The Underscore’s Bleach review 473


473: Enemies in the Dark

Eyes working… nose clear… no headache… fingers…. AHHH NO FINGERS! Prinny joke! Yohohoho~~. Finally feeling better and I’m almost back on schedule with work. Now to see whether I’ll be able to reply again soon… Of course, I’ll need a review to which you can reply, to which I can reply in order to that – completely ignoring the last couple of reviews for no apparent reason, not to say the replies aren’t appreciated. That’s how we get to this week’s review. I’ve gone a bit more old-skool in the writing process. I wonder whether you’ll notice . But something that’s been the same as the last +year, is the source of the scanlation. So thanks to Binktopia and Mangastream for their scanlation!

Bleach chapter 472, Razoredge Requiem, rated by 13 voters, gets an average score of:

6.9

Average

Last week’s chapter was the beginning of Tsukishima’s end. Or so it seemed. Last week’s poll was on exactly this matter: do you guys believe Tsukishima is actually done for?

Only one voter didn’t really care. There’s more pressing matters than Tsukishima meeting his end or not. It’s not like Tsukishima’s THAT interesting, right?

Four voters seem to think so. These four are hoping Tsukishima isn’t dead yet. Things may look grim, but that doesn’t mean Tsukishima should die in this manner after all the evil he’s done.

Then we have a tie in second place, with 6 votes each. 6 voters guess that Tsukishima is done for, considering the current situation and all. But the other 6 voters believe that Tsukishima must have something to get out of this sticky situation. These six weren’t too far off when it came to this. Too bad for Tsukishima it didn’t work…

But seven voters were just relieved that Tsukishima FINALLY is done for. With that stupidly overpowered ‘Book of the End’ of his and all…

YES! Finally! 7 25.00%
I guess so 6 31.25%
I hope not 4 12.50%
No, he’ll probably have something to get out of this 6 25.00%

Strawberry >>> Moonhorse

If only Tsukishima had real friends… like Byakuya has Kenpachi and Ichigo…

Byakuya’s desperate attack got Tsukishima good. So good in fact, that Tsukishima’s actually down. But not for the count. With most of his body immobile, there’s only one thing he can move: his tongue. The serpent’s tongue tries to sway Byakuya in the same way he tried to manipulate Orihime and Chad after the Shinigami arrived. Trying to get Byakuya to heal him with some Kidou, he asks whether Byakuya can be so merciless to someone he owes everything to.

Where there were no signs of Byakuya thinking Tsukishima was his bestest buddy during the last couple of chapters, things suddenly seem to have changed. Perhaps this is another prerequisite to ‘Book of the End’ activating its ability. This means I have to do another ‘Book of the End’ analysis in a relatively short time… So here we have the 4 steps for using ‘Book of the End’:

The Underscore’s easy guide to using ‘Book of the End’

Health and safety warning: When using ‘Book of the End’, be sure to be alive and/or have enough Reiatsu to manipulate victims. Effects may vary depending on what you wish to rewrite, how much Reiatsu you have, and how dear the memory that’s being rewritten truly is.

Step 1: Slash your victim through the heart using your activated bookmark
Step 2: Read all your victim’s memories and familiarize yourself with them to the point where you can imagine yourself being part of them
Step 3: Rewrite the victim’s history by telling them exactly what it is they should remember (using actual words) while focusing on this concept. E.g. Tell them you’re family they saw during a funeral and they will fill in the blanks themselves*

* Warning, Step 3 has an expiration date of a couple of days (?). The longer you wait with using this step, the more hazardous it will be to your victim. If you do decide to use this step after the expiration date is met, victims may end up with loss of mind, memory, and/or life.

Step 4 (Optional): Undo the effect by slashing your victim through the heart a second time. Use this when you’re not satisfied with the earlier results or if you just want to plain start over again.

Disclosure: The Underscore’s easy guide to using ‘Book of the End’ could be entirely wrong. If any of these steps prove to be wrong during the use of ‘Book of the End’, blame Kubo for not giving you the actual instructions.

So, even though Byakuya now believes that Tsukishima is a close friend (due to Tsukishima telling him just now), Byakuya still doesn’t feel like helping Tsukishima. The reason for this is simple: Byakuya still likes Ichigo better. Perhaps if Tsukishima were to be in prime condition he’d be able to have Byakuya think he’s actually the dear old friend and sparring buddy Tsukishima claimed to be. But with life seeping out of him and Reiatsu along with it, Tsukishima doesn’t have the energy to overwrite the importance of Byakuya’s debt to Ichigo.

