The Underscore’s Bleach review 442


442 Battlefield Shallows, Otherfield Abyss

Boy did I have a great time at Reviewer Island(?). Not having anything to review I had plenty of time to, well, waste . And waste it I did. For those of you who missed how I wasted my time, I refer you to this page. That’s right, I finally had an adventure of my own. What happened on my great adventure you ask? That’s something that you may find out the next time there’s no Jump . Anyways, let’s just get on with this week’s chapter, shall we? This week’s pictures come from the Mangastream and Binktopia scanlation as usual, so thanks go out to them for taking the time and effort to scanlate it for us.

 

Bleach chapter 440, Mute Friendship, rated by 17 voters, gets an average score of:

7.7

Great

Bleach chapter 441, Brocken Spotlight, rated by 18 voters, gets an average score of:

8.8

Great

Moodswing

It’s what some readers said about Ichigo at the start of this arc…

The chapter starts off with Riruka walking away. For once, Kuugo cares whether Riruka leaves as she is the one responsible for keeping Ichigo and Jackie inside the aquarium. He says something about having to break down her dollhouse if she leaves, which makes little sense to me. Could it be that the aquarium Riruka is now using consists of parts used to create the dollhouse she used before? That would explain why her Fullbring works this well with the aquarium. What’s even stranger here is that Riruka doesn’t really care about the box or the training, saying she isn’t interested in “today’s person”.

Basically everything that’s needed for Riruka’s Dollhouse doesn’t apply. At least, that’s how I see it. I suppose the whole “emotional attachment” thing works in both positive and negative emotions, but I’m not sure why her Dollhouse would work on Ichigo and the aquarium. The aquarium is a different object from the Dollhouse, so the attachment should be different. Then again, the Dollhouse and the aquarium both serve a similar purpose, so we could let this one slip. But then she said she didn’t like today’s person, referring to Ichigo with his renewed resolve to regain his powers. But if she doesn’t like him the way he is now, how is her Fullbring still in effect? Guess that if she cares enough to not be interested in Ichigo as he is now, it’s enough for her Fullbring to work. In the end, it’s all the same, so I didn’t have to bother mentioning this. Still, it’s something I thought was a bit strange.

What’s stranger, however, is the fact that Riruka isn’t interested in “today’s Ichigo”. It’s not like she knows Ichigo well enough to know that he’s actually different from his usual self. Even so, Ichigo isn’t that different from his usual self now is he? Sure, he’s lost his trust in a lot of the people around him, but does that really show in his current resolve? All we know is that Ichigo wants his powers back, which is the same as before. On the plus side of all of this is the fact that Ichigo isn’t distracted by things such as the aquarium. I’m just hoping Ichigo will keep this resolve long enough to regain his Shinigami powers, or at least until he’s battle ready.

As Riruka leaves, Yukio finally decides he should say something. He doesn’t have anything useful to say, however. He only mentions how he dislikes Riruka when she acts the way she’s acting now. The only thing that’s worth mentioning here is the fact that Yukio only speaks if he feels the mood is right and he has permission. Now, to move on.

Battle sense

Why else would he be the protagonist?

Ichigo and Jackie have a stare down in the aquarium. Jackie breaks the silence by asking Ichigo why he hasn’t attacked her yet. Ichigo then reacts same as he always does when facing an opponent he feels confident of beating: saying he’s waiting for them to pull out all the stops. Jackie is rather surprised to hear Ichigo usually does the same during real battles. But let’s face it, it’s Ichigo’s fighting style. He explained it best during his fight with Grimmjow (is Grimmjow still alive?). I could elaborate here, though I think it’s better for you to reread the chapters (or watch the anime if you prefer). Either way, Ichigo’s making his return step by step, and this is an important one. Jackie takes the bait and decides to take out her Fullbring.

Kicking up some mud, Jackie activates her ‘Muddy Boots’ Fullbring. A black reiatsu, reminiscent of Ichigo’s, wraps around Jackie. The force of the reiatsu is enough to blow the water around Jackie’s legs away. As the reiatsu settles, she gets a new outfit as a result. In a way, Jackie’s Fullbring resembles Ichigo’s Bankai. The black reiatsu, an outfit that is part of the object, and most importantly… the speed.

The speed phantom’s rival?

People she’ll be slower than… Ichigo, Byakuya, Yoruichi…

Before the waves around Jackie have time to settle, she already vanished out of sight. Jackie appears right behind Ichigo, preparing to kick him to his death -assuming that the Fullbring actually increases her physical strength- as her foot sweeps down to her target. With more splashing, Ichigo manages to dodge the initial attack. Both Jackie and Ichigo appear to be surprised at this feat -though Ichigo is most likely saying it to pull Jackie’s leg-, though Ichigo is more than used to fighting high speed battles. Much like we’ve seen at the start of this new arc, Ichigo’s body is still in the same condition as it was 17 months ago. With him gaining spiritual powers, his awareness of his surroundings must be increasing as well. As such, his reflexes and instincts are quick enough. The fact that Ichigo was able to move out of the way so fast, however, is rather surprising.

