Yay, for a semi early post.
It’s the 10th anniversary for Bleach, damn Bleach, you are getting old fast. I really should write a post about my memories and times with Bleach (I haven’t been reading it for 10 years, but I have been reading it for quite some time now), but I am probably too lazy to do that.
So, nonetheless, good job Bleach, people might pick on you, the hipsters might hate you, and sometimes, you deserve the criticism, but you know, not every manga can make it this far, so screw the haters, Bleach most certainly did some things right, otherwise, it would have never gotten this far. Congratulations, old friend, I do not know if you will be around for another 10 years, or for that matter, I do not know if it would be good for you to be around that long, but let us enjoy our remaining time together. I hope you help me get through university, just like you helped me get through high school.
This chapter was short,really short, and I really don’t have much to say, other than stating that this chapter was absolutely AMAZING! Seeing the other Shinigami was a bit of a surprise, I should have expected them, but I didn’t, silly me. So, I guess Ichigo got his OWN powers, but because they were buried so deep down, all of those Shinigami were required or something, at least that was my interpretation of it all. I do wonder though, if they volunteered, or were hand picked by Soul Society or did Urahara just ring them up, and ask them to help without any prior consent from the people in management, hmm, such a moot point likely won’t get discussed in the manga(or at least not in great detail), but it’s nice to think about it.
The Ichigo-Rukia interaction was really good, I guess Ichigo really works best when he is with Rukia.
The bullying of poor Ichigo was nostalgic and funny, yay for Rukia, I am glad she pounded some sense back into the poor kid, her words about despair were particularly cool. It’s a pity though, Ichigo will only retain this cool sense of self for a short amount of time, given past precedences, he will soon once again, fall into despair and need another power up to get out.
Just once I’d like to see emotional development that is not so closely tied to physical development, as in become stronger while reaming happy or become happy without gaining any strength, but this is a Shonen, so it probably wouldn’t happen, not in Bleach anyway…
It was unfortunate that we did not get to see a full on Itachi vs Nagato battle, but instead we got a three man team consisting of Itachi, Naruto and Bee taking on Nagato. Even though I enjoyed the nice fight scenes, I do lament a bit over the fact that Nagato got defeated so soon. You know what I would have really liked, if Nagato had never died to begin with, and had instead become somewhat of an older brother figure to Naruto, heck that might have been a bit awkward, but maybe if Jiraiya had never been killed. Nonetheless, I liked the way the Nagato-Naruto relationship worked out, for what ever reason, it never really felt forced.
Still, I would have liked Naruto to have a fellow red haired Uzumaki as a mentor. The least Nagato could have done would have been to tell Naruto his full name and you know maybe give away some crucial information about Madara. I know it’s hard to like Nagato after what he did to Jiraiya/konoha, but I really like the real Nagato, the Nagato who talked to Naruto at the end and beginning of the fight, he seemed so happy, full of life ( ironic, I know) and in general, really friendly ( he even cracked a joke or two!).
So, it would have been really nice, if we had gotten to see more of this Nagato, actually it would have been nice if we had seen more of the three pupils- as them all seemed like awesome and fun people. Sorry, if I keep talking about the same thing, but this was the least we ever see of Nagato, so I felt like emphasizing his awesomeness. I also liked the final speech, the book analogy seems to be a favorite of both Jiraiya and Nagato, though I guess some would argue that Nagato doesn’t really have the right to talk about Jiraiya that way, but whatever, easy come, easy go. Oh and, where would the fourth’s story go, would it be part of the third or something like 2.5?
Lastly, going back to the fight, I found the whole ” Every technique has a weakness, so , let’s combine our strongest move to defeat it” part a bit cheesy. Naruto’s lack of general battle awareness was also a step back, and did Itachi make a weird joke? Oh well, teamwork is teamwork, and I guess Kishi is trying to get the story to other places, so whatever, I liked the chapter, I do wonder though, how long will Itachi stick with Naruto and Bee.
