The Underscore’s Bleach review 497

497: Kill The Shadow 2

So sleepy~~, still need to review this chapter and then read a 40 page paper by the end of this afternoon… Best get to it then…

Bleach chapter 498, Kill The Shadow, rated by 14 voters, gets an average score of:



With the war going in full-throttle, things could still go either way. With some possibilities listed in last week’s poll, here’s what you guys said might happen:

No one believes that Soul Society will be able to turn the tides any time soon. Considering the rate the arc has been going, it isn’t too strange this option got no votes .

Then we get a tie between a voter who believes Ichigo will come to cleanse Soul Society of all evil soon enough, and one voter who gave his own prediction. Though That prediction doesn’t bode as well for Soul Society, considering give or take 4 captains would have to kick the bucket after a great part of Soul Society got destroyed. Good for the plot, bad for Soul Society .

Then there are two voters who just don’t have any clue as to how this war could work out. Could it be that this war could end with Aizen’s return to power? Could it be that the Soul King decides to end things on his terms? Might we finally see KON again? Who knows?!

Ten voters think things will be rather easy for the Vandenreich. They’ll be able to take over Soul Society with ease, especially without any Bankai powered opposition.

Strangely, there were thirteen voters who had an odd sensation. Something just… hit them. It was the number 0….

The loss of me

The Zanpakutou you’re trying to call is out of the service area, please try to…

The Sternritter gloat as they absorb the last parts of the captains’ Bankai. Or at least, I assume all four of them are gloating in their own special way as two out of four of them have little to no facial expression (especially the one with the mask on ). The joy these Sternritter find in the taking of the Bankai probably lies in what this signifies for the Shinigami captains.

Last week, Byakuya already reacted rather panicky at the thought that his Bankai was stolen. This week’s chapter continues on that note, showing the other captains’ reactions. For the disbelief of the vice-captains hardly compare to the captains’ disbelief. Admittedly, I never considered that the stealing of the Bankai would go as far as we learn here. The Sternritter didn’t take the Bankai’s manifestation as I suspected, but they took the essence of the Bankai.

The captain to explain this situation best is none other than Hitsugaya. With part of his soul taken, he tries calling out to Hyourinmaru. But there is no response at all. The essence of the Bankai has always been a “conversation” between the Shinigami and the Zanpakutou. The only true way to take away the Bankai would then be to prevent the conversation from taking place. Of course, with the Shinigami captains having used their Bankai for years, decades, or (for some) even centuries, the sudden end of this conversation would be disturbing. It’s hard to explain and even harder to comprehend this concept. Especially considering how Ichigo has never been a prime example of these ‘conversations’. Perhaps this arc will bring Ichigo into contact with Zangetsu again, though the use of his Bankai suggests that he already is conversing with Zangetsu of course.

Public announcement

Don’t you just hate it when you get spam-mail that has nothing to do with you? Just imagine if they did that to your mind! -Zaraki Kenpachi-

As Hitsugaya comes to terms with the loss of Hyourinmaru, Matsumoto doesn’t even know what to say. Luckily, Hitsugaya is coolheaded enough to know what the best manner of action is. He quickly tells Matsumoto to warn the other captains using the Tentei Kuura. When the other captains learn that Hitsugaya’s Bankai was stolen, we get to see their reactions. Rose looks like he was just about to use his Bankai, only to stop at the news of what happened. Oddly, Ukitake has his eyes closed at the moment when he receives the new. Could it be that his opponent is using some form of technique that works through sight? Either that, or this is Lilynette all over again

Shinji, however, is agitated by the actions taken by the other captains. He is the first to have reservations about what Byakuya, Komamura, Hitsugaya, and Soi Fon did. Unohana lets us know that it’s possible to sense whether one’s Bankai is taken as she notes that Hitsugaya isn’t the only one who had his Bankai taken.

The one whose most annoyed, and reacts in a way I didn’t expect, is Mayuri. I would have thought he of all people would enjoy all the data he could collect on these four occasions. But he probably wanted to do the experiments by himself, being angry that they didn’t wait for him to finish with this challenge. On the note of Mayuri, his Zanpakutou looks a lot different than before. Almost as if it’s in a cocoon state of sorts. Either Mayuri has found a way to manipulate Ashirogi Jizo, or the new wrappings are part of the Bankai seal countermeasure.

The third person who isn’t too happy to hear about the loss of four Bankai would have to be Genryuusai. Then again, I doubt he’d be happy either way with his current bloodlust. What’s more, he most likely won’t need his Bankai for most of his opponents any way and I doubt his Bankai can easily be stolen. The strongest fire type Zanpakutou, wielded by the most powerful Shinigami seen for over 1000 years, stolen? Please. Even if the Sternritter go from A to Z, I’d say at least N to Z will be beaten with Genryuusai’s bare hand. Then up to G will be easily beaten using a Kidou, and perhaps up to D will require the use of a Shikai from Genryuusai. Of course, that’s going by the Sternritter actually differing in power and being ranked accordingly . For all we know, all the Sternritter are equal in power.


Guns and Kyouraku don’t mix

For some odd reason, the only one who sees the upside of four disappearing Bankai is Kyouraku. He knows that these four occurrences will provide Mayuri with enough information to counter the stealing seal within a day’s time. But in order to get the information, someone would have to be sacrificed. In this case, four captains made this sacrifice for the greater purpose (willingly, I might add). Especially considering how Bankai will be needed to end this war, this sacrifice was of great importance. Guess that Kyouraku and I think along the same lines about this one . Perhaps I should follow Kyouraku for the time being, now that KON-sama still has to make his return… Kyouraku is a pervert too… NO, I REFUSE TO GIVE UP ON KON! He’ll be back soon enough…

Perverts aside, Kyouraku’s opponent listened to Kyouraku’s information, but does nothing with it. Much like the other Sternritter, this gun wielding Sternritter doesn’t care about the prattling of his victims. Instead, he decides to go for the headshot. But Kyouraku is skilled enough to dodge a bullet at close range, though his straw hat had to pay the price. The fact that the straw hat got caught in the damage, however, is a sign of the Sternritter’s skill. After all, Starrk couldn’t get rid of the hat at first, and he was a gun wielder as well. Though in his defense, Starrk never really cared for fighting seriously at first .