After falling back into his bad habit of letting his opponent getting to their full power, Ichigo’s other bad habit shows itself again. Only after letting his opponent get to the point where (s)he can use the unknown ability, does he want to know what that ability is by asking them. What’s more, Ichigo actually asks one of the dumbest questions he could ask before he gets to that point. He wants to know whether there are Fullbrings that you can wear around your body… Admittedly, Chad’s arms are actually the skin of his arms transforming, but still…

Jackie admits that the outfit is her Fullbring, though she refuses to tell what ability it gives her. Then again, the most obvious one would have to be high speed travel (boots being used to travel, and the high speed because we’ve seen in only moments ago). But Ichigo doesn’t really care either way, enjoying the fact that he can experience a battle like he used to as a Shinigami: Facing off against enemies who have unique abilities that only show themselves in due time. With almost too much enjoyment, Ichigo fires off his Getsuga Rasentenshou to force Jackie to reveal her hand.

Cell phones in traffic

and they say women are good at multitasking…

As Ichigo decides to face off against his opponent in order to see what power is hidden within, Orihime is faced with the hidden power of a telephone pole… At least she finally has an excuse to be this airheaded as she’s most likely still thinking of what happened to her during her confrontation with Tsukishima. On the other end of the line, Chad asks Orihime if she’s doing alright. Orihime then explains to Chad what happened to her during her fight with Tsukishima.

I think I already covered my thoughts on Tsukishima’s ability in the previous review… meh, might as well repeat myself if I did . My guess is that Book of the End rewrites hearts -sounds really familiar… I think I did mention this before-, being key to Tsukishima getting his flunkies and manipulating his opponents. This could be an especially good weapon to use against Fullbringers, causing their affection towards the items they use to disappear if desired. What’s interesting, however, is that the rewriting doesn’t happen unconsciously. What’s the point of making someone believe you’re his/her friend if he/she already knows this isn’t true? Apparently, this ability is fearsome enough to cause Orihime to be this wary.

Chad takes in as much of the information as he can, now getting to the main point of their conversation. Does Orihime know who she was facing? The answer? Tsukishima and Sushigawara!

Subconscious revenge

Awesome response

Sushigawara apparently lacks both brains as well as manners, not putting his hand in front of his face when sneezing. The one to suffer is Tsukishima. With his food getting an unwanted spice, Tsukishima cleans up and decides to continue his story. He tells Shishi that he’s already served his purpose. Shishi then reacts by saying he, as Tsukishima’s underling, can’t just stay put while Tsukishima is doing whatever it is he’s planning. Tsukishima then reminds Shishi that he never made Shishi his underling. But apparently, Shishi feels Tsukishima’s plans are noble enough to become his underling. This is almost as interesting as Tsukishima not wanting underlings, yet having a power that is rather convenient for that very purpose.

Ignoring Shishi’s rant on wanting to become Tsukishima’s underling, he explains that they’re done with Orihime now. But the way he says this is a bit dubious. The most obvious explanation would be that attacking her once is enough to rile up Ichigo, so attacking her again would only be a waste of time and energy. But what about the whole ‘sense of friendship’ that he caused Orihime to experience? Could this be part of a bigger plan, or just a random side effect of his Fullbring reacting to his state of mind at that moment? No answers on that, though we do learn what the next step is in Tsukishima’s plan. Or rather, we get some confirmation on Kuugo’s speculations.

Tsukishima thinks of the next step in his plan, considering attacking Chad first. Sadly, he is more inclined to face off against Ichigo directly right now, rather than to get beaten by Chad. Tsukishima seems to be really curious about Kuugo’s response to a sudden confrontation between himself and Ichigo. Whatever he’ll choose, we won’t know until it happens. I doubt we’ll find out next week, but we’ll find out whether we’ll find out then as this chapter ends.

A rather enjoyable chapter in my opinion. Riruka clearing the way, Jackie’s Fullbring, Ichigo finally getting back into his battle crazy mood, Chad actually doing some research on his own rather than relying on Xcution from the start, and finally Sushi sneezing on Tsukishima.
Riruka’s response to Ichigo was a bit out of place, like I mentioned before, especially considering she only knows him for a day or four tops. Nonetheless, at least it attended us to the fact that Ichigo is behaving a bit differently, most likely because of his loss of trust in his friends and father. Jackie’s Fullbring is pretty interesting in my opinion. The fact that it is so similar to Tensa Zangetsu interests me, though the blatant resemblance might be a bit too much. I don’t know, for some reason, Jackie is the least annoying of the Fullbringers in my opinion.

Ichigo fighting the same as he did during his battle with Grimmjow was nice to see. He even adapted to his new weapon instinctively with a new stance and everything. At least this shows that Ichigo is making great progress in achieving his new powers in order to regain his old ones. I’m actually looking forward to seeing a training with a more serious battle as an outline.

Chad’s conversation with Orihime was to be expected, seeming as how it was announced in the previous chapter. At least it was over quickly and Kubo managed to squeeze out a Sushigawara joke in the seriousness of it all .

