The Underscore’s Bleach review 407


407 Deicide 9

Welcome to this week’s Bleach review for Deicide 9. Where I thought last week’s Deicide chapter would be the last -due to the prolonged title- it turns out that Kubo had better things to do than come up with a new chapter title. The result of this is rather intriguing, so let’s get to the review using the Mangastream/Binktopia scanlation.

Bleach chapter 406, Deicide 8 end of the Chrysalis age, after being rated by 51 voters gets an average score of:

6.3

Average

Last week Aizen’s transformation was completed and a renewed Aizen came out of his cocoon. The question then had to be what you thought of the transformation. Here’s what 55 of you thought:
Four voters thought the transformation wasn’t special, a bit bland even. With so few changes it is no wonder that some people would say this.
In fact, the changes were so minor that five voters felt it was plain BOOOOORINGGGG. The hair growth and black eyes just aren’t something that we haven’t seen before.
Seven voters felt this to be something good though. Perhaps they were happy Aizen didn’t turn into a giant fly .
Then we get a rather interesting tie. Nine voters thought the transformation was predictable, while nine other voters are now bowing to their new supermodel/God that is Aizen.
Ten voters felt Aizen turned into a Hollow without a mask, which makes sense judging from all the similarities.
But most of the voters, 11 that is, felt the transformation was Great. Too bad I didn’t ask for elaboration on all of these options .

Highway from hell

Who’s the Ryouka now?

Aizen and Gin set foot in the Dangai, the only road that leads to Soul Society. Aizen and Gin can’t help but feel nostalgic as they (probably) haven’t set foot in this place for quite some time. The last time they were in Soul Society, they left using the Menos’ Negacción -or perhaps it was Fura’s Negacción- meaning they bypassed the Dangai that time. But when we’re talking Dangai, we’re talking Koutotsu of course. The all devouring Koutotsu -which is capable of destroying all that’s made of Reiatsu- charges towards Aizen and Gin. While Aizen is happy to see the Koutotsu, Gin knows his own limitations as he suggests they make haste. But rather than moving with Gin, Aizen stubbornly stands in the Koutotsu’s way. Gin then explains that the Koutotsu is a part of the realm of Truth/Reason -I honestly don’t know which one this is supposed to be, if anyone can say for sure which one it is, let me/us know-, while they are beings from the realm of Reiatsu. Apparently, Truth/Reason trumps Reiatsu. But the evolved Aizen isn’t worried about something like truth or reason.

Un-Reason-able

So that’s where Gin’s backbone went to…

Aizen stands in the Koutotsu’s path as Gin starts to fear for their lives. It’s interesting to see that Gin does fear death to the point that he stops smiling. He even looks worried as the train-like janitor rushes towards his captain. Gin tries to persuade Aizen to finally move who only glances back for a moment. The Koutotsu then crashes into Aizen, or at least it should have as it suddenly pops like a balloon. Aizen managed to destroy the entity that no spiritual creature is capable of destroying without batting an eye. As Gin calms down now that the danger has passed, Aizen mocks him for fearing the Koutotsu, the entity of Truth/Reason. While it is reasonable to fear something unstoppable that can destroy your entire being just by touching you, Aizen seems to be telling Gin that he is weak for clinging to Truth/Reason. Gin isn’t too happy to hear that from Aizen, the man who went behind his back to obtain the power to oppose Truth/Reason, though Aizen ignores him entirely as he tells Gin they will go to the edge of Truth/Reason, most likely referring to the Spirit King’s realm.
Now that the Koutotsu’s met its end, I can’t help but wonder how this relates to Orihime’s Santen Kesshun. Orihime’s power has been explained to be special as it is capable of rejecting events. At the start of the Soul Society arc, Orihime used the Santen Kesshun to prevent the Koutotsu from harming the party traveling to Soul Society. Yoruichi did say that if she messed that up her powers as well as everyone present would be screwed, but that doesn’t change the fact that Santen Kesshun stopped the Koutotsu. Aizen now reveals that the Koutotsu can only be destroyed by those who do not depend on Truth/Reason, which as far as we know is only Aizen. Orihime, however, managed to block the Koutotsu and Aizen did say that her powers were close to that of God due to her ability to reject events, so perhaps she will play a major part in the end. The only problem with all of this, however, is the fact that the Santen Kesshun has shattered on numerous occasions due to Reiatsu based attacks…

