The Underscore’s Bleach review 451


451 Welcome to our Execution 4

Going from an early review back to one in the weekends. What’s worse, I didn’t even have the time to reply to comments because of work . Finally I got the time to sit down for some Bleach! The review is a little bit rushed, just so you know. But I have some late spring cleaning to do as well… Anyways, thanks go out to Mangastream and Binktopia for providing the scanlation that will be used in this week’s review.

 

Bleach chapter 450, Blind Solitude, rated by 19 voters, gets an average score of:

6.6

Average

Ichigo wasn’t able to “read” Kuugo, which is an odd thing as Ichigo has always been capable of doing so. So what could this mean? Here’s what you guys thought:

At least all of the voters agreed that this doesn’t mean that there’s no depth to Kuugo’s character. Let’s face it, when Kubo makes a character, there’s always more to him/her than meets the eye.

We had one voter who didn’t care about this, one that feels Kuugo is capable of hiding himself from Ichigo’s ability, and one who told me through a reply (see the ‘Posts that were lost, but not forgotten’ section).

Then we have another tie between voters who believe that it has something to do with Kuugo’s Fullbring, and those who just don’t know. Both options got two votes each.

Tying in third place, there’s two options with three votes each. Three voters believe that this is a sign of Kuugo being far more powerful than Ichigo, which wouldn’t be too farfetched considering the current situation. Three other voters feel that Kuugo only has eyes for Tsukishima, same as how Gin never looked at Ichigo.

Five voters just think Kuugo not being read means he’s awesome. Just awesome.

But seven voters just feel Kuugo not being read makes him more suspicious than he was before. Just suspicious… Sadly, we don’t get an answer in this week’s chapter. Instead, we get something else…

Rivals in love(?)

Could this mean that Orihime and Riruka are friends?

Bleach starts off with colors this week, giving us a picture of Orihime and Riruka hugging in the rain while wearing similar outfits. Dare I say it, they actually look kind of cute here. Almost makes me forget how annoyed I can be by both of them at times. Then again… Anyways, not too sure what to make of the text here. With Orihime hugging Riruka it would suggest that the two of them are great buddies and all. Guess it could work like that for girls? Just share donuts, wear matching outfits, and like the same guy and you’re set? Anyways, I kind of like this picture. It’s odd that Kubo made their legs so long, though. Though the characters in Bleach have always had long legs, I somehow get the impression that they’re longer in this picture. Or maybe that’s because the skirts these girls are wearing are so short while the boots are so long… Oh well let’s get to the content of this week’s chapter shall we? Then again, this picture might have been chosen by Kubo precisely because of the chapter’s contents.

Blinded

Yeah Kubo! What if Ichigo wanted to see the girls in miniskirts!

After having both his eyes cut by Kuugo, Ichigo doesn’t understand why he’d do something like this. Then again, he’s probably more crossed at Kuugo stopping Orihime from healing his eyes. As Ichigo demands an explanation, Kuugo actually gives Ichigo something he needed more than an answer: a kick in the throat.

Let’s face it, though it’s gotten better in the last couple of chapters, Ichigo’s been more whiny than usual for the majority of this arc. This behavior has been analyzed plenty during previous reviews, so there’s no need for me to go over the how’s and why’s again. Still, Kuugo could have told Ichigo to shut up a lot sooner . Kuugo tells Ichigo he’s tired of Ichigo yelling and screaming this much at him. This causes Ichigo to finally show his hidden suspicions towards Kuugo and Xcution.

First off, Ichigo wants to know how blinding him is supposed to help him. Kuugo then points out they never said they would help him in general, but that they were helping him to get his powers back. So long as Ichigo regains his powers to dump theirs on, they don’t really care about Ichigo. This training, as said from the start, was in order for Ichigo to obtain the power of Fullbring as a step towards that.

Ichigo then wants to know specifically why blinding him would be useful as it only makes him doubt Kuugo more than before. Kuugo then once more points out how idiotic Ichigo’s thought pattern really is. In a way, Ichigo was thinking the same with Xcution as he did when he worked with the Visored. He’d just use the group that wanted to use him to get what he needed, and once he would obtain it he’d just up and leave. Should things get hairy, he could just fight them off before returning home. With the Visored things worked out in Ichigo’s advantage as Grimmjow interrupted his training before he was confronted with the decision of having to leave or join the group.

Kuugo then points out how foolish that thinking of Ichigo’s really is. Without any powers at all, he agreed to work with Xcution believing he could fend them off at any given time. Just looking at the current situation, however, it’s clear that Ichigo never would be able to leave at his own will. The moment he stepped into ‘Invaders must die’ with Kuugo, all hope was lost.

ORIHIME MOVES AGAIN!

ORIHIME’S ACTIONS HAVE BECOME USELESS AGAIN!

To add injury to insult to injury, Kuugo punches Ichigo with his bare hand to further emphasize how weak he truly is. After Kuugo adds an insult to the injury (that was given to the insult of the previous injury), Orihime suddenly starts to move again. Even though Kuugo told her that blinding Ichigo was for the best, hearing what he told Ichigo was enough for Orihime to take some action. But Kuugo caught on in time, telling Yukio to take action. Capturing Orihime in a cage, where I’m 60% sure that Orihime would easily be able to break out of, Ichigo’s last hope is taken by Yukio. But Ichigo doesn’t know what happened to Ichigo as he saw and heard nothing.

Kuugo then pushes Ichigo into a rage by telling him he should go and see -I wanted to use that one! Damn you Kuugo!- what’s going on with Orihime. Ichigo then leaps into the air ready to swing at Kuugo. Which is quite impressive considering Ichigo’s eyes have been cut in two and he still manages to aim at Kuugo perfectly. What’s also quite interesting to see is that this time, the blade Ichigo swings down seems to have a white edge similar to Zangetsu in its Shikai state (see the page where the chapter’s title is shown). Whether that’s the Fullbring’s blade or just one of the bars of Orihime’s cage is something I can’t say for sure.

Meanwhile, we have Orihime in the cage. Rather than sitting there and waiting, she wants to help Ichigo by using her Koten Kesshun. But Yukio stops her by telling her that the cage where she’s in doesn’t allow anything to escape, not even sound. Quite frankly, I’d say Orihime should be able to slip through the bars, but I guess that this “game” that Yukio set up with his Fullbring doesn’t allow for that to happen. As Orihime tries to say something to Yukio -most likely asking why he’s doing this-, Yukio apologizes for something he can’t hear Orihime told him.

This part of the chapter confirms that ‘Invaders must die’ is yet another ability with a power that’s actually too great. Everything inside the console can be manipulated by Yukio by creating a “game” out of it. In a way this reminds me of Kyouraku’s ability where children’s games are materialized into a fighting ability. Guess where Kyouraku’s ability is somewhat outdated for this time period, Yukio is in the 21st century with his games.

Putting the fact that Yukio’s powers seem to be overpowered aside, we have someone else whose powers should be overpowered. Orihime somehow decides to stop just because Yukio told her. Is her resolve really that easily broken? I’ll admit that the odds of Yukio lying to her is slim at best, but Yukio doesn’t know what she’s capable of. She could just reject the entire cage’s existence for Pete’s sake! Finally a great moment for Tsubaki to shine, yet she doesn’t even bother! I’ll admit that this inactivity of Orihime’s works out in the end, but when I first read this part I was so annoyed by this. Let’s just move on before this becomes a repetition of how Orihime shatters expectations in a bad way again.

Crushed

Ichigo can’t stomach this anymore

While Orihime is relaxing in a cage, Ichigo is busy dodging hits from Kuugo. Even though Ichigo can’t really see, he can still somehow sense Kuugo’s presence, and hear him for that matter. As Kuugo hears this, he once more points out that Ichigo’s overconfident, this time using the tip of his ‘Cross of Scaffold’ putting it in Ichigo’s upper body. Kuugo then gets into a rage, cutting Ichigo before getting into a slashing frenzy aimed at Ichigo. He tells Ichigo that Ichigo never was the one in control during their fight. Kuugo allowed things to happen during the battle, Ichigo never had a say in things, he emphasizes this by throwing Ichigo out of balance and jabbing his blade into Ichigo.