But the Sternritter doesn’t waste any time in activating his Letzt Stil, Grimaniel, to attack Kyouraku from behind with a high speed Hirenkyaku. Firing his gun at point blank range again, it almost looked like Kyouraku might’ve been done for. But somehow, he managed to get away with only the loss of his right eye. Though he also has to admit that he’s feeling a hint of despair as well, even though he tried to play it cool.

Guess that Kubo really wants to point out the danger of the Sternritter to us, showing how even someone as skilled as Kyouraku can’t come out entirely unscathed. Sure, he managed to dodge a fatal blow, but we shouldn’t forget that Kyouraku is most likely the most powerful Shinigami around safe for Genryuusai (and perhaps Unohana?). If even Kyouraku is having some trouble here, what of the lower seated Shinigami?

What now?

Stick em with the pointy end!

The thirteenth squad that was faced by Buckbeard’s righthand man, or Gus as I named him during last week’s review, seems to be in great despair at the sight of their sixth seat member. Part of me is curious as to what happened to poor Kajoumaru that we don’t get to see him at all, while the thirteenth squad is looking in horror.

Gus concludes that the thirteenth squad has lost its will to fight, and he tells Buck so. Buck tells Gus to decide whether he should kill the remaining members of the 13th squad or not. The sense of mockery I get from Buck here makes me think that he was less than happy about the way Genryuusai ended their fight 1000 years ago. I don’t know why, but I just think that the events from 1000 years ago have a lot to do with Buck’s sense of benevolence. Gus then thinks long and hard as to what to do with the thirteenth squad. But we won’t learn of his decision this week.

Meanwhile, we go back to Byakuya and Renji. After losing Kageyoshi Senbonzakura, the sixth division’s captain and vice-captain realize they can’t do anything about the stolen Bankai. Renji then decides that the best way to overcome his panic is to charge headfirst using his Bankai! But Byakuya stops Renji in his track, telling him not to lose his Bankai to the opponent as well. This raises one simple question: How do you stop opponents like these without a Bankai? Well Renji, I hope you like strawberries…

The call

Akon needs his Strawberry shot, NOW!

Hearing all the reports of dying Shinigami and Bankai getting stolen is too much for Akon to handle. This is because he knows exactly what can be done to turn the tides of this war. All they need is a Bankai. What better way to get one than by getting it from a realm where the Sternritter aren’t? This leaves Akon with only one option: Ichigo.

The unnamed twelfth division member tells Akon that they would need the captain’s permission to call on Ichigo. Most likely referring to the communication function on the representative badge. But Akon knows they don’t have any time to waste and decides to take full responsibility for what follows his decision. Of course, Akon has no clue that this war got on the way because Ichigo left for Hueco Mundo and that Ichigo’s fighting one of the Vandenreich soldiers right now. Even if Ichigo were to be called right now, would he be able to answer, or is his badge at home to make sure Soul Society doesn’t know he left for Hueco Mundo?

Kill The Shadow 2, a continuation on last week’s chapter. In a way it is a continuation of the “killing” of the Bankai. Though this could also be seen as the “killing” of the “shadow of death”, the Shinigami.

Another interesting chapter, that just lacks a little something. The focus on the loss of the Bankai was one I quite enjoyed. Like I said in this review, the ‘conversation’ with the Zanpakutou is a crucial part in the Shinigami’s development of the Bankai. It was more than enjoyable to see Kubo referring to this fact, without naming it in the chapter. In a way, Kubo has decided to stop with coming up with new facts and rules for the Bleach-verse, and to just roll with what he’s spent 10 years establishing. And this is something I quite like. Just look at the use of the Tentei Kuura. It’s something that has been established in the Soul Society arc, and once more makes its return. In that respect, Kubo seems to be leaning on more from the first arcs for this final one than he does on other arcs.

The action for this week’s chapter was found with Kyouraku and his opponent. The action was high-paced and short. Quite thrilling in my opinion. It just restates the importance of the Bankai in this war. The small glimpse at Buck and Gus’ situation almost seems pointless, but somehow I see this having greater repercussions to the arc than the duration would suggest.

Finally, Akon’s decision to call for Ichigo was something that was bound to happen. It is pretty good to see how someone else besides Renji or Rukia would call on him. But I wonder what the consequences are going to be for the situations in both Soul Society and Hueco Mundo.

Simple and straightforward question this week, yet enough to make one’s head spin: If the souls of the Bankai disappeared, does that mean the Shikai are gone as well?

Next week’s chapter most likely will shift to one of two scenes: The one I’m rooting for is of course the first one:

At the Kurosaki household, the representative badge is ringing like crazy. With there only being a few in the Kurosaki household who can hear the representative badge, it is obvious who should answer it: Isshin… is out with the girls, meaning only one man amongst men can answer the call. KON!

The second scene is sadly the more plausible one… The badge immediately works as a communicator, with Akon calling out to Ichigo in the hopes that he will respond. Ichigo gets distracted and asks whether Akon can wait. But Akon then explains the situation as quickly as he can. Ichigo then tells Akon he still needs to finish something up quickly and he’ll be there as soon as he can. Opie will mock Ichigo for being so overconfident, but Ichigo then puts his hand to his face and tells Opie it WILL be over soon.

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 June 24, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: