Bleach Chapter 483 – KriegsErklärung Review / Thoughts

February 29, 2012

So, with the oddly named chapter 483 we continue the final Bleach arc. Last time we were promised war by the mysterious group of people who invaded Soul Society, and this week we see they have the deadline set.

 

This was a pretty good chapter that also threw up a couple of interesting points. Firstly, I will start with Ivan Azgiaro vs Ichigo which took place in this chapter.

We know Ichigo is strong even without using his Bankai, so when Ivan began taunting Ichigo and trying to get him to use it then I am sure many of use were curious as to why he wanted it to happen so badly. When Ichigo finally relents and uses his Bankai, Ivan begans chanting some weird incantation while thinking to himself that this will put an end to Ichigo’s Bankai for good. I don’t know how or what type of attack it was he used or indeed what he is hoping to accomplish by taking Ichigo’s Bankai away from him, but some people have said that it feels like the kind of thing Ginjo already tried in the last arc – ie stealing Ichigo’s power for himself.

Ichigo shocked Ivan though when, despite being hurt by the attack, he still managed to smash through it by unleashing a Getsuga Tensho. I think Ivan must be working alongside the group who are planning on taking down Soul Society, and heck, he probably thinks that if he can take out Ichigo’s strongest power then that will be a massive blow to Soul Society’s chances of putting up any kind of resistance.

Which brings me to the next point, that being not only did we find out the name for this new group of mysterious people – the Vandenreich – but they also set the deadline for when the end of Soul Society would occur. They have already seemingly killed Yamamoto’s assistant Sasakibe, though maybe he will end up surviving a spear/lance through the chest what with this being Bleach, only time will tell.

But I find it interesting that Kubo probably has plans for the next couple of years at least for Bleach, and yet now the people who appear to be the main enemies have declared Soul Society will be destroyed in five days. Now I personally don’t believe that, and I also have a feeling now that the Vandenreich will not turn out to be the main villains or challenge Soul Society will face. Just for the fact there is still no sign of the Arrancar such as Grimmjow or Nel, as well as the fact Kubo himself has said he hopes to show Aizen in the Manga again at some stage tells me that there is no way he will allow things to be settled so quickly. I know in Manga time 5 days can be stretched out a lot, but to continue for any reasonable period of time then there is really no way 5 days would be enough even in Manga time if Kubo wanted to get more from the story.

I predict a good few twists and turns yet to come that will throw this stuff out the window, and despite the amount of criticism Kubo seems to get and being called a shit writer etc, I have faith that he will come through on this arc and do a great job. There is certainly plenty more to come and to look forward to though regardless of what does or doesn’t happen, so Bleach is definitely a series to keep your eye on now.


Naruto Chapter 576 – The Guide of The Reunion Review / Thoughts

February 29, 2012

As followers of my Naruto Manga reviews will know, as an Uchiha fan I have been extremely hyped and looking forward to seeing the reunion between Itachi and Sasuke. I predicted brilliant things from this chapter, and while this was indeed brilliant, surprisingly my favourite part turned out to be something different altogether.

As you probably guessed from the picture, my favourite part of chapter 576 was in fact Madara Uchiha. Now ever since Tobi first proclaimed himself to be Madara, Madara Uchiha has never left my top 5 favourite characters, and with Edo Madara my stance hasn’t changed in the slightest.

The best way to describe Madara is badass, just no other word could fit him as well. Who else would be taking on the 5 Kage, kicking their asses without breaking a sweat, and then telling them that all 5 of them together are not even in the same league as the first Hokage Hashirama Senju? Of course some would consider this arrogance on Madara’s part, but in fairness to him he has so far backed up all his claims about his own strength, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume his tales of Hashirama are true, especially as Tsunade pretty much acknowledges the same thing.

I fear going off in to a huge essay about why I think Madara is amazing and why what he is doing right now is badass. So instead, I will try and keep the Madara part as brief as I can.

