The Underscore’s Bleach Review 411


411 Deicide 13

A Bleach review before Saturday? It happens from time to time . This week’s chapter really got me riled up to write down as much as I could from what I thought when I first read this chapter. I think I got about half of those reactions written down here . Still, I’d say I’ve covered the important points in this week’s review. If not, be sure to reply here. I have some more free time at the moment due to my deadlines having passed, so I’ll be trying to reply once every two days, if not every day. But enough on that, let’s get to the review using the Mangastream/Binktopia scanlation pictures!

Bleach chapter 410, Deicide 12, after being rated by 33 voters gets an average score of:

8.8

Great

With a mystery figure appearing last week, it only made sense for me to ask of you who you thought it could be. Here’s what you thought:

At least it wouldn’t be Keigo, Karin or Jinta, as no one voted for them. What was I thinking putting those three up when there was another option I already mentioned in the review last week…
Two voters thought it could be Ichigo, post-training that is. What we’ve been seeing from Ichigo probably took place before Aizen even made it to the town, so it could happen.
Then there’s a tie between Mizuiro and Matsumoto, with four votes each. Mizuiro is suspicious due to his various hints given in the chapter(s) and character books, while Matsumoto already left towards Gin and Aizen in Deicide 2.
Six voters admitted they didn’t know who it could be, though they were right on the mark by saying it at least wasn’t someone from the list that was given in the poll. Then we had a tie in second place, with seven votes each. Tessai was one of those options as he has yet to make an appearance even though Urahara already showed himself. And where there’s Urahara, there’s Tessai. Seven voters had their own thoughts, ranging from Don Kanonji to Barragan. If you are curious about who they mentioned, be sure to check the comments on my previous review .
But the majority were hoping for the levelheaded, even cool, Ryuuken to make his appearance as he got 18 votes. I doubt they were expecting to see the exact opposite though….

Mister Blue

We all miss Kon, Ichigo, but your greatest ally finally made his entrance this chapter!

Another color page for Bleach in a couple of week’s time, with the arc’s end coming closer we should expect to see a couple of them in the next couple of weeks. This week we see Ichigo thinking about all the people who fought by his side. With so many people falling around him, this saddened look is the only one he should be able to make. As usual, Kubo knows what he’s doing while drawing out his characters as this page looks as great as any other colored page. I don’t really have much to say about this page to be honest. It’s more like the cherry on the top of this week’s chapter, so let’s get to the story now!

Thrown off the horse

Just because Aizen’s thrown everything onto your lap doesn’t mean Shirosaki will comply

Shirosaki appeared in front of Ichigo in the form of Neo-Shirosaki, as we saw in last week’s chapter. We now see Ichigo’s surprise at the sight of Shirosaki and the fact that he was the one who was instilling fear in him. Ichigo can’t help but wonder why Shirosaki is there with him, even though he disappeared after Ichigo stabbed him the last time they met. Shirosaki once more suffers at Ichigo’s forgetfulness, reminding Ichigo about the fact that he told him they would eventually fight again for the right of the king. Ichigo can’t feel but bummed about the fact that this means he wasn’t successful in his attempt to crush Shirosaki last time. But honestly, I don’t think Ichigo really thought he crushed Shirosaki during their last meeting. Remember back in the chapters after he crushed Shirosaki, where he was training with Hiyori? She kept making Ichigo out to be a failure of a student for failing to extend the time he could use his mask beyond 11 seconds. Ichigo then mentioned that using the mask longer than that would cause trouble. Perhaps, deep down inside, Ichigo knew that he only had Shirosaki’s cooperation for a short time. Of course, during his fight against Grimmjow, he managed to keep the mask on for an extended period of time, even displaying the ability to fix the mask when necessary. Perhaps this was the reason for Ichigo to think he crushed Shirosaki. But on the other hand, Ichigo was fearful of his Hollowfication after the Neo-Ichigo incident. I suppose Ichigo has never been one to blame others for his failures, so it makes sense that he would seek the problem of his Hollowfication within himself. If only he’d done this more literally, that way he’d have connected the dots to find Shirosaki throwing him off his back.

Three of a kind

You too have the potential to look this badass Ichigo!

