The Underscore’s Bleach review 409


409 Deicide 11

Another busy week for me and somehow I took too much time for this week’s review (again). Darned deadlines… I’m afraid I won’t be able to give any replies the next two weeks -not that I’ve given that many replies lately. This week I’ll be skipping the ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’ section again, I just don’t have time for it as I went a little overboard with this week’s review . I hope the review itself will be enough to make up for those of you who were expecting a reply. Well then, on to Deicide 11 using the Mangastream/Binktopia release as I’ve got plenty to cover this week. Let’s get over the polls quickly though.

Bleach chapter 408, Deicide 10, after being rated by 28 voters gets an average score of:

8.1

Great

Intriguing chapter last week, and Tatsuki had a hand in it if you were to ask me. But I asked you, so my opinion doesn’t really matter I suppose . Here’s what 34 of you thought about Tatsuki’s appearance:

First of all, no one cared about Chizuru and Michiru, or at least less than they cared for the other options. Two voters didn’t care about Tatsuki and I’ll admit there are other interesting things and people going around right now. Two different voters saw Tatsuki’s appearance coming from a mile away, which they could have mentioned before .
Then we had four people who agreed with Keigo on Tatsuki’s appearance, she’s better than nothing and their affection for her is measured by her cup size -you pervs .
Five voters felt Tatsuki would be a better opponent for Aizen than Keigo -which is true on some level.
But Tatsuki’s arrival makes for a great two vs. two according to six voters, with Keigo and Tatsuki teaming up against Aizen and Gin. Gin needs to be entertained in the epic battle that will be Keigo vs. Aizen .
Seven voters thought Tatsuki was a great…way to waste space in the manga. Like I said, there’s plenty going on right now, so it isn’t all too strange to want to see something else. But to call her a waste of space may be a bit cruel.
The majority of the voters at least would think so as 13 voters couldn’t help but be happy at seeing the lovely Tatsuki <3. These thirteen should be pretty happy with this week’s chapter then.

Gandaberunda

Protagonists in color!

Deicide 11 starts off with a color spread, with Rukia, Chad, Ichigo, Orihime, Ishida, and Renji standing around a two-headed black eagle. I’m not too sure what to make of this spread. Chad and Ishida are a bit far in the background, though they are strangely recognizable in spite of their current sizes. Orihime looks fine as she is looking into the sky, though it isn’t anything we aren’t used to see from Kubo. Rukia and Renji look pretty cool here, showing off their attires. The only thing I don’t like about this spread has to be Ichigo. When I first saw the page -1 a.m., without my glasses on, using my PS3- I thought Ichigo looked like a girl -due to those pants- which isn’t something a protagonist should be doing. The two-headed black eagle on which he’s leaning, however, is rather interesting. With Ichigo now facing off against Zangetsu -who is rather black- and him being made up of two sides, the eagle seems to be a representation of Zangetsu. From what I got on two-headed eagles, they used to represent dual sovereignty of the emperor (secular and religious) in Byzantine heraldry. Saying Ichigo rules over both Shinigami and Hollow powers wouldn’t be too far off, though he could use some practice. I would have gone with this explanation if it wasn’t for what happened in the chapter…

Crossing the line

Antagonists in color!

Last week’s chapter ended with Aizen and Gin standing in front of Karakura town and Ichigo entering his inner world. This week we see how Aizen and Gin step into Karakura town, in color . Too bad there isn’t too much color to show here as Gin is just plain white -though he looks rather pleased here. The Hougyoku didn’t change Aizen too much after the evolution as only his hair grew and the eyecolor changed. But the irises didn’t turn yellow, but white instead. As Aizen sets foot in Karakura town, Ichigo’s steps into his inner world as Kubo goes to Ichigo’s training -as I predicted . There is something rather peculiar about this though. Ichigo shouldn’t have taken too much time to get into his inner world -I doubt he took more than half a day to enter- yet Aizen and Gin managed to get to Karakura town after walking a quite a bit. I did consider the possibility of time not being manipulated in the Dangai due to Aizen’s messing about and Ichigo training in real time unbeknownst to him and Isshin, but that would just be silly. Obviously Kubo has decided to keep us on our toes by reminding us bit by bit that Aizen is still moving about while Ichigo is trying to obtain a greater power. Speaking of Ichigo looking for power, we suddenly see what the drop of water we saw in last week’s chapter meant.

High tiding

The Ultimate Getsuga Tenshou is the breaststroke!?

