Hi, uhh, sorry I did not post anything weekly Shonen’s for like, you know….a long time (3 weeks to be exact). But you see, I was busy either working, or procrastinating on work. No kidding, I have been genuinely occupied these past few weeks, and will continue to be occupied for a few months. So, yeah, sorry, just when I was pulling this blog out of the muk, it is now going to slide straight back in.
I honestly thought the Xcution stuff was already taken care of, but whatever, with this, I guess, it is final. It was nice to see Kensei, Rose and Hirako as captains. I guess, Kubo really wanted to show us that Soul Society is back at full strength, though, I will admit that I sort of wanted new captains with their own mysteriousness and stuff. I still don’t totally understand why Ichigo would kill Ginjou, maybe because there was no hope for him or something. Still, I sort of like the bond that Ichigo formed with him, Ichigo trying to honour Ginjou despite everything was a testament to who Ichigo is: an honorable warrior who does his best to understand his friends and foes.
It’s nice to see Soul Soceity respect Ichigo, I guess, in many ways he has grown a bit, I just hope Kubo keeps it like that and does not repeat the “Ichigo gets weak->Need Reason to Become Strong->Becomes strong again” cycle. The comment about old men being dazzled ties in to the old Shonen “the young take over the old” theme. A theme which hadn’t really been talked about much in Bleach. It is a major theme in Naruto and I guess other Shonen to.
I don’t care much for Riruka, though I did fanboy over her quite a bit a long time ago. I will however note that I am pretty sure she just disappeared and did not die. I bet all of the members of Xcution will come back someday and save Ichigo and his friends from some perilous situation.
Once again, I must emphasize just how good Kubo’s art is at creating atmosphere. The scene with Ukitake and Shunsui Kyōraku felt nice and serene, and well, there was something sad about Riruka’s departure. Not related to the art, but I liked Riruka’s comment about Ichigo never forgetting, yeah, that just seems to be the kind of guy he is.
I hope Kubo writes a fun arc when Bleach comes back, uhh, next week, I think?
Not going to say much because, well, these were both just buildup chapters, and I don’t have that much spare time anyway. There was an excessive use of flashbacks, especially in chapter 569, and looking back on it, both chapters did not feel that important, though I guess incapacitating the 4-Tails, and making friends with the 9-Tails was pretty important. Very important even. I guess, the flashbacks just sort of dragged it out a bit more than it should have been. I really liked how Naruto was thinking and left a clone behind in Sage Mode. It was also cool to see how Naruto can now use both Kyubi mode and Sage mode at the same time.
I liked how Naruto was to the Nine Tails what Iruka was to him. Now, the execution of the Naruto-Kurama friendship was well executed but, the execution was not that greaaat (the best part was the slightly witty exchange between the two about the chakra tug of war and boredom and all that shnaz), however, it felt like a most important thing. Why did it feel so important? Because, we have been waiting for this moment since the very beginning of the manga. If Naruto becoming hokage is the moment that will finally bring everything to a complete close, then this is the precursor to that moment. [WARNING CHEESY LINE]: The fact that we care so much about this moment, despite the not excellent execution is a testament to the bond that we, the readers, have made with Naruto and by extension, the manga. Ladies, and gentlemen, the manga will be ending soon(an year or two:P), I hope all of you can be there to witness it with me.
Freaking awesome chapter, man, like super awesome, man.
Not much else to say really, it looks like Naruto’s new Kyuubi mode is awesome, though he is still learning, so, it doesn’t last long. It would be cool to see what he can do when he gets more practise in. I know other people liked the Minato comparison, but it’s been done so many times now, it didn’t feel all that special, still nice, but you know, not all that special.
That clone was in Sage Mode, so, yeah Naruto can use both Kyuubi mode and Sage Mode at the same time, though in separate bodies. I was wondering how Kishi was going to implement full Kyuubi mode, I am glad he did not make Naruto literally turn into a Kyuubi like Bee or the other Jinchurikyou’s.
Lastly, some people are thinking that Sasuke is going to need another upgrade before he can face Naruto. I don’t necessarily agree with that, Sasuke is already quite overpowered as it is, and the Sharingan does have some 9-Tail controlling powers, though I am not sure if that is applicable in this case. People are thinking that Sasuke is going to get the Rinnegan. I really hope that does not happen. Kishi and most other Shonen authors have this habit of taking a “legendary power” and running it to the ground making it quite ordinary. I don’t like that.
Oh, and I do wonder just a bit about how Naruto + Kyuubi > All other Jinchurikyou + Tailed Beast. Oh well, we will just say it’s his charm as the main character.
One Piece 652-653
One Piece is awesome, it always has been, and hopefully it always will be.
I was happy to see Jinbei not going with them, just yet, hopefully we will see him sometime in the future, and everything will be all dandy. I will however note that I was sad Shirahoshi did not go along with the crew. I wanted a big, hot, mermaid as well 😦 Seriously speaking, I want the next crew member to be female, the crew needs another female character.
It looks like the Straw Hats might encounter Smoker soon, and oh boy, I am looking forward to that encounter.
It looks like the Straw Hats will definitely be coming back to this island. Oda does not do things willy nilly, sometime in the future, something very important is going to happen, most likely concerning Shirahoshi and the uber weapons, and the Straw Hats are going to get involved. SO EXCITING! I like how in One Piece, no one arc is ever concluded permanently, but rather just placed aside, to be talked about later, either through those awesome cover art pages, or even as part of the main story (like here).
The new Log Pose is interesting to, I really want to see Nami show off her awesome nagivatorness.
And with that, my friends, we have now officially concluded the first half of the Grand-Line. Chapter 654 should involve the New World, and a new beginning for the manga.
One Piece 654
I was not expecting a transitional chapter, and to be honest, I sort of did not want one either, but this is One Piece we are talking about. Oda does not jump between stuff (well, with the exception of the timeskip), so of course we would see a bit of the journey up but that also means that this transitional chapter has to meet One Piece transitional chapter requirements. Did it meet those steep requirements?
YES! Of course it did. We got to see more of the crew day to day life, and you know what, I have been wanting more of that for a long time. I love seeing the crew just doing their own stuff on the ship. I love it when the crew just talks to each other and try to fish stuff together. It shows a bond of comradery, which given the central One Piece idea of “nakama” is most glorious to bathe in.
Oda is such a troll. I was so sure that the crew would encounter Smoker, but nope! Oda makes them meet up with a strange current that lands them who knows where. Dammit, Oda, why are you so smart. Not only did you create suspense by introducing smoker, you delayed their meeting with him in order to make a flashier entrance into the New World. And, what an entrance it was. This, my friends is adventure! And, only the Straw Hats could enjoy it so much!