Monthly Shonen Catch up: Bleach 509-512, Naruto 603-606, One Piece 683-685

This is what happens when you are late.

Hey.

I am sorry I did not get to these sooner. I got lazy at first, then I got really busy. Heck, I have midterms all throughout this week, so yeah. I also want to make note of the fact that this weeks chapters are not included in this post. I haven’t read them yet, and I don’t know when I will get the chance to blog about them. Once more, I am sorry about that.

Bleach

Sniff, sniff

It has been a while since I have enjoyed Bleach as much as I have enjoyed these past couple of chapters. The main reason for my enjoyment should be quite obvious.

Old man Yamamoto Genryusai.

What a badass.

The one part of his bankai that I did not talk about before was the North sided ability. It allowed him to do some funky plane cutting thing. I don’t get the physics, but I don’t need to. It was another cool ability added to his already incredible repertoire of bankai skills. It wasn’t quite as awe inspiring as the south side however, but still quite formidable. His back story with the whole fire monster was also very interesting. He grew soft in his old age, but I think he became a lot wiser to.

I love how his face at death shows no contempt, only sorrow, a hint of regret and a deep wisdom. It is almost like he is telling the bad guy: “I pity your troubled soul”.

We also learnt why he did not heal his other arm.

Pride.

Bleach has often talked about pride. At times, pride helps the warriors. It gives them reason to fight and lets them stand again. At other times though, it hinders them. It gets in the way. It leads to defeat.

This entire arc is a battle of pride. The Shinigami have always been proud, but never before have they encountered a foe whose pride was stronger than theirs.

The Quincies having suffered humiliation for so many years came to Soul Society with broken pride and sought to repair it. Given how much damage they have caused, I’d say they succeeded.

Going back to the commander for a second, I must confess that I found his death rather upsetting. Heck, everyone did. He fought valiantly, but in the end he was deceived. Not only that, but he didn’t even get a chance to fight back. He was brutally ripped apart, his arm was cut, his head stepped on and then his body blown up. It was not the way a strong warrior like him should have died, but it wasn’t out of key either.

This entire arc has been incredibly brutal. Someone on the Mangashare forums pointed out that Bleach is becoming more Seinen. I wonder if this is because Kubo no longer has to worry about the anime adaptation and is free to go all out or if Bleach would have ended up like this regardless of the anime. The increasing violence might also be because the manga is drawing to a close, so the magazine possibly cares less about it.

Even though it wasn’t total redemption, I feel much better about Byakuya’s death now. His final words were great and at the very least he was able to pass on his mission to someone else. Byakuya was also very prideful. Back in the SS arc, Ichigo helped him understand that sometimes, being too stubborn about your pride is not a good thing, but in this arc, he had to put aside his pride an ask for help.

Pride

Setting aside his pride.

It shows character development, but it also shows that deep down, Byakuya was willing to do what was necessary for the greater good, even if it meant he had to cast his pride aside.

I also find it interesting that Byakuya is the first Shinigami that Ichigo really talked to upon arriving in SS. These two share a long and fascinating rivalry. I loved everything about this rivalry and it really is a shame that it all has to come to an end now.

Naruto

Meh. Some people were raving about how great the flashback chapters were and how Kishi is an excellent writer. I don’t agree with that. I found some of the reveals to be interesting and I occasionally found Obito endearing, but for the most part, I felt that the twists were unnecessary and cliche and the character development was forced.

While I can sort of see why Obito would want to make a worldwide genjutsu after seeing Rin die, but his fall into madness was too sudden. He went from being super good to super selfish in a very short amount of time. He didn’t even question why Kakashi would need to kill Rin. Nope, no questioning whatsoever. I guess he really was a weakling all along.

I guess the events that transpired can also sort of explain why Obito is perfectly ok with killing people. He thinks they will all be alive in his illusion, so no harm in killing them. Wait, that brings up an interesting question. If the plan comes to fruition, will everyone undergo an illusion specific to them or will everyone share an illusion?

I am going to guess it is the former simply because if it was the latter, then you’d have an illusion with people that are actually alive and people that are actually imaginary. And what happens if due to illness or MAL-NOURISHMENT someone dies in the real world? Do they disappear from the global illusion if it is global? Do they disappear from individual illusions if it is individual? I think Obito and Madara really did not think this through.

