The Underscore’s Bleach review 478


478: THE LOST 3

There I was thinking I’d be writing a One Piece review at the end of 2011. To my surprise, I find some shiny new chapters, amongst which a shiny new Bleach chapter. Well… perhaps not THAT shiny… In fact, it was rather plain… Makes me glad I didn’t have to wait 2 weeks for this chapter if I’m completely honest. But more on that in the review. Thanks to Mangastream for providing the scanlations during Christmas.

Also, my apologies for being this late with the review and not giving a One Piece and Fairy Tail review before this new year. Oh, on that note, Happy New Year! Anyways, I’ve been far too busy in spite of the holidays. I actually had to write this review in chunks because I only had half an hour a day that I could spend on writing this review… Anyways, I’ll try to write reviews for One Piece and Fairy Tail soon. With some luck, I’ll actually have some free time in February at least. Until then, the usual Bleach review… perhaps with a new section starting next week. For now, a sloppy Bleach review to start the year!

Bleach chapter 477, THE LOST 2, rated by 24 voters, gets an average score of:

8.8
Great

During the previous chapter, it turned out that Rukia had been turned into a closet for Riruka to hide in. Which made me wonder… if Rukia says closets aren’t cute, but she turns out to be one… could she be wrong?

We then immediately come to a tie. Two voters say Yes, closets are cute. Which would be obvious because Rukia is one. But two voters say No. Which also makes sense because Rukia said so, and she is obviously right while Riruka’s obviously wrong.

Then we get a close one for first and second place, with only one vote difference.
Eighteen voters make the obvious conclusion: Closets aren’t cute, only Rukia is! If KON sama says so, it must be true!

Oddly, the majority of the votes went to a fourth option… Yukio’s frozen and I create a poll about him, but Riruka’s cut and now I don’t do the same for her?… Nineteen of you were wondering about that. Well, quite frankly… I won’t forgive Riruka for turning Rukia into a closet! Because of that, she doesn’t deserve a poll of her own! (That, and I only made a poll about Yukio because I couldn’t think of anything else at that time )

Crying zebras

Geez, who died?

With a flashback starting at the end of last week’s chapter, this certainly comes as a surprise. Admittedly, it’s not that bad a thing to skip flashbacks every now and then. But I’d rather see a couple of pages worth of flashback instead of what we get here.

Tsukishima is weeping like a small child who just lost his favorite pet. Which isn’t too far off as we learn that Ginjo apparently died… Quite frankly, I wasn’t that shocked by this news. Sure, I expected Kuugo to survive somehow, but that isn’t the thing that should be shocking. Kuugo makes for Ichigo’s first (conscious) kill of a sentient being. Sure, Ulquiorra was the first opponent killed by Ichigo’s hands, be it because of Shirosaki, but Kuugo is the first opponent Ichigo killed when he was in control. What’s more, Ichigo killed an actual living being who was much like himself. But no one really cares… at least I’m having some trouble caring…

The one who cares enough to take my share as well, however, can actually tone it down a bit. Tsukishima cries out in anguish at the thought of his mentor and caretaker having died. Apparently Tsukishima owes practically everything to Kuugo. In that respect I could sympathize with Tsukishima’s situation. I mean, Kuugo was Tsukishima’s only real friend, the only person who knows him through and through. Even we don’t really know anything about Tsukishima if we think about it. Sure, he seemed like the cold and calculating type. But if you look at him on the first couple of pages of the chapter, you can see he’s more emotional than the average person. Here we were thinking Ichigo was overreacting during this arc .

But again, Tsukishima lost the only person he truly cared about. The only person who cared for his true self, not the manufactured image of Tsukishima who is inserted into others just to make people like him. So have some sympathy for this poor man who lost his one and only friend at the hands of someone else.

For those of you who can’t really imagine what it would be like to be in Tsukishima’s shoes: Imagine a group of people, let’s call them Xcutive, who target one person, who we’ll call Niigo. Amongst Xcutive, there’s one person, Taioshima, who has the ability to steal friends. Taioshima uses his ability to take away all of Niigo’s friends. This makes Niigo so desperate that he would even consider killing Taioshima. Then… Wait a second~! This sounds rather familiar!

