The Underscore’s Bleach review: The Hell Arc Special


Imaginary Number 1 The Unforgivens

The double dose of Bleach continues with the Hell arc special chapter. The fourth Bleach movie aims to use Hell for its story after the gates of hell appeared during the story once before. This chapter’s purpose is to get us all excited about the next Bleach movie and to raise a tip of the veil. Let’s see what we get besides the load of colored pages. Thanks go out to Binktopia/Mangastream once more for their scanlation, so let’s see what they put their time and effort into!

Denizen of Hell

At least he seems to be arrogant enough to be the villain

Hell. Not exactly where most people want to end up if you ask them. In the Bleach-verse Hell is another plain of existence beyond Hueco Mundo, which can be considered to be a hell on its own. The concept of heaven and hell has never truly been covered in Bleach as only hell has been mentioned one. Rukia did say that Soul Society was the same as heaven, but I doubt the people in the outskirts would agree with her. Let’s take a quick look at what we know of the Bleach plains of existence:

The King’s dimension
–Separate Space–
Soul Society (/heaven?)
–Separated Space–
Human realm/real world
–Separated Space–
Hueco Mundo
–Separated Space–
Hell

Life resides in the Human realm/real world. When people/creatures die, they become spirits. Most spirits proceed to the next plain of existence, usually Soul Society. Spirits that are bound by emotions and desires stay in the real world as ghosts, haunting either people or places. These spirits receive guidance from Shinigami who send those of pure spirit to Soul Society. Soul Society is separated from the human realm and inhabited by the dead and Shinigami, spirits who have learned to control spiritual energy. Soul Society is separated from other plains of existence by passageways as we’ve seen recently in the Deicide chapters.

Spirits who become obsessed, however, can also turn into monsters known as Hollows, heartless creatures who only wish to devour. They reside in the damned desserts of Hueco Mundo, devouring each other in a quest for power and survival. Hollows are both people who were bad from the start, but were consumed by negative emotions, or people who were transformed by other Hollows. Same as with normal (plus) spirits, these Hollows can be guided by Shinigami. Hollows that were plusses before they were transformed are sent to Soul Society after being returned to normal through the Shinigami’s Zanpakutou. But Hollows that were bad from the start are sent through the gates of hell to, well, hell . But what becomes of spirits that have been sent to hell?

The Damned Espadas

Ending up listening to Szayelaporro’s rants must be hell to Aaroniero

The chapter starts off with someone saying how the gates of hell won’t open. Whatever is inside Hell, it wants to get out.

A figure falls from grace, tumbling down from Hueco Mundo to Hell. The one to fall from grace never truly had any as it is none other than Szayelaporro to have fallen. Mayuri did kill Szayelaporro in a rather merciless manner, so it isn’t all too strange to see him here right now. If anyone shouldn’t be forgiven for sins, it is Szayelaporro. As Szayelaporro tries to catch his breath, he is greeted by another sinner: Aaroniero. Szayel isn’t too surprised at the sight of Aaroniero, though he wonders how the fishbowl on his head managed to stay in one piece after falling from so high. Aaroniero isn’t too happy with Szayel mocking him as the latter implies that he wants to research Aaroniero’s insides a bit closer.

What’s odd with Szayel at this time is that he’s this sane right now. Not to say that he isn’t insane, but he should’ve been driven completely mad after the torture Mayuri put him through. But right now he is just as eager as ever to dissect others.

Aaroniero, however, is just as intent on devouring other Hollows as his Glotoneria would suggest. Without Aizen around, Aaroniero sees this as the right opportunity to get rid of Szayel as he threatens to devour him. Szayel, however, stops the Noveno Espada by asking him two simple questions. First off, he wants to know why Aaroniero doesn’t work with him to find out where they are. Aaroniero tells Szayel that he can just find out after devouring Szayel, which makes sense as he could just use Szayel’s knowledge to figure out where they are after assimilating him. Szayel then reminds Aaroniero of their current situation, reminding him that as the Octava Espada, he is stronger than the Noveno Espada. Too bad for Szayel that Aizen was probably messing with everyone by ranking the Espada from 0-9. Aaroniero reminds Szayel that he really isn’t too threatening without his laboratory around to negate his opponent’s reiatsu or his goons to devour for regeneration.

Hospitality

Even after being killed dead, they still keep living

Just as the two Espada are about to face off against each other, they are greeted by another individual. The man tells the Espadas that they are in hell. Szayel tries to comprehend the man’s words, while Aaroniero just wants to destroy everyone he meets, including this new person. The man isn’t all too threatened by Aaroniero and mocks Aaroniero for speaking about killing as they are already dead, being in hell and all. Aaroniero doesn’t get what the man is saying -how dumb can he get? Seriously, what does he think Hollows are in the first place?- but Szayel then remembers what happened to him in Las Noches.

