I am so sorry I am late with this post.
I spent most of my spare time playing Bioshock Infinite and Ni No Kuni and the rest of it being lazy because I was tired.
So, well, here we go.
I am not really sure what I am supposed to say here.
Even though his name was revealed a few chapters back, I failed to realize that Isshin was a member of the Shiba clan and therefore connected to Genji. There are some cool background family relations that are possible because of this and I am hoping Kubo explores Ichigo’s ties to the Shiba clan a bit.
(I liked how he did the fire breathing trick. That is a classic Shiba clan move after all.)
Continuing on from that, Isshin looked very different 20 or so years ago. Given their great age, most of the captains haven’t really changed much, but it is becoming quite apparent that Isshin was a very young captain. He looks a lot older and manlier now, but I like his younger look as well. He is kind of cute. (^▼^)
I ranted about Ichigo’s mother in my post on chapter 530, but she doesn’t actually seem that bad now. I like her gutso. Her determination to do what is right and not what is expected is admirable.
The relationship between her and Isshin is definitely interesting. I want to see this romance bloom~
On a similar note, I find it interesting that at least a few characters take on the last names of their mothers. In Naruto, Naruto has the last name “Uzumaki” which is from his mom and not his dad. Similarly, here we have Kurosaki Ichigo and Kurosaki is his mom’s last name and not Isshin’s. I guess it makes sense in both cases. The Uzumaki clan was kind of famous and I guess Isshin no longer wanted to be associated with the Shiba clan (and well Soul Society in general).
Speaking of which, I wonder how his exile came about. He got away with his rogue mission in chapter 533, but clearly, something else will go wrong, he will get accused of a crime, get his powers locked and be exiled. Maybe, Aizen will frame him for impregnating a human or something? I am almost filled with dread at the thought of Aizen’s next move. THAT GUY IS SCARY AS FUCK.
Speaking of impregnation, as much as I want the story to be somewhat proper and to actually have Isshin impregnate Masaki, I get the impression that Kubo is going to go the Jesus route and make Ichigo exist without the help of Isshin’s swimmers (please don’t do that Kubo! Ichigo is enough of a paradoxical existence, there is no need to make it worse.)
I am now very curious to see where this goes. I don’t care much for the Ishida backdrop/family politics, but the rest of this flashback is great. I am pretty sure Whitey passed on his hollowness to Masaki, but whether it will make her pregnant or simply affect her first child is yet to be determined (please be the latter).
Urahara also seems to have taken notice of Masaki and her hollow infection and you know that when Urahara gets involved, shit hits the fan. (Urahara is also responsible for the cloak things Aizen and his cronies used. I thought that was interesting to.)
I want Urahara to impregnate Aizen. Their kid would be far more of a paradoxial/interesting existence than Ichigo ever was.
I have ranted about this before, as much as I am enjoying this backstory, it saddens me as well. When Bleach started, Ichigo’s dad was an ordinary human and his mother was probably ordinary to (though she might have been able to see spirits like his himself and Karin).
But now, we now know that that wasn’t the case. Ichigo wasn’t an ordinary boy with hidden soul reaper potential, he was kind of destined to be liked this. That takes away from this manga somehow. It is hard to point this out as a fault, but it is harder to insert yourself into this manga.
Before, you could have hoped that some random Shinigami would find you one day and grant you powers, but alas, that feels less likely for some reason. I know it is not really a fault, heck it is silly to even think about it, but hey, a Chunibyou has gotta Chunibyou.
Oh and where does Uryu’s grandfather fit in all this?
It was kind of interesting to see a supposedly good person like Madara fall so far. I wonder how Madara survived after being killed by Hashirama.
Anyway, the past is largely irrelevant because after that initial ping of sadness, it was quite boring. No, what is far more exciting is what happened in chapter 627, or rather what was set up to happen.
I liked how the 3rd tried to take responsibility, that is so him. I also liked how the 2nd admitted to not hating the Uchiha, but being suspicious of them for the greater sake of the village.
I liked how the 4th felt guilty for dying before he got a chance to anything important (and I also liked how Orochimaru was still bitter over it!).
I loved how Sasuke decided to join the fight.
Now, this is the point where some folk feel let down. They were expecting a major showdown between Naruto and Sasuke. They were expecting Orochimaru to have some super evil scheme, but all they got was a goody two shoe Sasuke/Orochimaru and a lovestruck Karin.
I DON’T CARE.
I don’t care if this goes against years of development because I get to see the Hokage fight. I get to see Sasuke stop being a cry-baby. I am fucking hyped and I don’t care if the development is more ridiculous (it actually isn’t all that ridiculous) than Guilty Crown.