After Shirosaki reminds Ichigo of his inner-jerk, Ichigo retorts by going after Shirosaki’s looks. He can’t help but wonder about Shirosaki’s mask and look as it looks almost entirely different from the mask Ichigo saw in Soul Society -as far as we know Ichigo has not seen his mask’s new patterns or forms since that time. Luckily Shirosaki isn’t given the opportunity to get back at Ichigo’s looks as it is the sensible Tensa Zangetsu who answers Ichigo’s question. Ichigo has another first in with this trip to his inner world as this is the first time he sees the Neo-form of his Hollowfication. Tensa Zangetsu reveals that Ichigo managed to defeat Ulquiorra Cifer in this form. The most intriguing part of this revelation has to be that Tensa Zangetsu actually knows Ulquiorra’s last name. Perhaps Tensa Zangetsu and Murcielago had a nice talk about their owners last they met, or perhaps Ichigo learned his name after the fight. But the revelations don’t end here. Tensa Zangetsu reveals that the Neo-form is the form Ichigo takes once he’s taken over by his destructive instinct and that his fear for this form is what prevents him from using a proper Hollowfication. We knew this and Ichigo seems to know this as well. Ichigo then deduces that he has to crush this manifestation of his fears, same as he did before. But Tensa Zangetsu has other plans as he reveals that Ichigo won’t be fighting Shirosaki in the form of Ichigo’s fear, but the both of them one on one.

Arrancar

This explains why the Arrancar arc is yet to finish

Rather than taking this opportunity to have Ichigo fight a two on one battle, Kubo decides to use something that’s crossed my mind a couple of times: A fusion between Zangetsu and Shirosaki. Tensa Zangetsu and Shirosaki start crumbling in the same manner we’ve seen Shirosaki crumble before, only this time the particles join as one instead of entering Zangetsu -see the first time Ichigo met up with Shirosaki. Ichigo then finds himself in front of an Arrancar of his own creating: Zangetsu. No need for a new name for this entity, because this is Zangetsu’s true form. Zangetsu is the manifestation of Ichigo’s power, thus the Old-man and the inner-Hollow are both Zangetsu. Both reside within each other as a part of Ichigo. They represent both parts of Ichigo’s power, where the one representing Zangetsu is the dominant force. Usually, it’s Old-man Zangetsu or Tensa Zangetsu who is in control, due to Ichigo’s favoring of Shinigami powers. But the times where his Hollow powers were relied on too much, Zangetsu’s control was taken over by Shirosaki. But this form, the perfect mix of the Shinigami and Hollow powers, is the true Zangetsu, Ichigo’s real power. Predominantly white due to Shirosaki’s influence, yet wielding the black Zanpakutou representing a Shinigami, Zangetsu reveals he’s like an Arrancar due to the fragment of the mask on the left side of his head. Rather intriguing how the broken mask is on the same side as the markings on Ichigo’s original mask were which coincidentally were on the opposite side of his sword-arm with the Shinigami’s Zanpakutou. In spite of this fusion of opposites, Zangetsu still has two differently colored eyes. The left eye being the black and yellow Hollow eye and the right eye being a white and brown (or perhaps blue) eye. While the right eye is shown, Zangetsu seems to keep his calm as he explains that the two Zangetsu are a part of the same power, yet while the left eye is shown, Ichigo’s instinctive desire for battle takes over as he shouts out to Ichigo to prepare for one of the most important battles he could imagine. So if we must refer to this new Zangetsu in a different manner, for discussion’s sake, I’d suggest Arrancar Zangetsu. But I’ll go with Zangetsu for the rest of this review.
Just when you thought this chapter couldn’t maintain anymore awesomeness, Kubo shifts back to Karakura town.

Life saver

Only a God should be able to damage Aizen!

Tatsuki is still face to face with Aizen, feeling how her spirit is being crushed by the mere presence of the enigmatic man. In spire of these odds, Tatsuki still tries to find a way to get away from Aizen. Sadly, her body won’t respond to her vigor as she is paralyzed by Aizen’s Reiatsu. Knowing that her live will come to an end at the hands of Aizen, the man who wants to kill her in order to force Ichigo to grow even further, she still finds it in herself to look out for others. She realizes that she should put down Michiru. I have to hand it to Tatsuki, she’s really admirable here. Too bad for her, not even this final selfless act is allowed by Aizen’s monstrous Reiatsu as her live will come to an end. That is, unless the shadow from last week somehow manages to intervene. The explosion wrapping around Aizen’s upper body seems to prove that there are still heroes around looking out for the weak souls. Even Gin seems to be surprised at the sight of the mysterious figure. So who is this figure? I’ll tell you who this figure is: The one hero who can protect Karakura town, the one man who can even make Keigo look weak in comparison and makes for a better opponent for Aizen, the man whom, and I quote myself from last week: is the last person we would expect: Don Kanonji!

