Joint Bleach review 483

Hey there. Perhaps not exactly the review you were expecting to see this week, but a review nonetheless. This week I decided to work together with a couple of other reviewers again to give another go at a joint review. Hope you guys’ll enjoy it.
Bleach 483: KriegsErklarung
A Joint Review


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Reviewer Alliance.

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Analysis:

I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me

He’s just a poor boy, from a poor family

The color page has Ichigo and Yuuki on display. Though I’m rather curious as to what role Yuuki will play in this arc, I guess that Kubo is making preparations for this character by slowly having him spend more time with Ichigo. Hopefully this guy won’t get in the way of Rukia’s screen time .

What I especially like about this color page has to be the pattern on Ichigo’s hood. Though the last time we saw Ichigo wearing his Hollow mask, he had a more simple and symmetrical pattern, I always preferred the one we’re seeing on Ichigo’s hood right now . All in all, I quite like this look Ichigo has. The black and red even ties in with Ichigo’s Bankai. As for Yuuki… I guess he’s the next generation or something. Though Ichigo probably is younger than Yuuki, Ichigo has more experience as a Shinigami. Perhaps Ichigo will get to play tutor?

When I am in times of trouble, old man Genryuu comes to me…

Speaking words of wisdom… THERE IS NO BETTER SECURITY THAN THIS!

The declaration of war has been made by these (presumably) Quincy. But apparently, these guys are more interested in asking Genryuusai why he doesn’t have people guarding his private quarters. The ringleader is even boasting about how they broke in. *Stop! Hammer Time!* As already said, the intruders address Genryuusai with a conversational tone, commenting on the low security. This is important, because while we still don’t know who this people are (and how they put those cloaks on without help), we know from this small conversation that they are not drones sent to tell him about the invasion, but actual people (?).

Answering their question, the man holding the title of strongest Shinigami for over 1000 years points out that there’s no need for security with him around. It’s like a security within a security. (Inception joke… couldn’t help myself). Not like anyone could even dream of killing him anyway. Just look at the trouble Aizen had to go through to harm Genryuusai. Creating a special Arrancar that could nullify Genryuusai’s Zanpakutou, then having to use Genryuusai’s own power against him to hurt him, only to get rid of one of Genryuusai’s arms after quite some effort. And in the end, even that lost arm was all Genryuusai’s own work. Almost makes you think Genryuusai is fighting himself because he’s bored with everyone else around .

Whatever the case, Genryuusai isn’t worried with the whippersnappers standing in front of him. The whippersnappers, however, feel the old man is too arrogant for his own good. In fact, they feel that those arrogant words will be the last words Genryuusai will speak. Though I’d put my money on those being the last words Genryuusai will have to speak to them.

A bow? A flamethrower? A laser?

WTF is this sh*t?

Ivan and Ichigo are still at it. Last week, Ivan revealed himself to be the owner of a Quincy cross. Though I had my doubts about his weapon being a bow, we see that he has something close enough to it. At first I thought I was seeing lasers, but only a second later I remembered that Quincy arrows are practically lasers in the first place . Doesn’t change the fact that Ivan’s weapon is an odd one. It looks more like an arc with multiple laser canons mounted on it than an actual bow shape. Interesting though this may be, I’m hoping this isn’t what’s to come for Ishida in the future. But we aren’t even sure what form of a Quincy Ivan actually is.

While Ivan is joyfully firing off his “arrows”, Ichigo just wipes them out with a swing of his Zangetsu. He isn’t even worried about the attacks Ivan is throwing at him as much as he’s intrigued by the shape of Ivan’s charm. The only real difference between the two charms is the circle on Ishida’s, where Ivan’s just consists of the five lines. Perhaps Ishida’s Quincy cross is one for a higher class of Quincy. Or perhaps Ivan is from a different clan altogether, where the cross just shares similarities due to it being the best basis for Quincy-like techniques. But judging by this chapter’s title (declaration of war, in German) and the Quincy Zeichen (sorry, my German’s a bit off so I’m doubtful of whether I spelled this right) Ivan possesses, I’d say he has a greater tie with the Quincy’s than his Arrancar mask suggests. Doesn’t change the fact that he has a Hollow-like mask on… which is exactly what’s bothering Ichigo as well.

Looking at the mask, however, I’d almost suspect it has something to do with Ivan’s weapon. From the angles at which I’ve seen his weapon, he has four cannons, and thanks to his mask, four eyes (his right eye, and three holes in his mask). Probably just a coincidence, but who knows .

While Ichigo is contemplating on things, Ivan keeps blasting away. Amusingly, Ichigo doesn’t even have to think to stop the blasts. Yet Ivan seems to think differently…

Wild Ivan used “Scary Face”

It’s super effective

Ivan asks Ichigo why he’s only dodging attacks and isn’t on the offense himself. Though it’s more than obvious Ichigo doesn’t need a Bankai to deal with this, Ivan demands to see more from Ichigo. In fact, he’s rather set on seeing some Bankai action from Ichigo. Luring out a Bankai using an obvious taunt, Ichigo knows that he’ll have to play along if he wants to get some answers.

