The Underscore’s Bleach review 433


433 The Six Fullbringers

Qwkxinw ibw err… wait I put my hands down wrong… Welcome one and all to the first Bleach review written in 2011 by yours truly. It feels like it’s been ages since I last had some time and got to sit down to write a review. I’m certainly feeling a bit rusty if I’m completely honest… In that respect, I’m glad that this chapter didn’t have too much content to cover, besides the fact that it gave some answers I’ve been waiting for since a couple of years back. But I’ll get to that later in this review.

You may notice that the headers in the review haven’t changed… at all. Sadly, I haven’t received any submissions for new headers. Perhaps it has to do with the great decrease in people reading my reviews since the new arc started. I’m just a little bit disappointed that I don’t get to use shiny new headers… But I’ll take lesson in Aizen’s teachings, emotions are for fools! Doesn’t that make you happy to hear that too?… Hah, got you, you have emotions too! Who’s the fool now?… err… Well, I’ve ranted here long enough. I think I got the pace for typing in English again. Sorry you had to live through this nonsense before I could finally get started, but like I said I’m a bit rusty right now.

Moving on to the review itself. Bleach 433, The Six Fullbringers, is brought to us by Mangastream and Binktopia once more. Thanks to them for putting time and effort into scanlating this week’s chapter as well. Before getting to the chapter itself, let’s look at the last polls from 2010!

Bleach chapter 432, The Soul Pantheism, rated by 25 voters gets an average score of:

8.4

Great

The last poll I posted was about the expectations you had for Bleach in 2011. With the first chapter of 2011 coming out in 2010, the poll I posted two reviews ago didn´t really work all that well. Because of this, I reposted the poll and added another option for those of you who couldn´t choose any of the old options. This resulted in 45 votes and the following results:

No one felt that the new Bleach arc wouldn’t be able to surpass the Arrancar Saga. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that the Arrancar arc had quite a long period of drawn out fights where a single anime episode could cover an average of 3.5 chapters. Whether this is a sign of trust in Kubo doing it better this time, or just people wanting to ignore the Arrancar Saga is something I can’t say for sure.

Then we come to a tie. With two votes for each option, both share the common idea that Bleach will have a rough year in 2011. Two voters feel things aren’t looking good for Bleach in 2011 based on what they’ve seen so far. Two other voters are doubting whether they should keep reading Bleach at all… All I can do is quote myself like I have many times before: Have fate in Kubo.

Coming in third are the optimists of the bunch. Eleven voters feel Bleach is going to be better than ever. With this time skip, other characters will have had the chance to catch up with Ichigo in terms of power. Things have had the time to settle down from all the fighting as well, giving Kubo the opportunity to get back to the old-school Bleach feel where every day life is balanced with the fighting again. Let’s see how Kubo will be handling this.

Coming in second are twelve loyal followers of Aizen. They feel expectations are for those who are bound to reality. Whether they really have no expectations, just don’t know, or instinctively picked the option with Aizen’s name in it is beyond me, but just waiting and see what’s going to happen isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

But with thirteen voters, the first place goes to this final option in the poll. Thirteen voters expect Bleach will be good, but won’t surpass the Soul Society Saga. The Soul Society Saga certainly is still amongst the top ringers, even when compared to other manga. This makes it a target for Kubo to aim for, be it one that will be hard to reach or even surpass. Let’s hope that Kubo will make it!

UNstable existence, UNcertain future

Is this Kubo referring to the anime?

Quite the ambiguous color page for this week’s chapter. For those of you who follow the anime, you may have noticed that there’s been quite a few filler episodes lately in the middle of the Deicide arc. The danger of keeping up with the manga is that an anime will easily run out of source material as they catch up to the manga’s story. With the Deicide arc ending only around ten chapters back, the anime is getting dangerously close. But unlike Naruto, Bleach doesn’t have the luxury of rehashing old concepts in filler episodes as we already know that Ichigo loses his powers at the end of his fight with Aizen. The only option left would be to have people remember filler adventures they had with Ichigo before moving on with the story… Naruto knows what I’m talking about.

But more likely, this picture has to do with Ichigo’s current state of mind. As he is now, Ichigo has quite an unstable existence. By losing his powers, he closed off a part of himself. Whether he liked it or not, Ichigo was defined by his powers. From being able to see and help ghosts, to fighting Hollows to protect those around him, this all made up Ichigo (as Chad points out in this chapter). The future being uncertain also has to do with Ichigo’s current state. Without his powers, he can’t protect Karin like he used to do. Instead, he effectively pushed all his responsibilities on to Karin and to some degree to his friends. Without him around as the main target with the humongous amount of Reiatsu, Hollows and others now choose other targets besides the Orange haired Shinigami that used to prowl the streets at day and night. By giving up his powers, Ichigo gave up on the means of protecting those around him from a dangerous world unknown to most of the living. All he can do now is beat up punks and thieves to protect people from the evil of the living and do odd jobs for the living (through his after school job).

At least, this is what I make up from this color page. Besides that, I think it looks pretty interesting with Ichigo being colored with a cloud filled sky in contrast to the black and red background. Perhaps this is to represent the void in Ichigo, or maybe Kubo felt it looks cool. If Kubo was aiming for the latter, I agree it looks cool .

PANIC!

For someone who used to see dead people all the time, you really can’t handle much Ichigo…

Chad made his appearance at the end of the previous chapter, much to Ichigo’s surprise. Even Chad seems to have been caught off guard by his friend’s presence in the Xcution headquarters. But with Chad’s tendency to say as little as humanly possible, it’s up to Ichigo to reveal how surprising this development actually is.

Ichigo snaps once more, firing questions as they pop in his head wondering what one of his best friends is doing there. Ichigo is probably wondering what Chad is doing at Xcution, even though he hasn’t been to school for some time. I could go all over the panic in Ichigo’s behavior again, but I’d say the look on Chad’s face says it all. For those of you who don’t understand Chad expressions, the look on his face is one of unease. He feels uneasy at Ichigo’s over exaggerated reaction and the fact that he was caught off guard by Ichigo’s presence.

Luckily, Kuugo intervenes for us as he tells Ichigo to calm down. Part of me is glad that Ichigo isn’t listening to Kuugo that easily, though another part of me agrees with Kuugo for once. But Ichigo probably feels upset that Chad has something to do with Xcution and he didn’t know anything about it, adding to the pain of realizing that he knows nothing about the people around him anymore. With Kuugo having revealed he wants to help Ichigo recover his powers, Ichigo is probably suspicious of Chad being added to the mix. But Kuugo emphasizes that Ichigo has to calm down as he wants to move on to business. With Chad around, Kuugo decides to have him sit in on the conversation as well.

Meanwhile, Riruka seems to be getting a clearer picture of what’s going on right now. She gets that Chad knows the mystery guest and that she’s being left in the dark -figuratively and literally- and being ignored by Kuugo. Riruka realizes that Ichigo must be there right now, but gets shoved into a corner by Kuugo so he can get back to business.

Cleaning up

Respect +1 for the BradleyXSasakibe wannabe

Kutzusawa -I keep forgetting his name… Like I predicted the first time I saw him – tells Kuugo to sheathe his sword before getting on with his conversation. Kuugo throws Kutzusawa a rather peculiar look before agreeing to do as he says. Kuugo holds his sword as it starts to glow and return to its original shape: Kuugo’s necklace. The process looks rather strange, though familiar at the same time. The way the sword returns to its normal shape looks especially suspicious if you take Kuugo’s explanation on their powers into account. Kutzusawa tells Kuugo that he has to pay for the floor tiles later, which I was glad to see, before he lets Kuugo return to his conversation with Ichigo.

Kuugo then tells Ichigo to relax as he’s already shown him what his powers are. Though Ichigo would probably feel uncomfortable with someone with such powers around while he is powerless, he at least has Chad around to help him out. Though nothing hints at this, I’d like to think this is one of the reasons that Ichigo agrees to sit down again. Kuugo asks whether Ichigo grasps the concept of Fullbring after seeing it, which he did. Then he goes on to the origins of the Fullbring ability.

All of a sudden, Kuugo brings up Hollows. More specifically, Kuugo brings up the holes that Hollows have on their bodies. Kuugo mentions that the Hollow holes are in their chests, though some of the Arrancar had them in different locations (Nnoitra being the best example of all). This could have something to do with the process in which Menos Grandes are formed, but as far as I can recall there are no basic Hollows that don’t have their holes in their chest. Kuugo then explains that the hole in Hollows is caused by the fact that the chains have corroded a hole inside of the spirits before Shinigami could save them. Again, he didn’t mention the chain of fate, but it could be that he doesn’t know anything or feels he can skip such details.

The hole in the Hollow’s chest represents the loss of the spirit’s heart. Whether it is truly their heart or their humanity is all semantics, but Hollows by nature are heartless beings that feed on others to soothe their pain. But Kuugo explains that the heart doesn’t leave them entirely. The lost heart becomes the mask and determines the Hollow’s unique ability. In this sense, it is similar to Shinigami and their Zanpakutou. This even explains how and why Ichigo was able to recover after turning into Neo-Ichigo/Ichigonator and even why Ichigo’s hollowfication was easier to perform whenever he was in Bankai -remember Hiyori mentioning that?-.

Let’s look at this in a couple of steps with Ichigo as the example. First of all, Zanpakutou, much like Hollow masks, are based on the spirit’s essence or heart if you will. In that respect they are two sides of the same coin like we’ve been told in the past. Obtaining Bankai means getting more in touch with your inner self and as such showing more of yourself/ your heart while in Bankai state. With Ichigo’s heart more in the open in the Bankai state, the easier it is for the heart’s essence to form a mask. But whenever Ichigo used his Hollowfication/his mask, he didn’t have a hole in his chest.

But when Ichigo got a hole blown in his chest by Ulquiorra, his heart was blown away as well. After reacting to Orihime’s scream for help, Ichigo’s heart manifested itself in the form of Neo-Ichigo/Ichigonator with his long hair, white body, and horned mask. This brought Ichigo closer to being a Hollow than he’s been since he crushed Shirosaki during his Visored training. After the mask broke, the spirit particles returned to where they belonged, in Ichigo’s chest. All thanks to Ichigo being a hybrid being, he could go from being a Hollow back to being a Shinigami in the same way he could go from Shinigami to a Hollow.

In a way, Kubo has now answered how Ichigo was able to come back to life during the battle with Ulquiorra. But what does this have to do with the Fullbring ability?

The cursed

Boohoo, I have superpowers…

With Hollows’ hearts dictating their powers and appearances, it seems that they can affect other beings as well -also established during previous arcs by the Shinigami side in the form of Soul Society’s power seal. It seems that those with the Fullbring ability have parents that were attacked by Hollows once before they were born. Traces of the Hollow’s powers remained on the parent’s body and grew in the mother’s body along with the fetus. After birth, the Fullbringers received powers somewhat based on the Hollow their parents were attacked by -in the form of being able to control reiatsu and shape it in different abilities- making it closer to a Hollow’s power than that of a Quincy or a Shinigami’s. That’s right, the answer to Chad’s powers is being given in this very chapter.

But to be honest, I feel there’s a flaw in Kuugo’s explanation on the origin of the Fullbring ability. Not to say that there’s no trace of Hollows in their powers, as Chad already mentioned this when he arrived in Hueco Mundo, but I don’t think Kuugo can entirely blame it on the Hollows. Hollows usually only attack people with strong spiritual powers. Humans without any spiritual perception are only targeted when there’s personal grudge from the Hollow itself, but besides those Hollows only target those who have strong reiatsu. This means that if Hollows targeted the parents of the Fullbringers, they already had a degree of Spiritual ability that could have been passed on to them either way. But what’s more intriguing is that the parents of the Fullbringers managed to survive the Hollow’s assault in the first place…

Whatever happened to instill the powers of a Hollow inside these humans could still be argued about, but this doesn’t change the fact that Hollow residue is what gives them their powers. The power even feels like a Hollow’s -going with what Chad mentioned in the Arrancar arc- making it somewhat similar to the situation that Visoreds are in, though more likely to a lesser degree as the Fullbringers are still alive. Asking for sympathy from Ichigo by relating to that feeling, Kuugo tells Ichigo that he and his comrades want to get rid of their powers.

Ichigo seems to be rather surprised by this development as he doesn’t quite understand how getting his powers back has anything to do with them getting rid of their powers. But as he understands the feeling he just listens to what Kuugo plans to do.

