There was no One Piece this week. This is fortunate because now I do not have to blog about One Piece and therefore this post will be shorter, less time consuming and less draining. This is also unfortunate because One Piece is awesome and I do not get to know the answer to those cliffhangers until next week.
A lot of manga are likely better reads in volume form, but Bleach is probably one series where reading it in volume form is the only way to go. I mean just look at this chapter. It wasn’t a bad chapter per say, but pretty much nothing happened. I believe that more so than the plot holes, the corny dialogue, the cyclical character development and general inconsistency, it’s the ‘we are going to pretend to go somewhere, but actually go nowhere’ nature of each chapter that grates people the most. Or well, that is what grates me anyway.
Anyway, despite that mini rant, this chapter was not that bad. I felt a smidge of sorrow for Hitsugaya and his loss, but not much because well, I did not care. I smiled a bit at the reactions of Mayuri, Hisagi and the others to finding out about the lost bankai’s. The other captains messed up.
Still, I gotta admire Hitsugaya’s reaction. He just lost contact with his life long friend, but instead of moping in despair as you’d expect from a brat like him, he made his lieutenant relay a message. It takes a good deal of composure to do that and well, I can respect that.
So, Shunsui has engaged in battle now, eh. After the 4th captain (Unohana) Shunsui, Ukitake are the greatest teases in the gotei 13. Even in their full fledged fight against Stark, we didn’t really see them fight much or at least, we did not see their bankais. Given the current situation, I guess we won’t be seeing them this time either.
Oh well. I still wasn’t expecting Shunsui to get his eye blown off so soon though. Kubo is really trying to emphasize the strength of the enemy, but like the previous 100 or so times he has tried this, it isn’t really working that well.
The only enemies I really cared for were the captains back in the Shinigami arc and some of the Espada in the Arrancar arc. Now, it’s all meh.
Anyway, I am disappointed that I don’t have more interesting things to say about this chapter. Folk like Yerocha had a lot of interesting things to say, so, yeah, you should go read this post. After I read it, I was all, damn, why did I not THINK LIKE THIS! I AM SO SILLY.
Oh and I sort of like the 11th Squad 3rd seat fellow. Kubo has never really given him much attention, but he has always been there, dishing out orders and helping the captain out. He is a very admirable, invisible character.
This chapter was sweet.
Not sweet as in Itachi riding a skateboard sweet (if someone could photoshop this for me, I’d appreciate it), no sweet as in, awwwwwwww, that’s touching. He is going to kill his parents, and because they love him, they are ok with it.
No, seriously, I really liked this chapter. This was the best Naruto chapter in a while and while I cared little for the other skirmishes going on, the Itachi flashback and his final moments really nailed this chapter for me.
We learnt that Shisui did not voluntarily give his eye to Danzou, but rather, it was taken. Maybe if Shisui still had his eye, he could have done something. What an interesting thought that is. Had Danzou placed just a bit of trust in someone else, the Uchiha’s might not have died and by extension, Danzou himself might have still been alive.
We already knew that Danzou coerced Itachi into acting, but now, it has become even more clear that Itachi’s actions were not done just to prevent war, but also to protect Sasuke. In other words, Sasuke was the main reason for his actions and while the impending war was important, it took a back seat to Sasuke’s well being.
Itachi is a bit like Emiya Kiritsugu, isn’t he? Had Itachi not killed the Uchiha, they would have all died anyway and with them, a good deal of other people. So, Itachi just to just kill all the Uchiha except for his little brother. This wasn’t much of a reveal (heck it was obvious if you thought about it), but I did not mind the clarification.
Tobi bears a hatred towards the Uchiha, I wonder why….I mean, he most certainly is not Madara, but we still don’t know who he is or even how long he has been around. I mean, for all we know, he could just be a few years older than Itachi or even younger. What a mysterious, mysterious man. He did claim to have given the Rinnegan to Nagato, no idea how though or why for that matter.
The best and most interesting part of this chapter though had to have been the final conversation between Itachi and his parents.
Even though Itachi’s father was the leader of the Coup, even though he knew that his entire clan had been/was about to be killed, even though he knew he was going to be killed, he still loved Itachi and what’s more, he respected his son’s will to do what Itachi felt was necessary. It was a very noble way of thinking, and the lack of fear was most befitting of a great ninja. It was most excellent. I loved it.
I always loved Itachi. He has always been one of my all time favorite characters. At first, it was just because he was such a badass. His cool, cold demeanor won me over and refused to let go. Then I found out that he had done what he had done with the village and his brother in mind. We found out that he wasn’t evil, he just pretended to be because that was his job. For being mentally strong enough to pull of such a facade, Itachi earned even more of my respect. Now, we find out that deep down, Itachi is a really kind, gentle soul and even his father who argued with him frequently recognized that (this is actually a very interesting point. The two were often arguing, most likely because of the coup, but deep down, they still loved each other). So, despite being such a kind person, no, because he was such a kind person, Itachi chose a life of lies and torment for the well being of others.
Uchiha Itachi is one of my favorite characters of all time, and someday, I will write a very special post just about him.
In the meantime, all I can say is: Thank you Itachi. Thanks for inspiring me with your badassery when I was younger and thanks for being awesome when I was older. Thanks for everything.
Oh and while I know that Sasuke won’t change his mind and become a good guy, at the very least, I hope he will lose some of his emoness and become a bit more tolerant now. If he has not changed whatsoever since his encounter with dead Itachi, then Kishi has truly failed.