The Underscore’s Bleach review 439


439 Keen Marker

Time can be so cruel, can’t it? It flies when you’re having fun, yet stops when you want things to be over with soon… Anyways, I finally found some time to write this week’s review. Guess a Sunday release is still in time, isn’t it? But enough stalling, time to get to the review’s content. Thanks to Mangastream/Binktopia for their release!

Bleach chapter 438, Knuckle Down, rated by 27 voters gets an average score of:

8.1

Great

Last week, we finally got a better look at Bookworm, better known as the guy who attacked Ishida, or formally known as Tsukishima. With this we have a better picture of what appears to be the antagonist of this arc. Not to say I’ve let Kuugo off the hook just yet, though I’ve mellowed up a bit towards him throughout this latest arc. Needless to say, any new antagonist in Bleach will have to fill the shoes of what might be one of the greatest villains in history: Aizen. Personally, I feel Kubo’s been using some aspects from Aizen in both Kuugo and Tsukishima. Especially after last week’s chapter. Thus came last week’s poll: Which of the two took most of Aizen’s mojo?

As of yet, it would seem that Kuugo took most of Aizen’s mojo, with seven votes going to him and only one to Tsukishima. Two voters thought they both took about the same. But all nine of those votes put together can’t beat the fact that fifteen of you feel Kuugo and Tsukishima would probably die just by looking at Aizen’s mojo. As of such, we can conclude that Aizen will not be forgotten any time soon… that, or Kuugo and Tsukishima have their own mojo’s to work with .

Kick in the balls

Trust me, love isn’t the word I’m looking for…

Kubo gives us Riruka in this week’s colored page, revealing her to have purple/dark pink hair. Now, I don’t think it’s a real secret that I wasn’t very fond of Riruka when she was first introduced. In fact, when I first saw her, I immediately felt a certain disgust towards her character design and prayed for Kubo to NOT give her red hair as it would be so typically filler. Now we get this… After all the trouble I went through to open up towards her, Kubo once more shoves the fact that Riruka is a glorified filler character right into my face. Sure, her crush on Ichigo is funny at times, especially her awkward way of handling it. But this doesn’t change the fact that she’s too standard filler for me to like her.

Needless to say, this picture looks good. Riruka’s outfit is unusual, as we can expect from the Bleach covers, but it works for them. The flashiness of Riruka’s clothes does fit her personality. But enough on this. If you like Riruka, you’ll like this color page. If you don’t care about Riruka, you won’t care about this page. If you hate her, you’ll probably just skip this page and go right to the chapter’s contents.

Wrapping things up

Yes, whenever I turn into a monstrous pig, I ask for money afterwards…

Mr. Pork’s engine, the Yakuza’s soul, tells Riruka just how unreasonable she’s being. She just kidnaps him, stuffs him into a pig, and then let’s him go on her whim… without paying! Yes, Porky certainly doesn’t know his priorities. Apparently, he’s forgotten what happened to him at the hand of Giriko’s ‘Time tells no lies’. Probably a good thing, though Ichigo would’ve loved for Porky to have forgotten him as well from the looks of it.

Porky tells Ichigo they should be paid for their labor, not knowing that it was in fact for Ichigo’s sake and not Riruka’s pleasure that he was recruited in the first place. As he starts ranting to Ichigo, Riruka’s patience runs short as she threatens Porky with her Fullbring. Still in great fear of this unknown force, Porky cowers for a moment. Though he tries to deny it at first, a second look at Riruka’s heart shaped tag forces him to acknowledge the fact that he does not want to be stuffed inside Mr. Pork again. Riruka then gives him a phone, which is a bit strange as I could’ve sworn he’s supposed to be a ghost, and tells him to be ready to be called upon for future reference. As the subjugation of Porky is taking place, Ichigo can only think of how similar Porky and Mr. Pork really are. Then again, Porky’s design is rather unique in Bleach, considering how he’s the least realistic looking human in all of Bleach as far as I can recall. Not to say that it isn’t possible, with Komamura and all, but still…

Though this part of the chapter seems rather useless, there’s two things to keep in mind. First, it seems that Ichigo can see ghosts again. Not an unimportant thing in Bleach. Second, Riruka has a cell phone that she can hand out to a ghost. How she got it, I wouldn’t know. But this doesn’t change the fact that it seems to be Soul Society technology in the hands of a living human…

