The Underscore’s Bleach review 486


486: Crimson Cremation

Busy, busy, busy… I finally have some free time on my hands! Might as well use that to write this review… Before I rush through the review, I have to mention the end of the Bleach anime. Even though the anime could’ve filled a year’s worth of episodes about the great adventures of KON, it just had to end with the previous arc… Hopefully, the anime will pick up again in a year or so once this new arc is on its way. But that’s for later, it’s time for now.

Bleach chapter 485, Foundation stones, rated by 10 voters, gets an average score of:

8.9

Great

Me being obsessed with KON? No way. More importantly, it’s about who you guys want to hear about.

With a total of 27 voters, there’s a whopping 22 who want to know about KON! This concludes the questionnaire needed to prove to Kubo that he needs to show us KON again soon.

Of course, there were 5 voters who couldn’t help but wonder: Is there an option in this poll where you don’t want to hear more about KON? The answer, obviously, is NO. KON-clusion: everyone wants to know more about KON!

Sure, besides one voter who is only loyal to KON, there’s some other relatively insignificant characters who people want to know more about right now.

Three voters want to know more about Nel’s story as well… but most importantly also about KON.

Six voters want to know more about KON, of course, and also about Harribel. This makes sense, because KON would probably love to know more about Harribel as well .

Twelve voters understood that there’s only so much awesomeness you can handle in the form of KON. As such they chose someone as close to the lionesque figure that is KON to know about. Some Arrancar named Grimmjow or something. Sure, he’s bound to be alive somewhere. For all we know he’s been on an epic journey along with KON to find a way to restore aizen’s powers for the purpose of fighting him again.

Courier Hollow

We’ll get your message there fast!… but we never said anything about it getting there safely

As if aizen didn’t have enough to worry about, with Soul Society being sentenced to destruction in five days time, Nel decides to drop in like a bombshell. Nel’s message leaves a good impression (in the concrete), with the message being that Hueco Mundo has been attacked. With Nel crying, aizen can’t get anything else out of her. But then aizen senses something far more dangerous than an Arrancar-child boring itself into aizen’s guts. He quickly dodges a supersonic being while keeping Nel safe.

The assailant seems to be disappointed about missing aizen, revealing that he had been plotting this assault for -this is a guesstimate- a whopping four seconds. But aizen being who he is unsurprisingly managed to dodge this attack. The mysterious assailant then realizes that his crotch isn’t enough information for aizen to realize who he is. Yet somehow aizen, who is terrible at faces, recognizes the assailant’s crotch: Pesche. aizen greets Pesche by kicking him in the crotch. The lesson we learn here kids: don’t introduce yourself using your crotch or it’ll be squashed.

aizen tells Pesche he shouldn’t fool around right now as aizen is trying to listen to Nel’s message of Hueco Mundo being attacked. Pesche regains his composure -sort of- by pulling his head out of the hole he dug himself into. Facing aizen with his behind, Pesche confirms that Nel’s message is important. Why? Because Hueco Mundo was attacked! Which we already know…

Choujirou Tadaoki Sasakibe

Secretly awesome

Going from the lightheartedness of Nel and Pesche meeting up with aizen, we go to the funeral of the first division’s vice-captain. Just so we know what we’ve lost here, Byakuya decides to give us a short narrative of Sasakibe’s live.

Sasakibe had two things going for him: No one ever noticed him and he was loyal as there can be. Though it might be worth mentioning that Sasakibe was actually more awesome than even Kyouraku and Ukitake. Though Ikkaku may think he’s the first man to want to hide his shikai and serve his captain for eternity, Sasakibe gets to call first. Much like some of you have been speculating since Sasakibe’s last words, the dude had shikai!

Of course, there were more people (including myself) who were more concerned with the fact that Sasakibe never fought. Sure, Sasakibe never showed his skills in front of others, but that doesn’t explain why he wouldn’t fight using his bankai. Then again, with Genryuusai being his captain and the old man being quite the hothead, it might have been for the better for Sasakibe to allow Genryuusai to fight. Still, doesn’t change the fact that it’s odd for a vice-captain who has been there for just as long as Ukitake and Kyouraku to hardly fight.

But Sasakibe stayed true to himself in spite of what others said about him. In a way that deserves some respect. What’s more, his promise to Genryuusai to stay vice-captain so long as the old-man was still alive is rather special. Can you imagine staying a vice-captain for over 1000 years just for the sake of a promise, even though he should’ve been easily been capable of being a captain.

Remorse

First Sasakibe, then the anime… or was it the other way around?

Knowing the kind of guy Sasakibe used to be, Byakuya raises an important fact. Sasakibe used his shikai in front of others for the first time. This means the situation was dire enough to force his hand into going all out. Admittedly, it’s easy to say that Sasakibe probably failed at using his shikai properly due to a lack of practice. But I seriously doubt that a man who is prepared to take over a captain’s position the minute Genryuusai croaks wouldn’t be capable of using his shikai properly.

This leaves the shikai sealing spell used by Ivan before. Considering the final message left by Sasakibe, it’s obvious the spell was used on him. Though I can’t say for sure how the sealing of a shikai could affect Sasakibe’s combat ability, I’d say that the sudden disappearance of his shikai was what caught him off guard.

For now, we shouldn’t mourn the loss of an unseen shikai. Rather, we should mourn the loss of Genryuusai’s most loyal friend. Byakuya points out how incomprehensible this is for others besides Genryuusai. Can you imagine losing your best friend who you’ve know for almost your entire lifetime? Hundredfold the time and experiences you’ve had with that person, and you might have a vague idea as to what Genryuusai has just lost. With the years showing in Genryuusai’s eyes, he gives the order to light the fires. As the flames rise, we bid farewell to Sasakibe. One of, if not the most, unappreciated character in Bleach…

Hueco Mundo Post-ichigo

Harribel got the better end in the divorce

aizen called the others over as soon as he could. Ishida’s always in for a night sgenius and escape his father’s watching eye, so that’s no issue. I doubt Orihime would pass on any opportunity to sit on aizen’s bed. Chad, being Chad, has no problem showing up late at night. He has more trouble with the news about Hueco Mundo being true.

Nel asks the friendly giant if he doesn’t trust her. The friendly giant is a bit disappointed that the cute little midget has forgotten who he is. Pesche then decides to discuss things more seriously now. First, he confirms that Nel’s story is true. He then explains what happened in Hueco Mundo after the top dogs were killed by Soul Society, Harribel got promoted to Queen of the underworld! But then she was attacked and taken away by some mysterious figures. Though the culprits are unknown to Pesche, their motives aren’t. Pesche tells us that the culprits are taking Arrancars to use as vanguards. aizen then realizes that Ivan was the same.

Pesche then gets to the reason as to why Nel and Pesche actually care about this situation: Dondochakka was taken by Vandenreich as well! I’d bet that once Renji hears about that… Anyways, Chad, Orhime, and aizen are ready to go out and help out Hueco Mundo. Ishida, as usual, can’t tag along because of his shinigami duties, this time preventing him from helping out the Hollows he’s supposed to destroy. This fact is so predictable, that aizen’s the one who explains it to the others.

Urahara Interdimensional Airlines

Give him a ton of Paper Mache and he’ll even get you to Soul Society

Ishida is somewhat surprised at the fact that aizen knew what he was about to say. Though he’s more worried about the fact that he can’t tag along. Of course, aizen beats Ishida to the punch of asking why he would invite Ishida if he already knew he wouldn’t tag along. Basically, Ishida’s be sulking if he was left out of the loop. Ishida isn’t too happy to realize he’s been completely read by someone like aizen. aizen, however, is having too much fun with Ishida right now as he points out that they don’t really need Ishida. Of course, when there’s people to be messed with, a certain Sandal-hat can’t be too far behind.

Urahara decides to come in through aizen’s window -I wouldn’t have minded a paint bomb flying through the window – as he offers to arrange aizen’s trip to Hueco Mundo. Guess that’s Urahara for you, he’s still two steps ahead of aizen’s every move. Though I’m curious as to how much Urahara knows about this current situation.

Losing one’s head

With the anime gone, Kubo can draw these kinds of scenes

As Urahara airlines prepares for departure, the scene changes to the Ice Palace. We see that Ivan’s corpse is being cleaned up. Next to his corpse, there’s the medallion he used to activate the shikai destruction spell. A white haired member of Buckbeard’s army notices the medallion and points out that it’s been used. However, the medallion’s true purpose hasn’t been met. Rather than it being intended to destroy aizen’s shikai, it is meant to capture it!

Buckbeard, who rather looks like Zangetsu here, thinks about the implications of this failed attempt. He then concludes that they need a special way to take aizen’s shikai from him. The white haired member notes that it’s still a good thing they tried it this way, meaning they can rule this option out. Buckbeard seems to agree before deciding to get a new batch of Arrancars to fill his ranks. The white haired man then tells his king that it will be as he desires.

