Fine-tooth plot comb vs. Fan Dumb! An in-depth Bleach Liveblog:

Total posts: [58]
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1 Gilphon29th Aug 2010 06:27:35 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Hello everyone, and welcome to my Bleach Liveblog. You’re probably wondering what motivated this, as I’m hardly a stranger to Bleach and I certainly don’t think it needs any more exposure than it already has. And no, I’m not going to be picking the series apart for the sake of comedy, so I’m go ahead and warn that if that’s what you want, this Liveblog is not for you. What I’m going to be doing, to sum it up in a sentence, is picking apart the series for the sake of combating the rather large amounts of Fan Dumb the series has attracted.

I really don’t think Bleach deserves anywhere near that amount of hate that it gets, and will be pointing out a lot of things the casual viewer/reading might miss and explaining why a lot of things the Fan Dumb tends to attack is more acceptable than it would first appear. That doesn’t, mind you, meaning I’m going to be overly positive about every aspect of the series. Oh god no. There’s some stuff out there that the Fan Dumb happens to be absolutely right about, and will give them credit where and when it’s due, as well as pointing out flaws they may have missed.

This Liveblog is mainly aimed at people who are already familiar with the series, but I will try to keep spoilers out where possible so as not to actually ostracise people who haven’t caught up in Bleach yet. I will, however, be assuming familiarity with the Soul Society arc and before it.

I will also be placing my opinions, theories and interpretations in when they’re relevant. Feel free to call me on it if you feel any of those are wrong, or implausible, or if you think I’m just giving Kubo too much credit. I’ll actually enjoy the conflict, so long as it’s stated coherently.  *

And just to set up the format, my next entry will cover some general points and a few little things in the SS arc and earlier you probably didn’t know about or else forgot, and I will attempt to cover ten chapters a week  * from that point on.

So… I guess that’s all I want to say for now! Welcome to show, everybody.

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
... you've got a lot of work cut out for you. Good luck and godspeed.
Slay foes with bow and arrow
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This sounds interesting. I admit that I am a member of the Fan Dumb who has... not been overly enthused by Bleach as of late, and reading this liveblog should be fun. Good luck! And, uh, are you starting from the beginning, or are you going to start somewhere in the middle? Because liveblogging Bleach's entirety is...going to take some time.
Whatcha gonna do, little buckaroo? | i be pimpin' madoka fics
5 KSPAM29th Aug 2010 07:05:13 PM from PARTY ROCK , Relationship Status: Giving love a bad name
I've got new mythological machinery, and very handsome supernatural scenery.

Goodfae: a mafia web serial
6 Fusionman29th Aug 2010 07:26:52 PM from In a snow-covered wasteland , Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
This is going to be fun.
To Be Updated when I'm not Lazy
7 Gilphon29th Aug 2010 07:27:14 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
@Melloncollie: Thanks, I think I might need that luck during some bits...

@Chubert: I'm going to start from the end of the SS arc, since there's neither all that much Fan Dumb floating around that area or all that much I want to say about it. My next entry will basically cover everything I think I need to (which isn't all that much) from there and that's it.

That's not to say I won't refer to the SS arc, of course.

edited 29th Aug '10 7:28:17 PM by Gilphon

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
^ But Gilphon, wasn't Bleach's first major alleged Ass Pull (Ichigo inexplicably powering up during his fight with Kenpachi), as well as most of the setting-related Fridge Logic, in the middle of SS?
Currently taking a break from the site. See my user page for more information.
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^ That...Ichigo powering was? That was forshadowed to hell and back. There was even a training sequence leading up to it. How is that an Ass Pull?

edited 31st Aug '10 7:48:05 PM by Chubert

Whatcha gonna do, little buckaroo? | i be pimpin' madoka fics
A training sequence that abruptly occurs in the middle of the battle when Ichigo is about to lose.
Currently taking a break from the site. See my user page for more information.
11 Gilphon1st Sep 2010 10:06:29 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Yeah, but I can't be bothered go over everything and it's mainly afterwards that I have thoughts other people might like to read. Speaking of which -

Right! Now let’s get this thing started properly, shall we? Since I don’t plan to go over the SS arc in detail, right now I’m just going to focus in on several things many people don’t know about the first ~180 chapters.