As Ichigo tries to place his foot on top of the tilted building, he suddenly finds himself crashing into an ocean of water instead. As if Ichigo’s inner world wasn’t messed up before, he decided to move his being to a Dutch environment -yes, I myself live below sea level as well – and apparently a dam busted open. Reminiscent of the first time Ichigo entered his inner world, he starts to panic as he notices where he is right now. But rather than clinging to a window post on the side of one of the 270 degrees tilted buildings, he tries to swim to the water’s surface as he holds his breath. Same as the last time, Ichigo gets put in his place and is told how there is no danger here, though it is done differently from the last time. Ichigo’s grabbed by his robe and is thrown into one of the buildings this time as all of a sudden a mysterious hooded figure stands in the water telling him to calm down. The figure tells Ichigo he looks rather embarrassing -painful to be exact- as he is trying so hard to get some fresh air in a place where he can breathe. Ichigo is shocked to suddenly find someone besides Old-man Zangetsu before he notices that he can breathe normally. The figure asks him how it is to breathe right now, though Ichigo gets straight to the point by asking where his Zanpakutou is at while wanting to know who it is that is standing in front of him.
Once again Ichigo learns that there are only a few things inside his inner world that could harm him. Though it makes sense for Ichigo to be wary of his surrounding, with people like Shirosaki prowling around, but he already knew the inside of his world was messed up before. The water could have been part of Shirosaki’s domain as far as we know, and being plunged into water does cause you to instinctively hold your breath, so I can’t really blame him for this response. Finding another stranger inside yourself isn’t something you experience every day either though. Ichigo rudely asking the mysterious figure who he is without introducing himself isn’t too strange considering the circumstances, though the figure doesn’t appreciate it after taking the trouble to teach Ichigo how to breathe.

Tensa Zangetsu

Aquaman’s got nothing on this guy

The mysterious figure suddenly draws out Tensa Zangetsu after which he takes off his hood to reveal his face. Instead of the usual grumpy looking old-guy we see a grumpy looking young-guy wearing clothes that are almost identical to Ichigo and old-man Zangetsu’s. Ichigo tries to make sense of this figure who is holding Tensa Zangetsu, though the figure explains to Ichigo it is only natural that he doesn’t recognize him. The reason Ichigo doesn’t recognize this figure is because this is the first time -in the canon- that Ichigo entered his inner world while he is in his Bankai state. Notice the subtle way the figure -who we already know is Zangetsu(ish)- uses his hands in a way similar to the way old-man Zangetsu did. I think it’s a rather nice touch made by Kubo here as it makes it even more obvious to us that there is a definite connection to Old-man Zangetsu. Ichigo tries to grasp the situation, but the mysterious figure charges towards him as he starts fighting Ichigo. Ichigo blocks the first attack and asks the figure if he’s Zangetsu. The figure then tells him he’s not, but then reveals he is Tensa Zangetsu. Ichigo is so surprised by this that he lowers his guard and is hit by a rather powerful blow.
The damage of the attack is then transferred to Ichigo’s body as we see the same thing we saw at the end of last week’s chapter. Ichigo’s shoulder suddenly opens up as Isshin says it looks like Ichigo’s finally in. This is followed by the warning that Zangetsu will be going wild this time round, same as last week. Isshin then explains how he knows this.

Kurosaki Ichigo and Engetsu

The Kurosaki family has a thing with moons

Isshin grabs his Zanpakutou tightly as he recalls that he went through a similar ordeal in the past. His Engetsu (Crescent Moon, I think) was the same as Zangetsu (Cutting Moon) is right now. The reason why the two Getsu’s put up such a fight is because they don’t want to teach their (ultimate) techniques to their wielders and Isshin tells us Ichigo will soon learn why.
Before going back inside the twisted world of Ichigo, let’s take a look at what happened just now. First off was the cut on Ichigo’s shoulder. I noticed there was some confusion about it when we saw it last week. I skipped it entirely as I didn’t notice Isshin cutting Ichigo and I thought it was little else than the same energy which makes up the Black Getsuga Tenshou, rather than blood – I have failed you all as a reviewer for missing such a crucial detail :cry. After seeing the comments here and there that it was in fact blood, I did consider both the possibilities of Isshin cutting Ichigo in order to see whether he was sleeping as well as it being a result of Ichigo fighting an angry Zangetsu. I even considered the possibility of Ichigo’s body crumbling as a side effect of the training, starting with cuts opening on Ichigo’s body at places that were cut open before. But with my thesis getting in the way I wasn’t able to post my theories -thank God I finally finished that, only three more essays to go- though this week’s chapter gave us the answer by showing how the cut is a result of Tensa Zangetsu’s attack. It is the same as when Shirosaki Zangetsu tried to take over, which resulted in Ichigo turning into a Hollow the last time he entered his inner-world. Ichigo’s body is affected by his inner-world once more here.
The second thing that was strange is where Tensa Zangetsu told Ichigo that he never entered his inner-world while in his Bankai state, which isn’t true considering the fact that he was in his Bankai state while trying to suppress his inner-Hollow. In his defense, however, Ichigo’s Bankai was taken over by Shirosaki at that time and Ichigo wasn’t in his Bankai state at the start of that conversation, which would explain why things were like that then.
Lastly -before getting back to the chapter- there’s the matter of Engetsu. It would seem that the Getsuga Tenshou is shared amongst Getsu zanpakutous. The major difference with Zangetsu, however, is that Engetsu seems to be in a sealed state, rather than in a permanent Shikai state. This could mean that Engetsu will take a similar form to that of Zangetsu in the releases, with a slightly different detail. Looking back at the time Ichigo was running around with a sealed Zangetsu, you will notice that his Zanpakutou had ropes attached it same as Engetsu has now. The difference between the two blades has to be the guard and the size of the blade -though the latter could be attributed to Ichigo’s reiatsu control. For all we know, we could expect to see a Tensa Engetsu soon, but time will tell.

