The Underscore’s Bleach review 445


445 THE DARK BEAT

Another Sunday, another Bleach review. I think I might get used to writing these on Sundays . I have little to say here this week other than the fact that with Golden week coming there’s probably no chapter next week (or there is one next week, but no chapter the week after that). Guess that leaves me with a free Sunday next week… You know the drill by now, don’t you? Check this poll to give a suggestion on how I could spend the Bleach free Sunday
Anyways, on to the review. Thanks go out to Mangastream and Binktopia for their scanlation!

Bleach chapter 444, The Rising, rated by 34 voters, gets an average score of:

9.5

Awesome

With one of the highest rated chapters I can recall in recent weeks, and a rather great amount of voters as well, last week’s poll might be able to shed a light on what made ‘The Rising’ such a good chapter.

All the voters were impressed by something in the chapter and they were all able to pick something from the poll options as well, eliminating two of the options from the poll.

One voter really enjoyed the conversation Chad and Kuugo had last week. In a way it was good to see Chad wasn’t just goofing around and how the conversation revealed more about Tsukishima.
Another voter couldn’t help but enjoy Jackie getting beaten by Ichigo. You dog you .
Five voters just couldn’t choose as they loved the entire chapter. For it was a good one indeed.

Ichigo managed to impress quite a few voters as well. Eleven of you thought he was the best part of the chapter. The protagonist finally showing signs of, err~~, protagonism -not really a word, I know- was enough to make my day as well. Will we finally be seeing Ichigo involved in the supernatural again?

But in the end, Tsukishima’s stunt has been chosen as the best of the best by fourteen of you. I think I elaborated enough on that in last week’s review on how great Tsukishima’s entrance was. So let’s get on to the review!

One’s Nature

His true self is also violent and, quite frankly, not that smart… can’t really deny that, right?

The chapter starts off with Jackie waking up from Ichigo’s assault. During the time where Ichigo forced her to keep the training going and the moment Tsukishima slashed the Dollhouse, she apparently has endured quite the beating. Whilst Jackie saw the transformation take place, Kuugo is only now seeing the new form Ichigo’s Fullbring has taken on. For someone who was so smug about seeing Ichigo’s Fullbring the first time, he certainly looks surprised now. Chad, at first, was surprised at the sight of this Fullbring as well. But then he thinks back to how it’s always been with Ichigo.

Whenever Ichigo was at his best, meaning in his Bankai state, his Shihakusho transformed as well. Chad put it best by pointing out that Ichigo cloaked himself in his power whenever he used his Bankai. In a way, his Fullbring is now doing the same as well. According to Chad, this form of Fullbring is the ‘clad-type’, which is a rather simple way to categorize it. This makes me wonder whether Chad’s Fullbring can be referred to as the clad-type as well. Either way, Ichigo’s Fullbring seems to be materializing in a way that’s reminiscent to his Shinigami powers.

What’s interesting here as well, is that Kubo once more referred to something he mentioned during the Arrancar saga. First he started with Chad’s powers, hinting that they have a Hollow nature when he first arrived in Hueco Mundo. Which he is now using as the main theme in this new arc. Now he’s referring to Ichigo’s Shihakusho, which got me curious when he first brought it up about a year ago. It’s almost as if Kubo intended to do this arc while he was working on the Arrancar saga… Either way, the first part of this chapter focuses on establishing that Ichigo is still only using his Fullbring and that he hasn’t returned to his spirit body just yet. I can’t help but wonder whether Ichigo being able to use his Shinigami powers in his living body will serve a purpose in the future…

Nice to meet you too!

You’re doing it wrong Tsukishima. You shake a person’s hand, you don’t slash a person’s arm off…

Tsukishima ignores most of what’s happening as he addresses Ichigo to explain why the Dollhouse was dispelled. Where we were first warned that some Fullbring can’t be deactivated even if you take out the user, the Dollhouse Fullbring has to be one of the easiest to undo. After Tsukishima destroyed the box, it automatically ejected all its contents. Tsukishima then moves on to Ichigo’s Fullbring.