With Ichigo pinned down, Kuugo is done with the fight and Ichigo. This means he no longer needs Chad and Orihime and he can kill them. Hearing this triggers Ichigo’s personality to kick in. Let’s face it, if Ichigo dies because he was too weak he wouldn’t feel half as bad than if his friends were to die because he was too weak. As Ichigo lets the new information sink in, Kuugo reiterates that he will kill Ichigo’s friends as he never was Ichigo’s ally in the first place. But Ichigo doesn’t have to worry, because Ichigo will live, while his friends will die.

Ichigo then wants to get into his usual yelling and screaming at the enemy begging him to leave his friends alone and face him instead, but Ichigo can’t speak or act due to his injuries. Heck, he can’t even see what is happening. That is… Ichigo suddenly sees a silhouette of light walking in front of him. For a moment, Ichigo thinks he can see again, but then he realizes that he’s seeing Kuugo’s Reiatsu. As soon as Ichigo realizes he’s seeing Reiatsu, a change occurs inside and outside of him.

Fullbring

I am strawberry, hear me roar!

Power starts surging from Ichigo’s Shinigami representative badge. The Reiatsu released from it materializes in the form of a white substance reminiscent of a Hollow mask forming. As the substance starts covering Ichigo’s body, Ichigo pulls out the ‘Cross of Scaffold’ and directs the rage he felt moments ago towards Kuugo.

Before going into what will happen in the last couple of pages of the chapter, let’s take a look at what happened to Ichigo’s Fullbring. Where Ichigo’s Fullbring emphasized on Ichigo’s past as a Shinigami, a major part of Ichigo’s past was left behind. When Ichigo received the Shinigami representative badge, his Hollow side had already awakened completely -during the fight with Byakuya. So the fact that we hadn’t seen signs of a Hollow during the Fullbring activation was actually quite strange. Sure, there has been a single frame where it looked like the black reiatsu from the badge was starting to cover Ichigo’s face, but it didn’t. Instead, this white substance seems to be doing this. But more than covering Ichigo’s face, it is covering more of Ichigo’s body instead. Not forgetting that Fullbring is a Hollow based power, it only makes sense that this new form looks so Hollow like. I’m just disappointed that it doesn’t look more like Neo-Ichigo/Ichigonator’s form, or Ichigo’s original Hollow form for that matter. As for the Fullbring’s blade, it does look like it’s taking shape, but sadly we don’t get to see that.

As Ichigo gets up, Kuugo turns around in surprise. In an instant, Kuugo puts his hand on Ichigo’s Fullbring with an explosion ensuing.

It’s been a blast

He just wanted to hold hands with Ichigo…

After almost self-destructing, Ichigo is surprised to find Kuugo in front of him. I guess he’s seeing Kuugo’s Reiatsu, but Ichigo should really close his eyes. Seriously, the thought of cut open eyeballs in a living person gives me the creeps . All of a sudden, Kuugo tells Ichigo that he’s proud of him.

Without giving Ichigo a moment to catch his breath, he explains everything in a single panel -which hasn’t been done in ages in Bleach. Kuugo explains that once a Fullbring completes, the soul of the object used will burst out for a moment. In order to make sure that the user’s body is kept safe, someone else has to put his or her life on the line to control that burst of energy. The reason Kuugo had been with Ichigo during the entirety of his training was so he would be the one to take on Ichigo’s blast.

As Ichigo is trying to process all of this information, Kuugo apologizes for acting like such a clichéd villain and welcomes Ichigo to Xcution as an official member.

