review out on a Thursday as well, which is what I’m aiming for. There’s actually a reason for that, and I’ll give that reason to you next week.  I’ll see you again next week!

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~ by The Underscore on December 3, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach Review 384”

  1. First! i actually like tousens hollow form despite what people have been saying about it(insert dickhead joke here). it is simple and effective, streamlined for speed, and the single line down the mask matches his white uniform. it is also the first hollow form other ichigo’s Bs neo form that we have seen that gives him more then just a mask. i am looking forword to the rest of the fight but i am betting that the next chapter will go back to Yammy or someone else, since i dont think that kubo will end the fight with tousen, aizen, or gin anytime soon, but who knows?

  2. To be honest I never looked at Tousen’s mask being what it is implied to be… Perhaps I have some innocence left in me somewhere… 😛
    It is true that Kubo probably won’t end the traitors’ fights any time soon, so that wouldn’t look all too well for Komamura. But Gin and Aizen will most likely be saved for after Yammy for the suspense and whatnot.

  3. I dunno, Tousen is the runt of the three so to speak and it just makes sense for Komamura or Kensei to take him down at this point.

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