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Hueco Mundo Saga: Not As Good As What Came Before
The reason why I split this off from the main part is to explain why it fails to recreate the original’s success.

This time, Ichigo and his friends are fighting against the rogue Soul Reaper captain Aizen and his accomplices, who are trying to take over the world. Eventually, Orihime is abducted and Ichigo and his friends go to rescue her, despite the Soul Society declaring her a traitor. The plot is more straightforward and has less mystery, basically making it a long battle against Aizen's forces that is not as interesting.

The Arrancar make for exciting foes, but often lack the depth of personalities and interactions with each other the Soul Reapers had. While the Soul Reapers had a variety of relationships, from personal vendettas to rivalries to friendships, the Arrancars rarely interact with each other, and can barely stand each other when they do. Some of them come off as virtual expies of Soul Reapers, and while they often have interesting similarities (the narcissists Yumichika and Cuulhorne) or differences (the arrogant, violent Avirama and the humble, pacifist Izuru), they are often unoriginal and underdeveloped.

Ichigo’s friends are pushed further to the sidelines, often in favor of the Soul Reapers. Orihime, whose role expands in the arc, is arguably both the exception and the worst case, as while she is the center of the Rescue Arc, she is frequently denied chances to prove herself or get closer to Ichigo, particularly when after Ichigo’s death, which should be a chance for her to act, she screams for his help rather than trying to do something by herself. Characters often enter battles they are unable to win, and often another character bails them out and finishes the fight for them, rendering their efforts moot. One of the worst cases is Neliel vs. Nnotira, as having Neliel defeat him would have been an effective end to the backstory between the two. This cheats some characters out of the opportunity to show their true strength, disappointing their fans.

Several of the plot twists, like Ichigo getting a new Hollow form and Yammy being the 0 Espada come with very little foreshadowing and are largely unbelievable.

The second part of the series is by no means bad, but you shouldn’t expect it to live up to the first part.
This time, Ichigo and friends are fighting against the rogue Soul Reaper captain Aizen and his accomplices, who are trying to take over the world.

OF COURSE!

Good review, but someone had to say it.
comment #710 Guest Of Dishonour 31st Jul 09
What do you mean by saying that the new Hollow form wasn't foreshadowed? "If you want to see my full power, you'd better not die until the next time I turn up." Granted, Ichigo did the exact opposite of what he was told, but we *were* pretty explicitly warned that his Hollow self was due for a comeback with new abilities.
comment #3715 163.1.150.29 3rd Aug 10
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