The Underscore’s Double Bleach review 470 & 471


Double Bleach review

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That sma~rts~! Dammit! Stupid health.. yeah, yeah, I know, I’m behind four reviews by now (including One Piece and Fairy Tail)… After reviewing Naruto two weeks ago, my health suddenly took a dive, incapacitating me for a whole 10 days! After which I immediately had to get to work as well! Anyways, I’ve been resurrected through an experimental treatment which involved things not uncommon in Bleach. Which reminds me, this rant has gone on for far too long, on to a double dose of Bleach to clear the system! Thanks to Binktopia and Mangastream for their scanlations!

470: Pray for Predators

Deviko vs. Usako

C:\DOS\RUN- RUN\RUKIA\RUN!

Rukia is in a lot of trouble, having to face Riruka while trapped in a bunny-devil doll. With the fight escalating from deciding what’s cute or not to whether Rukia is now a bunny or a devil, Rukia decides to make a tactical retreat for now. With Rukia running through the snack area of Riruka’s chatroom, she should be able to find some place to hide. Rukia isn’t too sure as to how she’ll solve her current problem, but she’s confident enough that she can outrun Riruka. At least now she knows how KON felt when he was being chased by Chad .

It’s rather curious to see Riruka having so much difficulty keeping up with Rukia. After all the training done by Ichigo to ensure his body could endure the Fullbring, you’d expect this to be a minimum requirement. But it’s probably only got something to do with the clad type Fullbring judging from Riruka’s current condition. Of course, Riruka doesn’t necessarily have to run in order to go fast…

Using her Bringer light, Riruka appears right in front of Rukia. As Riruka prepares to kick Rukia, the vice-captain instinctively uses Shunpo to get away. With this, Rukia confirms that she is still capable of using Shinigami abilities, in spite of her confines. Rukia then decides to do what she does best: Hadou 33. After leaping high into the sky, Rukia aims at Riruka with her ha~~ err paw while she’s being ridiculed by Riruka.

Too bad for Rukia, the Soukatsui blows up in her own face. Or rather, inside the doll. Riruka is completely caught off guard by this. Not only because Rukia blew herself up, she’s almost as surprised to learn about Kidou as well. This is best shown by her reaction to what just happened. She tells Rukia that she doesn’t know what happened, but that Rukia is just being plain stupid. She’d probably feel different if an orb of blue flames were to be shot at her…

Observations

Wait a sec… Ishida doesn’t have a plan?!!!!

While Rukia is roasting in her devilbunny doll, Kuugo is roasting the (fake) town. With massive blasts of energy covering the streets, we see Ishida hiding in an alley. Kuugo then calls out to Ichigo and Ishida, asking them whether they will come out to finally get started with their fight as this warming up is taking too long. But Ishida isn’t one who is easy to taunt. Ishida notices that Kuugo didn’t just take in Ichigo’s Fullbring ability, but the Reiatsu Ichigo used to power this up as well. Ishida already concludes this would lead to more trouble than would be expected at first glance. But Ichigo seems to be thinking about something different.

Ichigo comes to Ishida demanding a plan. Ishida asks Ichigo why he’s expecting a plan. Ichigo then explains that the reason they’re still hiding out at the moment is because Ishida demanded it in order to make a game-winning-plan. Ishida explains that he wasn’t planning so much as he was observing. Ichigo only heard that Ishida doesn’t have a plan. The imbecile then decides to take action, without listening to Ishida’s advice.

It’s odd to see how completely different Ichigo is acting solely by getting his Shinigami powers back again. In a way it makes sense. Ichigo’s Shinigami powers are an integral part of who he is. Even before Ichigo obtained Rukia’s Shinigami powers to awaken his own, he still had the power lying dormant inside of him. With the Mugetsu every last drop of it away, Ichigo threw away the part of his soul that was represented by Zangetsu. Losing part of yourself can have a great effect on your personality, which was made obvious by the Ichigo at the start of this arc. Ichigo tried filling this void with the usage of Fullbring, a third rate substitute for the awesomeness that is Zangetsu. Though he became more confident, he still felt something wasn’t right -at least, that’s what I’d like to think-. Then, when Kuugo took that third rate power, Ichigo lost the last thing he could cling to, only for him to be revitalized by Rukia giving him back what he was always meant to have. With Ichigo finally feeling complete again, he’s gone back to his old self: (over)confident when in a fight. Which leads us to…

