Posts Tagged ‘Bleach’

Bleach 421

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

Good to know that Ichigo’s new fabric-outfit wasn’t black, but rather blue. His skin looks sickeningly pallid, though.

Background of the week

Ichigo’s Shinigami abilities disappear after only one attack. I suppose that’s entirely fitting, given that Ichigo is only really predisposed to using one attack, but that still seems like something that will need to be addressed before the next major battle.

I cannot and will not accept that Urahara conveniently set a trap on Aizen when he “had [his] guard down the most.” The Hougyoku is, to some undetermined extent, a sentient being, with which Aizen has completely fused. (At least, they were completely “one” back when Kisuke hid this Kidou.) There is no excuse for Aizen having his guard down when he was able to supplement his own awareness with that of the Hougyoku.

Even worse than this leap of logic is the fact that this is such a cheap twist. Why does nearly every major fight in Bleach have to involve a sudden appearance? Why can’t characters — very specifically, our main character — do anything themselves? Ichigo just received a massive (and, for once, sensible) power-up, and he can’t even finish his own fight with it? One week after reestablishing our protagonist as someone useful, Kubo turns around and neuters him once more.

Twist of the week

The Hougyoku has finally deemed Aizen unworthy of its power. This has been a long time coming, so I can’t even muster the faintest hint of surprise.

We’re finally beginning to learn about our next primary antagonist (or at least a driving force behind upcoming plot), the Spirit King. Kisuke’s distant attitude on the matter is mildly interesting, but it also worryingly feels like a setup for a “fight the established order” storyline. That feeling is compounded by Kubo’s last-ditch attempt to redeem Aizen’s character as one who perhaps was not inherently evil, but rather one who sought to overthrow an unjust system. This kind of character alteration is perfectly acceptable when the character being amended has had sufficient development all along the way; for all the problems with the pacing and unnecessary drama in Naruto (particularly surrounding Sasuke), the final revelations about Itachi’s motives were not only interesting, but fit well with all of his actions leading up to that moment. With regard to Bleach, Aizen has committed far too many blatantly evil acts to be redeemed, and furthermore, he’s barely had any actual character development. His progress has been littered with power-ups and strength upgrades, not personality establishment and evolution. In short, then, I don’t appreciate Kubo trying to pull this off with Aizen, as it feels like an afterthought. Let an evil character be evil and move on.

Final Flash: A tremendous step back from the previous chapter.


Beamcast – September 20

September 20, 2010 4 comments

[download link – 125min, 56mb]

In this week’s show:

Fairy Tail anime second season confirmed
Shonen Jump running one-shots by six legendary mangaka
Imamura Norio fined 500k yen
City Hunter receives live action Korean TV series

Weekly Oricon rankings (9/6 – 9/12)

New releases

Bleach (DVD 32) $24.92

Black Jack (vol. 13) $16.95

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Multiple choice – Which of these shonen genres do you enjoy?
1. Action (32%) | 2. Comedy / Mystery (tie) (22% each) | 4. Sports (13%) | 5. Romance (11%)

This week:
How do you prefer to read manga?
(Localized volume releases, online scanlations, original raws)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters added:
Boa Hancock (One Piece)
Konan (Naruto)
Kagura (Gintama)
Ogami Rei (Code:Breaker)
Sano Seiichirou (The Law of Ueki)
Mikura “Kazu” Kazuma (Air Gear)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 11)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 11)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 12)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 11)

This Week in Manga
0:41:07 – Kure-nai 34
0:45:41 – Naruto 510
0:49:35 – Bleach 420
0:55:58 – Bakuman 101
1:01:20 – Beelzebub 77
1:05:24 – Fairy Tail 200-201
1:11:29 – Hayate no Gotoku! 288
1:15:12 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 398-399
1:20:40 – AR∀GO 35
1:24:12 – Toriko 110
1:29:05 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 302
1:31:39 – Psyren 134
1:34:05 – Nurarihyon no Mago 122
1:38:52 – Zettai Karen Children 230
1:43:42 – GE ~ Good Ending 50
1:46:44 – Kimi no Iru Machi 105
1:49:46 – Enigma 1
1:58:48 – Deadman Wonderland 38
1:59:38 – Air Gear 287
2:00:13 – Code:Breaker 104
2:01:02 – Defense Devil 64
2:01:44 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 306

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink:

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Bleach 420

September 16, 2010 4 comments
[scanlation by Binktopia]

From the plethora of available “420” jokes, let’s just go with something like “wasn’t that the only way to enjoy Bleach anyway?” and move on.

After some flashback pages of the earlier fight between Ichigo and post-Fountain of Youth Zangetsu, the twist is finally revealed: the “Final Getsuga Tenshou” is when Ichigo himself becomes Getsuga.

