The Underscore’s Bleach review 455


455 End of the Bond 1

Intriguing, yet straightforward. Plenty to cover, yet not so much happening. That’s right, this is another one of those chapters. Still, I liked it and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the upcoming chapters. Might as well review the chapter as I’m waiting for next week’s chapter, right? Thanks go out to Mangastream and Binktopia for their scanlation.

Bleach chapter 454, Sheathebreakers, rated by 18 voters, gets an average score of:

8.4

Great

During last week’s chapter, Ichigo said he intends to kill Tsukishima. I was curious whether you thought he’d actually be prepared to do it.

Three voters couldn’t say whether Ichigo is prepared to kill Tsukishima or not. I suppose it isn’t too strange for there to be doubts as Ichigo has done quite a few things that didn’t suit him during this arc.

Seven voters see him prepared to kill Tsukishima. The fact of the matter is, Tsukishima’s gone too far. Slashing Ichigo’s sisters is reason enough for Ichigo to kill Tsukishima, wouldn’t you agree?

Eight voters believe Ichigo might be prepared to kill Tsukishima. It ís a possibility.

But the final option had more votes than the others. Ichigo just isn’t prepared to kill Tsukishima. Whether he deserves it or not, Ichigo couldn’t possibly kill someone… or could he?

Aggravation

Yes Ichigo, act upon your hatred, come to the Hollow side

Having arrived at Tsukishima’s mansion, Ichigo realizes that this is where things will come to an end. Ichigo looks like he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for at least a week, with the rings under his eyes. Perhaps it’s a sign of mental fatigue caused by Tsukishima’s ploys, or Kubo’s way of showing how desperate Ichigo truly is at this moment. This probably adds to Ichigo’s determination to end things as soon as possible. With Ichigo and Kuugo in front of the mansion, Tsukishima opens the door to greet his two guests.

The sight of the man who has ensnared all of his friends and his sisters in his gruesome ability is enough to send Ichigo into a rage. He runs at Tsukishima, grabbing hold of his Shinigami Representative badge to get things on the way immediately. But before the Fullbring shows signs of appearing, Ichigo is held back by Kuugo. With sweat dripping down his face, revealing his hidden anxiety, Kuugo reminds Ichigo of the dangers that Tsukishima and his ‘Book of the End’ present.

Tsukishima, however, isn’t bothered by any of this as he points out he’s unarmed. What’s more, Tsukishima never had any intention of fighting the two of them at all. He just wants to invite Ichigo and Kuugo into the mansion. Ichigo, who has been on guard from the start, and only more on guard after being reminded of Tsukishima’s ability, tells Tsukishima he won’t fall for his traps.

With an overly kind response, as if he’s playing along with a child’s game, Tsukishima tells Ichigo he would never bother putting traps in the mansion as the forest would be a more suitable location. Though the look in his eyes would suggest otherwise. But before Ichigo can react to Tsukishima’s obvious taunt, Yukio -where did he suddenly pop up from again?- ends this futile discussion and tells Ichigo to just get inside the mansion.

Trapped

Damn you Tsukishima, Ichigo would never fall for this trap!… unless there’s cake?

Tsukishima’s trap springs on Ichigo as he’s greeted by his sisters and his friends. I can understand how people might dislike surprise parties, but the look on Ichigo’s face probably goes beyond anything that anyone would ever have given during a surprise party. With a great sense of terror overrunning Ichigo, perhaps even worse than the one he felt two chapters ago, he is forced to look at all of his friends caught in Tsukishima’s cruel ability.

Almost paralyzed at the sight of this all, Ichigo is grabbed by Ikumi and dragged further into his nightmare. Overseeing all of this is Kuugo who tries to warn Ichigo, but his warning is buried under the sound of Ichigo’s friends welcoming him “back home”. I’m not sure why they’re welcoming Ichigo “back home”. Perhaps it’s something that comes with the translation, or maybe they actually believe that Ichigo is now living in the mansion with Tsukishima. My guess would be the first, though the second would be an interesting notion. With Ichigo surrounded by his “friends”, the second part of the trap goes off.

Pouring salt into open wounds

Damn you Tsukishima! Ichigo won’t fall for this one either!… unless there’s cake… Strawberry cake that is…

Suddenly faced by Yuzu, wearing the strawberry clips that represent her affection towards Ichigo, giving him the same smile she always gives him, Yuzu says the cruelest thing she could possibly do at this time: “Shuu-chan says he’s not mad at all!!”. With all the rage boiling inside of Ichigo aimed at Tsukishima, Yuzu tells him that Tsukishima isn’t mad at him. Somehow this snaps Ichigo out of his nightmare a bit probably surprised by the fact that it all seems so natural. But this is only a brief moment for Ichigo to catch his breath as his friends suddenly say how great it is for Tsukishima to be so forgiving.

But if such a swell guy is willing to forgive you after slamming him into a wall and running away like that, there’s only one thing to do: Apologize. I love how Kubo draws out the moments where it’s most apparent that people are driven because of the influence of Tsukishima’s ability. There’s almost something eerie about it all. Everything everyone has been doing is something you would expect from them if they were hanging out with friends. But at certain key points, it looks as if ‘Book of the End’ compels them to act a certain way, almost according to a script of sorts.

Caught in this bad horror movie scenario, Ichigo repeatedly hears that he should apologize. Kuugo tries to help Ichigo out by pointing out again that this is all due to Tsukishima’s ability and that this won’t make them attack him. But the physical injuries wouldn’t be half as bad as this psychological blow dealt by Tsukishima. Ichigo escapes from Ikumi’s clutches and runs off to where Tsukishima is. Kuugo believes this is because Ichigo couldn’t take it anymore, but Ichigo has a different reason to run away.

With Ichigo determined to kill Tsukishima, he has to do it somewhere his friends won’t interfere. As he runs up the stairs he thinks of everyone that’s been caught up in all of this. Ichigo really is being forced to actually kill Tsukishima. He opens the first door he sees, hoping to find Tsukishima. But that’s not what he finds.

Trap number 3

Really Tsukishima, this is probably the worst trap you could’ve used… not even cake would have helped here…

As Ichigo opens the door, he sees the missing Xcution members standing in front of him. Giriko comments on how lively Ichigo seems to be as Jackie looks somewhat pleased at the sight of Ichigo doing well. Riruka, however, seems to be the odd ball out here. She is looking at Ichigo as if he has betrayed her once and she can’t decide to forgive him for what he’s done to Tsukishima or not. Somehow I get the feeling this is the same she felt about Tsukishima after he betrayed Xcution in the past.

Ichigo is bothered by this sight as well, though I think this lies in something else. I get the feeling Ichigo just came to the realization that Kuugo has been in the same boat as he’s in right now. Kuugo’s friends are also caught by Tsukishima’s ability, yet Ichigo could only think of his own friends. But before Ichigo has time to think this over, Tsukishima lets himself be heard as he tells Giriko that he agrees with him, though he feels Ichigo’s almost too energetic.

Ichigo quickly reacts to Tsukishima’s sudden appearance by taking a few steps back. But as Ichigo backs up a bit, Tsukishima tells Ichigo he’s surprised that he’s being so helpful. If Ichigo really wanted to escape from Tsukishima, he should’ve just dashed right past him into the hallway. Instead, Ichigo is now surrounded by Xcution. Tsukishima then wants to reveal what he plans to do to Ichigo with him cornered like this. But Tsukishima doesn’t have that much luck. Kuugo suddenly comes bursting through the wall, somewhat to Tsukishima’s surprise judging by the look on his face.

Judgment

This is what you’ll get for not getting Strawberry short cake!… oh yeah, and for the whole manipulation thing…

Kuugo tells Ichigo that he’s cut off the stairs, meaning no one will be able to interfere with Ichigo’s battle. This means that Ichigo finally has the opportunity to go all out, or that’s what Kuugo tells him at least. Ichigo doesn’t think about it for more than a split second as he activates his Fullbring. Tsukishima looks genuinely surprised by Ichigo’s sudden transformation and attack as he instinctively takes out his Fullbring to guard. But in spite of his swift reaction, Tsukishima’s counter doesn’t land as Ichigo moved out of the way at a breakneck pace. It seems that the Speed Phantom has made his third revival in this series as he pops up right behind Tsukishima, hanging on the ceiling.

