The Underscore’s Bleach review 426

426 The Starter 2

Quick review this week. There’s really not much to cover this week as far as I’m concerned, but I’ll try to point out a couple of points as usual. That’s a good thing as I’m busy enough as it is this week . So, without further ado, here’s the review for Bleach 426, The Starter 2. This week’s scanlation is provided by Binktopia/Mangastream as usual.

Bleach chapter 425, A Day Without Melodies, rated by 30 voters gets an average score of:



With characters being shown after a time skip, there should be a couple of them you guys want to see most. Here’s the result of last week’s poll!

No one wanted to see Renji! Zero votes go to the red-headed Shinigami. Guess you see him enough every week in the review’s header?
Three voters wanted to see someone that wasn’t on the list. The most notable name had to be Aizen. Guess that would be quite the twist .
Tied with four votes each, there’s the people who couldn’t choose and those who wanted to see the Visoreds. Guess that technically ups all the options with four votes, but tough luck for the Visoreds.
Kon’s value is once more underestimated as only five people realize just how much we’re missing at this time. Come on people, this is Kon we’re talking about!
Then we get another tie, this time with seven votes each in third place. Rukia and Chad are going neck to neck this week, though they’re beaten by two groups.
Coming in second, with nine votes, are the Arrancar. It seems that some Arrancar left enough of an impression with some of the readers out there that they want to see them again.
But the Shinigami captains beat the Arrancar by one vote, similar to how the Arrancar arc ended, huh? But no one got what they wanted, instead we get a couple of new characters.


Ishida keeps stealing Ichigo’s targets. First the Hollows, now the punks… next up is Kon!

The violence that started last week continues as a group of punks charge Ishida. But before Ishida gets the chance to beat the living out of them, Ichigo intervenes. Ichigo brings one of the punks down to the ground with a single hand and grabs him in a hold. He then starts counting, as if to signal the end of a boxing match, to which the guy on the ground immediately agrees. While Ichigo keeps on counting, the tub of lard and Ichigo’s last victim come to realize that Ichigo was their true target.

Meanwhile, Ichigo is still counting, not caring about the fact that the poor guy’s leg is about to break. This actually makes me wonder whether Ichigo has always been this violent. We know that Ichigo has always been a hothead, especially when it came to doing the right thing, but in these past three chapters Ichigo showed a lot more violent outbursts that we usually saw from him (outside his Shinigami form that is). Perhaps Ichigo used his Shinigami-job as a means to vent some of his aggression, explaining why he’s being more violent lately. Either that, or he misses Kon . But Ichigo isn’t the only one who started getting more violent towards things besides Hollows.

Ishida kicks Ichigo while looking rather crossed. Perhaps Ishida felt like taking down something different from Hollows, or he just tries to make contact with Ichigo as they did in the good old days. Then again, Ishida kicking Ichigo would almost suggest they’ve reached a new level of understanding as they usually only worked with verbal violence . The tub of lard then tries to get back into focus, only to get hit by both Ichigo and Ishida at the same time. As the teeth start flying around, the chapter title is given in one of the more original ways I’ve seen in quite some time. The chapter number on the teeth was a nice touch if you ask me

Speaking is not communicating

How is this the time to show off your new phone then?

With the tub of lard out of the picture, Ishida and Ichigo continue their conversation. Ishida is crossed that Ichigo is interfering, while Ichigo is crossed that that Ishida interfered first. Ichigo tells Ishida that he always complicates things -he really does, doesn’t he?- and that Ishida has to uphold his student president title. I was quite surprised to hear Ishida has become student president. Sure, he’s a straight A student, but that doesn’t change the fact that he spends a lot of time hunting Hollows. But apparently, this isn’t enough to stop the young Quincy from showing off how capable he is of handling things. Even though Ichigo and Ishida are having their first conversation in quite some time -judging from the rest of the chapter-, there are some others that would like to join their fight.

While knocking down a couple of goons, Ichigo tells Ishida what’s been bothering him. He tells Ishida that he’s been hunting too many Hollows lately, and that he should be more careful of what Soul Society might think. Ishida then retorts by saying it’s Hollow extermination, that he does it against his will (as if), and that he only goes whenever Urahara calls for him, which should make things alright. Though Ichigo has a good point in noting that Urahara has been an outlaw for a full century… Ishida then realizes that this isn’t the place to discuss Hollow and Shinigami matters as he tells Ichigo to text him. Ishida then shows a phone similar to the one Rukia used to have, though Ichigo makes another good point by noting it probably doesn’t work in the living world.