1.Colour spread in chapter one. Anyone familiar with the series is probably cringing because of the Art Evolution, now. I know I am. But what I want to focus on is this: second portrait from the right is clearly Shinji, who’s not due to show up for another 180 chapters. That’s right, Shinji’s character design, at least, was planned for 180 chapters before he appeared. And, I may be reaching a bit here, but the woman on the far left just might be Matsumoto, if you take into account the fact that Kubo used to draw her hair lighter. She showed a long time before Shinji did, but it’s still notable.

2. Arrancar back before the SS arc. Yeah, after Grand fisher retreated away from Ichigo, we got this little scene, where Grand Fisher’s mask is torn off be two strange figures, who as we’ll see later are in fact named Di Roy and Iceringer Aisslinger. I’ll go into the full significance of this scene once they reappear, but of now all I’ll say is that it’s clear from this scene that the Arrancar were planned a good deal in advance.

3.Tousen’s backstory. I’m a little surprised that the anime cut this one out. It’s kind of important to his character. While he was living in Roukongai, he fell in love with a woman. Then one day, she tells him she’s getting married to a shinigami, and will soon become one herself. she promises to come and speak with him whenever she can, but never does. He later finds out that she was killed by her husband over a fairly petty argument. He then takes her Zanpakutou and swears he will find justice. Now, let’s take a moment and consider what, exactly, justice you mean in this context? Why, getting rid of the woman’s husband, of course. We’ll see later how exactly that train of thought led to him joining up with Aizen later on, but I’ll leave it there for now.

4.Something behind the menos. Another little bit of foreshadowing that wouldn’t come to fruition for a while later. Heck, it’s one that ‘’still’’ hasn’t been fully explained.

5.Hints that Orihime’s healing might actually be something special. Pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Okay, enough of that, let’s look at our first in-detail chapter, shall we? We’ll be starting with chapter 182, Get back from the storm (Trigger for a new Concerto). We open to our heroes running through the Dangai with Yoruichi as their guide. They make it through to the real world, only to realise that they’ve run out into midair, and plummet towards the ground. Not to worry, though; Urahara and co. pull a weird combo attack and our heroes end up on a flying carpet with Urahara there as well. Contrary to what we know about Urahara’s character, he actually takes this moment to apologize for acting under his Omniscient Morality Licence and using Rukia as a Hogyoku hiding place, fucking up her life and nearly getting her killed, as well as not warning our heros about Aizen. He apparently did the latter because he didn’t think our heroes would stick with it if they knew the stakes. Ichigo mostly brushes him off because he’s the forgiving sort, but makes it clear that Urahara should talk to Rukia as well. Then Ichigo shows us the badge he got from Ukitake, which means he won’t have to worry about SS people moving against him anymore, Ishida is a grouch, Chad and Orihime are dropped off at their houses and Kon masturbates in Ichigo’s body to the idea of himself in a threesome with Rukia and Orihime. Yah, seriously. I’m… just going to move on from that. Ichigo tells us that Rukia decided to stay in SS and uses his badge to kick Kon out of his body. Our Chapter ends with Ichigo and his dad beating the crap out of each other.

Now, what can I say about this chapter? The title’s straightforward enough, they get back from SS at the beginning, and it’s the start of a new arc. The only thing of real interest in this particular chapter is that it shows that Urahara’s willing to admit it and apologize when he’s done something, showing that for all his Trickster Mentor tendencies, for all his schemes and moral greyness, he isn’t, at heart, an actual bad person. Makes him a lot more sympathetic and effectively gives him the moral high ground over Aizen ‘Yeah, I stabbed my devoted lieutenant just because I’m an asshole, so what?’ Sousuke. The rest of this chapter is just generic silliness, for the most part.