Szayel then charges at the man and demands to know how he can escape hell and get back to Hueco Mundo. The man reveals himself to be Shuren and tells the Espada that there is no way out of hell. Skeptical as Szayel may be, Shuren tells him he should shut up and listen to what he says if he wants to survive in hell (he just told Aaroniero they’re dead anyways ). We then find out why Shuren is this confident of his current situation.

Hellhounds

They annoy me already…

Taikon, Gunjou, and Garogai make their appearance alongside Shuren, giving the lineup for the next movie antagonists. Taikon seems to be someone who is overly proud of himself, Gunjou seems like he thinks himself to be Shuren’s right hand man, overly proud of himself, whereas Garogai will most likely be brawn that runs on rage. Standard filler fodder for other characters, overpowered and annoying. Shuren isn’t exactly more intriguing appearance wise, but he is the one who will carry the new movie’s plot. The only redeeming part of these four new characters is that they are denizens of Hell.

Hollows have their Hollowness in the form of Holes and Masks, Shinigami have their Zanpakutous, so what do the Hell demons have? These four could’ve been Hollows, if it weren’t for the fact that there’s no sign of Hollow masks or holes on their bodies. Neither are they Shinigami, judging from the lack of Zanpakutou. So what else could they be? Guess the only obvious answer is that these guys are Unforgivens. Perhaps this is a reference to them being sent to hell, not being forgiven for the sins committed during their lifetime.

Aaroniero doesn’t seem to care what they are as he released in an instant and immediately tries to devour Taikon, Gunjou, and Garogai. This leaves Shuren and Szayel to continue their fight.

Conceitedness

Takes one to know one, right?

Szayelaporro doesn’t waste any time as he immediately released his Resureccion and prepares to fire off a Gran Rey Cero. The fact that an Espada is capable of firing a Gran Rey Cero isn’t surprising at all, but the fact that Shuren knows of this special Cero is something unexpected. Shuren even knows how the Gran Rey Cero works, which Szayel should’ve taken note of. Let’s face it, Szayel usually uses knowledge to his advantage, using the information he gathered to create a counter. The fact that Shuren knows of the Gran Rey Cero’s properties should’ve been a sign for Szayel that he might be in over his head with this one.

Szayel tells Shuren that he doesn’t mind using a Gran Rey Cero on Shuren, reducing him to ashes, as Aaroniero will devour the other inhabitants of hell, and he can just get them from within Aaroniero after killing him. It’s funny that in spite of the two Espada hating each other to that extend, Szayel acknowledges the Noveno Espada’s position and as such his strength. Shuren sees this as being perceived as unnecessary to Szayel, though the feeling is mutual. It’s rather intriguing that Shuren knows Szayel’s full name. Does he have some connection with Aizen in some way? In any case, Szayel isn’t all too happy to hear he’s unnecessary from Shuren as he fires his Cero.

Target

Where’s my lantern to epic Bleach scenes?!

Shuren and his goons managed to easily defeat the two Espadas, reducing them to their sealed state and knocked out cold. Shuren tells the others that they shouldn’t be too worried about the Espadas’ quick defeat as those two lacked the power to open the Hell gate. Shuren then gazes at his lantern in which we see the image of Neo-Ichigo/Ichigonator as Shuren says to himself he knew they would need him to open the gates. He then decides to drop Ichigo down to hell in order to have him open the hell gates. We’ll find out next week how this works out as the fourth Bleach movie comes out in Japanese Cinema next Saturday!

Nothing too surprising in this chapter. Seeing two of the Espada was a bit unexpected for this chapter, but then again the trailers also revealed there would be more Espadas in the movie. For an introductory chapter into the Bleach movie it served its purpose and little more. I wonder whether Kubo did right by using Hell for the movie like this, as it might as well be used during the canon. But we’ll see how Kubo will handle this in due time, I suppose. Well then, what do I expect to see from the Bleach movie?

I’ll be blunt about this movie: I won’t be going there for the story. Let’s face it, this movie is going to be little more than a way to indulge us by showing off some of the more memorable moments in the Arrancar arc. A couple of Espada will make their return, while the four new characters prepare to be killed and forgotten in the filler sands of time. We’ll probably see some revenge battles here and there, a couple of new match ups between other characters, some help from unexpected allies, and (of course) a splendorous show of the newest abilities shown during the manga. The story will probably be as thin as it will get, Ichigo being forced to become Neo-Ichigo for some obscure reason and the key to preventing/reversing this coming in the form of a new character’s sacrifice.

I’m just hoping this movie will be enjoyable if you just don’t think about it and watch as the mayhem ensues. Most importantly, Kon had better make an appearance! But who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the movie’s story. But I doubt it will be anything more than thirty or forty minutes of setting up the story and the rest of the movie being a string of battles with plenty of Bankai and Resureccion mayhem.

That’s it for this one shot’s review. Hope you guys enjoyed the read. Let me know what you guys think might happen during the movie, but let’s try to keep things spoiler free here. If you guys are looking for the regular chapter’s review you can find it here. I’ll be seeing you guys again in two weeks with a new (double) review!

 

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~ by The Underscore on November 28, 2010.

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