Tsukishima compliments Ichigo achieving a Fullbring of this level at the rate he did -all thanks to Aizen, of course- and then decides to skip the formalities by immediately charging at Ichigo. Much to Tsukishima’s surprise, however, the attack is easily parried by Ichigo. The same old Ichigo we’ve seen many times before then asks Tsukishima to identify himself. It’s amusing to see how Ichigo only needs to have Shinigami robes on to suddenly feel confident again. During the previous chapters of this arc, Ichigo was shaken by every little surprise or revelation presented to him. But now, even though he’s suddenly thrown out of the Dollhouse and is attacked out of the blue by an unknown assailant, he calmly analyzes what’s happening. I suppose it’s because Ichigo only feels safe if he knows he can just force his way through any situation.

Tsukishima doesn’t really care too much about Ichigo and his situation, and is only surprised by the fact that Ichigo doesn’t even have a clue as to who he could be. Tsukishima then decides to reveal his identity to Ichigo, much to Chad’s dismay. Even though Kuugo already explained who Tsukishima is, Chad isn’t aware of this fact. Just as Tsukishima wants to tell Ichigo he’s the one who assaulted Ichigo’s friends, the tables turn on him.

CHARGE~!

Remember kids, the best way to keep people quiet is by punching them in the face with the arm of a giant

Chad lunges towards Tsukishima, ready to take him out as quickly as possible. Well, perhaps not as quickly as possible considering he’s using his Brazo del Gigante instead of Brazo del Diablo, but still. Even though it would be ever so satisfying to see Chad’s fist coming into contact with Tsukishima’s face, Kuugo seems to have some problems with that. With the wall being blown out in broad daylight, Kuugo may have a point here.

But rather than Kuugo reprimanding Chad, it’s Yukio who opens his mouth. The reason for him to open his mouth is the bad feeling he’s getting. Riruka then comes storming towards the room yelling and screaming about gaslines and whatnot. I know that it’s more likely that the neighbors Giriko mentions after Riruka comes in are the ones screaming in surprise, but I wouldn’t put it past Riruka to be running around yelling and screaming causing her to draw attention from the neighbors and passerby’s. The reason for me to think this is Yukio’s comment when Riruka enters the room.

Giriko calmly states that he will handle all the people who aren’t involved with this. I wonder whether ‘Time tells no lies’ will play a part in erasing their memories. I wouldn’t be too surprised if it were. What’s more interesting than that, however, is the fact that Yukio seems to be suggesting that he’s Xcution’s benefactor. In a way, Yukio seems a bit spoiled, so being a spoiled rich kid could work for him as well.
Riruka , in the meantime, is her usual self just yelling and screaming for answers instead of observing the situation.

Peek-a-boo

For someone whose on the lookout for an attacker, you sure got caught off guard Chad…

Even though Yukio already called Chad an idiot, Kuugo can’t help but put him in place as well. Most likely because Chad wasn’t even close to Yukio when he called him an idiot . Kuugo tries to calm Chad down, telling him that he shouldn’t have attacked Tsukishima as they can tell Ichigo the truth now. The reason to keep Ichigo in the dark was solely because he had no powers to do anything, which is no longer the case. Chad, however, is still trying to look out for Ichigo as he wants to make sure Ichigo’s Fullbring is strong enough to be used in a fight. With Fullbring being a new concept to Ichigo and all, it only makes sense for him not to be distracted by things such as Orihime being attacked by Tsukishima and all.

Ichigo then tells Chad that he understands, much to Chad’s surprise considering as he was supposed to be talking to Kuugo . Ichigo can’t even look at Chad right now because of what he just heard. His powerlessness was such a burden on everyone, even Chad who first seemed to be the only one willing to keep him informed and involved as much as possible. The odd thing, however, is that Ichigo claims he didn’t know that his friends were looking out for him. About five or six chapters ago, he went to Kuugo to get information he knew was being kept from him by Chad and Orihime. Now he suddenly claims that he didn’t know his friends were keeping him out of trouble? Whatever the case, Chad isn’t happy with the current situation, Ichigo being informed about everything and all. But he doesn’t get the opportunity to straighten things out with Ichigo as Tsukishima suddenly decides to mingle as well.