Father/son bonding

Remember when your father took you to protect the balance of the world? Me neither

Back in Fake Karakura town we find that Ichigo was still processing his father’s words. But rather than going with the flow, Ichigo shows how he doesn’t get what his father is talking about. Isshin gives Ichigo a headbutt to wake him up after which he holds on to him a bit tighter to shout him in the ear that they are going to protect Karakura town -most likely revering to the time he and Ichigo met up after Isshin was revealed to be a Shinigami. We then see some fear in Ichigo’s eyes as he finally puts them into words by telling his father that it’s impossible to defeat Aizen. Isshin then says what the old Ichigo could have said: ‘How would you know if you don’t try?’ Ichigo then tells his father that he knows it’s impossible because of the monstrous Reiatsu Aizen possesses. Isshin then reacts quite surprised and adds to the confusion by saying Ichigo doesn’t understand Aizen’s Reiatsu.
Last week it actually seemed like Ichigo did understand Aizen’s power, while Isshin was the one who didn’t understand. But now it suddenly seems like it’s the other way around -much like Aizen telling Ichigo he’s the son of a human and a Shinigami…- in spite of all that was said. Of course, I could have been wrong last week by jumping to conclusions. My guess is that there’s a difference between being able to sense/perceive the Reiatsu and understanding it. Just because Isshin isn’t able to perceive the Reiatsu doesn’t mean he can’t “understand” it and the opposite holds true for Ichigo. For those of you who thought Ichigo was capable of perceiving and understanding Aizen’s power after reading my review, I apologize for getting you to the wrong conclusions. For those of you who thought the same as I did after reading the chapter without reading my review: You were just as wrong as I was .

Tough love

The advantage of being the parent: you always know to hit ‘m where it hurts

Isshin tells Ichigo that he’s going to Soul Society in order to save Karakura town. Ichigo, however, doesn’t seem like he’ll be moving any time soon. Isshin asks him whether he’s coming or not, but Ichigo is still torn between his fear and the obligation he has towards the Soul Society captains’ expectations. Isshin then asks Ichigo what he’ll be doing if he doesn’t go: will he cry instead of fight? Ichigo and Isshin then turn to each other as Isshin lays down the hurt. He asks Ichigo if he’s just going to sit there and cry while whining he couldn’t protect something again. Rather cruel of Isshin, especially as he knows how hard it is for Ichigo to hear all of this. He’s been tormenting himself for years after he lost his mother because he felt it was his fault for not being able to protect her. Now his father, the man whose wife he took, tells him he is about to do the same thing again. Hearing this confronts Ichigo with the fact that he had regressed to his younger, helpless self, the boy who could do nothing by cry and regret what he wasn’t/isn’t capable of doing instead of doing what he can. Isshin, who knew this would wake Ichigo up, then explains what it is that Ichigo would lose if he wouldn’t do everything in his power to protect Karakura town. If Aizen manages to get to Karakura town in Soul Society, everyone he tried to protect (his family, friends, acquaintances, Don Kanonji -yes, Don Kanonji is in a league of his own -) and countless more lives in Karakura town would all be killed by Aizen and his schemes. I’m honestly surprised that Ichigo didn’t even think about protecting his sisters at all with his father being there right next to him. He gave up because his father wasn’t able to stop Aizen, but to forget the two sisters who’ve been taking care of him all this time and whose mother he took -in his own reasoning- really is just low. Forgetting Tatsuki, Keigo, and Mizuiro is almost just as bad though. Luckily Ichigo finally realizes that he can’t leave things in the hands of Karakura Rizer and Don Kanonji as he tells his father to open the Senkaimon -what happened to Ichigo opening it?- as he’s determined to all he can now.

The scenic route

And whose fault would that be?!

