The Underscore’s Bleach review 475

475: Shades of the Bond

Another week, another chapter, another review. This week we finally get to see Ichigo’s new Bankai. I’d rant a bit more here, but I’m already late this week due to some unexpected guests showing up at my doorstep on a Sunday morning… some people… That and a rant in this week’s review (of course).
Anyways, thanks to Binktopia/Mangastream for their scanlation. On to the review!

Bleach chapter 474, beLIEve, rated by 18 voters, gets an average score of:



With Ichigo shouting BANKAI! at the end of last week’s chapter, I was curious what your first thoughts were. Here’s the results!

No one is wondering why Ichigo is using his Bankai right now, nor are they against it appearing right now.

Four people thought to themselves: meh. They didn’t really care either way.

Five people had other things on their minds because of Kuugo’s besides Ichigo’s Bankai. They were a bit confused about the fact that we were suddenly told to think of Ukitake as a major villain right now, even though there was supposed to be some amazing enemy “in the dark”. I’d say Ukitake would feel left in the dark about things if he were to hear this .

But the majority of the votes, 21 of them, went to: Ya~~~~y!, as a sign of their liking the prospect of seeing Ichigo in his Bankai glory this week. Let’s see whether it was worth the wait!

To break or not to break

Why won’t they break it, from left to right: CANNOT BE BOTHERED

Rukia regains her consciousness, awakening to the sight of Renji hanging over her. No sooner does Rukia open her eyes, or Renji frantically starts his expert diagnosis by shaking the answers out of her (bad pun intended). Apparently, her shoulder hurts quite a bit right now… Hopefully Renji MD can find the cause of this pain soon!

Rukia then notices that her brother and the others who came to Karakura town are staring at something. As Renji MD found the cause of the pain on Rukia’s shoulder and managed to heal her pain (great job doctor!), Rukia looks at the black box in the sky. Oddly, Renji MD didn’t find anything else odd about Rukia’s current situation. What could have happened after Riruka aimed her Fullbring at Rukia? There are no strange symptoms that Renji MD found in his thorough examination. For now we could assume that there’s nothing wrong, even though I’m 90% sure that Riruka is now inside of Rukia (warning, The Underscore’s predictions tend to be wrong 99 out of 101 times).


The piece formerly known as indestructible, also known as: BOOM

Rukia realizes that Ichigo is inside of the black box and walks to her brother to tell him to just open it up to help Ichigo. Yukio, still frozen still, still can’t stay still (I’m confused now as well ) after hearing another “fool” think of opening up the pocket dimension. Rukia can’t really believe that it is impossible to open up the box from the outside with at least 3 captain class Shinigami in the premises and two others who can use Bankai around. Rukia then comes to the conclusion that there’s got to be another reason for the others to just wait around besides the “indestructibility” of the Fullbring.

With the thought of ‘Invaders must Die’ being indestructible cracking up Kenpachi, Ikkaku, Hitsugaya, and Byakuya on the inside, ‘Invaders must Die’ does the same thing. With Ichigo preaching Bankai on the inside, not even ‘Invaders must Die’ can contain all that energy. Yukio can’t even imagine his ability to just break up the way it does, even though he just said that it can’t be broken from the OUTSIDE.

As the Fullbring reaches its limit, the entire thing just explodes over the mansion where this evening started before. Notice how Ichigo’s initial Getsuga Tenshou already broke the roof of the thing. Now he allows for another explosion to take place right over that mansion. Way to look out for his friends and family who could still be inside… With pieces of ‘Invaders must Die’ falling down and smoke covering the area, Rukia sees a somewhat familiar figure in the sky.

Tensa Zangetsu X

I could say ‘Back in Black’ again, but that would get old and seems a bit inaccurate

Ichigo managed to get to Bankai with ease, like he’s riding a bicycle again after some time. But this bicycle’s got some shiny new parts that the old one didn’t have. From what I’ve seen during the rest of this chapter, the two basic parts remain: the katana and the coat. Though even these two have undergone quite the changes.
Let’s start with the katana, shall we. While it’s still slim and black, it has gotten a bit more aggressive looking. The blade looks more like a fang, especially with the three pointy parts at the end. The blade also seems to have gotten longer because of this. As a guesstimate, I’d say the old Tensa Zangetsu ended about where the second “spike” starts (from the hilt up, that is). The end of the blade also seems to have gotten sharper than before.

The guard seems to have remained the same, though be it different. It’s still a Swastika from what I can see, but it too has gotten more fanglike. Sadly nothing can be said about the sword’s handle. Where, the last time we saw Ichigo’s Bankai in the manga, the handle almost completely disappeared to make room for a gauntlet and the chain wrapping his arm, there aren’t any signs of that this time round. It would be too much to ask for something like that to be seen in this form again. Hopefully it still has the chain somewhere.

