The Underscore’s hastily written incomplete quadruple review

489: March of the StarCross

This chapter basically consisted of four parts. Thus, I’ll cover it in four parts .

Patience

I know how you feel Rukia… I’m still waiting for my captain as well… come back to us soon, KON-sama!

With the Vandenreich having made their declaration of war, and Soul Society needing to prepare for this war, the captains had plenty to discuss. But while the captains are having their meeting, the vice-captains have business of their own. Though Rukia is nervously awaiting the results of the meeting, in her usual Rukia manner, Renji tries to calm her down. Realizing that there’s nothing for vice-captains to do, besides awaiting the actions they’ll have to take after the meeting, Renji is getting all the rest he can right now.

But Kira knows that there’s more to be dealt with than just the invasion by the Vandenreich. Kira had been analyzing the events that all seemed to be related to one another. From the disappearing Hollows at the beginning of this arc, the disappearance of the people in Rukongai, to the invasion by the Vandenreich. Though certain simpletons, like say a Bleach reviewer who will remain unnamed yet is writing this as he is reading this, would think they’re all related, Kira can look beyond the obvious. What can I say, the man has dealt with Gin. All the more reason why he can’t afford to be deceived by outer appearances and pretences.

The relation between the Quincy invaders and the disappearance of Hollows can be correlated. But the disappearance of the Rukongai inhabitants can’t be explained that easily. After asking the other vice-captains for their findings, it turns out the answer to their questions about Rukongai were right at their feet. Or on their feet if you will. The fact that sandal prints were found beyond district 50 means that there was more than internal struggle taking place, as had been suggested by past reports. Kiba concludes that it would be a sign of Shinigami interference.

This part of the chapter shows us that there has been little change in the roster of vice-captains. With the addition of Rukia, and the recent death of Choujirou excluded, the vice-captains are all familiar faces. I’m quite surprised by the fact that Momo’s still a vice-captain though. Admittedly, she would be most familiar with the fifth squad since Shinji’s been gone for 100 years. But that doesn’t change the fact that she practically went insane back when Aizen did the whole betrayal thing. Guess she’s tougher than she looks.

The character whose development I’m most pleased with at this moment (within the vice-captain ranks) has to be Kira. Kira always stood in the background, kind of apologetic in a way (get it, with Wabisuke being his Zanpakutou?). But now, he has the guts to not only question official reports. He even goes so far as to suspect captain Mayuri as someone involved with the Rukongai disappearances. Way to go Kira .

The final opponents confirmed

Couldn’t you smell the freshness coming from his Quincy white clothes? It’s the smell of the Quincy family fabric softener!

Admittedly, at first I thought Opie was a fool for not recognizing Ichigo at first glance. But it turns out that Opie just likes theatrics, knowing full well who Kurosaki ‘special war potential’ Ichigo is. Though Opie was hoping to get a shock out of Ichigo by revealing to know who Ichigo is, Ichigo already realized that everyone of his opponents would know about him already. Especially considering how Ivan also knew his name. Not even hearing his new nickname is enough to throw Ichigo off his game. But noticing the rapid movement technique by his opponents, however, does catch him off guard for a moment.

The combination of Hirenkyaku and some sloppy looking bows (especially in comparison to the ones used by the Ishida family) somehow was enough to hit Ichigo. Ichigo then asks whether Opie and the gang are Quincy. Opie then displays some more theatrics, which boils down to them being Quincy, but…

What happened in this part of the chapter was basically Kubo showing us how Ichigo finds out the truth behind the Vandenreich. Nothing too flashy, just Opie and the gang revealing themselves as Quincy. Ichigo in the meantime managed to deal with the three unnamed Vandenreichers with ease, while keeping Nel safe. Not exactly the most stellar part of any chapter, but a needed diversion.

Telegram from hell

Though we can’t see his face, we all know he’s disappointed about this not being a singing telegram…

News of Ichigo facing Opie reaches the Icy halls of the Vandenreich. Hearing that Ichigo will be occupied for now is enough for Bucky here to decide to get on the move. With Ichigo out of the way, it’s time to invade Soul Society! What better way to do that than to call for the Stern Ritter?