I have to say, I’m liking this Fullbring more already. When I first saw it four weeks ago, I wasn’t sure whether I liked the design. Seeing it in action like this really is helping me to like it better, though I still prefer Tensa Zangetsu . That’s not to say that this Fullbring isn’t doing a good job of entertaining me, mind you. I’m almost as pleased by this Fullbring’s effect as I was with Ichigo’s Bankai. Even though the Bankai and Fullbring seem to share similarities, what’s unique for the Fullbring is the place where it’s used. Ichigo has only had a few fights in confined spaces and none of those were during the times where Ichigo was capable of moving at ridiculous speeds. Admittedly, this room is rather spacious, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ichigo is maneuvering in the room with great skill. I guess Ichigo’s been reading up on some Spider-man and Naruto .

As Tsukishima turns around in shock of what just happened, Ichigo goes in for the kill… or at least he could have. Rather than lopping off Tsukishima’s head, Ichigo cuts off his left arm. Tsukishima’s surprise turns into anguish as he feels the immense pain of losing one’s limb surging through him. Though you wouldn’t say that looking at him only a split second later as he compliments Ichigo for the rate at which he managed to complete his Fullbring.

Ichigo isn’t entertained by this comment as he tells Tsukishima he doesn’t want to hear anything from him. Still, Ichigo allows him to talk all he want, because he’s going to KILL TSUKISHIMA. I’m still not convinced that Ichigo really intends to kill Tsukishima though. Let’s face it, he’s already had a golden opportunity to kill him and Ichigo just isn’t someone to kill. The most obvious thing would be that Ichigo is trying to bluff Tsukishima into forcing him to release the ‘Book of the End’. But Ichigo doesn’t get the chance to show if he was bluffing or not as another fighter joins the fray.

Team Tsukishima?

The princess and the tiger enter the scene

Chad does what he does best: breaking walls. He tends to do that, you know. First when he learned to use his right arm under Yoruichi’s tutelage, and many times after that. As the dust settles, Ichigo sees something he probably saw coming a long time ago. Chad is protecting Tsukishima in the manner he would usually protect Ichigo. Orihime is healing Tsukishima’s arm the same way Ichigo is usually healed by her. Somewhat ironic that the powers the two of them obtained in order to help Ichigo are now aimed at him. The smug look on Tsukishima’s face shows exactly why he wasn’t that troubled by the loss of his arm only seconds ago. Chad and Orihime’s looks, however, show signs of worry. They probably can’t believe this situation could ever happen. The love of her life, the friend he swore to fight alongside with. A sorrowful fate indeed…

Even though this should spell some trouble for Ichigo, I doubt this will lead to much… Let’s face it, though it diverges from the prediction I made last week for a bit, it might still result in what I predicted back then. But that’s something we’ll learn more about in next week’s chapter!

I liked this week’s chapter. Ichigo is still being beaten around through psychological attacks in an interesting way. From the way Tsukishima greeted Ichigo and Kuugo, to the welcome party, and the Xcution members at the end, Tsukishima really pulled a fast one over on Ichigo. Kuugo is still being a bit too passive in my opinion. I tried not to think too much of it, but the way Kuugo wants Ichigo to kill Tsukishima is a bit too understanding. I guess Kuugo isn’t one to kill if someone else is more eager to take out his target for him, but still… Ichigo’s (currently unnamed) Fullbring was rather impressive in this chapter. I’m curious to see what else it will be able to do besides mimicking Tensa Zangetsu’s abilities.

I guess there’s little else to say about this chapter than I already said during the previous part of the review. It’s obvious this is one of those Bleach chapters that has to be read along with the upcoming (‘End of the Bond’) chapters. I’d say it should be interesting to see how Ichigo will handle this situation where bonds appear to be ending.

It almost seems as if the situation in this week’s chapter is exactly the one Tsukishima wanted to create. Ichigo is trapped by Tsukishima due to his own friends and he isn’t able to leave right now and abandon them. With this apparently being the final confrontation between the two of them, I can’t help but wonder: Where’s Sushigawara at this time and how will he fit into all of this?