Where the previous form had the gauntlet, this form has opted to give Ichigo some gloves instead. I would’ve liked to see two gauntlets for this form, rather than odd gloves attached to the coat itself. That’s right, I find these gloves to be odd. Perhaps that’s because they seem so pointless. This brings me to the renewed coat. It’s like Ichigo is wearing two coats over each other now, judging from the lower part of it. There’s a black coat on the outside, and a white(?) one on the inside. Two layered if you will. Though the previous form seemed to have the same thing, in this form it seems to be more obvious. Oddly, the coat’s still torn up on the lower end, though it wouldn’t look quite as good if it weren’t.

A new theme that seems to be going in Ichigo’s Shinigami form is the X shaped wrappings. The coat itself also has them on the upper body, rather than it being zipped up as the previous form seemed to be. I don’t really like them that much. It’s interesting to see that the inner coat that all Shinigami wear is visible underneath it right now, though. The X themed wrappings bring me back to Ichigo’s arms. Rather than getting gauntlets, Ichigo gets white wrappings around his lower arms, wrists, and hands. They seem to be made of the same substance that make up Hollow masks, though I can’t say for sure. I don’t really mind these wrappings too much, though the gloves irk me. If only they’d been gauntlets, fingerless gloves, or just not there.

Finally, the last addition to the Bankai, the part around Ichigo’s neck. It’s similar to the one on Ichigo’s Shikai, though different all the same. The shape is exactly the same, but this time the middle part of it has turned entirely white while the upper and lower parts have turned black.

For now, I’m more in favor of Ichigo’s original Bankai form, rather than this one. Some additions are nice, while others just make Ichigo look a bit odd. I’ll probably change my opinion one I see it in action in the anime. At least it looks a lot better than the Karakura ranger outfit Ichigo got from his Fullbring .

But enough ranting about the renewed Tensa Zangetsu.

On with it


Ishida is surprised to see Ichigo in his Bankai all of a sudden. Kuugo, however, seems to be less surprised and hardly impressed. Playing the Joker card, Kuugo asks Ichigo: Why so angry? Kuugo believes that Ichigo used his Bankai in order to quickly kill him off so he doesn’t have to listen to him anymore. He concludes that Ichigo wants to get rid of him so that he can blissfully ignore reality again.

Ichigo tells Kuugo to shut up, but it turns out that this isn’t “again”. The first “shut up” was addressed to none other than Ishida Uryuu! Ishida is surprised to hear this, though Ichigo has a good point. Ishida should’ve had a plan before, but because he doesn’t have one he should just remain quiet. Though the reason Ichigo wanted him to shut up was because Ishida was worrying over nothing again.

Ichigo reveals that he always kept Ukitake’s words in mind ever since he got the badge. But he didn’t think too much of it because he didn’t want to be suspicious of Ukitake. But that didn’t change the fact that he was. The reason for Ichigo to be suspicious of Ukitake was simple: Ukitake is a lot smarter than Ichigo. But it is also because of this that Ichigo isn’t suspicious of him.

Obviously obvious

As if anyone even believed Ukitake to be an Aizen type jerk…

With Ichigo already having experienced Aizen levels of deception, he knows that someone of Ukitake’s intelligence would never give Ichigo any signs of him being suspicious. Ichigo knew that Ukitake made the discrepancy between his words and the badge’s actual workings this obvious for Ichigo to be able to choose.

Kuugo doesn’t believe Ichigo’s words. With Ukitake presenting the badge, whether Ichigo is a force of good or evil to Soul Society, there is little choice but to accept the badge. Even knowing that there’s something wrong with the badge, Ichigo is still forced to using it. But this isn’t the choice Ichigo is talking about. Ichigo chose to protect, and that’s all there was to it.

With Ichigo being all about protecting others, much as his name implies, he needed power. He always wanted that power to protect, and he realized just how much he needed that power after losing it. Ichigo tried filling this void with his odd jobs, but that didn’t work. After getting powers from Rukia, losing them completely after fighting Aizen, and getting them back from his friends, there’s only one thing he can do with them: protect everyone.

Well, there’s little new about what Ichigo told us here. Sure, the badge does some odd things that don’t coincide with what Ukitake told him, but that doesn’t change the fact that it allows Ichigo to use his powers without needing the help from others to get to them. This reminds me of a couple of replies to last week’s review (yes, I do read them for realz ). Some people noticed that Ichigo’s powers got bonkers after receiving his representative badge. Let me put this as gently as I can: You’re most likely WRONG about this…. now to explain why I would make such a baseless claim… well, baseless…

Remember what happened shortly before and after Ichigo received his Representative badge? That’s right, Shirosaki. Shirosaki was messing around with Ichigo’s powers as they’ve always been part of Ichigo’s Bankai. It was only when Ichigo subjugated Shirosaki that he was in full control of his powers again. Now to try and make some amends to those who rightfully pointed out how these events coincided with each other… It’s possible that Shirosaki had even more of an influence on Ichigo’s powers because the representative badge was restricting his Shinigami powers. Because of that, the balance tilted in Shirosaki’s favor, allowing him to mess with Ichigo’s powers even more than before.

Besides that, Ichigo’s powers have always been dependent of his state of mind. From being able to cut Kenpachi, to being capable of cutting Grimmjow. Of course, there was a limit which he met during his fight with Ulquiorra. Which was overthrown by Shirosaki… which was then surpassed by the harmony between Ichigo’s Shinigami powers and Hollow powers uniting as one. But I’m digressing from the chapter again…

Déjà Vu

When in doubt… BANKAI!… wait, didn’t I say this last week?

Kuugo appears to be genuinely disappointed with Ichigo’s response. Perhaps he was hoping a fellow Substitute Shinigami would understand his desires. But he realizes that Ichigo is too stubborn to be persuaded against his believes. Even though he never wanted to kill Ichigo, which explains why he didn’t do so after taking Ichigo’s powers, he is now forced to do so. But how do you beat a Bankai? That’s right, using a Bankai!

I did have my suspicions about Kuugo being capable of using Bankai from the moment it was revealed that he was the first Substitute Shinigami. But I wrote it off as improbable considering the status of Bankai in Soul Society. But with Kuugo using it now, it would seem that it was more than probable. What’s odd though is that Kuugo hasn’t shown any signs of using Shinigami powers. Could it be that he is capable of using his Shinigami powers in his living body? More importantly, could it be that Ichigo is doing the same thing right now? I really hope that Ichigo’s dead body is still lying around somewhere at this time. I’ll stop reading Bleach if KON won’t be necessary in Bleach anymore!… well, I wouldn’t, but I’d still be really crossed!

Speaking of crossed, there’s ‘Cross of Scaffold’s’ Bankai state. It actually looks more like we’re seeing Kuugo’s inner Hollow at work. Could it be that Kuugo took the ability to use Bankai from Ichigo’s Fullbring somehow and this is a Fullbring’s Bankai? With Fullbring’s basis being in Hollow powers it could explain the Hollowesk appearance Kuugo has right now. I wonder what else is hidden in the smoke as I kind of expect there to be more. Bankai usually aren’t that small, so unless this is a Fullbring copy of Ichigo’s Tensa Zangetsu I’m expecting something more than just an armor and changed sword. Now to wait until next week to see what it could be… and then I’ll try to rant about it a bit in next week’s review . Only one Bankai rant a week!

Straightforward as a chapter can be. Rukia wakes up, apparently unharmed, so no “Rukia is in a coma and we have to find a way to help her” chapters for now. I’m a bit surprised at the sight of ‘Invaders must Die’ breaking down already. Sure, it’s a testimony to the power of Ichigo’s Bankai. More on that in this week’s headspinner.

Ichigo’s new Bankai still hasn’t blown me away. I like it, but I still like the old one better. In short, I want to see KON again soon! (see last week’s review if you don’t get this part ) I’m glad that Ichigo didn’t buy Kuugo’s nonsensical claims about Ukitake being evil incarnated. The way he blew off Ishida made me laugh as well .

Kuugo’s disappointment of Ichigo’s rejection was rather intriguing. Kuugo doesn’t really come over as the type to care whether Ichigo would join his cause or not. Of course, with his willingness to actually kill Ichigo the moment he realizes this, you can’t really say that he cares that much . Him using Bankai as well at least makes it that the upcoming fight is on more equal grounds than it would have been otherwise. But I can’t help but wonder… why isn’t anyone worried about the mansion filled with innocent people right beneath these two Substitute Shinigami!?

All in all, a good chapter. Obviously it’s a set up chapter for the upcoming one where the two substitutes face off. Nonetheless, it was good enough with the revelation of two Bankais. I’m curious to see what next week’s chapter will bring us.

Ichigo’s Bankai managed to blow up ‘Invaders Must Die’ just by activating! Certainly this is a sign of a Bankai’s power! Which raises the question: How come Ichigo’s Bankai can blow up ‘Invaders Must Die’ just by activating while Byakuya’s Bankai didn’t affect it the slightest?

Kuugo will be able to hold of Ichigo with his powers. He’ll reveal the true nature of his powers as well, turning out to be Ichigo’s natural opposite when it comes to abilities. But Ichigo will reveal that his new Bankai also has something more than Getsuga Tenshou up its sleeves…

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! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to prepare for more guests who are coming this afternoon. I’ll see you guys again next week!

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



~ by The Underscore on December 4, 2011.

One Response to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 475”

  1. Even Yammi is smarter than Ichigo that’s for sure.

    So Ukitake allowed Ichigo to choose, which he used it for good way (or for conveince for SS). What was his other options then? Ichigo saying this like ‘Well, I’m the special case; they gave me power, so I use it to protect’. No wonder Ginjou is disappointed that Ichigo only thinks his case, not other possible sub-shinigami.

    About headspinner, you know Ichigo’s very core can defy logic. How many characters has said ‘Impossible’ against Ichigo? Though Ginjou doesn’t seems bothered by this performance.

    See you next week with another Bankai rant!

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