The Underscore’s Bleach review 460


460 DEATHBERRY RETURNS 2

After two weeks, we finally get a new chapter of Bleach. I know, this review didn’t come out on Wednesday like the previous two, but they won’t appear on Wednesdays anymore as summer vacation’s coming to an end and things are starting up again. At least I’ll try to get the reviews out as soon as possible again . Without further ado, let’s review this chapter written by Kubo and scanlated by Mangastream and Binktopia!

Bleach chapter 459, Death & Strawberry 2, rated by 73 voters, gets an average score of:

9.7

Awesome

Rukia’s return certainly added to the greatness of last week’s chapter. All I could really say was: Rukia’s back! Here’s what an astounding 84 of you thought!

Two voters didn’t really care about Rukia’s return. Don’t really know why they’d say that . Two other voters weren’t all too impressed by Rukia’s return either as all they could say was ‘meh’. Perhaps they saw this coming from a mile away?

Three voters kept their eyes on the ball. They demanded to see KON! And I couldn’t agree more!

Four voters suddenly made the connection between Rukia and RUKIA (Really Unknown yet Kind of Intriguing Appearance)… But not quite yet. That’s right, Rukia and RUKIA really are…

One and the same, according to nine voters who could only say: Yay, RUKIA! Either that, or they were really glad to see Rukia .

Thirteen voters felt Rukia’s appearance was the icing on the cake that was the awesomeness of chapter 459. Ah, the greatness of that chapter…. how I miss it already (more on that much, much later).

22 voters, however, enjoyed something more than Rukia’s appearance. It’s Ichigo’s new look that they enjoyed even better than Rukia appearing. Ichigo’s new look really is awesome, isn’t it?

But according to 29 voters, Ichigo’s look isn’t as awesome as Rukia looks! Because Rukia looks awesome!!!

The Dynamic duo returns

Rukia’s back! It’s finally Bleach again!

Kubo wastes about half a color page by drawing out the dust cloud that hid Ichigo, which is somewhat of a waste if you ask me. Luckily, Kubo makes up for it with the second color page. Of course, with Shinigami mostly wearing black clothes, Zangetsu and Sode no Shirayuki mostly consisting of black and white as well, it really only draws out the color in Ichigo’s hair . At least we get a good look at the renewed Ichigo and Rukia. Ichigo’s Shinigami form got the addition of black and white straps, which possibly could be part of the renewed Zangetsu. It’s funny how the straps around Ichigo’s wrists end with four strips almost making it look like the teeth of the representative badge. Besides that, the only thing we couldn’t tell from previous chapter’s display of Ichigo’s new look are the straps around Ichigo’s ankles.

Rukia’s new look really is just as we saw it in the previous chapter. The fingerless gloves, most likely from the Byakuya household (judging from something later in the chapter) are really the only new addition to her outfit. Rukia’s change in hairstyle for the first time in a century (give or take a decade or two) kind of suits her. Though at some moments it looks a bit like someone else we know… Whatever the case, Rukia’s back and she once more stuck her Shinigami powers where hope didn’t shine: Ichigo’s chest. Good news for Ichigo. Ba~~d news for Kuugo and Tsukishima as they suddenly witness the return of the young man who defeated Aizen.

The snow princess’ temper

It wouldn’t be Rukia if she didn’t kick fools

Ichigo turns to Rukia as he feels the familiar touch of his Shinigami robes. The reunion between Ichigo and Rukia brings tears to Ichigo’s after Rukia tells him how formidable she thinks he’s gotten… Oh, wait, those tears came from the jump kick she gave to his face . After all the trouble Rukia went through to teach Ichigo to have a bit of backbone, he has the guts to forget it in a measly 17 months. She should kick him again! As Rukia scolds Ichigo for being such a crybaby, Ichigo at least knows he isn’t dreaming.

But Rukia understands why Ichigo, being the fool his is, would feel so desperate. Urahara explained to Rukia how Tsukishima’s powers work, meaning she was able to figure out how Tsukishima’s powers work, altering pasts. But all that doesn’t matter. Thanks to Urahara’s explanation, she knows that Ichigo’s past has been changed, but that doesn’t mean his future’s changed! That’s right! The bonds that he’s lost can always be recreated in his future! Rukia couldn’t be more right about this!… Though Ichigo points out that his past is the only one that hasn’t been changed .

Putting aside the fact that Rukia misconstrued the way Tsukishima’s ability actually works, it’s odd to learn that Urahara was aware of them in the first place. How would he know of these powers and let them go unchecked like this? More importantly, how would Soul Society know of these powers and just let him go unchecked like this? Could it be that these powers aren’t as harmful as they seem? Perhaps there’s a time limit on ‘Book of the End’? Or perhaps a Reiatsu boundary that prevents Tsukishima from using his ability on beings with a Reiatsu higher than his own or above a certain level? Or could all of this have been a test of sorts?

