The Underscore’s Bleach review 434


434 Berry in the Box

Finally, a new Bleach chapter. Luckily Kubo has got over the flu quickly and got us a new chapter again, so we should be thankful for that. I’ve got little else to say here this week. In fact, in the review itself as well with the rather straightforward content of this chapter . Might as well get to the polls and the review then. Thanks to Mangastream and Binktopia for their scanlation, which I’ll be using in this week’s review.

Bleach chapter 433, The Six Fullbringers, rated by 22 voters gets an average score of:

8.5

Great

So the previous chapter revealed that Xcution planned on dumping their powers onto Ichigo. In order to do that, they need Ichigo to regain his Shinigami powers. What I wanted to know was what you guys think would happen to Ichigo if he were to receive those powers.

At least none of the voters didn’t care about what would happen. Then again, I suppose the people who don’t care wouldn’t bother voting in the first place?
No one believed Zangetsu would change due to the addition of power. It’s not like more Hollow energy would really change the nature of Zangetsu and its ability.
Two voters felt that the Fullbringers’ powers would only act as a boost in raw reiatsu, leaving everything else the same as it was before. In a way, Ichigo has always been a one trick pony with his Getsuga Tenshou, so why would Kubo want to change that?
Six voters don’t know what could happen if Ichigo were to receive the Fullbringers’ powers. Whereas six other voters believe Ichigo’s Hollow side will be stronger than before. The latter is a possibility, considering that the Fullbring ability comes from Hollows in the first place.
Eleven voters are expecting Ichigo to gain the Fullbring ability along with his old powers. This latest chapter almost suggests that these 11 voters could be right.
But the majority of the voters believe Ichigo won’t be getting the Fullbringers’ powers at all. Whether they were suspicious before reading last week’s review or after it, they too felt something is rotten in the state of Karakura….

Cry for Social Services

Not to say that the adults in the Kurosaki household are responsible, but leaving for days in a row…

Don Kanonji is enjoying his screen time at the start of this chapter. Where his reputation had a fallen a bit 17 months ago, he’s still going on encouraging children by being the hero everyone needs. Yuzu, one of Kanonji’s fans, is loyally viewing the show, be it with less enthusiasm than usual. As the show ends, we see Karin is in the room as well. Looking a bit glum -which could be explained by her apathy towards Kanonji’s show- Karin tells Yuzu she should go to bed now that the show’s ended. But Yuzu tells Karin she won’t go to bed and that Karin is the one that should go to bed. Making up an excuse that she’s busy, Karin is obviously thinking the same thing as her sister.

It seems that Ichigo is being as lousy a brother as he can be, leaving his kid sisters home alone while his father has been missing for an even longer amount of time. Worst of all, by leaving without a word, his sisters are worrying to the point where they start fighting with each other. Not to say that Karin and Yuzu aren’t capable of taking care of themselves, in fact, I’d say it’s Isshin and Ichigo who shouldn’t be left alone if we are to pick two of the Kurosaki’s. Anyways, with Karin trying to project her worries onto Yuzu and Yuzu pretending that she isn’t worried about Ichigo, the siblings almost start fighting like two… well… siblings . But before the two go at each other, they hear a door opening.

Jump for Joy

Why aren’t there Bleach figurines like this available?… I want a Komamura one

Ichigo returns after two days of absence, acting like nothing’s happened in the meantime. Hearing their brother come back home, Karin and Yuzu immediately run to the hallway to see their brother. As they peek around the doorpost, Ichigo is surprised to still see his sisters awake -why call out you’re home if everyone’s supposed to be asleep?- and tells them it’s a school night. Ignoring Ichigo’s every word, the sisters take a good look at their brother. With Ichigo’s usual escapades resulting in a moping Ichigo, and Ichigo’s already peculiar mood before he left, his sisters couldn’t help but worry. But looking at Ichigo now, they can’t help but be surprised.

Apparently Ichigo is in a rather good mood after meeting up with Xcution. The only thing I don’t get is what he’s been doing for a full two days when the talk he had with Ginjou (and Chad) couldn’t have lasted any longer than an hour. But it’s obvious that Ichigo is happy with the fact that he’ll be getting his powers back. So much so, that Karin and Yuzu are dumbfounded for a moment as they see Ichigo with a different look on his face. Where he’s probably been convincing himself for months that he doesn’t need his powers and with everything that’s happened to him around the time Kuugo appeared, this renewed Ichigo is a sight for sore eyes to the siblings. With his sisters caught in a moment of joy, Ichigo snaps them out of it as he wants to know whether they’re going to bed now or not. Unable to hide their excitement at the sight of their renewed brother, who finally came home after two whole days and had been brooding for months, Karin and Yuzu tell their brother good night.