As Isshin opens the Senkaimon to Soul Society, the Senkaimon in Soul Society opens up as well as Aizen and Gin step out of it. At first glance it seems like they were thrown off course by Aizen’s playing around with the Koutotsu. Aizen is the one that brings up this subject due to the fact that they weren’t near Karakura town as they came out of the gate. Gin tells Aizen it’s his own fault for being naughty, which caused the axis to shift. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but if you look at the first page where Aizen and Gin step out you can see a small broken down shed which reminds me of a flashback with Gin and Matsumoto. Aizen seems to have accepted Gin’s excuse as he even apologizes for playing around.
But let’s look at a few facts here. First off is the fact that Gin seems to have doubted Aizen for a while since he revealed the Hougyoku’s true location to be Aizen’s body and possibly due to Ichigo’s words during their battle in the past few chapters. This would be reason enough for him to think back on why he decided to follow Aizen in the first place, thus reminiscing of the past. Second there’s the matter of Matsumoto. Like I said, the small shed we saw just now reminds me of the shed where Gin left Matsumoto in during one of the flashbacks we saw of them. This makes me think that they are currently in one of the areas that Gin and Matsumoto used to live. As we’ve seen Matsumoto a few chapters ago, it could mean that even Gin noticed she was rushing towards him which made him think of the past even more. The third matter has to do with the opening of the Senkaimon. When Urahara opened the Senkaimon for Ichigo and the others to save Rukia, the Senkaimon opened in the area where Urahara came from, which allowed Aizen to predict where Ichigo and the others would appear. The same could be applied to Gin right now. So even though Aizen acknowledges that his messing with the Koutotsu could have messed up the direction of the Senkaimon, this could be hinting at Gin doubting Aizen. With his past suddenly becoming more important in his decision of whether to follow Aizen or not, especially after the recklessness in this chapter, this could be hinting at Gin’s doubts in Aizen. There have been a few signs in the previous chapter(s) and the single shed in the background made me think it actually became more plausible. But this is just my theory, so I could be way off, but you’ll have to admit that it adds up -if not, you know where the reply button is .
Aizen may have taken this possibility into account or maybe he’s just bummed by the fact that he is suddenly enjoying himself by playing around which causes things to go off course -literally. After apologizing to Gin for almost blaming him for his mistakes, he tells Gin they should go for a nice stroll in the forest.

Irregularities

Where’s the choochoo daddy?

Ichigo and Isshin quickly make their way through the Dangai in order to catch up to Aizen and to make sure they don’t get erased by the Koutotsu. All of a sudden Isshin senses that something’s off as he tells Ichigo to wait for a moment. While Ichigo is confused by Isshin’s decision to stop while they are in a hurry, Isshin notices that the Koutotsu has disappeared. Ichigo then remembers what Isshin is talking about as he refers to it as the “Reiatsu train thing”. Somehow you’d expect him to remember something as dangerous as that, but I suppose this is Ichigo we’re talking about. Isshin then reveals that the traces of Reiatsu that are lingering mean that Aizen was capable of destroying the Koutotsu even though no Shinigami (or Hollow) is capable of destroying it. Ichigo seems to acknowledge that it is impressive by his silence, but I think he doesn’t fully understand how impressive the feat is because of his own experience with Orihime and the others in the Dangai. But rather than focus on the thing that isn’t there yet, Ichigo wonders about the consequences of it being gone. Isshin knows full well that the Koutotsu is an important part in maintaining the balance of souls and to protect Soul Society, but right now he sees an advantage.

Mastering the Lunar Fang

Don’t look at us; we’re just as surprised as you!

Isshin explains that the Dangai is a space cut off from space and time as it exists between two realities. While passing through the Dangai, time and space are distorted in order to assure that the time it takes to travel between Soul Society and the material world isn’t accounted for. That means that if you leave Soul Society at 10.00 and you travel through the Dangai for 10 minutes, you still end up in the material world at 10.00 -maybe time will flow a bit, but this is what I got out of it. The Koutotsu as a janitor doesn’t only ensure that the place stays clean of Hollows and remnant Reiatsu traces, but it makes sure that people don’t cheat time by staying in the Dangai. The Dangai has been shown to affect time in the Soul Society arc, and the collision with the Koutotsu at that time even caused time travel to occur. Kubo is now using this occurrence to Isshin and Ichigo’s advantage in order to help Ichigo grow in power without giving Aizen too much time to take over Karakura town. The Getsuga Tenshou thrown by Isshin now turns out to be the key to Ichigo’s next step in his development. After Ichigo’s Hollow side grew in leaps and bounds, it is now time for some Shinigami love again as Isshin tells Ichigo he is going to use the vacuum of time and space to teach him the final Getsuga Tenshou. Now we can only wonder whether we’ll finally see how Ichigo obtains one of his power ups or whether Kubo will only show a moment of Ichigo’s training without explaining how he achieved it in the end (e.g. Bankai, Hollowfication power up etc.). In any case, a final Getsuga Tenshou sounds intriguing and it is for the best that Ichigo will train in an area devoid of time as Aizen is making his way to Karakura town!

