Home > Weekly Shonen Jump > Bleach 424

Bleach 424

[scanlation by Binktopia]

That Jump cover… wow. Don’t look excited to be back or anything, Ichigo.

Ichigo… Ichigo! Good morning, Ichigo! Come on, sleepy head! Get up! (Does anyone not think of this when an opening scene shows a character waking up?)

The color scheme of the cover spread and the liveliness of Ichigo’s house are evocative of the old Bleach, from way back at the beginning of the series. Let’s hope Kubo felt nostalgic about quality, too.

There’s been a timeskip, apparently. Hmm… a timeskip… haven’t some other series done that?

At least Ichigo's hair isn't retractable, and I don't see Sakura anywhere

Joking aside, this timeskip has the potential to be the most story-relevant and meaningful of the Big 3. Unlike the other two, Bleach has the chance to completely change its tone and direction. The story is as close to a blank slate as any series could be after 400 chapters. Will Kubo actually opt to go down a different path? Probably not, but the option is there, should he want to be adventurous and make these next few years worth something. Frankly, even if he sent the story in a new direction and produced a story as lifeless as what we’ve suffered through for the last few years, Kubo would deserve immense respect just for breaking convention and not relying on established success.

Of course, I don’t see any of that happening, but I want to remember this moment as the fork in the road before Kubo steered us right back into the ditch.

Ichigo told Chad and Inoue (among others) what happened while he was sleeping? That’s so many levels of bizarre. What were you doing sleeping around a whole bunch of people? Why can you sleeptalk so accurately? (EDIT: The Binktopia translation has since been corrected, to Chad and Inoue themselves telling the others while Ichigo was sleeping.)

I hope the mention of Karin’s improvement and increased responsibility is more than just a casual aside. The main cast needs to be shaken up, and not only Karin would be a bright addition, but such a move would fulfill some plot potential from early in the series.

Ishida running in the hallways, presumably to take care of a Hollow, presents another interesting storyline possibility: Ichigo, now powerless, faces an identity crisis as he tries to leave his previous fame and importance behind him. As his former colleagues and allies continue to fight, Ichigo fights against the depression naturally associated with his irrelevance. Once again, do I see this happening? Certainly not, but I can dream.

Background of the week

Ichigo shooting down any semblance of loneliness or dependence on his now-former life is disappointing. I’m not asking for Bleach to suddenly turn into an emotional, introspective work, but a little character emotion outside of “callous shonen hero” would do a world of good.

At least Kubo hasn’t failed to remember that Ichigo is still a very fit young man. Chasing down a thief is a bit of a cliché, but compared to the gigantic attacks from the last few years of Bleach, I’ll gladly take any semblance of subtle, subdued action.

There I was, about to compliment Kubo on his art, for angling the “camera” below the bag so that the zipper also somewhat looks like a scary set of jaws… when the full-page shot of this mystery character reveals that Rob Lucci is now making cameo roles.

CP9 of th-- ahem, Twist of the week

Final Flash: A completely acceptable chapter, but nothing actually happened, so that isn’t saying much. The “new,” post-timeskip Bleach will be judged more fairly when the real action resumes.

  1. The Kaiser
    October 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Well thankfully the translation has been edited so that he didnt tell them in his sleep. Apparently the others were told while he was asleep, which makes a lot more sense.
    I hope Bleach becomes good again too, it now has a lot more potential to improve. On the other hand im not too hopeful, this is Bleach after all…

  2. mokonatopia
    October 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I thought he couldn’t see Rukia anymore, because he lost his powers… so how would he know if she came? just a thought.

    • October 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Probably in the same way that she, Renji, Ikkaku, Yumichika, Rangiku, and Hitsugaya were selectively visible in school back during the Arrancar arc. I don’t know how they did that, and the fact that they -can- do that lessens the emotional impact of Ichigo and Rukia saying goodbye last chapter (because presumably Rukia could just make herself visible to Ichigo if she wanted), but I’m guessing that’s the idea. It’s not a plothole, but it is weak writing.

  3. Sam
    October 28, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    That’s very true, weak writing from that point, but still we have what we are given.

    I enjoyed this chapter alot, was very old-school bleach and felt totally different from the past chapters in the previous arc. I loved the Zip looking like a hollow mount, that was well played by Kubo.

    Also, since it has been 17 months, I think ti would makes sense that all Captain adn Vice captain spots that were vacent, (3rd Captain, 5th Captain, 9th Captain, 13th Vice Captain) will be filled with current or new characters. I think it’s possible that Rukia may be the Vice captain of the 13th division and could explain her not coming back due to being busy.

    But then again I guess, Ichigo doesn’t really have anything and it’s only normal hollows that are coming now as the arrancars are out of the picture, so there wouldn’t be a point in sending anymore Shinigami there as of now. That’s why the Afro Shinigami is there afterall.

    There are a few things I am lookign forward too, since this is most definetly the short arc then it will probably end with Ichigo getting his powers back or getting new powers. But aswell as that Kubo also stated (In an interview) he wanted to explore Isshins past this arc and also was planning to do a Turn Back the Pendulam II arc, similar to that one he did when we were in Mexico.

  4. CostieLovesPie
    October 29, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I pray to heavens thats not Aizen at the end. If it is then i am not impressed and i will stop reading. 17months to escape the most secure prison system in soul society after being sentenced to 20,000 years imprisonment. I hope its not aizen and its zangetsu in some form or another trying to awaken his powers.

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