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Darkshaunz
R.I.P Unohana Retsu a.k.a The First Kenpachi.

Awesome character, beautiful and deadly. It's a sad farewell, but her selfless departure means that Kubo's trolling can no longer taint what has been a fantastic series of revelations.

Like Gin, she will be missed - and no doubt adored by Bleach fans alike. A worthy final salute for everyone's favourite MILF taichou.
nusteyr
I must admit, I was worried about the whole Unohana Kenpachi revelation, now that its basically over, I think it can get better :P
And on the other hand, about time Kenpachi himself recieved some sort of training/guidance, I mean, if Ichigo could beat him previously, and then he was beaten during the attack on karakura town, surely that says he was falling below the bar.
Darek
Latest chapter - oh snappity snap!

And here I always thought she was a hollow/arrancar.
Syphin
Currently catching up with Bleach (chapter 529 atm - that page with Isshin's full name revealed), and I knew it! How cool, Ichigo IS connected to the Fifth Noble House of Soul Society (well former noble house now), the Shiba clan.

I haven't read far enough to tell if Isshin is the uncle of Kuukaku, but it's highly likely now =D

Syphin wrote:
Something which caught my eye was the statement made by Shiba Kuukaku after she sent Ichigo and the Zero Division to the Spirit Palace - "I had to let him go, even if that means disappointing our uncle":

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Is it just me or does this panel make Shiba Kuukaku and Kurosaki Karin look similar O.o

A while back I theorised that Isshin was part of the Shiba clan and Ganju and Kuukaku's uncle, so when Kuukaku talks about her uncle not going to be happy about having sent Ichigo into more danger it really does strike a cord resonating with that theory. We have yet to learn why the Shiba clan fell and why exactly Ichigo resembles Kaien so closely, but if they were related via blood it would really make sense.Also about the Shiba clan falling, its reputation may have been hit when Isshin left Soul Society and married a Quincy which at that point were the enemies of Shinigami as they disrupted the balance between worlds (the order was already given in the past to annihilate them). Some Shinigami may not have been happy that one of the noble Shinigami associated himself with a Quincy and thus created extra frictions between the clans ultimately putting a target on the Shiba clan and quite possibly causing the Metastacia Hollow incident, which led to the death of the then current head, Shiba Kaien, and maybe even extended itself to the human world and had a hand in the death of Ichigo's mother, Kurosaki Masaki.

Just to illustrate the seriousness of what Isshin had potentially done, if we take Byakuya as an example, he received some heat for breaking the rules when he married a commoner from Rukongai, Kuchiki Hisana, and later brought in her sister, Kuchiki Rukia into the noble Kuchiki family, breaking the rules yet again. If marrying and associating yourself with a commoner Shinigami brought about so much dissatisfaction among the noble clans, imagine what marrying and associating oneself with a Quincy would do...

Well all of this is conjecture so some other reason may underlie these circumstances, but I really do believe strongly in these theories.

And my goodness, the Unohana and Zaraki story was absolutely amazing, badass Kubo-sensei.

No surprise Masaki was a Quincy, that was apparent a year ago, but so looking forward to reading this flash black, ah asflaskfhasjfkdfgdfasfoiwafalf.../drool...time to finish chapter 529 and the rest of the chapters I have (I smell Aizen somehow).
Syphin
Bleach Chapter 525-535 – Perpetual Embrace

Someone pinch me…I honestly can’t believe this, but Bleach has become so incredibly enjoyable to read (more then it was), I absolutely love it and this arc in Bleach is definitely what I’ve been waiting for ever since the Arrancar arc turned hollow. This arc is by far my favourite Bleach arc, it represents exactly what Bleach is about and covers [almost] everything I’ve been wanting from Bleach, ah my diminished passion has now been reignited ablaze. Thank you Kubo-sensei.

The Unohana and Zaraki mini-arc was epic, but I'm still hoping Unohana lives! I want to see more of her! Awesome that Zaraki can finally hear the voice of the zanpakutou he has, but what will the effects of him picking that zanpakutou off another shinigami have? Will be really interesting to see how Zaraki grows from here on out, because from the way Unohana spoke of him through the flashbacks, Zaraki was strong, monstrously strong!

