The Underscore’s Bleach review 495


495: Bleeding Guitar Blues

Hello there. That’s right, you’re actually reading one of my reviews without a week (or six) gap between this and the previous one!… That’s all I’ve got for this part of the review… Oh yeah, thanks to Mangastream once more!

Bleach chapter 494, The Closing Chapter Part One, rated by 9 voters, gets an average score of:

9.1

Awesome

Here’s where my ranting can begin! Were you guys happy by my return? Could you hear the background music welling up as you started reading last week’s review? I gave you several options to choose from, though most of those options were sort of fillers . With only four of the options having been chosen, I will only cover those. Luckily, the one I was certain you guys would choose is amongst the four of them.

Options 1, 4, 5, and 8 were chosen. Respectively AC/DC with Back in Black; Queen with Don’t Stop Me Now; Hazel Fernandes with Number One; and finally… The Wiggles with Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes!

As expected, any one of my more frequent readers would choose this option. Though oddly, it was only one of you, perhaps not even more frequent readers, that chose this option. Let’s face it, you read these reviews for Bleach, and perhaps on some level for my rants. What better tune to go with it than The Wiggles with their song?

Oddly, there was also only one vote for Hazel Fernandes with Number One. I would’ve expected this song to come out as a decent runner up to the previous song .

The votes quadruple for the second place tune for the return of these reviews. With four votes, there’s Queen with Don’t Stop Me Now. A fine choice indeed.

But after my short reintroduction, remembering the color of my eyes, you probably couldn’t help but hearing this song… AC/DC’s Back in Black was chosen by a whopping 5 of you. Thus we can conclude, I’m back in Black~~ish blue prinniness. So on to the review!

If You Want Blood

Just hit him with your guitar and force him to play his teeth like a piano!

Things were looking bad for the third division. With four seated officers falling at the hands of one of the Vandenreich Quincy’s in less than a minute it is safe to say that things are looking grim right now. News of this situation reaches the third division’s captain by Hell butterfly. Rose receives this news at the instant where he confronts one of the Sternritter.

Sternritter “U” Nanana Najahkoop apathically asks Rose whether someone died. Though Rose sees this as a rather lame rhetorical question , Nanana (seriously?) explains that he genuinely cares. The only reason he cares, however, is that he wants to make sure his colleague “Busby” did his job right. Hearing this, Rose is even less amused with this Quincy. After all, rather than finding faults in his companions, Rose finds inspiration for his Flying V -I know, I referred to an AC/DC song and not one of the members uses a Flying V (as far as I know), but it’s such an appropriate song -. Losing that inspiration at the hands of people like Nanana is something Rose can’t appreciate at all. But Nanana doesn’t really care about any of this, especially with his intention to kill Rose within five minutes. Too bad for Nanana that “If You Want Blood” only lasts for 4 minutes and 26 seconds .

Nananananaa -yeah, the Kaiser Chiefs are stuck in my head now- kind of reminds me of Tousen in his appearance. Even in his arrogance. Yet he has a more playful air about him than Tousen ever did. What’s most interesting here, however, is that Nanana is Sternritter U. Going by the introductions made over the rest of the chapter, it would suggest that there are going to be 26 of these knights. This would be a rather appropriate number of Sternritter if you go by 13 captains and 13 vice-captains. Then again, with two vice-captains already taken out and there being at least one more whose bound to fall at the hands of the Quincy -you know which vice-captain I’m talking about – it would seem that Ikkaku and Yumichika will have to get their hands dirty as well… as if they would mind . Add to that the other officers in the Vandenreich, and I’d say everyone that’s been introduced into Bleach is bound to have his or her own opponent. With Kubo’s newfound preparedness to kill off characters, this could end up to be quite the final arc indeed.

Gloom and doom

You’d have the same look on your face if your name was Äs Nødt

As Rose prepares Nanana’s farewell concert, the sixth division is having some trouble with one of the Sternritter as well. As Äs walks through the streets, he indiscriminately impales any Shinigami he(?) encounters, doing exactly what his name (Nodt) suggests, binding them. As their fellow squad members are being impaled without even being able to hurt Äs a little, the sixth squad must not only witness all these deaths, but listen to the sound of dying screams as well.