Disagreement

If Tensa Zangetsu kills Ichigo, does that make it suicide?

Ichigo is thrown aback after a relentless assault by Tensa Zangetsu as asks Zangetsu -rather than Old-man – to stop as he didn’t come for a fight, but to ask him something instead. Tensa Zangetsu knows exactly what Ichigo is talking about as he heard everything Ichigo and his father discussed. Ichigo is a bit surprised for some reason to learn that Tensa Zangetsu heard them, though he probably thinks only Old-man Zangetsu can do that. But this isn’t as surprising as the fact that he suddenly can smell Tensa Zangetsu’s blade as his head is almost cut off completely. Even though Ichigo managed to dodge the attack at the last moment, I believe this is a great example of Zangetsu’s Ichigo wants to know why Tensa Zangetsu tried to cut off his head -good question- even though he told him to stop. Tensa Zangetsu tells Ichigo he can’t teach him the Ultimate Getsuga Tenshou, though Ichigo can’t leave without the new technique. Ichigo needs the new technique in order to safe Karakura town -which he believes because his daddy told him – which is reason enough for Ichigo to go head to head against Tensa Zangetsu. But rather than Tensa Zangetsu lowering his weapon in understanding of Ichigo’s situation, he mercilessly tells Ichigo he doesn’t care, before throwing him into one of the buildings again.

To each his own

Where’s the care police when you need them?

Tensa Zangetsu not only tells Ichigo that he doesn’t care about Karakura town, which is strange as he is a part of Ichigo, but he then tells him he has something else he wants to protect. Not only that, the thing he wants to protect is something completely different!
So let’s talk Tensa Zangetsu a bit. First off is the noticeable similarity between Tensa Zangetsu and Ichigo right now. If anything you’d almost say that Shirosaki and Old-man Zangetsu have become one, resulting in a younger form which shares some similarities to Ichigo because of Shirosaki. Another possibility is that Tensa Zangetsu looks like Ichigo because Zangetsu and Ichigo have synchronized due to the Bankai state. But why would Tensa Zangetsu be a completely different person from the two other manifestations? Luckily I have a theory on this one, which could even explain what Tensa Zangetsu said just now. Remember way back when Ichigo was training for his Bankai training? He had to look for a part of his soul that was strong enough to make up his Bankai. That piece could be a memory, desire or thought -I think it was… wasn’t it?- but it had to be strong enough to subjugate old-man Zangetsu. What if this piece is not just the Tensa Zangetsu blade, but this Tensa Zangetsu as well? Ichigo was trying to obtain power to protect Rukia and his friends at the time; or rather he was trying to obtain the power to stop his enemy -Byakuya at the time-, the power to fight. When Shirosaki was trying to take over, his instinct was rekindled/awakened as well. So what if Tensa Zangetsu wants to protect Ichigo’s lust for battle, for destruction, rather than to protect people from destruction? Another possibility is that Tensa Zangetsu only wants to protect someone more specific rather than a whole town, perhaps just his Nakama, or maybe Ichigo. Of course, I may be looking too much into the protecting bit and Tensa Zangetsu may just be trying to protect the secrets of his ultimate technique.
One last thing I have to cover is the fact that half of Ichigo’s soul seems to be under water right now. Remember how old-man Zangetsu was already annoyed by the rain inside Ichigo’s soul whenever he’s feeling sad? Go figure how he would feel now that everything’s under water . There can be two things going on right now. The water could be a part of Ichigo’s Bankai, where the water raising to that height could be similar to the way the tides rise with due to the moon -remember, Zangetsu = cutting moon– theme going with Ichigo’s Zanpakutou. Ichigo’s inner world has already taken a different form before -when he entered his inner world inside his inner world while fighting Shirosaki Zangetsu- so this could be an extension of that. But last week I did mention the possibility of Ichigo and Zangetsu getting into a conversation where Zangetsu would mention Ichigo’s fear of Aizen as a problem in learning the ultimate Getsuga Tenshou. Here’s where the second option comes in: the water represents Ichigo’s fear. People can drown in their fear, so this could be a literal interpretation of that. Ichigo was scared of what happened with Neo-Ichigo, he’s completely terrified by Aizen, and he fears for the lives of everyone in Karakura town. That’s quite a bit of fear if you were to ask me. This could even have to do with what Tensa Zangetsu wants to protect. Zangetsu wanted to make sure Ichigo wouldn’t feel sad anymore as it causes rain in Ichigo’s inner world. Zangetsu may want to protect the inner world from fear, so he doesn’t have to remain under water the entire fricking time . I know I’d go mad if I had to stay under water the entire time .
Either way, Ichigo has to try and get Tensa Zangetsu to agree with him soon, because Aizen is still on the prowl in Karakura town. Not only that, Aizen has drawn his first blood already!