Before wrapping up this chapter, I just have to say I still don’t trust Kuugo. Let’s face it, why would anyone have to take on the blast of a Fullbring completing? I suppose that the damage could be pretty great -is it just me, or does this explain why the butler has an eye patch?-, but something tells me the reason Kuugo channeled Ichigo’s powers was the same as why Tsukishima wanted to be around Ichigo before he completed his Fullbring. What that reason is, I can’t say, but I’m still suspicious about things. Whatever the case, with Ichigo joining the Xcution team, this chapter comes to an end.

Not too sure about this chapter. On the one hand, it’s good to see that Ichigo finally completed his Fullbring training. On the other hand, the way it was handled didn’t feel too good to me. The first part of the chapter took its time to explain Ichigo’s feelings towards Xcution. Orihime being taken out of the picture was a necessary part as it shows us that Orihime didn’t just sit still while Kuugo revealed himself to be a villain. Kuugo beating Ichigo into despair was necessary to put Ichigo in a state where he had to protect his friends even though he couldn’t. The bursting Fullbring and its completion is good to see. Though I’m still not used to its look, at least it’s different from looking like a Shinigami and it becoming a carbon copy of Ichigo’s Shinigami form -which I think has been bothering plenty of Bleach readers. But the rushed explanation at the end of the chapter was something I didn’t really like. I’ll admit that it would be more troublesome for Kubo to leave the explanation for next week’s chapter, but still.

One thing I really enjoyed about this chapter, however, was the way Kubo was mocking me and others who agreed with me. When he portrayed Kuugo as the great villain, he made Kuugo say exactly the things that we expected him to say. All of this to end it by having Kuugo say that he couldn’t possibly be such a clichéd villain. I can’t really explain this any better, but I tip my hat off to Kubo for putting us in our place in this manner. Though this still doesn’t change the fact that I expect Kuugo to have plans that we can consider to be evil .

Kuugo stayed around Ichigo during his training sessions because Ichigo might blow himself up due to his Fullbring’s energy fully releasing in an instant during completion. Which instantly raised this question: What about Chad?

Next week will start off with Orihime healing Ichigo and congratulating him on completing his Fullbring. Ichigo will apologize to Kuugo for not trusting him as Kuugo tells him it’s no problem. Ichigo will ask Orihime to heal Kuugo, who may refuse just so he can look cool. Kuugo then explains how they should be able to restore Ichigo’s Shinigami powers as soon as he rests up a bit. Ichigo then goes home, only to find RUKIA and the results of Urahara’s experiment, leaving us with another cliffhanger next week.

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! For those of you who were waiting for a reply, keep reading. As for everyone else, I’ll see you again next week!

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

 

 

 

 

Quote Originally Posted by SaintSheik View Post
Ah, I didn’t notice this until earlier today..Its been a while since a review that’s been up during the week

As for the chapter itself, one of the things that I got out of it was dealing with Kubo (trying) to develop Riruka further. I have a feeling that Xcution’s ambitions aren’t the purest and now that she’s getting to know Ichigo and his friends a bit more, Riruka is feeling a bit guilty about what’s to come. That or maybe she can relate to Inoue to a certain degree, as you mentioned. There’s always the Tsukishima-factor too..

Another point I noticed is that Bleach is nothing without shinigami. There’s a reason why the SS Arc stands as the better one IMO, and it could be seen in the current arc now. It came to me when we got that panel with Gin but the high points of this arc revolve around A) Ichigo regaining his shinigami powers and B) the mystery shinigami. Every that strays away from those points seem to get away from any developments/interesting moments in this arc, I think.

I think Kubo spent too much time on that Inoue bit..especially considering the chapter could be summed up in the last couple of pages. I don’t have much as far as predictions go but by losing his sight, Ichigo will have to rely more on instinct..a route Ichigo is more than familiar with. My only question is will Inoue heal Kuugo after his eventual knock down..Then again, she healed Grimmjow so yeah…Anyway, thanks for the review!!