Kicked out

You don’t need these punks anymore!… today…

With Porky finally leaving and closing the door behind him -Is he actually still alive? How’d he become Mr. Pork then?- Riruka turns her attention to Ichigo. After a long 30 minutes of training, Riruka decides to reward Ichigo by kicking him out. Though Ichigo is used to staying with his trainers until the training is complete, Riruka is more than happy to kick him out. But as we’ve come to expect from Riruka, she isn’t really capable of explaining the reason for Ichigo to leave at all. Which brings us to Kuugo.

Kuugo tells Ichigo that for whatever reason, Ichigo would do best to rest up a bit. Though Ichigo may not be tired at the moment, using Fullbring for too long can cause you to suddenly collapse due to the strain it puts on the body. The perfect example for this has to be Chad when he first discovered and used his powers. After firing a couple of ‘El Directos’, he collapsed only to wake up in the presence of his future mentor and Orihime.

Though Ichigo seems to be a bit disappointed at the fact that he can’t rush back to his Shinigami powers, Kuugo points out how Ichigo shouldn’t have to be so impatient considering he already has been without them for over a year. Besides, now he has his Fullbring… yeah, talk about a consolation price… Kuugo tells Ichigo to rest up and wait to be called by Xcution again after pointing out that he should be able to wait a bit longer. This brings a close to the first part of Ichigo’s Fullbring training. Which leaves us with…

Meanwhile on Chad’s doorstep…

Orihime is surrounded by two villainous characters…

With Tsukishima’s sudden appearance, Orihime asks for his name. Tsukishima Shuukurou introduces himself as he is about to explain to Orihime what he is to her. Sadly, Shishi had to but in while Tsukishima was talking. Shishigawa decides that he has to live up to Tsukishima’s expectations and that he should finish the task given to him. As he once more challenges Orihime, Tsukishima tells him to go home. Shishigawa misinterprets this as concern from Tsukishima towards an underling, claiming his life is worth less that Tsukishima’s reputation. Great dedication and all, but Tsukishima doesn’t really care about that. Fact of the matter is, Tsukishima’s order is being ignored.

After closing his book with a quick snap, Tsukishima confirms whether Shishi heard him right or not. Nervously, Shishi acknowledges that he heard Tsukishima right. In response to this question, Tsukishima takes out his bookmark asking why Shishi is still there. Though Shishi tells him he’s staying for his sake, Tsukishima is more concerned about the fact that he’s forgotten what page he’s on. Thus, he asks for retribution from Shishi.

Now, though not necessarily the same as Aizen, you can’t deny that Tsukishima gives off a mix of his Flunky management and that of other more stereotypical villains: “You listen, or die.” ; “You obey, or you pay.”; and “I’m awesome, heed to my awesomeness.”. Classic villain, like I said. Though in a way, this situation also reminds me of the time when Ulquiorra and Yammy came to Karakura town for some reason. It doesn’t really share any similarities at all, but still. Anyways, Tsukishima drew his Bookmark and suddenly transformed it.

Book of the End

… if it isn’t a Zanpakutou, why bother making it look like one?

With his Fullbring out, we at least learn that Tsukishima truly is using Fullbring. He confirms this after threatening Shishigawa and answering Orihime’s question. Now, you can say what you want, but the way Tsukishima looks in this chapter is almost completely similar to Aizen. Sure, he has a scar over his left eye, but this doesn’t change the fact that his demeanor and face still look almost identical. Though he also wields a katana, the major difference is that Tsukishima isn’t over 1000 years old and that he is in fact a living human being. But enough on my comparing Tsukishima to Aizen. We’ve got a bigger issue.

After Tsukishima tells Orihime that he uses a Fullbring and won’t use it on her just yet, he points his sword on Shishigawa. Orihime then once more displays her knack for meddling as she steps in between Shishigawa and Tsukishima. Shishigawa is rather surprised, though Tsukishima apparently knew Orihime might do something like this. It seems that someone has informed him of Orihime’s tendency to prevent people from getting hurt. Who could this person be? I’ll let you guys spin your head about this one a bit later.