Whatever, I don’t care much.

One Piece

I haven’t really been into One Piece that much as of late. It’s not that the chapters are bad or anything, but it is at the point, where almost all of the mysteries have been revealed and the end fights are slowly being set up. On top of that, One Piece is kind of being overshadowed by Bleach and Naruto. Both Bleach and Naruto aren’t only at the climax of their respective arcs, but at the climax of the entire series. It is only expected that other manga would kind of get overshadowed by that.

There were a few interesting things in One Piece I do want to quickly gloss over.

I am tired of the whole addicted children thing. Just get it over with Oda. I don’t like seeing those crazy kids. I do find it interesting that Vegapunk was also trying to turn humans into giants, but he was ethical enough to use adults and not children like Caesar suggested.

I really liked the initial clash between Smoker and Vergo. More so than their powers or anything, the fight was very well choreographed and surprisingly easy to follow. The initial confrontation to that fight was pretty interesting. Vergo referred to Smoker as Vice Admiral Smoker and Smoker in turn referred to Vergo as Pirate Vergo. I like that contrast. I still don’t understand Vergo’s abilities, but it looks like it is all Haki based. That’s pretty interesting.

I really liked chapter 685. To be honest, I thought that Momonosuke was turned into the robotic dragon and not a real dragon as shown. I didn’t know Vegapunk could create devil fruits. The guy is pretty talented huh. Vegapunk also seems to really like dragons.

I love the conversation between the two.

Momonosuke is a pretty cool kid. I guess it is a good thing he was too stubborn to eat the candy. His personality is pretty funny. “I wish to engage in meaningful discourse with the children.” lol. I have no idea why he got spooked all of a sudden and started flying. Maybe in his almost unconscious state he had a bad dream or maybe Vegapunk/Caesar built a control mechanism into the devil fruit. I am not sure as to what it is that happened.

I hope Sanji and the rest find a way to defeat the gas beast.

Poor Robin. Zoro got stuck fighting Monet. That is a pretty strange combination. I didn’t think Monet was a logia, but I guess she is one.

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  1. #1 by azulazure on November 29, 2012 - 12:53 am

    Well, I’m understanding why you like to read Bleach by volume more than by chapter, having several chapters gives us more about the plot than try to figure it out after every chapter, and what’s more important to me, it gives us more about the development of the characters and also about what Kubo wants to tell trought the story; I mean, I’m grateful that it has complex characters and beautiful drawings, I can get stuck with every drawing long time and end with a feeling like one of your descriptions above: “I love how his face at death shows no contempt, only sorrow, a hint of regret and a deep wisdom. It is almost like he is telling the bad guy: “I pity your troubled soul”.” Looking back, when I think in the detail Kubo put in Yamamoto’s drawings I think he was saying a lovely good bye to a dear character, so, even if Yamamoto’s deat was so suddenly I felt it kind of expected.

    Bleach as seinen? I think that could be possible, mmm, I think it wasn’t a lot of blood, but maybe I should read those chapters again.

    About Momonosuke and this doubt: “I have no idea why he got spooked all of a sudden and started flying”, I think he got scared by Don Flamingo’s face, he saw Luffy as Don Flamingo in his delusion, I’m wondering which is the link between them, maybe Don Flamingo invaded Momonosuke’s island.

    Nice reviews, I liked a lot Bleach’s one. Hope the best for your midterms, which were a lot time ago, but still, hope the best.

    • #2 by Reiseng on November 29, 2012 - 5:45 am

      Haha, well, I still read Bleach by the chapter, it just so happened I was not able to post this soon enough. But yeah, Bleach and a good deal of other Shonen tend to work a bit better in volumes.

      I am glad you agree with my description of that picture; it really is well drawn.

      As for Momonosuke, I agree. It does seem like Don Flamingo did something evil to that poor kid’s homeland.

      Thanks a lot for the compliment and best wishes. I have finals soon, so my current life is a bit hectic (that’s why I haven’t written newer Weekly Shonen chapters yet).

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