I’ll admit that it has been rare lately, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised in a week or two . Last week’s chapter did focus a bit more on Riruka as an individual, I guess.

Bleach being nothing without Shinigami is something I have to agree with. Though it’s not so much without random Shinigami as it is nothing without Rukia . I can’t say anything more about this week’s chapter than I did in the review, so I don’t think I have to cover anything more about what you said.

Anyways, you’re welcome .

Quote Originally Posted by benelori View Post
Hello again! Thanks for the review, always great to read it, sorry for the late reply though

There’s not much happening this chapter I agree with that, so it’s no so great as the previous ones…however I did notice the strange timing between Riruka’s reactions and behaviour with Ichigo’s statement about Kuugo…but I don’t think they are suspicious, I think this is just Kubo’s way of creating tension, when there isn’t one…sort of building up the tension until some great revelation comes or fighting…
I think the great revelation might be something similat to what Urahara did with Ichigo…he used Ichigo to invade SS, annd rescue Rukia, while he had his ulterior motive of not letting Hougyoku fall in the wrong hands…so I think Kuugo and co. are doing the exact same thing with Ichigo, and even if their surface motives are the same(getting back Shinigami powers), the ulterior motive, which could explain Riruka’s reaction and Ichigo’s inability has high chances of existence…

But I don’t think the problem is soo big, and I’m not really falling for this so called tension…because we’ve seen in the past that only beings of equal power can understand each other, and I don’t think Ichigo is on Kuugo’s level, yet…especially if he controls his emotions…and we as I mentioned before this looks an awful lot like the situation with Urahara, and I’m a bit disappointed, because of the lack of originality…I hope I’m wrong…

The blindness…well Ichigo has been told a lot, that he is strong and he is a fighter, so he shouldn’t overthink and analyze things…he needs to move on instinct if he wished to improve…though UR suggestion of awakening Zangetsu again is really good, and it might lead us there eventually, I think first and foremost Ichigo needs to rely on instinct…the fact that he couldn’t read Kuugo is a sign of this, that people can trick him, or not letting their feelings to be understood, so he should just fight for the win…

I would like if both of us were right, with mine first and then leading into UR explanation of awakening Zangetsu again…even though this chapter provided some disappointments, I’m really eager for future chapters, because I feel that the climax is pretty close now.

Thanks again man! Cheers!

Glad you liked the read. I can’t really blame you for being late with your reply, considering I had to put you in this section again .

I guess Kuugo’s suspicion could be similar to the one created surrounding Urahara when he was first introduced. Then again, Kuugo just lacks something in comparison to Urahara… sandals and a hat? It’s possible that Kuugo will work in a similar manner as Urahara did. This latest chapter suggests that Kubo knows that he isn’t really giving off an original vibe, though I’d say that it is also a sign of new things to come.

I guess you were right in the end about the purpose of the blindness. Then again, the blindness wasn’t necessary in the end was it? Perhaps just to create some tension in Ichigo, the anxiety of losing one of your senses and all…

Quote Quote:
• i think trust is odd in this situation and think that it might be being unable of reading his emotions/motives
would make more sense to me(well will wait till i’ve read more scanlations to go on with this)
Stone said this on June 3, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I thought the concept of trust would be an amusing one. To think Ichigo would trust some of the Arrancar more than he does Kuugo .

Quote Quote:
• Thursday!!?
The donut talk gave me impression that Ginjou’s ends will not justify his means…
I did saw Ichigo getting innards blown out, slashed countless times and had a giant hole him in but that cutting the eyes is the one what creeped me out, that was nasty.
Ginjou definetly wants him to give up his fight based on ‘Gauge your enemies, seek a good reason etc.etc’ to his instincts (and his cocky style? =P) that he was using in the first arc and SS.
Why these Fullbringers are that much ‘fight to survive’ people? I thought they were cool townspeople who happens to have powers.
FirstReplierWannabe said this on June 4, 2011 at 2:15 AM

I did what?
I agree, the slashing of the eyes creeps me out more than those other things as well. It is pretty odd that Fullbringers are such savage fighters… maybe it’s because their powers come from Hollows?

