Fine-tooth plot comb vs. Fan Dumb! An in-depth Bleach Liveblog:
Chapter 214: Immanent God Blues Fittingly, we open to somebody we haven’t seen in a while, Ishida. Seems he was keeping tabs on the battle outside. Apparently, Ryuuken’s training method is to continually shoot arrows and see if his son survives. The next morning, over at the Kurosaki residence, Ichigo’s nowhere to be seen. Rukia doesn’t know where he is, but she remembers him sulking after the battle, saying that he thinks Urahara already knows about Hichigo, but can’t do anything. She runs off to find him, and we see that he’s angsting by the crater Yammy and Ulquiorra left. This, of course, means he’s skipping school, as are Chad, Ishida and Rukia. Hitsugaya, on the roof of the school gets attacked by Matsumoto and reveals his concerns about the Arrancar. The ones they beat were apparently Gillians, so that speaks volumes about the strengh of Arrancar made from higher-class Menos. Oh, and Ururu’s back to normal. Enter Chad, who asks Urahara to train him. To finish the chapter, it turns out Ichigo’s decided to find the Vizard. So, I reluctantly admit that I had to do a bit of dictionary work on the title, but it turns out that an ‘Immanent God’ is a God that’s permanently pervading and sustaining the universe, as opposed to a transcendent God, who interacts rarely, if ever, with the universe. There’s a future chapter title which I now recognize as referring back to this one, but beyond that, I’m kind of drawing a blank when it comes to relating this one. Help? But anyway, this chapter… well, we have Ichigo, Chad and Ishida acting on their earlier feelings of uselessness and trying to better themselves, but there’s not really anything else here I haven’t already discussed elsewhere. Though, one bit of Fridge Logic: Grimmjow showed that it perfectly possible for an Arrancar to enter the real world without much fanfare, so why was Ulquiorra and Yammy’s entrance so dramatic? I suppose it could be that unlike Grimmjow, they were trying to attract as much attention as possible, but it still seems a little odd.
edited 30th Oct '10 1:43:43 PM by Gilphon
Chapter 215: ‘Tug your God Out’ Shinji asks if Ichigo’s ready to join them, but Ichigo says no, he just wants to find out how they control their inner hollow, by force if necessary. Ichigo and Shinji start fighting. The other Visored notice that Shinji’s not taking it seriously and Ichigo’s too scared of his hollow side to go all out. This prompts Hiyori to step in, kicking Shinji out the window and basically being a bitch. She takes her hollow mask, and declares her intention to force Ichigo into hollow form. Chapter 216: ‘The Suppression of Darkness’ Going over this one quickly, Hiyori and Ichigo fight, Hiyori trying to force Ichigo to go hollow, Ichigo trying to figure out how not to. Finally, Ichigo loses it, Hichigo comes out and chokes Hiyori against the wall. (Yay!) The other Vizored step in to save her, and Shinji says that you can only stop the hollow by crushing deep into your soul. Titles: Hiyori’s trying to tug Ichigo’s god out, or Ichigo’s trying to tug the Visored’s god (the knowledge of how to suppress a hollow) out. Take your pick of interpretation. Ichigo’s definitely trying to suppress the darkness that is Hichigo, though. I’m not sure what I have to say about these chapters, though. Action heavy chapter are pretty straightforward and leave me with little to say. Well, Hiyori is pretty insufferable here, for one thing, with a nice bit of ironic justice happening once Ichigo goes hollow. Bet she regrets forcing ‘that’ out, eh? Also note how that one fat Visored seems to supplying them with barriers, that’ll be kind of important later. We see the rest of the Visored for the first time these chapters as well, but only Shinji, Hiyori and the fat guy (his name's Hachi, so I'm just going to start calling him that) do anything really worth paying attention to until Turn Back The Pendulum, which isn't for a long time yet.
