The Underscore’s Bleach review 391

391 The Blazing Glaciers

Hey there everyone, welcome to the last Bleach review I’ll be posting on Friday for a while to come. Somehow real life tends to get in the way of reviewing and replying -don’t you just hate when that happens? – and now it has taken it to a whole new level. But don’t worry, the reviews will keep coming as long as there are people who want to read them and I’ll be sure to read everything you put in the replies. In some cases I’ll use the ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’ section though in most cases I’ll use the ‘thank you’ button to let you know I’ve read your replies and even may have taken them into consideration. But enough about me, let’s talk about me…writing this week’s review. Why I couldn’t have written this review if I didn’t have the Sleepy Fans scanlation, so thanks go out to them for giving us such a speedy one once more. Before going to the last Friday review for a while, let’s get to the poll results of last week’s review shall we?

At the end of last week’s chapter I didn’t know what to make of it. On the one hand I didn’t like it all too much as the few things that happened weren’t what I wanted to see at that time. On the other hand the chapter did give us some things that were worth the read and it certainly looked great – though most of the Bleach chapters are drawn out near perfectly. But for some reason I couldn’t really make up my mind. As such there was only one solution I could come up with and that was to ask all of you to give your opinion on the chapter. What better way to do that than to use the polls right? With 57 voters, these are the results:

There was one person who felt the chapter was abysmal, (s)he couldn’t even put into a rating how much (s)he disliked it. This tends to happen with stories as there are always people who are disappointed by a chapter, especially if it doesn’t show you what you wanted to see.
However, there were three people who were ecstatic about the chapter as they couldn’t put into a rating how much they loved the chapter. Perhaps they were Hitsugaya fans, Aizen fans, Gin fans, or they got everything they wanted from the chapter and more.
There were more people, however, who knew better than to give a judgment right now as they took into account something I’ve told others plenty of times. They felt that last week’s chapter could only be judged after it was placed alongside other chapters, which is the way in which Bleach tends to work. If anything I would vote for this option as well in the end.
Luckily there were 46 people who did make up their mind for a chapter rating, resulting in an average rating of 3.1. This score is the average of three people who thought it was perfect rating it a five; nine people who enjoyed most of the chapter rating it a 4; twenty-two people thinking it could be better or worse rating it a 3; and twelve people who thought the chapter was bad but could have been worse rating it a 2. Adding them up and dividing them by forty-six makes for about a 3.1 if I’m not mistaken -maybe I should have used a calculator to make sure…
With last week’s chapter rated, let’s get to this week’s chapter!


Talk about whipping someone into a shape…

With Gin taking his time to explain Aizen’s amazing power last week, we weren’t able to clearly witness what happened with Komamura, Rose, and Love last week. This week’s chapter clarifies exactly what happened then. Komamura went down after the last cut he received from Aizen, the one right after his Kokujou Tengen Myou disappeared, which we witness right at the start of this chapter. This is probably the last we’ll be seeing from Komamura for a while considering the damage he’s received throughout this battle in the fake Karakura town. Last week, Aizen also pulled Rose in with his own Kinshara after which we only saw some blood splashing. This week we find out that it was indeed Rose’s blood as he too has been struck down by one strike. Whether this blow is the final one for Rose or not can’t really be said. On the one hand he did receive major damage from Starrk, but on the other hand he should be more powerful than Komamura who has endured a lot more damage than Rose. Admittedly, Komamura’s physically a lot more impressive than Rose, but if I were to venture a guess I’d say both of them are out for the count.
To add insult to injury, Aizen also takes away Rose’s Kinshara to use it against one of his closest friends. We, though Ichigo’s eyes, witness how Love gets entangled by Aizen using Kinshara. Now I must say this is one of the most amusing moves I’ve seen in Bleach. Not so much funny haha, but I was impressed by Aizen’s little performance here. Of course I wouldn’t think this if I were in Love’s shoes as he gets cut down by Aizen as mercilessly as one would expect. Odds are that Love may even have lost one of his arms or at least won’t be able to use (one of) them until he gets healed. As Love goes down as well, we witness the protagonist of the story again -to think Ichigo is getting that much screen time since he arrived at the scene – as he comes to the realization that Aizen took down three powerful fighters in under a minute. Somehow Ichigo has to take care of that guy by finding an opening. He’d better keep looking for one as Aizen even has the time to give an arrogant look at him.