With this being a rather effective scare tactic, the sixth squad members start to run in fear. But as the Shinigami start to flee, only one brave soul decides to make his stand. Even though he tries to convince his fellows-in-arms, his pleads fall on deaf ears. Though Äs hadn’t shown any form of interest in the Shinigami, hearing this lone soldier almost seems to tick him off. With only a couple of feet distance between the lone Shinigami and Äs, it would seem we would lose one of the few dutiful Shinigami that are left around Soul Society. But being dutiful is something that’s rewarded in the sixth squad. This lone Shinigami’s reward is his life.

Zabimaru makes an entrance by barring the way between the predator and the prey. Renji then tells his subordinate to leave this area to him. Renji somehow seems to be the first one to truly pique Äs’ interest.

Komamura the wolf

Only you can prevent Soul Society burning to the ground!

Though most of the Sternritter come across as cruel, Sternritter “E” Bambietta Basterbine bakes the cake. Bambietta mercilessly slashes several Shinigami in two while screaming out in joy. But Komamura doesn’t agree with this young girl’s actions. Stopping her in her tracks, he regrets seeing Vandenreich use children. Hearing Komamura talk about her like she is nothing more than a fragile little girl, however, makes her snap back at the gentle giant and changes the look on her face for the worse. Komamura somehow has decided to try and safe Bambietta from the moment he saw she was a girl. If not, he should’ve just killed her instead of capture her.

While Komamura decides to parent the brat; Hisagi, Kyouraku, Soi Fon, Ukitake, and Hitsugaya are confronted with other Sternritter. It would seem that only the more experienced captains are at the ready with their Shikai activated. Though at least none of these five seem to have been caught off guard.

Somehow I doubt that we’ll be seeing a lot of new things from these fights as is. Bankai are out of the question for now as well. Then again, Shinigami captains tend to destroy everything around them once they’re in the heat of battle, so we can’t necessarily rule Bankai out .

Body Slam

Wait a second… there wasn’t supposed to be a solar eclipse today!

While Sternritter and high ranking Shinigami are meeting all over the place, Renji is still busy with Sternritter “F”. Fighting in a familiar place within Soul Society, Renji intends to bring the hurt to Äs. But Renji’s intentions don’t coincide with what’s actually happening. All of Renji’s attacks are easily blocked by Äs. Luckily, Renji never fails to analyze the situation as quickly and accurately as possible. He already deduced that this ability Äs is using isn’t necessarily an ability that’s unique to Äs. Not only that, he notices that his attacks are blocked by a strange pattern on Äs’ hands. The next step for Renji to take is to see how quickly this pattern truly is. Sadly, Renji experiences the same issues as most analysts have with their work. Just ask any analyst and they’ll confirm this is rather common. Just as you’re making progress with your analysis, a Mexican wrestler just tries to get the jump on you!

Luckily, Renji noticed the attack long before he was in any real danger. Though the wrestler’s follow-up attack turns out to be a bit more dangerous than the initial attack, mostly due to its speed. But that’s okay, because if it’s speed we’re talking about, there’s someone you can’t ignore.

Fire with fire

YOU’VE MOST DEFINITELY BEEN HANGING AROUND KENPACHI TOO MUCH!

No need for understanding or pity. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The Vandenreich has shown no intention of doing this for Soul Society, so why would Soul Society need to bother doing the same? After saving Renji from the wrestler’s follow-up attack with Senbonzakura, Byakuya tells Renji to pulverize his opponent with all his might. Perhaps it’s a bit poetic for Byakuya to ask for Renji to show all of his strength here once more. Remember when Renji revealed his Bankai to Byakuya? Remember where they were at the time? Notice anything about the area they’re in right now?

Renji will once more be able to prove his worth to Byakuya. Though Renji fell before Byakuya the last time, Byakuya knows that Renji won’t be doing the same with these opponents. After all, it’s impossible to beat Byakuya if you ask him, but the Quincy are another story. Question now is, will things go as smoothly as Byakuya makes it sound?