Morning call

That’s why you should always carry a pillow with you

With the Kurosaki men stuck in limbo, the scene moves to Karakura town. In the streets of the town we find Keigo waking up after falling asleep in a rather random place. The fact that Keigo is waking up right now can have two causes. Either it is because Urahara has been taken down that the Kidou has lost its power, or Keigo has a resistance to the spell due to a higher Reiatsu than other people. My money’s on the second option as everyone else is still asleep. With Karakura town in great peril and Aizen and Gin closing in on Karakura town, it seems that it’s up to Keigo to save the day!

When I read the chapter’s title I was a bit disappointed as I thought the Deicide chapters ended last week. But after reading the chapter I’m far from disappointed. Kubo decided to use the Dangai again after a long -looong- time in order to show off Aizen’s power and to give Ichigo the possibility to attain more power -which he needs right now. Ichigo’s fighting spirit has been rekindled again by his father, not only by using a classic headbutt, but by using Ichigo’s past as well. The chapter even suggests that we can expect something good to happen with Gin in the nearby future -if I’m right this time that is- and that Aizen is still reckless now that he’s become a new creature. Isshin promising to use the mess Aizen made to Ichigo’s advantage by teaching a final Getsuga Tenshou also is a nice touch, even if it has been done before I suppose (hyperbolic time chamber etc.). But the story doesn’t even stop now as Aizen and Gin have arrived at Karakura town, meaning things will still be happening next week. In short, I really liked the chapter. I probably would have enjoyed it more if Full Metal Alchemist hadn’t ended this week, but that doesn’t change the fact this was an eventful chapter which gave us plenty to look forward to, though there’s one thing that may be less joyous as it seems at first glance.

Isshin has revealed to Ichigo that he’ll teach him the final Getsuga Tenshou. Does this mean that Bleach is coming to an end soon?

Like I said, there’s plenty that can happen right now. The arc is supposed to come to an end in the next few chapters from what I’ve heard, but Kubo has suddenly decided to leave plenty of things unsolved to ensure there is plenty to cover in the upcoming chapters.
Here are a few things that I can see happening:
A scene change to Las Noches
Yammy is still running rampant in Las Noches as far as we know, and there are plenty of characters that are still running around there. With Karakura town in danger it is important for Rukia, Chad, Orihime, and Ishida to be informed of this as well so they can help out in one way or another. Besides that, it should be interesting to see how Byakuya and Kenpachi are holding out against Yammy.
Karakura town’s last line of defense
This could be several things. Either it is a barrier set up by Soul Society as the majority of the Gotei 13 wasn’t present or it could be Tessai and Ryuuken. The Gotei 13 and Kidou corps should be capable of creating a powerful barrier if they all were to work together or at least should be able to stall Aizen and Gin for a full second if they all charge them at once. Tessai and Ryuuken would be a better bet though. Tessai probably already has a barrier set up as a backup plan made by Urahara while Keigo’s awakening seems to suggest that even if Ryuuken were to be caught up in the Kidou -which is already unlikely as far as we know- he should be awake right now. The two of them could then be able to stall Aizen and Gin. Aizen could be stopped by Tessai’s forbidden time/space kidou, while Gin could be dealt with by Ryuuken making for a rather interesting long range battle.
Gin’s wavering mind
Like I pointed out in this review, it seemed as if Gin has been having some doubts in the past few chapters. Kubo could decide to focus on Gin for a bit now, finally showing his thoughts, but I think this is rather unlikely even for one of my predictions .

That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed the read. 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 to rate this week’s chapter by poking Kon! You don’t even have to be registered to rate the chapter -remember?-!
On a final note I’d like to mention Full Metal Alchemist here. If it wasn’t for Full Metal Alchemist I’d never had come in touch with the majority of anime and manga and I’d be stuck with Dragonball reruns and Pokémon. Seeing Full Metal Alchemist end this week was something special because of it was a manga and anime I really enjoyed for the past few years. So all I can say is that if you haven’t read Full Metal Alchemist, you really should as it’s a manga/anime you could really enjoy. So thanks to Hiromu Arakawa for all these years of FMA, a great series. But even though FMA has ended, it has little to do with Bleach and my reviews I guess , so I’ll see you guys again next week for more Bleach!