The Isshin and Masaki flashbacks, ah I love it, I've been waiting a long time for this to be covered and so glad it finally is. I already knew Masaki was a badass from the moment she gave her life up to save Ichigo, but she is much more a badass then I thought. Willing to go against customs and protocol to save a life and stay consistent with what she believes, she is strong! The same with Isshin, he may seem aloof and lazy but when it comes down to it, he really gets serious. Love how the two of them go against their organisations rules in order to pursue what their beliefs are telling them to pursue, and with no hesitation to boot.

The Fullbring arc also getting more substance thanks to this flashback - now we know why Ichigo can use Fullbringer powers.

Also for us Bleach fans:

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The Story of Destiny - colour by YesimTekin

I love how both Isshin and Ichigo go "yo" when they save Masaki and Rukia (chapter 151).
Darek
Everything is Aizen. Always Aizen.

Then at the conclusion of Bleach, we'll find out that everything Aizen did was because of Urahara.
Syphin
There are two theories I have which I am waiting on confirmation for:

1) Yhwach is Ichigo's grandfather or great grandfather etc (the resemblence between he and Zangetsu is just too close to put down to coincidence, just like the resemblence Ichigo had with Kaien);
2) Kisuke is the son of the Soul King

Anyway I'm also curious to see if Inoue has some more of a role to play in the future of Bleach.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my previous post, but IKUMIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad to see her again, I was worried Kubo-sensei forgot about her =P.
Darkshaunz
In this week's Bleach:

PART 1

- What the hell is happening? Who or what are these ladies?
- Did that chick just cry a bathtub of water?
- Is that sentient tentacle rape hair?
- WAIT WHY DID THAT ONE PULL OUT HER TOOTH TO SLINGSHOT IT?
- What is the purpose of the chick with the starry eyes?
- How are they bodyguards for anything?

PART 2

- Oh cool...it's Old Man Zangetsu
- It's good to see him agai-
- Old Man Zangetsu is actually Juha Wach from 1,000 years ago.
- Is this real life?

Aizen: Pre-planned his keikkaku for over 100 years.
Juha Wach: Pre-planned his keikkaku for over 1,000 years.

Holy shit did we get Kubo'd this week.
Syphin
How incredibly unfortunate Kubo-sensei had to laze about during the Arrancar arc, he is such a great shounen manga writer and artist, this final arc of Bleach proves just that, boldly. It is freaking fantastic, Kubo-sensei at his best and showing just why Bleach was one of the biggest shounen manga's in recent years, I'm loving it tremendously.

Bleach Chapter 536-544 – The Embrace Of Bonds

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The Blade is Me - colour by i-azu

This final arc in Bleach has seriously won me over and with each chapter, it gets better and better, it is such a pleasure to read. All the separated threads created and developed in past chapters have started to weave together and have begun to form an image that embodies just what Bleach is about.

In the past I have felt that emotion was lacking in Bleach, but with these recent chapters this arc, emotion has become one of the major tools chapters are illustrated and understood by. On top of the story of Genryuusai Yamamoto, Kenpachi and Unohana, Isshin and Masaki, we now have the story of Ichigo and Zangetsu, and goodness what a surprising and enjoyable development that is.

It was obvious that there was some connection between Zangetsu and Juhabach, since they both resemble each other but who would have expected the exact way things played out to play out, it was just took shocking of a twist to think about. Zangetsu is not in fact Ichigo's zanpakutou but was the Quincy blood in him acting like his zanpakutou. I was wondering if any character could top the way Kuugo trolled Ichigo in the Fullbring arc and it looks like this version of Juhabach was able to do just that and fool Ichigo into believing for a very long time that he was in fact his zanpakutou.

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The man known as Zangetsu - colour by hyugasosby

I was worried that Zangetsu's character would be completely destroyed when his character was dramatically cast into the villain spotlight, but the story developed in a way totally exceeding my expectations towards an end that seems just so fitting, exciting and badass. Ichigo's Quincy blood may have manifested into a form totally against his actual form but in the end the sides representing Ichigo coincided in feelings and harmonized to create the blade reflecting just how Ichigo feels, a blade made up of two blades, the blade known as "Zangetsu".