Drive by stabbing

If only his head was the size of his ego, then this would have been a clean hit

Aizen has no time to set his sights on Ichigo as he suddenly notices he’s being attacked from behind again. Haguro Tonbu suddenly flashes right by Aizen almost stabbing him in the back of his head, though he dodges it at the last moment -which is physically impossible if you consider the size of Haguro Tonbu’s spearhead and how far Aizen is dodging here, but this is Aizen we’re talking about. Using a classic evade & counter, Aizen immediately proceeds with cutting Haguro Tonbu in two. Aizen then starts talking to the owner of Haguro Tonbu as we find a Hollowfied Lisa looking shocked at the fact that she missed her chance here and losing her Zanpakutou in the process. Without even the time to blink, Lisa suddenly feels a cut on her right side. As she falls due to this (single) blow, she has to endure Aizen’s stabbing remarks as he once more starts speaking of her and the Vizards as failed Arrancar.
Aizen then says that if he is able to subdue the Arrancar with his power it would be impossible for failed Arrancar, better known as Vizards, to even stand a chance against him. This makes it the second time that Aizen is bashing on the Vizards by saying the Arrancar are better than them. Now I’m not keeping count parse, but last time I checked more Arrancar fell by the hands of Vizards than the other way around… Apparently Aizen knows something we don’t as he is so confident in repeating this over and over again. Anyways, Aizen feels mighty content again for dealing another blow to yet another woman, though that would be the last female victim for the lady killer if it is up to the captain of the Onmitsukido.

The Onmitsukido steps in

The ladies just can’t stay away from him

Of all the times and places, Soi-Fon appears in front of Aizen at a time where she could have attacked him from behind. You would expect the captain of the Onmitsukido to at least use some stealth as the name implies. Perhaps to Aizen it is all the same as we’ve just witnessed at the expense of Lisa, but it’s the thought that counts right? But before thinking about that, Aizen can’t help but wonder why Genryuusai would use the Onmitsukido in fake Karakura town. If anything it would make more sense to send the second squad to Hueco Mundo as they specialize in stealth. You can say what you want, but Aizen certainly has a point here -and I honestly didn’t really mind this until Aizen brought it up here . If anything, this raises the question as to where the Kidoushu are in all of this as the only two members of this Kidou Corps we know have both left 100 years ago. But I guess they’re too busy guarding the gateway to Soul Society. But getting back to the situation at hand, Aizen is the one to -finally- reveal the reason for Shinigami to attack Hollows and opponents from behind. Apparently Shinigami are taught the following: ‘Seek not beauty in battle, seek not beauty in death, and consider not your own life. If you wish to protect that which must be protected, then strike while your opponent’s back is turned.’ (Genryuusai Yamamoto, n.d.). Basically it is something we’ve known for a long time and one of the first things Rukia taught Ichigo. If there is any division that should be familiar with this it would be the Onmitsukido, of which Soi-Fon is currently the captain. Soi-Fon can’t help but laugh at the thought of being told how Shinigami should act by a traitor, or so she tells Aizen. Aizen then explains how he was once a teacher -which is probably part of being a captain as well-, which Soi-Fon attributes to the Central 46 being morons -I can’t remember the last time I’ve agreed with Soi-Fon on something this much- as they were the ones to assign him to that position. Because they were morons she isn’t even surprised they were fooled by Aizen. Aizen then tells Soi-Fon she shouldn’t speak ill of the dead as he -the one who at least plotted their murder- also managed to fool her. But apparently Soi-Fon isn’t one to be fooled if she says so herself, as much as she is the one to fools others.