Ichigo calls out his Bankai, triggering not only Zangetsu’s transformation, but a reaction from Ivan as well. Reaching into one of his pockets, Ivan takes out a strange object. All the while, he’s thinking how lucky he is that Ichigo fell for his taunt. The reason he’s so happy and he took out the object? He plans on ending Ichigo’s Bankai!

Back to the assumption that Ivan is indeed a normal Quincy, his weapon is a bow, the thing he used on the first chapter was an Extra-Strong 30 Second Effect Hollow Bait® and this “strange object” he uses now on Ichigo, is one of the Ginto: * Gintō (銀筒, Silver tubes): Gintō are small liquid-filled capsules that store spiritual energy, and are used by the Quincy for spell casting in the same way that Shinigami use Kidō. Like Kidō, they are activated by calling out various commands.

Good question, Ichigo

I was wondering the same thing while reading this chapter

At this moment, Ichigo finally realizes that Ivan pulled (out) something, and wonders what it could be. Meanwhile, Ivan is smiling and that suggest that he’s pretty confident in that tool of his which shoots towards Ichigo a stream of energy rays. Our shinigami representative is completly unaware of what’s going on, and when Ivan starts rapping some incarnation, Ichigo begins to feel the effects of that rap which go as far as crashing his reiatsu armor. It looks like Ivan’s aim was to force Ichigo to use his bankai in order to destroy it, or he simply might have changed his mind after being called “arrancar”. By the way, due to the fact that Ivan already disposed of that weapon, his goal was most likely to destroy Ichigo’s bankai. Unfortunately for the Quincy(?), Ichigo destroys with his sword those energy pillars in front of an astonished Ivan, who is about to get a Getsuga Tenshou straight “in yo face!”.

Kubo doesn’t show us whether Ichigo’s attack actually hits Ivan or not, someone may interfere nonetheless, yet the fact that Ivan didn’t expect Ichigo’s counterattack makes me think he hasn’t got any other weapon in his arsenal. There has to be a reason why Ivan aimed at Zangetsu’s bankai. He could be interested in its power, (as was Ginjou towards Ichigo’s fullbring). Although we can’t be sure that Ivan’s target was just Ichigo, since he didn’t appeared 2 chapters ago when Ichigo was all alone, but waited for a moment when he would be surrounded by his friends. It’s also possible that Ivan needs a Mugetsu user, and the reason he appeared now is due to Ichigo’s loss of powers 2 years ago and their recent reactivation thank’s to the Captains’ reiatsu.

Nothing is impossible…

Nothing is impossible, yeah, yeah ♪

Meanwhile, at Yamamoto’s place, we find out that the Sinister Seven aren’t declaring their war based on nothing. These jerks actually went so far as to plant Sasakibe onto Genryuusai’s wall with a gigantic arrow! U guess it livens up the place? (REALLY bad pun here… especially considering how Sasakibe seems to have some fatal wounds to which he almost succumbs rather than staying alive)

Yamamoto is surprised and actually worried about his vice-captain, who looks like having just fought those guys, according to the sword he is still holding. It is the zanpakuto which hints Sasakibe is still alive, since it is still released, whereas it shouldn’t be if the user was dead. The enemy’s leader warns Yamamoto that Sasakibe’s end will be his one as well, telling him that the vice-captain has fought and sacrificed everything, being defeated nonetheless. So, the wrapped guy warns the Captain Commander, who pitiful witnesses the scene, that in 5 days Soul Society will be annihilated by them.
So the playing field is set. We get a five day long battle between Soul Society and (drumroll please….) The Vandenreich! Though my German is far from decent, I can tell you that this is an odd name (from a Dutch perspective at least). As far as I can tell, Vandenreich would mean ‘of (Van) the (den) empire/realm/kingdom (reich)’. But I guess it sounds okay.

Personally, I was a bit disappointed that Yamamoto was astonished and listened to them quietly, instead of wiping the floor with them. A good explanation/excuse could be given by the fact he already knew the “Vandenreich”, which might have existed even before Soul Society Kingdom was created, and that could be the reason of his fear. Yet the fact they are so sure of themselves makes me think they are really strong, and they shouldn’t be so stupid and reckless to get their asses kicked. They are the new villains after all, so they should be able to provide us with enough HQ material for this arc. However, the fact they are so confident in being able to kill Genryuusai, makes me wonders something: “If the Captain Commander himself can’t deal with them… who can?”

Impressions:

As a whole, this chapter had two highlights and one big, stretching over 12 pages boring wannabe interesting plot line. Obviously I mean the scenes at Genryuusai’s office as the highlight and the Ichigo/Ivan fight as the boring plot line.

