The Underscore’s Bleach review 503


503: Wrath as a Lightning

Madness, tension, double cliffhanger. Four words to describe everything that happened in this chapter, without doing it any justice at all. Better get another NNNN words into it then! Thanks to Mangastream for their scanlation!

A Kenpachi carol

On the first day of invasion, Kenpachi gave to me: Three dead Stern Ritter, two possible targets, and one big smile to go~~.

Kenpachi gets to do his intro once more, carrying all but THREE Stern Ritter skewered on his blade. Sure, I only noticed two when I wrote the previous review, but given Kenpachi’s explanation on the three victims, it’s an easy mistake to make. Besides, the most important thing to note is simply: Kenpachi’s here! Gus (Buckbeard’s right hand man) seems to think that’s the most important thing to notice. That is, until Kenpachi gives Gus and Buck a special present.

Stern Ritter Y, R, and Q have fallen victim to Kenpachi’s boredom. Stern Ritter R, The Roar, was the first one to fall. This knight had the ability to transform into a gorilla in order to fire off sound bullets with his roars. This makes me wonder, what is Jerome Guizbatt? There’s no sign of a Hollow Mask, as far as I can tell from these couple of images showing him, meaning he didn’t use a Resurreccion to change his appearance. Does this mean that Quincy have the ability to transform themselves? Or could it be that ‘R’ was a Fullbringer that could activate his own body in the same way Chad uses his skin to create his arms? So many questions, so little time that Kenpachi cared about any of them. The Roar couldn’t refrain from roaring at Kenpachi, so Kenpachi couldn’t refrain from cutting him in half.

Inadvertedly, Kenpachi actually managed to kill his target at the exact right time. As explained by Urahara a couple of chapters ago, the Stern Ritter have their Blut ability to strengthen either their offensive or defensive abilities. Obviously, The Roar was busy applying it to the offense, leaving his defensive ability on ‘normal levels’ (whatever those levels might be). Kenpachi thus managed to cut The Roar at the exact right time. Though we could attribute this to Kenpachi’s battle experience, I’d like to see this as nothing more than sheer luck .

Rumor has it

Correction: Kenpachi IS a monster

After cutting The Roar in “two perfect halves”, Kenpachi was confronted by The Question. Bernice Gabrielli took the time to explain to Kenpachi how Kenpachi was supposed to meet his end. Considering the title ‘The Question’, my guess is that The Question uses questions to kill her victims. Too bad for Bernice that Kenpachi wouldn’t even listen to her, even if he wasn’t deafened by Guizbatt’s Roar. He did hear some whispers from her lengthy rant, so he came to the conclusion that she had to shut up. But Kenpachi isn’t one to hit a woman, so he cut her throat instead.

In this case, it would seem that The Question couldn’t raise her guard on time, because she was on the offense. Guess the rant was part of the attack. Perhaps her ability works in a similar manner to Äs Nödt (Stern Ritter ‘F’, The Fear). A psychological attack, most likely revolving around questions in the same way Äs Nödt’s attack works around fear. Perhaps the questions she would ask causes the target to forget anything related to that question. For example, if she were to ask: Do you even know how to wield a sword?, the target would completely forget how to use a sword. Whatever the case, she’s dead .

This leaves us with Y, The Yourself. Loyd Lloyd (seriously Kubo?) most likely uses his third eye to see into his target in order to copy it. Whatever the case, The Yourself was the only target worth remembering as he turned himself into Kenpachi! This apparently gave Kenpachi some trouble, but considering Kenpachi only had to surpass himself it ended up easy enough.

Gus is impressed enough, to the point where he prepares to fight Kenpachi. But Kenpachi only wants to fight Buck. In an instant, Kenpachi slashes at Buck, who quickly blocks the attack using his arm. Guess he isn’t into catching swords with his upper body like Kenpachi. Though the comedy is about to unfold in Soul Society, there’s a tragedy still taking place in the Garganta.

