The Underscore’s Bleach review 408


408 Deicide 10

Welcome one and all to the Bleach review for chapter 408, Deicide 10. A peculiar chapter as I did enjoy the read, but I somehow feel makes it impossible to end the arc any time soon. Putting the announced ending of the arc aside, it was a pretty fun chapter though. Let’s get to the review then, shall we? It’s a tad bit long and because of this I couldn’t get to the ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’ section, so sorry about that. Anyways, thanks go out to Sleepyfans and Mangastream/Binktopia for their scanlations. The pictures are from Mangastream/Binktopia where the Sleepyfans scanlation was used to make an estimate of the translations that could work. Let’s get to the polls first, before getting to the chapter.

Bleach chapter 407, Deicide 9, after being rated by 56 voters gets an average score of:

8.7

Great

In last week’s chapter, Gin showed us how he wasn’t intimidated by Aizen as much as he was intimidated by the Koutotsu. But with all that already happened with Gin in the Deicide chapters, we can only wonder what is going through his mind -as usual- and what could happen to him now that Aizen has done things he wasn’t aware off. These are some of the possible things that could happen to Gin according to 51 voters:

We start off with a tie, with two votes for each option. First there’s the option of Gin taking out his frustrations on Ichigo. A possibility as Gin already tried to kill Ichigo without Aizen’s permission a couple of chapters ago and Gin seems to be a bit worried about Aizen’s current state. The other option with two votes was that Gin will end up living happily ever after with Matsumoto…somehow. These two GinxMatsumoto fans wish them well, though even they know deep down inside that this would be rather difficult to work… I think.
Three voters felt Gin would just suck it up and keep following Aizen. Gin has seen messed up things before -probably being the cause of the majority of these- while he was with Aizen, and Aizen just raised the bar this time. This is no reason for Gin to stop doing his thing.
Six voters just don’t really care what could happen to Gin, which is often an option.
Nine voters see a dark future for Gin as they believe he will die by Aizen’s hands. With Aizen going behind Gin’s back before already and his reputation for cutting down his followers -Harribel anyone?- this isn’t as unlikely as it may seem.
Eleven voters feel Aizen’s betrayal of Gin will be in the near future. With Aizen obtaining everything he wanted for a long time, it is possible that Aizen will decide to keep it all for himself, which leaves Gin in a bad position.
But the majority of the voters, 18 of them, have seen how foxy Gin is and they feel Gin will be the one to do the betraying. Gin has been putting up with quite a lot in the past couple of chapters, and the Koutotsu bit may just have been the straw to break the camel’s back. Too bad we don’t really see Gin in this week’s chapter .

Conditioned response

Do we really need to go over your parenting, Isshin?

The chapter starts off with Ichigo meditating inside the Dangai. Though Isshin told Ichigo he would teach him the ultimate Getsuga Tenshou, it is still up to Zangetsu to guide him as Zangetsu is the one who will end up doing all the work. This means that Ichigo has to meet up with Zangetsu and in order to do so he is meditating, quietly… That was until Ichigo senses he’s about to be clobbered by his father, who gets angry at Ichigo for dodging his fist. Isshin asks Ichigo the obvious, though the reason Isshin wants to be able to hit Ichigo doesn’t have anything to do with personal frustrations. The fact that Ichigo was able to dodge Isshin’s fist means that he hasn’t poured his heart into his Zanpakutou for a conversation. Isshin can’t help but get angry at the fact that his no-good son isn’t even able to have a conversation with his blade, though Ichigo isn’t hearing anything new. Ichigo tells his father how he and Zangetsu have never met up in a calm state like this before, making it difficult for him to actually hold a conversation. Isshin then explains the basics once more, how you just have to pour your being into your Zanpakutou -easy, right?- and that’s all there’s to it. The thing is that Ichigo has already obtained the power of Bankai, yet he isn’t even capable of contacting Zangetsu outside of battle. This may actually be the reason that Ichigo is still in his Bankai state right now for the meditation, as this is the state in which he’s most synchronous with Zangetsu. But this doesn’t change the fact that he’s never conversed with Zangetsu in his own soul without it breaking down due to near death situations. Nonetheless, Ichigo does understand how the conversation works, but he has something else bothering him…