I am quite happy with this development and am really looking forward to seeing the Hokage kicking major ass. (I wonder how they are going to get to the battlefield though. It looks like the 2nd Hokage has some useful teleportation technique up his sleeve , but that technique can’t be used because they were summoned or something.)
I loved how the Hokages hyped themselves up for the battle. They seem so excited, the 1st and the 4th especially.
(Be prepared for major picture spam.)
I love how much info Oda dumps in each chapter, but this makes my job as a blogger somewhat difficult.
Let’s bring out the ol’ list:
- Luffy does not want “just anyone” to take Ace’s fruit.
- Franky convinces Luffy to visit the Colosseum under disguise.
- Sanji falls victim to the charms of some dancer.
- Sanji gets asked to kill someone and he naturally agrees.
- Franky encounters a toy soldier who likes getting in trouble with the law.
- Calling himself Lucy, Luffy signs up for the Colosseum.
- Luffy defeats some gladiator person (I love this scene so much).
- Luffy doesn’t get kicked out for beating up Gladitor person because the Chinjao family from the country of flowers and other folk stand up for him.
- There are some high class criminals (apparently) in this tournament.
- Bellamy is still alive and now worth 100 Million.
- There is a Pirate Prince called Cavendish as well as a crazy rookie called Bartolomeo.
- Only 1 victor will emerge from each one of 4 blocks and those 4 victors will fight it out for first place (and the fruit).
- Luffy likes an “almost naked warrior geezer” statue.
- The prince is a bishie that can win the heart of any girl.
- Luffy almost exposed himself, but fortunately, he didn’t.
- The old geezer was actually a super warrior called Kyros. No one knows anything about him.
- Luffy encounters a hot gladiator called Rebecca.
- Burgess of the Blackbeard crew won the battle in group A.
- Franky has a job to do…
- A Vice Admiral called Maynard shows up.
- Maynard beats up someone from the Bortolomeo crew.
- Fujitora is actually a marine Admiral (surprise!).
- Fujitora cares about innocent people. He is a good person.
- Fujitora is heading to the same place that the “Caesar handing over team” (Robin, Usopp, Law and Caesar) is going.
- Green Pit is surrounded by mysterious, dangerous fish that can eat anything.
- Law is getting suspicious. Why are the people acting so normal despite the royal upheaval?
- CP-0, the strongest Intelligence agency in the government shows up.
- Zoro gets his sword back.
- The “fairies” are not actually human and don’t want to be seen.
- Kinemon gets found out because his hat resembles a topknot.
- Sanji is still protecting that dancer lady. He is obviously getting duped.
- The crew plays along with Momo’s games because he ends up depressed if they leave him be. (i.e. they are keeping his mind distracted.)
- There is someone else on the Sunny with them…(a fairy perhaps?)
- Bortolomeo kicks Maynard’s butt.
I absolutely love how deft Oda is at creating concurrent, related events. While most writers would likely struggle with switching between two or three story lines, Oda does so with ease and each one of his stories not only relate to one another, but to the main, obscure background plot of the One Piece World as well. It is like watching a puppet master masterfully control 4 puppets in front while controlling a 5th and a 6th somewhere backstage.
Anyway, in terms of actually what happened, I sort of saw the Furjitora twist coming, but at the same time, I thought it wouldn’t happen. I don’t mind either way. This admiral though seems to really care about innocent people in general.
I like his down to earth, humble nature. He doesn’t act like a high level marine. I get the feeling that his subordinates respect him a lot.
I was not expecting the Vice Admiral to get his bum kicked. This was classic Oda. He named a chapter after that VA and then showed him being a badass only to reverse it all right at the end and have Bortolomeo kick his ass.
That bit of smart writing showed us just how strong Bortolomeo really is. That is to say, he is very strong (even if Maynard was a new VA, he was still a VA, so naturally he was quite strong).
It looks like we have some hidden back story involving fairies and possibly involving toys as well in the work here. This island is really quite incredible because characters from several different society classes and walks of life are explored.
We have events concerning nobility and ordinary grunts, but we also have some back story involving fairies slowly developing. I am going to guess that the toys and fairies on this island are the second class citizens, or so to speak.
I am quite hyped for the battles. Burgess has already won his, so we now have 3 royales left. Most people predict that Rebecca, Luffy and Bortolomeo are going to be the winners in their respective blocks.
I wonder who got on the Sunny. I am somewhat certain that it is a fairy, but no guarantees.
There are so many parties involved in this arc. My mind can’t quite comprehend it all, but I am so badly looking forward to more. It takes something special for info dumps to be enjoyable and not boring and Oda is pretty damn special.