So, this was quite a chaotic chapter. In order to try and sort it out, let us start by simply talking about the fighting prowesses demonstrated.
- Jinbei’s water shot
- Brook’s musical swordplay
- Zoro’s whirlwind of doom
- Sanji’s skywalk+diable combo
- Robin’s big legs, oh that sounds sexy 😛
- “Black Rhino FR-U Unit 4” Bike driven by Franky
- “Brachio Tank Unit 5” with the cannon manned by Usopp, commentary provided by Nami, and commanded by Sir. Chopper, noble knight of the New World Order.
- Luffy once more taming the Kracken as his own pet.
Yikes, that’s a long list, ain’t it?
So, we were all impressed a few chapters back at Hodi’s water shot thingy, but now we learn Jinbei can block it, and that probably implies his watershot thingy is just as strong, damn, Jinbei is stronger than we gave him credit for, I guess being a Schibukai kind of implies that.
Brook, Brook, Brook, oh haw melodic thy melodies are or something. I guess Brook is more of a “I incapacitate my enemies before I destroy them” kinda guy, a bit different than everyone else, everyone else is either I destroy them, or I figure out a strategy to destroy them, and employ it, hmm, still Brook seems to possess some pretty good swordsmanship skills, I know him and Zoro are two totally different types of swordsmen, and Zoro would probably destroy Brook in a one on one sword fight, but I would like to see them spar sometime.
Hey, look everyone, Zoro can make whirwinds that go on for a long time, how magical. You know what was cool about this technique? It’s low level ness, no, I am serious, judging from the amount of effort, the types of fodder it was used on and the wide area of damage, I can’t help but think that when it comes to one on one fights, Zoro has some far more incredible techniques up his sleeve, or belt as the case may be. Oh, and Zoro looks quite badass with his one eye and bandanna combo.
I do wonder though, will the loss of an eye have an impact on his fighting ability? People with one eye, find it harder to judge distance, and in the case of Zoro, there is also the problem that if his good eye gets cut, or covered in blood, he has no backup eye. Hmm, we shall see, knowing Oda, this will be brought up later on, but who knows, maybe Zoro is hiding a Sharingan or something.
Sanji can fly, yay, but seriously speaking, that sky jump technique is eerily well suited to him. It should really help him out, and I think it will become a crucial part of his fighting style, along with the fast movement he did underwater while fighting the Kracken.
Shirahoshi got saved twice this chapter, and I am sure she could get saved again, but I am more worried about the Straw Hats are going to protect her from that massive ship Van Der Decken is sending over.
Those legs, lol. Some people didn’t like Robin’s technique for some reason, I guess they found it strange, but I found it thoroughly amusing(especially the stamp on random people part).
Damn, Franky, that’s one cool bike, and just as cool as the bike is the tank. I guess the animal part makes sense given that Franky was on an island of robotic animals, seriously speaking though, when did Franky get the time to build these two machines? Maybe back when he was waiting for the Straw Hats to gather together, or something.
Chopper leading the tank was so funny, Commander Chopper, I laughed quite hard, mostly because of Chopper’s happiness at earning that position, Luffy’s “that’s so cool” face activating twice in one chapter was also quite a funny addition. The expanding cockpit thing was a good thing for Nami, I suppose, but I bet Usupp would have liked to have felt her for a bit longer. Quite a few people complained that they wanted to see Chopper/Usopp/Nami’s powers, but I didn’t really mind, we can see those any other chapter,seeing the two vehicles bombarding the enemy had quite the comedic/badass feel to it.
I wasn’t expecting the Kracken to arrive, but I am glad it got tamed without hassle and started obliterating the enemy, serves them right.
All in all, this chapter was a great expo of most of the crews improved powers, and the humor was as strong as ever, if this had been any other manga, this fight (even against fodder) would have been far more serious, but only in One Piece, can you get such badass fights that are also still so funny.
Next time might be more serious, but I hope One Piece keeps the humor intact.