I’m sticking to last week’s prediction, with a few minor changes. Chad and Orihime will start off next week’s chapter by telling Ichigo they’re disappointed in him. Ichigo will try to have Chad and Orihime remember that they were attacked by Tsukishima before and they were fully aware of what was happening at that time. He will ask his friends to trust him, which will make them back down for a bit. Jackie, however, will step into the fight, confident of her speed and power. This will be the signal for Giriko and Riruka to join in the battle. As the fighting starts, Kuugo will try to finish Tsukishima himself, where he will be stopped by Orihime and Chad. The fighting will continue with a couple of twists and turns, only for Ishida to be the one to solve matters.

Ichigo and Tsukishima will face off, where Tsukishima reveals that he allowed Ichigo to cut his arm off to ensure that his Fullbring would work perfectly on Chad and Orihime as they had their doubts before Ichigo’s attack. Ichigo will be beaten up badly, Isshin enters with the spirit Zanpakutou, and everything comes full circle.

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 post that was lost, but not forgotten, so be sure to catch that one as I’m going on a major rant about Tsukishima’s ability that would be intriguing to read . You can thank/blame Tsukisama for getting me into that rant, so be sure you have your aspirins at the ready. Don’t read the rant for longer than 45 minutes and stop reading once you’re experiencing nausea or other symptoms. But for those of you only here to read the review, I’ll see you guys again next week!

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

 

 

 

Quote Originally Posted by Tsukisama View Post
Wonderful review as always and I am glad that you seemed to have had a nice vacation!

Firstly, in which chapter did Ryuuken point out a difference between Quincy powers and Fullbring? I am sure that he did, but I just don’t recall the chapter.

Secondly, I really enjoyed your analysis of Tsukishima’s powers especially your theory on Yukio learning a new ability due to Tsukishima’s manipulation of his past. What do you think might be the extents of past manipulation?

Also, with the revelation of Tsukishima’s true powers, I was wondering which of the Fullbringers’ abilities did you find the most overpowered? Tsukishima has an incredible power, but both Yukio and Giriko also have pretty remarkable abilities as well. I am guessing that, given how powerful their abilities appear to be and Kuugo seeming to have been higher in hierarchy than Yukio and Ginjo, there must be more to Kuugo’s Fullbring as well; do you have any thoughts on Kuugo’s powers? Riruka and Jackie seem to have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to Fullbring, but that is not very surprising for female characters in a shounen manga.

Thanks. I did have a good time on vacation, though the odd tattoo still feels rather ominous .

The chapter where Ryuuken pointed out a difference in the powers was chapter 430. He did say that Quincy could be qualified under the same category, though I doubt he wouldn’t be able to recognize it if it were close to a Quincy’s.

Warning, major rant on Tsukishima’s ability that will more than likely confuse you if you aren’t prepared

The extent to which I believe Tsukishima is capable of manipulating the past isn’t as great as I suggested in the review. At least, not after reading this week’s chapter . My guess is that Tsukishima is capable of inserting himself into other people’s memories by adding himself to a script that is triggered by certain key events (e.g. Tsukishima calling them or Tsukishima becoming the subject of a conversation). But if Tsukishima was to be present during events where he never was, it would mean that other things in the past would have to change as well. The reason for this is that if Tsukishima was present his presence would affect the outcome of things even if it were just to be slightly. Using Yukio’s “new ability” as the basis it could work like this:

In the actual time line as Yukio remembers it, Tsukishima betrayed Xcution and killed many of their members. This could result in him believing that anything that Tsukishima ever did with him was a lie and he wants to deny it as much as he could or at least have feelings of resentment towards those events. One of the things that Tsukishima once did with Yukio would most likely be something involving video games, perhaps one with planes.

Let’s assume that this did take place once, making something that was once a pleasant memory to Yukio, only for it to turn into a bad memory after Tsukishima betrayed his feelings. Things involving airplanes would leave a bad taste in Yukio’s mouth as it would remind him of the time he used to spend with Tsukishima. With Fullbring working with affection/the sense of connection to an object, it could mean that Yukio never considered to do something with airplanes after that.

