The Underscore’s Bleach review 500

500: Rescuer In The Deep Dark

Ahhh, the big 500… Rather disappointing if I’m completely honest. Sure, this isn’t the 500th chapter, considering how we passed that milestone at least 12 chapters ago, though the chapters around that time weren’t particularly memorable either. Disappointing though this chapter may be from the viewpoint of this being number 500, this certainly isn’t a bad chapter. In a way there’s some classic Bleach taking place right here. So on to the chapter then, provided by Mangastream!

Bleach chapter 499, Rescuer In The Dark, rated by 7 voters, gets an average score of:



Well then, with things looking grim at the end of last week’s chapter, what could happen in Las Noches? Here’s what you guys thought could happen:

Basically, no one could even imagine Chad or Orihime fighting Opie. This is troubling on some level, though it would be pointless for them to even try if you consider what happened with Ayon.

One voter is more interested in what’s going to happen with Ichigo, than what’s going to happen with Urahara, Chad, and Orihime.

Then we have a triple tie in the options. Two votes for each of these options. From Nell fighting Opie, to Opie just having won, to people being more curious about Soul Society than Las Noches. Such a diverse audience we have with Bleach .

Four voters, however, felt like seeing Urahara getting serious against Opie. What, with Opie no longer having his Medal, Urahara could even use his Bankai!

But 12 votes went to the final option. One that may actually have come true, pending on one of the upcoming chapters. That’s right, Grimmjow would make an appearance and slaughter Opie in the process. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because you’ve read this week’s chapter before this review! (I doubt anyone has done that the other way around )

Don’t kill the messenger?

What would this guy do to the postman who brings him his bills?

The communication squad finally makes its appearance. Though they tend to pop up out of nowhere to tell captains and vice-captains what’s going on, they know they can’t afford to do so at this time. Rather than risk distracting those who are in battle (read, risk getting killed while talking), they place transmittal blades near those who are in battle. Rin agrees to this plan as he’s eager to let everyone know that Ichigo’s a coming.

Sternritter M(oustache), however, doesn’t feel like listening to anything the communication squad is offering. Without even looking, he hits his target dead center. Which is impressive if you take the communication squad’s stealth into consideration. But Kyouraku isn’t impressed by M’s shot, so much as he’s probably bothered by the fact that his opponent felt he had the opportunity to take this action. Let’s face it, if M can take the time to shoot the messenger, it means he doesn’t feel all that threatened at this moment in time.

Rin then starts up his message. He tells all those who can hear that Ichigo’s on his way. Renji and Rukia are the first ones to be shown with their reaction to this news. Neither one of them actually looks delighted at this news. Probably because they feel like they’ve been depending on Ichigo too much. Heck, Renji has taken the trouble to be ready to face people of Aizen’s level while Rukia improved herself to the point where not even Byakuya could deny her the vice-captain title. Of course, Rukia’s expression can easily shift to that of joy, whereas Renji’s expression is a lot more stern.

The news that Ichigo’s Bankai can’t be stolen, however, brings forth even more reactions. Most likely, people would otherwise think that Ichigo would be just as useless as the other captains . Most of the people react as expected, feeling somewhat comforted by the fact that Ichigo is on his way, bringing the means to turn the tides. Of course, Kenpachi is more excited about the fact that he can fight Ichigo after this is over… or at least, that’s the impression I’m getting . Mayuri acts like he’s bothered by Akon’s course of action, but I’m guessing that he’s excited to see how Ichigo’s Bankai can withstand the medalization. The last one to react is Yuki. After being saved by Ichigo once before, he knows that Ichigo will be a great asset here. What’s surprising here is the fact that Yuki has taken arms. From what I can tell, Yuki is actually facing an enemy right now, on his own!…

Jidanbou Smash

Let’s face it, he’s the only one of the four guardians who hadn’t been put under someone’s control up until now…

Though Akon hates to be the bringer of bad news, he’s so good at it . Akon notes that Ichigo entered the Garganta, but his Reiatsu disappeared completely. While Akon tries to figure out what happened, we find Ichigo inside his cage. Ichigo tries to smash it to pieces, but it’s to no avail. Akon then tries to reach Ichigo on the phone again. But when Ichigo tries to answer, we learn that Ichigo can no longer send anything out of the cage. Apparently Opie’s cage not only firmly traps spiritual bodies, but it prevents from any form of wave (my guess is that Shinigami phones use spiritual waves, rather than electronical ) from escaping. Though it’s funny to see how things apparently can enter the jail.