Repulsing

Some people feel people can’t stand to be around them, Aizen knows this is true for him

A salary man walks down the streets of Karakura town waking up with a major headache. The spell Urahara cast on Karakura town seems to be wearing off as this poor man finds himself wandering in the ghost town. Would this mean that all the citizens in Karakura town are now waking up, whether they can see ghosts or not? The answer seems to be right around the corner. The salary man walks around the corner to find Aizen and Gin walking down the street (singing doobadeebadeebadamdebedoo, no idea where that came from ). Feeling relieved at the sight of others who are awake in the sleeping town, he tries to ask the two of them if they know what is going on. Aizen tells the man to stay away, which is great advice, coming from the man who is planning to use the salary man’s soul as a part of the Ouken. But Aizen seems to be referring to a more short-term danger as the man suddenly drops dead after a part of his body disappears. Aizen explains that the reason the man just dropped dead has to do with the fact that he can’t sense reiatsu even though he’s become a spiritual body. This shows us that not just those with spiritual perception are waking up, but “common” people as well. What’s worse for those people is the fact that they happen to wake up just as Aizen is coming closer, whose mere presence is enough to cause there bodies to be erased as soon as they get close to Aizen. We see this in the trail of bodies/bodyparts Aizen leaves behind in his wake, which lie in a rather neat manner, in a straight line spread evenly from each other. Either Aizen attracts people every two meters, or he is spreading them around the town for some peculiar reason. But somehow I get the feeling that depending on how close Aizen’s standing to the people, a bigger part of their bodies disappear. We already knew that major Reiatsu is bad for people without spiritual perception; hence the limitation on the captains and vice-captains, but Aizen has taken it to a whole new level. Perhaps the Hougyoku is a bit hungry, or this is a natural occurrence depending on the size of the Reiatsu. But it is rather convenient for Tatsuki and Keigo not to have seen anyone else who was awake, while Aizen probably has already seen at least four people who had woken up. My guess is that it is a defense mechanism in the spell, which would allow for people who are in danger of coming close to Aizen/a threat to wake up so they can walk away in order to protect themselves. If this is the case, the mechanism certainly failed… epically.

Long awaited battle

Prelude to the greatest battle ever put in a manga (not really): Keigo vs Aizen

Aizen and Gin suddenly stop walking as they see something rather interesting walking around. Gin sees Tatsuki carrying Michiru and identifies them as a bunch of kids. Aizen, however, recalls Tatsuki as one of Ichigo’s nakama as he saw Tatsuki in Ulquiorra’s report. With this sudden turn of developments, one can only wonder what Aizen and Gin will do right now. We know Tatsuki is able to perceive Reiatsu, as she was able to sense spirits before she and the rest of the town were transformed into spiritual bodies for the transfer to Soul Society -forgot to mention this until now, so now it’s been said – so she should be able to at least remain in one piece if Aizen decides to confront her and Keigo -who should also should be able to stay alive- even if she is to lose all energy as she did when faced by Yammy. But seeming as how Tatsuki is capable to perceive Reiatsu and she is a black-belt, she should be able to notice she’ll be in big trouble if she allows Aizen and Gin to confront her and her friends. If only it weren’t for the darned shunpo/sonido . The problem with Aizen coming close to Tatsuki, Keigo, Michiru, and Chizuru is that the latter two could spontaneously combust as they haven’t shown signs of spiritual perception during the manga -as far as I recall- which can be a bad thing. But the upside to all of this? KEIGO vs. AIZEN is bound to happen now!