However, with ‘Book of the End’ inserting himself into Yukio’s memory once more, those past memories of spending time playing video games with airplanes would become a pleasant one, opening it up to become part of Yukio’s own ‘Invaders must die”. As such, because Yukio has both a connection with video games, and now a game with airplanes, it would result in a new Fullbring ability.

Of course, this only would work with Fullbringers. When it comes to people who don’t use Fullbring, I’d say that Tsukishima inserts himself into the memories the same way he would with Fullbringers. But rather than changing the bad memory about himself with a script, he replaces other people in their memories. At least, that’s what I just came up with as I was writing this . In the case of Ichigo’s friends, I’d say he replaced Ichigo in their memories with himself. Not in all of the cases, of course, as that would erase Ichigo from their memories entirely. It would probably be like Tsukishima would be doing what Ichigo, or a cousin, did during certain events.

Taking Yuzu and the grandfather’s funeral as a basis for this, it would be like follows: The Kurosaki family was present as well as some cousins. Tsukishima inserted his presence into that memory in the same way a bookmark’s presence is inserted inside an actual book. It’s there, but it doesn’t influence the story. But the presence of Tsukishima has to be explained by the person and this process would most likely be aided by Tsukishima’s Fullbring.

Yuzu tries to explain Tsukishima’s presence by thinking he must be family (as he’s at the funeral). Book of the End then connects this explanation to the actual memory, making Tsukishima an actual cousin to Yuzu. But it’s not like he never said anything, judging from the way she spoke about him. But he never spoke to her in actuality! It’s possible that some (parts of) actual conversation with family members changed to moments where Tsukishima is talking to her, even though it should be the real cousin talking to Yuzu in that memory (e.g. Cousin A is tells Yuzu it’s good to see her is replaced by Tsukishima telling Yuzu it’s good to see her). Book of the End facilitates this by shaping the conversation slightly to include Tsukishima’s mannerisms and speech patterns.

Also, let’s take into account that Tsukishima inserts himself into early memories, which are more commonly referred to as old memories. The good thing about messing with old memories is that few people actually remember things from the past specifically. Some memories are crystal clear, most likely making it impossible for Tsukishima to overwrite (e.g. Ichigo being Yuzu’s brother). But something that was said once eight years ago who could be a friend, cousin, or who knows, could easily have been said by someone else then, including Tsukishima (e.g. when you were hanging out in a group someone commented on someone’s shoes).

Perhaps you’ve had something similar with your own friends, where you can’t exactly recall which of them (or even you yourself) made a certain snappy remark or anything. You know that one of you said it, but you aren’t sure who it was who said it. The first one to claim (s)he said it would then become the person who said it according to the group (Unless someone manages to trigger the actual memory, of course). My guess is that Book of the End works similar to that. Turning vague memories in the past into more concrete memories where Tsukishima plays the star of that memory.

Hmm, this dragged on a lot longer than I expected . Back to the rest of your post . Of the most overpowered Fullbring abilities, I’d say I’d have to go with Yukio for now. Giriko’s Fullbring is a close second, but I’m still not entirely sure of how it works.

I’m not sure about Kuugo’s ability quite yet. In a way I’d say that it has the ability to “protect” Kuugo spiritually by warding off “evil”. Of course, there’s the whole cross of scaffold name. I’d say there should be more to that, though it’s also possible that Kubo just took a song’s name that doesn’t relate to the ability as much as it does to the object… It’s possible that it just sends out blasts the same as Ichigo’s Zangetsu always did. That, or Cross of Scaffold has the ability to cut that which Kuugo wants to have cut (which could explain why the all cutting Book of the End couldn’t cut Cross of scaffold).

I agree that Jackie and Riruka’s Fullbrings look relatively weak compared to the others. Though I think Jackie’s Fullbring has great potential considering it increases in power the dirtier it gets. There’s plenty of ways to make boots/shoes even dirtier if you were to ask me .

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~ by The Underscore on July 9, 2011.

One Response to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 455”

  1. Nice overview on ‘Book of the End’, now it makes some sense to me.

    If you are wondering where Shishigawara boy is, he is preparing to take on Ishida.

    Or better he is actually going against papa and the mentor.

    It’s not like he just could be sleeping when it’s past midnight…

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