Tension

Next up, the Getsuga Tenshion

Still trapped in his jail, Ichigo contemplates on all that’s happening while he is locked away. Somehow, Ichigo knows that there’s something going on with Byakuya, Renji, and Rukia, even though the connection to his phone was already cut off. Whatever the case, Ichigo knows he needs to get to Soul Society as soon as possible.

Firing off a series of Getsuga Tenshou, the ricochets of the blasts hit Ichigo. As he vows to protect all his friends, things are happening to Ichigo. Though it almost seems like Ichigo’s face is covered with the blood caused due to his attempts to break free, the slivers of Reiatsu in the frames leading up to the one shown above, make me think the pattern on Ichigo’s left side could be part of something old made new.

Perhaps Ichigo will no longer have a Hollow Mask if he wants to power up beyond Bankai. The downside about Hollowfication has always been that all of Ichigo’s expressions had to be done using his eyes. Sure, Kubo has the skills to pull this off, but there’s a limit to how much you can express in a manga using only a character’s eyes . My guess is that the stripe forming on Ichigo’s left side is the same pattern as the final form his mask had. The fact that it appears on his left side probably has to do with the pattern his mask had at first, which also (solely) formed on the left side of the mask. Perhaps this is the time for Shirosaki to make his appearance again, even though he was supposed to have been suppressed 17 months ago…

Overkill

There is a limit to how much you can look like Yammy

Hisagi gets blown into one of the buildings, even though he’s using his Shikai. The Overkill, Driscoll Berci, can’t help but pity his victim. Even though Hisagi is a Vice-Captain, he can’t even hold a candle to Driscoll. Hisagi even admits (to himself) that The Overkill is too much for him to handle. He can’t even call it a match.

Driscoll explains to Hisagi that the difference in power is only natural. Buck gave Driscoll the letter ‘O’ for Overkill, due to his ability. The more he kills, the stronger he gets. It doesn’t even matter what he kills. Hopefully this guy didn’t drive through Southern Europe this past summer, with all the mosquitoes he’d kill along the way…

But Driscoll doesn’t remember all the mosquitoes he’s killed in his life. What he does remember is the amount of Shinigami he’s killed in the past couple of days. 200, including a certain Vice-Captain got killed by him. The way he did this was with the giant lance he makes as his weapon. Hisagi is about to experience the same death that Sasakibe had. The Overkill charges his lance and throws it, adding another kill to his power-up. But Overkill is about to learn that Karma can be quite the grumpy old man…

Karma

This guy’s here to claim his letter

Hisagi gets saved by the man amongst men. Sure, we can enjoy Kenpachi going apes against apes. But when Genryuusai Yamamoto boils with anger, you know things will heat up more than Kenpachi could even hope to achieve. For some peculiar reason, Driscoll is actually happy to see Genryuusai. He somehow got the notion in his head that Genryuusai will die at his hands, only because he holds Sasakibe’s Bankai. Something tells me that The Overkill is underestimating Genryuusai just a little bit…

So, will the strongest Shinigami alive be able to hold off a Quincy who grows stronger with every kill? Genryuusai will have to face a Bankai without being able to use his own. Then again, Genryuusai’s skill with the Zanpakutou is enough to instill fear in Kenpachi, and Kenpachi already killed off three Stern Ritter. Besides that, Genryuusai’s got a score to settle…

Kubo Title

Wrath as a Lightning can refer to quite a few people we’ve seen in this chapter. For one, it could refer to Kenpachi. Sure, he didn’t display as much wrath as he displayed utter joy, but his attack on Buck struck like lightning, and then some. Then there’s Ichigo. There was quite some thundering going on in that jail of his as he released his frustrations.

The most obvious reference would have to be Genryuusai, who was lightning fast as he stopped the person who murdered Sasakibe from committing another murder. Though there’s a fourth candidate. The Zanpakutou arc in the Anime revealed that Sasakibe’s Zanpakutou had lightning attributes. So perhaps Gonryomaru’s the one the title is referring to. Especially now that Gonryomaru’s Bankai is going to be revealed in the upcoming chapter.

