Sunday, 31 May 2015

AfB: Mysterious Men Who Like to Sit

Hi, readers. It's been a while, mostly because I've been lazy. But also because the mysterious men of Bleach have also been a bit lazy. They haven't really gotten around to doing much besides be mysterious, you see.

Things'll change, after just forty or so of the fights he hates! He won't be sitting anymore, he won't be sitting in a blank featureless room! He's looking to advance his station in life!
Oh sure, Yhwach slurped up the Soul King and became even more omnipotent, but only after dozens and dozens of chapters of truly heady stalling.

"Now, uhhh... Hmm. You wanna go out, Haschwaldt? Maybe, I dunno, grab a bite? Long day. Yeeeep."
 What happened to the boots, Bach my man? They were fetching!

Can you blame them for wanting to take it a bit easy? A solid ninety percent of this whole war saga has been about commuting between various planes of existence. Bopping between heaven, hell and three or four other goddamn pocket dimensions a dozen times in a day has got to be an exhausting itinerary. Besides, the whole of reality is about to receive a fresh new paint job; any sightseeing they might have been able to do on their wild Chutes and Ladders ride through space has been rendered thoroughly un-Tripadvisor-able!

So there's only one thing left for us. Let's all take a page from the clear vital moral this series is trying to tell us, sit down with a , and ramble about inconsequential filler fluff in a disorganized fashion!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Hole of Reproach: We have arrived ! Now let us continue standing in place !

Is this true ? Has the prophecy day come at last ?

Yes. The Shinigami have officialy walked through a door, after a volume and a half. Now that they are here and see just how powerfull Bach is surely they're gonna kick into high gear an-

Sorry sorry, I couldn't keep that going with a straight face. No, of course the Shinigami stand in place for four pages, so we can then get a whole page panel of the reconstructed royal realm.

It doesn't look bad, but really it's just the same thing as it was before with something in the middle and something to actually connect these because, as the Shinigami discover later, you can't fly here anymore. Not that Kubo ever established any rules for that. Also, taking bets on how long before he forgets. Also also kinda shocked Bach even cared enough to put this here since all he cares about is killing off his Quincies so he can suck their life force but whatever.

Yoruichi suddenly notices her brothers Reiatsu and Ichigo, being on his recent "Why is no one telling me stuff" kick asks why she never brought up she has a brother. Yoruichi wonders why she should tell people she spends ages around anything about herself and we then get a joke where Kubo remembers she used to go around as a cat. No explanation for why she ever did that, but hey, it's something I guess.

It's funny cause it's a thing that happened

We then spend four and a half pages with Yourichi's brother nearly killing himself by falling because if there's more reishi around, it's harder to use for a foothold apparently. During this time, the Shinigami never move their asses, but at least we can be sure the most important people made it to the Royal Realm.

 We are the perfect assassination duo. Nobody remembers us, mostly because we're so unmemorable, still Bach will never see it coming !

Well, that's good I thought for a second the Shinigami were in trouble. Still, that doesn't explain where Okikiba is ! What the hell Kubo, don't you know your own priorities ?

After they come to realise the Soul King is probably dead, Shunsui tries to rally everyone up by posing the oldest question, the question that must never be answered, the one they've been running from all their lives:

Well, you've already shown you have the response time of a glacier so I'd say it's about fucking time.

Then Bach's own palace, which we never really got a good lock at or inside except that it has empty rooms with nothing in it, pops up on a huge pillar of stuff.

I give credit that it has a lot of detail, but Kubo's probably spent all his creativity points on this one page, so the inside will probably just be a lot of stairs.

The true final battle aproaches: Bach's Chair vs Aizen's Chair !

We end with a shot of Bach, sitting atop his latest chair. Bach seems be quite the connoiseur of sitting accomodations, as he's had at least two other chair thrones he's menacingly sat on since this arc began. Still isn't so keen on the whole "have any other type of furniture around" thing though.

Stay tuned for next week, when the Shinigami will maybe spend a whole chapter chatting with Ichigo and company and end up looking at Bach's Palace with all kinds of determination before the chapter ends.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Hole of Reproach: What was the point of that ?

