Bleach Chapter 500 – The Mystery Blade…

In Bleach a chapter could spread the space of hours, or even days in the extreme weeks, but here we have seen only maybe minutes over the past 5-6 chapters. There has been so much jumping and moving around that while reading this chapter and trying to make sense of it all, I began to feel dizzy, and with Naruto also bringing up a new “mystery” and “wild and crazy theory arc,” having Bleach try to cover so much over so many different battlefields is making my Manga days turn into my “in deep thought” days.

However, because I love my readers so much, I thought I would a small challenge to you all before beginning this review of one of the biggest landmarks I believe Bleach will reach (this being its last arc and all).

In the above picture there are no less than 50 anime/manga/popular culture references. My challenge to all our keen-eyed WRA readers is to see whether you can you find them all… If this doesn’t turn you head to mush, try figure out exactly who “he” is or “that jutsu” in Naruto – the show I like to now call… “We don’t use proper nouns…” 😛

Going back to the chapter itself, 500 is a huge number, especially thinking back in terms of manga seeing as how not many Mangaka’s can boast about getting to this point without some sort of large change in direction.

Dragonball went from World Martial Art Tournaments to space travel/races of warriors with golden hair etc etc. While Bleach would span not many years in truth and its main focus and “known” races have yet to change (though to be fair Dragonball is far the larger of the two), I rushed through this chapter waiting for that jaw dropping moment to arise, but with Kubo trying to cover so much – and in so much detail – it feels like he over-sells certain points.

Well as we saw in the previous chapter, the hope of Soul Society lies in… Ichigo, and if this does seem familiar it sort of is. In the “Aizen Troll Wars,” Ichigo was the only hope because he had been the only character with the power needed that hadn’t seen Aizen’s Shikai, while now it is because his Bankai is not built of a “spirit” but more combined powers of Fullbring and Energy given to Ichigo by the Captain’s he is now going to save.

This chapter, however, takes us maybe 5 minutes back, before Ichigo is trapped or more correctly put ‘before they realized he was trapped.’ The reactions of the Captain’s truly bring about this sudden dread they currently feel, almost an exact mirror of when Ichigo had lost his Fullbring in the previous arc, where they had saved him. Now Ichigo carries that weight on his shoulder and like most Shonen hero’s, he races in as fast as possible.

Kubo has truly kept this war so far (the few minutes or maybe hour it has been) true to his general theme or the arc itself, giving hope just to quickly take it away. Seeing some of the Captain’s and Shinigami’s reactions of hope was uplifting but in the end it was for nothing. I think Kubo is trying to train us to believe that there is truly no hope in this battle and the Arrancar had been prophetic in his predictions of the Soul Society being destroyed so quickly.

This constant up and down just seems to dash readers spirits at every turn and I have a feeling Kubo wants us to start yearning for a win…

*Spoilers for those who do not read Fairy Tail* In Fairy Tail this has happened recently too readers had become so accustomed to the hero’s winning at every turn that battles and such became predictable and boring. Though the series took a big turn and the main characters had continued loosing constantly till the point that the fans began to yearn and support the hero’s again feeling just that little bit of dread when a match started and that joy from the victories more as the results hadn’t seemed written in stone. *Spoilers for those who do not read Fairy Tail finished*

Kubo I believe wants to create this feel for Bleach, we have grown so accustomed to plot armor that when Kira and the others began to fall it was almost unbelievable. Characters created for this arc were killed quickly as their part had been played, etc. I cannot say that all the chapters are perfect – in fact, far from it – but the arc itself seems to be a sign that Kubo’s returning to his roots and building a story of excitement and not endless action with predictable results.

They say beware the Giant’s, and it seems that invading forces where well-informed and not randomly striking, hoping to overwhelm their opponents. Targeting the Research Division will ultimately cut of communication between squads and subsequently end all research as to freeing the Bankai’s that have been captured so far. If trapping Ichigo was the smartest thing the Quincy have done so far, this would be the second best. It has cut of one of the most powerful resources to the Shinigami and taken away their power to regain it with just a single move.

This all without using their own manpower, they remain unexposed to the Research Facility so even if the “Gate Keeper Fails” they will not be able to use the data to help the other battles. I feel though that this sequence of events – all of it – can be seen as Kubo destroying Soul Society. So far none of the enemies have revealed their intentions, and their motivations are all hidden to us still. It would be difficult for Kubo to tell the story, retain interest in the story and keep all the battle’s covered – seemingly impossible even – unless he builds it from the ashes of Soul Society as I have said above.

There is, at the same time, too much and also too little happening. Its like looking over a large painting but instead of looking at it as a whole we are only focusing on a corner taking in every color and shape but neglecting the bigger picture, wondering and questioning as we try to make out the rest…

This page and the one that follows, I believe, will define Ichigo’s character more than any. Till now Ichigo has normally been able to save his friends to fight back at the last-minute and be there when it mattered but now he is trapped, helpless.

Forced to listen to the screams of those who believe in him with nothing else but that, it’s a haunting thought to say the least. Dark and deep, but with almost nothing drawn just a black canvas with words and Ichigo in the middle, the shear size that Kubo has drawn Ichigo drives home the feeling of his hopelessness and the despair these chapters have brought us to and, finally, on the page that follows one voice stands alone screamin.

“Ichigo’s gonna come save us.”

Reading that after this page gave me chills.

The wild attacking of Ichigo, the desperation etc, all seems to build to this moment. The Captain in Hueco Mundo seems pleased with his entrapment of the “Special Weapon.” He even seems relaxed.