Quote Quote:
• why is Orihime acting like a kid again? gah, kubo you were doing so well too! but whatever, guess he needed some filler for this chap. Pacing still sucks, but im glad to see our old suspicions of Ginjou being brought up again. Honestly i was hoping he wouldnt be Shinji 2.0, and i like the idea of an evil Ginjou.
btw Underscore, check it out! the ulquiorra comic from Unmasked is out, and it is really cool:
http://bleachness.livejournal.com/646106.html
…and surprisingly Ulquihime? didnt expect that, but i like that pair, so that made this comic an even nicer treat.
takashid said this on June 4, 2011 at 7:08 AM

Orihime acting childish is part of her routine. It would be strange for Orihime to act like a kid this entire arc only to make a 180 just because she met Kuugo.
The Ulquiorra comic was pretty cool. I didn’t really get why Orihime would serve him tea though…

Quote Quote:
• No there no green eggs and ham but there is Sam I am.
Nice review as always underscore. It’s been a minute, thank god school is over, can we agree on that people
On Topic Bleach
This chapter was lacking somethings but it was okay, “Zzz
I more interested in the mysterious soul reaper but I’ll get that last.
1) It is possible that someone has volunteer to give there powers to ichigo but he must take there place and remain in the 13 court guard squad. They could mean this by taking away his future.
2) They told ichigo before he started training ganjo said he would have new powers once he finished (I think I read this when ganjo and him finally talked about him getting back his powers) he may gain some new power to battle inside there head think of how his inner world is built. in the zanpakotu tales we saw koga’s inner world. (just a though)
3) Sado and Inoue I’m pretty sure they have new powers i wouldn’t be surprise that if ichigo got his powers back he would only be on equal grounds with them or just be a step or 3 ahead. the continue to fought hollows even without ichigo so who knows how strong they have gotten.
4) mysterious reaper: I guess ………….. Rikuia or his sister who can see spirits became one and tells her father ichigo doesn’t have to fight anymore and he needs a break, thus isshin agress and goes to urahara warns them and here we are.
predictions: well before zangetsu talks to him he will have to talk to the hollow inside because that is his instinct and zangetsu is his power.
sam_i_am24 said this on June 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM
• ops sorry about this ah glad to be back and
again nice review underscore, you put up a poll
and see who everyone thinks is the mysterious
soul reaper. SAM I AM OUT

Good to see you again Sam. Can’t really say anything about school, I’m done with that place for almost a year .

I doubt a Shinigami would surrender his/her powers to Ichigo for whatever reason. They might as well reappoint Yoruichi and/or Urahara to their position as captains or other Visoreds for that matter.

Ichigo obtaining new powers is a possibility. Just look at this week’s chapter. The new look suggests that there might be new things coming our way.

Chad and Orihime getting stronger and closer to Bankai (+mask) Ichigo is probable. But still a bit unlikely that they will be that strong -especially Orihime-. I also doubt they have been fighting Hollows during the past months. Perhaps one or two on occasion, but no more than that.

Anyways, this week’s poll has the question you raised

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~ by The Underscore on June 12, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 451”

  1. “I didn’t really get why Orihime would serve him tea though…”

    wait, what? Orihime wasnt serving him food. Apparently Ulquiorra fell asleep in Orihime’s room after bringing her food. I dont see any implication of “serving”…

  2. As for the chapter itself i have to say it was really fun. Ginjou’s cliche villain act was a lot of fun to watch, even if it wasn’t for real. I still don’t trust Ginjou, but i am glad we are finally moving on. Looking forward to more Tsukishima and Urahara stuff

  3. @takashid:

    Guess I misinterpreted the last page in the side story. Should’ve read the story more than once…

    The chapter itself was rather entertaining, just disappointed at the rushed ending (in terms of Bleach this certainly was rushed). Still, it’s a good thing we’re finally moving on to the next stage of this arc.

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