The Underscore’s Bleach review 513

513: The Dark Moon Stroke

Are your eyes deceiving you? Is ‘The Underscore’ actually posting a new review only one week after the last one? Is this a sign of the apocalypse??? I hope not, because I want to finish the entirety of Bleach first… and One Piece… and Naruto… and then I still want to read this, that, watch this, that and, and…

Anyways, it’s here. This week’s Bleach review! Many thanks to Mangastream for their scanlation!

Scattered pride

Thus the cherry blossoms whither

This week’s chapter begins with the end of Kuchiki Byakuya. This time, it’s his final, final moment. Thinking back to his conversation with Ichigo moments before, he walks away from the wall supporting his broken body. With Byakuya’s final request delivered to Ichigo, Byakuya saves his final bit of pride. Rather than dying shamelessly, pinned to a wall, he stands on his own two feet for his final moments.

Though Ichigo never spoke of his promise to Byakuya, Byakuya knows that Ichigo will honor his dying wish. Speaking his final words, he tells Ichigo that he’s counting on him, knowing that this message already reached Ichigo. With his final bit of strength leaving his body, Senbonzakura falls and scatters one last time, never to be reformed again…

Honestly, I already made my peace with Byakuya’s death a couple of weeks ago. In a way, this felt somewhat redundant. On the other hand, this way of dying suits Byakuya better than if he were buried into a wall. Sure, I’m going to miss Byakuya. He’s always been quite the character and I most certainly enjoyed most of his fights. Besides that, he was Rukia’s brother. Even though he wanted to kill her at a certain point, he never wanted to kill her, which makes everything okay. Also, Kageyoshi Senbonzakura was an awesome Bankai to witness.

Meeting in ruins

You could cut the tension with a Zanpakutou

Bach and Haschwald were just about to leave Soul Society for the time being, all for the purpose of preparing for the 0th division. Ichigo dropping in, however, wasn’t part of the plan. As the two Vandenreichers look at Ichigo, it almost seems that it is with some regret. Haschwald wants to act, but Bach decides to play out this given situation.

Admitting that he actually held confidence in Opie’s jailing abilities, Bach congratulates Ichigo and tells him that he’s surprised to see Ichigo escaped. Nonetheless, Bach has his doubts as to whether Ichigo would fight him in his current state. Ichigo, however, doesn’t care about that. All he wants to know is whether Bach is the enemy’s leader.

We then get one of those exchanges of “meaningful looks and vague statements”. Bach laughs at the idea of being seen as “the enemy”, though Haschwald is piercing into the back of Bach’s head with his stare in the hopes he won’t say anything more. Obviously, there’s bound to be a relationship between the Vandenreich and Ichigo. Though I can’t be sure what it could be, >COUGH, COUGH, Ichigo’s mother was a Quincy, closely related to the Vandenreich, but she chose to be with a Shinigami at the expense of her abilities, Bach swore he would leave her and her family alone and Haschwald is also blood relations COUGH, COUGH< -that sure was one nasty cough – Bach gives the every vague answer of “yes and no”. Though something tells me what he meant to say was no and yes -no to the enemy part, yes to the leader part. Ichigo has never been one to enjoy vague answers, especially after having dealt with the likes of Aizen and Tsukishima. So he rephrases his question: Did Bach cause all of the destruction that just occurred in Soul Society?

Bach, gladly admit that he’s responsible.


Does me enjoying this sight make me a bad person?

Ichigo’s reiatsu flares up along with his rage. Seeing this, Haschwald tries to warn Bach to prevent him from doing something he shouldn’t do. But Bach sees this burst of anger out of Ichigo as a sign that the previous plan is off the table. With Ichigo going into a rage, all he can do now is crush Ichigo.

Ichigo charges towards Bach, looking pretty awesome while doing so. He then fires off a Getsuga Tenshou, which honestly looks a bit… floppy? I’m not sure what it is about this particular Getsuga Tenshou, but every time I see it, it looks odd. Perhaps it’s the angle at which Kubo drew this one… I don’t know. I’m just really bothered by this Getsuga.

Anyways, Bach isn’t impressed by the Getsuga either, as he easily took on the blast and immediately reaches out to grab Ichigo. He manages to take Ichigo down to the ground by his arm, using only one hand. The thing that happens next is something I was quite impressed by. Ichigo tries to pluck out Bach’s eye using his left hand! Seriously, did you guys see that? Ichigo’s hand was mercilessly going for Bach’s right eye! I mean, wow, talk about ferocious fighting. I guess there’s more of Neo Ichigo/Ichigonator inside of Ichigo than I thought.

But Ichigo’s attempt at taking Bach’s eye is easily prevented by Bach. He just uses his free hand to slap away Ichigo’s hand, only to pull out his sword in the process. He then stabs Ichigo in the neck.

Blüt Vene

It’s official, Ichigo’s thick necked!

Haschwald seems rather shocked to see Ichigo being stabbed by Bach. But Bach immediately checked to see whether Ichigo was still breathing, by checking his pulse as well. Bach assures Haschwald that Ichigo’s still alive and that they can take him back to base in order to resurrect and recruit him. After hearing this, Haschwald feels reassured. Bach, however, realizes something’s a bit off. Perhaps it’s the fact that Ichigo is actually breathing with a blade, almost the width of his neck, cutting off a crucial part of his respiratory system? Oddly, no. It’s the prying eyes of an orange haired boy with a blade held against his neck.