Walking on sunshine

I don’t think Ichigo quite understands what the song’s about…

Ichigo demands to know whether Tsukishima truly attacked Orihime and Ishida. Tsukishima tries to play it off cool by asking Ichigo what he thinks. Well I think the frames following that question look like a great answer . With Ichigo back in black, Kubo can finally draw out some action scenes again. It starts off with Ichigo charging at Tsukishima much like Tsukishima charged at him at the start of this chapter. Tsukishima then decides to get some distance by jumping into the air using Fullbring. He taunts Ichigo a bit by pointing out how good Ichigo is in this situation. Good thing Ichigo want to show him he hasn’t seen anything just yet.

Ichigo then uses Fullbring on the roof so he can jump higher into the air. The ‘Bringer light’ surrounds his right foot, which for some peculiar reason looks like it isn’t covered by the Fullbring, showing that he can use the Fullbring even though he’s still inexperienced with it. After that, however, Ichigo uses Fullbring on the air to accelerate himself even further. This is where I was a bit annoyed with the chapter. Using concrete´s properties to bounce yourself further is fine by me, but Ichigo suddenly being on such good terms with air so he can create some form of propulsion is just a bit too much in my opinion. Luckily my annoyance was short lived as I came to the realization that there´s probably more to it than just what Chad observed here.

Ichigo mastered Shunpo rather quickly after he actively started exploring his Shinigami powers. In a way, Shunpo is an active part of his Bankai as well. We don´t really know how Shunpo works -at least, I don’t know for sure- besides that it allows Shinigami to walk in the air and to achieve high speed movement. Even the Quincy have a way to achieve similar effects -Hirenkyaku- so for all we know it works similar to Fullbring where energy is transferred into the surroundings so they can stand on air or whatever they want. Kind of like how the tree- and water walking works in Naruto . Assuming that this Fullbring equivalent works in a similar manner, it isn’t as surprising as Chad makes it seem for Ichigo to be able to use it so naturally. Nonetheless, it’s impressive enough for those who are witnessing it, including Tsukishima.

Flawed

This doesn’t look like “cutting through anything”…

Tsukishima notes how Ichigo’s made great progress and has finally started to come into the use of Fullbring. He then points out how Ichigo’s personal Fullbring isn’t quite as impressive just yet. Stating the obvious, he points out that Ichigo’s Fullbring isn’t ready just yet. This is illustrated as a part of Ichigo’s Fullbring is dispelled after a single attack by Tsukishima. What I find to be disappointing here is that Tsukishima isn’t showing his ability to ‘cut through anything’ now. Sure, he’s most likely holding back to toy with Ichigo, but for someone who talks about using a personal Fullbring to its fullest he could at least show off a bit.

Tsukishima then kicks Ichigo down to earth -or the roof of the building in this case- after which he explains that simple attacks are enough to undo parts of the Fullbring, which wouldn’t be the case if it were to be complete. Before moving on to the last part of this chapter, I have to take a quick look at Ichigo’s Fullbring, or more specifically his right arm.

Most of you -if not everyone- probably already noticed that Ichigo’s right arm is almost too reminiscent of the perfected Tensa Zangetsu. Rather than a black chain wrapping around Ichigo’s arm, there’s a black reiatsu. Rather than an actual sword being locked to Ichigo’s hand with a gauntlet, a black blade made of reiatsu is connected to Ichigo’s hand with more black reiatsu. The way that black blade looks is rather strange if you were to ask me as it’s almost a cross between Zangetsu’s Shikai and Bankai. Notice the slim black line on the upper part of the blade, where there’s an opening between it and the thicker bend on the lower part of the “sword”? I wonder whether this is due to the Badge remembering all of Zangetsu’s forms and being unable to choose which form to use. I believe I already mentioned that I think it’s due to Zangetsu’s absence at this moment that Ichigo can’t create a stable form for his right arm. Let’s face it, the purpose for this Fullbring training is to awaken Ichigo’s Shinigami powers, which effectively means awakening Zangetsu -the representation of these powers. My guess is that once the Fullbring establishes a complete form, Ichigo will be able to use his Shinigami powers again.

