The Underscore’s Bleach review 446


Great, after going through all the trouble of depicting the second part my great adventure on reviewer island, the chapter suddenly shows up… Well then, guess you guys can enjoy both the second part of my adventure and a review for the latest chapter of Bleach, THE DARK BEAT 2. First up, the review using pictures from the Mangastream/Binktopia scanlation!

Bleach chapter 445, THE DARK BEAT, rated by 22 voters, gets an average score of:



With Tsukishima and Kuugo meeting face to face after such a long time, there was plenty that could happen. Here’s what you guys predicted in last week’s poll would happen in this week’s chapter.

One voter felt Kuugo should step aside to let Ichigo handle things. That would be the quickest way for Ichigo to get back into action.
Then we have a tie between two voters who feel Chad should just handle things, and two voters who feel Tsukishima should run like crazy! Chad handling things would be great. Tsukishima retreating, however, would be a bit too soon for this week’s chapter. Then again, Tsukishima leaving would mean Ichigo would train sooner and everything would move along faster.
Six voters saw the senselessness in all this fighting and realized that Tsukishima and Kuugo should have a nice cup of tea to sort things out. Wouldn’t the world be a great place if we all were to do that?… yeah, I wouldn’t read a manga about that either… or would I?
Nine voters thought things would be grim as they felt certain nothing would happen. It’s happened plenty of times before, where it seemed like something would happen, only for it not to happen at all.
But with ten votes, the most popular option in last week’s poll is the most basic: FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!


I think you’ve been dumped… good thing you brought comfort food?

As you’d expect after a cliffhanger like we had in the previous chapter, this chapter starts out with something that’s hardly related. Sushigawara returns to Tsukishima’s place with some groceries. Apparently, Tsukishima wanted some honey or something, forcing Shishigawara -yes, I used Sushigaware just a sentence ago – to go two towns over in order to get it for him. Quite the housewife, isn’t he?

Either way, Shishi comes back home after the groceries, finding he’s alone. He first looks around the place, coming to the only natural conclusion… Tsukishima’s taking a dump! Oddly, he isn’t that far off .

This first scene was probably meant to show us that Tsukishima truly has decided to attack Xcution on his own. Before, there was still a chance for Shishi to show up and back him up a bit. This, however, shows us both Shishigawara’s uselessness as well as Tsukishima’s preparations for battle. I also can’t help but wonder, why is Shishi so dedicated to Tsukishima?


Kuugo’s thoughts: ‘Mine’s bigger than yours!’

Tsukishima can’t help but mock Kuugo for interfering with his fight. It’s not too strange, considering that Ichigo’s Fullbring has already been reduced to half its size. Kuugo isn’t too bothered by this remark, pointing out they’re already in conflict over the discussion of who is interfering with whom. It almost seems like we might be getting the cup of tea from the polls, though Ichigo isn’t too eager about this.

Ichigo demands that Kuugo gets out of his way as he can handle things fine on his own. Even though Kuugo tries to talk Ichigo out of it first, Ichigo’s thirst for battle makes him too unreasonable. This brings Kuugo to the only option left, to knock Ichigo out. Kuugo hits Ichigo on the back of his head, bringing him to the ground. As Ichigo lies there squirming, Kuugo explains that Ichigo is no longer in a state to fight because his body’s worn out. He points out that Ichigo’s hardly breathing (no thanks to him) and that his death wouldn’t serve his purpose.

Once again, Ichigo’s impatience causes trouble for him. Still frustrated with his previous powerlessness, Ichigo feels that the current state of his Fullbring is enough to deal with the likes of Tsukishima. In a way it’s understandable for Ichigo to react like this, with the person who attacked his friends in front of him. Then again, I believe we’ve pointed out more than once that Ichigo’s erratic behavior is rather uncalled for. Kuugo tries stopping Ichigo by using a different excuse, rather than saying Ichigo isn’t prepared mentally, pulling out the physical condition card. Part of me understands that Fullbring can tire a person out rapidly (e.g. the first time Chad used his powers), but you can’t tell me someone with Ichigo’s unique characteristics wouldn’t be able to handle the Fullbring and a couple of blows to the head. Still, for now it’s best that Ichigo cools off a bit.