The color pages were nice, the story progressed at a decent pace -especially considering this ís Bleach – and this week’s cliffhanger is even more intriguing than last week’s. Aizen and Gin entering Karakura town actually was in my prediction last week as I believed he is making his way to the Kurosaki clinic as it could be the center of the spiritual area. Meanwhile we see how Ichigo’s training starts off with his plunging into a bed of water where there should just have been buildings. I am a bit disappointed that we didn’t see old-man Zangetsu but got the bratty Tensa Zangetsu, though Tensa Zangetsu does have a certain charm I suppose. He would have looked cooler if he had the same shades as old-man Zangetsu though . Ichigo’s inner world being under water was rather interesting as well. Seeing how Ichigo got the cut on his shoulder last week due to Tensa Zangetsu was also interesting to see, especially considering how this was a quick and easy explanation. Learning Engetsu’s name in this week’s chapter was done a bit poorly though. Sure, Isshin looked pretty cool holding Engetsu while revealing the name, but it was done too casually. I’d had hoped Isshin would have introduced Engetsu along with his Shikai state at least. Tensa Zangetsu revealing he had a different agenda than Ichigo was strange in a good way. You’d think Ichigo would at least be able to agree with himself on his goals, but Tensa Zangetsu would suggest that Ichigo doesn’t know what he wants. Seeing how Aizen and Gin make their way through Karakura town at the end really helps to show how Kubo is moving on with the story even if Ichigo is in a different time and space right now. A person dying just by getting near Aizen really shows how dangerous a man he is even without the diabolical scheme to turn everyone into a key. Kubo nicely incorporated the explanations he’s given on the seals and Yammy’s appearance in Karakura town by letting this happen. But the end of the chapter didn’t let us down after all that happened this week with Aizen and Gin setting their sights on Tatsuki and the others. Will Ichigo be able to get to them in time to save them from Aizen and Gin? Or will Aizen decide to have a nice chat with Tatsuki and Keigo about Ichigo? Or better yet, KEIGO vs. AIZEN!
Anyways, I really enjoyed the chapter with all that happened. I don’t even mind the fact that this prolongs the arc as things are more than interesting enough right now. Besides, Tensa Zangetsu made me come up with something fun for the next section of the review .

Last week I made your head spin with Zangetsu as I asked you which Zangetsu we would be seeing this week. It didn’t even occur to me that we would get Tensa Zangetsu this week -though you’ll have to admit that he does look like a fusion of old-man and Shirosaki Zangetsu – or that Ichigo would have to fight under water. I already pointed out that Tensa Zangetsu kind of looks like Ichigo right now. So here’s something for you to think about. Old-man Zangetsu kind of looked like Isshin, where Tensa Zangetsu looks like Ichigo. Does this mean that Ichigo will look like Old-man Zangetsu/Isshin one he grows up?

KEIGO vs. AIZEN!!!!

Yeah, I’ll stop with the Keigo vs. Aizen (!!!!!!). Let’s get to the other predictions. Strangely, one of my predictions wasn’t too far off last week. The prediction I’m talking about is the following:

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.

The only thing I would change about this one is that Aizen talks to Tatsuki and Keigo as he tells them his grand master plan. Tatsuki will tell Aizen Ichigo will stop him, where Aizen may reveal he’s counting on it, or something along those lines, revealing that he intended Ichigo to obtain the Final Getsuga Tenshou -only now do I realize I’ve been calling it the Ultimate Getsuga Tenshou this entire review… oh well . Michiru and Chizuru could die here, due to Aizen getting too close, or maybe they were lucky enough to have been close to Rukia while she had the Hougyoku to grant them some form of immunity. After the chat -and KEIGO vs. AIZEN, yeah, I’ll stop for real now – Aizen and Gin will make their way to the Kurosaki clinic where things will proceed as I described them above. Yammy will be summoned because Aizen got too close to too many souls on the way.

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! Hopefully I’ll be able to give some replies in the upcoming week, though I have three reports to write before the end of next week. Odds are I will only be able to read the comments without replying, but I will read them! 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 25, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 409”

  1. Great breakdown, Underscore! I think this chater was awesome! The only thing I actually didn’t like was the old man dyin’. IT WAS SO SAD!

    Note to Kubo: I fmanga ever fails you, go into fashion biz! 😛

  2. Thanks.
    The chapter really was great, wasn’t it? The death of the working class hero was sad though… 😉

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