With Tsukishima realizing that he can’t win against a true friendship, he curses the fact that he lost in such a manner. Though his ability never failed him before, now that he truly needed it he couldn’t rely on it. Thus showing that real bonds are better than fake ones… Speaking of bonds!

A matter of time

Is it just me, or could it be that Kenpachi is bummed that he’s afraid of Genryuusai?

No sooner did Tsukishima curse his fate, or ‘Invaders Must Die’ meets its end as well. Ikkaku sees that he’s finally freed from the pocket dimension, revealing that Shishigawara’s dimension had nothing altered in the first place. Perhaps this has to do with Yukio and Shishi not knowing each other that well, or Shishi not being aware of ‘Invaders Must Die’s’ true potential. Whatever the case, Ikkaku had been patiently waiting for the Fullbring to disappear. Ikkaku’s captain, however, had to use even more patience.

Kenpachi notes how long it took Ikkaku to get out of the pocket dimension. Ikkaku, however, tries to turn things around by saying that Kenpachi’s just early and he’s on time. But Kenpachi doesn’t buy it. Before the discussion goes on about whose on time and who isn’t, the second person to come out of the pocket dimension comes out.

Renji shows up, alive and well. He explains that he got out of the chatroom alright, but the explosion immobilized him for a while. Kenpachi reveals that he did hear the blast. Perhaps this means that it’s possible to hear whatever is going on inside the pocket dimensions. Either that, or the blast lasted long enough for the dimension to disappear before it settled down. Whatever the case, Renji’s alive. Ikkaku tries to mock Renji for being so beaten up by asking him if he at least won. Renji reveals that Jackie “probably died”. Apparently she’s still alive somewhere .

Kenpachi then notes that Ikkaku’s attitude is a bit too presumptuous for someone who only got out of the dimension a couple of seconds ago. Asking how Ikkaku did, Kenpachi isn’t pleased to hear that one of his most trusted squad members didn’t immediately kill his opponent (like he did), but that he wasted time by giving his opponent a lecture and letting him get away. Even Ikkaku started to realize how bad a plan that truly was as he’s explaining it to Kenpachi.

Apathy

If it isn’t on the PFP, it isn’t interesting

As Kenpachi starts to vent his frustrations on Ikkaku, Hitsugaya arrives at the scene with a frozen Yukio walking behind him (that’s right, his legs are free ). Kenpachi, still looking for a fight after the more than disappointing one he had before, then tries to pick a fight with Hitsugaya (by looking like a duck of sorts ). With Hitsugaya trying to stay out of things, Yukio interrupts by starting about the deal he made with Hitsugaya. Hitsugaya then tells Yukio that he won’t let him go unless he’s sure that everyone’s freed.

Hitsugaya then asks where Kuchiki and Kuchiki are -Ikkaku has a great point concerning this, don’t you agree? As Yukio complains that he is starting to lose the feeling in his extremities, Byakuya shows up carrying Rukia. Being the good brother he is, he of course makes sure his dear little sister is alright. Byakuya then leaves Rukia in Renji’s care, long after making sure that there’s nothing wrong with her both physically and reiatsu wise, of course. He explains this after Hitsugaya asks whether everything is okay with Rukia. But there’s one thing Byakuya can’t explain, which is where Riruka has gone off to.

Byakuya reveals that there’s no body, nor any presence of Riruka lingering after the battle. Could it be that Riruka truly has entered Rukia’s body? Whatever the case, Yukio seems to have his suspicions about this situation. Which Hitsugaya noticed immediately. Hitsugaya tries to get this out of Yukio, but Yukio tells Hitsugaya that he knows next to nothing about Riruka’s ‘Dollhouse’ because “they” -I’m guessing all the Xcution members, though it could just be Riruka and Yukio- didn’t want to reveal their strengths and weaknesses to each other. Yukio wraps up this part of the discussion by saying that he doesn’t know whether Riruka escaped or died, but that he’s hoping for the latter.

