Sorry I am late with last week’s shonen. Halfway through the week, I decided to just not bother and instead make a double post. Luckily, last weeks chapters were mostly transitional, so it should hopefully end up working out.
This chapter was a big of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I like the brothers abilities, they are unique to say the least, on the other hand, I am not that much of a fan of sucking spirits out and what not. Apparently Kishi has borrowed these abilities/characters from mythology and the same could be said for a lot of other characters in this manga. Having said that, I am no expert in Japanese mythology, so I am not going to bother talking about it. If you are really interested, you can probably go to a manga forum and someone there would have discussed it. Not much else to say about this chapter, I liked the girl, she seemed cool, a pity she got sucked up. I guess next chapter will explain why she got sucked even though she didn’t say a thing, and well we shall see if our black lightning dude can take care of these guys.
What a great chapter. Darui, is in my books, an official badass. The brothers were starting to get annoying with their “If you are a ninja, you will do this” crap, but the thing is, that is what the beginning of Naruto was all about. This chapter really illustrates the changes in the Naruto universe since then. Ninjas aren’t tools of the leader or the tools of the feudal lords, they are people, this was a strong idea in the beginning of the manga, and it is nice to see Kishi bring it up again (though it might have been unintended, but I’d rather think it was intentional.). The Raikage’s right arm comment made my day. Since reading Katekyou Hitman Reborn, I have always been a fan of right hand/left hand men. Such lovely bromance, the idea that someone can always count on their right arm/left arm always makes me happy.
The other brother turning into a fox was unexpected, I was under the impression that he had only absorbed a little bit of the fox’es chakra, but I guess I was wrong. Now, how will Darui handle this, the objects are draining him of his energy as well, so it might be a tad bit challenging. It was also nice to see Kakuzu make those comments, it shows that he really did live that long, and it shows that Kishi did somewhat think of the enemy group makeup and didn’t just put them together at random.
I liked this chapter, a pity it didn’t last longer though. The time thing was really quite interesting, quite a powerful ability the dude has. It isn’t only his face, but even his ability slightly reminds me of King Bradley. King Bradley could use his eye to for-see all possible outcomes and this butler dude messes around with time, having said that, this isn’t really a big deal, Kubo maybe have drawn some inspiration or he may not have, regardless it doesn’t matter much.
The flashback/pride thingy was quite cool, if a bit corny. I was half expecting Ichigo to say something like: “I was just protecting my friends, I didn’t want to be a Shinigami”. But, this was much better, I was happy to see that he admitted to missing his past life, that he admitted he wanted to be a Shinigami again. As for his ability, it looks like the guard of this sword, it seems interesting. The images that flashed through Ichigo’s mind were a great dose of nostalgia for a long time fan such as myself. Damn, Bleach has come a long way, and it is still quite enjoyable. On that same note, I would like to point out just how Kubo’s art is. I never disliked his old drawings but comparing them to his newer chapters is like (forgive the cliche) comparing day to night. Regardless of whether you like Bleach or not, the fact is, Kubo is an incredible artist.
Note: I actually really like the quote above, sure it is probably just a contrived thought without much thought, but it makes me feel fuzzy and stuff, so I like it.
That was quite exhilarating. I know it is shallow of me, but like a typical kid, I always love it when a Shonen’s characters power up and gain a new power, it makes me all giddy inside, and this case was no exception. It was also pretty cool to see that Ichigo didn’t automatically know how to use his new powers, but rather he took the time to learn how to use them. I agree with the suspicious dudes comment, Ichigo has a good sense for battle, and he should have a good sense for battle after those fights he has been through. As for the ability it seems like it will get the job done, no doubt Kubo will expand, and over time Ichigo will learn how to better use it, and he will eventually regain his Shinigami powers. I am beginning to like this idea of sentient objects, objects that can remember their users powers and then help them when needed. This might seem like a new concept, but when you think about Zanpaktou’s and hollow masks, you realize that this isn’t really a new concept and that sentient objects have existed in Bleach since the beginning. Some Narutards are screaming fowl at the idea of Ichigo throwing stuff, but really it isn’t an idea invented by Naruto, and Ichigo’s power doesn’t even involve throwing stuff, that was just an experiment. Oh, and Ichigo’s badge toss was quite funny, it went bounce, bounce.
I know Bleach has many bad points, many slow, draggy chapters, occasionally annoying characters (like the old Inoue), but you know, chapters like this, chapters that show off our beloved protagonists resolve and fighting strength always make me happy. Again, that is probably shallow of me, but I don’t really care, I don’t read Shonen for the themes, the lessons, or the literary value. No, I read Shonen’s because they make me happy, they get my adrenaline rolling and they imbue a sense of determination in me, and this chapter did all of that. In my eyes this chapter –and to an extent this arc– is exactly what a Shonen chapter should be.