Soi-Fon fans rejoice

You wanted more Soi-Fon, you got more Soi-Fon

What better way to fool an opponent than to use clones. As Soi-Fon multiplies herself using a Shunpo technique, Aizen can’t help but smile at the sight of this phenomenon. Perhaps he is amused by the fact that he has seen this technique before when it was used by Zommari, be it to a lesser extend -even though he was boasting about it at the time. This technique certainly seems to trump the Gemelos Sonido used by Zommari as he was only able to create five afterimages. Of course this is the same technique used by Byakuya during that fight, named Utsusumi, be it on another level. This is shown by the fact that Soi-Fon’s voice seems to be coming from the different afterimages we see judging by the speech bubbles. The funny thing is that Soi-Fon unknowingly has proven once more that Aizen was way off with his “shoddy Arrancar” remark. Basically Soi-Fon is doing what Zommari did way better than he could ever dream of doing and she isn’t even a hybrid. Then we have the Vizards, of which the majorities are former captain level Shinigami, now powered up through Hollowfication. With Soi-Fon doing better than an Arrancar, it would effectively mean that Vizards should also be able to do better. Of course, Zommari was an arrogant failure in the end, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is part of the Espada, the ten strongest Arrancar as far as we know. Or maybe the Escudo are somewhere around the corner … Quick recap on the Escudo for those of you who haven’t read that many of my reviews, they are shields as opposed to the swords (Espadas), a group I speculated being more powerful than the Espada and hidden by Aizen as a back-up group.
Back to the chapter again, Aizen thanks Soi-Fon for her little show as he now gets to watch at least fifteen Soi-Fon at a time. Soi-Fon takes it as a compliment, one she rarely receives as few actually witness what and how she fights as a covert-op. To thank him for his compliment she decides to finish him off with this Utsusumi show. Before going into the result of this show, I have to mention one thing about Soi-Fon here. In the anime’s fillers I can’t help but get annoyed every single time she appears as she ends up using Shunko every single time in spite of it being clearly stated by Yoruichi that the technique isn’t complete and shouldn’t be used like that. The fact that Soi-Fon is using this rather than the Shunko right now is something I couldn’t be happier about as far as Soi-Fon is concerned. I know this has little to do with this week’s chapter, but I just had to mention it here as it keeps bugging me time and time again. Anyways, Aizen prepares for Soi-Fon’s attack as he draws his Kyouka Suigetsu.

Freezing up

In dire times people tend to freeze, it happens to all of us Aizen

Somehow Aizen is caught up in a glacier which he didn’t see coming. Perhaps he was actually intrigued by Soi-Fon’s unusual attack pattern to the extend of him dropping his guard, maybe Hitsugaya saved this quick freezing move for a time like this, or maybe the Hyouryuu Senbi Zekkuu from last week took this long to finally hit. It doesn’t change the fact that Aizen is now trapped while facing an opponent that has the ability to kill him in two strikes. Speaking of Nigeki Kessatsu, Aizen suddenly feels like he’s been stabbed as he finds Soi-Fon preparing for the second strike. Soi-Fon follows up and strikes Aizen in the same place again. As Aizen’s life almost seems to be coming to an end, we suddenly find him to be alive and kicking as he gives another compliment(ish remark) to Soi-Fon for her rather interesting ability. Suddenly we see Aizen holding Soi-Fon’s hand even though it was supposed to be trapped in the ice a short while ago. Even though the attacks connected, the Nigeki Kessatsu failed not even leaving one of the two hornet crests behind. As Soi-Fon is baffled by this surprising turn of events, Aizen explains exactly how he managed to prevent Nigeki Kessatsu’s effect: Power. Aizen reminds us that a fight between Shinigami -notice how he refers to himself as a Shinigami- is a fight between Reiatsu. Reiatsu is even able to completely negate attacks if it is strong enough, be it physical attacks or special moves. Basically the attacks are all overwhelmed by Aizen’s Reiatsu. The dark look on Aizen’s face also helps proving that his power is rather overwhelming. Even though we knew physical attacks could be blocked with just Reiatsu, the special moves being blocked in this way is rather new. But if anyone is to pull it off it would be Aizen. I mean, it’s not like we’ve ever seen a blade pierce through Aizen right?… WRONG!

