The Underscore’s Bleach review 437


437 Swastika Break

Boy am I sleepy. Still, gotta get out this week’s review . At least the chapter is fun enough to review, though I wonder how much I’ll be able to write. Knowing my ability to rant, it shouldn’t be a problem to write too much to comprehend . Anyways, let’s get to the review. Thanks go out to Binktopia and Mangastream for their scanlation.

Bleach chapter 436, The Time Discipline, rated by 25 voters gets an average score of:

7.4

Great

With Ichigo’s Fullbring activating at the end of last week’s chapter, one of the things that I wanted to know was whether it was completed from the onset. Wondering what you guys thought about it, I put it up in last week’s poll.

Oddly, no one believed it to be complete already . Guess that would be a bit boring.
Eleven voters believed it to be incomplete. Perhaps they believe the reiatsu still has to settle down to reveal the true Fullbring, or maybe they expect for even more to happen.
Fifteen voters couldn’t help but wonder what the point is of teaching Ichigo Fullbring anyways… No really, what’s the point if he’s bound to focus on his Shinigami powers as soon as he gets them back?
But the majority of the voters thought the Fullbring was almost complete. 20 of you voted for this option. In a sense these voters were probably right about this. Then again, the option without votes seems to be coming rather close as well…

Echo

You ask for a blade and you get a guard

Last week’s chapter ended with Ichigo awakening his Fullbring powers. Channeled through the Badge, a black reiatsu pours from is in the shape of a swastika similar to the one that made Tensa Zangetsu’s guard. Ichigo immediately recognizes the shape as he refers to it as Zangetsu’s “flange”. To refer to a katana’s guard as a flange isn’t exactly wrong, as it serves the same purpose in a sense, but I can’t help but whether Ichigo calls it a flange in the raw as well… anyways, with the black reiatsu pouring out of the Badge, we can almost expect the blade to follow soon. But the Fullbring appears to have completed as Riruka and Chad feel confident enough to name it such. Whether it’s complete or not, it drew the attention of Mr. Pork 2.0 (yes, he’s still around Ichigo) and even caused Kuugo to finally let himself be heard.

Kuugo goes back to his more arrogant behavior as he explains why we are now seeing Zangetsu’s guard in Ichigo’s Fullbring. As the Badge was continuously used by Ichigo and even carried around while he was performing his Shinigami duties, the Badge remembered the powers it drew out of Ichigo (and put back in, I suppose). Same as the experiences affect the soul of a person, they can affect the soul of an item as well. Kuugo then explains that Ichigo’s Fullbring has the advantage of it being made after all the experience he and the item shared with battles. Though Ichigo’s given up his powers once -technically he never lost them so much as he sacrificed them-, the Badge recorded every battle and use of Ichigo’s power from the moment Ichigo received it from Ukitake. As such, the Fullbring -which draws out the item’s soul- takes out the memories of Ichigo’s battles to adapt a suitable form. But I’ll go into Ichigo’s Fullbring in a bit. Let’s go into the chapter a bit more first.

Failure to Launch

First the ramen obsession, now the failing energy Shuriken…

As Kuugo explains how Ichigo’s Fullbring came to be, Mr. Pork 2.0 -who apparently has five eyes, whereas I thought he only had four- made his way to the source of the Fullbring commotion. Acting before thinking, Mr. Pork 2.0 takes a swing at the wall behind which Ichigo is hiding. As the pig’s fist hits the wall, Ichigo makes use of that exact moment to try out his new power. Ichigo leaps over the pig and throws the shuriken badge at his opponent. As the shuriken flies towards the pig, it suddenly changes back into the Shinigami representative badge, not even making the pig flinch. It seems that Ichigo drew the wrong conclusion, proving once more that he’s an idiot that reads too much manga -says the reviewer that came to the exact same conclusion as Ichigo last week -. Where a certain reviewer would probably be crushed by the fact that the shuriken attempt failed, Ichigo immediately reacts to the situation by making a soft landing on one of the cardboard trees and immediately grabbing the badge again.

The instant Ichigo grabs the badge again, the Fullbring activates once more. I’ll get to this in a bit, but for now the most important thing to note is that the Reiatsu only comes out of the badge while Ichigo is holding it. More noteworthy is the fact that Ichigo is the one to come to this conclusion. With the murderous Mr. Pork 2.0 around, Ichigo doesn’t have much time to think about the how or why the badge only reacts while he’s holding it. As the pig takes another swing at Ichigo, he dodges the arm and counters using the Badge.

The Badge hardly put a scratch on Mr. Pork 2.0, where Ichigo immediately realizes no one would be dumb enough to think that a guard could be used to cut something… except for the idiots who would want to chuck it at an opponent of course . With the second option out of the question as well, Ichigo decides to use the guard to do what a guard is supposed to do… guard. As Mr. Pork’s fist lands, Ichigo uses the Badge to deflect the attack same as he would with Tensa Zangetsu. With it working (somehow) Ichigo is feeling rather content about figuring out the Fullbring’s purpose. The fact that Ichigo hurt himself while guarding should be a sign that something’s amiss, but Ichigo’s never been one to stop and think once he believes something might work. Though his right arm probably feels a bit sore after the attack, he decides to use both hands to continue. Which has an unexpected effect on the Fullbring.