The Precipice World

Basically, it’s Australia, only faster

Here we come to the main issue from last week’s chapter: the time flow inside the Dangai (precipice world). Last week Isshin and Ichigo moved through the Dangai in pursuit of Aizen and Gin, who had just passed through the Dangai themselves after destroying the Koutotsu. Without the Koutotsu around, Isshin thought this to be a great opportunity to teach Ichigo the final Getsuga Tenshou for two reasons. First there’s the fact that Ichigo is able to sense/understand Aizen’s power. In last week’s review I went with the scanlations where Isshin said Ichigo didn’t understand Aizen’s reiatsu, though Molokidan and cnet128’s translations both stated Ichigo could understand it. The fact that Ichigo is capable of doing this means that he (has the potential to stand/) stands on the same level as Aizen. In spite of this, Ichigo doesn’t have the abilities required to defeat Aizen, though Isshin knew how to grant them to Ichigo. The thing Isshin didn’t have, however, was time, which he found inside the Dangai.
Isshin then explains how the Dangai works. The Dangai is a space severed from two worlds where severed space is piled up on each other. But as with every continuum, this means there’s also time that can be piled up as well, which is present in the Dangai as it flows around this pile of severed spaces. This piling of time and space causes the space inside the streams of time to move 2000 times slower than the two worlds. 1 second in Soul Society or the Material World equals 2000 seconds inside the Dangai, or 1 year equals 2000 years. In short, the Dangai is more effective than the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from Dragonball, where time flows faster -1 day equals 1 year there, for those of you who don’t know about DBZ for some reason- and it actually has a completely different purpose. Though the Dangai is currently used as a passageway between worlds, it used to be a penal colony -hence the Australia reference – in the good old days, or so says Isshin.
The Dangai has two features which make it the ideal penal colony. First, it has the Kouryuu currents -the white walls- which ensnare the souls that touch them, trapping them for eternity. Or rather than eternity, it keeps the souls trapped until the second feature makes its way. The Koutotsu, is what makes for the second part of the Dangai’s penal colony features, which doesn’t directly destroy souls, but sends them through the currents into the time stream surrounding the Dangai. Being thrown into the time flow, souls end up in entirely different times than they originated from, though it is impossible to emerge from those flows in one piece. There was, however, one exception, which was the time Ichigo and the others went through the Dangai. But this didn’t have so much to do with Orihime using her Santen Kesshun to block the Koutotsu as much as it had to do with a failsafe in Urahara’s portal. Now, I have to say, this doesn’t feel so much as a penal colony or a passageway as much as a deathtrap if you were to ask me, but Soul Society has always had its quirky locations. As a matter of fact, Kubo -and admittedly I as well- has spent too much time to explain how the Dangai is just as dangerous as it is convenient for the current situation.