And… I think that’s enough for now. Tune in next week for chapters 183-188, or possibly less, depending on how much I can stand!

edited 2nd Sep '10 8:23:37 AM by Gilphon

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
12 KSPAM2nd Sep 2010 04:45:58 AM from PARTY ROCK , Relationship Status: Giving love a bad name
Yeah, that bit with Kon... No Just No.
I've got new mythological machinery, and very handsome supernatural scenery.

Goodfae: a mafia web serial
13 Gilphon6th Sep 2010 11:05:50 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
I can feel myself starting to hit a bit of a stride here, I'm think I'm really figuring out what this'll be like from now on.

So! Chapter 183, Eyes of The Unknown.

Apparently, Kon’s plushie body sustained some damage while Ichigo was gone. Ichigo is, in a word, awed. He does, however, promise to have Ishida fix it. Then his dad forces some weird charm on him. Weird, huh? The next few pages feature Keigo and Chizuru being silly. The only important thing is that the four who went to SS have formed a friendship. But then Tatsuki asks Ichigo about his badge. Ichigo is surprised that she can even see it ‘cause Ukitake told him it was Invisible to Normals. as Ichigo speculates about whether or not it’s broken, it loudly announces that a hollow’s attacking. Also note that the teacher was about to introduce the new transfer student, but he disappeared as soon the alarm went off. Ichigo claims he needs to go the bathroom and runs out, followed by Chad and Orihime, but not Ishida. And then Tatsuki sees Ichigo in soul form despite the fact that this is another Invisible to Normals thing. But anyway, Ichigo kills the hollow, and tells the others they didn’t need to come. The conversation turns to Ishida, and Orihime lets them know that Ishida has seemed different since returned from SS, but doesn’t want them to know. In case you don’t remember, that’s because Ishida lost his power during his fight against Mayuri. The chapter ends with this guy, floating upside-down, in the sky, while drinking water.

Just a few quick things to point out here: The title either refers to the eyes belonging to the unknown person, or to Tatsuki’s eyes seeing unknown things. The first is slightly more plausible since the grammar makes sense that way, but you never know. The reason Tatsuki can see things that are Invisible to Normals, is, in all likelihood, that she’s not normal anymore by this point. And there is good reason Shinji’s upside-down, but it took so long to get explaining that people had forgotten it happened by the time the explanation came.

And… let’s jump right into the next chapter, #184, Hush

So, it seems Ishida’s fixed up Kon. And he put a Quincy symbol on back! How nice of him! More seriously, Ichigo has now realized what’s wrong with Ishida, but avoids calling him on it because he knows Ishida doesn’t want to seem weak. Cut over to the school, we’re meeting the transfer student. His name is Hirako Shinji, and he wrote his name backwards because he’s good at reversing things. Yes, yes, he is. He really is, just trust me on that one. Ichigo’s still thinking about Ishida, but then Shinji takes the seat beside him and the alarm goes off again, so he runs out. Shinji looks weird there, doesn’t he? And yeah, he’s same guy from the last chapter if you missed that. Well, anyway, that night, Kons bitches about being a stuffed animal, but is cut short by that damned alarm. Ichigo quicky kills the hollow, but is stopped by Afro-san (yeah, I know that’s not his name, but it might as well be), who’s Rukia official replacement and doesn’t recognize the badge. And then Shinji shows up with a Zanpakutou. Ichigo asks some well founded questions, but Shinji just shushes him, saying that people will notice if gets excited. A hollow appears behind Ishida, presumably drawn by Ichigo’s reiatsu, just like Shinji warned him would happen. As Ishida reacts, we cut over to Kon taking Ichigo’s body out for a joyride. The chapter ends with Grand fisher appearing over Kon.

The title is very easy to understand this time; it’s just Shinji Hushing Ichigo. And about the content… well, Shinji’s really the ‘far-reaching foreshadowing’ guy, isn’t he? First his existence is alluded to 180 chapters in advance, and when he finally appears he immediately foreshadows something else about himself that won’t be revealed for another 200 or so chapters. That said, the way he acts in the chapter and the next few reeks of Characterization Marches On to those who know him nowadays, so it’s not like everything about him was planned. On the whole, this chapter largely exists as a prelude to the next few, but I’d still like to note that Grand Fisher’s design has completely changed since the last time we saw him. I’d comment on the implications of this, but I honestly think it’s just a blunder on Kubo’s part.