A little more detailed. Bleach 483: KriegsErklarung started with a color page, the second in this new arc and for the cover we get… Yuuki? That guy was introduced three chapters ago, what a priori defies the possibility of him having any kind of a fan base. His overall impact to the story was microscopic so far and it’s just unclear what he’s forgotten in this color page. What I’m saying is that since this CP has no connection with the contents of the chapter it could have been used more “wisely”. Hell, even Ichigo alone, with a little more drastic camera angle and a darker background would’ve made one hell of a color page, but the way it is now, it just looks cheap.

Moving on, Kubo brings up the tension up to a maximum right of the bait, by hyping up Genryuusai even more than he already is. Seriously, that face he made there was scary. That’s what I call making use of the art. Kubo started the chapter with an eagle-eye perspective of his “cabinet”, and all the other panels featured a lot of white, while the very next page features a badass close-up of his face with an absorbing dark background. Pure epicenes. The switch to the chapter title was also nicely handled, first of all due to the horizontal way of writing and secondly once again due to the high black-white contrast.

The next 12 pages, the whole Ichigo/Ivan fight was just plain boring, IMHO. Throughout the whole fight, we’ve never had a single panel showing us a middle/long distance view of the battle. I had no f*cking idea whether Ichigo was 5 meters away from Ivan or 500. I can’t really say we’ve seen much character development in this fight either, aside from finding out that Ivan’s face can be used as a measure to scare kids less than 3 years old all over the world and Ichigo maybe becoming a little more analytical during battles. This is the impressions section, not the analysis, I rate how I “feel” about the chapter, not what my brain thinks about it. And I can say that I “feel” that this fight was straight out boring. Too many close-up panels, too many unexplained events, too many predictable plot turns. Meeeeeeeeeh… boring.

And last but not least, we switch back to the good old man’s place. With what from the looks of it, looked like a one-panel K.O hit, Sasakibe finally joins the Bleach fodder army. On such a dramatic note, this chapter finally justifies its title and ends with a really nice cliffhanger. What can I say? Not bad, Kubo, not bad. The art was excellent (CP excluded), there were a couple of glory moments in this chapter, but otherwise it was pretty much mediocre, occasionally even ridiculous.

Sad, but true.

Predictions:

First off, let’s start with a couple of short-term predictions for the next 1-2 chapters.

– 7 Captains will appear in Genryuusai’s room ready to defend their leader
– Ichigo will have no issues defeating Ivan (option 1)
– Ivan’s chant was more powerful than we thought, and its effects are slowly but steadily continue to eat away Ichigo’s bankai. He’ll be rescued by Ishida in this case. (option 2)
– In case Ishida really will arrive, he (Ishida) will demonstrate his knowledge of the abilities possessed by Ivan, possibly even including the “rap-like incarnation”. He will thus begin to Question Ivan
– At some point, either at the end of the chapter or the beginning of the one that follows, Urahara and Isshin will make their entrance, at which point Ivan will retreat stating he got what he came for
– back on the Captains side of things once the other captains arrive the 7 intruders will then retreat also stating that they have accomplished what they have come for, however they will not leave without making sure they leave some sort of example of their power in order to hype up the danger level of this coming war, this would mean that someone powerful, maybe even Yamamto himself may get injured in some way (possibly before the Captains arrive).
– it will become evident sooner than later that only a few people will be key in this crucial enemy-intel gathering time i would say Both Ishida and Ryuken, as well as Urahara and Isshin on Ichigo’s side and of course Mayuri on SS’ side. The reason I include Ishida is because he should have gained quite a significant amount of knowledge on the Quincy’s abilities, both from his training with his father as well as throughout the 17 months time skip.

And a couple of long-term predictions for the actual arc.

-The new villains are as strong as Yamamoto if they can casually talk about killing him.
-Ivan’s mask is not a hollow mask in the sense that he is an arrancar, but he is badly scarred from years of fighting and wears that mask to cover his now useless eye, torn off from the hollow that did that to him. Same thing goes for the new villains.
-Mayuri will make an entrance and face of the intruders. He knows a lot about the Quincy and might even be able to counter their attacks just like Szayel countered most of Ishida’s attacks.
-Ichigo is going to defeat Ivan easily and take him to Ryuken and talk about what’s going on.

That’s how the predictions look like in this review, and that’s also where this review ends. I hope that you all had fun reading this review, maybe a couple of interesting ideas popped up in your head while reading it and it left you with a good feeling at the end.

We had a couple of newcomers this time around, so don’t be too harsh, although myself (alpha) I believe that they’ve worked wonderfully and I hope we all will continue to work together and create wonderful Joint Reviews.

SaitoSpike, The Underscore, Shinsatsu, The Newbie., alphabeta and mattiaildivino

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~ by The Underscore on March 4, 2012.

2 Responses to “Joint Bleach review 483”

  1. If I understood well, we’ll have only joint reviews from now on?

  2. Nope, just the occasional joint review. This time it just happens to be Bleach, so I didn’t have to write it on my own. Next week it’s going to be the usual Bleach review by yours truly ;).

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