This chapter could’ve used a couple of extra pages in order to show us a bit more than what we’ve seen here. But at least it entertained us enough. The chapter started with the revelation of how Kenpachi’s madness resulted in the death of three Stern Ritter to his attack on Buck. Oddly, he doesn’t even get rid of Gus before going after Buck… then again, Kenpachi uses a single, and surprisingly effective, strategy in all his fights: cut down anyone whose worth fighting.

From Kenpachi finally arriving at his Nirvana, the chapter went to Ichigo in his personal hell. Ichigo keeps thinking about how he needs to get to Soul Society, once more thinking of those who have already fallen victim to the Vandenreich’s invasion. Needing to get out of his prison, Ichigo realizes that he needs to draw out all his strength. I wonder where Kubo intends to go with this new development in Ichigo’s powers. Perhaps Kubo will come with an explanation as to why Zangetsu took on a new form as well.

Finally, the chapter ended with Sasakibe’s murderer revealing himself. With quite the extravagant power of increasing one’s strength with every single kill, he would be trouble for most Shinigami who would have to face him. Hisagi didn’t even stand a chance. But with Genryuusai arriving on the scene, The Overkill will have a challenge to say the least. But Driscoll seems to enjoy tormenting his targets. The way he intends to torment Genryuusai is simple: Use his former Vice-Captain’s Bankai against Genryuusai.

All in all a more than entertaining chapter in my opinion. Sure, this is another one of those set-up chapters, preparing us for a result in the confrontation between Kenpachi and Buck, a new power-up for Ichigo in the near future, and of course, Genryuusai getting his revenge. But this doesn’t change the fact that it looked awesome and that some of these developments might be key to the future developments in this arc. So I’m quite pleased with what Kubo achieved here.

Though the Vandenreich seems to consist of more than Quincy, the Stern Ritter seem to consist of solely Quincy. All the Stern Ritter seem to have unique abilities, a lot of which don’t seem to fall in line with the absorption and manipulation of Reiatsu in the same way we’ve seen Uryuu and Ryuuken do. Also, when Opie and Ichigo were fighting, Opie revealed that Ishida should be a lot stronger than Ichigo accredited to Ishida. So: Is it possible that Ishida has an ability unique to him that has yet to be revealed?

The fight between Kenpachi and Buck won’t go so well. Let’s face it, though Kenpachi deserves to kill Buck, I don’t think he’ll be able to hold his own against someone who survived a confrontation with Genryuusai 1000 years ago. Not to say Kenpachi will die at Buck’s hands, because Kenpachi has too much ‘Luck’ to just up and die there. Then again, Kenpachi’s death would be interesting on some level…

Ichigo’s power-up might leave him in a state similar to when he was fighting Ulquiorra. Though in a more controlled state. Either that, or Ichigo will just get a great boost in power, which comes at some price, allowing Ichigo to fight the Vandenreicht to the point where he can hold them back for a bit.

As for the fight between Genryuusai and Driscoll. I’m expecting Genryuusai to waltz right over Driscoll. He’ll take an attack or two from the stolen Bankai, but Genryuusai’s wrath will burn away Driscoll and the smug look on his face. Perhaps next week’s chapter will be named: Wrath as a Flame!

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 August 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 503”

  1. Hey!
    i don’t think kenpachi will die, there have been a lot of dead (main) characters latelly and this isn’t normal in bleach.
    i think it’s interesting though that ichigo is boosting his power somehow, that ulquiorra rage thing was never explained fully i think. And don’t forget that we still have that misterious characters that murdered opie to unmask!

    next week chapter will be interesting i think! 😛

    Greeting from portugal!

  2. Who knows what Kubo is willing to do for his final arc. Killing off Kenpachi would be a rather bold thing to do, though.

    Ichigo’s transformation in Las Noches never did get an actual explanation. Sure, it was hinted that Ichigo’s Hollowfication held a lot more power than he managed to display beforehand, but nothing suggested something along the lines of what we saw then.

    As for the mysterious character in Las Noches… I wonder whether we’ll see that character’s true identity any time soon…

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