Opposite ends

No people, these aren’t Ryuuken and Isshin… Just no…

Through the ages, there had been others who were affected by Hollows and obtained the Fullbring ability. The Xcution members managed to find each other and found out an interesting fact: They can get rid of their powers by giving them to those with powers similar, yet opposite to their own. Where the Fullbringers are humans affected by Hollow powers, there exist humans affected by Shinigami powers. But with Hollow and Shinigami powers being complete opposites of each other and can only be united by the Hougyoku it is impossible to pass on their powers to any Shinigami. This is where the human part comes into play. Whether it’s a Hollow or a Shinigami, the origin is the same: humans. A human can turn into a Hollow or a Shinigami after death, basically connecting the two sides of the coin to each other. Using the common human powers, the Fullbringers can pass on their Hollow powers on to a Human with Shinigami powers. Of course, this could work both ways…. but we’ll see whether this will play a part in the story later.

But the fact that Xcution knows that their powers can be transferred to a human with Shinigami abilities means that they have some form of proof. This means that it had to have been done before, meaning there’s been humans with Shinigami powers before Ichigo! This could explain why Kuugo has a Shinigami representative badge on him, but more on that in this week’s headspinner. In any case, Ichigo is surprised to learn that he wasn’t as unique as Aizen made him feel. Aizen made it seem like he was the first human/Shinigami hybrid, yet Kuugo reveals that he couldn’t be further from the truth. This can only make one wonder why Aizen only had his sights on Ichigo and didn’t have back up specimens, but can we ever truly understand what Aizen was thinking?

But Kuugo completely ignores this as he explains that some of the old Xcution members were able to revert to their humanity by giving their powers to a human/Shinigami hybrid. For them to do the same, Xcution intends to give Ichigo back his powers. Not out of the goodness of their hearts or for a hidden motive, but solely so they can dump their powers on Ichigo and move on a normal humans. But with Xcution’s purpose being getting rid of their powers, we can only wonder one thing: How does Chad fit in all of this?

Right now, Chad is more badass than you are Ichigo

See, even Chad agrees with me

Kuugo reveals that Chad joined Xcution because he too is a Fullbring user and understands how they must feel. Even though Chad isn’t necessarily a people’s person, he agreed to join Xcution for the purpose of restoring Ichigo’s powers. This is not to say that Chad wants to get rid of his own powers, mind you. In fact, if Chad didn’t want these powers in the end, the Hougyoku wouldn’t have helped him awaken to them in the first place. At least, that’s what I think. Besides, Chad wouldn’t give up these powers just because they are dangerous. In some way, his powers are similar to his own fists. Though they can be dangerous if used wrongly, they can also be used to protect others. But Chad is too much of a softy on the inside to ignore others who are bothered by their powers, so he decided to help them out. Chad even manages to beat two birds with one stone as he can even help Ichigo out at the same time.

As Ichigo asks Chad whether Kuugo was telling the truth, Chad explains why he wants Ichigo to get his powers back. Chad explains that Ichigo was lousy at hiding the way the loss of his powers affected him. Chad was so ashamed at Ichigo’s pathetic attempts to act like he was fine with it, that he didn’t even want to look at Ichigo. Not that he didn’t respect Ichigo for sacrificing his powers to save everyone from Aizen, but it was just too painful to see Ichigo suffering like that. Though Orihime, Uryuu, Karin, Keigo, Mizuiro, and Tatsuki decided to act like everything was fine and did their best to have Ichigo forget about his past, only Chad knew that this was nothing but a lie. Only Chad saw through what Ichigo had truly lost during the battle. Even if it was for the best, Ichigo lost the means to protect those around him from a world now closed off to him. Ichigo can’t just sit around knowing that his friends are in trouble, but the only means for him to do what is in his nature are his Shinigami powers. Chad, and only Chad, acknowledged this and did his best to get Ichigo back in action. This is what makes Chad so awesome !!! I could go on with a huge list of things that make Chad awesome, but all you have to do is read the manga to see why he’s such a great guy. Sure, he gets beaten up a bit too often, but that doesn’t make him less awesome as a person.

Return of the Deathberry (again)

Congratulations, you’ve just been chosen to become the main character of a Shounen manga! (again)

Kuugo seems to be rather surprised at the bond between Chad and Ichigo as he was captivated by every single one of Chad’s words. Somewhat embarrassed by this display of (manly) affection, he summarizes what the deal is. Ichigo gets his powers back, meaning he can do what he wants, and he even gets more power on top of that. Ichigo happy, Xcution happy, Ichigo’s friends happy, readers happy, Hollows… not so happy. Four out of five isn’t bad if you ask me . Looking at it from this perspective and taking Chad’s words into account, Ichigo agrees to let Xcution help him get his powers back.

