Yeah, I know the chapters were released early this week, and that since this is my break, I really should have blogged them on release day, but I
am lazy only read them yesterday. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten, I promised other more exciting posts as well, I should get to that as well. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May, the new year bring us marvelous anime/manga and in general be a great year overall.
Before I start blabbing about the chapter, a quick note about Bleach. People often claim that old things are better things. You will see it everywhere, in the anime community, a lot of old fags complain that old manga/anime are far superior to modern ones, and in fact this trend is seen in almost all communities. Normally, this love for old things is probably just nostalgia, but that might not always be the case. Today, I was watching some old episodes of Bleach with my brother and even though I have seen them before (some, quite recently as well), I still fell in love with them. The old Bleach was fantastic. The anime was tight, it had a great soundtrack, and never felt slow or lacking.
Why? Why was the old Bleach so good? What did Bleach lose as time went on? I am not sure, but I think there are two primary reasons, the first was the mysterious Bleach universe, and the second was Ichigo’s growth.
By the Bleach universe, I am of course referring to the variety of characters in it, and also the creatures that inhabit it. The very first episode introduced us to souls, shinigami, and hollows, but those were just introductions. We kept on discovering more and more of each inhabitant as time went on, and the individual details of each character like Rukia’s former liutenent were also interesting. The backstories were awesome, and until Aizen, there was no definite bad guy, the fights were between people who were fighting for different reasons. In other words, as a watcher, you couldn’t really hate anyone, I liked that. Anyways, maybe I should do a separate post on that some other time, for now, back to the chapter.
When I first read the chapter, I wasn’t too keen about the whole “all objects have souls” idea, but I changed my mind after reading the opinion of the buzzing shonen fan boy hive mid. All souls having living things could be an interesting new dynamic for this manga, but hopefully it won’t bring anything rapidly new. I know mangas need new things every now and then, but I think it would be better if Bleach stuck to its roots of mindless fighting, some slapstick comedy and random but cool powerups. So, if the items have souls idea can enhance the roots, then I am all up for it, I wouldn’t be too happy though, if Ichigo somehow becomes a dude who only uses items or whatever to beat people up, that is just not Bleach. Bleach has always been about inner soul strength, and the reliance on external items has always been minimal. Both Zanpaktous and Hollow masks are nothing more than the physical manifestation of the users soul. Oh, and creating matter out of nothing? That is unrealistic, even by Bleach standards. Now, Chad on the other hand, his appearance at the end was totally shocking, I was thinking it was going to be Ishida’s attacker, I wasn’t expecting Chad, nice twist! Now that Chad has been shown to be part of the organisation, it has almost been confirmed, that these guys are actually good, or they are just using Chad, or Chad became a bad guy.
I somewhat enjoyed this chapter, but not too much. It was nice to see the slightly cheesy scenes, but at the same time, it quickly began to feel overdone. Luckily our pesudo zombies have become true zombies now, and as such there should not be any more cheesy scenes. The last scene with the swordsman summon was interesting, but I am really, really getting tired of this bring the dead back to alive technique. Sure, it is a good way to move the plot along, well touching on the readers nostalgia, but really, it is overpowered (even more so, with the “loss of brain=loss of emotion=no dying” bit). I don’t have that much of an issue with overpowered techniques, only the deus ex’es invented in order to defeat such techniques.
One Piece 609
Do I really need to shower more praise on One Piece? The chapter was brilliant. I wasn’t too happy about the whole “couldn’t tell Luffy Jinbei’s message” bit, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the chapter, I just don’t like slightly loose ends. It was nice to see Luffy get serious, and Oda is a genius for taking super comedy and making it super serious. It looks like all of the fishmen, human angst that Oda had been hinting about before, is finally being brought into the limelight. Arguably the biggest disappointment about this chapter is the fact that we won’t get One Piece for 2 weeks. Oh well.