The Underscore’s Bleach review 481

481: The Fearing

Not much to say here. Even though we’ll have to do without Mangastream scanlations from now on, there’s others who decided to provide us with out weekly dose of Shounen Jump. I don’t know whose responsible, but I’m grateful. Whatever the case, on with the review!

Bleach chapter 480, The Thousand Year-Blood War, rated by 15 voters, gets an average score of:



Here we are, into the final arc of Bleach… Here’s what your first thoughts were about this fact being written in last week’s review:

Five voters were happy with this news. Could it be that these voters are just happy to see Bleach come to an end after a couple of bad choices made by Kubo in some of the previous arcs, or are they seeking peace of mind, not needing to wonder what will happen next?

Six voters realize it’s for the best. Bleach has been suffering a bit with Kubo being fickle about where he wants to go with the story. Knowing that Kubo already envisioned the end of Bleach and he is finally sticking to this plan probably is for the best…

Nine voters aren’t sure what to think of this yet. Understandable, if you ask me. If Bleach is wrapped up nicely, I won’t mind this being the last arc. But if there’s too much left unanswered and Bleach does awesome in this arc, I might not want it to end.

Then we have a rather peculiar tie here. Two options, 11 votes each. 11 voters can’t believe Bleach is coming to an end, as the first thing that went through their minds was: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO~! 11 other voters couldn’t help but wonder… how can I remain silent for three weeks, then return with only a single addition to my reviews in the form of ‘Kubo Title’… But I was busy, for real! Besides, it was either ‘Kubo Title’, or ‘The analysis of Bleach chapter titles: the synergy between chapter, content, and author in a Manga’. I’d say ‘Kubo Title’ is catchier .

My Second Life

Hey, after getting your revenge, you’d live in leisure as well

The chapter starts with Hiyori and Lisa returning home after going to the bathhouse. The ever energetic Hiyori seems to be looking for some entertainment after her afternoon bath as she is hoping to get into a conversation (or perhaps confrontation) with her fellow retired Visoreds. Too bad for her, only Lisa is with her where she was expecting to find Love as well. Crossed at the lack of response, she keeps on heading home, only to find that she doesn’t have the house key on her. Nor does Lisa. It would seem that Hachiken is the one with the key on him, but he too isn’t with them.

It would appear that the Visoreds have gone their separate ways now. You’d think that sticking together for 100 years would be enough to keep them together even after accomplishing their goal. Though it’s understandable that not all Visoreds would feel comfortable with returning to Soul Society after being persecuted and all. From what we can make up from this first page of the chapter, Hiyori, Lisa, Love, and Hachi decided to live a normal live from now on. In a way, they made the same decision Urahara made after their names were cleared.

Even though they could return to Soul Society in peace now, they rather continue on this road they’ve chosen for themselves. Besides that, I have my suspicions that Hiyori doesn’t feel much for working for Mayuri . Love doesn’t really seem like the guy who has ambitions for being a captain unless needed, meaning Komamura’s seat is save. Lisa probably wouldn’t want to get in the way of Nanao’s career either. Hachi… well, I don’t think there’s a point for him to return when Tessai is still residing in the world of the living as well.

With the remaining Visoreds living their life the way they want (though I’m curious as to what might have happened with Mashiro), they are still trained Shinigami at heart. Even while going on a rage trip, Hiyori’s easily spotted the smell of something Shinigami like. As she turns around, she finds a tear in the fabric of reality, wondering what it might be. Judging by the size of this tear, I doubt it’s used for either a gateway or a means to spy on others. I’m not saying it’s impossible for it to be the remains of a Garganta that has been used, nor a rather sloppy attempt at spying on people. But taking the contents of last week’s chapter into consideration, this might actually be the barrier between dimensions breaking.

Back in business


Yuuki wakes up, instinctively saying he wasn’t listening as he senses he wasn’t the only one in the room. Ichigo then points out that he wasn’t saying anything in the first place. With Yuuki awake, Ichigo wants him out. Honestly, I’m surprised Ichigo took him home with him in the first place. Whatever happened to Urahara’s place? Could it be that Urahara doesn’t have special guest pickles anymore? But before Ichigo can force Yuuki out of his house, another intruder enters his house.

Orihime appears with leftover bread from her job. I’m quite surprised she’s so comfortable with entering Ichigo’s room like that. Perhaps it has something to do with her not being alone… Ichigo comments on the leftover bread again, saying there’s probably a reason for it not to be sold. Though Orihime wants to defend the leftover bread, she isn’t alone on it this time. Ishida and Chad agree that the bread must be good if Orihime can enjoy it on a daily basis.

Ichigo then realizes he never heard the doorbell ringing, even though three people just barged into his room. Ishida tells Ichigo they ran into Yuzu, who let them in, and then “suggests” that Ichigo gets some plates to put the bread on. As Ichigo and Ishida deepen their incredible friendship over an argument about plates and bread, Yuuki realizes who they are. After screaming like a little girl, he realizes he saw Ichigo the night before. Though it turns out it was two nights ago .

The Hollowbusters

NOW you decide to finally do something Orihime?

With a flashback going back two days, we find out what happened after Ichigo arrived. After cutting one of the Huge Hollows in two like it was nothing, Ishida turned up to blow a couple of them away as well. With Ishida and Ichigo arguing about what’s more dangerous, the attack by three Huge Hollows at once, or Ishida’s flurry of arrows, Orihime starts healing Yuuki and Shino by giving some first aid treatment.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised she isn’t capable of completely healing them by taking 10 more seconds… I guess Kubo decided to limit Orihime’s restorative abilities a bit. I find the excuse of her needing to fight off Hollows a bit lame, as I believe she’s used her shields simultaneously more than once. After training for 17 months I doubt she’d suddenly forget how to do that. Then again, she might need the two healers for some unseen combinations for as far as we know.