Orihime stands in front of Tsukishima as he tells him that she is only getting in his way because he’s the one who attacked Ishida. Courageous though it may be, she had to tick this guy off…

Interlude

Orihime will bring you two things today… leftover bread and another kidnapping(?)

The scene changes to Chad and Ichigo walking home. Though I suspected that Chad might have been an illusion as he suddenly disappeared after Ichigo’s return from the Doll house, it seems I was jumping to conclusions. Either way, with the two friends walking home, Chad suddenly remembers that Orihime probably brought him some leftover bread again. Now, Chad can be a very observant person and all, but there are times when he proves to be just as big of a goofball as the other main characters. Chad’s biggest flaw has to be his communication skills. Orihime actually brought him bread for a couple of days and he never bothered contacting her about it. He just assumed that by taking the bread, she’d know things would be alright. But even Ichigo isn’t dense enough to believe that would be enough to stop Orihime from worrying about him.

Ichigo tells Chad that he should just be happy he got the leftovers and that he should call to thank her. Chad then cowers at the fact that he has to eat so much and realizes he could give Ichigo about half of what Orihime has given him as it would otherwise go to waste. He then runs up to his apartment to find another bag of bread. As he feels a bit guilty for just taking the leftovers, he suddenly senses something’s off.

Chad then calls out to Ichigo, telling him something feels off with Orihime’s reiatsu and that something must be happening to her. It seems that another one of Ichigo’s friends is now in trouble….

A rather mediocre chapter, really. We only got some hints to future developments, but nothing too grand in my opinion. Ichigo having to go home was something most of us saw coming already. Dealing with Porky was nice and all, but nothing too special. Orihime’s face off against Tsukishima and Shishigawa was a bit disappointing as I was hoping for the latter two to join forces against Orihime. Instead, Tsukishima does the ‘I don’t need help from anyone’ routine from the start and decides to cut down Shishigawa. Orihime then intervenes, only for her to get into trouble… again. Hopefully Orihime has been found by someone and taken to hospital instead of her being kidnapped… again.

Tsukishima claims that he already heard about Orihime’s nature from someone. Now, we know of at least two people who could know this about Orihime: Aizen and Kuugo. Aizen has been observing everyone and thing around Ichigo, including Orihime. So in that sense, it wouldn’t be too strange for him to be able to share this knowledge with others. Next we have Kuugo, who seemed to know some things about Isshin, Urahara, and Ichigo. In that respect, he could’ve witnessed even more, such as some things on Ichigo’s friends. Of course, this being a new arc and all, there could even be someone bigger behind all of this. In any case, the question is:
Who informed Tsukishima on Orihime?

Chad and Ichigo will track down Orihime’s reiatsu. After a little while, they’ll suddenly lose all traces of her reiatsu. As they wonder what they could do about it, they will either call Xcution for help, or suddenly find Soul Society at the end of the trail…

That’s it for this week’s review. Nothing too special this week as I didn’t really feel like going too deep into things this week. I’m sure there’s plenty to still be covered, but like I’ve pointed out at the start of this review: Time can be fickle. Anyways, if there’s anything you noticed that didn’t make the review, you know where to reply. 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 March 6, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 439”

  1. Tsukishima is definitely very similar to aizen; he talks in the same needlessly complicated way, carries out plans that make no sense (send your goon to kill a girl, then show up and threaten him to go home. in the process reveal yourself and your power to potential enemies. all while accomplishing nothing!) and threatens the damsal in distress. sheesh, give him a few chapters and he’ll tell ichigo he’s been watching him sense the day he was borne :/

    you know i still dont trust Ginjou, rereading the current arc will show you that every single one of his appearances up to the meeting at Xcution building is played as ominus, with dark shading on Ginjou usually reserved for villains. And if he was telling the truth, then why manipulate ichigo into mistrusting his family and Urahara?

    Just to add to the wackiness, heres another theory i came up with. Ichigo’s boss Ikumi is in on this Xcution thing( because why introduce her if she isnt going to be involved in the plot) and is a fullbringer. Also, looking at her kid, i’ll bet Tsukishima is the father.

  2. Sorry everyone, no review this week. I’m wrapping up a project so I won’t have time to write one until next Sunday.

  3. okay. good luck with your project!

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