As Akon concludes something happened to Ichigo and he prepares to investigate this occurence, something goes awry. Ichigo hears a lot of screaming and crashing, not knowing what’s going on right now. We then see that Jidanbou standing over a giant hole in the wall. With only the white of his eyes shown, it’s obvious Jidanbou isn’t himself. Of course, the 12th division doesn’t have the luxury we have to see Jidanbou’s eyes from the right angle . As the 12th division tries to ask Jidanbou what he’s doing, Jidanbou goes on a rampage.

Hiyosu then decides to get into action. As expected from someone from the 12th division, his focus lies more on the use of Kidou, rather than his Zanpakutou. Sure, Mayuri himself is the exception to this rule, but I doubt there will be a lot of 12th division members now who actually use their Zanpakutou too often. Anyways, Hiyosu tells Akon to retreat as the key member of the research division. But this moment of carelessness doesn’t go unpunished. Rin (admittedly using what’s most likely a Zanpakutou) stabs Hiyosu. Though Rin looks just as surprised by this fact as Hiyosu.

With the 12th division being destroyed from the inside, we see a mysterious figure standing outside the building. Apparently, Kubo decided to throw in a manipulator into the equation. One who enjoys seeing comrades fighting each other… honestly I’m not too fond of this development. Not after Tsukishima anyways. Tsukishima did the manipulating in an excellent manner, crude though it may have been, it had its subtleties. This guy just seems to be plain crude in his manipulation of others. Though someone with these skills is obviously a necessity in a war where one side is outnumbered, it feels unnecessary at this time. But we’ll see how this will work out.


Hi Ichigo, it’s me again, I just called to say hey. You just keep going to voicemail… you must be real busy right now. But if you have the time, could you help me get this arrow out of my knee?

With the 12th division being torn to pieces, some wires cross and systems malfunction, resulting in a mix of communication signals. Ichigo suddenly hears Renji and Rukia who are trying to get a read on the situation. Ichigo realizes that Renji and Rukia couldn’t possibly be at the 12th division during a time like this so he doesn’t quite understand what’s going on.

All the signals from the transmittal blades are being sent to Ichigo’s phone. He hears the screams of war all at once, from the despair to the rage, to the trust in Ichigo’s future arrival. Hearing all of this, knowing he can help if he just could get out of that damned cage is enough to send Ichigo into a rage… hmm that rhymed..

Ichigo tries cutting the cage, firing off Getsuga’s, but all to no avail. Guess that Opie actually did a good job on the sealing here. Though I can’t help but wonder… why wouldn’t the Vandenreich opt for this sooner? They already knew Ichigo’s Bankai couldn’t be sealed and it was one of the few things that they really feared. So why not invade Soul Society, have one person wait near the Dangai, and seal Ichigo there?

Making the cut

Just cut it out Opie, we’re done with you already

Opie notes how Ichigo is going wild inside his jail. But Opie notes that it’s impossible for Ichigo to escape, as Opie is the jail expert of the Sternritter! This makes him Opie ‘Sternritter ‘J” Kirge! Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Buckbeard gave Opie the letter J, for jerk . Being a jerk about being the jail, Opie lets out a moment of madness as he mentions his great king. Whether this has something to do with his Völlstandig (I spelled it right this time ), the absorption of Ayon, or plain old madness is something I can’t say for sure. Though my guess is the latter option .

So Opie revealed that the letters given to the Sternritter aren’t necessarily their ranking as much as they are a description of their purpose. So Bambina (you know, that brat) with the letter ‘E’ is most likely the executioner or something. Sternritter ‘U’ must be given that title for… Uselessly abundant use of the sound ‘Na’ in one’s name!… (NaNaNa Najakoop, remember? ). So unless the letter ‘A’ stands for awesome, I doubt the one with the letter ‘A’ will actually be the leader of the gang. Or even be amongst the Sternritter as there is no longer a need for 26 members to complete the alphabet.