Click on the picture above to rate this week’s chapter, and as a reminder here’s what the ratings are:
1.0: Abysmal
1.1 – 3.4: Awful
3.5.-5.4: Bad
5.5-6.9: Average
7.0-8.9: Great
9.0-9.9: Awesome
10: Perfect


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~ by The Underscore on June 12, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 407”

  1. Hello, thanks for the great review !

    Really this week’s chapter was pretty interesting I can say. The first thing that surprised me was the title. “Deicide 9 ?” Just like you I thought that Deicide Chapters were over with the End of Chrysalis subtitle but it seems we assumed wrong.

    By far the most interesting event of the chapter was the incident with Koutotsu. It was a clear demonstration not of Aizen’s power but more precisely of Aizen’s new nature. It’s obvious that he is beyond any shinigami, hollow, hybrid or other “reiatsu” being right now. Koutotsu was put there to force all the reiatsu beings to submit to a fundamental law of the world, the Time. By destroying Aizen proved that he is beyond the Laws of the world, he is beyond Time. And now he can directly challenge the Spirit King, who is probably the creator of the world and those laws.

    A thing that also picked my interest is the conversation of Aizen with Gin about the realm of reiatsu and the realm of reason. I am almost sure that those 2 realms are a reference to the soul society and to the Royal Realm respectively. I always thought that the Royal Realm would be a place similar to Soul Society, maybe smaller or with a different theme than Soul Society’s Feudal Japan, but it seems that those aren’t going to be the main differences between these worlds. I am now thinking that RR is probably a place/dimension/present where shinigami logic and natural laws can’t be applied there. Different space, different time, the Realm of Reason. What if it’s a place where “minds” or “consciousness” resides in, contrary to the Soul Society in where are the souls (realm of reiatsu). I believe that the “Edge of Reason” is Karakura Town. Karakura Town is the Key for the Royal Realm and as such I conceive the Edge of a Reason as the entrance/penetration point into there. The “edge”.

    All those thoughts may sound interesting but the problem is that it is a shonen we are talking about and I doubt that Tite Kubo would like to go Bleach into that “complicated” direction. The sure thing is that Aizen proved in this chapter that he is ready to directly challenge the King/God. And that fact alone is pretty damn interesting/amazing.

    Well, let’s go to the rest of the chapter. Probably all the other things are meaningless before Aizen’s Godhood or future Godhood but Papa-Kurosaki found a way to cheat Time, a courtesy of Aizen of course. There is an interesting discussion about whether Aizen destroyed the Koutotsu knowing that gives time to Ichigo to become stronger or because he simply wanted to demonstrate his power and avoid running away along with Gin – Gods do not run away (Aizen & Gin running in the Dangai, that would be hilarious XD). It may be a coincidence or a jump to wrong conclusions but I’ll remind you a moment in the previous chapter where Aizen asks Gin what was he intending to do to Ichigo ? Gin replied “Nothing. I was just testing his strength”. From this convo we deduced that Aizen still wants Ichigo alive. This adds up well to Aizen destroying Koutotsu in purpose and clearing Ichigo’s path to Karakura, don’t you agree ? But as I said whether is a hint or a random incident we will not learn it until after a couple of chapters.

    Anyways, there are too many loose ends considering the Arc’s end is some chapters away. Ichigo’s training (which will probably be out of panel), the Hueco Mundo, Matsumoto – Gin destined meeting etc. Adding that to the continue of the “Deicide” series I am pretty interested to see how is the writer going to handle the situation. Well, let’s see how Keigo is going to stop Aizen next week, at Deicide 10. Well that’s all, sorry for the long read. I hope that what I wrote in the second and third paragraph make some sense.

    PS1-“Does this mean that Bleach is coming to an end soon?” – No. The writer said in an interview that there are at least 2 arcs coming after the “Arrancar Arc” so the answer is a simple but meaningful “NO”. :p

    PS2 : Kudos to Tite Kubo for how he handled the conversations of his characters once again. They were all so in-character. Bleach has the potential to be a very deep and meaningful series. Unfortunately the manga is weekly and not monthly so the majority of the readers care only for the action and whine about the pace (which after rereading the Battle of KT I can say it is awesome).

  2. Crap, my post looks very long from here. Probably I should have post it in parts. Anyways. 😄

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