The blade without an edge

It may not cut, but it sure can pierce…

Whatever the case, Ichigo interrupted Rukia’s lecture, which means Ichigo deserves another blow to the head. Rukia then swings the Zanpakutou she stabbed Ichigo with moments ago right at him. Ichigo dodges the attack by a hair’s breadth, immediately telling Rukia it’s dangerous for her to attack him like that. But Rukia then reveals that he wouldn’t be cut either way.

Ichigo finally got to the point where he could ask Rukia how she was able to return his powers to him, be it by asking what the katana in Rukia’s hand is. Rukia reveals that it was Urahara who designed the blade in the first place for the sole purpose of restoring Ichigo’s powers. Much as we predicted from the moment we saw the blade in Isshin’s hands.

Kuugo suddenly decides to be more than a filler character as he tells Rukia that Ichigo’s Shinigami appearance doesn’t make him a real Shinigami. Though I hate to admit it -seeming as how Kuugo’s served his purpose-, Kuugo has a point. Ichigo’s Fullbring also gave him a Shinigami appearance at first, so this doesn’t have to be any different. The lack of a corpse -morbid as that may sound- also counts in favor of Kuugo’s claim of Ichigo not being a true Shinigami right now.

Kuugo then reveals to know even more about Ichigo’s past than he let on. He points out that the transfer of Rukia’s powers into Ichigo only worked because Ichigo already had Shinigami powers of his own -and a certain Hougyoku, of course . But Ichigo didn’t have any powers at all when Rukia stabbed him two minutes ago, as Kuugo was the one who took those powers along with Ichigo’s Fullbring. Besides that, it’s not like a bit of one person’s Reiatsu would be enough to rekindle Ichigo’s powers considering its magnitude. For someone who knows so much about Ichigo’s past experiences, Kuugo’s really underestimating Urahara’s skills with Reiatsu . Luckily, there’s someone to point out what an imbecile Kuugo is.

Soul Society’s Band Aid

People you wouldn’t want to be indebted to

Soul Society decides to pay Karakura town a visit by sending five captain level Shinigami. Renji explains how all of the Shinigami present right now gave some of their Reiatsu in order to get Ichigo to get back to being a Shinigami. Ichigo then gives us the names of the five Shinigami who just showed up -as if we could forget them.

Renji’s appearance hasn’t changed all that much. His hair just got longer and he’s wearing a different headband and that’s it really. Though some people were hoping to see Renji with a captain’s robe, it doesn’t really look it right now. Nothing big to note about Renji at this time I guess.

Next to Renji, we have Byakuya. His change of appearance might be small, but ever so crucial. The two artifacts belonging to the Kuchiki household no longer grace his neck and head! What could have happened for Byakuya to forego his signature scarf and hairclip so easily? Could it be that he feels he no longer deserves to be head of the family after allowing Rukia to become a vice-captain? I doubt Rukia would allow him to do something like that, though Byakuya is more than stubborn enough to do something this drastic.

Next to the scarf less Byakuya, we have Hitsugaya wearing a scarf! Besides this and the change of hairstyle, little seems to have changed about Hitsugaya -including the cold look in his eyes. Perhaps he’s grown a few inches, but it’s hard to tell with Kenpachi towering right next to him .

Kenpachi also seems to have caught the hairstyling bug. It’s kind of surprising to see this change in hairstyle as it almost suggests that he got rid of the bells at the end of his spikes. Kenpachi’s change actually seems for the worst if you were to ask me. He looks exactly the same, save for his hairstyle. The fact that he already drew his Zanpakutou is a fun thing to note, though.

The last of the five Reiatsu donors is the one who probably wants to fight Ichigo most of the lot: Ikkaku. Ikkaku’s gone bald over the past 17 months! Remember when he used to shave his head?… Glad to see not everyone is so keen on changing things needlessly. Then again… his right sleeve seems to be the only one that’s rolled up a bit and he seems to have something around his elbow… What could that be about?

The fact that these five have been chosen to add fuel to Ichigo’s fire isn’t really that strange if you think about it. Aizen chose most of these five to face off against Ichigo in the first place, so it makes sense for them to be there. Hitsugaya actually is the only odd ball out here, though there could be another reason for him to be there. In a way, Kenpachi would be another odd ball out considering how he’s the only one who isn’t capable of using a Bankai -as far as we know -, which could be a requirement to donate Reiatsu to Ichigo.