Clash of the Fullbringers

Aizen vs. Ganju?

Considering Ichigo taken out, Tsukishima asks Kuugo why he’d bother getting in his way as it would only result in death. Kuugo, however, feels this clash is inevitable as they are once more in a disagreement, this time concerning whose death would be imminent in a battle between the two of them.

Kuugo goes for the offense, charging towards Tsukishima with a flurry of attacks and forcing him to leave the rooftop. I can’t help but be intrigued by Tsukishima’s fighting style. Every single fight we’ve seen from him, he waits for his opponent to come to him before retaliating. With Ishida, he just turned his back to him while fleeing up to a certain distance before launching a counter attack. With Orihime, he didn’t do anything until Orihime activated her Santen Kesshun -which in terms of Orihime is a major attack-, which resulted in him attacking her from behind. Then came Ichigo, where he allowed Ichigo to push him back into a corner before he went into the offence. Now, with Kuugo, Tsukishima’s doing the same. I can’t help but wonder whether this has something to do with his personality, or with his Fullbring.

Kuugo’s battle style, however, is rather unexpected. In spite of having such a big sword, he goes for an all out assault with a quick series of attacks. The speed of the attacks is rather impressive considering the Fullbring’s size. But I would have expected Kuugo to be more of a hard hitter, much like Komamura’s style of ‘Hit them once, hit them hard’, you know?

Either way, the two of them left the building, leaving Ichigo behind with Chad.

Chad’s (unintended) revenge

Use the force Ichigo… oh, wait, you don’t have any!

As you’d expect from Ichigo, he still wants to finish the fight on his own. As Kuugo forces Tsukishima to a different location, Chad arrives to stop Ichigo from pursuing them. Chad points out that the difference in experience with Fullbring is just too great for Ichigo to win. Even though Ichigo has fought plenty battles with similar situations, Chad knows that at this time it is still too much for Ichigo.
Ichigo, however, doesn’t want to hear it. Pointing out that he can’t let Orihime and Ishida’s attacker, he can only throw a tantrum as he runs after Kuugo and Tsukishima.

I really don’t like the way Ichigo is behaving right now. Remember when the Arrancar came to town and Ichigo told Chad to back off? Ichigo had his reasons to stop him, which were well founded considering the situation at that time. But now the tables have turned, where Chad has to advice Ichigo to back off. Rather than recognizing this situation and acknowledging Chad’s advice, Ichigo just acts like a child. Chad, however, isn’t really trying to stop Ichigo here either. Chad could easily hold Ichigo down until he comes to his senses, yet all he does is call out his name in a futile attempt to stop Ichigo. I guess(/hope) that Chad just understands both Ichigo and this situation too well to truly stop Ichigo. Then again, I would’ve loved to see Chad getting his revenge for what Ichigo did to him back then >.


Now you’re just being silly

The fight between Tsukishima and Kuugo continues as we see both fighters aptly dodging each other’s attacks. Kuugo uses one of his evasions into the air as an opportunity to show off his Fullbring ability. By holding the second hilt of his Fullbring, Kuugo is able to channel his reiatsu to form a blade of energy. For what it lacks in originality -just look at Tsukishima’s face as he witnesses this- it makes up in destructive power. Swinging down his Blasting Zone attack -reference to Final Fantasy VIII’s limit break used by the main character Squall- Kuugo brings down the house and Tsukishima with it.

I honestly don’t know what this ability of Kuugo’s supposed to be. Perhaps it’s channeling spirituality to ward off evil, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m a bit disappointed by it. Speaking of people with disappointing Fullbrings, Tsukishima manages to cut through Kuugo’s attack and aims to gouge out Kuugo’s eye in the process. Kuugo is grazed by the attack as he moves to a safer distance.