Spirits are always with…

Why do I get the feeling it won’t be long before he’ll be one of those spirits?…

Remember last week? For the last part of the chapter, on the shadowy figure, I said the following: ‘The last person we would expect is of course, almost as good as Keigo -you know where I’m getting at right?-, DON KANONJI, the hero of justice! He’s crazy enough to do this isn’t he?’ For some reason I didn’t put Kanonji into the polls last week, in spite of mentioning him in the review last week. He was even mentioned in last week’s replies . I honestly felt this would be the last person we could expect as even Keigo or Mizuiro would make more sense. But Kubo really pulled a fast one on us by making Mizuiro so suspicious, only to pull Don Kanonji out of the hat. I really have to hand it to Kubo; he really did great using Don Kanonji here. But the best part has to be the fact that he probably managed to captivate every possible reaction to Kanonji’s appearance on one page:

Gin’s reaction is priceless. I can’t even make out for sure what his reaction is. Either he’s impressed by Kanonji’s performance just now, or he can’t make out who he is, or maybe both. Tatsuki can’t believe it is Don Kanonji who came to safe her as she’s dumbfounded. Don Kanonji believes this is the best thing this could happen. Aizen really doesn’t care and doesn’t even know who Don Kanonji is, and Don Kanonji gets angry. I’d say that covers every possible reaction we could possibly have by this development, right? Personally I’m stuck between Tatsuki’s reaction, and Don Kanonji’s first reaction.

The broken introduction

You’re being cruel Tatsuki, this man’s a real hero. Notice the cape?

Either way, Don Kanonji can’t help but feel angry by the fact that Aizen doesn’t know who he is. For an all-knowing being, Aizen really disappoints here, doesn’t he?
Don Kanonji then tries to give a grand introduction, only to be interrupted by Tatsuki who wonders what he’s doing there -same as almost everyone who reads Bleach .
Kanonji is really bothered by the fact Tatsuki ruined his special introduction as he makes her out to be a demon. Tatsuki, on the other hand, tells Kanonji he should just go home as he can’t do anything. Somehow this really feels like the first time Kanonji and Ichigo met… Talking about feeling things, Kanonji suddenly notices the pressure of Aizen’s Reiatsu pressing down on him (even the great Don Kanonji can’t withstand it! ). Aizen then gives his compliments to Kanonji for being able to withstand the pressure for such a long time. Tatsuki then tells Kanonji to run away and safe himself as she believes everything to be hopeless. But then Kanonji reminds us that there are still true heroes in this world.

A hero’s plight

This is the man everyone should look up to! Take notes Ichigo!

In the face of the greatest danger mankind may ever face in the world of Bleach, Don Kanonji once more shows us that he is a real hero. Same as when he and Ichigo joined forces to stop a Hollow, he stands firm by his believes that this world needs heroes like him to inspire others to face up against their fears. Looking at it like this, it somehow makes sense for Don Kanonji to appear while Ichigo is facing his greatest fears. The sheer thought of Don Kanonji turning tail, leaving two defenseless girls behind with a monster is ludicrous. Even if all odds are against him, even if it will cost him his life, Don Kanonji will press forward! It seems that Ichigo and Don Kanonji really are alike, as Don Kanonji said . Tatsuki’s look as Don Kanonji tells her that heroes who run from battles are not heroes is just priceless. With these last words, Don Kanonji has prepared himself for the greatest battle in Bleach: DON KANONJI vs. AIZEN!
Kanonji charges towards Aizen with his baton charging his spirit ball. Aizen then tries to bluff his way out of certain destruction by saying that touching him will erase Kanonji’s existence (as if Aizen could survive Kanonji’s attack ). Tension rises as the two forces almost make contact, only for it to crumble due to the appearance of another surprise visitor.

