This was a great chapter.
Here are three reasons why:
- Ichigo’s strength was demonstrated.
- Shunsui Kyoraku got promoted to Captain Commander
- Kenpachi is strong.
- Unohana is a beast.
By Bleach standards, a lot happened this chapter.
I liked the little bit of exposition Ichigo and Ren (especially Ichigo got). I don’t know why, but I like stuff like that. I guess the hot springs as good as they are are also really dangerous and you need to be pretty tough to stand them. That was the first bit of exposition our little hero got, but the second was just as impressive.
Ichigo was able to instinctively react to the punch of someone who could surprise Soi-Fon. Given how fast Soi-Fon is meant to be, that is pretty impressive I suppose. I wonder if Kubo had thought of this scene back when he wrote that Soi-Fon scene. Given the short time apart, I see that as being more than probable.
I love how Kubo approached Shunsui’s promotion. That little segment right at the beginning with him finding out about everything set the tension that continued on throughout the chapter. Then eventually when that tension was cancelled out, we were introduced to the next big reveal in this chapter. The timing was great and Kubo managed to fit in a lot more than he normally does.
Going back to the promotion, Shunsui was obviously the best choice. The only other person close to his level of experience is Ukutake and maybe Unohana. Ukitake is always sick so obviously he couldn’t take the spot and Unohana is needed by the healing division so she obviously couldn’t take the spot either.
I really like Shunsui. He is one of my favorite captains and I think he will make a great captain commander. His outbursts in the past couple of chapters (to calm everyone down) were excellent. I look forward to seeing him lead Soul Society.
I also really liked how Shunsui was able to get his way with the superiors. I don’t know how complacent Yamamoto was, but Shunsui is someone who will definitely what the sees as necessary and won’t be easy to control.
I am also happy that Nanao got to stay at his Vice Captain. I really hope that the next chapter shows a scene with a relieved Nanao.
So, we all knew that Zaraki was strong and not up to potential, but as it turns out, there is a good reason for that! These Soul Society bastards have been holding him back precisely because they are too scared of his power. Wow, that is very telling. Zaraki + Bankai or even just Zaraki + Proper Swordsmanship must be an incredibly fearsome thing.
Okay, now on to the greatest revelation in this chapter.
I have no words to accurately describe my feelings over the awesome that just happened.
Unohana is the first Kenpachi (Zaraki is the 11th or at least the 11th Kenpachi in charge of the 11th Squad).
Unohana’s proper name is Unohana Yachiru.
Yachirhu (Zarak’s Vice Captain) was named after Unohana.
Unohana is the one person Zaraki Kenpachi respected.
Wow, just wow.
Ever since her introduction eons ago, many fans have held the belief that Unohana was secretly super strong and for all this time, Kubo has kept the truth a secret and only dropped occasional hints (like people being scared of Unohana) of her true strength. Now, now we finally know she is strong.
You know what. Kubo could have just said that she is actually a great swordsman and is therefore capable of teaching Zaraki, but nope! He didn’t just make her a great sword user or anything, but rather he made her a Kenpachi. He made her into the one person that Zaraki actually respected.
Oh my God.
We haven’t even seen her fight, but even without seeing any combat from her, you know she is strong. Really strong. She is also Soul Society’s greatest healer.
This woman is a monster and I lover her so goddamn much.
I know Kubo traditionally only focuses on Ichigo’s training, but I really want to see Unohana training Zaraki. I really, really want to see it. Heck, I also really want to see Zaraki’s reaction when he discovers her identity. I am pretty sure he doesn’t know who she is because if he did, every interaction between the two would involve Kenpachi begging for a fight.
There is so much about Zaraki and Unohana’s past we still don’t know. Why does Zaraki not have his earlier memories? Where did he encounter Unohana? Why does he respect her so much? Why did Unohana give up the combat and become a healer? Judging from Zaraki’s behavious, Kenpachis are meant to be violent and bloody. Was Unohana like that to? Or was she calm, serene, elegant and yet overpowering?