Chapter 217: Hole in my Heart I may be back, but Ichigo’s not. Everybody’s sad. But in order to keep things light-hearted, Here’s Ichigo on a treadmill. Umm… yeah. Turns out to be part of the Visored’s training, though Ichigo, who correctly guessed the purpose, says it’s a waste of time and I frankly agree. Three days is a long time to spend on one activity. Shinji snaps at him, demonstrating knowledge of Aizen’s actions, but then agrees to speed things up. He knocks Ichigo out, telling Hachi to set up a barrier. He warns Ichigo that what he’s doing is risky, and then Ichigo wakes up in his inner world, where he sees a colour reversed version of himself waiting, greeting his as ‘King’. Chapter 218: Dark Side of the Universe 3 Hachi piles on the barriers. Ichigo asks his double, Hichigo, where Zangetsu is. Hichigo dicks him around a bit, and then claims he is Zangetsu, while attacking in an enjoyably hammy manner. shit starts going down outside, Hachi’s pillars doing all of nothing. One Visored, Lisa, steps inside to hold off Hollowfied Ichigo. Back in the inner world, Hichigo explains that he and Zangetsu are actually two parts of the same being, but change appearance and dominant personality based on which side of Ichigo’s power is stronger at the moment. Though, apparently, if Ichigo wins this fight, it’ll go back to Zangetsu being in charge. They taunt, and simultaneously go Bankai. 'Hole in my Heart' is referring to both Hichigo and Ichigo’s family. As for ‘Dark Side of the Universe’, however, is Kubo doing the little call back and pointed out the foreshadowing that’s only now paying off. More on that next time. Now… First, observe that the building in Ichigo’s inner world are smaller this time than they were last time. It’s only fitting, given how less secure Ichigo’s mental state is the time round. The only other thing I feel to be worth talking about now rather than later is the whole Hichigo = Zangetsu thing. Dialogue in the past has implied that Hollow powers and Shinigami powers are two entirely different things, but this seems to contradict that. This suggests that the two powers are opposite extremes, and intrinsically related. It makes sense once you remember how Ichigo got his powers in the first place; the training Urahara put him through forced him to run the risk of being turned into a hollow, with the goal of becoming a shinigami. From the very moment Ichigo gets powers of his own rather than just leeching off Rukia, Hollow and Shinigami have been mixed inside him. But then, and these are the questions I want my readers to ask themselves about this, if the two powers are not in fact different, and indeed inseparable in some cases, why would Aizen be simply seeking to overlay one on top of the other, as if it’s adding something new; if it is in fact just an altercation of the power balance? And if it’s possible to engineer a situation where one will gain both powers, as Urahara undoubtedly did, why was it for necessary for Aizen to go through that whole song-and-dance to get the Hyougyoku, if all it does is give one the other power?
Chapter 219: Black & White 3 They both use bankai, while out in the real world, Ichigo’s turning more hollow-like. The sudden twin bankai causes destruction in the inner world. Ichigo asks a stupid question, and gets the obvious answer. They fight. I’m not going to bother linking through the fight scene, the point is that Hichigo’s moves are more creative and risky, and he’s a hammier character. It’s been ten minutes in the real world, so another Visored changes places with Lisa. His name’s Kensei. Shinji reflects that it’s not going well, and indeed Ichigo seems to be losing. Hichigo grabs his opponent’s sword, and it dissolves under his touch. Chapter 220: King and his Horse Lisa’s worried, apparently hollowed out Ichigo is pretty tough. Kensei notices that he has regeneration, so he gets a little serious and blows Ichigo’s arm off, so- wait what? Don’t remember that happening in the anime… well, anyway, Ichigo grows a big thing from the arm stump, which Kensei explodes, leaving just a hollow-like arm behind. Lisa, still worried, decides to kill Ichigo if it rounds over to her turn again. Ichigo’s pretty unsure as well, which, oddly enough, seems to annoy Hichigo. He makes a metaphor about a king and his horse. I would go over it in the analysis section, but I think most people can understand his point just by reading it, so here. The jist of it is that he sees himself, who fights through instinct, as stronger than Ichigo, who fights because he has to. He then runs Ichigo through, just for the added emphasis. He prepares to finish Ichigo so he can take over. But then, [[http://manga.bleachexile.com/bleach-chapter-220-page-18.html well, this happens. Now, on to titles: ‘King & his horse’ is an obvious enough reference to Hichigo’s metaphor, nothing special there. ‘Black and White’, though. The previous two ‘Black and White’ chapters were both preceded by a ‘Dark side of the Universe’ chapter. ‘1’ was Hichigo’s first direct appearance, Zangetsu’s ‘test’ during the battle against Kenpachi. ‘2’ was the incident where Hichigo briefly took control during the battle against Byakuya. ‘Dark side of the Universe’ always referred to the suddenly appearance of Ichigo’s ‘dark’ side, ironically symbolized by the colour white, whereas ‘Black and White’ has always featured a conflict between the two. These three sets of two really define Hichigo’s character and motivations, and are similar occurrences, really. The key difference this time is that unlike Kenpachi and Byakuya, the Visored knew the affect pushing Ichigo to his limit would have. Also at work here is the ‘reason vs. instinct’ duality that’s present in many places during the series, most obvious but also most irrelevant is Kenpachi vs. Tousen. Here we have Ichigo reason against Hichigo’s instinct, ‘1’ had Kenpachi’s instincts against Zangetsu’s (and by extension, Ichigo’s) reason, and ‘2’ had Byakuya reason against Hichigo’s (and by extension, Ichigo’s) instinct. Now, I want to claim that this duality is the same as the ‘shinigami vs hollow’ one, but I can’t, since there are two simple problems with that view: Kenpachi, always a force of instinct, is a shinigami, and Ulquiorra, always a force of reason, is a hollow. It’s a shame; since it works everywhere both dualities are applicable, but it just doesn’t work with those two. Even claiming that they’re meant to intentionally be the opposite what their side usually stands for doesn’t really make sense, there’s just no evidence for that anywhere beyond the fact that Ulquiorra’s initial introduction showed acting differently from most hollows. Oh, and Fridge Brilliance just hit me: This is why the chapter where Hichigo prevents Ichigo from beating Yammy is called 'Ebony and Ivory.'
edited 11th Dec '10 5:17:40 PM by Gilphon
You need to Get Known to get one of those.