Confrontation

Indeed, the general consensus seems to be that we’re all disappointed by Ishida not coming up with a plan

Ichigo confronts Kuugo head on. Kuugo is glad to see Ichigo finally came out, only to be curious whether Ichigo and Ishida came up with a plan that could actually work against him. No shortage of ego here . Ichigo tells Kuugo that they didn’t come up with a plan, hinting that it’s all Ishida’s fault. Ishida then tries warning Ichigo about the consequence of Kuugo having Ichigo’s reiatsu in his attacks. But Ichigo’s too busy with his own, own Reiatsu, rather than Kuugo’s strawberry Reiatsu.

Ichigo powers up another Getsuga Tenshou. Once more, the charging of the Getsuga seems to have changed. Where the old Getsuga’s were vertical blasts of energy, Ichigo now tends to use horizontal blasts of energy. Whether this has to do with what happened since the Mugetsu training, or it’s instinct reacting to the renewed Zangetsu isn’t too clear yet.
Whatever the case, Kuugo isn’t too worried. He taunts Ichigo with a taunt that’s too obvious. Ishida tries warning Ichigo, but it’s already too late. Ichigo fires the Getsuga (notice how it starts more diagonally, only to end horizontally) at Kuugo, who reacts by cutting away the part of the blast that would hit him. Catching Ichigo off guard with the odd defensive move, Kuugo suddenly uses a Getsuga Tenshou of his own. Though this one’s form and pattern resemble Ichigo’s Getsuga in the Fullbring states.

Findings

Nice findings, nice bow… doesn’t make up for not making a plan

The Getsuga hits Ichigo, giving Ishida an opportune moment to attack Kuugo from behind. Sadly, all four of the attacks miss. If only Ishida used an attack with a wider range and more arrows… But Ishida didn’t aim to hit Kuugo as much as he was aiming to get Ichigo’s attention. Ishida explains that with Ichigo’s reiatsu being in Kuugo’s attacks, it would mean that he could use Ichigo’s attacks as well. Admittedly, one’s Reiatsu is unique (which causes Zanpakutou/Hollow powers to manifest in relatively unique forms), meaning that if it’s copied, it can copy everything that’s determined by it. But I’m thinking Ishida’s overreaching on this one. Ichigo’s Fullbring wasn’t just the ability to cloak himself in power, but also gave the ability to fire Getsuga’s.

Nonetheless the most important thing here is: Kuugo can fire Getsuga’s now as well. Something I find more interesting than Kuugo’s Getsuga’s at this time has to be Ishida’s new bow (another new one?). The shape and size are reminiscent to the one Ryuuken uses. Whether this is a sign of mastery of the Quincy techniques, or Ishida mimicking his father, the fact that Ishida managed to manifest such a solid bow without the use of the glove he used before means he’s gotten plenty stronger over the past 17 months.
Anyways, Ishida asks Ichigo whether he gets the fact that Kuugo probably has access to his abilities due to the absorbing of Ichigo’s Fullbring. In the meantime, Ichigo reluctantly listens, more set on just getting things over with than listen to Kuugo’s powers explained. I mean, who would want to know that Kuugo seems to be able to absorb Reiatsu within a range of his ‘Cross of Scaffold’? That he seems to be able to extract both Reiatsu and abilities by stabbing his target? No~~ that would be pointless information for someone who tends to throw around Reiatsu as his usual attack… More important than that is to glare at that guy because you’re annoyed that he managed to nick you with your own attack.

Flashback’s a coming

This makes Rukia a sad little bunny devil

Rukia had to endure quite a lot in the time we’ve been watching Ichigo and Ishida. The damage she caused to herself practically knocked her out. Riruka then points her ‘Love Gun’ at Rukia, demanding to hear that Fullbringers aren’t normal humans. Rukia, however, is curious why Riruka hates to be considered a normal person like other people, as if it’s so important.

Riruka then explains that if the Xcution members were normal people, Tsukishima would have never approached them. Nor would Kuugo have come to “save” them. So it turns out that Kuugo came to Xcution later than Tsukishima. Perhaps after a couple of members grouped up, Kuugo found it more interesting to approach them. Whatever the reasons, it seems to have something to do with a different take on the concept of ‘Survival of the fittest’. Which Riruka decides to explain in the next chapter.