Eye to eye

Don’t mind the hole in his chest, just slug him Sushigawara

With Tsukishima at wit’s end, he blames Kuugo for not preparing him for the time Kuugo would die. Of course, with the gaping hole in Tsukishima’s chest which technically should have killed him, if not crippled him at least, Tsukishima might not have any need to think of what to do with Kuugo being dead. As Tsukishima coughs up some more blood, he raises his head to come eye to eye with his number 1 follower: Shishigawara Moe.

Tsukishima is surprised to see Shishigawara at first, only to realize that this is how things should be. Seeing Shishigawara holding back his anger is a sign to Tsukishima as being the one who gets to pass down the judgment on him. After all, same as how Tsukishima was pupil to Kuugo, Shishigawara was pupil to him. With Tsukishima passing judgment on Kuugo through cursing him, Shishigawara deserves to do the same. Coming to this conclusion, Tsukishima can’t help but smile.

Xcuted

Don’t mind the attempt at murder, let’s just keep walking…

Yukio is strolling back to town from the mansion. Kicking a stone as a means to entertain himself, considering his PFP has been destroyed. As he walks away, he’s greeted by Jackie who managed to survive her self destruction. Yukio is surprised at her survival, apparently glad to see her alive even if he tries not to show it. Jackie, however, feels she should be dead right now. Yukio instinctively looks at Jackie’s boots and somehow deduces that Jackie has lost her powers.

Yukio congratulates her on the loss of her powers, considering her desire to lose those powers was genuine in the end. It isn’t too clear what happened to Jackie’s powers though. Odds are that her powers disappeared with that explosion. On the other hand, her powers could have gone to Ichigo as far as we know. Then again, with Yukio being capable of noticing that Jackie no longer has her Fullbring, it’s possible that he still has them. But if he still has them, it could mean Ichigo hasn’t taken any of them.

Jackie then reveals she found Giriko’s body and buried it. Douche he may have been, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was one of Jackie’s comrades. Even Yukio realizes that he has lost not one, but two comrades. Not only that, Riruka has been struck down by Tsukishima as well while the latter has gone off with a mortal wound. With Jackie pointing out she buried Giriko, he probably realizes that this is reality.

Jackie then reveals that she is a bit envious of Giriko dying while he still had his powers. The reason for this is the same one as why she never gave her powers to Kuugo. Though her powers were born from the pain she endured ever since her family was murdered, those same powers allowed for her to be found by Kuugo and the others. Those powers bound them as they made them equals. It was the one thing they had in common, the reason for them to stick together. Though not her real family, Xcution was a group of people who she could rely on. But she realized that without her powers, they would no longer need her.

Yukio then does something he should’ve done years ago. Without a PFP to hide behind, Yukio can only do the same as Jackie has done: reveal his true thoughts. He does so by mocking Jackie for thinking he was bound to them by their Fullbring. Though a lame way to let her know that he still wants Jackie and Riruka around, at least he’s realized that he already had that which he wanted in the first place. Jackie, however, is a bit thick at the moment as this is so out of character for Yukio. She asks Yukio to stick with her for just a bit longer. Yukio then makes a promise to Jackie. In three years time he’ll triple the size of his company. Then he would need more employees. The ones to fill those vacancies would then be filled by the Xcution members he left behind. So until then, Jackie should sort things out knowing that Yukio has got her back.

THE LAST

Damn you Kubo. Why’d you have to go and do this?

At Urahara’s, Riruka awakens at the sight of Rukia. Rukia tells Ichigo that she woke up. Riruka is surprised to learn she’s alive. But Ichigo reveals that it was all thanks to Urahara who showed up in time. Even though they were able to help Riruka, the other Xcution members were nowhere to be found. Ichigo’s current demeanor is an odd one. Admittedly, he is one who doesn’t want to see anyone dead, so it makes sense that he is a bit down about not knowing what happened to the other Xcution members. But with Kuugo apparently being dead, Ichigo should at least show something more than this. After all, Ichigo killed him! Though with Kuugo already being a substitute Shinigami in the first place, it isn’t too hard to imagine where he could be right now…

With the news of her friends gone missing, Riruka turns around with the same realization that Jackie came to earlier. But Riruka doesn’t get enough time to wallow in her loneliness. As she turns away from Ichigo, she is faced with a crying Orihime. Orihime is glad that her friend Riruka is safe. Sadly, it is unknown whether the same can be said about Kuugo, Jackie, Yukio, Giriko, and Sushigawara. These five disappeared in the aftermath of it all. Apparently no one bothered telling Orihime what truly happened as she only remembers helping out her friends from Xcution. Makes you wonder why she isn’t worried about the fact that Ichigo tried to kill Tsukishima… though on that note, why didn’t she mention Tsukishima at all? This is exactly what Riruka realizes after hearing Orihime is glad that she is safe. As she asks about Tsukishima, she already prepares herself for the news about his death. But rather than that, she learns that Orihime has no clue about who Tsukishima is.

