The Underscore’s Bleach review 386

The Underscore’s

386: The Bestial

Hey there everyone, welcome to this week’s Bleach review. This week we have chapter 386, one that has to last us for a whole two weeks as this week’s jump is a double issue. On the one hand this chapter was somewhat of a letdown; on the other hand it gave us quite a few interesting things as well. Perhaps a better judgment can be made after going over the chapter, so let’s do that shall we? This week’s pictures are from the Sleepy Fans scanlation, so thanks to them for providing us with this week’s chapter. But before going over this week’s chapter there’s still the matter of the poll from the review of last week’s (awesome) chapter.

Poll Results

As some of you may have noticed after last week’s review, I was quite taken by last week’s chapter. With all that happened I was curious as to what you guys found to be the best of the chapter and these are the results:
For starters, no one was able to think of anything in the chapter that was good other than the options I had given you, which I suppose is a good thing. But were no people that were impressed by Komamura’s Bankai in particular. Probably because it didn’t do anything we hadn’t seen before, with the exception of sharing its pain with Komamura that is.
Then tied in the fifth place, we have two options with one vote each. There was one person who was really glad to finally learn what Tousen’s justice truly is. Probably as it is quite an integral part of his character. The other person who was alone in his/her voting was the one who voted for Aizen’s unsheathing of Kyouka Suigetsu. It was a feat in itself that Aizen finally did unsheathe his Zanpakutou, but it seems that there were other things that were more impressive, though there are some that don’t agree with that.
Three people weren’t able to choose anything as they felt there was nothing great about the chapter. The only reason I can think of that would make people say this is that they either don’t like the characters that were the focus of last week’s chapter.
Then the votes finally started rising in numbers as Tousen using his Resurrección was enough for 11 people to make the chapter great. Whether it was a good thing or not is revealed in this week’s chapter, so more on that later.
Then there were twelve people who couldn’t pick any of the options as they felt the entire chapter was great. And I agree!
Coming in first with 31 votes, however, was none other than Shinji’s Sakanade being revealed. I’ll admit that it really helped in making last week’s chapter a good one, though I wanted to save my excitement for when we see its effects. But at least now I know there are -probably- plenty of Shinji fans who vote in these polls . Of course, they’re out of luck as Shinji doesn’t appear in this week’s chapter…

Infinite Possibilities

This’ll never happen

Perhaps this colored page would have been more interesting if it had been shown a couple of weeks ago before Tousen used his Hollowfication. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great picture which shows us everything we could expect from the characters that are in it. With Ichigo rearing to go as Aizen calmly reaches out as he has done plenty of times before; Tousen charging head first to stop anyone who would disturb Aizen’s plans; and Gin enjoying developments from a distance it is just what one might expect to happen. But like I said, if they showed this around the time Ichigo entered the Garganta we probably could have spent some time assuming this was a glimpse of what would happen, which would make the developments after that a lot more entertaining as they would be completely unexpected. But for now we can consider this to be an early Christmas present.

Beelz?

You would think it’d be a bad idea to turn into a bug while fighting a giant

As the darkness enveloped Tousen with the proclamation of his Resurrección, Tousen’s mask starts to crumble even further than it did last week. Komamura watches as his would be friend slips further into the abyss by turning into nothing short of a demon. Rather than the mask becoming smaller than it was before it actually grew wider. Some of the new cracks were made so that a pair of eyes and earlike horns could grown, leaving little of the former mask. Only one thing of his previous mask remained, being the opening in the center of the mask. Tousen’s body turned into a hairy cricket-like creature with its four arms and tail. The bug wings are used to reinstate that the Resurrección has ties to Tousen’s Suzumushi, while the giant horns growing from Tousen’s back almost symbolize his inner demons. Tousen’s humanity seems to have disappeared completely with the appearance of Grillar Grillo.
Now the peculiar thing with this Resurrección is that Tousen no longer holds a Zanpakutou. Like the Arrancar, using the Resurrección caused Tousen to lose his Suzumushi during the transformation. This shows us that the Zanpakutou is key to holding the Hollow powers in check for both Arrancar as well as the Vizards. I find the lack of Zanpakutou to be rather surprising as Neo-Ichigo kept Zangetsu, which I attributed to Ichigo starting off as a Shinigami before transforming. But it is possible that Neo-Ichigo isn’t quite the Resurrección the traitorous captains have obtained. Because of Neo-Ichigo, however, I expected Tousen to keep Suzumushi as well, in order for him to use his Bankai along with the Resurrección. From what we see here it would almost seem like Tousen has completely abandoned his Shinigami powers. The fact that Tousen has no Zanpakutou to use a Bankai also seems to be because it wouldn’t be as effective as it was before because this transformation gave Tousen another gift.

Did you see this coming?

