Thursday, 4 August 2016

Bleach Analysis - Reviewing the Penultimate Chapter

Welp, we all thought it was going to end this week, but we actually one last chapter to go, and because this week's Jump was a double issue....Kubo's wild ride still has two weeks left!

Aw the heck with it, I'll treat you guys anyway!

We begin with a colorspread of Ichigo, who isn't even in this chapter. I was kinda hoping for a shot of the whole cast like the food colorspread just before the Quincy arc, but beggers can't be choosers.

It works well enough to show how far our Strawberry has come.

Four pages of Deviantart and me picking tumors off my back later, we get this announcement! What could it be? Readers of Applied Logic, shall we take bets?

-Anime returning (slim chance but not impossible, rip Yama's seiyuu though)
-Sequel/spin-off (I kinda hope not but it depends on the idea....again, silm but not impossible)
-Databook announcement
-other Kubo-tier option

Shunsui, still CC, reflects on what has happened. He's standing over a grave (easy to guess who), and I must say, I like the backgrounds. (imagine me saying that for Bleach)

Confirmation that it's been ten years, which is like a month to the average Shinigami. Nobody is going to look aged at all.

I also like this shot too, but did they really fix the Sokyoku alter? Does this mean they still have those type of punishments....and the Sokyoku which Ichigo broke?

Shunsui is called away (rip backgrounds), and we learn that the grave is Ukitake. Aww, his best friend.

I'm actually mad about Ukitake as a whole though. He's always had a slightly-higher story presence due to being connected to Rukia, and he honestly is a good guy.....but he's been overshadowed by Shunsui.

-The two took on Stark together, but then Uki gets knocked out by Wonderweiss, leaving Shunsui to clean up.
-Shunsui takes the CC position after Yama's death, while not only does Uki not have a fight with a Stern Ritter, his Bankai is not shown, and he only sacrifices himself to stop the worlds from crumbling.

Which, by the way, never really felt significant or dire because Kubo ignored all of the tension.

And now he's....dead. :(

Two things of note here.

1) Mayuri's design, which never fails to entertain me. I've always felt he was Kubo's best designed character.
2) that title

the perfect end

I honestly can't tell if Kubo really believes this, despite the fact that the series has been lowering in popularity and Jump just pulled the plug, or that he has finally understood irony. Either way, it is up there in chapter titles like "Why Me Sad". A+

Nemuri the eigth is goddamn adorable, this is fact of science!

And I suppose it reflects the development given at the end of the Pernida battle....but I've never been a fan of the "Mayuri was just tsundere for Nemu" angle. That SS/HM abuse was real, and you can't just pretend it didn't happen, Kubo. As a result I fear for this adorable little girl.

Oh yeah, I'm sure Uryu is going to pull his hair out of his skull when he finds out his grandfather's torturer still hasn't been locked up!

Next up is the 11th squad, and it seems everything is just fine. Ikkaku has risen in rank, and I'll assume Yumichika is now 3rd seat, since he hates the number 4.

What of Yachiru you ask? Well she's Kenny's zanpakutou spirit....even though she has a...Shikai herself?
Wait, if she's been like that all this, was there a significant reason why she can't just materalize anymore? It's clear their bond was no regular zan bond.

But wait....what the hell was "Nozarashi" then? Yachiru's actual name? Even though Kenpachi had a sword before he met her and the two actually DO have a positive relationship, so the plotpoint of him arguing with his zan is....arrrrrgh my head.

Classic 11th division lost shenanigans. .....but seriously, no Yachiru?

Also another point for the "lost plotpoint gumbo"....Ikkaku and Yumichika, both of them have kept the nature of their true potential a secret from their captain/division, and neither of them got to show off. No Bankai for Ikkaku, no true Shikai for Yumichika.

Had Kubo followed through, we would've gotten nice development between the three, but apparently he thought demon hulk Kenpachi sounded cooler. Fuck me.

Shinji and Momo appear on the next page to offer a compass. Momo still cute, Shinji still jobs.

Which is hella depressing when you really consider the fact that a)Vizard leader and b)has mind fuckery powers like Aizen. What a waste of a character.

The bottom panel is near pretentious drivel so let's keep going:

Wait.....Iba became Captain of the 7th?

Not that Iba isn't cool but he's always been a background character at best. He fought Ikkaku (off-screen) and jobbed to Ayon....we don't even know the name of his sword!

So this also means Komamura is forever a bipedal wolf. Damn, he was the ultimate bro, and yet the hits kept coming. Also-
why didn't Love become captain? The guy with the Vizard mask, fought Stark, revealed to the audience what his sword is called?

Much to the disappointment of fangirls across the globe, Hitsugaya is back to normal. Rangiku teases Hisagi as a future Captain. Why?

I guess I've never understood all the hype around Hisagi. Sure his fight with Crabman was one of the best, and I suppose he went through the hurdle of coming to grips with the power he feared and confronting his treacherous captain in the same arc....but he's just so plain. AnimeHisagi is better because he's a total goofball in omakes.

Also this makes Iba being captain make even less sense!

-name of sword known
-shown training for Bankai

is not a captain but

-no shikai
-no name sword
-did far less


And good luck getting stronger than flipping Kensei boy-o.

See?! Hitsugaya, Kensei, and Rangiku all lampshade the absurdity of the thought. Also screw you Kubo for forgetting Mashiro yet again, she's what makes the 9th fun to watch.

Either way, we have a new captain in the works. Hi Soi. I'm glad that out of the healthy preexisting captains, you had the least contribution to victory.

(not even a goofy panel of her reacting to catwoman Yoruichi!)

Okay hit the damn brakes. What the hell happened to Isane's hair?! She looked perfect before and now she looks like the hairdresser thought she was a Japanese schoolboy.

Kiyone's hair hasn't changed much, but it looks more child like and invoking shades of early Karin/Yachiru. Also she's the VC of the 4th....under her sister? So that means Sentaro is the VC of the 13th?

Like Iba, Isane has barely fought anyone and we don't even know what her Shikai does. I guess Shunsui was whipping everyone into shape. At least she has her captain's healing mojo.
.....that's right. Remember when Kubo killed Unohana just to hype up Kenpachi?

perfect end my nuts.

Someone on 4chan aptly named this lineup the Jobber 13

Well it's a great shot of the captains all lined up.

Apparently Lisa became captain of the 8th (love her skirt), which makes Love not being a captain make even less sense, how that is that possible?

Are Hiyori, Hachi, and Love drinking their depressions of neglect away in Karakura Town? I bet.

Holy cow Rukia is the captain. This is both predictable and wtf all at the same time.

It's icing on the cake that Renji isn't the captain. He can be Seireitei's jobbing mascot then! (fucking Iba got a spot before Hisagi and Renji, let that sink in)

Anyways it's awesome to see Rukia stand this far, considering all of her training, but her growth in power has been so....erratic, where Kubo always had to use cheat codes to make her equal-ish to Ichigo in between the action.

But hey, Rukia rules so I guess it's okay. At least Renji is still a failure at life :)

Oh my god, I just more bullshit cliffhanger for the series.

Well I doubt Kubo is going to pull a Bach-kills-everyone bad ending when everything is so light and cheerful here, so....some kind of shadow teaser?

I'm 99.99999999% positive the final final chapter will show what Ichigo and the residents of Karakura are up to. But if he's not here, part of the guard....I guess he became a substitute again? What was the point of the soul tickets then?

Keep in mind Ichigo/Chad/Uryu/Orihime will be in their 20s! Some are predicting Kubo shoves in an Ichihime ending, but I'm not holding my breath one way or the other.

I thought overall it was a good chapter to showcase everyone real quick, albeit some of the captain decisions make no real sense, Mayuri is still Mayuri, and Ukitake/Unohana died before they really had a chance to shine.

Well my readers, predictions on the (hopefully) last chapter of Bleach? Aizen keikakuing one last time?


  1. The worst part is how Kubo just completely skipped the aftermath of the Bach battle, not to mention how, for someone capable of being as broken, Bach getting taken out like that is pittiful, especially since Kubo's done chapters where someone looks to be taken out in this exact same way but comes around with a big powerup dozens of times !

    Let's try and bet what he won't address

    1: The Soul King, what he is/was,where and why did he lose both his hands
    2: The Royal Guard will conversely be also completely forgotten despite Ichibei getting himself resurrected...for seemingly no purpose than !
    3: Orihime's fairies will remain forgotten forever
    4: Ichigo's sisters will have never contributed anything despite Kubo hinting one of them can see spirits
    5: Urahara is not gonna come back to SS because reasons
    6: The stifling poverty and squalor of the citizens of the Rukongai will just be ignored and thereby won't be an issue if no one remembers right ?

    1. 7. Yhwach's history, why he's so powerful and why Yamamoto didn't kill him when he had the chance.
      8. How and where the Wandereich hid from the Soul Society 1000 years ago and how they relate to the Quincy genocide from 200 years ago.
      9. The countries conquered by the Wandereich in Bazz B's flashback and where they are in relation to everywhere else.
      10. Why Bazz B and Haschwalth were important enough to get a 3 chapter long flashback to explain their backstory. Yhwach himself only got like 4 pages to explain his backstory.
      11. The Soul Society existing for a million years. The way it was presented it felt like it was leading up to some big revelation that never came.
      12. Gotei 13's origins as a group of tyrannical thugs, although one could argue that they never really changed from that.

  2. I didn't care about the villains because their histories and motives were so poorly explained, if at all. I didn't care the heroes because they barely factored into the plot and often came out of nowhere. I didn't care their backstories because they were awkwardly inserted into the story and came out of nowhere. I didn't care about their new powers because they made no sense and came out of nowhere.

    I didn't care about the fights because they were all the same. The villains uses their powers to incapacitate the heroes, the heroes pull new powers out of their ass to fight them. The villains pull new powers out of their ass to counter the heroes' abilities and then another Soul Reaper shows up out of nowhere and defeats the bad guys with some new power they pulled out of their ass. Rinse and repeat.

    I feel like the series was supposed to end with part 1 but Kubo saw how successful two part manga were and decided to continue the series, leaving a bunch of unfinished plot lines in part 1 to do so. The problem was I don't think Kubo had any ideas left for Bleach, leading the Fullbringer arc, which amounted to nothing in the long run, and the Quincy war which dragged on for years before quickly shoehorning in everyone's backstories and character arcs in at the last minute. While all the while forgetting or ignoring the multiple plot holes and story arcs.