Interruption

Aizen owes Matsumoto his life by saving him from Don Kanonji…

A severely wounded Matsumoto miraculously -cough- manages to stop the great Don Kanonji’s attack, much to the surprise of everyone especially Gin. Though I think the real surprise isn’t really the fact that Don Kanonji’s attack was stopped as much as Matsumoto being the one to make her appearance. Aizen seems to be very amused by the vice-captain’s appearance, yet Gin seems to be a bit troubled. Is he concerned by the fact that she’s still hurt? Or is he worried she may be killed by Aizen? After running for give or take 10 chapters, Matsumoto has finally managed to catch up to Gin. But at what expense? We’ll find that out, in next week’s chapter.

Even though the epic fight that is Don Kanonji vs. Aizen didn’t take place, I’m still really happy with this chapter. Zangetsu finally showing his true colors along with the promise that Ichigo will obtain the power of Neo-Ichigo was awesome in its own right. But as if that wasn’t enough, Kubo saves Tatsuki from certain death by having Don Kanonji make his unexpectedly expected appearance after throwing us off with Mizuiro. The rather subtle relation between what Ichigo is going through and Don Kanonji’s appearance was great as well. Matsumoto and Don Kanonji appearing in the same chapter, after what I said in last week’s review, really made this a great twist. Gin’s reactions to everything that happened around him were great as well. Kubo gave us plenty of characters, who all stayed in character and did exactly what they had to. Kubo gave me all I could hope to expect -within reasonable terms- and more by using a Zangetsu fusion (which made him similar to what we define as an Arrancar), have Don Kanonji and Aizen face off, saving Tatsuki and Michiru’s lives, and having Matsumoto come around so we can move on with the story. The thought of how people would react to Don Kanonji also made this a fun chapter .

Ichigo’s inner world was made up of sky scrapers, representing Ichigo’s determination to move forward, while the clear skies showed he wasn’t troubled by fears or sadness. Last week Tensa Zangetsu told Ichigo he needed this in order to progress, in order to protect everything he wants to protect. What he needs is the courage to face his fears and sorrows. He needs to go back to who he was, similar to Don Kanonji. Don Kanonji actually fits the description Zangetsu gave here. Besides that, Don Kanonji knows how to focus his Reiatsu into a single sphere before firing it off, similar to a Getsuga Tenshou -in a ball shape. So here’s this week’s question: Do you think that Don Kanonji, if he were to become a Shinigami, would have a Zanpakutou similar to Zangetsu or Engetsu?

Next week we’ll see a bit more on Ichigo’s struggling against Zangetsu, which will reveal that the majority of the months Ichigo will have to spend in the Dangai will be trying to crush Zangetsu. Then the scene will go back to Karakura town, where we will finally learn more about Gin and Matsumoto. For some reason I believe Matsumoto will die, not that I really want her to. But I can see Aizen ordering Gin to kill her, just to reaffirm his allegiance. Gin could either go with the orders, even if he doesn’t want to, or he could try to oppose Aizen, only for Aizen to kill her and to tell Gin to get his act back together as he shouldn’t cling to feelings. Matsumoto’s death could not only flesh out Gin’s character, it could even push Hitsugaya’s anger towards Aizen and Gin to an even greater level, which could be entertaining.

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! I’ll see you guys again next week! This week there’s actually a ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’ section from the get-go!

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

Stone:

A good review as Usual Score

For the pool I agree it looks like some solid steps that I wouldn’t link with Mizuiro the first one I thought about.

I think this is likely a New character in league with Aizen or A scout if you will from the Royal Dimension.

Somehow I would like the option of it being Zangetsu
In the past I’ve considered that Time Manipulation might be the way Ichigo could become more broken than Aizen.(Like how Zangetsu stopped the Bleeding against Zaraki, I could see it being slowing the time around the wound)

THouhg if Barragan would be to similar even though he is more of decay I can’t say

Keep the reviews rolling they’re always enjoyable(especially like the red comments under the pics)

@Stone:

Thanks, you’re welcome.

You gave some interesting options in your post, though Don Kanonji really topped them all ;).

I’ll keep the reviews coming as long as there’s people reading them!

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~ by The Underscore on July 9, 2010.

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