With everyone on the battlefield, Ichigo decides it’s time for them to move out. I quite enjoy this picture, though it raises a couple of questions. For one, why is Ishida using his compact bow, rather than the larger version he’s used before? Could it be that Ishida saved the revelation of that new bow for the moment where Ichigo would regain his powers? Or is Kubo just being lazy here? Another question this raises, is whether Ichigo is fighting with his living body or not. I still want an answer on that one, though it isn’t something that needed to be answered in this week’s chapter. I’m just hoping we’ll find out in one of the upcoming chapters.

Tearful reunion

I wonder whether Kubo is trying to invent a new greeting…

Thinking back on the amount of Huge Hollows, Yuuki starts to realize that the rumors about Ichigo weren’t exaggerated. Just as he comes to a conclusion, Ichigo holds a plate with bread in his face. Guess Ishida’s suggestion was right after all. Just as Yuuki wants to say something about him not being able to eat, Ichigo points him to his Gigai. Scared by his outer body experience, Ichigo points out how annoying Yuuki really is. Why would a trained Shinigami be scared of his own Gigai? Though the real question would be, why isn’t Yuuki inside his Gigai right now? Isn’t the purpose of the Gigai to give a Shinigami a save vessel in which he can rest up?

But Yuuki probably saw the lifeless body and immediately remembered that Shino was hurt as well. Just as he asks whether she’s doing okay, she enters the room with some groceries she did. Shino tears up at the sight of a recovered Yuuki, and drops everything to give him the greeting he deserves…

As Shino pummels Yuuki for being a slacker, Ichigo and the others have more pressing matters. It turns out that Ishida doesn’t like roasted mackerel bread and that Shino dropped the cola she bought!


What does the 11th squad have to do with mysterious disappearances?

As things in the Kurosaki household are going as usual, the scene changes to Soul Society for a bit. We find Ikkaku running through a forest as Yumichika catches up. Ikkaku then reveals that the people in Rukongai have been vanishing. With Hollows and Spirits vanishing all round, there could be a connection. Could it be there are Quincy in Soul Society who are cleaning up other spirits same as they’ve done Hollows? Or could these disappearances be similar to the ones Soul Society experienced roughly 100 years ago?… Whatever the case, the 11th squad’s on it!

The Escudo finally appear?

Standing on someone’s bed when you first greet them doesn’t really help… at least, not for me…

With things calming down a bit in Ichigo’s room, Ichigo realizes he didn’t even bother asking Yuuki’s name. But as he asks for the name, he gets a reply from someone else altogether. Ivan Azgiaro introduces himself. Somehow this Arrancar(?) managed to get into the room without being noticed at all. Could it be that his power is nothing to speak of, or is this part of his ability?

Looking at this Ivan, I’d tend to say he’s an Arrancar. The outfit and the lack of a Zanpakutou, however, make me doubt this a bit. Take that and what he did in the previous chapter, I’d even go as far as him being a whole new hybrid. Or he just likes Hollow masks and is using one to make an impression .

Whatever the case, Ichigo isn’t too happy with someone standing on his bed. He should’ve at least knocked! Maybe Ichigo needs to show this guy how you should knock…

The Fearing

Geez, only the second title for this section, and it’s already a toughie. Looking at this chapter, I’d say the title mostly has to do with Yuuki. Not just because he appeared to be scared of practically everything here, but because there might be some deeper worries hidden inside of him as well. With him almost being killed within the first five minutes since he started on his new mission and realizing just how great the gap is between him and the one who saved him, he has to be a bit tense.

Another possible reference in this chapter could be what Ikkaku said. With souls disappearing in Rukongai now, and with what Mayuri spoke of last week, it might be that something the Shinigami have been fearing for some time might be coming to pass. Perhaps Ivan is the flagship of this “fearing”. Whatever the case, Kubo isn’t wasting time here. Two chapters into this new arc, and we already have a confrontation with someone who seems to know more about what’s going on.

Quite a good chapter if you ask me. I quite enjoyed the parts at Ichigo’s house as most of what happened there was classic Bleach. We got some news on the “missing” Visoreds as well, without wasting too much time or space and adding a bit to the plot as well. Perhaps Kubo has learned from his past endeavors that some things don’t need more than two pages to explain. The flashback to what happened after the end of last week’s chapter was another good way to keep the pace of this arc going. It looked great as well. Ivan’s appearance at the end was quite unexpected. I’d have thought Ivan would wait until the next Hollow attack to reveal himself.

As you can make up from this brief summary, little has happened in this chapter. But what happened was interesting enough. The art was good as usual as well. If only KON would’ve returned in this chapter .

Ivan makes his appearance, most probably being the messenger for the threat Ichigo will be facing soon. Judging by the broken mask on the face, crying Arrancar would be the most obvious thing to do. Perhaps not the pure Vasto Lorde I was hoping for, but it still makes me wonder… Why would he have to use Hollow bait to call out all those Huge Hollows if he is a higher ranking Hollow himself.

Is this Ivan truly an Arrancar, or other form of Hollow, or is he something else?

The chapter will start off with Shino and Yuuki making a scene about Ivan’s appearance. Everyone will tell them to be quiet, as Ivan boldly explains what he’s there for. He’ll tell Ichigo and the others he’s impressed with the way they handled the Huge Hollows, saying they’ve surpassed his expectations. Ishida will then ask Ivan for more answers (considering how Ichigo won’t bother listening as long as Ivan’s in his room). Ivan will then tell them they’ll find out soon enough, leaving with the excuse that he only wanted to introduce himself to the sons of Isshin and Ryuuken…

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!



~ by The Underscore on February 19, 2012.

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