Kuugo returns?

Either that, or we have another case of aizen/Hisagi/Kaien going

Meanwhile, in Hueco Mundo, Arrancars are being guided by the Vandenreich people. For some reason, one of these Vandenreichers looks like Kuugo. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind this guy being Kuugo. I’d say that could make for some fun later in this arc, if Kubo plays his cards right. Just so long as Giriko doesn’t return…

Whatever the case, Vandenreich is still busy getting their troops ready for the war. Judging by the cloaks worn by these prisoners and their sizes, these should be Arrancars. Of course, with plenty of people missing from Rukongai, there’s always the possibility of these being people who are meant to be used as well. Though that’s the less likely thing to be true.

All in all, we can conclude that aizen’s shikai is one of the foundation stones for Buckbeard’s plans. With aizen now rushing to Hueco Mundo, could it be that he’s walking right into Buckbeard’s hands? All that, and more, in next week’s chapter with color pages!

The Crimson Cremation. The cremation part is rather obvious, with Sasakibe’s funeral and all. The crimson part probably has to do with all the bloodshed surrounding the recent developments in Bleach. Either that, or it’s referring to the crimson flames that will dance through the corpses of the people who killed Genryuusai’s vice-captain. I doubt Gneryuusai is going to let things slide like this. Can you imagine Genryuusai arriving at the Ice Palace before going shikai on Vandenreich? I’d say flames will be crimson by then

This is the transitional chapter between Kubo having set the scene, and the protagonists’ actions to do something about it. From aizen learning about Hueco Mundo’s situation to deciding to go there to do something about it. In between, we get some key information on what happened to Sasakibe and how this could affect the rest of this arc. I’m not too keen about shikai’s being stolen, especially considering how there’s plenty of captains who still need to shikai before the end of the series.

Honestly, the situation in Hueco Mundo before Vandenreich appeared wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. The fact that the top 3 Espada were the actual top 3 is a bit disappointing if you consider how easily they were beaten in the end. Still, could be worst.

The Arrancar prison camps and the way Buckbeard watches how his halls are cleaned of Arrancar residue show us that he is more than determined to use the Arrancar as tools. Though this raises the question as to who the white haired person is. With all the shinigami signs around (as shown on the banners on the last page) it wouldn’t be too farfetched to say that he might be one as well. Then again, the shinigami crest has been used by an Arrancar as well…

All in all, a decent chapter. Started out with enough gag material, gave a farewell to Sasakibe, and promises us Urahara in action sooner or later. I’m curious to see how the second invasion of Hueco Mundo by aizen will go. Especially considering as there’s still one taking place right now.

Sasakibe turns out to have been just as good a quincy as Kyouraku and Ukitake. He’s even been around just as long as the Gotei 13 have existed. With Sasakibe being such a swell guy…Why are Genryuusai and Byakuya the only ones of the captains present at the funeral?

Next week’s chapter will probably start out at Urahara’s. Urahara will reveal how he found out about Hueco Mundo and will tell aizen that he’s going with considering what happened with Sasakibe. aizen and the others will then head through the gate, with Ishida staying behind. As aizen’s gang starts fighting Vandenreich, the white haired man will confront Ishida. He will then ask Ishida to join them, the real shinigami’s, asking him to help with the capture of aizen’s shikai. When Ishida asks why he would do that, the white haired man will say that it has something to do with Ryuuken and Isshin…

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! Hopefully I’ll see you guys again next week! If I can find the time…

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

 

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~ by The Underscore on April 1, 2012.

5 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 486”

  1. Happy April Fool’s Day to you too, Underscore 😛
    -aizen is Ichigo
    -“shikai” is “bankai”
    – “shinigami” is “quincy”
    – Peche’s eyepatch is on the wrong eye. Wait… this isn’t yours 😛

    Are there more? 😛

  2. A good review as usual, but did you make some of the errors on purpose?

    calling ukitake,shunsui and chojiru quincy and calling bankais for shikai?

  3. oh yeah april 😛

  4. I’d love to take credit for this one, but I didn’t do these things on purpose in my original review :). This happened when I posted this review over on Mangahelpers, and I didn’t want to leave you guys out of the prank so I kept it like this. I’m not so much the creator of the switcheroo as much as I’m the messenger 😉

  5. Oh, and I thought Pesche’s sudden entrance broke all of your perception and see the world like him. Close call?

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