471: Pray for Predators 2

With the first part of this second chapter revolving around four of the Xcution members while jugling around, I’m going to approach this a bit differently from usual. I’ll be covering the four characters one at a time, before resuming with the second part of this chapter. I’ll be covering Riruka last as she’s involved in the second part of this chapter as well.

Yukio

The child that wanted to fill the void

The part with Yukio starts off with the first moment when he realized that his father wanted to be called out by him. But because Yukio never said anything to them, his parents decided to leave him in a big and empty space on his own. Because Yukio’s parents didn’t know how to reach out to him, he didn’t know what to do either. The silenced boy eventually realized that his parents wanted him to say things. In order to do that, he’d have to practice in the same way you can practice things in a videogame. Simulating a father and mother that conversed with him, Yukio turned out to be the blabbermouth we’ve seen in the recent chapters. The only problem he had, however, was getting to the point where he opened up.

Learning to control his games with his Fullbring, he managed to do something that’s bound to be harder than to speak up to parents who want you to talk to them. Simulating the thing he wanted to do didn’t give him what he wanted though. His parents saw this simulating as nothing more than a boy speaking to imaginary friends rather than to his parents. With his father shooting him down before he could even speak up, Yukio came to a single conclusion: It’s the fault of others for not adapting to his will in the same way videogames do. It would be better if he were alone and no one interrupted him. No one should interrupt him, invade his space. Invaders must die.

Honestly, I expected something worse from Yukio’s parents with the way he spoke about them. But in the end it had everything to do with the awkwardness between parents and child in trying to get to know each other. Sure, the blame can be put on Yukio’s parents in this case, as they should have made a greater effort to get their only child involved with them. In the end, it is nothing more than pitiable. Much to Yukio’s dismay.

Kutsuzawa Giriko

The power drunk fool who messed with time

I never liked Giriko. At first I was just not interested in him. For a small moment I was intrigued by his ‘Time tells no lies’, but overall I never really liked him. With the information we’re given here, I dislike him even more.

Giriko obtained the watch he used as a medium from his father. It was a precious heirloom that was considered to be something that brought luck to the owner. It protected the owner from being dragged into messes, and if you pray to the watch, it will grant you whatever you want. A firm believe had been put into Giriko about this watch. The watch became a deity to him as it granted him so many things.

A young man born to wealth, who already had plenty, only wanted more power. After a couple of decades of good fortune, Giriko came to realize what made this fortune come from the pocket watch. The pocket watch had the ability to kill people without even having to touch them ( I don’t really get how that’s directly related either ). The person he wanted to test this hypothesis on? His wife… This moron killed the wife whom, as it turns out, he actually didn’t want to kill at all. Seriously? Maybe if she was an ugly cutthroat bitch that he didn’t love at all I’d be able to empathize with him a bit. But he only killed his wife because he wanted to try it out… Sure, he paid the price in the form of his right eye. But this wasn’t for killing his wife. No, this was for breaching the contract made with his God.

All he needed was the conviction to obtain that what he wants and commit to it. But he didn’t commit to his God, failing to comply to the contract made. In the end, one needs to commit himself to that what he wants to do without ever doubting his decision. If you don’t abide to the set goal, you will be destroyed. After all, you promised to keep your end of the deal. Maybe you can lie, but time tells no lies.

Jackie Tristan

The girl who had to get dirty to come out stronger

I already covered Jackie a couple of reviews back, when we first caught a glimpse of Jackie’s past. It turns out that she got her boots from her father. They were the first gift she’d ever gotten. Though they were obviously stolen, Jackie was more than happy to accept a gift that her father so thoughtfully got her. She did everything she could to keep them clean, to take care of them to make sure they would last as long as they could.

But reality wasn’t so kind to Jackie. Whatever country she’s from, it’s obvious that there’s more than enough manual labor to be done for far too little pay. Her father couldn’t afford the boots with his paycheck, meaning there was probably more he couldn’t just outright afford. As such, Jackie had to get a job as well in order to make ends meet. Coming home from work, she found her dead brother in the field in front of her house. As she carried her brother’s corpse back home, she found the rest of her family dead as well. She would learn that it had to do with her father’s dirty business. She was too naive, thinking that everything would remain clean, that things wouldn’t get defiled by the harsh reality of her situation. Much like she wanted to keep her life, living with loving parents and siblings, she wanted to keep the symbol of this affection, her boots, unscathed, clean. But because this illusion didn’t build any resistance to reality, it was fragile. Much like the people who killed her family, she had to get her hands dirty to come out stronger. To get through the dirt, she’d have to get her boots dirty as well. She would become stronger, with her ‘Dirty boots’ as proof.