Tsukishima then asks the most practical question of the chapter: What of the people? Kuugo just destroyed an entire building only to fail at taking out Tsukishima in the process. Kuugo, however, explains that he’s only been fighting on empty buildings this entire time. Could it be that Kuugo is capable of sensing that the buildings are empty, or could it be possible that Kuugo has memorized all of the streets surrounding Xcution’s headquarters so he’d know where to fight in a situation like this? Honestly, I’m hoping for the latter.


The speed phantom always rings twice

Ichigo managed to find Tsukishima and Kuugo, and immediately goes for a back attack. Tsukishima easily blocked the attack, telling Ichigo once more that his Fullbring just isn’t ready yet and that he doesn’t understand why Ichigo would attack him in spite of this. Ichigo, however, is done talking as his Fullbring once more covers him entirely, much to Tsukishima’s surprise.

Tsukishima is pushed back by Ichigo’s sudden increase in power. He then asks himself what many have wondered before, where does Ichigo’s potential and quick adaption to power come from? I would like to say it’s all thanks to Aizen as it’s just entertaining to see how Aizen’s presence is still a determining factor in Ichigo’s capabilities. But we shouldn’t forget that Aizen never pointed out what made this evolution rate capable. Aizen used the potential to mold Ichigo into the subject he wanted to have, but the potential’s origins was only described as Ichigo being part human and Shinigami. Taking his sisters into the equation, you’d understand why that just doesn’t cut it. Where’s Aizen or Urahara’s explanation on this when you need it?

But Tsukishima then raises a more important matter than Ichigo’s potential for development. He tells Ichigo that he likes Ichigo as he is right now as his powers are closest to his Shinigami powers than they’ve been in quite some time. It’s too bad that we can’t get a clear picture of Ichigo’s Fullbring in its current state. Somehow I get the impression that it has actually changed to look closer to Ichigo’s Bankai right now. But we can’t see his right arm at all, let alone a full image of his Shihakusho. Still, there’s two issues with Tsukishima’s claim.

First, there’s the fact that Tsukishima knows how powerful Ichigo’s powers were before. Where did he get the information from? Does he have ties with Aizen, or did he see them first hand? If he has ties with Aizen, what could his motives be? If he saw the powers first hand, why would Aizen overlook Tsukishima like this?

The second issue, however, is the fact that Ichigo’s Fullbring is supposedly reaching his Bankai levels of power. Let’s face it, Ichigo’s Bankai never was much about raising his Reiatsu as much as it was to channel it better. But somehow Ichigo’s Fullbring managed to draw so much power out of Ichigo that he’d reach his old levels of power. How could that be all of a sudden? Ichigo had no powers two or three days ago, yet now he’s almost back to his best state? Though I don’t mind the fact that Ichigo is quickly regaining his old powers, I don’t like the suggestion that Tsukishima is (and effectively a couple of more Fullbringers are) just as powerful or even more powerful than Ichigo was as a Shinigami.

Downloading Bleach

Alright people, Kubo’s just okayed the downloading of Bleach!

Before Tsukishima can say any more, a black cloud of sorts covers Ichigo. This black cloud isn’t so much puffy as it is pixilated. Catching Ichigo off guard, the pixilated cloud carries Ichigo off somewhere right passed Tsukishima. We then see a save screen, making it even more obvious whose responsible. Tsukishima comments on how the person responsible wouldn’t want Ichigo to come in contact with Tsukishima. We then see that Yukio is the next in line to face off against Tsukishima.

We may finally learn more about Yukio and Tsukishima’s issues in the next chapter. For some reason, I get the feeling that there’s more to Yukio than we’ve been led to believe. Whether that’s the case or not, we’ll have to wait until the next chapter to know for sure.

Having a chapter come out a week sooner than expected is always nice. Too bad it means the break has only been moved a week. Still, could be worst. The chapter was pretty decent. The part with Shishigawara was rather pointless as it could’ve been handled with three pannels instead of two pages. Kuugo’s fight with Tsukishima certainly looked entertaining and it was good to see that there was a good balance between fighting and talking. Kuugo and Yukio’s abilities were partially revealed, giving a gist of what they might do (more on Yukio’s ability in this week’s headspinner).