Bach then sees an odd pattern forming on Ichigo’s neck: Blüt Vene. No sooner does Bach realize this, or Ichigo explodes with power once more. Is Ichigo awakening again (again)?!

Yeah… Ichigo is suddenly given ‘Blüt Vene’… I’m not sure what to make of this either. You’d think that a Shinigami/human/Hollow hybrid wouldn’t need another ingredient added to the mix, right? Then again, the thought of Ichigo also being a part Quincy did cross many a mind when Aizen revealed to Ichigo that he was a special case. But honestly, I’d rather had seen Ichigo using Kenpachi’s trick for preventing blades from skewering him, than Ichigo using Blüt Vene… Not that I mind Ichigo could be Quincy related and all. It’s just that Blüt Vene doesn’t come across like a technique you can just pick up in a jail in the Garganta within a half an hour time (or however long Ichigo was trapped in there). But who knows, perhaps listening to Urahara’s explanation of the ability and realizing how it helped Opie was enough to make Ichigo realize how he could do it himself? I’m just a bit disappointed that there was no Hollowication involved, even though I had anticipated it last time we saw Ichigo before Genryuusai’s fight.

I’m pretty sure Kubo has a good explanation for this one .

The Dark Moon Stroke, would suggest it’s all about Ichigo. A certain darkness surrounded Ichigo during this entire chapter. It was obvious in his attempt to murder Bach. Sure, he failed miserably, but at least he’s still got his head on top of his neck!

It was a short, but good, chapter. Basically it boiled down to Byakuya speaking his last words before dying, Haschwald giving us a not so subtle hint to Ichigo’s ties with the Vandenreich, Ichigo going berserk, Bach stopping Ichigo from going berserk, to the conclusion of Ichigo having a Quincy ability.

The Byakuya part was one I still feel didn’t quite fit in this week’s chapter. Yes, Byakuya earned his final curtain call, that much is true. Besides that, Kubo couldn’t stall this any further, considering how Byakuya was supposed to have died a couple of chapters ago and it would be a bit odd if Byakuya still lived by next week’s chapter considering the amount of time Unohana would have had to try and heal Byakuya. Which reminds me of a headspinner I should have brought up last week .

The conversation between Ichigo and Bach was a rather classic one. “Are you the bad guy?” “No I’m not, but I’m not going to tell you this directly.” “Well, I don’t like that answer, so I’m going to get really angry.” “Sure, go ahead and try to kill me.” You know, classic . Perhaps a bit bland, but given the situation and the amount of time Bach (read: Kubo) had to have this conversation considering the fact that the 0th division’s on their way (not to mention the amount of pages Kubo had left for this week’s chapter) it was alright.

Bach stabbing Ichigo, only to discover that Ichigo managed to block the attack using Blüt Vene is something I already covered during the review, so I’m leaving it at that. All in all, it was an okay chapter. It felt too short and it had its odd moment, but at least we’re still making progress with the plot! Keep up the pace Kubo!

We’ve seen Unohana sitting in her office during Genryuusai’s fight. We know that she’s supposed to be an expert swordsman and is the greatest healer in all of Soul Society. Which raises the simple question of: What is she doing, sitting in her office!?

Ichigo will explain how he got out of Opie’s asylum. This will provide Bach with enough information on how Ichigo managed to awaken his Blüt Vene. Ichigo and Bach will fight a little, only for the 0th squad to arrive. The Vandenreich will then create a diversion that will allow for the Sternritter to escape.

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 October 28, 2012.

3 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 513”

  1. Okay, how Ichigo first acquired his shinigami powers was fine. How he acquired his hollow powers was cool. Him getting fullbring to jumpstart his shinigami powers after losing them was fine too. I shouldn’t be surprised this happened, and actually I’m not really surprised either. I was expecting it, but at the same time hoping he wouldn’t get quincy abilities. Afterall Ichigo gets a new powerup related to the arc that’s going on. I’m not feeling this to be honest. I wish he could’ve just improved on his hollow powers and fullbring. So what’s next… Ichigo will be using vollstandig along with his bankai? I’ll admit while that would look cool, its just too much. However I am still interested at this turn of events, and looking forward to how this turns out. I want to see how Kubo explains this. Good review this week as always.

  2. Yay, a new review! I must say I’m really enjoying how each week we get something new to speculate over though I’m going to reserve my judgement on the “Ichigo is a quincy” issue until Kubo reveals more of his Grand Unified Theory of Bleach; at this stage it almost feels too obvious.
    I shall miss Byakuya and his Seaweed Ambassador and am now wondering whether his demise means Kenpachi’s days are numbered too. Otherwise predictions are for things to go horribly wrong for Ichigo.
    Again thanks for the excellent reviews!

  3. I going to really miss Byakuya. I mean really really miss the guy. I was never against the idea of him dying in this arc, I just thought it was way too early for him to die. I hate that we’ll never see Sebonzakura Kageyoshi: Senkei (the final battle between him & Ichigo) & Shukei Hakuteiken (White Winged Angel Form) again. But I absolutely hate the most is that we’ll never see Ichigo vs Byakuya ever again. As for Ichigo being a Quincy, somehow that’s not really all that surprising. I can’t help but feel disappointed though. I mean Uryu is the most well known & reoccurring Quincy in the series & Ichigo does this unknown Quincy technique b4 him? C’mon WTF MAN!!! I’m still glad Bach winning in his battle though.

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