Knowing Tsukishima, she already concludes that Tsukishima’s powers have completely faded, erasing everything about Tsukishima from his targets’ memories. Believing Tsukishima died, she can’t help but cry a little at what she has lost. Or rather, at the fact that Tsukishima has been lost from the minds of many, leaving him alone in the same way he was alone before Kuugo found him. Ichigo realizes this and remains quiet, even though he probably still can’t bring himself to forgiving Tsukishima for doing what he did.

Death of a Substitute

Will he be missed?

With the night of the Shinigami assault coming to an end, Tsukishima awakens at dawn. This new dawn brings him a warmth he had not felt in a long time. Tsukishima realizes that he’s being carried by Shishigawara. Shishigawara in turn is glad to learn that Tsukishima somehow managed to survive (again, how can he do that with that gaping hole in a living body?).

Shishigawara reveals that he had every intention of killing Tsukishima at first. But he realized that Tsukishima was too important for him to kill. In spite of everything that Tsukishima has kept from him, including the intent to kill Shishigawara on Kuugo’s command, Tsukishima is still Shishigawara’s idol.

Learning of this, Tsukishima realizes why Kuugo would up and die the way he did. Kuugo knew that Tsukishima wouldn’t be alone anymore as he could now confine in Shishigawara in the same way Tsukishima confined in him… which still doesn’t explain why he wanted Shishigawara killed .

Tsukishima thanks Shishigawara for his help. Shishigawara gets all embarrassed because of this, saying it’s only natural for him to help him out. Shishigawara then points out that it’s dawn. Shishigawara then unconsciously says something rather deep. He points out how Tsukishima has always been quite a night owl, but that it’s good for him to see the dawning of a new day as it’s quite a sight to behold. In a way, this is just as this current situation is right now. Tsukishima is lifted from the dark depression by the light of friendship brought by Shishigawara. Or something along those lines .

Tsukishima then says his final thank you, thanking Kuugo and Shishigawara for never leaving him alone. With the pain left by Kuugo’s death now gone, Tsukishima rests…

You wouldn’t believe how annoying a chapter this was to review. I’m not satisfied by this review if I’m completely honest… But for that I’d need a Review overview, rather than this chapter overview… So, on to the chapter. I really didn’t like this one if I’m perfectly honest. Sure, it’s a good thing we aren’t lingering in this arc for much longer than we have until now. But the way this is wrapped up is just too sudden.

What happened to Kuugo? Did Jackie lose her powers because of that self destruction? Or did Jackie lose her powers thanks to her absorbing Ichigo’s powers, basically using her own version of the Mugetsu to lose those powers? Does Yukio still have his powers? Why would Ichigo and the others let Tsukishima just up and leave the way he did? Shouldn’t they at least give him some medical treatment? Did Ichigo get back his own Fullbring powers? Did Ichigo take some of the other Fullbring powers? What is the name of Ichigo’s Fullbring? Is Tsukishima just taking a rest, or is he taking his final rest? Are we going to be stuck with Riruka from now on? Most importantly: How many arcs can Kubo go on without showing us KON?!

All in all, this arc wasn’t as bad as I first expected it to be when I saw the Fullbringers. Heck, I had a good time watching the way Tsukishima manipulated people, though that got a bit old as well when it seemed that Book of the End was practically invincible. Kuugo being the actual bad guy was something we all knew from the moment we saw him with the Shinigami representative badge. I’ll have to admit that I never thought he’d still be somewhat of a decent guy somewhere deep down. At least this proved that Kuugo wasn’t so shallow a character as he first seemed to be.

But again, this is the chapter overview… Tsukishima’s weeping annoyed me quite a bit. Probably because I was anticipating something completely different than pages of Tsukishima whining. Shishigawara saving Tsukishima was something that was bound to happen. Even though Ikkaku pointed out how bad this relationship actually is, Shishigawara saw beyond this to know that there’s more to Tsukishima. Shishigawara is a rather simple character in that respect. He appreciates the bond he has with Tsukishima enough to see past his faults. He realized that he only did what Kuugo asked him to because Tsukishima was the same as him.

