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Bleach 425

[scanlation by Binktopia]

It’s official: Ichigo dreams about Renji. I can hear the fanfiction community in a stir already.

Great start to the chapter. This kind of comedy feels right at home with Kubo’s style. I’ve often said that I’d love for Bleach to be canceled and for Kubo to turn around and write a school comedy, but if he can just make this series take itself less seriously, the remaining few years will be satisfactory.

Any good day begins with attempted patricide

Ichigo became a mercenary? This is pretty funny stuff. Settling on the soccer club gives the story a great opportunity for more comedy. The further away we’re taken from huge swords and ridiculous plot twists, the better.

It’s even a pleasure to see Inoue, who, between being revered as an idol and exiting the school from the second story, has shown more charisma and likability than in all 424 previous chapters combined.

Her facial expression is the real punchline

Ichigo’s phone call, seemingly to Kisuke, could serve as the bridge back to Soul Society-related plot. I sincerely hope it doesn’t, and that whoever Ichigo (and Inoue and Tatsuki?) works for leads to new, more interesting responsibilities in the real world.

These punks blocking the gate provide exactly the kind of low-level conflict worth our time, and the way Ishida intervenes is a perfectly suitable combination of aggression and comedy. I don’t know what long-time Bleach fans make of this, but as someone disgusted with where the manga went over the last two or three years, I find this new direction (however temporary it might be) welcome and enjoyable.

Twist of the week

Final Flash: Easily the best Bleach chapter in years. My experience with post-Future Arc Reborn is keeping my excitement limited, as Kubo could drop a Hollow in the middle of all this at any time, but so far the timeskip has worked wonders.

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  1. Sam
    November 5, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Great chapter. Loved it.

    Did you guys catch on how much content was in this chapter? Maybe stuff that will be relevant to the plot in 100 or so chapters, but still… Kubo really upped his pacing and panelling this chapter and it actually took a while to read a bleach chapter.

    Also, the foot at the end is probably Chad. He is the only ‘Main Character’ who has yet to make an appearance. I can just imagine him strolling in with an afro/hair braids and going against those gang members with Ishida/Ichigo.

  2. Td
    November 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    After seeing Orihime in the chapter, it occured to me that she could bring back Ichigo’s abilities. I don’t expect Ichigo to stay powerless for long but doing it this way would cheapen his sacrifice against Aizen. What do you guys think?

  3. Sam
    November 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Actaully, she didn’t have her hairpins in; which are the source of her power. Without them she is just the old Orhime again.

    It’s possible that Orhime and Chad may have lost their powers that spawned from Ichigo’s mixed with their desire to be stronger with the Hogyoku being nearby.

    Obviously Ichigo will get his powers back by the end of this arc. Hopefully they will be new or more developed atleast; something to reflect his current attitude, maybe?

  4. Td
    November 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I think it would be a lot more interesting if all the characters ,like Chad and Orihime, kept all their powers. This way Ichigo is even more isolated from his friends and it could make for some interesting scenes where they could save him from danger for once.

    And Orihime giving Ichigo back his powers just feels like something Kubo would do.

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