So, I come to you all this week utterfly dumbfounded. Because this, well....

Most of the chapter is dedicated to Yukio whinning about not doing anything, even though if the world gets destroyed that includes him too. The little fucker still refuses to budge and I really wish someone would punch him.

And then Ichigo tell Riruka she should stay behind too.

.....Huh ?

Look I know Gliblord is probably doing cartwheels in celebration but what the actual fuck ? Not only is Ichigo saying he don't need the help against Mr. "I can make every power not affect me because I say so" and I'd argue you probably need all the help you can get. And further more, what was the point to bring this character back for one chapter to then put her on a bus literally the week after ? Is this Kubo finally realising he has too many characters set up to go fight Bach ? Cause even so, you could drop someone like Bazz B, I don't need Renji and his clone bumming around being pathetic. And Riruka was kinda the only fullbringer to beat one of your Shinigami allies ya know, maybe use her miniaturisation abilities or something, seems a lot more usefull then Quincie Renji's "I can finger stuff" ability.

Then we follow this up with another "joke".

I...uh. I can't really say anything about the level of "humour" on display as I've already established in the past weeks how Kubo's recent kick of trying to include "humorous" moments is unfunny filler at best so rather then repeating myself, I'd like to focus on that editorial line. Cause that is the funniest shit in a Bleach chapter in ages.

Ganju is probably hands down the most insignificant character here. Dude has literally been a complete no show since the Soul Society Arc, and even there he's not only a minor support character. He's literally done less then Chad in the past half decade and that is saying something. I mean I know Ichigo is the most lifeless protagonist ever but how can Ganju know that much about Ichigo if he spent maybe ten minutes in the guy's company tops ?

In the next scene we see shit is still flying around after Bach randomly decided to demolish everything and then we ge.....



You cannot possibly be serious.

THE SHINIGAMI HAVEN'T LEFT YET !!! this real life ? Have I fallen into some sort of endless time loop ? Is this hell ?

Okay, the Shinigami are negligent assholes who sit on their asses all day, let people live in destitution, squalor and the constant threat of murder when they could end all the fighting easily with their superpowers, and the only reason any Hollows exist is because they are late to send a person's soul for literally months, and the sheer amount of hollows that exist is proof that they are absolutely above caring about anything.


All of that

All of that takes second place to them literraly spending FIFTEEN CHAPTERS to go through a door, WHEN THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO END.

I have no words to describe this. They have lost all meaning.

The chapter ends with Ichigo's group ariving at the Palace, not recognising it and then turning around to see this.

Uhm, how did you not notice the huge frickin building right in front of you ? And he's not really reshaped anything, more like just wrecked the place. Unless he's into living on a pile of rubble.

Well, next week we'll probably have a rock fall on Urahara and the door closes again or something.

I feel emotionally spent.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Hole of Reproach: Bach is still Bach

This week, we actually have more focus on Bach and the rest of the...well most people use "SS" as an abbrevariation of "Soul Society", but now Kubo actually has a "Schutzstaffel" in the story, which is all kinds of awkward given the recent 70th anniversary of end of WW II.

We do have a few scenes devoted to Ichigo and co. talking about nothing. It does feature Riruka snapping at Orihime.


I appreciate the sentiment of her not appreciating the negativity, but look, I'm one of the few critics of Bleach who doesn't seem to hate your guts (unlike my blog colleague Gliblord who was literally doing a mid air spit-take when he saw your return) but don't think you get a free pass on being a bitch. We clear ? The scene ends with Grimmjow saying he's helping them take down Bach because otherwise Hueco Mundo gets destroyed and where will Grimmjow kill Ichigo if that happens ?

Uhm, anywhere ? You tried killing him in the human world before. What's changed ? Also you gotta wonder if the dude has any affinity to the blasted desert nightmare scape he calls home, it makes you wonder about how Hollows live when not attacking people, at least the humanoid ones, which are practically the only ones we ever see anymore, are clearly shown being on the same level of intelligence as humans, have emotions and all that stuff. I'm so glad Kubo never explored it but has instead spent time on his incredibly boring version of "wacky nazies" getting their asses kicked until their moustachioed leader activates God Mode and beats everyone cause He's Bach.

I am so gonna miss that mischevious comatose torso.

Speaking of The Most Groomed One, he's apparently done slurping up the Soul King. Boy I sure love how we had to wait like six years to see the guy after Aizen's entire quest was to get up to 'em, and he might as well have been a chair they put a crown on for all the impact he had on the readers. Hell, I'm calling it now, make Aizen's chair the new Soul King, at least we know it has a strict "no Aizen fucking around" policy.

When the.....SS goes to check on Bach they find he's well

I think that's a definite improvement

I wish this meant he was losing control over this power and was just becoming a vessel unable to do anything, which would be a fitting end for the guy. But nope, of course The "I Win cause Everything-Proof-Shield" Bach can't not be in control at all times.

They proceed to stare at Bach intently, and I really have to adress this

The fuck are you wearing dude ? It looks like you stole the reproductive organs of a zebra and are wearing them as a hat.

Regardless, to prove he is still the same Bach who ordered the execution of soldiers with battle experience because they lost using a power they were unfamiliar with, the use of which blocked them using their far superior ability and which he ordered them to use, knowing the Shinigami would get it back somehow eventually, he proceeds to blow up the Palace for no reason and nearly kills his entire elite force.

Remember, these are literally the last soldiers he has, as far as we know. Boy does he sure care about the future of the Quincies.

Wouldn't it be funny if the twenty something people gearing up to go fight Bach would show up, and all of Bach's men would be dead cause he knocked them off because of random destructo rage ?

No more shinigami this week either. It may look promising because people in Bleach are like Weeping Angels, they only move when you're not looking. Let's just hope he doesn't just forget.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Kubology: The Study of Kubo?

Greetings to everyone at Applied Logic.  Like many of you here, I too was a Bleach fan and was excited for each new volume to be released in english (later chapters as I was reading it online).  However, like many of you, I came to a point in the series where is wanted to bash my face in.

Wait, wait.  I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's take a trip down memory lane:

September of 2007, after the incredible magazine Anime Insider had featured Bleach a few times, I decided to give it a chance.  What could go wrong?  So i started borrowing volumes from the library one at a time.  I mean it was so cool.  A series that combined horror and action?  With a good splash of comedy?  Sign me up.  Watching Ichigo and Rukia tackle hollows, seeing the chemistry between the characters.  Man that first arc was great.  I think it was because Kubo kept the cast to a minimum and the lore of the world simple.

Does anyone even remember these characters anymore?
Sigh.  So Rukia gets captured, the shady Urahara helps Ichigo and company become strong enough to invade Soul Society and save the day.  And this is where shit starts to get crazy.  The cast increases from twenty to a hundred twenty.  GAH! So many new characters.  Most were just exposition characters too.  Well Ichigo and friends are blazing through Soul Society, dishing out heaping helpings of pain, and we get a taste of the consequences of the method Ichigo used to re-aquire his shinigami juice.
Hey, Ichigo?  I have a secret.  But we'll both won't know what it is for another five hundred chapters.  Tee hee

Yep, the menacing "Shirosaki".  This was actually a cool concept on Kubo's part.  Due to the unorthodox method Urahara had Ichigo go through to become a shinigami again created this pesky monster.  As such, Ichigo now had to keep its murderous will at bay while fighting.  It's a pity Kubo just fucked this up so much.

As all the fights are going on we get a look at Rukia's past, and the guilt she has felt for killing Kaien Shiba.  Now here's where things start to become problematic.  Ichigo and Kaien supposedly look alike.

Maybe it's because of Kubo's "Only Six Character Faces" style of drawing, but I honestly did not see it.  I still don't know of Kubo did this intentionally or it worked out that way.  And then the whole reveal that Isshin is Kukaku's, Ganju's, and Kaien's uncle much later?  Sorry, that's a later rant.
So we get to the point when Aizen betrays Soul Society, and I'll admit it, it blew my mind.
Anyway, I'm still with Bleach during the Arrancar Arc, the LOOONG Hueco Mundo Arc, and the Las Noches Arc.  We learned about the "true" nature of Ichigo's hollow, get introduced to the Visored and the Espada.  And we get more fights.  YAY!  Pitting the forces of good against the forces of evil.  Then Aizen reveals his bait and switch, and Orihime becomes useless.
And then we get to the part where I want to bash my face in:
God I hated this so much
Gimme a sec, I need to lobotomize myself. sigh.  Then things just start going to shit.  I don't need to tell you how.

Good night everyone.  I'll be doing analysis in the future.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Hole of Reproach: I've Officially lost count

So another week rolled by Kubo (better known as マニキュアした爪のサングラス変人), what have you got.

(A quick read later)

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I am officially calling it now, Kubo is gonna bring back every single solitary character for this shit. Get ready to see Ichigo's boss and those random punks he beat in his flashbacks.

Maybe Ichigo's classmates are gonna actually show up too.

Or maybe his family members considering we used to care about them at one point.

Anyways the chapter proper begins with a repetition of last week and it takes five pages of half page spreads and inane bickering for us to move past the "Grimmjow is here" aspect of the story.

You know, you gotta give it to Kubo, he could have totally had her knock him out with her tits....Which may be what happened, but the shot is so poorly framed I don't rightly know and that's sort of positive....I think.

It takes Nel comedically knocking down Grimmjow for us to finally change scene. Kubo, please stop trying to use comedy, you're not good at it.

Nel explains to Ichigo Urahara made her an armband thing which can make her not mentally regressed to a toddler and also allow for her to change form, and for some reason....Chad has to explain this to Orihime who seems to act like it's a bad thing.

Uhm, this is the healer character right ? Kinda assumed that entailed wanting for people to get better.

Cause leaving people practically lobotomised even when you can cure them is totally a cool thing to do.

Then out of nowhere a huge box appears in the sky and Riruka and Totally Not Hitsugaya show up ! (Christ what are we up to....25 ?!)

Naturally Ichigo gets pissed and wants to know what's going on and when Yoruichi offers to once again only tell him part of the plan, he seems to finally have had enough of Soul Society leading him along a trail of breadcrumbs.

In the words of the Mysterious Mr Enter: What I'm doing is stupid, I know I'm stupid and I'm gonna do it anyway.

Yoruichi still doesn't care.

She finally explains that Urahara whipped up something to basically steal a reiatsu outlet pipe from between Soul Society and the human world, but he needed Riruka and Shota Boy to get it to move. Not sure why a guy who purposefully ruined his own family out of spite went along with this but okay.

We get a scene of the "I Really should have named them something different" Schutzstaffel chilling in the Royal Palace (well sitting on chairs because anything else would give them too much character) and Ishida looks noticeably not happy about Bach becoming all powerfull. The chapter then ends with a silhouete of Bach slurping up the Soul King.

This time we didn't even get to see the Shinigami do nothing. So maybe they've already le....who am I kidding they probably ordered takeout while we weren't looking.

Okay my strategy is, get myself butchered by the Elite Quincies an the all seing God Beard until their swords are dull, then you take over.

Ya know, I keep thinking, what exactly is the point of Ganju here ? I mean, dude's been absent since the Soul Society arc and his role in that one was rather underwhelming and now he's in the same team as Shinigami captains, Arrancar and Quincies and Orihime with her god like reality rejection powers. What the balls is he gonna even do ? And why should we care ? If Kubo at least tried to tie this into him forcing his way into this clearly out of his league mission to try and restore his family's honour, that could be an explanation. But of course Kubo's already forgotten the Shiba being looked down upon was ever even a thing.

And nope, still no new additions to Bach's side. And I know Kubo doesn't do anything else then one on ones so is he just gonna find a way to keep everyone stuck on a bus so ichigo, Yoruichi and maybe Chad and Orihime (and Byakuya of course because fangirls) can be the only ones doing anything ?

He's Kubo after all.