You’d better look out now Tousen…

Tousen raises his head as the transformation ends, revealing that the only part of his previous self is his mouth and chin, though the teeth have changed. But just when it seemed like Tousen was done with his revelations, he gives us another surprise as the eyes of his mask suddenly start opening. With Tousen opening his eyes it seems that some people’s predictions came true as we find Tousen is suddenly able to see. Putting aside the fact that Tousen’s sight should have actually caused him more harm than good at this time -sudden overload of sensatory input-, his ecstatic behavior tells us that Tousen didn’t expect this to happen -neither did I to be honest. For someone who unleashed a power as fearful as a Resurrección, you would have guessed he’d know what he would be getting into. Instead Tousen can’t help but cry out in joy at the fact that he is finally able to witness the sky, blood, and somehow in his eyes the world. Now that Tousen has gained the ability to see, it explains why he no longer holds Suzumushi or why there is no simultaneous appearance of the Bankai. With its purpose being to have the opponents experience the same darkness Tousen is dwelling in, it would change its form to a somewhat useless one as his opponent would now still be able to see after the Bankai was released. But before we find out whether this trade off is worth it, Tousen takes his first good look at Komamura.

The Broken Friendship

Don’t worry Komamura, he’ll pay for this soon enough

Tousen looks at Komamura and tells him he’s ugly. Perhaps it is a good thing that Tousen doesn’t have a mirror on him as it would probably scare the living out of him, especially if he already finds Komamura to be ugly. Still, Tousen reveals that he always thought Komamura would be a hideous monster, not even thinking about what kind of person is underneath this appearance. The fact that someone as ugly as Tousen is now telling Komamura he’s ugly made me laugh out loud at first, something I thought Komamura felt as well as I misinterpreted Komamura’s look at the first glance. At first I thought Komamura was baffled by the fact that someone as ugly as Tousen would call him ugly, but as I looked a bit closer, I saw sadness in Komamura’s eyes that had been there in the past. Before he met Tousen he had already been shunned by people due to his appearance. Tousen was the first person who didn’t judge him on his appearance, yet in the few moments after gaining the ability to see he does exactly the same as people had been doing before he met Tousen, look at him as if he is a monster. Tousen telling him that he always thought Komamura would look like a monster probably was quite a mental blow for him as he thought that Tousen was at least better than that. But Tousen disappoints Komamura even further than he did last week as he shows that he never attempted to find what’s inside Komamura. Even though Komamura can’t help but regret this unforeseen change in personality, Tousen mercilessly strikes at Komamura.

Her Justice

Where is the love she knows?

While Komamura is struck down by Tousen, he thinks back at the time he met Tousen’s friend. We find out that Tousen always wanted to fight for a justice, one that would suit the world his friend loved, yet that he never had love for that world himself. He became a Shinigami to follow the path of justice his friend believed in while it was a path he detested from the bottom of his heart. Tousen thought that no one had seen through his act of justice as he believed people would automatically assume he was as noble as to take up the blade to protect his friend’s justice. But Komamura saw through this as he knew that Tousen never spoke of a personal love for the world and that he had an unspoken hatred for the world. Komamura understood this hatred as he too would feel that way if he were to have experienced the same as Tousen did. The fact that Tousen never lied by saying that he loved the world, however, earned him Komamura’s respect. This respect for Tousen led Komamura to make a vow.
Komamura swore to make Tousen follow the path that had been laid down by his fallen friend. Not only that. Komamura swore to share his joy in order to make Tousen see the world that Tousen’s friend wanted to protect, to shelter Tousen from life’s harm and to share his sadness. Most importantly, Komamura would forgive Tousen for his mistakes, which he did last week. All this so that Tousen would learn to love the world once more. Sadly, not even the ability to see was enough to have Tousen witness the beauty his deceased friend saw in the world as Tousen never tried to find it. The ability to see probably would only add fuel to the flames of hatred as Tousen has already shown us that he would do little more than to judge people and matters by their appearance only to make it fit his frame of mind. Still driven by his hatred towards the world and the Shinigami, Tousen continues his attack on Komamura as he shows us what the Resurrección has given him.

The broken heart

Now you both have giant holes in your chests!

