The Underscore’s Bleach review 462


462 Why me sad

Me sad because me have little time. On the other hand, me also entertained by Kubo’s attempts at giving English titles to his chapters. Maybe it’s best me start reviewing this chapter. But not before me thank Mangastream and Binktopia for their scanlation.

Me also apologize for the fact that the review only came out today. Me wasn’t able to get on Mangahelpers yesterday, which makes it hard to get the review up right .

Bleach chapter 461, Come Around Our Turn, rated by 21 voters, gets an average score of:

9.1

Awesome

In last week’s chapter, we heard from Renji that good old Yama-jii decided to play Santa. Just like Santa rewards those who are good, Yama-jii decided to reward Ichigo for his sacrifice. All thanks to Ichigo, Soul Society lived another day to change its ways. But me, er~~ me mean, I was wondering if we really could just thank Ichigo for all of this. It’s not like he set out to change Soul Society or anything? Here’s who you guys thought should take all the glory:

Two people feel Urahara should get the credits for all that’s happened. Heck, he’s the one who made the Hougyoku in the first place, without which none of this would have happened.

Six voters, however, know exactly how all of this happened. Genryuusai did it himself, but was just being cool and have Ichigo take the credit. It’s not like a young whippersnapper would be able to change anything. Genryuusai’s the man to thank.

Thirteen voters understood what really happened, though. Aizen happened. Aizen never truly intended to defeat the Soul King. Even his defeat was just part of a plan to make Soul Society a better place.

Seventeen voters don’t believe any of that and know Ichigo is the one to thank. He defeated Aizen. He beat all odds. He gave up his powers to change things. So Ichigo got his just deserves!

Smooth Criminal

Well… not smooth per say… still, definitely a criminal

New and improved, Kuugo stands in front of Ichigo. Donning a new outfit, a crossover between Ichigo’s Fullbring and his usual outfit, Kuugo doesn’t look like someone who just got blow away by a Getsuga Tenshou. But Ichigo doesn’t really care about that as much as he cares about the news he just heard: Kuugo was the first substitute Shinigami!

Hitsugaya explains that the badge given to Ichigo along with the rules and responsibilities all find their origin with Kuugo. He reminds Ichigo of what Ukitake told Ichigo when given his badge. What’s odd here is that the Substitute Shinigami law basically states that Substitute Shinigami are only acknowledged once they prove themselves useful to Soul Society and receive the badge to prove this point. The obvious question then is what Kuugo did to deserve the badge in the first place. Moreover, what did he do that Soul Society would even consider allowing Substitute Shinigami to walk around?
Funny how Kubo is using this arc to cover at least two of the longer running questions in Bleach. From revealing Fullbring to be the true nature of Chad’s powers to the origins of the Substitute Shinigami badge. Perhaps not two of the most crucial questions in Bleach, but I’ve always been curious about both . Perhaps this arc will also cover Isshin’s backstory somehow. But more on that later.

Hitsugaya wants to reveal more about the origins of the Substitute Shinigami laws, but Byakuya warns him that this isn’t the time for this. Kuugo certainly agrees to this as he is overjoyed with his new powers. He thanks Ichigo for his powers because this is what let him survive Ichigo’s attack. This raises another question, but more on that later.

Empathy

This is borderline EmPATHETIC

-A picture of a young Orihime and Tsukishima-

Chad and Orihime are running towards where the action is. We learn that Orihime was aware that Ichigo broke down in tears for a moment, which is odd as she was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps it’s her woman’s intuition, but that’s never been a reliable source of information… Orihime can’t help but wonder how things got to this point. Even though Ichigo and Tsukishima are such good friends, everything has gone down the drain. The man Orihime is in love with and the man who she loves for caring for her ever since she was little, fighting it out. Obviously, she should do what she can to protect the man who sheltered her all these years, but still… she can’t stop crying at the thought of Ichigo being in such distress.

A couple of weeks back I hypothesized that Tsukishima’s ability worked by overwriting the history he had with someone else in one’s past. That was before it was revealed to be Tsukishima inserting himself into someone’s life. But judging from what we saw and heard here, Tsukishima obviously overwrote memories that Orihime had of her brother, from the first picture we saw along with the chapter’s title. This adds yet another mystery to the functionality of ‘Book of the End’, yet it explains why Chad and Orihime are so set to helping out Tsukishima. By rewriting the past and inserting himself in the place of the people closest to them (hence the picture), Tsukishima made it so that Chad and Orihime would be bound to Tsukishima by a sense of duty that exceeds their duty towards Ichigo.