The part with Tsukishima and Shishigawara was good as well. Sure, I don’t really get why Shishigawara would so easily rejoin Tsukishima after being threatened by the latter, though judging from the way Tsukishima acts it was all probably just a ruse to lure Orihime into fighting. Still, Tsukishima not being bothered after being sneezed on and casually continuing his conversation while ignoring most Shishi said was something I wasn’t really expecting to happen, which was why I found it to be so entertaining. Tsukishima plotting to go after Ichigo next, rather than Chad, certainly is a nice twist, though not exactly illogical. I’ll get to that in the headspinner.

All in all, a good chapter in my opinion. Nice pacing, enough variety, and an interesting ending. Is there anything more you’d want from a chapter?

Mentioning Grimmjow’s battle in this review made me think back on the Arrancar arc and all. During that arc there were the Espada, Arrancar that could match the Soul Society captains in power -theoretically. Sure, towards the end of arc they looked rather weak in comparison to the (former) Soul Society captains, but this doesn’t change the fact that Orihime, Ishida, and Chad were completely unable to beat any of them. The only one who would have been capable of dealing with all the Arrancar would have to be Ichigo, and that would only have been towards the end of the arc after training under Tensa Zangetsu. Still, Ichigo lost all that power, whilst the other three remained as they were during that arc-in terms of power.

Perhaps Chad and Ishida grew stronger over time, though I doubt they’d be able to take on anything higher than the flying pumpkin (at best) in terms of power (yes, I’m talking about Zommari). Still, the introduction of the Fullbringers in this new arc almost suggests that they are a new force to be reckoned with, but are they really? There’s no denying that they are more powerful than fodder Shinigami, as that would be too boring. But I get the feeling they wouldn’t even be able to take on a Privaron-Espada -except Tsukishima and Kuugo, obviously. The reason I think this has to do with the fact that we haven’t seen any interference from Soul Society as of yet. Most likely because any seated officer in the Gotei 13 would wipe out the majority of the Fullbringers .

This brings me to the headspinner, which explains why Tsukishima is going after Ichigo rather than Chad:
Could Chad possibly be the strongest of all the people in Karakura town that would take up arms (which means excluding Urahara etc.)?

Just think about it: Ichigo is powerless, while he still has the strength to beat a Privaron Espada with relative ease. Sure, Nnoitra blew him away, but like I said, the same would probably happen to the other Fullbringers.

Next week, we’ll probably see more of Ichigo’s training with Jackie. He’ll probably evolve his Fullbring another step, most likely getting a coat or something, same as what happens with his Bankai. Let’s face it, it’s the most obvious choice in power-up considering the question he posed to Jackie in this week’s chapter . Meanwhile, Chad will return to Xcution to ask them what they know about Tsukishima and Sushigawara. But he’ll probably find Riruka before he finds Kuugo, that way he’ll find out Ichigo is starting to rush his training. Chad will then decide to leave Ichigo alone for a bit while he asks Riruka to explain everything she can about Tsukishima and his motives. After Chad leaves, Ichigo will have improved his Fullbring and go home to rest up. As he rests up, he’ll be confronted by Tsukishima…

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! (There’s a new header for the chapter ratings! ) I’ll see you guys again next week!

 

 

Rate this week’s chapter by clicking on the picture above!

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~ by The Underscore on April 2, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 442”

  1. “It’s what some readers said about Ichigo at the start of this arc…”
    hmm? i have no idea what your talking about Underscore, i still haven’t stopped saying it yet. At least when it comes to ichigo. He is as boring as ever, going through an almost exact replica of his character development in the visard introduction, but with more stupid. the fact that he would even consider the possibility that Urahara is “the bad guy” says a lot about how stupid ichigo is and how he is being played like a violin. I could go into more detail on this, but the simple fact that Urahara sealed aizen, and didnt try to pull some evil attack when everyone was beat up (and ichigo was powerless) should be proof that he isn’t planning some secret evil, just waiting for the right moment, because if he was then he had a perfect one at the end of the war and instead choose to go back to his shop.

    I am glad that kubo started showing more then one perspective this chapter and i hope it continues. It reminds me a little of Soul society; a lot of mystery, many different characters starting to act at once and clues being droped (like Rukia’s transmission or whatever to ichigo) that seem to hint that everything is not what it seems. For once it feels like i may not predcit the plot twist, which would be a first in a long while. Lets hope this development continues and Kubo doesn’t go back to spending a whole chapter on just ichigo fighting.

  2. Guess I should have said: ‘It’s what some readers have been saying about Ichigo from the start of this arc…’ instead :).

    I agree that Ichigo is rather dimwitted in believing that Urahara can’t be trusted. But maybe this has to do with his lack of powers and the fact that it is Xcution who is helping him regain his powers, and not Urahara.

    Kubo using multiple perspectives really makes it feel like there’s a lot more going on, doesn’t it? I’m just hoping you’re right when it comes to Kubo giving us a twist we don’t see coming.

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