It’s awesome how despite the countless years that have passed since Madara and Hashirama’s time, Madara’s grudge against the Senju hasn’t changed a bit. During the battle he asks Tsunade if she is a descendant of Hashirama, and so she asks what would happen if she was, for Madara to reply that if she confirmed it to be true then she would be the first one he struck down. Mei then speaks up saying that taking out the medical ninja in the team is rule one of any strategy for a ninja, but Madara says that he doesn’t care about that, the reason he will kill Tsunade first is because she is a Senju member, and stating that her being a medical ninja makes no difference as she could do no more than buy the Kage a couple of seconds longer to live anyway.

Basically Madara is not only disgusted by Tsunade but is also very mocking of her, going out of his way to tell her how inferior she is to Hashirama. Then came my favourite line in the chapter – “Weak people are ugly, and weak Senju are even more ugly”.  It just sums up Madara and his feelings so well, in fact, it sums up the Uchiha clan as a whole since they base everything on power and who is the strongest.

I could go on and on like I said, but now I will instead move on to Sasuke and Itachi.  I was actually a little disappointed with this, Sasuke has to check to confirm that the person he sees in front of him is indeed his brother Itachi, but when he calls out to him he is simply ignored. As Itachi silently continues on, Sasuke gives chase and again asks him who he is and tells him to wait. With Itachi not listening, Sasuke uses one of his Susanoo’s arms to try and grab him, but it is knocked back by the arm of Itachi’s Susanoo.

I expect most people thought that was going to start a fight between them, but it didn’t. But that wasn’t the disappointing thing, it’s just that despite Sasuke’s repeated questions to Itachi about pretty much everything that has happened between them, Itachi doesn’t give a true or proper answer to a single one of them, instead he just repeats the same phrases he has used on Sasuke in the past such as being able to see through illusion and staying true to your own path. I know really this is typical Itachi, he has always been quiet and secretive, and of course has always placed his mission above almost everything else, so of course he still refused to stop and answer any questions and instead just told Sasuke he didn’t have time to wait and that he had to stop Kabuto’s Edo Tensei.

Perhaps the most interesting thing was that Itachi mentioning the fact he was revived in such a manner by Kabuto didn’t even seem to faze Sasuke, who instead just continued asking questions. Knowing the sort of character and person Itachi is I can’t see this changing in the future chapters either, but I do feel that now this is going to go down one of two routes.

1. Sasuke gets angry with Itachi for not answering, and eventually lets it overcome him and thus begins to have a real battle with him.

2. Itachi continues to refuse to answer Sasuke’s questions, but in the end by Sasuke following him they both end up coming across Kabuto, and thus either Sasuke or Itachi (perhaps even both) end up fighting him.

I can actually see it being number 2, probably along the lines of Sasuke telling Itachi that if he kills Kabuto and stops Edo Tensei then he will have no reason not to be able to answer his questions anymore, and so then Sasuke and Kabuto will face off one-on-one in what would be an interesting and awesome fight.

But back to this chapter, as a whole I really enjoyed it, though that was surprisingly not because of Sasuke and Itachi’s reunion, but instead because of Madara vs the Kage. I can see the next chapter having massive implications for a few characters, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up seeing Tsunade giving her life to face down Madara either, though I have the feeling Madara won’t find the battle as easy as he may think.


Bleach Episode 362 – Revival! Substitute Shinigami: Ichigo Kurosaki! Review / Thoughts

February 28, 2012

As we approach the end of the Bleach Anime, it’s only right that these episodes turn out well so that it goes out on a high note. With episode 362 Bleach continues its run of brilliant episodes, and only makes the idea of no more episodes soon even worse.

As we saw last week, Ichigo has restored his Shinigami powers with help from his old friends from Soul Society such as Renji, Rukia and Hitsugaya etc. This week, we begin to see why this means big trouble for the villainous Ginjo. After the sheer badassery of last week and Ichigo’s “attack” – which was in fact just him swinging his sword – I am sure most people were hyped to see how powerful Ichigo really is when he’s trying to hurt someone.

Of course with his actual Getsuga Tensho he sliced a building clean in half, and then afterwards merely looked at Ginjo and apologised for missing his target, but told him that next time he wouldn’t miss. Ginjo wisely tries to escape, but as he flees Ichigo appears behind him and literally throws him back down to the ground. Ichigo is basically being badass and showing Ginjo who’s boss, but then Ginjo too enters a new form telling Ichigo that it will take more than those attacks to kill him (though he admits if he hadn’t stolen Ichigo’s powers then he would have died).

We then find out from the Shinigami that before Ichigo there was another substitute Shinigami and that because of that person is why there are certain rules put in place now for them, and that substitute Shinigami was in fact Kugo Ginjo. Shortly after, the other Fullbringers arrive to back up Ginjo, although they intially come to ask he shares the stolen powers with them which they had agreed upon before, so Ginjo stays true to his word and shares some of the power with them all.

Ichigo intially jumps down and tells the other Shinigami that since they are only there because of him, then he will be the one to take care of it. Ichigo then lets out one attack knocking all of the Fullbringers to the ground, with Ichigo saying it shouldn’t be enough to have killed them, just enough to stop them getting involved. Of course, this turns out to be a ruse as the real versions of the Fullbringers appear to attack Ichigo from behind, only to be stopped by Ikkaku. Ikkaku tells him that he can’t keep holding back, but then it’s shown that the Yukio he had apparently defeated was a fake too, but as the real one tried to attack Ikkaku was saved by Hitsugaya.

Yukio then uses his Fullbring to create individual rooms for the Shinigami and Fullbringers to face each other one on one. Ichigo is put in a room with Ginjo, Ikkaku faces Shishigawara, Byakuya is paired with Tsukishima, Rukia with Riruka, Hitsugaya with Yukio, Renji with Jackie and lastly Kenpachi with Giriko. The only one we get to see in this episode however is Kenpachi vs Giriko, with Kenpachi annoyed that Byakuya got a stronger looking opponent than him. Giriko tells Kenpachi that he won’t forgive being called weak and uses his Fullbring – Time Tells no Lies – and (for some inexplicable reason) turns giant and green (the Incredible Hulk anyone?). Giriko claims his power is now massively increased and that he can’t be defeated, only for Kenpachi to take him down with one hit by literally slicing him in half, only then to say that he knew fighting Giriko was a waste of time.

 

I really really enjoyed this episode, Ginjo being a previous substitute Shinigami was a nice twist and something that we should hear more about soon. The Kenpachi vs Giriko fight though was hilarious. In the Manga I remember being blown away by just how incredibly badass Kenpachi was to just shrug off Giriko like he was nothing and then take him out with one attack, but in the Anime I was too busy laughing about how they made Giriko turn in to an angry green giant, it really was hilarious just how much like the Incredible Hulk that part was!

Aside from that though, the episode looked awesome, so much so that I was genuinely tempted to screencap about a dozen scenes just because they looked so damn good (in the end I settled for the Ichigo pic above and one near the end with Rukia and Riruka). But that leads to the next awesome thing, the upcoming battles between Shinigami and Fullbringers. Without spoiling anything, don’t let the Giriko vs Kenpachi incident sour you on these upcoming fights as that was purely a one-off, the upcoming fights between the Shinigami and Fullbringers will last longer and won’t be so easy, plus the fight between Tsukishima and Byakuya is one of my personal favourites from Bleach, so you can definitely look forward to that.

All in all this was yet another excellent episode from this arc and hits home how much I am going to miss Bleach once it is gone, but for those fans (like myself) who are sad to see it happen, rest assured that at the very least you are in for some brilliant episodes before it finally does come to an end.


Brave10 Episode 8 Review / Thoughts

February 26, 2012

As we move on to episode 8 of Brave10, the story will soon be at the end as we get to see the 10th member of Sanada’s Braves revealed here. After a good start the series started dropping off in quality, but has it began to start picking up again?

To be honest the episode started out pretty awesome with Masamune Date being told to go and kill Yukimura Sanada, and then an ambush is set in place to trap Yukimura and his braves. When put in that position, obviously it meant getting to see some actual fighting which is clearly Brave10’s strong point. Unfortunately though the battle didn’t last long as it was only the henchmen of Masamune who really attempted to fight, and thus were made easy work of by Saizo and Yamanosuke (with a helpful assist from the newest recruit Benmaru).

Just as things were looking bad though, we see the return of Kakei who is riding aboard a pirate ship along with another man – Jinpachi – who helps chase off Masamune and his lackeys, saving Sanada in the process. That’s unfortunately as good as the episode got though, as it seemed like they were more willing to spend the majority of the episode with Yukimura and the braves all aboard the pirate ship drinking sake and just generally having a good time. At the end we at least find out that Jinpachi will be helping Yukimura for a while, and thus is essentially a member of the braves now, taking the number up to the full 10.

I like Jinpachi even if only because his lightning attack seems pretty badass and his attitude is pretty cool. Aside from that, we also get to see Saizo finally accept that he is willing to work for Yukimura and not just for himself anymore. Of course initially Saizo was known as a cold blooded killer with no time for anyone but himself, but now it seems he has finally had a change of heart afterall. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as such, if Saizo remains pretty arrogant and confidant in his abilities as well as still having a ruthless streak to him, then he is fine. If this ends up changing him in to a generic good guy though it will be very disappointing considering he is the main reason for watching the Anime in the first place.

As a whole episode 8 was ok, a lot of time was wasted unnecessarily in my view and would have been better spent on something else, but because I enjoyed the brief battle at the start of the episode I am willing to forgive it to some extent. Brave10 has been stuck in a rut though for the past few episodes and this is no exception, hopefully with it coming to an end soon however they will allow it to go out with a bang in the coming weeks.


Naruto Shippuden Episode 251 – The Man Named Kisame Review / Thoughts

February 24, 2012

As you can see, my review for Shippuden episode 251 is a bit late this week as I have been rather busy, but nonetheless, this episode concluded Guy’s fight with Kisame and showed that someone who resembles a Shark can be one of the most human characters of all.

I found this episode to be better than the last one, as an Itachi fan it was great to see him again even if it was only in a flashback. One of Itachi’s best qualities is the fact he is extremely intelligent and understands more about how people work than probably anyone else in the series. But yes, my favourite part of the episode was definitely the part with Itachi and Kisame’s first meeting after Kisame agreed to join the Akatsuki.

Kisame naturally assumed that because both himself and Itachi both had the experience of killing their friends and comrades, they would both feel the same way. Of course Itachi doesn’t feel the same, knowing all too well (unbeknownst to Kisame or the Akatsuki of course) how painful it is to witness such events and how fragile humans and the world can be. His comments eventually anger Kisame who warns Itachi about how Sharks can turn on their friends / family,  but Itachi activates his Mangekyo Sharingan and basically warns Kisame as well.

I liked the interaction between the two characters because as well as them both knowing how strong they were and basically warning each other not to betray them which was badass, but also because Itachi’s words clearly had an affect on Kisame. Kisame hardly came across as loyal or as someone who was misunderstood before, but this episode did a good job of portraying him that way. Kisame basically had to kill his friends and comrades for the sake of his village when deep down all he wanted was to find somewhere in the world that was calm and peaceful rather than being filled with lies and corruption.

Interestingly we get to see Madara in the flashback too who was manipulating the fourth Mizukage Yagura by using his Sharingan. Frustratingly though we only see the outline of him, so although the outline matched Madara’s old appearance (eg: His physical appearance during his fight with Hashirama) where his face was obscured there was no way of seeing if he still wore the mask back then or how injured he was from his battle with the first Hokage. Kisame gets to see him plain as day, but as the viewers of course we don’t get to see that much.

The episode was fairly enjoyable, it was good to see another side to Kisame, especially one many people probably wouldn’t have seen coming, and his flashbacks with his interactions with Itachi were very good. Of course for those who have seen the episode you will know that Kisame dies at the end which is a shame as it leaves only Tobi and Zetsu as members of the Akatsuki now  (what with Konan leaving the group after Naruto defeated Pain). Next week should be awesome though, trust me when I say we are in for one hell of a battle, and Konan will leave you very impressed even if you’re not usually a fan of hers.


Bleach Episode 361 – A New Appearance! The Gotei 13, Arrives! Review / Thoughts

February 24, 2012

Bleach episode 361 was brilliant, there is no other way of describing it. When Bleach is still pulling out episodes of this quality it makes the fact it is being cancelled soon even harder to accept. But regardless, on to the review itself!

 

Let me start by saying that I knew this episode would be great before I even watched it. Being a Manga reader I already knew what was coming, but this was still the part I was most looking forward to seeing being animated. As you can see, Rukia was sporting a new look in her return in this episode, and despite the return of the captains at the end being badass, at the end of the day I couldn’t resist using the Rukia pic what with her being one of my favourite characters from the series.

But yes, this episode was fantastic. After last week when it looked like all was lost, the way Rukia returned alongside the other Shinigami (as well as Isshin and Urahara finally showing what they have been doing in secret all this time) to help Ichigo regain his powers and fight the cunning Ginjo was brilliant. Ginjo plays the role of a villain very well, after stabbing Ichigo through the chest and stealing his Fullbring, he shows no sympathy or compassion for Ichigo who at first is left helpless on the ground crying in anguish over all his hard work and desire to protect his friends coming to nothing.

I love the scene with Ichigo clearly being emotionally overwhelmed at everything that has happened, and crying not through the pain of being slashed and stabbed by a giant sword, but instead crying over the anguish of not being able to protect those he cares for the most. That said, he does soon snap out of it, and despite being unarmed and having no powers, he still has the courage and determination to demand Ginjo give him his powers back. Obviously Ginjo doesn’t, but then when Ichigo is stabbed through the chest from behind by who he thinks is his father Isshin and Urahara, who he obviously assumes are betraying him too, it is such a damn brilliant moment when then he finds out that it is his old friend Rukia who has come and is actually helping him.

Then of course, Ichigo gets his powers back and also has a badass new look. In fact, most of the returning characters in this episode were looking a bit different to the last time we saw them. I personally love Rukia’s new look and hairstyle, but I know a lot of people didn’t when it was shown in the Manga, so feel free to leave a comment below on your thoughts on the new look characters.

I remember well the epic line Ichigo delivered in the Manga for this part too – “That wasn’t a Getsuga Tensho, that was a practice swing.”

In the Anime it was worded slightly different, but it was so damn amazing all the same. A mere swing of his sword hurt Ginjo a lot and looked impressive, but then when Ichigo actually uses Getsuga Tensho and slices the mansion in half (as well as slicing through all the clouds in the sky) was one of the most truly epic things ever seen in Bleach as a whole.

 

If you like Bleach, watch this episode. If you have only read the Manga version, watch this episode at the very least. And if you’re a fan of any of the Shinigami Captains, you have to watch this too. This was a truly fantastic episode and one of the best episodes in Bleach I can remember, so if you ever were (or still are) a fan of Bleach, or Shonen series as a whole for that matter, then do yourself a favour and check this episode out asap.


Bleach Anime Cancelled in March

February 23, 2012

Some more bad news for fans of Tite Kubo’s popular series Bleach – in March the Anime series is being cancelled.

Bleach will be ending on the 27th March, with its timeslot being filled by the Naruto spinoff featuring Rock Lee.

“A recent television program listing in Japan reports that the Bleach television anime series will end its run in TV Tokyo‘s 6:00 p.m. Tuesday timeslot on March 27. When a Twitter follower of Bleach animation director Hiroki Takagi sent him an image of the listings, Takagi responded by saying, “So quick. I was going to paste it… /(^o^)\”

Shueisha, the publisher of Tite Kubo‘s original manga, had already announced that the weekly Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden anime will premiere on TV Tokyo on Tuesday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m.”

With Kubo already confirming this to be the final arc in the Manga and now the Anime being cancelled, 2012 has seen a very bad start to the year for fans of the Bleach series.

*Credit to Anime News Network for the info*

 

*Please visit Tokyo Shonen , my current site where I review weekly chapters and episodes of Naruto and Bleach*