Wow, three chapters in one post! I’m doing well, here, aren’t I? #185, Be My Family or Not.

Turns out that just because he doesn’t have a magic bow, doesn’t mean Ishida can’t move like he used to. He then notices that the hollow is breaking the dimensional wall, which only menos should be able to, despite looking nothing like the Menos we’ve seen in the past. Meanwhile, there’s a crash in front of Kon, and Grand Fisher appears. we briefly cut to Urahara and Yoruichi realizing what’s going on, and then back to Ichigo, who, along with Shinji, is terrifying Afro-san. Shinji seems concerned about what’s going on elsewhere, but Ichigo just wants answers right now. Can’t say I blame the guy, Shinji’s been pretty damned weird so far. Shinji, who finally decided to tell Ichigo who he is, pulls out a hollow mask. This, of course, causes Ichigo to remember his own ‘hollow mask’ troubles. Shinji tells us that Shinigami with hollow masks are called ‘Vizard’ and tells Ichigo to join him. And… Back to Ishida! Turns out that the thing is stronger than your average hollow, but Ishida still has a few tricks up his sleeve. However, regeneration and the revelation that he was actually fighting two hollows make him lose the upper hand. And finally, Ishida is saved by somebody.

The title: If I’m not mistaken, it’s about Shinji’s offer to Ichigo; because part of the Vizard’s family or not. Failing that, it’s about who just showed up save Ishida, but his identity isn’t really part of this chapter, I kind of doubt that. Content: So, hollows just as strong as Menos that are not five stories high and all-black exist. The actual meaning behind this will be explain in a few, but for now just keep in mind that the foreshadowing was there. Shinji continues to be creepy, but you can begin to sense the slightest bit of goodwill from him; he did warn Ichigo about the peril he’d attract if he got exicted, after all.

And… it’s now 2 AM for me, so I think now’s a good time to stop. See you next time!

edited 9th Sep '10 7:22:35 PM by Gilphon

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
Slay foes with bow and arrow
Good work Gil.grin
15 Gilphon9th Sep 2010 07:24:48 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
So... a question: I figure I can write one chapter's worth a day if I make myself do it, but I'm unsure of how often I should actually post what I've written here. Anyone have any suggestions for how often you want to see this updated/ how many chapters you want per update?
"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
As fast and as many as you can/want.
17 Gilphon9th Sep 2010 09:47:20 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Right, I've decided to make one post with one chapter each every day and see how it takes for Schedule Slip to happen. So yeah, only one chapter here, but it contains my first meaty piece of character analysis. Which honestly, I didn't actually set out to write here. I just decided to take a quick look a somebody's past scenes and Fridge Brilliance demanded I write a bunch more than I planned to.

Chapter 186 Tell your children the Truth.

Now we get to properly meet the guy who saved Ishida last chapter. his name is Ryuuken, and he’s Ishida’s dad. Doesn’t seem like they’re on good terms, though. But he does effortlessly kill the top hollow, so it’s not all bad. Ishida questions why Ryuuken has Quincy powers, since he apparently doesn’t like the Quincy. He replies that whether he likes it or not, he has fully developed Quincy powers and as such hold the ‘Last Quincy’ title, and has a fancy medal to prove it. the bottom hollow attacks, but Ryuuken easily despatches this one as well, while berating his son for losing his powers. Really adding insult to injury, isn’t he? But then, he suddenly offers to get Ishida his powers back! There’s a condition, though: he has to agree never to associate with Shinigami ever again, meaning his pseudo-friendship with Ichigo would be caput. That a good time to change scene, don’t you think? Yeah, yeah. Back to Kon, who’s running screaming from Grand Fisher, who thinks he’s chasing Ichigo. As he runs, Kon wonders just what’s going on with the Fisher, since his face is visible and he just seems… different from hollow we’ve seen in the past. but then, Fisher gets bored, grabs Kon, and slams him into the ground. He’s about to finish Kon off, but a barrier suddenly appears around him, saving him. And, as it turns out, the barrier is being cast by the charm Ichigo’s dad forced upon him. And then, in a quick twist to end to the chapter, the dad himself, Isshin, appears. He dressed as a shinigami, seems to know that Kon isn’t Ichigo, and knows what hollows are as well, if the dialogue is any indication.