The fact that Orihime is this distressed about Ichigo crying, however, is a sign that there are some flaws to ‘Book of the End’. Perhaps it depends on the amount of memories that are rewritten, or how close to the heart ‘Book of the End’ cuts, but Orihime is showing some signs of resisting Tsukishima’s spell. A clear sign of this is the moment when Orihime sees Ichigo in his Shinigami form.

Tsukishima in action

These are not the droids you are looking for

Chad and Orihime then notice the Shinigami standing near Ichigo. Orihime concludes that they must have arrived to stop Ichigo from doing something bad. The fact that Orihime reacts like this almost makes me think that she’s seen the Shinigami a couple of times in the 17 month period since Aizen’s fall. But here’s where things get tricky all of a sudden. Where the Shinigami should be stopping Ichigo, they almost seem to be siding with Ichigo… Not only that, they all seem to have the intention to kill Kuugo!

Things don’t add up here, judging by everything that Hitsugaya, Renji, and Rukia have done in the past, they would never allow Ichigo to do something like that. But that makes Chad and Orihime wonder… what really happened in the past again? Luckily we have the great Tsukishima to give answers. As he appears behind Chad and Orihime, he asks them if there’s something wrong with their memories of the past.

Tsukishima then displays that he can alter memories of people he’s cut at any given moment in time. All he has to do is be heard by his targets and reinforce the prior illusion they had of him. This means he can further expand on the thought of (for example) Tsukishima being someone’s cousin. I don’t think he can suddenly change everything about the story without cutting a person twice (once to undo the previous memory, and another time to insert a new suggestion).

Tsukishima starts asking Chad and Orihime why they are doubting the person who helped them both. From protecting Orihime from her abusive parents to giving Chad his most precious coin. Lucky for Chad and Orihime, they are saved before Tsukishima can complete this suggestion. But they aren’t saved by Ichigo or one of the Soul Society captains, but by none other than Kuugo! Maybe he is a good guy?

Kuugo tells Tsukishima to stop inserting extra details this late after he cut Chad and Orihime. Apparently, if done too long after the initial activation of the ability, Book of the End can permanently damage a person, breaking them in the process. The reason Kuugo knows this is because it has happened before. Even though Kuugo told Tsukishima to stop, it turns out that it was all too late.

Sandal-hat-man and Bearded Daruma

Whenever there’s a teen in distress, this team of heroes arrive in time

Chad and Orihime start freaking out due to Tsukishima’s attempt at reinforcing ‘Book of the End’s’ effects. The suggestions implanted by Tsukishima are starting to overwrite even more of Chad and Orihime’s memories of their grandfather and brother respectively. Tsukishima seems to be enjoying the sight of people breaking down mentally. But Kuugo on the other hand seems to be bothered by the sight of Chad and Orihime breaking down because of Tsukishima’s reckless actions. Even this late in the arc, Kuugo keeps surprising me with little things. Not killing Ichigo was almost too obviously done so that Ichigo could live to fight another day in the name of Bleach. But perhaps Kuugo’s motives were more noble than this? At least he kept Ichigo alive, right? Now he suddenly seems bothered by Chad and Orihime’s current situation. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

But there’s been enough thinking for Chad and Orihime as Urahara and Isshin skillfully take out the two with a single blow to the back of the head. That’s Shinigami training for you. Tsukishima was caught off guard by these two suddenly stopping Orihime and Chad from mentally breaking down. Urahara makes sure Orihime doesn’t get hurt too much from her passing out. Isshin, with a bit more effort, does the same for Chad. Gotta love his reaction to Urahara helping Orihime .

Urahara thanks Tsukishima for messing with Chad and Orihime like that as it made it easier for them to be taken out of the picture. Without Chad and Orihime around to act as human shields, things should be easier. Not only that, they won’t have to suffer -I get the feeling “they” includes Ichigo.

Kuugo almost looks relieved at what happened here. But he doesn’t have time to relax right now with all the attention he’s getting.

Welcome to our Xcution 2

I was expecting Kenpachi to do the cutting

The rest of Xcution finally shows up as they suddenly see Kuugo with his renewed Fullbring. Oddly, it is Giriko who overreacts to this sight. Where he always looked like the one most loyal to Kuugo, he suddenly says he expected Kuugo to betray them by taking Ichigo’s powers for himself . Riruka tries to say something about this, but Yukio already has a word in before her by saying they promised to share Ichigo’s powers. Riruka suddenly wants to get back out from that deal as he tells Giriko and Yukio that she doesn’t want Ichigo’s powers anymore.