Anyways, as most of you (probably) noticed, Opie’s transformation seems to be running out. Where Ishida had his wing of Reiatsu, Opie had Ayon’s body as an energy source to use during battle. For some reason, Opie feels like he needs that extra energy to take out three critically wounded opponents. Opie charges his blade to deal the finishing blow to Chad and Orihime. Urahara wants to stop him, but with the arrow through the chest, there’s little Urahara can do right now. As “luck” would have it, Opie forgot that he’s in Hueco Mundo right now. And Hueco Mundo isn’t so kind to strangers.

A powerful blow cuts Opie in two, starting from the ear. I have to say, Kubo outdid himself in the level of cruelty he displayed . The cutting of Opie went so fast that Urahara couldn’t even follow it. But the “hero” gladly reveals himself, much to Urahara’s dismay. Is it me, or does that Zanpakutou remind you of Pantera?

Rescuer In The Deep Dark obviously has strawberry written all over it. Where he was left in the dark before, he sank even deeper after hearing the screams of those he wants to protect. However, what if there’s a second rescuer here? One with a different kind of darkness. One who just happened to walk by, cut up a random Quincy, only to threaten Urahara?

Like I said at the beginning of this review. This was a rather disappointing chapter considering the number 500. But if we take that out of the equation, this chapter is another in the list of recent chapters that are pretty good. The level of consistency in quality and plot progression is almost noteworthy, especially considering Kubo’s track record . I’d have expected to see at least two or three chapters by now that would almost entirely devote themselves to a single battle, looking even better than any animation team could hope to draw it for the anime. But ever since the anime ended, Kubo somehow decided to keep a steady pacing. Great for the short term, but in a way disappointing. One of the things Bleach has always done well is make for a great reading marathon. But these chapters feel somewhat more standalone than was the case in previous arcs. Though these chapters do come closer to what we were used to read at the beginning of Bleach.

Anyways, enough ranting about to recent chapters, back to this one. The message being passed around was something that is key to what might happen. Letting everyone know Ichigo’s on the way means that the troop’s morale will greatly improve, while the Vandenreich will probably feel a bit more nervous. Or at least, that’s what could happen at first glance. But receiving news that Ichigo’s on his way over, only for no one to show up could result in the opposite situation.

Ichigo’s time in jail was yet another necessity for the rest of the plot. Akon didn’t really emphasize the importance of Ichigo coming to the rescue. Hearing the things he did, however, makes things a lot more simple for Ichigo. All Ichigo needs to know is that there’s people in need, who he can help. Ichigo’s never been one to care about his opponents’ abilities or whatever.

The invasion of the 12th division was strategically speaking a wise decision. Though I can’t help but wonder whether this assault was intentional or not. For all we know, this was a random attack taking place right now. How would the Vandenreich know that they would need to target the 12th division otherwise?

The end of this chapter was the best part though. Not too sure who cut up Opie, but I enjoyed watching it . My guess is still that this is Grimmjow though . Whoever this is, it’s bound to make for another interesting development in this holy war.

All in all, another decent chapter then. Hopefully Kubo can keep at least this level of quality throughout the rest of this arc. Though I’m hoping for a couple of spectacular chapters soon.

The arrow in Urahara’s chest seems to be enough to incapacitate him to the point where he wouldn’t even be able to help Chad and Orihime. Judging by the location, it’s possible that the Hakusui has been hit. So: Could it be that Urahara’s Reiatsu has been sealed right now?

Just to keep you guys entertained for the next couple of weeks, an extra headspinner: Where’s Kenpachi at right now?

Next week’s chapter will most likely focus on something other than Urahara’s current situation. Or at least, at the start. Ichigo will probably notice that the cage isn’t weakening or something along those lines. This in order to make sure Ichigo doesn’t arrive in Soul Society too soon for some other things to happen in the war. We may finally find out who Rukia’s fighting at this time. Ichigo won’t be out of his jail for at least two chapters as Urahara and the others will need to figure out how to get Ichigo out. That is, assuming that the one who is pointing a blade at Urahara will let him live…

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! This review ushers in another two week break for me. So I’ll see you guys again in august!

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


~ by The Underscore on July 15, 2012.

One Response to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 500”

  1. Nouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

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