Lousy actor

Obviously you’ve been called out here for… ehm…

The next day, Ichigo enters the Xcution office after being called out by Kuugo. As he enters the office, he asks why he’s even there. Kuugo mocks Ichigo a bit for showing up and complaining, showing that he hasn’t gotten messing with Ichigo out of his system yet. However, the way he toys with Ichigo seems to have changed a bit, possibly because Ichigo’s agreed to help him out. In this chapter, Kuugo comes across a bit more like Shinji used to. Whether this is still an act or not is something I can’t really put my finger on. Kuugo turning out to be a bad guy is still too obvious an option, but the way he asked Ichigo for help still bothers me -and I don’t think I’m the only one who believes this.

But with Kuugo calling Ichigo out to the office, Ichigo isn’t so much bothered by being called as much as he’s bothered by the location. He explains that he was expecting some form of training in a spacious area in order to regain his powers. With him being used to Urahara’s underground training area and him previously having regained his powers in such a space, he can’t imagine being able to regain his powers in a bar setting. What’s more, when he was training with Yoruichi, the Visoreds, and his father, he was in a more spacious areas as well. In a way, Ichigo’s been spoiled when it comes to training area’s .

Lucky for Ichigo, Riruka arrives carrying the answer. Quite literally at that. After kicking open the door, Riruka enters the room carrying a doll house. Honestly, I thought she looked kind of cute when she entered the room like that. Slightly embarrassed at the sight of Ichigo – and possibly the fact that she’s carrying a dollhouse- yet trying to put on a face for the boy she likes… Kubo’s really putting everything into these new characters isn’t he? But in spite of Riruka’s grand entrance, Ichigo only wants to know why Riruka’s always late. Getting even more embarrassed by Ichigo talking to her, she instinctively reacts defensively by telling Ichigo she’s always late because of work. But before she starts another tantrum, one of her colleagues has something to say.

Time for a fresh start

Great job Jackie, hold her down like that for five more minutes of peace and quiet

The (now obviously) white haired boy we saw a couple of chapters back suddenly has something to say. The first thing we hear him say, however, is that he’s annoyed by the fact that he keeps seeing Riruka’s panties every time she enters the room. Riruka angrily turns towards the boy playing on a PSP(ish device) and asks Yukio why it is that he suddenly dares to open his mouth and talk back to her. Riruka then tries to get revenge on Yukio for embarrassing her in front of Ichigo like that by mocking his love for videogames. What’s more, she goes as far as saying that she never saw him as an equal and that he should just stay quiet. But Yukio apologizes for not hearing anything due to his game and asks Riruka to repeat what she just said to him -Yukio 1, Riruka 0.

Agitated even further, Riruka actually decides to repeat everything she just told Yukio. But before falling for such an obvious trap, Jackie puts her hand against Riruka’s mouth to shut her up. Riruka is annoyed by this as well as she tells Jackie to let her go. Learning Jackie’s name, and considering the nature of Xcution as a group, I can’t help but wonder where she’s from. Her name and appearance suggest that she’s from a foreign country. Though that’s not the only thing that name does. A couple of people out there already felt that Jackie kind of looks like she’s actually a he. The way she looks in the couple of frames she’s been shown doesn’t help to prove these people wrong if you ask me… Anyways, she at least stops Riruka from beating around the bushes and tells her to explain “the box” to Ichigo.

Realizing that Ichigo is still there, even though she was about to destroy Yukio in a blind rage, she hides her embarrassment by yelling at the one person she doesn’t want to see her yelling like a madman. She yells at Ichigo that he has to come over to her so she can explain what’s going to happen. Ichigo isn’t really all too phased at what’s happening, as he’s met a lot of eccentric women, though he can’t help but wonder why he’s being yelled at. Just as he wants to move closer to listen to Riruka, Riruka realizes that she is too nervous with Ichigo close to her. Because of this, she tells Ichigo he’s fine where he’s standing right now, leaving Ichigo to wonder what’s up with her.

Get into her box

… You heard the lady…

Riruka shows Ichigo her box, asking him whether he thinks it’s cute. Ichigo doesn’t really get what she wants from him, though you’d expect he’d know to tell a girl her toys are cute having two sisters and all…

Riruka then explains to Ichigo that the box is going to be his training facility. Ichigo still doesn’t get what Riruka wants from him. Riruka, somewhat bothered by Ichigo’s dense reactions, then decides to just show him. She then tells Ichigo her Fullbring ability’s named Doll House. Whenever she thinks something is cute or awesome she can insert things into the box and take them out at will. She then shoots a heart shaped tag at Ichigo explaining that it’s his pass. She then permits Ichigo to enter her box, causing the heart tag to release a form of energy. This energy causes Ichigo to be sucked up into the Doll House.

Now, as some of you might recall, I expected Riruka’s Fullbring ability to be focused around the glasses she apparently hates. Instead, she has a cardboard/plastic box that acts like a dollhouse. With Fullbring working by activating an object’s spiritual power causing its properties to increase, the link between shrinking things and a dollhouse isn’t really established. Kuugo did explain that a Fullbring ability can become stronger if the “bond” with the object is stronger, meaning it works in a way similar to the use of Zanpakutous. Riruka’s affection to the box is what gives it its ability to store things she thinks are cute or awesome, as she explained. It’s like when you were a kid and you used to put all your favorite toys in a special box along with the candy you were going to save for later -and you completely forgot because of all the candy you ate before putting it away-, and the comic book you were reading. Basically, this is that box for Riruka. But her Fullbring ability amplifies the capacity to store things she likes to the point where it can take in people and objects by shrinking them and sucking them in… Don’t worry, Ichigo doesn’t get it either .

Lame action dolls

Kon wouldn’t even bat an eye at this thing… (I know he’d run, you don’t have to remind me)

Ichigo is suddenly face to face with a pig doll. With it looming over him, he can’t help but wonder what that thing wants from him. Riruka suddenly takes the lid off the box wanting to know whether Ichigo likes her doll as much as she does. Ichigo doesn’t think the pig is cute and wants to know what that thing is. But all Riruka tells him is that he has to beat it. In spite of knowing that he was starting his training, he’s surprised to learn he has to beat a stuffed toy. But what’s more surprising is the way in which he has to beat the doll. Riruka tells Ichigo that the only way for him to easily defeat the pig, is by using Fullbring…. Ichigo doesn’t get it either.

Entertaining? Yes. Enough progress for a single chapter? Not really. The part with Karin and Yuzu was pretty good to see as it was a rather subtle way of showing that Ichigo is excited about getting his powers back. Seeing a bit more from the two siblings in the current situation is more love Kubo’s shown them than he’s done during the Arrancar arc.
Ichigo arriving at Xcution was pretty fun as well. Further introducing the unnamed characters had to be done at some time, and the way Kubo handled it here was better than I expected it to be. Though I’m glad that Yukio is a gamer, meaning he won’t be following Hitsugaya’s footsteps too far, I can’t help but think he’s going to have white hair. His name just screams this in my opinion. But besides the fact that his design still feels too much like a filler character to me and his personality showing hints of Hitsugaya’s cold demeanor, I think I won’t be too bothered by Yukio.
Jackie, however, is a rather odd woman. She does come across like a rather boorish woman, though her hands and the shape of her head look too masculine at times. I can’t help but wonder whether Kubo has introduced a drag queen or not, even though I was convinced Jackie’s a she two weeks ago. But we’ll leave it at this for now as both Yukio and Jackie have had too short of an appearance to make any conclusions.
The way Kubo introduced these two characters while showing more of Riruka was done pretty well. This way the introduction of new characters doesn’t go too far, especially considering all the characters that have been introduced since the start of the new arc.

The chapter then got to Ichigo’s training method, which is tied to Riruka’s Fullbring ability. The fact that the Fullbring ability has so much potential only makes things more suspicious. How could Soul Society leave such a group on their own like this? But I guess with them moving around and having abilities, they’re capable of hiding themselves rather well. Anyways, we learn that the key to restoring Ichigo’s Shinigami powers is in a new power: Fullbring. Rather than having Chad restore Ichigo’s Shinigami through their manly bond of trust, Ichigo is told to awaken his Fullbring ability. But does he have such an ability at all? Is Riruka suggesting that Ichigo’s mother was attacked by a hollow in the past, effectively making him a Fullbring user? Guess time can only tell.

All in all, not a bad chapter, though I don’t think it’s that good. I’d say the reason I don’t really like this chapter so much has to do with the unplanned break Kubo had last week. With the previous chapter being so exciting, this chapter would’ve benefitted from that. But now, this chapter just feels like it’s stalling things a bit. But at least we’ve had some laughs… at least I did .