There we have it. All of Xcution was part of the plan to take Ichigo’s powers. But not in order to give the powers to Kuugo, but so they could all share that power. I can’t help but wonder what the point is of sharing Ichigo’s Fullbring powers amongst Xcution members. Quite frankly, I doubt Ichigo’s Fullbring powers are really that strong. Sure, Ichigo managed to give Tsukishima a run for his money using his Fullbring. But is that really such an impressive feat? Ichigo easily made mince meat out of Kuugo only moments ago with his Shinigami powers, where his Fullbring only kept up with Kuugo at best. I suppose this is the downside of not working with power levels .

Whatever the case, the nagging by the Xcution members did have an effect. Kuugo takes his sword and cuts down his fellow members (excluding Tsukishima). For a moment it looks like they will all fall to great injuries. Only moments after this, however, Kuugo reveals he always intended to share Ichigo’s powers with them. This leads to a transformation all the members, safe for Riruka, wanted.

Xcution 2.0

Everything’s better once you add strawberry?

Kuugo grins as he witnesses his renewed followers. That is to say, three out of four of them. Where Giriko, Yukio, and Jackie all got body armor along the lines of Ichigo’s Fullbring. Riruka, however, seems to be resisting this gift of power. Whatever the case, Kubo decided to use Xcution as more than just a battery pack for Kuugo to become overpowered. Again, this makes me wonder how Xcution would ever dream of being strong enough to face Soul Society… I do have a theory on that

Remember good old Aizen? He wanted to break the barrier between Hollow and Shinigami to create an even stronger hybrid. What he came to were the Arrancar as something greater than the Visoreds (though both would be surpassed by his own transformation). Key here was mixing Hollow and Shinigami powers to increase power exponentially. What if Xcution needed Ichigo’s powers for only that reason? Ichigo’s Reiatsu is unique in that it is a perfect mixture of Shinigami and Hollow powers (post Dangai that is). Not only that, Ichigo’s ability is to compress the energy and combine it into a more refined one with greater power (Getsuga Tenshou). For all we know, all of the Xcution members have Shinigami powers residing inside themselves, but couldn’t get them to mix with the dominating Hollow based Fullbring powers. By using Ichigo’s powers, relatively small though they may be, Xcution probably managed to combine both powers to create what we see here. Similar to Arrancar, yet different due to the human base behind it all. For all we know, Xcution could be a threat as great as the Espada were… which turned out to be less of a threat than they were hyped up to be when they were first introduced . Guess we’ll find out more next week.

This chapter finally made me realize why I was so disappointed with the two chapters prior to this one. I just want to have more happening per chapter and what everyone’s doing. The thing is, Kubo’s never really done it like this. There were about three or four “groups of people” that were all acting within a limited radius from each other. Usually in Bleach, fights take place at the same time or with more distance between people so they can’t just interfere with fights. But with this arc, everyone’s within the area of the mansion, which should mean that people can easily react to whatever is happening outside and quickly take a look. It took Kubo several chapters to have Chad and Orihime show up again, even though they popped up out of nowhere before in the blink of an eye.

I had one problem with this chapter, though. I feel that there’s a part of this chapter missing right now. If I had to choose one thing I missed in this chapter, it has to be Ichigo’s reactions to what happened around him. Why would he just be standing there and watching how Kuugo cuts down the Xcution members to give them his powers? Does Ichigo not care, knowing that he won’t lose to people who took his relatively feeble Fullbring powers?

Anyways, with the confirmation that Kuugo was in fact the first Substitute Shinigami and that the badge has close ties to him, we at least know that there’s got to be more to this arc than just Xcution being wiped out. Kuugo’s reactions were rather intriguing as well. More on that in the headspinner . The part with Tsukishima manipulating Chad and Orihime was interesting to see as well. Perhaps a bit misplaced right now as the sharing of Ichigo’s powers amongst Xcution seems like somewhat of a greater issue right now. Still, Kubo finally answered the question of what all those people were doing (now to wait for Ishida and KON’s status). The transfer of Ichigo’s power amongst Xcution members was probably the oddest thing in this chapter. Seeing Riruka with her reservations was an interesting take on things. Everyone suddenly powering up like that, however, is something that will need some clarification. Did they actually get stronger? Guess that’s all for next week’s chapter.