Another short change of scenery. Vandenreich truly is on their guard concerning Ichigo. Admittedly, Ichigo could always go Mugetsu on them which is a major threat in itself. But what makes them think Ichigo would ever go as far as to sacrifice his powers again? Moreover, who says Ichigo will ever be able to achieve Mugetsu again? Sure, both Ishida and Ichigo used a technique that granted them immeasurable power for a brief time before losing their powers “forever”, only to return better than ever. But that doesn’t mean they can use those powers again. Ishida doesn’t have his glove anymore, so that’s out of the question (yes, yes, we’ll know more about that in a couple of chapters). And Ichigo’s Mugetsu could have been the part of Ichigo’s powers that’s been destroyed permanently. Let’s face it, since Zangetsu’s new appearance, we haven’t seen the old-man, nor the young-man Zangetsu. So who’s to say that Zangetsu will be able to throw another Mugetsu around?

Of course, the most important part here has to be the revelation of the Stern Ritter. Not sure how many of those knights will be walking the halls of the Palace of Ice, but I’m guessing they’re the ones to face the Soul Society captains. Without any sign of them yet, we’ll just have to wait and see how big that roster really is… until the next chapter that is .

Maintaining balance

Wait a sec… Genryuusai FAILED to kill someone?

After hearing Kira’s report on the recent events, Genryuusai was forced to call on Mayuri. Mayuri, however, has no problem admitting to what he did. With the destruction of the Hollows by the Vandenreich, Soul Society was forced to maintain the balance. With the 12th division responsible for monitoring all activity in and around Soul Society, Kurotsuchi decided it would be best to off 28.000 souls to maintain the delicate balance of souls.

Genryuusai wasn’t all too pleased to hear Mayuri did all of this behind his back. But Mayuri knew that there had to be taken some quick action, without the delays caused by politics. But Genryuusai can’t help but question why Mayuri failed to report these incidents before needing to destroy 28.000 souls. But Mayuri doesn’t like these accusations, especially considering how Mayuri already warned for this situation two years ago when Ishida first showed his face.

But with Genryuusai not deeming Ishida a threat, no actions were taken. But that wasn’t the real reason Genryuusai is the one who is responsible for all of this. The reason wasn’t negligence with Ishida Uryuu. But it was the failure Genryuusai suffered 1000 years ago, when he failed to kill “that man”.

Wow, Genryuusai and Buck go back a long time apparently. That is, assuming that Buck is over 1000 years old and he isn’t someone’s descendant.

490: March of the StarCross 2

This chapter mostly focuses on Ichigo measuring Opie’s ability. Though the most important part of the chapter would have to one that got the least attention…

Stern Ritter

Seven knights accounted for

With Bucky hearing about Ichigo being in Soul Society, he sends out his armies to invade Soul Society. What better way to do so than to use the gate of the sun? What’s interesting here is the fact that there are a total of FIVE “special war potentials”. But by my count, there should at least be 10 “special war potentials” that could be considered. Though it’s funny that Chad and Orihime aren’t even considered to be a threat of any kind . What’s impressive about this part, however, is the fact that the Stern Ritter are already prepared for the invasion, even though the command hadn’t even been given. Guess they are more dedicated to the cause than I thought. Though it’s possible that not all of the knights are accounted for

Catch ball

YOU’RE OUT, OPIE!

Opie used his sword to fire off his Heilig Pfeil (Holy arrows (Batman)) at Ichigo. With the sands of Hueco Mundo blowing through the air, Opie can only conclude that all his arrows hit the mark with no arrows flashing through the cloud of sand. With every arrow hitting on the mark, something falls down. But it isn’t so much Ichigo as much as it’s Zangetsu who did the falling. The reason Zangetsu fell was basically because Ichigo needed to hold on to something else. Holding on to the arrows, Ichigo points out that Quincy supposedly only use bows.

Ichigo then throws the arrows back at Opie, before going down to ground level to leave Nel with Orihime. No sooner does Nel land in Orihime’s arms, or Opie fires another barrage of arrows at Ichigo and the others. Rather than bother to catch all the arrows again, Ichigo decides to swing his sword around a bit. Meanwhile, Opie realizes that he isn’t as good as he thinks he is.