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How unbelievable cool, Ichigo forming Zangetsu based on the two sides representing himself - his Hollow and Quincy self

Ever since it was revealed Ichigo had Quincy blood, I expected to see some form of merging of the Quincy powers in his current powers but I did not expect this. To think Ichigo would start back up from the ground up, going back to recreating his zanpakutou and incorporating all the sides to him within his zanpakutou. And that developed didn't just come about, it was backed up by comprehensive foreshadowing made in past chapters and Ichigo actually changing personally through trails and struggles he faced so far this arc. The way elements connected to reach this point is something I'm really impressed and excited about.

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Zangestu, the silent protector in the world known as "Ichigo"

Also I was wondering what the truth behind Masaki's death was, so it was actually Juhabach that created such an unfortunate situation, because of him and the "Ausscheren", Masaki lost her Quincy powers and was unable to battle the Grand Fisher. I had suspected Uryuu's mother to be Katagiri Kanae and I was wondering what happened to her, so she also lost her powers during the "Ausscheren" and as a result ending up succumbing to her weak body and passed away three months later.

The twist with Uryuu joining the Stern Ritter was surprising but you can tell Uryuu doesn't actually intend to follow Juhabach although Juhabach has come up with a shrewd way to force Uryuu to play his game and follow his lead. Will be looking forward to seeing how Uryuu deals with the clearly unhappy Stern Ritter members and the fact that he is know the successor to Juhabach.

Enjoying how the story has turned towards focusing on all the main characters, including Inoue and Sado. I'm very curious to see who that mysterious character is - my guess is still the same as before, I believe like most people, that the mysterious character is Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez! C'mon Grimmjow! Unless that character is totally different from the one who saved them before and this character is in fact Rukia!

The artwork, absolutely beautiful, Kubo-sensei has been bringing forward such spectacular artwork these chapters and is continuing to express emotion and tell the story through the artwork. Very much looking forward to the coming chapters and the climax of this arc.
Syphin
Rukia's back =D, finally!

Bleach Chapter 545 – Preparations For Pandemonium

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Poor lemons...

Rukia! About time this main character is brought back into the focus of the story. So along with Renji, she is under going the intense training of the Royal Guards, good to know that she is being carried forward power-wise with the rest of the cast. Hopefully we get to see her Bankai released in this final arc of Bleach.

So the five levels of training the Royal Guards offer is; healing followed by eating followed by having your zanpakutou reformed followed by getting your Shihakushou refitted followed by concentration/focus on reishi (spirit particles) and sensing the reiatsu (spiritual pressure).

I’m understanding the first three steps but not so much the fourth and fifth step (I wonder if there are any more steps), hopefully when Ichigo proceeds through those two steps we get a more in-depth and detailed coverage of what those steps entail. The fifth step seems to deal with focusing on the condensed reishi within the temple and enduring the intense reiatsu created as a result. I suppose training in such a way would help consolidate the increased reiryoku (spiritual power) Rukia and Renji have gained from the previous four steps and to develop their reiryoku to release a level of reiatsu on a level equal to or greater then what they are enduring. The inner sanctum which Rukia and Renji are moving to now probably has a significant increase in reiatsu (due to even more denser reishi), so it will be interesting how many more times powerful their reiyoku and reiatsu will be. Against the Quincy who utilise reishi as their main weapon source, being able to sense the subtle changes in reishi and respond to it could help them overcome one or a few when they do engage in combat.

Continue reading →
Syphin
So Bleach going on hiatus after this weeks issue (#34) for issues 35-40.

Mangastreams translation of Kubo-sensei's comment for the issue:

After this weeks issue, Bleach will be on hiatus from Jump 35-40. Starting from jump 41 (09/09), the last arc "1000 years Blood Ward Arc - The Separation Story" will start.

Before the last battle, I will be going on a long hiatus so that I can approach the final battle fully charged and give it my absolute all. When the manga resumes, please prepare yourselves for the "1000 years Blood Ward Arc - The Separation Story".

I absolutely don't mind this, Kubo-sensei has been handling the final arc of Bleach brilliantly, him giving himself more time can only be a good thing for Bleach. Will be looking forward to "The Separation Story".
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