Time-limit

Isshin literally has more up his sleeves than the average Shinigami

With so many perils inside the Dangai, it makes sense for Shinigami to run through it as quickly as they can. But Isshin now has plans to stay in the Dangai for a while in order for Ichigo to get a great amount of training done in the fraction of the time it would take outside of the Dangai. Even if it is just an hour in the outside world, the 2000 hours it gives Isshin to train Ichigo is more than enough. With Aizen getting rid of the Koutotsu, which no Shinigami is capable of stopping, only the Kouryuu currents could get in the way. The danger of the Kouryuu currents now is the fact that if Isshin or Ichigo were to get caught in them, they’d be stuck for eternity as there’s no Koutotsu to put them out of their misery. Luckily, Shinigami do have the tools to get through the Kouryuu currents. Even better, Isshin is just the Shinigami to talk to if you want to keep the currents away, as he gets out four rods tied to ropes. He throws the rods into the currents in order to create a Kaikyou Kotei, a boundary which keeps the currents away using a Shinigami’s reiatsu. The impressive thing here is that Isshin is capable of creating this barrier on his own, while the average Shinigami needs to team up in order to achieve this. Not only that, Isshin can keep this up for around 2000 hours by himself before his Reiatsu runs out.
Here’s where things get really interesting. Isshin has now planned to use all his power in order to give Ichigo about three months worth of training, which will only be an hour in Soul Society, where Aizen and Gin are prowling. Somehow it seems as if things are going too smoothly for Ichigo once more, ever since Aizen blew up the Koutotsu for him. I’ll admit that I, like probably 95% of the readers, find it hard to believe that Aizen didn’t do this intentionally in order to have Ichigo reach his maximum potential. Let’s face it; he’s had his hands in Ichigo’s development from the very beginning, so why would it be any different now? I’d honestly be more surprised if Aizen didn’t see this coming than if he knew exactly how things would go. Isshin went along with this setup just because he learnt that Ichigo is capable of sensing/understanding Aizen’s power, believing in his son like any father would. But rather than preparing Ichigo to fight alongside himself, he’s sacrificing all his Reiatsu in order to make sure Ichigo can get in contact with Zangetsu so that Ichigo can obtain his own Final Getsuga Tenshou. The final thing to note has to be the one hour limit. While it makes sense that Isshin says they have 1 hour (2000 in the Dangai) due to the limits of his Reiatsu, we can only wonder why he believes that they have an hour to spare at all…

Not just Zen, Jinzen

Sit down and shut up, daddy’s talking!

Here we are, back where we started this chapter. Ichigo is meditating in order to transfer his being into his Zanpakutou using the Jinzen that has been developed by Shinigami in the course of thousands of years. An interesting bit of information is that the Jinzen has been worked out for thousands of years, since Soul Society has been founded. This would suggest that there was a Shinigami who somehow obtained the power of a Shikai or even a Bankai using the Jinzen and united others in order to teach them the same thing, forming the Gotei 13 in the thousands of years to follow. But who knows (or cares I suppose ) how that worked out, the main thing is that Ichigo is finally doing a more conventional training. Isshin points out once more how rushed Ichigo’s development has been over the past year or so since he became a Shinigami. Every technique he acquired has been forced out of him in impossible situations, all according to Aizen’s elaborated plans. But rushing things only gets you so far, which Isshin seems to know full well. Because of this, Ichigo now finds himself going through those thousands of years of knowledge, as told by his father.
With this, the chapter has shown us the conditions in which Ichigo will be training inside the Dangai for one hour “in real time”. Perhaps the timing of using this form of training is a bit off, due to Naruto doing something similar right now, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was bound to happen. The only thing that is strange, however, is that this makes it seem that the end of the arc isn’t even close. Especially when looking at what’s happening in Karakura town right now.

The last man standing

Yes people, this is the guy that will hold of Aizen and Gin for a full hour…

While Ichigo does his soul searching -literally- we find a silent Karakura town. The only sounds we find in this town are those made by Asano Keigo (also known as Karakura Raizer Delicate) who is running through the sleeping town. All around him he sees people sleeping in the streets, while all forms of technology don’t seem to function as if the town itself is sleeping as well. Unbeknownst to Keigo, the Kidou used by Urahara have put him in this otherworldly situation where he can’t find anyone to support him. While I wouldn’t put it past him to take advantage of a situation like this one, it seems that Keigo is well aware of how dreadful the situation actually might be. For all he knows, an alien invasion is taking place right now where the people of the town who are sleeping are all being gathered by aliens with evil intentions! He does feel the world is ending with the way things are now, and he isn’t that far off about this. All he can do now is hope he can find anyone who’s awake right now that can confirm his suspicions and help him to get a grip. To achieve this, he does all he can do: Scream his lungs out for help! As Keigo runs around screaming -as he usually does- he suddenly finds his face hurting -as usually happens while he is running around and screaming- due to a lariat.

Punch line

Ever notice how Keigo’s punch line is getting punched?