I expected this to be the second part of the closing chapter, so I was quite surprised at this week’s title. Bleeding Guitar Blues certainly seems to refer to Rose and his endeavors in this chapter. The title somewhat seems to extend to the unnamed Shinigami that stood his ground. The blues would be appropriate to show his sentiment at the moment his comrades just ran and left him behind. Other than that, there’s little else to associate the title with.

Another okay chapter. Not to say it was particularly good, nor was it particularly bad. We got some insight as to why Rose chose to keep Kira as his vice-captain as well as a bit more background on him. After all, as one of the Visored, he wasn’t exactly a major player, leaving little need for Kubo to give up a lot of information on Rose’s character beyond what he had shown us. But with his renewed status, things were bound to change. He actually seemed sort of serious here, but I get the impression that he usually just hangs around playing his guitar while Kira does all the lifting. Whatever the case, it’s good to know Kira had a captain who trusted him with that much responsibility.

The Sternritter still haven’t made that great of an impression on me. Even though some concepts in their designs don’t seem familiar (at first glance), I feel I’ve seen most of it before in Bleach (as well as other stories, of course). The one thing that’s almost too unique about them have to be the names, though . What is interesting about them is how they show no remorse in the destruction of the Shinigami. The fact that not one of them seems to care about the balance of the worlds makes my head spin a bit, if you catch my drift .

Komamura coming into contact with (the) Bambina almost made me think of a certain bear… which is why I tried to diverge that to a different bear . Not too fond about that brat either, to be honest. I wouldn’t have minded seeing her squashed under Tengen Myou’s blade from the start, cruel as it may seem.

Renji’s confrontation with two Sternritter ended almost too well. I would’ve liked to see Renji taking the two of them out by himself. Though I’m still hoping Renji will face the two of them on his own, I’m expecting Äs to focus his attention to Byakuya. But with Renji never getting to show off during the previous arc, I’m rooting for a 2 on 1 here.

So all in all, it was an okay chapter. Ignoring the deaths of another couple of dozen nameless Shinigami, it was almost an uneventful chapter. The most important things we could take from this chapter would have to be the fact that the Sternritter go by letters, and that they might all have an ability that can block attacks dealt by Shinigami.

Bleach has never truly had one of those typical stories where the villains destroy for destruction’s sake. Perhaps once or twice in the fillers or the movies, but not as far as I can recall. But with the way the Vandenreich is going right now, it would seem that they don’t mind the balance of the worlds being destroyed. One could argue that the Vandenreich is intending to exact revenge on the Shinigami for the way they’ve been treated, but why would they then destroy everything?

Looking at Buckbeard, it would seem rather pointless to survive for over 1000 years only to destroy all of reality including himself. With the way the Vandenreich have eliminated both Hollows and Shinigami, I can’t help but wonder how they don’t expect the balance of the worlds to break. Why aren’t they doubting their actions at all? Basically what I want to know is:

What did Buckbeard tell his Sternritter about their true purpose?

The chapter will probably cover another part of Soul Society. Perhaps the scene will shift to Rukia and some other (vice-)captains who confront the Sternritter. One or two of these battles will already be in progress when we get to see it. The shift to Ichigo and his fight will take place once Rukia decides they could use his help at this time.

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!

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~ by The Underscore on June 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 495”

  1. Great review man, makes me think even more on who might die in this mini-arc we having here.
    BTW Underscore, have you’ve been following the most recent Spin-Off novels? They’re supposed take place between volume 48 & 49. There a lot crazy stuff that happens in the novel man.

  2. Underscore in the house! Woohoo~ Nananaa~ Naana-jaehkoop! Oh yeah….!

    Good to have you back on the business, while quincies are on theirs! 😀

    Your headspinner sounds more like a neckbreaker, so far it seems Sternenritter are more on the ‘It’s WAR!’ side than actually getting troubled by the philosophical stand points.

    I guess they simply believe world balance is another fail-attempt by Shinigami, in order to make themselves superior. Though I too wonder what’s the personal & political reasons for waging war, on the quincy side.

  3. hmmm..-anyone giving anyone feedback about bleach suddenly going so fast? It’s more than fast now, almost like a quick attack, as if….. Idk if it bothers anyone but I’m…neutral, I guess…

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