Hogging the spotlight

Fine then, show us what you’ve got Kuugo…

Tsukishima felt that he told Ichigo enough as he decides to go in for the final strike to end this fight. The attack is then parried, not by Ichigo, but by Kuugo! Oddly, Tsukishima is actually surprised to see this happening. Either that, or he’s surprised that his Fullbring wasn’t able to pierce through Kuugo’s Fullbring. Kuugo has decided that Chad did have a point about Ichigo and as such he shouldn’t let him and Tsukishima face off right now.

Much to Ichigo’s dislike -just look at his expression on the final page- Kuugo decides to end the battle for Ichigo. Whether Kuugo expects Tsukishima to leave or to fight him can’t be said for sure here. For some reason I’m expecting Tsukishima to leave after stating that he isn’t interested in Ichigo as he is now rather than for these two to fight each other here and now. Guess we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks before we’ll find out.

Mixed feelings about the chapter, though all in all I did enjoy it. I’m just a bit disappointed in Chad with this chapter as I was hoping he’d be the one facing off against Tsukishima. The rest of the chapter actually had more going on than you’d expect for a Bleach chapter where a fight breaks out. Ichigo’s Fullbring is confirmed to be a Fullbring and not Ichigo having his Shinigami powers back. Tsukishima shows us that he sees Aizen as a role model -with the provoking and all-, Chad makes sure some action takes place, Ichigo shows off he’s almost ready to go at it, and Kuugo finally decides to step in. A simple, yet effective chapter all in all.

As if it wasn’t obvious judging from last week’s chapter, Ichigo’s Fullbring turns out to be what Chad calls a ‘clad-type’ Fullbring. It was almost too obvious Ichigo’s Fullbring would turn out like this after Jackie revealed her Dirty Boots. But Ichigo’s Fullbring was considered to be going berserk according to Jackie when she first saw it transforming.

How come Jackie, as a Clad-type Fullbringer, wasn’t able to recognize this activation?

Honestly, I’m still going with last week’s prediction on this one, in spite of some things varying a bit. Kuugo will most likely point out how bad the situation truly is for Tsukishima, surrounded by two-and-a-half-Fullbringers and all. Tsukishima will taunt and flee, leaving an angry Ichigo behind.

Here’s where one of two things could happen. Either Shinigami forces will show up to demand Ichigo to surrender for interrogation, or Kuugo will decide to personally train Ichigo in the next stage of his Fullbring mastery. I’m hoping for the Shingami to show up in order to mix things up a bit more .

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 may actually have time to reply on a daily basis again starting this week -if not starting next week! Too bad there’s no chapter next week, due to Golden week and all… I’ll see you guys again next time! Which could be sooner than you guys might think… Anyways, for those of you who replied last week and didn’t get a response, check out the ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’!

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

  1. Awesome review, it seems Tsukishima is not the only one who doing snide remarks for this chapter :PExpected that much after this epic chapter! I loved how Chad is theorizing abilities just like us to Tsukishima’s western style barging in to sudden return of shinigami robes…

    I can’t think what will happen at next chapter, my brain should’ve locked from excitement. Your headspinner also got me. How about if Tsukishima rewrote Ginjou’s memories too? (Or there are really an impostor, like a fullbringer who has memory abilities and using Tsukishima as puppet?)

    It seems Tsukishima has meet them even after he killed ex ones, I wonder why he left them alive if he was on rampage?