Rather than this being the start of the ever anticipated Keigo vs. Aizen, it turns out that it is none other than Tatsuki who stopped Keigo in his tracks. Keigo is relieved that he is no longer the only person who’s awake in Karakura town, “even though it’s Tatsuki”. It’s funny to see how Keigo actually puts off Tatsuki right now, showing how his affection for her is measured by her cup-size -he didn’t say it with those words, but let’s face it, this is Keigo we’re talking about. Still, he’s so happy to see her that he starts yakking away about what’s going on in Karakura town right now and what he went through. By no means is he worried about what Tatsuki went through -his own words- though Tatsuki should be worried about what he’s been through. The poor fellow didn’t even manage to find his best friend Mizuiro in this hectic situation, but more importantly, Tatsuki for some reason decided to stop him using a lariat instead of calling out to him. Just as he wants to ask her what the deal is with that, Tatsuki stops his rant with a well aimed punch as she tells him to shut up -notice how she kind of looks like Ichigo while doing this.
Keigo then goes to his apologetic mode as he keeps saying how sorry he is for angering her with his rant, though Tatsuki doesn’t care about that. Instead of apologies, she wants something else from Keigo.

Gathering of friends

Why does it seem like Chizuru must be having a great dream right now?

Tatsuki pulls Keigo aside as she shows him two of their friends: Honshou Chizuru and Ogawa Michiru. While she was awake, Tatsuki found the two of them and now wants to take them to their school. The fact that those two are still asleep, even though have been in contact with Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Chad, and Ishida to some degree, while Keigo and Tatsuki are still awake shows us that only those with higher Reiatsu/the ability to see ghosts were able to wake up. Most of us already suspected this would happen, but this is a good way for Kubo to show this to us while showing us Tatsuki and Keigo in their usual character.
Tatsuki has Keigo carry Chizuru while she carries Michiru, which makes sense as the innocent Michiru wouldn’t be save in Keigo’s hands and she couldn’t care less about Chizuru being in the pervert Keigo’s hands. Of course, she still tells Keigo to keep his hands of her ass, though Keigo has something else on his mind right now. The heavy burden on his mind as Tatsuki and he are walking through the sleeping streets is too much for him to bear, so he tells Tatsuki what he’s thinking about: Chizuru’s chest. A punch line later, Tatsuki explains to Keigo what she found out in the time she’s been awake. While Keigo was running around looking for people who were awake, Tatsuki went out to explore the entire town to check on the situation. She went to the edge of the transported town where she noticed the change in scenery and tells Keigo that it seemed as if the entire town was moved to an area surrounded by mountains. After hearing that the town was moved, Keigo immediately makes the connection with Ichigo’s disappearance through the Garganta. Tatsuki agrees with his suspicions, saying it’s only natural that Ichigo has something to do with this. But Tatsuki knows that if it is Ichigo’s fault, he’ll be the one to fix his mistake as that’s just the kind of guy Ichigo is.

Communication

Finally we’ll be seeing the old guy again

Walking in Karakura town, we have two of Ichigo’s friends carrying two of his classmates, unaware of the danger they are in right now. Perhaps there are others who are awake right now, such as Karin, Don Kanonji, Mizuiro, and maybe Yuzu -unlikely, but she’s Ichigo’s sister so it’s more likely than other people- who may be wandering around as well.
Walking just outside of Karakura town, we suddenly see Aizen and Gin coming from their stroll through the desolated area of Soul Society. Aizen notes how much out of place the town is before he bids the town adieu. It would seem that Aizen and Gin didn’t feel like stopping on their way through Soul Society to reminisce, which doesn’t bode too well for Karakura town. There aren’t even any signs of guards or barriers having been put in place either. It seems that Ichigo really is the only one who can stop Aizen now, that is if he obtains the power to do so. Luckily, Ichigo has managed to sync with Zangetsu inside the Dangai. But Isshin warns Ichigo/us, that Zangetsu may go wild this time. Ichigo did obtain his Bankai and the name of the Getsuga Tenshou while fighting Zangetsu, so obtaining the Final Getsuga Tenshou shouldn’t be any different. The question, however, is which Zangetsu Ichigo will find in the depth of his soul…