Ichigo tries to comfort poor Opie by telling him that his arrows are better than Ishida’s. But Opie isn’t all that convinced hearing about Ishida Uryuu’s arrows being weaker than his. Because that’s simply impossible. Admittedly, Ichigo and Ishida haven’t faced each other since… well the Ichigonator/Neo Ichigo incident in Hueco Mundo. But how come Opie is so certain that Ishida’s arrows are stronger than his? And it is at this time, of all times, that Opie decides to keep his mouth shut… Though in return, he shows us something else.

Quincy Letzt Stil

Now he just looks silly

Opie doesn’t want to tell Ichigo any more than he’s already told him, because that would be pointless. After all, Opie just received the orders from his Emperor to kill Ichigo, so there’s no point in giving him information he will no longer need. So in return, Opie is going to show Ichigo his ‘Letzt Stil’.

Opie takes off one of his gloves, only to reveal a second glove. Though this one looks like a different version of the Sanrei glove Ishida used before. With a flash and a bang, Opie reveals his ‘Quincy Völstandig’. In a way, it looks like a more completed version of Ishida’s Letzt Stil. Where Ishida only had one “wing”, Opie has two. Though where Ishida managed to materialize parts of armor and clothes, Opie just created something closer in appearance to cloth and condensed Reishi. But With Ishida’s Letzt Stil being enough to push back a captain level Shinigami, and this one most likely being improved on that, Ichigo might actually be in trouble right now.

While Ichigo and the others were busy fighting off Quincy, Urahara and Pessche decided to use that distraction to find Dondochakka. The fact that Urahara was so comfortable in leaving Ichigo and the others behind is a sign that Ichigo should be able to handle things over there easily. Still, while Pessche is beating up on Dondochakka for hiding in the sand all this time, while Pessche and Nel thought he was captured and killed, Urahara notices something. More disturbing that the activation of Opie’s Letzt Stil, it is the feeling of a gate opening to Soul Society.
Thus the chapter comes to its end with at least one Stern Ritter taking a step into Soul Society…

With this we know two things: The Quincy in the Vandenreich are most likely all capable of using the Letzt Stil, and there’s at least seven knights who are most likely stronger than Ishida who will also be able to use that arriving in Soul Society right now!

491: Toden Engel

It’s all about the Letzt Stil in this chapter. Or rather, the difference between the Letzt Stil and the Völstandig. Then there’s an added surprise at the end too…

God of death, meet the angel of death

FYI, the angel literally sucks, but you’ll find out soon enough

With Opie releasing his power, Orihime notices something’s off. Rather than almost being blown away by a burst of Reiatsu that comes from transformations such as a Bankai, she feels nothing. Meanwhile, Opie shows off his increase in power, by throwing in a super powered Hirenkyaku into the mix. As Ichigo is attacked by Opie, he remembers when he heard about the Letzt Stil from Urahara.

Urahara, with his knowledge gained from unknown sources -cough, cough, Mayuri, cough- tells Ichigo how the Letzt Stil works. Using the Sanrei glove, Quincy are forced to greatly increase their Reiatsu absorption ability. So much so, that when the gloves are removed, the absorption ability exceeds their personal limits, resulting in one massive implosion of Reiatsu absorption. For the briefest of moments, the Quincy then show of their final style. Lucky for Ichigo, Urahara explained this to him before he met up with Opie. Though it’s hard to say exactly when Urahara told Ichigo… It’s not like we can judge the time period based on Urahara’s hat or clothes…

Opie realizes that Ichigo is confused about the Letzt Stil and the Völstandig. Basically, the Letzt Stil Ishida used was version one point two hundred years ago. Völstandig, on the other hand, is to the Letzt Stil like the bicycle is to the F16 fighter jet. The reason why Ishida used such an outdated version had everything to do with the fact that Ishida Souken refused to go with the “new ways”.

Hearing that Ishida won’t be getting a case of creepy-eyed-angelitis, Ichigo decides that he knows enough. He then fires a Getsuga right in Opie’s face.

