Weekly Shonen: Bleach 581, Naruto 677, One Piece 748

Hello, I am tired. Well, I started this post at 1.30 AM and it is 3 AM now and I have to go to Anime North and oh god I am screwed. Anyway, let us get his weekly party rolling~

What a fantastic double page spread. Such great detail.

What a fantastic double page spread. Such great detail.

Bleach

Bleach Ichigo Badass

Well, what do you know it was Ichigo after all. Bleach is so predictable, it is unpredictable…or well that is my excuse anyway.

I hope Shinji kicks the fire guy’s butt. I feel that he wasn’t treated as well as he should have earlier.

As for Ichigo, his landing was pretty funny. He normally enters quite gracefully as well, but I guess this is more reminiscent of the Soul Society entrance.

The best part of the chapter for me had to have been Ichigo’s badass flash step, movement thing. I like to think that I am used to this manga’s shows of power, but that scene actually caught me by surprise.

I also liked the cute little speech Ichigo gave to Kenpachi.

Naruto

Naruto Kaguya

In most Shonen action manga, the villain at some point or another gives us the impression of complete control and utter helplessness. This is done to ensure that his or her defeat has all the more impact.

To an extent Naruto has been trying to make Madara seem untouchable for quite some time. Again and again, it grants Madara something that makes the situation look totally hopeless and whenever hope is on the horizon, Madara through his plot-no jutsu regains the upper hand.

And now, we are on to the final climax. One last climax, or I hope so anyway. This is the final card in Madara’s deck and it is, as expected, a doozy.

As whiny as I have been the past couple of weeks (months???) over Madara’s development, I can’t help but admire the pace the flow of this chapter. I don’t know, it just felt kind of right. I mean, I wasn’t put into a state of suspense or shock or disbelief or even admiration for Madara’s cruel ways. The actual happenings in the chapter flew by me, but they did so while leaving a nice flowery fragrance, so I am willing to cast aside my rant this week.

That or I am just sleepy.

Someone on the MS forums made a nice observation about Madara. Madara is not the kind of guy who would just relinquish power to someone else. He really must have lost most of his reason and/or he was always under Kaguya’s influence. Kaguya seems pretty scary. There is probably some cheesy, sad backstory that will play when Madara is defeated that involves her. Look forward to it.

Anyway, it looks like Sasuke, the resurrected Hokages and possibly Yamato are the only comes capable of moving around now. Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi are still okay, but it is questionable what they can do with the moon in the state that it is.

Oh and I liked how Naruto instantly wanted to rush over to Hinata to help her. Yay, he might actually end up with her!

One Piece

One Piece OrderChaos and freedom versus order and control.

To an extent this has always been a theme in One Piece, but I do not recall it ever being as present in the forefront as it is this arc.

In this chapter, Lord Pica attacks the good guys with his giant arm. A single swipe of that arm wipes out armies and sends everyone flying. Pica is the one bringing order to the chaos. His arm is more than just his arm. It is a symbol of the authoritative government’s power and lust for control.

Don Flamingo is the evil dictator that evil dictators strive to be. He is cunning, cruel, manipulative but more importantly, he is meticulous and perfectly in control. His ability (puppet string things) is the perfect reflection of his control crazy methodology.

I do not know if it is because his mother died, because he killed his dad, or perhaps because he was born as a noble, but for one reason or another, Don Flamingo has forgotten what it means to be a true pirate. To be a true pirate, not only means to be free, but to not impose upon the freedom of others.

Luffy and the pirates represent chaos and freedom.

Everything Luffy does is free. He laughs when he shouldn’t. He makes jokes when he shouldn’t and so on and so on. Someone complimented Usopp and Luffy said that made him happy. Luffy didn’t’t care that Usopp was getting more attention than him, nor did he care that people would rather listen to Usopp than himself. Had Luffy been like Don Flamingo, he would have cared. He would have cared a lot.

Even amongst allied groups, there is no fixed leader, no one person that is in control (perfectly or otherwise). Even god Usopp, despite his miraculous deeds was not meant to lead this band of scoundrels (they turned on him the moment his bounty was announced). Even when they are in debt, a true pirate still acts according to what they want.

In this chapter, a large number of folk came up to Luffy and offered to repay their debt by killing Don Flamingo. Had Luffy been a person like Don, he’d have strategically used them to bring down his adversary, but he is not like Don, so he did the exact opposite.

He rejected all of them and they in turn refused to co-operate with his rejection. And thus, a rag tag, unorganized group of self acting individuals charged down Dressrosa, each one striving for the same goal but striving alone and without any explicit notion of teamwork whatsoever.

And yet, despite their lack of order and coherence, when faced with the giant arm of authority, they attacked together and broke apart the giant arm of the law. It was a wonderful moment and an incredibly symbolic one to.

One Piece Arm Breaking

And that, ladies and gentleman is why One Piece is clearly fantastic.

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