Sangeki Kessatsu!?

Going from a scrape on the arm to being pierced in the chest, talk about having a bad day

If it isn’t my favorite captain! Kyouraku once more appears from the shadows to stab another opponent from behind. Aizen actually feels genuinely surprised by the fact that he was hit by an attack, but whom better than Kyouraku to deal such an attack. The funny thing is that Kyouraku even points out that Aizen should have known that shadows would be dangerous. While Aizen seems to be in pain, Kyouraku looks down on Aizen as he takes the rather disappointing ‘Kyouraku, you bastard’ from Aizen. Who would have guessed Aizen would degrade to such generic insults after being stabbed from behind -twelfth time is the charm I guess – after all the snappy remarks he’s made throughout the fight. If anything you’d think he’s suddenly an entirely different person, but that couldn’t be now could it? …
Then Hitsugaya once more steps into the frame as he tells Aizen it’s over. I was honestly surprised when we didn’t see him the moment Aizen was trapped in the ice, but this way it compensated a bit for last week’s overdose of Hitsugaya. With Aizen trapped in the ice and hurt from being stabbed by Katen Kyoukotsu, Hitsugaya sees the perfect opportunity to finally have the head-first charge connect. As Hitsugaya charges towards Aizen with Hyourinmaru aimed at his heart, Aizen thinks to himself Hitsugaya is showing his greatest weakness by attacking him without any planning for the consequences. But before Aizen can start smirking about the young captain’s foolish behavior, he suddenly senses that someone else gets to have the last laugh, and boy what a smile he has.

Rubbing people the wrong way

Shinji’s back with a vengeance Aizen

This made the chapter for me more than what happened before this moment or what will happen after this. Seeing Shinji standing in the distance holding his Sakanade with that creepy yet intoxicating smile, you knew he finally got his pay-back for what happened before. I’d almost say that seeing Shinji’s smile may have hurt Aizen more than Kyouraku’s attack.
I can’t say for sure whether Sakanade had to trap Aizen with its scent again or whether its effect activated after Shinji released his Zanpakutou again as both seem to be possible ways to get Aizen back into the inverted world. If it was the scent again it could mean that Shinji can choose who is under the effect of the inverted world as others would have been caught up in the scent. Of course, it is possible that Soi-Fon noticed what Shinji was doing on page 8 when she started to smile, though that wouldn’t explain why Soi-Fon wasn’t inverted or how she attacked him from behind. On the other hand, Kyouraku suddenly seems to have disappeared from behind Aizen only a few moments before Aizen saw Shinji, meaning Sakanade may only have come into effect a few moments ago as otherwise Kyouraku should have been in front of Aizen. Or maybe Shinji can choose a degree of inversion when using Sakanade, for example changing only front and back instead of a complete inversion. All I can say is Aizen was caught off guards by Shinji with the help of Soi-Fon, Hitsugaya, and Kyouraku, and I’d say for Hitsugaya it felt good.

Yongeki Kessatsu??!!

If only he had put that barrier for his elbow on his back…

Just as Aizen realizes that everything was inverted by Shinji, Hitsugaya mercilessly stabs Hyourinmaru straight through Aizen as it turns black with blood. After all that was said and done in last week’s chapter this was probably one of the last things we could ever expect to see happening. With enough force to shatter the ice in which Aizen was trapped it would seem things are looking grim for Aizen after two lethal blows. Did Hitsugaya somehow manage to finish this battle instead of Ichigo? Has everything now come to an end? We’ll just have to wait until next week to see how that works out. As for what I think could be happening here, it would be best to check this week’s predictions.

After last week’s chapter where I couldn’t decide whether I loved it or hated it, this week’s chapter made it rather easy for me. This was a great chapter in my opinion. The way in which the captains and Vizards worked together was great to see and the effect it had on Aizen was even more fun for me to see. There was plenty going on in this week’s chapter and the last page gave so much to work with for whacky theories and predictions that I can’t say how happy I was with the chapter. Sure, losing Komamura, Rose, Love, and Lisa was a bit sad, but if we look at how their sacrifices worked out we can’t say it was for nothing. Or maybe it was all for nothing? Here are a few theories/hyptheses/predictions as to what could be going on here right now.

A few really short term predictions this week as they are more hypotheses on what happened in the last frame. In a rather random order I’ll start off with the following one:

Aizen was actually hurt
I know we all saw him get hurt in the last page. The master of perfect hypnosis was hit and it’s not like he would be able to make his opponent see whatever he wanted them to see right? Assuming this is the real Aizen you may notice the places where he was pierced. If anything those holes would be the perfect place for Aizen’s Hollow hole to be if I do say so myself. Maybe Aizen will decide to open up the hole entirely by using a Hollowfication?

A more plausible consequence of these attacks, however, is that Aizen will regenerate himself. Perhaps Ulquiorra and Tousen -for example- weren’t able to heal their inner organs, but Aizen should be able to pull it off. Aizen regenerates, gets annoyed by the damage he received and decides to stop playing around. Either he gets serious by just going all out, or he could go as far as to actually use Kyouka Suigetsu in this fight, unless he already is using it that is…

It wasn’t Aizen that was hit
Looking at Aizen’s face in the last few frames he almost seemed to be someone else. But some of the faces he made did seem rather familiar. If you look closely, Aizen actually looked rather similar to none other than Ichigo(!). Could it be that Aizen used Kyouka Suigetsu one he noticed he was put under Sakanade’s effects? There was little ice on Aizen’s arm on the last page, and as far as we know Kyouka Suigetsu can affect all senses perhaps including the sense of time making it so that Hitsugaya flew towards Ichigo instead of Aizen. I know, this one is a pretty long shot, but what if we were to take it a bit closer?

What if Kyouraku is the one to be stabbed by Hitsugaya right now? Once again this is assuming Kyouka Suigetsu has been used, but what better time to use it than now? Kyouraku was behind Aizen shortly before Hitsugaya began his charge. Though if Sakanade was in effect Kyouraku should have been in front of Aizen… Still, it would be a rather creative way to kill two birds with one stone. If you thought these hypotheses/predictions were farfetched, you’re going to blown away by the next and final one:

It was none other than…
Harribel. Harribel I say? Indeed, Harribel. I have nothing substantial to base this on but I found this to be rather entertaining when I came up with it. But let me explain how it should work if my wacky hypotheses were to be true:
Harribel’s aspect of death is sacrifice and her “element” is water from what we’ve seen. Water has the ability to reflect -duh- and it is possible that Aizen cutting her down was the way to activate a special ability. What if sacrificing Harribel allows her to take on the form and abilities of the one she or the assailant chooses? These abilities would, however, be only those of the form that her opponent has. So rather than having Aizen’s Shikai, Bankai, and Hollowfication she would be able to do everything Aizen can do before unleashing any of those three. Such ability would somehow be similar to the one Aizen claimed to have at first, making it rather interesting to show up right here through an Espada we thought was cut down by Aizen. I know, I know, there’s far too little to base this on and it would be really -REALLY- farfetched, but hey, who knows?

Well, that’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter and/or review, give any theories that you may have and to vote in this week’s poll. Don’t forget, next week’s review won’t be out until Saturday. To make it up I’m going to try and add something to the review you guys can have some fun with in the meantime, but I have to see if it will work out or not. I’ll see you again next week!