I could’ve made up a headspinner based on the suggestion that Ichigo has a Fullbring ability. But if I were to put it up here, I wouldn’t be able to go into your theories about that, now would I? Instead, I’ll let your heads spin while thinking about what we saw at the start of the chapter. That’s right, Don Kanonji. I already stated that Kanonji’s reputation had fallen a bit 17 months ago, but somehow he’s still on television after more than a year. This means that there’s still interest in a hero that faces ghosts and exorcises them. While you may want to write this off as something uninteresting or a minor detail, there could be more to it. In fact, I’d say that something rather big has something to do with Kanonji’s lasting popularity. So here’s the headspinner:
Do you think Karakura town’s transportation to Soul Society and Aizen’s assault have affected Don Kanonji’s ratings?

Ichigo will probably tell Riruka that it is impossible for him to use Fullbring as he doesn’t have any powers at all. Riruka will then explain how Ichigo should be able to use Fullbring, possibly because of his father’s continuous exposure to Hollows (him being a Shinigami and all) or perhaps his mother’s exposure to Hollows in the past. The latter is a rather viable option considering the way she protected Ichigo from Grand Fisher. Either way, Ichigo will try to awaken his powers in the same way he did with Urahara. By being in a dangerous state, the soul should awaken a power to protect himself… in theory. Even assuming that Ichigo will be able to get some form of spiritual energy out of himself, he’ll need an object to channel this ability. Something tells me that the Shinigami badge is going to be the key to Ichigo restoring his powers. It would make sense for the badge to be the key as it has the ability to draw a Shinigami from a living body -admittedly other souls from their bodies as well- at full power, so by amplifying its effect it should be able to draw out the dormant powers not just from the body, but from the soul as well. Which could happen in a chapter or three.

That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it even if it was rushed a bit. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter and/or review, give any theories or predictions 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

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~ by The Underscore on January 29, 2011.

6 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 434”

  1. This chapter was pretty boring, not much to say about it. I have to wonder wtf kind of parent isshin thinks he is if he has been gone for two days leaving his kids alone. Ichigo in a training arc, who saw that coming? Everyone. Yawn. its chapters like this that remind me how slow the pacing in this story can be. i read the whole chapter in about 2 minutes, and i feel like even that is stretching it. heres hoping the story picks up soon, because i still dont find the fullbringers funny, and the only one who’s interesting to me is still Ginjou.

  2. “Yuzu(takashid), one of Kanonji’s(Bleach’s) fans, is loyally viewing the show, be it with less enthusiasm than usual.”

  3. @takashid:
    Admittedly, this chapter could have been covered in half the amount of pages Kubo used. I just think he’s having too much fun with Riruka if you ask me. Like I said in the review, this chapter would’ve been better if it was published last week as it would follow the grandeur of the previous chapter, which was (arguably) the best of the arc. But especially now, it just doesn’t feel right. I’m just glad Yukio and Jackie got such a quick introduction and Kubo didn’t decide to drag that on as it would ruin the chapter rather than make it slightly enjoyable.

  4. — Do you think Karakura town’s transportation to Soul Society and Aizen’s assault have affected Don Kanonji’s ratings? —

    Best headspinner ever :p

    First we should mention that Don Kanonji doesn’t need some mere incident like the battle of KT to raise his ratings. He is Don Kanonji, ultimate protector and the Hero of Humanity. And for that reason his ratings are getting higher and higher 😛

    But to reply a bit seriously, Aizen’s assault at KT was exactly what DK needed. Imagine the time all the people of KT woke up only to find that they were all sleeping on the roads and realizing that the time in their clocks isn’t quite right, a couple hours ahead. Like this isn’t enough, there are some dead people lying in a road, with their bodies oddly disfigured like Dexter Morgan jumped into Bleach universe and begun his normal daily “chopping copses with amazing precise” job/hobby. At the same time all the phone calls and transportation routes to KT were cut and halted, letting people wondering what the hell is going on KT and why while they were heading there they somehow forgot that they had a business at the town and returned back ?
    Well, if this isn’t enough for someone to believe that there is a kind of paranormal activity in Karakura Town (thus confirming that ghosts exists) then he must be the crazy freak of the village. (Yeah, the crazy is the one who doesn’t believe in ghosts, the irony)

    Of course this event made more and more people to start watching DJ (like his charming and amazing interpersonal and mind skills weren’t enough) making his show hitting the sky in ratings easily surpassing stupid shows like Oprah’s. He is Don Kanonji after all. Ultimate protector and the Hero of Humanity. That’s it. Plain and simple. Underscore Mask, I expect no less than a “I fully agree with you, Kuroi” from you.

  5. @Kuroi:

    I fully agree with you, Kuroi… can you lower the gun now? :p

  6. Good boy. I’ll never let anyone spread bad rumors about Don Kanonji’s ratings ever again :p

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