Title’s easy; both Ryuuken and Isshin are revealed to have deceiving their children instead of telling them the truth. Now, I’m going to save most of the things I have to say about Isshin of the next chapter, ‘cause that’s where he starts to us what he’s really like when he’s not hiding underneath his Obfuscating Stupidity. I would like to point that he very pointedly gave Ichigo that charm before our heros left for SS, saying it would protect on his journey. I think that speaks for itself, put in context. What I am going to is talk a bit about Ryuuken. Just as review, the reason Ryuuken doesn’t want Ishida being friendly with the Shinigami is a) The Shinigami massacred the Quincy a while ago, b) they let Ryuuken’s father get killed by hollows  * and c) Something to do with Ryuuken’s own relationship with Isshin, probably. As for why he doesn’t like being a Quincy: he prefers to work with the living than the dead, so he works as a doctor and leaves the hollows to the shinigami. When pressed further, he says that he doesn’t want to be a Quincy because you can’t get money for it. This view is seems pretty cold, but is actually just pragmatic when you think about it. I mean, the guy has a family to feed; he can’t very well just march off and become a superhero, now can he? Little Ishida’s discussion with his grandpa over the following few pages makes a lot more sense if you keep that in mind; What does Ryuuken want to protect, even if he has to choose not use his cool superpowers in order to do so? Ishida’ll understand, some day, apparently. I didn’t get it at the time, but it’s clear to me now, in retrospect, that what Ryuuken wants to protect is ‘his family’. Sure, he very deliberately distances himself from Ishida, and sure, he’s being a jerk about it, but ultimately, what he’s doing is giving him back what he’s lost and trying to prevent him from getting into a more dangerous situation, no?

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
Isshin and Ryuuken appear to be made to be contrasted with each other: The loving but overbearing father, and the harsh and distant one, two ways of being a parent that have an obvious incidence on their respective sons' personalities.

Ironically enough, it is Ryuuken the one that comes clean about his powers right away, while Isshin keeps Ichigo in the dark until he has no choice.
19 Gilphon10th Sep 2010 10:11:06 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
You raises a good point, and one I honestly hadn't thought of. Might find a place to explore that a bit later on.

Also, Who!! I'm managing to the schedule so far!

Chapter 187: The Cigar Blues Part Two

Grand Fisher’s confused, so Isshin introduces himself. We then cut over to Ichigo and Shinji, who notice stuff separate stuff at the same time. Ichigo’s just noticing Grand Fisher, but Shinji have realized Isshin’s there. Somewhat interesting that Shinji doesn’t know who Isshin is, since he seems to be in the know about most things. Ichigo takes the opportunity to leave, deciding not to trust the creepy hollow man and exercising a little bit of denial about his hollow side. Shinji lets him go, but then pulls out a cell phone and calls somebody named ‘Sarugaki’. He gets yelled at, presumably for failing to recruit Ichigo, but he tells Sarugaki that it’s just matter of time and that they should be patient. Meanwhile, Grand Fisher basically understands now. And Isshin confirms that he knows that Kon isn’t Ichigo. Fair enough that he could tell his son apart from a sapient pill,  * but I kind of wonder how he found out Kon’s name. He must been spying on Ichigo quite a bit to catch that. ‘Ah ha!’ says Grand Fisher. ‘Ichigo’s the child of a shinigami, so that’s why he’s so powerful. Now move along, old man, I wanna kill your son.’ ‘No can do,’ responds Isshin ‘sorry, but I kind of wanna kill you a little first.’ The Grand Fisher goes a little crazy, dismissing Isshin, breaking the top part of his mask, and turning huge. Kon points out that he’s now as big as a menos, but Grand Fisher scoffs the comparison, saying that he’s an Arrancar. Isshin helpful chimes in and tells us that Arrancar are hollow who’ve broken their masks and gained shingami powers. Grand Fishers brags a bit about the size of his sword, because, as he reminds us, the size of a sword is directly proportional to it’s potency. Isshin seems to think he’s just overcompensating for his own weakness or something, so they face off. Isshin then explains that huge swords are unwieldy and can’t get the job done, and that those really strong with the sword know that bigger isn’t better, so they actually learn to limit the size so that it doesn’t overwhelm anyone. Oh, and it turns out that Isshin’s attack cut Grand Fisher in half. Sorry if I ruined the drama there, I just couldn’t resist.