Creepy angels

At least he isn’t using a bow and wearing diapers…

Ichigo’s Getsuga Tenshou didn’t work out like he intended it to. In fact, Opie only got his collar ripped off in the blast. Opie then does the usual ‘I’m invincible in this form’ routine, which I could analyze and all. But let’s face it, we all know how it tends to work out . Doesn’t change the fact that Opie can pack a punch, which he shows us by raising his sword to charge one major Heilig Pfeil.

Everything inorganic that is made from Reishi is being sucked in by Opie’s Heilig Pfeil, same as how Ishida did it two years ago. Orihime’s Santen Kesshun is no exception to this rule, as noted by Chad. Orihime then remembers that Quincy don’t emit Reishi, but that they take it. Moreover, the better the Quincy is, the more power they gather. Opie then finishes up his charging his ‘Biskiel’s attack, threatening to destroy Ichigo using it. But there’s a giant who doesn’t feel like watching Ichigo go down. And his name isn’t Chad!

Ayon returns

How many left arms do these girls have?

First shattering a wing, following up with a punch to the face. Ayon knows how to make an entrance . Almost knocking Opie out, he sees the chimera monster standing over him. It turns out that there are three beasts who don’t like the angel of death as much as he likes himself. Now all we’ll have to wait and see is how Ayon, the vice-captain slugger, fairs against Opie.

492: Balancer’s justice

Three chapters down, one more to go. This is tiring… anyway, this chapter has Ayon going on a rampage beyond rampages. That, and the ‘balancer’s justice’.

Ayon SMASH

Something tells me I really should go watch the Avengers movie…

After getting a good punch in Opie’s face, Ayon turns to his mothers. Showing odd signs of concern for his mothers, Ayon seems to be waiting for the go sign. Perhaps Ayon’s “concern” is a sign of improvement on the side of Las Bestias. Not just ability wise, but relationship wise as well. Maybe they finally get along with each other?

Anyways, Ayon gets the go and decides to go all out at once. With Chad, Orihime, and Ichigo not being around when Ayon first appeared, Apacci explains what Ayon truly is. As a monster created from the left arm of the three beasts, it is a being capable of indiscriminate destruction for the sake of destruction. All that one can do when faced with Ayon is hope he isn’t targeting you, and run… unless your name is Genryuusai Yamamoto of course

Opie, whose name isn’t Genryuusai Yamamoto, feels confident enough about facing Ayon. After all, he still has his Völstandig.

Maintaining balance

If Kubo has the time to explain this again, he has the time to explain KON again as well! :@

Shino and Yuki are running around the streets of Seireitei, all in order to find their squad captain, sixth seat Kajoumaru of the thirteenth squad. As they’re running along, Yuki can’t help but wonder: Why fight the Quincy? Though Shino thinks it’s a stupid thing to ask, sixth seat Kajoumaru doesn’t agree on that notion. Shino apologizes for being late, but Kajoumaru feels there’s no need for discipline in times of war just because there were no orders to be on guard yet…

Anyways, Kajoumaru (who looks a bit like Ryuuken) explains the story behind the Shinigami and Quincy struggles. Basically, because Quincy permanently destroy, rather than cleanse souls (ironic, I know), they disturb the balance between the worlds of the living and the dead. Too much Quincy interference, and the balance will be interrupted, resulting in the destruction of both worlds. Too little Quincy interference, however, would result in the deaths of countless people by the hands of Hollows (according to the Quincy). With the Shinigami balancing the souls between the worlds, they were responsible for ensuring this process would go smoothly. Hence the reason why Mayuri killed those 28.000 souls in Rukongai.

This is the end of the quadruple review I had been writing. Well, I’d say you’ve got the gist of things here, right? Maybe I’ll be able to cover the rest of chapter 492 and chapter 493 some other time.

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~ by The Underscore on June 3, 2012.

One Response to “The Underscore’s hastily written incomplete quadruple review”

  1. […] Yes, yes, it’s been two months. But I haven’t been playing Diablo III all this time. I actually tried to write a triple review, which then had to turn into a quadruple review, which then… Anyways, Incomplete as it may be, I might as well share this rough draft of said review. Mind you, it is a first draft that has been written with great haste and plenty of distractions. In fact, I never had the time to complete it . Still, there’s plenty to keep you guys busy for now . Check it out here! […]

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