Kuugo seems to be very pleased at the way things worked out here and the mystery lady and Kutzusawa seem to be glad to hear Ichigo agreed. The mystery boy doesn’t seem to care either way. Something tells me that Kutsuzawa and the mystery lady are genuinely glad to be getting rid of their powers. Kuugo and the mystery boy, however, look like they may have a hidden agenda, perhaps wanting to take Ichigo’s Shinigami powers instead of giving him their Hollow powers. But of course, there’s a third party involved in all of this, being Ishida’s attacker. In any case, Ichigo is surprised in this sudden change of atmosphere as he is suddenly surrounded by grateful people instead of getting cold stares. Riruka, however, is still suspicious.

A Rival appears

OMG, she may actually be the key to Orihime’s character development!

Riruka doesn’t trust Ichigo that easily. Especially as she hasn’t even see him in the first place. She shines a flashlight on Ichigo and takes a good look at him. While adjusting to the light she’s shining on Ichigo and trying to focus without her glasses, she suddenly comes to a realization. Ichigo is a hottie!… in fact, she’s so impressed by Ichigo that she becomes weak to the knees and bows down to Ichigo. Ichigo, known for being completely oblivious to affection from the female gender, doesn’t really get what’s going on as he asks Riruka whether she’s alright. Apparently, she’s not . Finally I’m happy with Riruka. I can’t wait to see how she and Orihime will be getting along and how Riruka will try to get Ichigo’s attention.

At first glance, this chapter seemed a little bit disappointing. On the outside it just looked like Ichigo listened to what Chad and Kuugo had to say before finally confirming what we already knew all along. But like you can make up from the size of my review, there was so much more to this week’s chapter. This, for me, is the best chapter this arc has given us up to date.
Perhaps I’m a bit biased with Chad showing off in this week’s chapter, but this doesn’t change the fact that we’ve also received quite a few answers this week. Perhaps not all the answers are what we wanted to get, but at least we’ve gotten some answers. I have to say I’m intrigued by what could happen when Ichigo receives the Fullbring powers. Could it be that Shirosaki will become more powerful or will it affect all of Ichigo’s powers, perhaps giving Zangetsu a couple of changes in the process?

Besides Ichigo overreacting again this week, I thought this has been an excellent chapter. Great artwork, plenty of content considering this is Bleach, and finally we had Chad showing us why he’s the best of Ichigo’s friends… now for Kon and Rukia to make their appearance and I will be a happy man . Well, on to the headspinner and the predictions.

This week we learned quite a few things, but one thing had been bothering me for quite some time since learning how the Fullbring ability works. Remember when we first saw Kuugo and he had a Shinigami representative badge on him? This chapter suggests that he could have obtained it from the Shinigami/human hybrid before Ichigo. But the only reason I had to doubt that the badge was Ichigo’s is because it was on a chain. But with the Fullbring ability making it possible to manipulate objects and even their shapes it is possible that Kuugo pick pocketed Ichigo with his ability! Which was what I kept thinking of during the break. But after this week’s chapter it is a bit safer to say that the badge belongs to someone else. But if the other Shinigami/human hybrid took on several Fullbringers’ powers I can’t help but wonder:

Why wouldn’t the Shinigami/human hybrid need the badge anymore?

Bleach can go a couple of ways right now. For one, Kubo could immediately give Ichigo back his Shinigami powers. On the other hand, he could go with some sort of trial Ichigo has to face before regaining his powers. But we already know that regaining Ichigo’s powers is only the first step in this arc. The other thing to do is to get the Xcution members’ powers into Ichigo. This too can go two ways. Either Ichigo just obtains their powers to end the arc, or someone takes (a part of) Ichigo’s powers for him/herself making him/her the villain of the arc. Of course, there’s the matter of Ishida’s attacker. For all we know, he is part of another group of Fullbringers that will cause some troubles surrounding Ichigo’s return to power. Either that, or that group would want Ichigo for themselves so they can rid their powers on him instead of Xcution. What could also happen is that the hybrid before Ichigo will make an appearance to complicate things even further, perhaps showing ties to Aizen and his Hougyoku. Plenty opportunities for Kubo to explore in this arc, so I’m just hoping he goes with something interesting. For now my prediction would have to be the following:

Xcution will need time to prepare the means to give Ichigo his powers back. During this time, Ichigo will be asked to get some information or an item of sorts to ensure things will go right. Riruka will tail Ichigo, claiming it is to make sure he’s safe, only for her to try and make Ichigo fall in love with her. Orihime and Riruka will butt heads, Orihime possibly showing a bit more spine than she did with Rukia around -though in her defense, Rukia wasn’t romantically interested in Ichigo so her passivity can be explained. Because Ichigo can’t find his father, he may end up at Urahara’s (unless Kuugo specifically tells him not to). Urahara will probably explain to Ichigo how it would be a bad idea, possibly giving a downside to the deal in the process. Ichigo will ignore Urahara and go for the Xcution solution. Ichigo will arrive at Xcution only to find Ishida’s attacker in their ranks….

That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I certainly was on a roll this week . 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. Give me a good prediction, and 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

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~ by The Underscore on January 15, 2011.

8 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 433”

  1. New review! I kinda feel bad as reader when I realize things after reading your review (I’m actually praising you by the way)

    This whole plan sounds way too smooth to be true. Something is fishy and it feels like Ichigo will end up as 0…

    Story can go anywhere now, but knowing Kubo anywhere sounds too limited for him 😛

  2. Hello Underscore Mask; long time no see ! It’s been a while since I’ve commented on one of your reviews, right ? Good to see that you still maintain that high-quality in spotting and explaining things as well as the good humor.

    There are so many things i would like to comment on about how this arc is going but I shall limit myself to the latest chapter. First of all I full-heartedly agree in everything you said about Chado. Most of the people judge him hardly because he is relatively weak compared to Ichigo and he hasn’t influenced any battle so far with his own power. But those people tend to forget that Ichigo’s nakama aren’t important to the plot for their fight abilities but because they influence the main character emotionally and psychologically. Chad ain’t talk much but when he talks he almost always says something important. With some simple words he stated the obvious, the thing that not only the rest of his friends but Ichigo himself tried to bury deep inside him : he is a shadow of his former self and I don’t mean power-wise. Yeah, I know that I didn’t add anything new so far and I just rephrased what you have already said but oh well- I haven’t commented on a while let me post my long rants again. I missed that :p

    About the Xcution guys I think it’s obvious that something strange is going on. The “boohoo I have superpowers” quote says everything. It’s strange that Ichigo does not suspect anything (as far as we know) but probably he was influenced by Chad, by the horrible feeling of containing a hollow inside himself or maybe he is sympathized with the X-guys because they share the unfortunate trait of both having his parents attacked by hollows. (Random thought: “X-guys” crap does Kubo read Marvel Comics and X-Men ? He certainly does as he had mentioned that he admires Cyclops. Maybe that’s his inspiration about that group? You never know.) I really believe and hope that Xcution’s real motives are still hidden and they are going to end up being enemies and not a “Vizards-version2” faction.

    And a last comment about the whole arc. It’s interesting. Yeah, we may have not yet seen shinigami, zanpakuto, arrancars, hollows or souls but it’s interesting and that is what matters. I especially like the fact that apparently the plot is heading to a point where we are going to finally learn something about Ichigo’s or Isshin’s past. Isshin’s past and thus Ichigo’s was always the thing to see in Bleach along with the Spirit King. We only have to wait. I will just sit tight and continue reading it. Yeah, for the next 10 years, to be precise.

    I’ll return shortly with my opinion about this week’s head spinner. Glad to “see“ you again. 😉

  3. @ First Replier Wannabe:
    It has been a while since my last review, hasn’t it? Though this is your first reply as far as I can recall :). Glad to hear this review gave you some new perspectives on the chapter.

    The fact that Kuugo’s plan is so perfect just screams suspicion. Maybe I’m just being too skeptical, but I let my guard down around Aizen before he revealed himself to be the biggest jerk in Manga history :).

    @Kuroi:
    I think I vaguely remember you from somewhere… Korey.. no~~ wait…… Good to hear from you again Kuroi ;). Guess your rant on the headspinner will be up next right? 😀 Not that I can say too much about that, but let’s get to this post first.