Instinct

…definitely instinct

As Ichigo touches the badge with both his hands, he feels something familiar. While Ichigo’s starting to grasp what his Fullbring is capable of doing, Kuugo finally says things I can truly appreciate. Kuugo notes how impressive Ichigo’s adapting to the situation truly is. Going from a rather hopeless state to awakening and understanding his new ability in less than half an hour certainly is something special. Whether Kuugo is talking to himself or not, the look in his eyes give off the same vibe Aizen used to whenever things seemed to be going as he planned them out to -I almost wanted to say as Aizen hoped, but Aizen isn’t one to rely on something so petty as hope -. Kuugo might be wondering whether Ichigo is this capable in battle due to experience or instinct, but for us who’ve read Bleach all way through, we still remember how important instinct it in Ichigo’s fights. Admittedly, experience is what draws that instinct out of him, but still .

With Kuugo eager to learn what allows Ichigo to adapt to a battle situation so easily, Ichigo is already rearing to take down Mr. Pork 2.0. Ichigo runs in headfirst, knowing things will turn out all right, whereas Riruka starts to panic. The reason Ichigo isn’t worried is simply because he instinctively knows what his Fullbring allows him to do: Getsuga Tenshou.

Getsuga RasenTenshou!

Let’s be fair, Ichigo was the one throwing energy blasts at his opponents way before Naruto…

Ichigo finds an opening and fires off a whirling blast of energy right in Mr. Pork 2.0’s face. As the pig is struck right in his inner right eye, he is knocked out cold by the blast. Putting aside the fact that it should be impossible to knock out a soul residing in a stuffed doll with a single blast like that, Ichigo seems to have completed his training. As Chad and Riruka are amazed at Ichigo completing his Fullbring, Kuugo radiates a sense of personal satisfaction. Somehow he gives off the vibe that things went according to plan… Unaware of this, the only thing Ichigo cares about is that the sensation of the Getsuga Tenshou he just fired makes him believe this Fullbring business will really help him get back his Shinigami powers.

So here we have Ichigo’s Fullbring. The badge’s memories of Ichigo’s Shinigami abilities seem to be manifested with the Fullbring ability, much like Kuugo said. The only addition I’d like to make is that the same probably wouldn’t happen with any other item besides the badge. Let’s not forget that the badge in itself is already a rather mystical item. This is the base for Ichigo’s Fullbring.

Then there’s the matters of the Black reiatsu. Obviously, this has something to do with Ichigo’s Bankai. Remember, Ichigo first received this badge after he already learned to use his Bankai. In fact, Ichigo’s spent more time in his Bankai state after receiving the badge than he’s been in his Shikai state. In this sense, it isn’t too strange for there to be black reiatsu coming out of the badge -and the Fullbring’s shape, of course. Another reason for the black reiatsu coming out instead of the standard bluish reiatsu has to do with Shirosaki, if you ask me. Let’s not forget that Ichigo’s Bankai not only made it easier to use Hollowfication, but that the black Getsuga Tenshou was taught to him by Shirosaki -though both function the same way of course. With Fullbring being a Hollow type power by nature, it only makes sense for a touch of Shirosaki to come out as well.

Next there’s the fact that Ichigo has to hold the badge in order for it to work. There’s a couple of explanations for this. For one, it could have something to do with the Final Getsuga Tenshou, where Ichigo became one with Zangetsu as they were linked as seen on Ichigo’s right arm (this was noted by some of you as well last week). Another explanation could be that Ichigo’s pride is in the fact that he was able to use his Shinigami powers to protect his friends. What better way is there to protect than to use a guard? But obviously, the real reason for Ichigo to hold the badge in Ichigo’s hand at all time has to do with the blast it can fire.
When Ichigo fired the Getsuga Tenshou this week, he did it by putting both hands together the same way as he did most of the times before firing his Getsuga Tenshou in his Bankai state. Both Ichigo and the Badge remembered how Ichigo used to fire the Bankai, by charging the energy in Zangetsu’s guard before covering the blade.

Which brings me to the final point on Ichigo’s Fullbring -for this review-, the fact that Ichigo was instantly capable of activating it again in the midst of battle. Where Fullbring is activated by the wielder’s pride, Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou used to work in a similar manner. Fullbring may use pride -and Reiatsu-, but the Getsuga Tenshou used determination to channel Reiatsu into a blast. Because of this, Ichigo instinctively knows how to channel his determination and reiatsu into his right hand. The only thing I don’t really get about Ichigo’s Fullbring will be covered in this week’s headspinner .