The Look

There’s no denying it now, that’s Rukia

With Kuugo peeing in his pants -rightfully so-, Rukia decides to point out how dumb he really is. Sure, he took Ichigo’s powers along with the Fullbring. But that was only a small portion of Ichigo’s powers. Ichigo’s Shinigami powers come from deep within, from his very soul. As such, it’s impossible for Kuugo to take Ichigo’s powers without taking his soul away as well.

With Kuugo put in his place when it comes to his argument on how Ichigo isn’t a Shinigami right now, Rukia decides to fetch Ichigo on him. She tells Ichigo to show Kuugo and Tsukishima that they haven’t shown him true despair just yet. Ichigo faced off against greater odds, beings that could’ve killed him and his friends six times over if it wasn’t for Aizen’s plans. Sure, he was left alone and powerless, but he’s had to face his inner Hollow on his own as well. He’s witnessed friends being cut down mercilessly by a man who would be God for Pete’s sake! Yeah, I know, Tsukishima’s performance was actually more intriguing considering the way Kubo portrayed it . Doesn’t change the fact that Ichigo should cut up Kuugo and Tsukishima either way .

Smells like Shinigami spirit

All who agree Kuugo’s being an idiot, swing your blade

After Rukia sends Ichigo out to take out Kuugo, he picks up Zangetsu to show Kuugo exactly how much of a Shinigami he is right now. Ichigo immediately swings Zangetsu at Kuugo’s puny ‘Cross of Scaffold’, sending off a gigantic blast at him. Kuugo manages to block most of the attack -darnit-, and escapes the rest of the blast with a crispy shirt and coat. In spite of the huge blast hitting Kuugo, Kuugo still feels more than confident. He admits that Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou has increased in power a bit, in comparison to his Fullbring, but that doesn’t mean he can face off against Kuugo. But Ichigo easily appears behind Kuugo, proving that nothing matches Ichigo’s Shinigami speed. Not only that, Ichigo didn’t even use his Getsuga Tenshou yet. He only swung his blade down once .

I’ll admit, I wasn’t too excited about Ichigo’s “practice swing” being this powerful at first. But considering the fact that his swings were capable of cutting mountains in two 17 months ago, and all the “energy” that was blasted at Kuugo was most likely the dust that settled after Ichgio turned into a Shinigami, things might not be as dull as they seem right now. At least this puts Fullbring powers into perspective. I was conspicuous of the whole concept of a group of Fullbringers going unnoticed by Soul Society in the first place. But this chapter showed us that Urahara was aware of Tsukishima’s ability and that Xcution really isn’t up to a Shinigami captain’s level. Not to say that Ichigo’s a Shinigami captain, but he certainly is at that level.

Moving on for now, Ichigo decides to show Kuugo what a real Getsuga Tenshou looks like. A massive amount of Reiatsu pours from every inch of Zangetsu. The amount of power being released there is so great that Kuugo can’t even comprehend it. But Ichigo explains what this is exactly.

Need for diapers

Cleanup on aisles 1 through 13

Ichigo fires off the real brand of Getsuga Tenshou, not that imitation Fullbring one. Kuugo certainly seems to be impressed by the fact that the mansion behind him is now being destroyed in a single blast. This brings an end to the second return of the Deathberry. I really have little left to say about this part of the chapter. But I do have some things to mention in the chapter overview.

Remember chapter 459? That’s right, one of the best chapters in the series if you were to ask me. The developments, the excitement, the shininess of the new looks in Ichigo and Rukia. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! But then we had to wait a week longer because of vacations… and then we got this chapter…

Honestly, this chapter was rather disappointing. Urahara already knew about ‘Book of the End’? Really? Suddenly five of the most invincible Shinigami show up to take a look at what’s going on? Why? Kuugo’s this overpowered even though he just took a second person’s Fullbring powers? Okay, I was actually expecting this to happen, but this is just overkill. What’s more annoying than this has to be the fact that people have suddenly disappeared! Where are Urahara, Isshin, Ishida, and Tsukishima? Or Ichigo’s body for that matter? Heck, where did Chad and Orihime run off to all of a sudden? If I cared a bit more about the other Xcution members I would ask where they were as well, but…

I’m actually disappointed with Kubo now. He was doing so~~ great these past couple of chapters. But now he rushed things too much, glazing over details as if it’s nothing and really undoing almost everything that’s happened during this arc with a single swing of Zangetsu.