With Ichigo learning so many new things about what Ishida has been doing, I’d say this is the first time these two have talked to each other in a long time. I guess the reason the two of them started fighting together was because they’d feel it would be awkward to talk to each other at school for something that has to do with Hollows. Let’s face it, it’s always awkward between Ichigo and Ishida if they don’t have something life threatening to be used as an excuse. The punks showing up when they did is probably a lame excuse, but they were glad to take it so they could chat a little. But with Ishida and Ichigo getting the opportunity to exchange addresses, things seem to have worked out. But then…

Yoko-chin returns

Do you ever get the feeling you just can’t be bothered to remember?

All of a sudden an old friend of Ichigo’s calls out to him. He tells Ichigo it’s been a long time, sending Ichigo into a flashback… almost. The only thing Ichigo remembers is the name Yoko-chin before he tells him he forgot. Yoko-chin then gets angry at Ichigo for stopping his flashback before remembering everything. The funny thing is that Ichigo remembers enough to know that Yoko-chin made some minor changes to his style . For those of you who don’t remember Yoko-chin: he’s the jerk that tried to destroy Chad’s necklace before Ichigo beat him and his pals up. Chapter 107, in case you didn’t know . That being one of my all-time favorite chapters, as it showed the promise Chad and Ichigo made with each other and showed one of my favorite captains in the very same chapter.

Anyways, Yoko-chin (who dislikes that name, FYI) then tries to hang up his sap story of having moved four years ago due to his dad’s work, bla bla… But like Ichigo, I don’t really care. Neither does the person who kicks Yoko-chin a couple of yards away, similar to when Ichigo kicked him in the flashback of chapter 107. As the punks look at the person who kicked Yoko-chin, we find the culprit to be a rather violent woman. The woman then calls out to Ichigo, asking him whether he’s been having fun. Ishida then asks Ichigo what we’re all eager to know: Who is that woman?

The Boss-lady

The mother figure Ichigo never wanted…

Is that the most epic looking face you’ve seen in a while, or what? It seem that the last prediction I made last week came true, though the difference with my prediction is that this is a female boss. Ishida is just as surprised as I was to learn this is Ichigo’s boss, but she can’t be bothered by trivial matters. She tells Ichigo she’s tired of him taking off work all the time and that she’s there to kidnap him. Though Ichigo refuses, she kidnaps him anyways as she grabs him by the face, folds him up, and throws him into her van in an instant. Though Ishida is more curious who would be capable of such an act, another student calls a teacher to warn everyone Ichigo has just been kidnapped.

We then learn that Ichigo has been taken to Unagiya’s, a jack-of-all-trades shop, as he’s thrown onto a couch. Ichigo immediately protests and tells his boss to let him go. She then tells him she won’t release him unless he promises to stay, much like a kidnapper would. She then answers the phone that had been ringing, as she receives an order for two eel-specials. Apparently, the store’s name causes enough confusion for people to order eel instead of searching for someone to do some odd-jobs. Ichigo then tells his boss to change the store’s name to make ensure other people won’t make the same mistake.

Unagiya Ikumi

Why would a jack-of-all-trades store refuse to deliver food?

Ichigo’s boss then tells Ichigo she refuses to change her name, though Ichigo was talking about the store’s name. Ikumi (Ichigo’s boss) then tells Ichigo to shut up as she refuses to change that name as well while moving on to business. We then learn that Ichigo has quite a few jobs waiting for him at this time, from feeding pets to cleaning houses. Like I said in last week’s review, Ichigo working at a jack-of-all-trades store may be a way for him to fill the gap left by his Shinigami work, which (in spite of it all ending in killing the Hollows) had plenty of variation. I also noted that Ichigo probably decided to work for this boss as (s)he reminded him of his own father’s behavior. The way she acts is rather reminiscent of Tatsuki and Kuukaku, though it comes closer to the way Isshin bothers Ichigo. The backtalk Ichigo gives at least doesn’t change as he tells Ikumi to do the work on her own. She then tries to tell Ichigo off by reminding him why she hired him in the first place. But then comes the real reason why Ikumi is similar to Isshin.