But the central theme in this chapter was once more Ichigo’s frustrations towards his powerlessness. Ichigo is so eager to prove to himself and others that he’s ready, that he will go against everyone in order to prove it. In a way it makes sense that he can’t really rely on others. His friends keep him in the dark the entire time, he has doubts whether he can trust his family and Urahara, he can’t call on Rukia for help, and Xcution is just as untrustworthy as all of the previous put together. Ichigo just wants power so he can make sense of things again, which I think Kubo is portraying rather nicely during the past couple of chapters.

All in all I enjoyed the chapter. The story progressed nicely and had a bit of everything in it without it being underwhelming. The art was as good as you’d expect from Bleach -fixing last week’s error with Kuugo’s Fullbring in the process- though I can’t help but feel reminded of other characters when looking at some of the new ones. Still, a good chapter.

This week’s chapter showed us Yukio’s Fullbring in action. Where it was only obvious that his ability would have something to do with his PSP, the ability itself was still a mystery. We saw that a pixilated cloud was produced, which took Ichigo away turned into a black rectangle. The save screen on the next page would suggest that Ichigo is being stored on the PSP, however, if you look at the last two pages you’ll see that it won’t quite work like that. For one, the black code cloud moves to Tsukishima’s left side, whereas Yukio is standing on Tsukishima’s right side. Rather than storing Ichigo on his PSP, it seems like Yukio is sending him somewhere else. So here’s the headspinner: Is Yukio’s Fullbring sending Ichigo to a different dimension, or is it transmitting him to a different device, or is it something completely different?

In the next chapter, we’ll find out what happened to Ichigo. Wherever he may wind up, Ichigo won’t like it. As Ichigo starts thinking to himself how bummed his is by everyone keeping him out of the picture, Tsukishima will talk to Yukio a bit. Tsukishima will hint to whatever happened to Yukio because of him as Yukio will explain why he wants to keep Ichigo away. Just for funs, it could be that Yukio will reveal himself to be the actual new leader of Xcution . After the conversation between Tsukishima and Yukio, Riruka will find Ichigo and confront him on how he’s not being himself. As Ichigo redefines himself, his Fullbring will come to a more stable form.

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 time! For those of you interested in my adventures on reviewer island, keep reading!

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


~ by The Underscore on May 1, 2011.

7 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 446”

  1. This should be fastest review we ever going to get 😛

    ‘Invaders must die’?? Kubo using 80s albums to name fullbrings!

    I think Ichigo got his status frozen by being ‘saved’. I wonder if Yukio can copy & paste him?

  2. Yukio needs to delete that main character so we can get a new one…
    Seriously, what an annoying control freak. Throughout all the arrancar arcs ichigo is constantly telling his friends to back down, that they arent strong enough, “let me handle it”. Yet now when the tables are turned he throws a hissy fit because he “has” to be the one fighting and protecting. If this is a character flaw, then kubo either needs to make it actually seem like a flaw (as in, have something bad happen to ichigo as a result of his stupidity) or have someone call ichigo out on this. I think my biggest problem with this is that even though he always acts reckless and stupid like this latest chapter, Ichigo always survives/wins in the end. At least One Piece shows that luffy’s idiocy can cause problems, and that he wont always win.

    However, let it be seen that i am not only here to bitch! other then ichigo’s tantrum, i enjoyed this chapter. The fight between ginjou and tsukishima was short but intense, and i loved it. Most likely the next chapter will be the talking/tsukishima leaving one, but now it feels like that makes more sense. Oh, and i hope chad punches ichigo in the face when he gets back.

  3. ich finde diesen artikel wirklich interessant. kannst du nicht einen “gefällt-mir” button von facebook einbauen?

  4. @FirstReplierWannabe:
    The reviews used to come out quicker than this ;). Still, this review did come out quicker than the other reviews I’ve posted in the last couple of months.