Poke-him-mon

That should be a game that Hitsugaya could enjoy with Yukio

Yukio tells Hitsugaya that he’s done enough to earn the other end of the bargain. But Hitsugaya points out that there’s still one dimension intact. Yukio regains his composure as he tells Hitsugaya that the last dimension is a unique one, which he can’t undo. Yukio loses his composure as he tells Hitsugaya that he isn’t lying .

Yukio tells the Shinigami a couple of interesting facts. First, Fullbringers and Substitute Shinigami can trade and share their powers. This means that this part of the story that Kuugo told Ichigo at first holds true. The mutual trading and sharing, however, weren’t part of the explanation at that time. It seemed to be a one way trade of powers, but if Yukio’s words hold true, it would mean that a Substitute Shinigami could give his powers to a Fullbringer as well.

Another interesting fact here is that Kuugo had the Fullbringers share their power with him as a part of the entrance ceremony for joining Xcution. Note that Yukio is talking about power here, not ability per say. This could explain why the Fullbringers were relatively strong during their fights against the Shinigami. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, as it were. With this exchange of “power” the Xcution members also made a promise with Kuugo concerning their powers. One that is embedded into their Fullbrings abilities. In Yukio’s case it’s that he isn’t allowed to dispel his ability without the explicit order from Kuugo. My guess is that Kuugo made similar deals with the other members, including Tsukishima with his ‘Book of the End’.

Of course, there’s one thing in this story that’s actually more important than what Yukio explained, though it’s an intricate part of it: Kuugo still has his Shinigami powers. The requirement for the exchange in powers is that both Fullbring and Shinigami powers are needed to exchange/take/move either power. The controlling factor in all of this, however, is the Shinigami powers. This means that Kuugo taking Ichigo’s FULLBRING powers required Kuugo to use his OWN Shinigami powers to take them -and share them amongst the other Fullbringers after. I guess this means that using Fullbring it is possible to channel Shinigami powers through an actual living body… What’s more, this means that Kuugo actually has plenty in reserve besides his initial Fullbring powers. Not only that, it’s possible that he made a “promise” with Ichigo, without Ichigo realizing it because of the exchange of Reiatsu and the forming of the Fullbring. So, what’s going on inside the final remaining dimension?

When substitutes clash

Could it be that Ishida’s actually coming up with a plan right now?

After Yukio revealed the “promise” he made with Kuugo, the scene changes to this manipulative person. Ichigo and Kuugo are exchanging Getsuga’s, though Ichigo’s (original) Getsuga Tenshou seems to have a slight upper hand in this situation. The battle can go either way judging from this exchange of blows. It’s not like either of these two substitutes has an actual upper hand. I guess that has to do with Kuugo being high on Fullbring energy and having a Shinigami backup, while Ichigo is still in his Shikai state (though the same could be said for Kuugo on some level).

It’s good to see that Ichigo’s prowess with Zangetsu hasn’t diminished over the past 17 months. Even though Kuugo should have the upper hand when it comes to experience, Ichigo has faced too great an opponents to come short when it comes to basic swordplay. Kuugo, however, isn’t too pressed by Ichigo’s efforts. Kuugo tells Ichigo that he is impressed by Ichigo’s current state, though he feels that Ichigo is being a bit too careless.

Ichigo tells Kuugo that he isn’t being careless, but Kuugo finishes the sentence by saying that Ichigo is just doing his best. But Kuugo can’t help but be curious as to WHY Ichigo is fighting. Ichigo doesn’t quite understand how Kuugo could ask such a stupid question as it’s obvious that Ichigo wants to stop Tsukishima. But Kuugo reveals that Tsukishima is dead.

Hearing this news, Ichigo loses his focus for a moment, which Kuugo obviously intended to do with his revelation. As Ichigo backs up a bit, Kuugo reveals that Tsukishima isn’t actually dead right now. But he will be in 10 minutes. But that’s not all…

Death=Undo?

I really hate you right now Kuugo…

That’s right. This time, Kuugo reveals that when a Fullbringer dies, all traces of their ability will disappear as well. In a way it makes sense. Though on the other hand, it doesn’t. It makes sense because without a user, the ability shouldn’t be able to linger because of a lack of energy being supplied. On the other hand, with Fullbring being charged by using Spiritual energy, being dead shouldn’t really be a problem in powering a Fullbring (e.g. Shinigami and Hollows using powers). Admittedly, I was a fool for believing that even one part of what Kuugo told us up to the point where he revealed his true nature was real. Remember: Everybody lies (Gregory House)(that’s right, even time lies Giriko ). But the whole ‘killing him may not be sure to dispel the ability’ concept was interesting enough. Too bad Kubo didn’t stick with it. Though with Tsukishima having died, it would be hard to have him slash people back to normal .