Komamura’s daydream ends as he attacks Tousen with Tengen. But with the same ease he stopped Tengen’s blade in his previous form, Tousen manages to stop the attack with his bare hand. But the attack doesn’t seem to stop as much as the sword is being destroyed by Tousen’s hand. As the effect of the attack manifests itself in Komamura’s blade, Tousen shows us the ability he gained with his Resurrección, named Los Nueve Aspectos -The nine aspects, of life perhaps?-, by using the three free hands he has. Almost similar to a sonic wave, the attack bursts through Tengen’s upper body, showing a great increase in power compared to Tousen’s previous form which hardly managed to scratch the giant. While Tengen falls down, it seems that the damage transferred to Komamura isn’t quite as lethal as it was for Tengen. Perhaps it is a safety mechanism in the Bankai or just plain luck, though if it is the latter Komamura’s luck is running out. As Tousen towers above Komamura, clearly showing the size of Tousen’s Hollow hole and his complete transformation, he speaks of justice and how it is something that can’t be expressed in words. Tousen then tries to show his justice as he prepares to fire off a Cero at point blank range, ironically from his eyes and almost similar to something one could call a Cero Doble. Komamura, believing this to be his end, starts apologizing to the people he bonded with; starting with the ever loyal Iba who has been with him through harsh times; Hisagi, who he bonded with as they shared the pain of losing a close personal friend; and finally Tousen, to whom he made a which he failed to keep. Just as Komamura thinks to himself he isn’t able to kill Tousen, someone else does it for him.

An opening

To think you saw more without eyes than you did with them…

With the opening in the mask this was bound to happen. It is practically a slot to put a blade into and Hisagi noticed this as he inserts his Kazeshini into the mask. Surprising Tousen and Komamura with his attack, Hisagi points out that the old Tousen would never have been caught off guard like this. Almost reminiscent to the time Aaroniero fell to Rukia, someone who would be overwhelmingly more powerful falls due to the fact that he was not paying attention. Unlike the cautious Tousen who was more aware of his surroundings due to his blindness, this creature that used to be him became overconfident as he believed to be able to take on any enemy due to his power. Blinded by the light brought to his eyes, Tousen left behind everything he learned from the time he was still a normal soul and a Shinigami, only to fall because of it. Hisagi then releases his Kazeshini, dealing a critical blow to the monstrous creature.
Now I understand that this is quite the controversial death as this is practically the second time Kubo did something like this. The thing is that I’m not all too disappointed by this development, though it came much too soon. Let’s face it, if something doesn’t die after it is pierced through an organ as critical as for example the heart or the brain it would make things quite boring. The only reason for something like that not to be lethal would have to be a special manga loophole of course (e.g. D.Gray-man has someone surviving after being stabbed in the heart, I won’t say who to keep it spoiler free for those who aren’t familiar with that manga yet ). This situation with Tousen in the end is nothing short of the one with Rukia and Aaroniero. We have the weakest of an elite group (weakest Espada and here the weakest of the treacherous captains) going up against someone who under normal circumstances wouldn’t be able to win (Rukia and in this case Hisagi) but won because they managed to deal a lethal blow due to carelessness of their opponents (see Aaroniero’s demise and this chapter). Perhaps it is anticlimactic to some extend, but in the end both kills hold a deeper meaning. Rukia released the soul of her former superior, which was important to her so she could find peace and the same seems to go for Hisagi in this case. I suppose plenty of you will feel that Tousen died too easily, others may share my sentiment and think he died too quickly after revealing something as important as a Vizard’s Resurrección, and others may just be glad this is the end of Tousen’s fight. But this isn’t quite the end of this week’s chapter.

Glimpse of the Past

People in memories may seem different from reality

As Tousen’s brain is stabbed by Kazeshini’s Shikai form, his (past) life starts flashing before his eyes. Somehow he is able to see his deceased friend, only to find that he doesn’t recognize her. Perhaps his brain managed to create a link between the energy he sensed from people while he was blind to be able to make a mental image of what that person would look like due to his Resurrección. Maybe this is just the visualization of Tousen’s memories for us readers. But the person Tousen saw through this unexplained phenomenon, however, wasn’t the same he thought he knew as he starts to think that the images aren’t what they were supposed to be. As he thinks of his friend lying in her coffin, Tousen’s sight starts to go black, returning his eyesight back to the darkness from which it only managed to escape briefly. The darkness once more settles in Tousen’s eyes as he closes them for -what most likely is- the last time. If this is how Tousen’s life ends, he should at least be able to find comfort in the fact that he didn’t die a Shinigami.


Overview

That’s what happened in this week’s chapter as far as I observed and now to come up with a suitable judgment for the chapter. Let’s see here, cons of the chapter are the fact that Komamura didn’t show us anything new with his Bankai, Tousen was dealt a lethal blow by someone who was far weaker than him, and Tousen’s Resurrección only turned him into a Hollow with a small crack in the mask. The pros were the way Komamura and Tousen’s relationship was shown in this chapter as it revealed that it was nothing but a lie, the story progression that was made in this chapter, and the fact that Hisagi was the one to kill Tousen instead of a Shinigami who would deal with Tousen in the same way (s)he would treat any other opponent. Looking at these few points I would have to go with this being a pretty decent chapter. I have to admit that there’s a REALLY slim chance that Tousen will survive this attack as Kazeshini cut straight through the center of Tousen’s head making it possible only the two hemispheres were separated from each other making it possible for him to survive and heal the wounds with regeneration. But that would be stretching things I suppose. Instead, this is what I think will happen:

Predictions

Tousen will probably be alive for a short while in the next chapter. This will be long enough for him to look back on his friend so we can find out her name and to learn how Aizen persuaded him to join in his cause. The chapter will then end with Gin making a remark on how Tousen died and Aizen not caring anything as he will be entertained by Shinji and his Sakanade. After that we will probably see the fight between Kensei and Wonderweiss, where Kensei may take a moment to show us he noticed that Tousen died or is dying after which the fight between the two will continue. Both the fight between Kensei and Wonderweiss and the fight between Shinji and Aizen will take place at the same time, shifting scenes between the two focusing more on one fight in one chapter than the other. This will take up at least two or three chapters after which Ichigo may make his appearance in Karakura town or perhaps Urahara’s shop depending on how the Garganta will work.

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed the read as it will have to last you a while -perhaps I could have paid more attention to things like the spelling and sentence structures because of this as well… Anyways, be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this chapter and/or review, give any theories or predictions you may have about the upcoming chapter(s) and to vote in this week’s poll. I’ll see you again next time!

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~ by The Underscore on December 17, 2009.

9 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 386”

  1. This chapter was okay, but what i didnt like was this pathetic (possible) end for tousen. he has trained his senses his entire life to make up for being blind! all those finely honed senses would not just disapper because he can see! it was a lame excuse for hisagi managing to get the drop on him, and really this had better not kill tousen because we jut saw that he has regeneration last chapter. other then that i hope we get a look at how aiizen managed to convince him to join the dark side.

    Also did anyone else really like the latest fillar episode? lol Muramasa is like: belive in me Kouga who belives in you! lol

  2. Chapter 386: could of been better but satisfying enough I suppose. Hisagi should of unleashed a bankai to killed Tosen because the way he died is similar to the way Kira killed that Arrancar with his Wabisuke.

    @Takashid: (he has trained his senses his entire life to make up for being blind! all those finely honed senses would not just disapper because he can see! it was a lame excuse for Hisagi managing to get the drop on him)

    I see your point, my opinion is different though, I read this (To think you saw more without eyes than you did with them) like 3 times and it made me think a person who can see should be able to see when someone standing over there head, I mean Hisagi isn’t in the Stealth Force. This also support your argument that Hisagi is to weak that’s why i said that at the top about the bankai plus i wanted to see something new.

    I think Kouga was impression because his zanpakuto wanted them to rule the SS, does anyone have any info on when bleach will continue there dubbing episode i stop when ichigo killed #6

    Well that’s all from Sam_I_am:)24 aka Sam, Samuel, or Sammy oh and how do you try to volunteer to write the review for naruto magna? I would like to try.

  3. Sorry for the double post don’t mind the grammar errors in that post just lazy it will get better hopefully lol sorry again.

  4. I’ll admit that Tousen’s (possible) end seems unjust if you look at the circumstances. The fact that Tousen’s extrasensory didn’t work just because he regained his eyesight does seem strange, but like -I think- I pointed out in the review it only shows us that this Grillar Grillo is not the Tousen he used to be as he tried to leave everything behind he used to have as a Shinigami.
    The fact that Hisagi managed to do this much damage without a Bankai may seem quite the overkill, but I can only refer you guys to the fight between Rukia and Aaronierro to show that it can happen whether we like it or not.
    As for the Anime, this whole revelation of Muramasa’s owner being Byakuya’s uncle was more interesting than the talk about believing each other :).

    @sam
    I’ll see what I can do about reviewing Naruto. I’ll get back on that later.

  5. Underscore: yeah i thought the whole episode with Kouga was good, but lol i could not help making that referance when i saw that scene

  6. whoops i forgot to put my name. the above post is from me

  7. Speaking as someone with vision problems, going from nothing to sight is a real sensory shock. Doctor’s usually make you take it easy in the office before you leave and then do gradual increases over several days. That and Tousen’s totaal arrogance left him wide open. He felt like Aizen had delivered on that whole follow and taste godliness promise and thoguth he was well more than in complete control of a “dying” Hisagi and pinned Saijin.

  8. im still hoping for a flashback from tousen, show us how he met aizen, what aizen promised him, etc

    Tony: you make a good point. it is still a real disappointment from what should have been Komamura’s chance to shine. He didnt really do anything, and i am sad, because i wanted to see a new power from his bankai.

  9. TakashiD: Maybe we’ll get your wish withe flashback, Tousen’s DEFINITELY met the final requirement of “The Espada Death Club”…dying on the last page.

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