Monthly Shonen Catchup: Bleach 651-654, One Piece 807-809

WOOOOPS. It is not that I forgot, but I, uhh, procrastinated and played Clannad, Fallout 4 and grinded a Fate/Grand Order event. Yeah, I did nothing useful. Sorry. I will keep this short.

bleach heh

Bleach

❤ This adorable Uncle-Niece pair.

Bleach has been, well, a bit of a ride. Some excellent chapters. Some okay-ish ones. Some very shocking ones. Basically, Bleach is Bleach (though the roller coaster ride felt a bit compressed these past few chapters). A part of me still wishes this Lille fight had ended in chapter 650 (it would have been a real soothing end), but because it didn’t end, we were treated to a very nice backstory.

Once upon a time, Shunsui had an older brother who got married. His brother died from illness, leaving behind his wife and daughter. Shunsui felt at peace in her presence, but then one day, she too, died (executed by the Shinigami court because they were assholes). She had left him her family heirloom, a mirror sword,  which is apparently a curse that kills any man the lady marries. It was rather convenient how the weapon Nanao inherited can not only kill gods, but that that is the only thing it can do. Heh.

Still, the story was obviously planned out way ahead of time and not just shoehorned in now. I can appreciate that. Chapter 652 in particular was very well written and moving. Bleach has always had great flashbacks and good background stories (for the good guys at least) and this was no exception. I would talk about the action itself, but as always, action in manga form does little to excite me.

654 took a bit of a twist. Remember that Lille guy who was supposed to have been defeated? Well, no he wasn’t. He is now in Soul Society wrecking stuff. Remember that Aizen guy who was strapped in a chair? Well, he is still trapped in a chair, but capable of making snarky comments. (God, I love seeing his smug face pop up.) Remember that Kira guy who was supposed to be dead? Yeah, no, he isn’t. He is somebadass, cyborg thing with half his chest missing! Amazing. Kubo is the best. Kubo don’t give a damn what you want. Kubo knows what he wants (probably) and he does what he wants.

If you’d be up for a much better look at these chapters, I very strongly recommend you read Samu’s Bleach posts. (651, 652, 653, 654) Also, read this nice tumblr post on why Bleach is good.

Nifty attack. And a bible throwback. Nice.

Nifty attack. And a bible throwback. Nice.

One Piece

808 jack

The worst thing about these catchup posts is that so much happens in One Piece, I can never figure out where to begin or what to talk about. Fortunately my most versatile tool, the handy dandy list, is here to lend a hand!

Handy Dandy List of stuff that happened:

  • The Mink’s are incredibly friendly.
  • Brook is a-ok and was refereed to as a “corpse” (when it was implied that their teammates were dead).
  • The canine minks really like Brook because he is made of bones.
  • They couldn’t face Big Mom head on, so they made an opening and escaped. (Lovely abuse of Caesar’s ability!)
  • Big Mom’s ship can make cool faces.
  • The damage done to the city by Jack preceded the Straw Hats entrance on the island (SH arrived 10 days ago, but the damage done was over two weeks ago).
  • We still don’t know what happened to Sanji and why he isn’t here.
  • The Mink really hate the samurai because Jack was looking for one.
  • Namp and Chopper helped out the Mink’s a lot. Chopper’s medical knowledge saved the duke’s life.
  • Master Inuarashi woke up from his coma. He is their leader during the day.
  • Law meets up with his crew and they are delighted to see him.
  • Jack is a mamoth type Zoan.
  • The Minks work really hard to try and negotiate with Jack and his crew, but he just doesn’t listen and insists on fighting them.
  • The Mink’s have never heard of the ninja dude (Raizou), so they can’t do anything.
  • Jack is one of Kaido’s top three henchmen (calamities).
  • Jack’s minions include the “Pleasures” who are people that take joy in everything (including being electrocuted) and the Gifters (who can somehow use animal powers ). Sanji beat Sheaphead, their leader many chapters ago.
  • The Mink’s are all capable of fighting. Even the kids can fight!
  • Sir Sicilian is the head of the musketeer crew and he is awesome looking.
  • The duke is a large dog and he is badass.
  • A poison weapon made by Caesar was used by Jack. (This is probably why Chopper was really important in helping the Minks out.)
  • Master Inuarashi once sailed the seas with Master Nekomamushi (Master of the night) and they met Shanks.
  • Minks from the town are up during the day, while the ones from the forest are up during the night. They pretty much fall asleep right when the time hits 6PM/6AM.
  • Inuarashi puts down his sword and tries to reason, but to no avail.
  • Inuarashi is so damn cool in that he can stop a freaking mammoths tusk with one hand.
  • Apparently Jack has a bounty of 1 Billion Berry?
  • Master Nekomamushi is a giant cat and is really strong! He can toss Jack, the mammoth!
  • At the end of 809, Jack turned back into a human (though we don’t quite see his face) and I assume he did so in order to use a poison weapon or play some other foul trick.

Thoughts

809 Inuarashi musketeers

Well, then. It takes a second (and who knows maybe even a third) read through to appreciate what One Piece has done these past few chapters. Sure, we didn’t get any actual news on Sanji (other than the fact that he is probably still alive), but they were still good chapters. There are bunch of things I like about this arc. The first is that some of the character designs (the Masters and the Musketeers) are really cool! It is also cool how all of the characters are interesting looking and don’t sport the “ordinary human” look of Dressrosa.

The OPP folk mentioned that one of the real cool things they liked is that in this arc, all of the citizens can fight. We don’t have helpless citizens like in Dressrosa and I would have to agree with that. It is nice stumbling across a group of people who can not only hold their own, but do so against really tough opposition. Finally, the biggest difference between this arc and previous ones is how it is presented. A lot of the bad stuff has already happened and we are just getting informed on it. This is quite different from usual where things normally happen as Luffy and the others arrive. I wonder if one of the main things the SHs accomplish on this island will be reconciling the two masters together.

All in all, I am really hyped for all of this and am looking forward to where this arc ends up!

one piece cover

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