The part with Jackie and Yukio was alright I guess. At least it gives some closure to those characters, though it answers next to nothing about what the actual conclusion of this fight is. It only shows us that they joined Kuugo’s cause because they wanted to stick together. But what truly happened in the aftermath besides Giriko getting buried, remains unknown. Riruka ending up at Urahara’s was something that makes sense… she did save Ichigo’s live… or something. But having Orihime cry the way she did was somewhat of an overkill. Yes, Orihime empathizes with people quickly and can shed tears for them, we get it. But I’d rather hear some news from anyone about what truly happened with Kuugo than see her crying over him for such a great amount of time.

Learning that Tsukishima had been erased from his victims’ minds was one of the most intriguing things of this chapter. In a way it shows that the ‘Book of the End’ did have a flaw in the end. Its effect would never truly last, nor would it ever be able to erase one’s true memories. It could cover them up with fake memories, but they would only fade away with Tsukishima.

On that note, I’m still not too sure whether Tsukishima lived or died. Guess that’s one for the polls. All in all, not too impressed with the chapter. The arc overall was okay. It kept me entertained well enough, gave background on what Chad’s powers truly are, returned Rukia, and Ichigo’s powers have been restored. If only KON were here…

Kuugo apparently died. With Kuugo being part Shinigami, a human, and infected with Hollow powers, it’s safe to say there’s plenty of options for him in the afterlife. In the Soul Society arc, Ukitake pointed out that once Orihime and Chad died, they would probably become Shinigami themselves. So with Kuugo already having been a Shinigami, it would make sense for him to be able to do the same. But would he do that? So here’s the headspinner for this week: What do you think happened to Kuugo after his death? Soul Society, Hueco Mundo, or Hell?

Next week we’ll start off with a brand new arc. My guess the focus will be on Ichigo getting back to his Substitute Shinigami duties and adjusting to the changes that were made in the past 17 months prior to his return with powers. Rukia probably won’t be able to stick with Ichigo because of her Vice-captain duties, meaning Ichigo will need a new guide (for the time being). Ichigo may actually decide to learn more about his father starting the next chapter, or the one after that.

That’s it for this week’s review. I hope you guys enjoyed it even if it has been quite the inconsistent one. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter, arc, 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 January 8, 2012.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 478”

  1. That was a nice review, considering the “meh”-iness of that week’s chapter. I am also bit skeptical about Riruka’s joining the nakama but depending of how Kubo writes that, it may lead to some interesting things. Besides if that doesn’t happen then my initial guess that “FB arc is being only for Ichigo to take his powers back” would be proved to be correct. Also, that’s finally the end of the “small arc” Kubo had told us almost one year and a half back. Really, the time has come to learn more about Isshin now.

    Something else. A request for the future. We wanna see Underscore Mask again reviewing a chapter again. Preferably the one Aizen gets back. (He reviewed the Deicide-he deserves it) Really. where’s that guy? I really loved that mask. And no offense, but he was way better reviewer than you. I really hope you’ll do anything necessary to bring him back to us Mr. Underscore. Like you do miss KON, we miss him. Bring him back! :p

  2. That’s pretty good review for having no time to do it! Maybe you should do your reviews in the rush hours?

    So the Xcution arc has been concluded, and can only stretch for one or two chapters. I’m feel sad (more likely depressed for not seeing a flashback) having all that stuff done.

    You think three years later, ex-xcution members will do a comeback with Yukio’s company?

  3. @Kuroi:
    Glad you liked the review. I wasn’t that happy with this chapter either. Review for this week’s chapter will be up in 45 minutes or so, at least that one’s a better closing chapter than this one was.

    As for The Underscore Mask’s return… He should be the one to review the chapter of Aizen’s return (if he does in fact return). Admittedly he’s a far better reviewer than I could ever hope to be… There’s just something about him that automatically made him more awesome than I am…

    But more importantly: KON has to come back!

    @FirstReplierWannabe:
    Maybe I should review in rush hours… but I wouldn’t know what to do with my Sunday mornings if I did! 😮

    As for Xcution members returning with Yukio’s company… I guess it will be a reunion of sorts for Yukio, Jackie, and perhaps Riruka.

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