The love of a parent

and the parent’s abuse of Ichigo…

Ikumi hears her son calling out to her, causing her to suddenly change her personality (and clothes) immediately. As the young boy named Kaoru walks in, Ikumi starts acting the same way Isshin acts around his daughters. While mothering her son, Ichigo can’t help but feel nauseas at the sight of it all. Kaoru then notices that Kurosaki the dummy is there, not surprised to see him bound with tape. Ikumi then tells her son to get back, while he tells Ichigo he doesn’t have to bother trying to hit on Ikumi just because she’s beautiful. Ikumi then gets her son out of the room and resumes with Ichigo. She then tells Ichigo that he probably has a lot to say and that he should bare with it, though Ichigo can’t help but mention the fact he wouldn’t hit on an old lady (besides, Yoruichi is a lot more willing, right? ) before he’s hit by her for saying that.

It’s clear that Ikumi just wants Ichigo to shut up and get to work as she starts unwrapping him. As the two exchange foul looks at each other, the shop’s door opens as a customer comes in. But is this a customer?


Wrong manga buddy, Naruto’s on a different page

The same mystery guy from a couple of chapters back makes his reappearance. Entering with a rather hostile appearance, he bears a gift in the form of a ramen bowl. Ichigo remembers the guy (as he met him a day ago) though he seems to be on guard. The guy then asks Ichigo if he wants some ramen, though Ichigo refuses as they’re in an Eel-shop. Ikumi is not amused by that joke .

So what will Slickback ask of Ichigo? Will Ichigo manage to get all the tape of the football uniform? Did Ikumi’s husband leave her due to her violent nature and is Ichigo his replacement? Is Ikumi related to Shinji (look at the mouth)? Do these last four questions even matter? We’ll find out in next week’s chapter!

I had fun with this week’s chapter. I laughed plenty of times as this chapter had a lot of good moments to put a smile on the face. Though we still don’t know where things are going with this arc, things are moving along. From Ichigo reestablishing his understanding with Ishida to the revelation of Ichigo’s boss resulting in Slickback making his triumphant return, I can’t say I’m disappointed. Then again I’m not exactly blown away by this week’s chapter as there’s not much worth to mention . The only thing that bothers me about this chapter is the title. The Starter 2 is a lousy title when you look at Bleach chapter 2, Starter. In that chapter, Ichigo accepted the fact that he would have to perform some Shinigami tasks after Rukia coerced him. On some level, things here are the same, but there’s no Rukia or Shinigami activity involved in the entire chapter.

This week we got to see who Ichigo’s boss has been for the past couple of weeks, if not months. Judging from the way things are between Ichigo and Ikumi, they seem to be getting along just fine. But why would Ikumi hire Ichigo if her son dislikes him so much?

Next week, we’ll learn Slickback’s name at least. He’ll probably hire Ichigo for some odd job that pays enough for his boss to agree to let Ichigo go. Ichigo will then do some job related to a ghost alongside Slickback, who tries to make out what Ichigo’s current state is. By the end of the chapter, Ichigo might be able to see the shimmer of a ghost, a sign of his powers returning.

That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I’m afraid I don’t have time to put up the ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’ section right now. I’ll try to put it up tomorrow or this Sunday. 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!


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


~ by The Underscore on November 12, 2010.

7 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 426”

  1. my comment on the last review!!! it was lost and never answered. the tragedy…
    oh right, this weeks chapter. ikumi is cool enough, but im still not that intrigued by this arc, its been pretty boring. lost agent or whatever you wanna call him still hasnt done anything interesting, though hopefully he will make something happen next chapter. im just not that interested in ichigo right now as i mentioned in my ran- i mean comment that you didnt answer >_>
    …anyway, i heard a nice idea that ichigo’s mom was like ikumi, putting on the super mom act around the kids and really being a badass. that would be great, hope it comes true.
    pssh,… this arc is still pretty meh to me, i guess its the way kubo just said fuck you to all the previous characterization to fprce us back to status quo. because of course all ichigo’s friends are fine with him hiding the secret of shinigami and hollows from them and just act like nothing happened. of course orihime reverts back to her childish, boring personality, apparently not growing or learning anything from her hueco mundo experience. of course, right!? cause in Bleach all that matters is ichigo and the status quo

  2. P.S im just messing with you over the unanswered comment :P. real life comes first after all, and your busy apparently.