Earnest Request

Guess I already know what this week’s poll will be about

With the first couple of steps to recover Ichigo’s Shinigami powers taken, we take a break from all the training by checking up on Orihime. Orihime is still concerned with what happened to Ishida, so it only makes sense for her to still be worried about Chad as well. But with Ichigo being the center of Orihime’s world, she seems to be just as worried about Chad that hasn’t shown up at school for days as she is for Ichigo who only missed school for a single day. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the bag of bread she left for Chad was no longer hanging on his door. This makes her think that Chad probably comes home from time to time. It could be me, but wouldn’t it be just as likely that someone took the bag? It’s not like Karakura town doesn’t know its fair share of punks… Speaking of punks.

Orihime is suddenly greeted by a boy with a mohawk. He introduces himself as Shishigawara from Miyashita commercial high school and asks Orihime whether she’s the one he expects her to be. Without even waiting for a confirmation, he asks Orihime is she would mind dying…

Shishi’s obviously related to the bookworm. But somehow I feel he might have something to do with Xcution as well. Whether he’s tied to Xcution or not, the fact that he doesn’t ask for confirmation from Orihime can be considered to be proof of him being able to sense that she’s got an ability as well. Then again, Orihime is pretty hard to miss given the right description. The only question for now is whether this guy’s a Fullbringer set on taking out Orihime, or whether this is a punk associated to the guys Ichigo and Ishida beat up at the start of this arc.

An entertaining chapter for sure. Ichigo is finally capable of getting mixed up with the supernatural again and he does so by using a Fullbring that is really close to his old Shinigami abilities. The fact that the Fullbring isn’t something entirely new can be seen as a missed opportunity, but considering the nature of Fullbring it wouldn’t make sense for Ichigo to suddenly use something completely different. With Ichigo clearing the Riruka trial, we also got two nice twists in the chapter. First there was the twist we all were expecting, where Kuugo suddenly acted like he knew things would work out the way they did. But the best twist for this otherwise predictable chapter has to be the appearance of Shishi -yes, I can’t be bothered using his whole name- and his request for Orihime. I think we will be in for some fun in the next couple of chapters if Kubo decides to go on with the current set up from the start of next week’s chapter. The chapter didn’t have much else, though I feel it really didn’t need more that we got this week. Then again, I wouldn’t mind having the next 10..100… 200(?) chapters of Bleach already . But for now, we’ll just have to wait a bit.

The one thing I don’t get about Ichigo’s Fullbring. We saw that it basically fires off Getsuga Tenshou’s same as Ichigo always did. But remember what the Getsuga Tenshou really is? It’s a focused blast of Reiatsu shot at the enemy. Somehow Ichigo managed to go from practically zero Reiatsu to having enough to both awaken his Fullbring and to fire off a part of it as a Getsuga Tenshou. This got me wondering:
Where did all this Reiatsu suddenly come from?

Next week, Ichigo will probably experience the same fatigue Chad used to have with his ‘El Directo’. Ichigo will go home to rest up a bit before they get to the next step in the training. Meanwhile, Orihime and Shishi will have a little interaction where Orihime will want to find out why Shishi wants her dead. Judging from what little Shishi’s shown us, I’d say he’s been sent by someone he considers to be his “Aniki”. If Shishi’s just a punk member of the group at the start of this arc, I expect Orihime to beat the living out of him with her karate. If he’s a Fullbringer, I can’t help but wonder what Orihime will do about him as I still haven’t seen her hairpins since the time skip besides on the one title pages of a chapter.

If Orihime is forced to use her Santen Kesshun, I expect her to beat Shishi. Why? Because I’d be crossed with her if she were to lose and end up being the damsel in distress again. She’ll still beat Shishi, but Ichigo -with his renewed spiritual ability- will sense Orihime using her powers. He’ll find Orihime healing herself -let’s face it, she’s bound to get an injury or two- and he’ll force her to tell him who attacked her. Ichigo will then decide to use his Fullbring ability to take care of Shishi and his companions before getting back his Shinigami powers.

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!

 

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 February 19, 2011.

5 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 437”

  1. review is right one time even though chapter released late, cool!

    Shishi is from same school with gang that attacked Ichigo’s school by the way. “Miyakou” is the short of “Miyashita Commercial”.

    I have doubts he is going to be a fullbringer.

  2. @First Replier Wannabe:
    Guess it worked out with the release dates somehow :).

    As for Shishi being part of the Miyakou gang, I guess I was right to doubt myself at the end of the review. Then again, it’s still possible he’s both a Fullbringer and a part of that gang… Guess we’ll find out in a couple of days.

  3. tooboredtocomment.
    Nice breakdown as always Underscore, but Bleach right now just isnt interesting. not gonna rant again unless something interesting happens or i get pissed off. and there really isnt much to say about this chapter. Keep up the good work, im amazed you still pump these out regularly. You must have a lot more love for Bleach then i do, cause nowadays i hardly care about Bleach, i just look foreword to the One Piece chapters.

  4. P.S. as for the clifhanger with the punk guy just… lol

    -implying people die in Bleach

  5. @takashid:

    Guess I’ll have to wait for a while before your rants return, huh? Who knows, maybe thing’s will get interesting for you sooner than we expect them to, right? 😉

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