    The fact that you repeat how awesome Chad is doesn’t bother me. Chad really doesn’t get the credit he deserves, not even by Kubo at times.

    Xcution, however, is a rather peculiar group no matter how you look at them. Them being the Visoreds 2.0 would be a bit bland, though having them turn into the enemy would be too easy as well. I’d like to believe that at least a couple of them genuinely want to get rid of their powers and only a hand full of them have a hidden agenda. Because if the entire group were to be “evil” both Chad and Ichigo would have noticed something if you ask me. Then again, lots of Shinigami did the same with Aizen….

    The fact that Bleach is somehow working without the Shinigami and floating spirits is rather intriguing. Kubo is somehow managing to add a new angle to the story without it feeling too alienated. Him answering age old questions during this new arc does have something to do with it though. Some of these questions are about Isshin and Ichigo’s past, of course, and Kuugo almost seems to know something about this past. Then again, it’s possible that Chad told Kuugo that Ichigo is a Shinigami hybrid and that his father is a Shinigami, solely to explain how Ichigo can help them in getting rid of their powers. Kuugo could’ve just worked with this and just bluffed his way around Ichigo to get him to meet up with Xcution :).

  4. “Why wouldn’t the Shinigami/human hybrid need the badge anymore?”

    Well, when I said that I was going to reply shortly, I hadn’t seen the head-spinner question yet :p. I haven’t much to say on this subject probably because I had completely forgotten about the badge and thus I haven’t considered it as an important element to the plot at all.

    As you said, there are many possibilities about the owner of this badge and your question limits it only one. That the badge belongs to someone else and he gave it to Kuugo because he doesn’t need it anymore. No, actually the right thing to say is “and the badge ended up to Kuugo”. We don’t know if the original owner gave it to him willingly or Kuugo took it by force for some strange reason.

    But back to your question. Why would a shinigami/hybrid doesn’t want his badge ? The most obvious reply is because he wants to cut off every connection with what the badge represents : The Soul Society. All we know the badge may be a way for SS not only to recognize but also to detect their agents. Maybe he had some good reasons for getting rid of it. Of course I doubt that this last theory is possible since Kuugo wouldn’t have liked SS to have a way of detecting him. Anyway.

    Nevertheless, sadly that’s the only thing I can think about granted the scenario that “the shinigami willingly gave up his/her badge to Kuugo”. And my mind goes to Isshin who is the most popular choice of who was the identity of the shinigami/hybrid among the fandom of Bleach.

    Anyways, good thing that you reminded me about the badge which sounds to be something important considering the arc’s official name is “Shinigami Representative Arc”. The real deal with the current plot is that everything depends on the real motives of those Xcution guys. Let’s see how this will turn out to be.

  5. By the way, I had hoped you have made a comment about this week’s chapter title 😉

  6. I… really hope that Ginjou is lying here. not that this isnt interesting, but it doesnt add up. if all they wanted was to dump there powers on ichigo, then why approach him so strangely? why make him suspect Urahara and his father? And why did a fullbringer attack ishida… so, i think Ginjou is a villain and he is lying. after all, if they are telling the truth, and really do give up their powers, then we have all these new characters who were introduced for no reason. even if there not villains, theres something they haven’t told ichigo. as you pointed out, there is also the badge…
    as for riruka, im not even going to go there. i laughed hard at that, but we will see how much this is comedy or if it actually does cause character development.

  7. @Kuroi:
    Nice take on the headspinner. But I have to let you spin on as you would’ve guessed :D.

    As for the chapter’s title. I really had little to say about it considering everything else that happened in this chapter. Still, I guess the reference to the six Fullbringers, including Chad, was rather straightforward. Oddly, it suggests that there are only six members in Xcution now, the rich benefactor possibly being one of the people who got rid of their powers before.

    @takashid:
    It’s still too hard to believe things are that convenient, right? Mind you, I won’t mourn the loss of the Xcution members as they are right now. But them walking around as spiritual band aids to Ichigo’s damaged powers is a bit too easy I guess. But there’s plenty of possibilities left in the arc. Though the arc has finally started for real, we still have to wait for things to actually get on their way. Be it from the restoration of powers to possible character development inspired by these new characters :).

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