That image I posted above and some of her other faces have made her look really scary, so I am tempted to believe that she used to be really fearsome at some point. Did she always have tied hair (in flashbacks, she has been shown without a braid but with a pony instead)? If she let go of her hair, would she turn into a monster again? That is to say, is her tying up of her hair symbolic of how she has tied up her sword and no longer fights.
Oh man, Oh man. It has been quite a while since I was so excited for Bleach. I am really looking forward to where the manga goes from here on.
Here is some fan art:
See, I told you guys the 10 tails thing would only get stronger. Sheesh people should believe me more often! Madara and his partner are kind of cruel, aren’t they? They like blowing people up just to show other people that they to can be blown up and that their quest to prevent others from being blown up is easily BLOWN away.
Other than a demonstration of the 10 tails powers, not much else happened this chapter, so I might not sure what I should talk about. Also, it would seem that Madara and Obito don’t have complete control over this bad boy. I wonder if that is going to be part of the plan to take them down.
Oh right, it is possible that the fathers of Shikimaru and Ino died. I say possible because their death was not shown but the manga definitely wants us to think that they are dead. I kind of like this kind of death. The distance and the attack blowing up in the distance added an a taste of desolation and separation. At least, Shikaku Nara was able to come up with a plan of some sorts and relay it back to the team.
I hope it works. I just want this fight to end already. Quite frankly I am more interested in whatever that Sasuke is up to.
Oh and I don’t like this whole sense chakra from far away and relay orders through telepathy thing they had going on. The implementation isn’t bad and in a way, it is kind of sincere to (groups collaborating together to end the war), but at the same time, it feels like something that was just introduced for the sake of easier battle planning. I can understand why Kishi introduced this system of communication as it allows large scale battles like this, but at the same time, I don’t like these large scale battles.
Oh well, I have done enough ranting about how Naruto is too grandiose now for my liking.
Oh dear, Luffy really should have listened to law and captured Caesar instead of blowing him away. If Caesar gets back to Don Flamingo then the only thing accomplished would be a delay in Joker’s plans, nothing more. Fortunately, it looks like Franky has spotted the enemy and may or may not take action.
Luffy’s new “super attack” (Grizzly magnum) was pretty cool, I guess. At the very least, it gave the impression of strength. I love how scared Caesar was and yet all he offered Luffy was a place as his sub-ordinate. Jeez, man, you should be offering to be Luffy’s sub-ordinate instead! Though, I imagine that wouldn’t sit well with Don-Flamingo.
Now, as for the two goons. We were already somewhat acquited with the strange lady, but now we know why Don-Flamingo keeps killing her lovers. They are all horrible and she is an idiot. I gotta admit, her personality is quite quirky. I sort of like her, though admittedly not as much as some other OP fans. Her Devil Fruit seems really interesting. She can either summon weapons out of nowhere or turn parts of herself into weapons. That fruit actually holds lots of interesting potential. I kind of want to see a more active role from this character just to see more of her fruit.
The other dude is a weirdo as well, but that is really quite ordinary in One Piece. If you aren’t a main character and aren’t the head boss, then chances are you look really strange. I guess that’s another thing that makes Oda’s character designs rather unique. A spinning human is another very bizarre fruit. It is pretty interesting, I guess.
Who are all these shady underworld people? I don’t know, but I am looking forward to finding out more and slowly unraveling the mystery that is New World Politics. It is pretty cool actually, we didn’t have anywhere near as much politics and sneakiness on a global scale in the previous half of the grand line.
I guess it just goes to show you that that all of the important characters are in the New World and more importantly, the New World (for some range reason) is worth controlling. What do these big shots want? is it money? Is it power? Is it fame (unlikely given how shady some folk are)? Or are them all just after One Piece.
I have no idea, but I am excited and the prospects look great!