To be honest I find Urahara’s attitude surprising, he seems more calm than ever until of course the he threatens to absorb/destroy him and Orihime/Sado, both of whom should be my accounts be dead already…

This leads to the “OMG” moment of the Chapter… The part I believe deep in my bones that Kubo will troll us about later. In the previous arc there was a mystery blade and in the end it had been only Rukia, but now the evidence we have suggests something much worse and frightening.

In my mind there are maybe many options that could be possible seeing as the current crop of Shinigami strong enough to split our Captain of Hueco Mundo in half and could threaten Urahara but the top 2 are…

Aizen – Because what would any theory be if it didn’t in some way involve Aizen. <__<

He to me makes the most sense, seeing as how Urahara doesn’t fear much but he is visible frightened by this new enemy/friend…?Aizen would also have the strength…

Grimmerjow – The online forums and fanboys of the old number 5 seems to believe he is the only solution to this riddle, being in Hueco Mundo and not being seen for so long it must be him… though, I feel reserved here as I don’t believe Urahara would be frighten of Grimmerjow and he couldn’t be strong enough to defeat such a powerful foe with a single attack. In saying that though, I would welcome the twist if it was him.

There are others however,, such as Gin (it would explain the quickness of his blade and the surprise attack on the Quincy him being maybe miles away when he strikes), Ichigo’s Hollow form (Most unlikely but could be possible that the Hollow form of Ichigo had been freed but this I doubt greatly), The Vasto Lords , Squad 0  etc etc, but to me the top two seem the main contenders by reactions of the characters etc.

Though I look forward to seeing if it’s not maybe Kubo trolling us again 😛

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

That will be the end of my breakdown, hope you enjoyed it ^__^

Wonder who will get all the references @__@

Peace

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~ by pein0avenue on July 12, 2012.

20 Responses to “Bleach Chapter 500 – The Mystery Blade…”

  1. It is out ^__^

  2. Isn’t it obvious?

    It’s the one, the only… DON KANONJI!!!

    In all seriousness it probably belongs to one of the zero squad peeps, as they’re probably the only ones that would really give

  3. Urahara a scare, even Aizen didn’t really scare Urahara.

    Sorry for the double post…

  4. @ Micheal – It must be Afro San, how could I not see it before 😛

    Urahara didn’t fear Aizen as he always had a plan to counter act etc but now he is stuck with no plan… Reason why I am skeptical about Squad 0 is its arrival in Hueco Mundo why not soul society? Though it can be I would feel ripped in a sense if its some unknown character but what may be cool is if its the Captain Urahara replaced from the 0 Squad would then make more sense lol

  5. Secondddd! Amazing chapter! Thanks for the breakdown!

  6. Another thought that comes to mind is that it’s the return of HOLLOW ICHIGO!!!

    That could definably scare Urahara, especially if he’s once again lost control and has become a way above captain lvl kill machine.

  7. The author of Bleach is the troll of the century. Why can’t we just see who the hell that person was? And then they show Ichigo as if it’s going to stay on him this chapter, then it goes to Byakuya? come on! Tired of this switching around stuff

  8. Now I think I have an idea of who the blade belongs to…

    I think it’s Ishin Kurasaki, not sure why he would be attacking Urahara but that’s about the only other person I think that would have the power to do what he did and scare/shock Mr. Hat-n-Clogs

  9. It seems like we have our first major casualty in Byakuya. I want to know what type of affect that’s going to have on Rukia. I think she is going to be the key to having Ichigo get out of his cell. She is going to be in trouble, and ichigo is going to here it through his walkie talkie and he is just going to go hallow form and bust out of his cage

  10. Kempachi looks so badass! And at last one chapter I need no explanation for!!!!!!!!!!!! Pretty straightforward, I liked it!

  11. Why do I get the feeling here that Kenpachi is going to be the next casualty in this war.

  12. I’m super late but I literally felt absolutely nothing at Byakuya’s death. Perhaps I don’t take surviving anything to surviving nothing. BTW do you guys think that Sasakibe the guy who died was killed by his own Bankai.

  13. Looking at the pic, I see: Gintama, Soul Eater, Inu X Boku SS, Gosick, The world god only knows, Guilty Crown, Cardcaptor Sakura, Blue Exorcist, Mawaru Penguindrum, Boku wa Tomodachi Wa Sukunai, Denpa onna, FMA, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Avatar the last airbender, One Piece, Naruto, Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Mario Yu-Gi-Oh and Tamayura. Also Harry potter. That’s all I got right now.

  14. Well….
    This isn’t good at all…
    I really hope Kubo isn’t suffering from anything radiation related

  15. I hope the Vandereich released Kubo and gave him the antidote.

  16. Ya know if Hiyori can survive being Bisected then there isn’t really any reason yet to believe that Byakuya is really truly dead, so until he is confirmed dead I’m not going to count him fully out just yet.

    As for Kenpachi, I don’t think the leader is going to fight him I think he’s going to get one of his subordinates to do so, though it is likely that the leader guy will score the killing blow and that that blow will indeed be a low/cowardly one.

  17. Didn’t realize it had been released yesterday…
    Interesting chapter though… I wonder how the captain commander will fare in his battle… ah who am I kidding, of course he’s going to school this fool =P

    Too bad we still don’t know who the mystery blade is….

  18. Wow… Bleach was epic this week…
    But then again nothing I have seen the captain commander do has been less than epic.

  19. Well since no one else seems to have brought it up…

    Rest in Piece Bleach Anime, we can only hope someone else picks it up and finishes the story from where TV Tokyo has sadly dropped the ball.

  20. Bleach was awesome this week.
    Someone needs to do a breakdown of this weeks bleach because next week the fire shall burn bright as the captain commander puts on a show for us =P

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