    As for the ‘Invaders must die’, it did sound familiar. I thought it had something to do with the game Invaders, rather than an album.

    Yukio copying and pasting save files could be interesting to see. Then again, I doubt cloning is something that would work out right in Bleach.

    I agree that Ichigo is acting rather compulsive in his desire to handle things by himself. You can say what you want about Ichigo winning all the time, but even if he acts stupid during fights, there’s often someone to focus him on his goal (be it a flash back or Zangetsu). Perhaps the reason Ichigo is acting this way is because Zangetsu isn’t there to channel his stupidity? 😀

    The chapter overall was a pretty good one, though I admit that Ichigo was pushing his luck a bit with his behavior. Still, the Sushigawara bit bothered me more than Ichigo for some reason…
    Still, I’d love to see Chad punching Ichigo 😀

    Glad you found this review to be interesting. You can expect these to come out on a weekly basis, usually on a Sunday. I can’t really put up a Facebook button, as I don’t use it :). Still, you can subscribe to this blog using WordPress ;).

  5. Underscore: the shishi bit bothered me as well. Why was that there? or rather, why was it three pages long? We could have used those pages to expanded on the awesome fight between ginjou and tsukishima! and thank god you don’t use a Facebook button Underscore, im so tired of seeing that everywhere.

    As for ichigo, i guess you weren’t bothered by his actions as much as i was, but it seemed hypocritical of him to ignore chad after telling him to stand down before. Regardless, its obvious he needs someone to keep him in check. That someone is obviously Rukia (and zangetsu whenever he appeared) but now that they are gone ichigo is becoming annoyingly hard to watch. someone needs to smack him and open his eyes, and so far Chad and Orihime are too nice to do so. Ishida might do it, but he is still in the hospital. Why is ishida still hurt btw? haven’t we seen that Orihime has her powers? why hasn’t she healed him?

  6. Underscore =
    I was lurking here for long, didn’t noticed that you were fast 😛

    About naming fullbring Kubo really seems to using song names;
    -Time Tell No Lies from Praying Mantis
    -Dirty Boots from Sonic Youth
    -Invaders Must Die from The Prodigy

    I didn’t able to find Dollhouse or Book of the End though…
    Coincidence? I wonder after knowing Kubo is such music geek 😀

  7. @takashid:
    I know, right? Three friggin pages!
    As for the Facebook button. I hardly have time as is, let alone to manage a Facebook on the side.

    I’ll admit that Ichigo is being rather hypocritical, but can you blame him? You already noticed two of the reasons for his behavior as well: He’s already lost his inner guide (Zangetsu), learned that he can’t trust his father and Urahara (rather, that they don’t trust him because he’s powerless), his friends keep him out of the loop (because he’s powerless), and he can’t rely on Rukia to help him as he can’t see her (because he’s powerless). See the common denominator? 😉

    Sadly Chad isn’t the right person to put Ichigo in his place as he has too much faith in him. Orihime’s useless in that respect as well. The only one of his friends that would be able to set him straight is Ishida as you already pointed out, which almost makes it seem like Ishida being targeted first may be part of Tsukishima’s master plan. Of course, the best people to set Ichigo straight just aren’t there (Rukia and (of course) Kon (:p)). As for why Orihime hasn’t healed Ishida… She tends not to use her powers on injured people quite a lot, doesn’t she? Just look at every appearance she’s made in Bleach were there’s someone whose injured. She hardly ever decides to undo the damage!… I’d say she’s just lazy…

    (Grumpy old man mode->) Back in my day, I used to be a lot faster than those young’n reviewers nowadays I tell ya!

    (Goofy reviewer mode->) The fact that Kubo uses song names was one I kind of missed, though it doesn’t surprise me at all :). I’m bad with song titles, so I couldn’t really make the link between the two. Maybe I should listen to the music on YouTube… My guess is that Dollhouse and Book of the End were just added for fun, or maybe they’re songs from more obscure bands (boy is my face gonna be red when it turns out that the songs and their bands are actually well known :P).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: