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A Fine-tooth Plot Comb vs Fan Dumb! An in-depth Bleach liveblog
Gilphon

[table of contents]
Arrancar and Vizard
Page two: Chapter 193-Chapter 208

Chapter 193: Conquistadores 4: Ebony & Ivory

Huge flash as Ichigo uses Bankai. Orihime notices that Ichigo’s reiatsu seems different. I guess Hichigo is really starting to mess things up, eh? He then tells Orihime to go away, scaring her even more. Ulquiorra confirms that Ichigo is indeed the one they’re after, so Yammy attacks ineffectively. Out of revenge for Chad, Ichigo cuts off Yammy’s arm. Ulquiorra mentally notes that Yammy should have been ready for that, but is forced to acknowledge that that was impressive. Ichigo’s winning easily, but Yammy doesn’t want to give up, so he goes for his Zanpakutou, ignoring Ulquiorra’s criticism. This causes Ichigo to note that it is indeed a zanpakutou he has, and draw a comparison between him and the Vizard. And then, boom, Hichigo starts trying to take over. Yammy starts taking advantage of this by brutalizing Ichigo. Orihime tries to help, but is causally batted away. Ichigo is paralyzed with the effort of staying in control, and as such can’t fight back in any way, but Ulquiorra notes that Ichigo’s power level is fluctuating wildly. At the minimun, Ichigo’s nothing. At the maximun, he’s stronger than Ulquiorra is. Yammy decides to finish Ichigo off, but is blocked ‘yet again’. This time it’s Urahara and Yoruichi.

So. ‘Ebony and Ivory’, it invokes ‘black and white’. Two very symbolic colours in Bleach, so I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out what, exactly, it’s referring to here. My best guess is that is refers to the comparison between the Vizard and the Arrancar, or, more trivially, the fact that a guy in white fought against a guy in black. Scratch that, I figured this one out thanks to chapter 219. It's the conflict between Ichigo and Hichigo. Let’s talk a bit about the Vizard and Arrancar. Arrancar are a lot more shinigami-like than the Vizard are hollow-like; the Vizard just have a power-up mask and a hollow alter-ego, the Arrancar look human, dress in robes, mostly lack masks and have Zanpakutou. My theory is that this is because the Arrancar are more ‘complete’ hybrids; Grand Fisher’s appearance is closer to what I think of as being the Vizard’s hollow counterpart; the Vizards are unrefined steps into hollow-dom, not true hybirds. What would a ‘complete’ Vizard be like? Well, as far as I know, only one exists, but I’ll be sure to point that one out when we get to it. Either way, ‘complete’ or not, the fact remains that Arrancar and Vizard are approaching the same sort of ‘perfect midpoint’ between Hollow and Shinigami from opposite directions. But back to the chapter: anyone else feel these chapters are starting to get a bit repetitive? I mean, it’s kind of been the same thing over and over again; Yammy beats somebody like Ulquiorra watches condescendingly, and then somebody else shows up for Yammy to fight next chapter. Looking ahead, it seems like the next chapter’s going to be different, but it doesn’t really excuse what’s been happening for the last few. And of course, this brings to mind the fact that the same sort of repetitiveness is going to happen later on, only on a much larger scale, so I guess this is just one of those things Kubo has trouble pulling off properly.
11th Dec '10 8:25:44 PM flag for mods
comments
Noimporta:

You should probably do more than one chapter at the time, as you more than well know, Bleach is very decompressed, which makes it look very good, with a much more interesting use of panels than similar series, but also very slow when each chapter is read individually.
Gilphon 11th Dec 10
Gilphon:

Hmm. were I to do more than one chapter at time, I would either have to simplify my summaries or slow down my update schedule. Still, I guess I'll do the next two chapter at once and see how that works. Still kind of experimenting here, trying to find what works best.

Though my issue was less with the pace and more with the repetitiveness; it seemed like I was saying 'Yammy's attack gets blocked' over and over again.
Gilphon 11th Dec 10
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