~ by The Underscore on February 5, 2010.

12 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 391”

  1. this was a great chapter! the absolute best part was when we see shinji smiling and aizens just like “o shit…” i am glad to see that the captians can actually fight back without needing ichigo the savior to step in. no way do i belive aizen is dead(or even harmed), though, because, if it wasnt kyoka suigetsu(which i think it was) then still he has mask and regeneration, not to mention bankai. very interesting though, even though we did not see any new bankais or abilitys. i think that shinji can choose who and what he inverts, and only switched hitsugayas attack. this of course makes sakanade even scarier, when you see how effective this is when working with others. when are the breakdowns coming out from now on btw? saturday?

  2. What can i say? Crazy chapter for sure! I was going nuts once Kyroku came in like I thought he would and then that scene with Shinji! We watched Aizen go from arrogance to that familiar desperate vulnerability we see in our Bleach villains, anything big he has in his arsenal is definitely going to hit the table and hard.

    But it was just chilling to see the ease Aizen had watching both Love and Soi-Fon’s terror at his strength.

  3. anyone ever thought what would gin do if aizen is dead and he’s still alive i think he would just give up.

  4. I kinda have a feeling that Aizen will play with them abit more then retreat or something, they dont want to long out this fight any longer, plus ichigo aint ready to fight him.

  5. LOL, Gin would just “snipe” those that killed Aizen with his shikai, 😛

    I’m still wagering there’s much more to Gin than we’re being shown. I feel like its possible Aizen may actually, however slim, bite it here and now and we have Gin as the real mastermind and leader. Aizen’s arrogance and flamboyance seems to keep growing while Gin seems ever more quiet.

  6. @TakashiD:
    This certainly was a great chapter. The part with Shinji was a great one, especially after if you take a closer look at it. It turns out that Shinji may actually have done nothing at all except give a big smile. If you look at the pictures before Aizen was stabbed by Hitsugaya you can see that he was already standing behind Aizen, just as during the last frame of the chapter. I missed this as Jiggy-Ninja at Mangahelpers was the one who pointed this (possibility) out for me. But who knows what it was, I guess we’ll find out this week. As for the next review, it will probably come out this Saturday, hopefully I’ll be able to finish it in the morning, if not you’ll get it in the afternoon.

    Aizen certainly made a quick 180 with all that happened. The question, however, is to what extend this change of behavior is sincere as it is Aizen we’re talking about here :).

    Who knows what Gin might do if Aizen ever were to kick the bucket before him. On the one hand he seems lazy enough to give up, on the other hand there should be a reason for him to have chosen to follow Aizen in the first place which could be something he may intend to finish with or without him.

    Aizen retreating would be the safest way to go, though there is little up till now to actually have him retreat -minus the major injuries this week that is :p- as he should have plenty up his sleeve with all the boasting he’s been doing. But Ichigo certainly isn’t ready to face off against a “final boss” of some sorts right now, so the question is whether Aizen will be victorious for now or whether he will retreat until winter as it was first intended.

    @Tony (again):
    Gin has so much secrets at this time that anything is possible. The problem is that there isn’t any clear reason for him to -seem/- be so evil. I guess we’ll find out in due time…

  7. Also i forgot to say, nice breakdown, and thanks for keeping mars alive!

  8. underscore: no i think shinji did reverse it, because hitsugaya is behind aizen when he starts his charge, but as he is moving twords him, it looked like aizen turns to face him. then shinji does his thing and hitsugaya’s hitting him in the back.

  9. OMFG!!!!! i just read the latest chapter:

  10. think that something look at naruto

  11. wow aizen owns again, its starting to annoy me.

  12. sam: pssh Naruto was boring and dumb. Sakura is either lying to get in a hit, or retarted. either way it didnt really shock me, she said that before the time skip and it didnt work out then either.

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