Dokugamine Riruka

Annoying little brat from the start

At the start of the chapter we catch a glimpse of a five year old Riruka. Fighting with “Gina” -most likely a friend/classmate- over a doll, she can’t do anything once Gina calls for her mother. The only thing Riruka could do to keep the doll she wanted was to hide it:

‘Hide away all the things you want from everyone else and they become yours’

From the age of five she already knew she was unique. She could do things other people couldn’t. She realized all of this at the age of 5, when she started practicing with her Fullbring. At the age of 6, she couldn’t improve her Fullbring any further than she already did. At the age of 7, she fell in love with a strawberry type boy living in her street.

The way Riruka describes this guy makes you think you’re reading about Ichigo. This explains both why Riruka fell head over heels for Ichigo, and why she was so disappointed by Ichigo when he was more focused on power than drop everything to help others. But that’s beside the point right now. Riruka did what she thought was right, put the person she likes inside a box where no one else would be able to find him. If she did that for long enough, he’d become hers. If she would keep that person close, they could be together forever. They’d be like husband and wife, living in a ‘Dollhouse’.

But with the guy being nothing more than a hostage to a psychotic seven year old girl, he could do nothing more than fear for his life. With the fear seeping through his eyes, even Riruka understood that her credo didn’t work on people. In the end, she let the guy go without even considering the possibility that he could’ve died.

Conclusion: Riruka’s a selfish girl who never grew up .

Call to arms

This guy’s bite could actually be worse than his bark…

With the flashback over, Riruka concludes that there’s no such thing as ‘survival of the fittest’ in the form as people usual see it. It’s not like the weak are meat for the strong only because of the difference in strength. The real difference is in the numbers.

The Fullbringers are weak as well. Incapable of protecting family, cast away by others because they couldn’t reach out, caught in illusions of grandeur, or plain fools who isolate themselves. The only way they would be able to become stronger, to not get eaten by predators, is to group together. At least, this is what Kuugo told the Xcution members as he told them they were fooled by the world of “normal humans”.

If I were to guess, I’d say that Kuugo had some issues of his own when he was a substitute Shinigami. He probably felt he was better than other Shinigami in spite of being part human. The Shinigami then decided to make sure they’d proof their superiority, resulting in Kuugo abandoning his Substitute Shinigami obligations and forming Xcution with Tsukishima and the others.
In a way, this is reminiscent of what Aizen wanted to achieve. Aizen didn’t want to be isolated for being too powerful. But with him being incapable of being less than he was, he decided he would become the most powerful being in the world by overtaking the Spirit King. But where Aizen decided to do this on his own, Kuugo seems to be doing this with the help of other individuals. Though for all we know, Xcution is to Kuugo what the Espadas were to Aizen. Then there’s the problem that I can’t say for sure whether Kuugo has similar ambitions to Aizen’s, of overthrowing a reigning power to ensure no one can control them anymore.

Badass bunny

Leave it to Rukia to look awesome while saying something like that, even though she’s inside a doll!

While Riruka was doing her little rant on the awesomeness of Fullbringers, Rukia had something better to do. A small trail of ice formed between Rukia and Sode no Shirayuki, only noticed by Riruka at the last moment. Though seemingly pointless at first, Rukia is now capable of using her ‘White Moon’ to attack Riruka. You’ve got to hand it to Rukia, she’s more than capable of turning a bad situation around . She actually managed to get Sode no Shirayuki to react without having to touch it, something we haven’t seen since Neo-Ichigo/Ichigonator summoned Tensa Zangetsu. This certainly looks promising.

Riruka manages to dodge the attack by the skin of her teeth. Rukia then admits that she understands why Riruka and the others would believe that grouping together would make them strong enough not to get eaten by predators. But for a group who decided to do just that, it’s rather strange to abandon each other so easily. Rukia tells Riruka they were fools for splitting up during these fights if they truly believed what Riruka just told her. But Riruka points out that they aren’t comrades, but mere scraps of weak meat.