The title is, as you probably figured out, a reference to an earlier chapter entitled… well, that particular chapter had a lot of subtitles, but part of the title was Cigar Blues Mix. The chapter is the aftermath of Ichigo’s initial battle with Grand Fisher, with Ichigo moping about being unable to avenge his mother, dealing with his survivor’s guilt from the incident, and Isshin acting serious for the first and only time before now; cheering up Ichigo and giving him advice, as well as visibly mourning his wife in his own way. I don’t think it’s hard to understand why Kubo wants to remind us of that particular chapter now. On to the content: A page here implies there was a scene in the first Grand Fisher arc where Isshin pointedly did not call Kon ‘Ichigo’, but if that’s true, I can’t find it. There is a significant portion where Kon-in-Ichigo’s and Isshin are in the same place while off-screen, but I can’t find any scene where the two actually interact in any way. I think I’m going to postpone my Isshin stuff again, since there’s a bit more about him in the next chapter. Instead, I’m going to talk about Grand Fisher. I always thought this was an anti-climatic and ill-fitting end for the Fisher. I mean, in his first appearance, he was established have been successfully beating the shinigami for decades, was given a distinct set of abilities, and, given that he killed Ichigo’s mother, a rather important backstory connection. All that should mean he would have a fairly significant role, don’t you think? But here… well, he doesn’t show any sign of using his old powers, he’s beaten easily, and is generally just treated like a loose end to be tied up; while serving the double-purpose of setting up some future plot threads, namely Isshin and the Arrancar. I mean, okay, Ichigo’s mother was Isshin’s wife, so he had just as much reason to hate Grand Fisher as Ichigo did, but this end was just… undignified. He deserved to be treated with respect, as a character, not casually dispatched like this shortly after his reappearance.

edited 10th Sep '10 10:13:45 PM by Gilphon

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
Slay foes with bow and arrow
I totally agree with you on Grand Fisher. I think it would have been cool if HE had been an Espada or something and been taken out by Ichigo.
21 Gilphon11th Sep 2010 10:31:04 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
I don't know what would have been good for him to do, but he deserved better than that. Oh, and I didn't like the scanlation my usual site has for next chapter, so I switched to a different site for this one.

Chapter 188: Crush the World Down

We open to Grand Fisher disintegrating, ‘cause that’s how hollows die. Kon is amazed, and then Urahara shows up. He apparently knows Isshin. Judging from dialogue here, it looks like it’s possible that Isshin may have lost some of his power due to something Urahara did, and Isshin certainly hasn’t acted as a shinigami in 20 years. Urahara asks how Isshin’s feeling, and Isshin replies that he hadn’t really cared about Grand Fisher, he just hated how he wasn’t able to save his wife. Urahara brings up Ichigo, and that brings them to a Vizard, who Isshin tells us that they are ex-shinigami who used spells to gain hollow powers, but he doesn’t seem to know anything else about them. he reasons that if they’re contacting Ichigo, they must be getting ready to make a move. Also, Grand Fisher was apparently much more developed than Arrancar he’s seen in the past, and attributes this to Aizen. Note that he makes a distinction between Arrancar found by Aizen and Arrancar made by Aizen. This creation was of course made possible by the Hogyoku, but Isshin speculates that Grand Fisher was just an incomplete Arrancar prototype sent out as a test of power, and that soon he will have complete Arrancar ready for use against the Menos, and from there he’ll have the forces to fight pretty much everybody. Urahara says that the Vizard, themselves, and Soul Society are all preparing for that eventuality. then we see that a captain’s meeting has been called back in SS.

Title: Aizen’s plan involves crushing the world, so Crush the World Down. Now, a few plot details that will be spoilers to those not familiar with the rest of the series, and are therefore maked as such: Aizen already has complete Arrancar under his control, many of which were made from Menos. So, not only has he been careful enough at hiding this fact that Isshin has no idea, but Grand Fisher’s presence here was probably less ‘testing power’ and more ‘getting rid of incomplete failure’. Also, Isshin is apparently pretty ignorant of the Vizard’s origins, and certainly doesn’t know about Urahara’s connection to them. And, as we saw, Shinji doesn’t know about Isshin either. Interesting that Urahara is not only keeping secrets, but is keeping the secrets from finding out about each other. Though, giving him the benefit of the doubt, it’s entirely possible that he hasn’t been in contact with the Vizard. I’ll admit it’s possible, however, that Kubo just hadn’t thought all of that through at that point. Now what can I say about Isshin? Like Ryuuken, he’s a doctor, but nowhere near as focused on work as Isshin is. It’s clear now that his earlier behaviour was all just an act, and it’s now obvious why Ichigo and Karin were able to see ghosts, and why Ichigo had so much Reiatsu. Also note that, he’s not just a shinigami, but a captain-level shinigami, and appears to have a captain haori draped over his shoulder. I don’t really have any major character insights for him like I did for Ryuuken, but I would like to say that it’s now that he wasn’t just trying to cheer Ichigo up about he’s mothers death in that one discussion, but also knew exactly how she died, why those buried issues had come back up, and was also consoling Ichigo for his failure to defeat Grand Fisher, though simultaneously congratulating him for getting that far. Though I may be reading a bit too much into it. Can’t really think so any other significant character moments for him. There’s just too much we don’t know about him, really.

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
22 Gilphon12th Sep 2010 07:40:05 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Chapter 189: Resolve

We open to Ichigo and Ishida contemplating Shinji’s and Ryuuken’s words, respectively. But of course, Shinji’s still part of the class, so he shows up. goofiness happens, but Ichigo puts a stop to it by dragging Shinji out of the room. He wants to know why Shinji’s still there, since he refused Shinji’s offer and all. Shinji says that he won’t give up so easily, and anyway Ichigo’s already a Vizard because he went hollow before,] and nothing can turn him back. Apparently, Ichigo’s hollow side will take him over if left unchecked, but Shinji knows a way to get it under control. Tatsuki sees something happening, but probably isn’t close enough to actually hear what they’re saying. The school day is over, and Ichigo’s brooding. Shinji is frustrated about his job, but then he gets kicked into a streetlight. He turns around, and sees it was done by this girl, who’s name is Hiyori. She beats him up for failing to recruit Ichigo. Chad and Orihime appear, wanting to know what’s going on. We cut over to Ryuuken in his office. Ishida comes in, saying that he wants his powers back and agrees not to have anything to do with the shinigami.

Title’s either referring to Shinji’s resolve to keep trying, or, more likely, to the way Ishida gathers his resolve and accepts Ryuuken’s offer. Also, it’s weird isn’t it? Just putting Hiyori there suddenly makes Shinji a lot less creepy, doesn’t it? And yes, she was the one he was talking to on the phone a little while ago. Her presence here serves to both make the Vizard appear more like an organization and less like a single creepy guy, and to humanize Shinji, and by extension the Vizard, by having some comedy centred around them. This chapter also added a bit more credibility to Shinji’s offer, it’s not just a shady guy telling you what to do, it’s a shady guy tell you to join his organization in exchange for something you actually need and letting you know that things will go badly if you don’t get the thing he’s offering. A lot more convincing an argument, don’t you think? As for Ishida, I presume he’s reasoned that since he and Ichigo were never really friends to begin with, it’s not that big a deal to break ties with him. He did start off hating shinigami, after all, so he would have run out of rational arguments against Ryuuken’s offer pretty quickly. This chapter wasn’t anything special for the most part, largely just setting up plot points and stuff for the next few.

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
I believe Ishida never intended to keep his word, after all, he didn't really need his powers back at all if he wasn't planning on fighting with Ichigo & co. again...

... that reminds me, Ichigo and Ishida never had a proper fight, but that's something for the Bleach thread.
24 Gilphon13th Sep 2010 09:09:33 PM from The Third Sound , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
I'd disagree with that, nothing in the promise says he can't got out and kill hollows and just generally continue his grandfather's legacy, which was his original goal after all. He's been a Quincy for years, but only met Ichigo and co. recently, after all. But anyway,

Chapter 190: Conquistadores

Hiyori introduces herself, and forces Chad and Orihime to do the same. Then she’s mean to Shinji, envious of Orihime, and fairly indifferent to Chad. She starts to get a bit of a dangerous look in her eye, so Shinji grabs her and runs off. Chad says to let them go, saying that they can’t really win against the vizard, and would probably die. Shinji and Hiyori do silly things I refuse to describe in detail. She suddenly gets serious and… Well, the translation I have here says that she talks about how everyone seems to hate them, but every other source I can find disagrees, saying that she talks about how much she hates both human and shinigami. I’m more inclined to believe that version. Anyway, Ichigo arrives home, and completely fails to block Isshin’s habitual attack. Isshin and his daughters discuss how this is obviously a sign of Ichigo being out of it, but Ichigo just brushes them off. When he enters his room, Kon is about to tell him about Isshin, but stop because Urahara’s blackmailing him. Still, Ichigo’s clearly out of it, so much so that even Kon is concerned. Apparently though, Ichigo is too deep in thought about his hollow side to notice what’s going to around him. No matter what he did, he couldn’t get rid of the mask, until his fight with Byakuya, when it was replaced with a voice inside his head. A voice that keeps getting louder, and is threatening to swallow him. Troubling, no? But enough angsting, Karin enters Ichigo’s room. She wants to what wrong with him. He tries to play dumb, but Karin apparently knows that Ichigo’s a shinigami. Cut over to SS, where the 12th division has noticed something coming on the radar. And then, Boom! Something falls from the sky into the outskirts of town. Two figures, dressed in white, are visible in the middle of the resulting crater. They have hollow holes, and what appears to be the remnants of a hollow mask.

Now, I don’t speak Spanish and can’t be bothered to look it up, so I don’t actually know for certain what the title means, but I’m reasonably certain it refers to the two figures that showed up at the end. Now… let’s see… what can I talk about here? Hiyori’s little declaration is the sort of thing you’d I have something to say about, but I don’t really. I understand why she hates shinigami, they’re kind of outcasts and all, but I honestly just don’t know what she has against humans. And, of course, Kubo’s now playing up Ichigo’s hollow side even more, making Shinji’s offer all the more tempting, and starting to make hollow Ichigo even more threatening. Though really, this is still just foreshadowing when you get right down to it. I would like to note something about the one-panel view of- you know what? ‘Ichigo’s hollow side’ is a clumsy name. I’m going to call him Hichigo from now on. In the one-panel view of Hichigo, you may notice that he was identical to the reversed Ichigo Zangetsu made him fight during the match against Kenpachi.

Edit: In the below post, Noimporta does my job for me about the title. Many thanks.

edited 14th Sep '10 7:48:39 PM by Gilphon

"Canada Day is over, and now begins the endless dark of the Canada Night."
Conquistadores means "Conquerors". It is also the term used to refer to the Spanish pioneers that conquered and colonized America. I'd say it's... fitting.

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