    FirstReplierWannabe said this on April 17, 2011 at 6:03 AM (edit)

Glad you enjoyed the review. I wouldn’t call my remarks snide remarks as much as… accurate reports of the truth? :p
It was pretty fun to see how Chad had been thinking about things the same way we were doing. Hadn’t thought of the possiblity of Tsukshima using his Fullbring to erase Kuugo’s memories of it though. Then again, I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t think of it… good catch! 😉
As for whether Tsukishima met up with Yukio, Giriko, Ginjou, Jackie, and Riruka after the attack, I can’t say for sure. Something tells me those five just weren’t present when it took place for whatever reason. Guess time will tell…

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~ by The Underscore on April 24, 2011.

8 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 445”

  1. My post are not lost! Or not forgetten, which one was it? 😀

    Nice review that made me read chapter again because I noticed I skipped lots of things.
    Tsukishima really looks suprised act of Ginjou, he obviously was not expecting Ginjou protects Ichigo, that’s weird.

    And why your all predictions ends with shinigami shows up? ;P

  2. Why did ginjou’s sword shrink? i mean if you go back to the chapter where he first revealed fullbring and brought out his sword, you see that it was huge! now it looks really short…

    Chapter was short but active. Ichigo fighting is nice to see, and Chad is still being a bro, though i had to say, when chad charged at tsukishima i was mentally cursing kubo, thinking “if chad winds up easily beaten and lying in a pool of blood AGAIN kubo, i swear to god…” fortunately that didn’t happen. We seem all set up for Ginjou vs Tsukishima next week, but like you said, id bet 10$ that instead we will get some talking and then Tsukishima leaving.

    P.S if any shinigami does show up, it had better be Rukia. i am desperately missing her presence, she is always a fun character, and her interactions with ichigo make him much less annoying.

  3. P.S.S Seriously, where the hell is Kon!?

  4. @FirstReplierWannabe:
    I believe your post is found!…or remembered?… Now I’m lost :p.

    Glad you enjoyed the review. Good to know it encouraged you to reread the chapter.

    As for my predictions ending with Shinigami showing up… I’m just hoping for Rukia to come back again :D. Once she returns, Kon-sama is bound to return as well, making Bleach whole once more.

    @takashid:
    I know, right? I was a bit bothered by this as well, but I decided not to address this as it will most likely be normal sized in the next chapter.

    I also share your relieve at not seeing Chad in a puddle of his own blood :D. The only thing that’s a bit disappointing is how easily Chad backed off after attacking Tsukishima only once. But Chad’s time will come soon. One day, he’ll be putting other people in puddles of his blood… wait, that didn’t come out right :p

    Tsukishima and Kuugo talking things over before retreating is the most obvious solution for this part of the arc, unless Kubo is set on ending it within the next couple of chapters.

    As for the Shinigami showing up. I’m hoping some Shinigami come to take Ichigo to Soul Society where we’ll find Rukia as the 13th squad lieutenant… with Kon bothering her the entire time of course :).

  5. Kon happen to lost even before Ichigo went to Hueco Mundo though D:

  6. Underscore: If rukia does show up soon, i want it to be an epic entrance, like when she came back to earth after Ulquiorra and Yammi pwned Ichigo. That was really a great return. if theres one character that kubo has always wrote well consistently, its Rukia. i can’t think of a single problem i have with her, compared to ichigo, where i could write an essay on his flaws. As for Tsukishima retreating next chapter… honestly, i hope something else happens, maybe not a fight, but i feel like this weeks chapter will be a boring talking chapter if that happens.

    FirstReplier: Not according to the fillers! 😀 😛

  7. @FirstReplierWannabe:
    Kon had his adventures as Karakurizer, remember? 😉 They aren’t even fillers, his stories as Karakurizer was part of a side story in a couple of Bleach volumes (can’t remember which ones).

    @takashid:
    I want to see Rukia soon as well. If only because she’s a much needed presence for Ichigo. As for a talkative chapter next time… I’m afraid you might just be right.

  8. Underscore: actually, for Kon, i was referring to the current filler arc, which has him meeting this strange green haired girl who looks to be the focus of the filler arc. and this is supposedly after the arrancar arc.

    As for the karakurariser in the manga, its in one of the early volumes in the 30’s i know cause i saw it in a volume i bought last year. Its been that long since kons been in the manga huh…

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