Rukia then warns Riruka that her next attack will freeze her, possibly killing her as well. Riruka then says it’s another sign of arrogance, deciding to end things quickly.

The decisive blow?

Rukia, NOOOO~~~!! Why didn’t you just mop the floor with her?

Riruka takes one of her pigtails to tickle her nose. She then sneezes on Rukia, freeing her from her confines (much to Rukia’s surprise). Riruka uses this moment to put her gauntlet to Rukia’s chest. The heartshaped pattern on the gauntlet suddenly reveals an R and a small thread of Reiatsu coming out of it. Riruka apologizes for ending things like this (most likely because she feels bad for ending it in such an uncute way). The reason she ended things in this manner is simply because she didn’t want to get caught in Sode no Shirayuki’s attack. But what will happen to Rukia now? Will she be trapped inside Riruka’s Fullbring? Or is Riruka only taking her Shinigami powers? Time will tell…

Two chapters, both titled ‘Pray for Predators’. The first chapter focused on the situation with Ichigo, Ishida, and Kuugo. The second chapter was the one that had been coming for a long time, the one that explains why Xcution was formed (according to the majority of the members).

Pray for Predators was an okay chapter. Finding out more about the fight between Ichigo and Ishida vs. Kuugo was something I’ve been waiting for quite some time. The progress of that chapter was more than good (especially in terms of Bleach). Kuugo mimicking the Getsuga Tenshou wasn’t what I wanted to see, considering his other Fullbring ability. Nonetheless, it should make for more in the upcoming chapters if the fight were to continue.

Pray for Predators 2 held most story of the two chapters. The pasts of the Fullbringers had to be shown at some point in time, and this chapter was as good a chapter as any to do so. Without dragging things out for too long, Kubo gave four of the Xcution members their 15 minutes of Flashback. The way Kuugo managed to persuade the other members to follow him was probably the most intriguing part of the chapter. Perhaps it’s a bit disappointing that it seems to be somewhat similar to Aizen’s motivation, but this doesn’t change the fact that we finally know. I’m curious how Kubo will handle this in the upcoming chapters.

Next week’s chapter will be Byakuya vs. Tsukishima. Byakuya will pull out something from his sleeve. Even if Tsukishima knows everything Byakuya will throw at him, it doesn’t change the fact that it will be about raw skill in the end. In that respect, Byakuya will still stand a chance. Though it may be close in the end, I am afraid that Byakuya may not win. Not to say that he’ll lose, he just won’t be able to win . Next week’s chapter will end with a conclusion to this fight, be it by ending the fight or Yukio undoing the ‘Invaders must Die’.

That’s it for this week’s review. Rather tiring to do a double review while I’m still not at 100%. I know, there’s no polls discussed or a headspinner this week. Still, I hope you guys enjoyed it. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on the chapters and/or review, give any theories that you may have and to vote in this week’s poll. Don’t forget to rate the chapters! I’ll see you guys again next week! (I’ll try to make up for the One Piece and Fairy Tail reviews in 2011)

Rate chapter 470 by clicking on the picture above!

Rate chapter 471 by clicking on the picture above!

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~ by The Underscore on November 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Underscore’s Double Bleach review 470 & 471”

  1. I’ve been checking the site nearly everyday since 470, patiently waiting for the review. Do you know how long you made us wait for this ?! XD

    Awesome as always. I really like how you point out all the small details that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed.

  2. First of all: I wish you get better soon. I was also visiting the site every day to check for any new reviews 🙂

    Second, the review of the latest chapter was one of your best. The way you described each of FB-ers’ pasts and experiences in a very thoughtful way made me re-think some of my thoughts as well. Until I read your review, I didn’t perceive Yukio as anything more than a spoiled brat. You managed to change that opinion. You reminded me that in his age, it was only his parents’ fault that he turned out to be “isolated” and socially inept. And you probably found the reason his FB is named “Invaders Must Die”. In his own, isolated but “perfect” world it’s true that his parents were the invaders.
    Kudos for that^ then.

    About Aizen and Kuugo’s seemingly similar motivation I’d rather watch Kuugo’s battle before making any conclusions. It’s obvious that we are gonna learn much when his fight is over. We don’t know yet if the Fbers are Kuugo’s espada. We don’t know if he just uses them or he cares about them even in the least of a degree.

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