Obviously there can only be one headspinner this week…. WHERE’S KON-SAMA~~~~!!!….. No? Well, perhaps this one’s a good runner up…

Kuugo, for some reason, seems to have less intent to kill than you’d expect from a merciless villain. Let’s face it, Kuugo’s been a real jerk overall. Nonetheless, Kuugo has his reservations about taking his opponents’ lives from what we’ve seen from him. So he’s enough of a jerk to take away Ichigo’s powers, yet not enough of a jerk to kill or let others be killed. What if taking Ichigo’s powers was all for a greater good?

Could it be that Kuugo took Ichigo’s powers so that Ichigo wouldn’t need to be involved in whatever goal he has?

>Text<

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 September 5, 2011.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 462”

  1. Tsukishima getting his Mind rape on really made this chapter for me. It really shows us that underneath his normal cool persona is someone really sadistic, who enjoys screwing with peoples heads. Kuugo’s line implying that he has broken the minds of a lot of people in the past makes him even more frighting. Those two pages where he was talking to Chad and Orihime were creepy as hell, in a cool way.

    I also liked the two little “fake outs” that kubo did at the end of this chapter. The rest of Xcution comes running up, and Giriko is all “how dare you take ichigos power!” and for a moment we think “oh, i guess they were lied to as well”. Then Yukio says “yeah, we promised to share”, and im like “Oh, you bastards, i knew they were in on it!”.

    The other little fake out is what i like to call the “Not Aizen moment”. Ginjou complains that they are loud and then moves fast, slashing all of them. For a moment it looks like he has slaughtered them in a “i dont need you anymore” way, but then it turns out he was only sharing the power with them, as promised. I love this because kubo keeps showing that Ginjou is not like Aizen. Aizen was always solitary, killed his own followers, and would never have shared his power with anyone. Ginjou on the other hand continues to show that, while he is a villain, he has his own Nakama that he seems to trust. He trusted Tsukishima enough to let him cut him, and he trusted the other Xcution members enough to trust that they wouldn’t reveal anything to ichigo while Ginjou was bookmarked.

    So, i am glad that my thoey of Xcution being in on it was proven true, and looking forward to the fights we get next. I get the feeling that Riruka’s mind will be affected by the power, so that she stops objecting to the plan. im a bit worried that this will be a repeat of the captains vs the espada though, with the captains winning easily. well, kubo has done well so far with this arc, lets hope he can keep it up.

    P.S. since i was to busy to post during those chapters, RUUUUUUUKKKIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! so much love, love, love for her new look! that color spread of her and ichigo back to back was kickass ichiruki goodness. Rukia is one of my favorites like Ulquiorra, who i rarely ever have a problem with, and i cant wait to see her fight! Lets hope she has bankai now!

  2. tsukishima really made the chapter even more awesome with his twisted mind game.

    However, i don’t see tsukishima as kuugo’s sidekick.
    then how come he didn’t get some of ichigo’s powers? what is he really after if he came out of it with a plain plate as we saw.

    i’m seeing even more things coming from him in the upcoming chapter for sure.

    but for now, the upgraded Xciotion looks ( though not all of them are appearing very well ) are rather interesting and i think their powers won’t be that much different in terms of format and style from the old ones, the differences in power however is what i think will have the bigger inpact ( or at least i’m hoping, giving that they are going against some badass captains)

    still no answer on why is kuugo using a fullbring instead of shinigami power > if he had one ( giving that he was the first subtitute shinigami ) but that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.

    off topic >> Where the hell did ichigos body go?
    he turned to shinigami right? then his empty body should be laying around there somewhere, unless he turned to shinigami along with his human body 😛

    thanks for the review.

  3. Ichigo’s body was not around when he received powers at chapter 1 too. Guess same thing is happening again. Real question should be where is Ishida’s body!! Ichigo blew him along with the roof??

    About Tsukishima’s mindscrew, I think when he overwrites himself as one of very close person to their targets; their mind shatters because of the paradoxes. Killing people by talking… No wonder his only real friends are books.

    Sushi boy didn’t get his share either. I think Riruka going to explode (ehem bloom) so she can join the fight.

    Fake outs were nicely done, I was like ‘No, Ginjou! Don’t level up being jerk!’ to ‘That’s how you become a practical villain’ 😀

    I think he is as good as Gotei 13, which their motives as gray as them.

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