This week’s chapter was basically cut up into three parts. The first part explained the conditions for Ichigo’s training, from the training method to the limitations it has. Rather than the Dangai being completely cut off from time, it is a deathtrap where time flows about 2000 times faster and can tear up a soul by jetting it through time currents. Ichigo has to put his being into Zangetsu, the same as Shinigami have put their beings into their Zanpakutou in the ages before him, to acquire his Final Getsuga Tenshou. Notice how Isshin specifically pointed out that the Final Getsuga Tenshou would be his own, which is a good thing. The majority of this first part, however, was an explanation on the Dangai, which got confusing after it was referred to as a penal colony. This first part of the chapter was pretty decent though.
The second part was the one with Keigo and Tatsuki as they went around the sleeping Karakura town. This has to be the best part of the three I’ve divided the chapter in. Keigo was Keigo through and through, completely unaffected by everything that happened since Ichigo and the others entered Hueco Mundo. Tatsuki was the same, though unlike Keigo, she had the strength to take matters into her own hands in a more productive way. This chapter confirmed that direct contact with Shinigami was enough to make people more resistant to Urahara’s sleeping spell, shown by the fact that Tatsuki is awake now, so we could expect a few more people to be awake. All the people that will be awake, however, will have something to do with Ichigo, and Tatsuki was the one who spoke for them by saying Ichigo will get them out of this mess. The fact that these two stayed in character so much, and the fact that they are practically complete opposites, really made this an enjoyable part for me.
Finally we have the third part, which set up the upcoming chapters, with Aizen and Gin arriving at the edge of Karakura town as they tell it goodbye, while Ichigo managed to enter Zangetsu in order to prepare for his showdown with Aizen. What happened with Aizen and Gin was almost disappointing as it was only a glance of what they were up to, but it was still important to show as it was a way to remind everyone that Aizen is still on the move. Showing Ichigo entering Zangetsu also is important to show that Ichigo is progressing as well. Isshin telling us that Ichigo now has to face off against a violent Zangetsu tells us we’ll be seeing soon. All in all a pretty good chapter, though the real downer has to be that the end of the Arc still isn’t in sight as far as I can tell. But we all know my predictions .

Isshin prophesized the violent coming of Zangetsu in Ichigo’s next encounter, leaving us to wonder what this could mean. On the one hand it could be that Ichigo will be facing off against the good old Old-Man-Zangetsu, the one we all know and love . On the other hand, we have Shirosaki. Shirosaki already took over before after which he told Ichigo that he is Zangetsu as well. Ichigo beat the crap out of him -not so much, but he beat him still- allowing old man Zangetsu to take over again -though we did not see him do that- restoring balance. But since that time a lot happened, including Neo-Ichigo, where the balance between Shinigami and Hollow changed again, as shown by Ichigo’s problems with Hollowfication (e.g. the “heavy” mask), which should affect Ichigo’s soul as well.
Do these changes mean that Shirosaki will be the one to welcome Ichigo this time, will it be Old-Man-Zangetsu, or could it be a fusion of the two which represents Ichigo’s development as a Vizard?

Well this one’s pretty tricky right now. We’ve already seen more on Ichigo’s training than I anticipated; meaning Kubo wants to show us something important about this. This could actually take at least two chapters if Kubo shows us the important parts of this conversation. In the meantime Karakura town is going through its own preparations, which could probably be worked out in a full chapter. But just as important as Ichigo’s training, we have Aizen standing at the edge of town as he is ready to create the Ouken, which also could take up at least a chapter depending on how flashy the process is (and Kubo enjoys drawing out flashy, same as we enjoy reading it -though we often don’t realize it until we reread chapters-). We also have everyone in the Fake Karakura town, with plenty of injured as well as dead/near death people, who should be able to do something as well. Finally we have Las Noches, with Rukia and the others along with the Yammy fight. Here’s what I got then:

The next chapter will start off with Ichigo’s conversation with Zangetsu. No matter how the meeting goes, Ichigo will be the one to tell Zangetsu he wants to learn the Final Getsuga Tenshou even if it is at the risk of his own life. Odds are that Zangetsu will bring Ichigo’s fear of Aizen into the conversation as well, to show how he isn’t ready yet.
Meanwhile we may see how Karin is taking care of Yuzu, where she may find her father’s “dead” body. Just as she starts to panic about her father’s possible death, Aizen and Gin arrive at the Kurosaki clinic as it turns out to be the center of the spiritual area and the point where Aizen needs to start the creation of the Ouken. In order to create the Ouken, he will decide he needs a greater amount of souls, for which he summons Yammy -I really took a liking to this theory, so I’m using it in this prediction – who has to stop his fight with Byakuya and Kenpachi because of his summons. This summoning of Yammy to Soul Society will make Rukia, Chad, Orihime, Ishida, and Renji want to go to Soul Society as quickly as possible. They get help from Mayuri to open the Garganta, after which Renji will open the path through the Dangai, where they will find Isshin and Ichigo. Isshin may take this opportunity to guide Rukia to obtain her Bankai, Chad to master his power, Orihime to get the determination to finally use Tsubaki, and Ishida just to mess with Ryuuken a bit. Renji will be the one to move out as he feels he’s the only one strong enough to hold off Aizen a bit and it’s his duty as a vice-captain.

If you thought the prediction just now was farfetched, you’re really going to enjoy this one . Aizen stands at the border of Karakura town where we saw him this week when all of a sudden the town disappears again. It turns out that Unohana fixed up some of the captains and vice-captains and ordered them to take down the four pillars, causing Karakura town to return to the material world again. Aizen will be annoyed by this insolence while Gin enjoys the tenacity of Soul Society. A grumpy Aizen and a smirking Gin make their way through the Senkaimon again where they find Ichigo and Isshin. Isshin prepares to protect Ichigo, but Aizen and Gin walk past them and they tell Isshin he should do a better job at keeping the Kouryuu currents away so that Ichigo has more time to get stronger. Aizen then gets to the material world where Unohana, Kyouraku, and a completely recovered Ukitake join forces to hold off Aizen and Gin with their Bankais.

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 to rate this week’s chapter by poking Kon in the picture below! I’ll see you guys again next week!

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 19, 2010.

One Response to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 408”

  1. Hello again, thanks for the review. It was one of your best, a much amusing review I must say. I really like the humorous way you described Keigo’s role on this chapter. :XD

    I much anticipate seeing who and what is Ichigo going to find in his inner world. Shirosaki, Zangetsu, both or a new being ? Maybe we’ll even have a change in the scenery, with many of the vertical buildings crumbled down or in fire (that would be epic XD), as a result of the the turbulence of hollow’s influence on Ichigo. The fact is that TK has to spend several chapters there. He can’t just skip one of the most important and possible turning points of Ichigo’s development.

    And that rises two questions. “Did Tite Kubo miscalculated the number of the chapters needed until the end of the Arrancar Arc ?” Considering that the interview was more than 6 moths ago I say it is possible. It’s not easy to plan the manga chapters that ahead.

    The second question is “What’s up with the “Deicide” chapters ?” As I have said in a previous comment I consider the Deicide chapters the ones who will conclude the Arrancar Arc and will be dedicated mainly in Aizen’s actions. Still it’s not only that the plot isn’t that close to the end but it seems that Aizen will not be the main focus of the next chapters either. Probably TK will have to split the next chapters half showing Ichigo’s training and the other half dedicated to Aizen’s whereabouts in Karakura. Which leads to the next question “Why does Isshin believe that they have one hour to spend ?”

    It’s not that difficult to tell. Tessai not showing in FKT wasn’t a coincidence and Ryukken of course will not stay inactive in front of a Karakura’s possible annihilation. Tessai can also use an forbidden kido that messes with the flow of time and give some more time to I&I. Also, the process of creating the Ouken may contribute to that one hour. Last but not least I agree that Yammy is probably going to be summoned in Karakura (as much as destructive for the town may that be). It is an easy way for Kubo to cover this loose end without distracting away from the mail events in Karakura atm. Hell, Bleach got more interesting lately.

    Thanks for the review again. Can’t wait to read the next one. 🙂

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