Ichigo is shocked to hear this (which is a bit disappointing as he held his composure so well after being back in black). Hearing that he doesn’t need to fight Kuugo anymore because he lost his purpose to fight (to get to Tsukishima) makes it that Kuugo has a point: What is Ichigo fighting for right now? Ichigo can’t really provide a decent answer. I guess that it’s hard to tell your opponent that you’re intent on fighting him just because you think he’s a major jerk and/or you actually enjoy the thrill of the fight .

But Kuugo has an answer for Ichigo. Or rather, a brand new purpose. He’s going to reveal the TRUE enemy Ichigo should be fighting (alongside him, I suppose)…

Pretty good chapter this week. Nice pacing, most battles nicely wrapped up, and most importantly, we’re heading to the conclusion of this arc. The way Tsukishima came to his end might have been a bit too easy in the end. But his final moments are more than fitting in my opinion.

The conversations between Ikkaku and Kenpachi were enough to give me a good chuckle, meaning this chapter had some laughs as well. Rukia’s lack of victory is a sign of things not going entirely for the “good guys”. Sadly it is at the expense of Rukia. I’d rather have Renji’s failing to save Jackie be the only loss for the Shinigami in this case (basically because the Fullbringers don’t entertain me as much as the Shinigami that are currently present).

Yukio revealing more about the actual exchange of powers between Fullbring and Substitute Shinigami was interesting as well. This means that there should be more to Fullbring than what we’ve seen up to now. Or at least to the Fullbring of Kuugo’s. Seeing Kuugo going toe to toe with Ichigo even though he’s only using his Fullbring powers at the moment (just look at his feet during the exchange of blows with Ichigo) at least means there’s a chance of Kuugo showing something good enough to have Ichigo use his Bankai. Or a Hollow mask… Just a Hollow mask would be fun though. That way the Bankai can be saved for the next villain to step up to the fray.

Speaking of that villain. Kuugo seems to have a suggestion as to who that could be. I wonder whether Kuugo will come up with a good excuse for having done what he did. Well, not so much a good excuse as much as an entertaining one. One beyond ‘you should fight Soul Society because they’re jerks’. But that’s for next week’s chapter, I guess.

All in all, a good chapter. Art was good, story progression was good, and the setup for the next chapter (and in a way for the next arc) worked as well. I’m really curious to see what will happen next week as I’ve been pondering about this for a while now.

This week’s headspinner is going to boggle your minds. Try getting to the answer of this one: Which Kuchiki’s which in Hitsugaya’s mentioning of them in this week’s chapter? Just think about it, is it Byakuya and then Rukia (alphabetically or by social ranking/ranking in the squads) or is it Rukia and then Byakuya (ladies first, snow Zanpakutou users ganging together, or just by plain greatness)?

Next week will be the first of a three chapter flashback. The first chapter will be about how Kuugo became the first Substitute Shinigami. The second about what happened for him to turn away from Soul Society (revealing the “true enemy” at the end). The third chapter will be about Kuugo assembling Xcution and explaining how that is supposed to help with fighting this “true enemy”.

Either that, or Kuugo will reveal that he is part of this “true enemy”. The flashback will be about Kuugo meeting up with the true instigator behind whatever evil plan is being set in motion. Aizen will be part of this “masterplan” as well, explaining how Kuugo got all his information… I’d better stop here as this is sounding too much like Naruto, where Orochimaru was revealed to be part of Akatsuki and them being the real perps and all… Hopefully Kubo won’t go that far .

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 November 20, 2011.

One Response to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 473”

  1. What the, our weekly reviewer is actually alive!!? oO Shame on me.

    It seems Tsukishima is a goner, and obviously Sushi Moe going to settle some things with him. I’m expecting that conclusion more than playing ‘guess who’ with Ginjou.

    Whatever Ginjou going to say, Ichigo most definetly not going to buy it; even if he says something like ‘Occupy Wall Street they’re your enemies’
    But my idea is, he is just going to say ‘The majority’ in general.

    Take care of yourself better next time, I lost track of Bleach like a poor lamb back then.

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