  3. I loved the quote you have for Slickback’s Ramen offer. I am making various motivational posters of this scene in BLEACH because when Slickback becomes a popular character (At least, I believe he will) I want to be the guy that made all the first viral motivational posters. If you’re not going to use that Naruto reference in a poster, can I cite it in one of my posters? =D

  4. @takashid:
    But it wasn’t forgotten, mind you ;).
    The arc is still moving along rather slowly, but that’s Bleach for ya. With Slickback appearing at the end of this week’s chapter, things may finally move towards Ichigo’s quest to regain his powers.
    Ikumi being like Ichigo’s mother would be interesting on some level. That could explain why she never really complimented Isshin except for when he was smoking one time. We may find out one day.
    But saying Orihime has reverted to her boring personality may be a bit too crude. You can say what you want about Orihime, but that carefree personality of hers is more of a defensive instinct than her actual personality. She just doesn’t want to show any weakness towards others, which is why she acts like a carefree child. This behavior does backfire on her as she becomes over dependent on others when it comes to fighting Hollows and Arrancars. Besides that it causes her to break down when things get really tough as she never really faces her problems, which is somewhat reflected in her powers where she rejects (bad) things. But what did you expect from Orihime after the 17 month time skip? That she would suddenly show her true personality only after being molested by some Arrancar? Reread the first couple of chapters of Bleach and you’ll see she’s had plenty of experience with abuse.

    As for you messing with me over the unanswered comment: I almost cried a little on the inside if it wasn’t for the fact that I am in fact an exploding penguin :p. But I’m on it after this.

    Feel free to use it. But if anyone asks, you got it from me :p.

  5. i guess your right about Orihime being used to abuse, but the fact of the matter is, that many of use readers (myself included) were hoping that Orihime would grow from her HM experience. she is always the baby, the protected and sheltered one of the group. I was hoping that HM would toughen her up, and (as hachi told her o so long ago) allow her to find her own way of fighting, thus regaining equal standing with the nakama. instead she is useless the entire HM arc, never able to fight, and immediately reverts back to her childish attitude that put her into the protected category with the nakama in the first place! you can see it clearly in the last two nakama interactions we have with the group before the time skip, in the first one, Orihime is still k-kuning, and she makes a pathetic crybaby face that makes her look weak and childish compared to the others, who are all calm and composed. ichigo even calls her on it! geeze inoue, whats with that face?” she is already back to being the child of the group. and again, after ichigo wakes up in his room, she shouts like a kid while the rest of the nakama are calm and smiling. Orihime even realizes how embarrassing it is in that scene. and now, after the time skip, she is apparently the same. the lac of hairpins intrigues me though. perhaps kubo will finally do something with her? …best not to get hopes up, i think. Overall, i just wanted orihime to do something cool, win a fight, to prove herself like she did way back in Princess and Dragon. and we still haven’t seen something like that since, well… Princess and Dragon…

    P.S about the unanswered ran-comment! 😛 i was just disappointed cause that was a nice, fresh rant from when i was feeling really pissed off. i was interested in seeing how you’d reply, since there actually were some good points to it. so, i was a bit disappointed.

  6. Nice review Underscore Mask ! Even if the latest chapters are definetely bit boring and not “Bleach” like, your quality of your review is still top-notch ! I have nothing really to comment about the latest chapter other than expressing my wish that next week we’ll finally learn why that guy is stalking Ichigo.

    —why would Ikumi hire Ichigo if her son dislikes him so much?—

    No long posts for this one. (:p). The answer is simple. Her son may dislike but she doesn’t. She acts harshly because she wants to hide that thing. Well, that’s my interpretation at least. One thing that supports my theory is that she seems skeptical about her son not liking Ichigo by telling him to bear with it. In any other case I don’t think she would give a damn. She would have ignore it. 😉

  7. aha my rant was answered! XD ignore the P.S in my last comment here, though i was hoping youd still answer the bit about Orihime.

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