Not to say that the chapter was all bad. Rukia kicking Ichigo was just priceless. The way Ichigo interrupted Rukia was fun to see as well. The look Rukia gave Ichigo before she sent him off to battle was one I thought was a welcome sight. At least Kubo gave us an explanation on how Ichigo’s powers returned this time round. Usually he’d just leave it up in the air -much like the mastering of the Hollow mask-, so at least he bothered explaining how Rukia didn’t have to sacrifice all of her Shinigami powers just to return Ichigo’s. Still, to have Renji, Byakuya, Hitsugaya, Kenpachi, and Ikkaku all show up just to show us who helped out was too much. By having them appear, it makes it impossible for Xcution to even pose a threat. I’m just hoping Kubo has something bigger in store for the next couple of chapters… He could at least have KON return soon . For now, let’s just say that this chapter was all about Rukia and Ichigo teaming up again, which was the best part of this entire chapter.

Rukia told Ichigo that she learned about Tsukishima’s powers from Urahara. Even though she was wrong about the details, the gist of it was right. In a way, we learned that both Xcution and Urahara+Isshin had information about each other even though it was unlikely. Kuugo knows a lot more about Ichigo, his father, and Urahara than he should. On the other hand, Urahara knows all about Tsukishima’s ‘Book of the End’. How do Xcution and team Urahara know so much about each other? When did they learn of each other?

Next week will be Kuugo panicking a lot. Tsukishima will try to pull his ‘Book of the End’ stunt, but will fail to cut Ichigo. Kuugo will then decide to take all of Xcution’s powers for himself as he stabs each of the Xcution members to absorb their powers. He will go for Chad last, but Ichigo will then prevent him from doing so. Kuugo then undergoes a transformation allowing him to put up enough of a fight for Ichigo to show off what he’s really capable of.

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 week!

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

 

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~ by The Underscore on August 18, 2011.

6 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 460”

  1. ‘Shinigami Fanservice – Because you’re worth it’

    That’s the impression I got from this chapter. Though I’m giving it to 10th year celebrations for a moment.

    I am little annoyed with shinigami taking fullbringers as total noobs. As if they didn’t get enough bash from the ‘Loyal Bleach Fans’ now the characters had to do it. Where is my cool Ginjou, what’s going on…….

    Somehow people are seeing this chapter as declaration of end to their ‘pain’ that caused by those fullbring ordeal, this arc and its players can go to hell or some kind of black hole all they care. But I’m %100 sure it’s not over yet!

    If Kubo make fullbringers are total fodders, i’m so out of hope Bleach is nothing but tribute to the shinigami, there are no place for loser hollows, puny humans and insignificant quincies.

    Yes, at wednesday I learnt I’m not a real fan of bleach, but a random hater =/

  2. I’ll have to admit that I was actually hoping to see Kuugo humiliated by Ichigo. But I didn’t expect it to be this exaggerated. Let’s face it, I have been bashing the Fullbringers from the moment I set my eyes on them. Nonetheless, Kuugo and Tsukishima were entertaining enough, so I’m hoping to at least see some retort from them.

    FYI, you wouldn’t be bothered by these events if you didn’t care about Bleach, so I doubt you’re just a random hater ;).

  3. *Smiles* My friends, this isn’t the end yet. In fact, Kubo could turn this into another fake Karakura town war again. How? Xcution+Ichigo’s friends vs. The shinigami! Ishida would get picked up and healed by Urahara and Isshin whilst Chad and Orihime reveal to EVERYONE that their powers have improved to the level of captain shinigami!!! OR perhaps the captains will fight but avoid killing Chad and Orihime but will kill the others. I also hope that Kubo decides to just imprison all the shinigami except for Ichigo inside of Yukio’s Invaders Must Die. That would be a nice twist/way to keep the captains busy. but we all know that Kubo is gonna end up doing something interesting, yet dull all at once. :-\ Still, I’m glad to see everyone, even if Renji’s not a captain and Ikkaku isn’t as well. Toshiro looks like he’s mastered some new skills..I hope so, because I’m no longer that intrigued by him ever since Kubo trolled on his battle with Harribel. Hell, he trolled everyone in Bleach with Aizen.

  4. @ The Underscore;
    But that was one good bashing you did 😛

    Actually, when I first read this chapter it felt exciting (well, except the Ginjou humilation part) but hearing opinions made me sour lemon. I blame the internet!!

    About Kenpachi, does he got no eyepatch? They got limiters though. I think he looks better now, he used to look like a carnival clown. But hearing bell rings in the anime sounded exotic.

    Hands down to the Byakuya, that guy will still look the best even if he were to aged like Yamamoto.

    Anyway keep your neat reviews up, they’re like drinking water to swallow a pill ;D

    @Wilborn
    Having fan favourite captains of all time match against ignored or newly instructed characters sounds like an overkill. But still, I would like to see they actually put some challenge to them.

  5. ^ that was me by the way, i’m not that anonymous yet… 😀

  6. Here man, I think they have hidden skills that could trump the captains considering they have limiters. Also, Kuugo is probably as strong if not stronger than above captain level shinigami. Considering that he was the first…

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