Oh, and I most definitely did not foresee the attack on Inoue, when I first saw her being interrupted, I was sure it was going to be a love confession or something. I hope Inoue doesn’t get hurt to bad, it looks like she is going to be attacked by another group of Fullbrings. Hopefully, next time we will see how Inoue has improved her abilities, and if we are really lucky, maybe a meetup with Chad/Ichigo. Someone on a forum mentioned that the dude might actually just be a rival gang member, that is a possibility, but from plot perspective, I doubt it, he would have kidnapped her, not threatened to kill her.
Sorry, for the horrible picture quality, but I took the above image from a raw, so yeah, it isn’t cleaned or anything.
One Piece 614
I have always laughed at One Piece chapters, but the comedy, though very important, alone was never enough to justify reading One Piece. This chapter proved me wrong. I am not even going to call this comedy gold, because you know that wouldn’t do it justice. My words can’t do it justice either, there is just so much awesome in this chapter. But, you know comedy wasn’t the only thing this chapter, a whole lot of plot development happened.
Let’s take a look, shall we:
-The StrawHat crew tie up the king. THE FRIGGIN KING , that isn’t a small deal you know, that is probably a major criminal offense, even in the world of One Piece.
-The StrawHats take the king and his army hostage, then negotiate a deal with his sons.
-The sons deliver a serious message.
-Police go after Sanji and Chopper, Chopper beats them up with Kung-Fu, the two head of to the palace.
-Luffy convinces a princess to run away.
-King threatens the crew if his daughter is harmed.
-A pervert leaves for the princess.
-Stalker dude throws living human beings at his targets castle.
-The living human beings get up, and prepare for war.
-Luffy and the princess run away.
A lot happened in one chapter, but really, this is the average for a One Piece chapter. Reading the above, you wouldn’t think this was a funny chapter, now would you? But, that is what is so awesome about Oda. He can make the most serious of things funny. Story writers of all sorts take note, a story with an certain inherent mood doesn’t always need to be presented in that mood. As in, it is okay to present serious stuff as comedy, comedy as serious stuff and all other variants that you can think of.
Going back to the chapter for a second, I liked Chopper’s new form, I’m glad he got new forms, and even if it isn’t the prettiest of forms, the square comedy factor makes up for it. This is also really funny, because we normally associate martial arts with lean, well shaped, curved bodies.
One Piece 615
This chapter was a buty less funny than the previous one, but still great nonetheless ( I am sure you have realized this, but for me almost all One Piece chapters are awesome). Oh, and it was funny as well. The gears of action, which had begun to turn a few chapters when the prediction was made, have now begun to spin very rapidly. A lot of stuff will be happening in the next couple of chapters, and it should be awesome.
So, Van Der Dicken’s ability was finally explained, it turns out that he actually can’t swim. The question “What if a fishmen ate a devil fruit” has been asked on One Piece threads for a long time, and the answer has finally been revealed. Losing the ability to swim takes precedence over your natural ability to swim. I was surprised that Van Der Dicken can only target two people at a time, that is why he wears his gloves, eh. The swimming shark was still really funny, the poor thing, by the time they reach the forest, that shark will probably be super exhausted. I wonder how the Queen died, I was honestly expecting it to be someone else’s grave, like maybe the Tiger dude who helped many fish-men.
I don’t think Oda introduced the Queen’s grave for sentimental reasons alone, most authors do stuff like that, but Oda tends to think and plan things very thoroughly. I am sure her death and her existence were both very influential events in the fish-men universe. Hmm, just reread the final page, she made an uproar, whether that was because she was killed or because she made some controversial decision (something involving humans and coexistence, no doubt) is up in the air.
I wasn’t expecting Hachi to show up, that was totally unexpected. I don’t think Hachi will die, but I suppose it was still sad seeing him get injured like that. I wonder if Chopper will get the chance to heal him, or will the public get in his way. I was hoping Luffy would meet Jinbei this chapter, but that might have been too much to hope for. Hopefully next chapter, Luffy will meet Jinbei and he won’t get delayed by anyone else. The remaining Straw Hats should probably let the King and his men go free, the situation is kind of dire. I loved Usupp’s “We are already attacking this place” line, Usupp is like a comedy jukebox, given the right amount of cash, he can spit out a lot of funny lines. In terms of other instances of comedy, Sanji’s reaction to a female voice, and the fact that nobody noticed the princess were also very funny. One last thing, I found the cover pages for the last three or so chapters to be very interesting, looks like Oda is back to write a cover story arc. I don’t quite understand the books with “Ace” written on their spines in Daidan’s little cove. If it is something I have simply forgotten, could someone simply remind me about what it is that I have forgotten.
Note:- When I write my weekly Shonen posts, I normally write most of them, but then I go and check some forums. There are sometimes interesting things that I miss in a chapter, and understanding other peoples theories is also a good idea. So, after scurrying through some forum chatter, I come back here, and write anything of interest that I may not have noticed, or may have simply forgotten to write about. I hope no one minds that.