The important note: I don’t find this terrible. I still think it’s stale and uninteresting to have Ichigo become taller, older, and longer-haired, and I certainly have to laugh at the Hot Topic-catalog laziness of designing Final Form Ichigo with flowing black hair, black fabric, and a black aura, but I will give some credit to Kubo: this concept is acceptable. To defeat Aizen, whose abilities are “broken” (despite being improperly written in the last few chapters), Ichigo needed to achieve some kind of powerup that wasn’t just a linear increase in strength. There’s no telling how deep Kubo will go into the concept, and it’s entirely possible that the spiritual evolution part of the process will be conveniently forgotten and/or rewritten as though this is a linear powerup, but from initial indication, “becoming Getsuga” seems to work.

Twist of the week

The less-important note:

Have fun, yaoi fans

The rest of the chapter is pretty standard Bleach: Venom/Aizen gets pissed and yells too much, and Ichigo uses a big monochromatic attack.

Background of the week

Final Flash: Not “good,” but “good for a recent Bleach chapter,” meaning surprisingly acceptable overall.

Beamcast – September 13

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

[download link – 121min, 53mb]

In this week’s show:

One Piece Strong World tops DVD/BD charts for second week

Weekly Oricon rankings (8/30 – 9/5)

New releases

Dragon Ball Z – Season 4 Dragonbox Set (DVD) $59.98
Dragon Ball Z Kai (DVD 2) $49.98
Dragon Ball Z Kai (Blu-Ray 2) $54.98

Arata Kangatari / Arata: The Legend (vol. 3) $9.99
Hayate no Gotoku! (vol. 16) $9.99
InuYasha (vol. 52) $9.99
Oh My Goddess! 2nd edition (vol. 15) $10.99
Rin-ne (vol. 4) $9.99

Listener Mail

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

1. Beelzebub (38%) | 2. Gintama (22%) | 3. The World God Only Knows (15%)

This week:
Multiple choice – Which of these shonen genres do you enjoy?
(Action, Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Sports)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters re-tiered:
Nura Rikuo (Nurarihyon no Mago)

Characters added:
Portgas D. Ace (One Piece)
Uchiha Itachi (Naruto)
Yuki Onna (Nurarihyon no Mago)
Komatsu (Toriko)
Nougami Neuro (Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro)
Father (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 10)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 11)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 10)

This Week in Manga
0:48:51 – Bleach 419
0:54:17 – Naruto 509
0:58:51 – Bakuman 100
1:05:01 – Beelzebub 76
1:10:18 – Fairy Tail 199
1:13:05 – Hayate no Gotoku! 287
1:15:55 – Kekkaishi 319-320
1:20:29 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 397
1:25:32 – AR∀GO 34
1:28:33 – Toriko 109
1:35:21 – Gamaran 62
1:40:07 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 300-301
1:44:51 – Nurarihyon no Mago 121
1:49:25 – Kimi no Iru Machi 104
1:52:24 – SWOT 9
1:55:25 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 40
1:57:12 – Code:Breaker 103
1:58:10 – D.Gray-man 194
1:58:46 – Gintama 322-323
1:59:25 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 305

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink:

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Bleach 419

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

So much unnecessary dialogue. Tension is important during a fight, but that doesn’t mean the pacing of the fight should be interrupted (or, in this case, completely overwhelmed) by text.

Background of the week

It’s not just “Deicide” anymore; there’s a subtitle? Even Kubo is bored with this.

Aizen transforms into some unspeakable creature. First, how ugly. I’m sure that’s somewhat the point, of course. Secondly, and most importantly, this signals a continuation of a worrying trend: The Hougyoku being treated like a linear power-up rather than the plot-altering device it’s been shown to be. It’s certainly not as though the Hougyoku should be able to rewrite the plot according to Aizen’s desires, but for it to quietly be demoted to something as simple as this is a critical consistency error.

Go get him, Venom

Once again, Aizen proceeds to deliver a long-winded monologue, and as with last week’s chapter, Ichigo counters with a trite, throwaway line. Also, Ichigo’s new hairstyle should not make his entire self look older. If Kubo wanted an older, more “badass” character, he should have written Ichigo as such to begin with.

Twist of the week

Next week will be the unveiling of the “Final Getsuga Tenshou.” Maybe that will equate to some decently-paced action, instead of one-off twists and incessant dialogue.

Final Flash: A letdown even by already poor Bleach standards. Kubo has written himself into a corner with his treatment of the Hougyoku.

Beamcast – September 6

September 6, 2010 2 comments

[download link – 137min, 60mb]

In this week’s show:

Beelzebub anime adaptation
One shots for Watsuki and Arakawa
To LOVE-Ru Darkness premieres in Jump SQ #11 (Oct. 4)
Shonen Shikku Canceled; Enigma to Debut
Light Wing to Debut in Jump
Hayate no Gotoku! gets Taiwanese live action adaptation
One Piece DVD/BDs earn 2.16 billion yen in one week
Moonlight Mile author, Eyeshield 21 artist collaboration
Golden Boy II

Weekly Oricon rankings (8/23 – 8/29)

New releases

Hoshin Engi (vol. 20) $9.99
Naruto (Chapter Book 15) $4.99
Oh My Goddess (vol. 36) $11.99
Shaman King (vol. 30) $9.99
Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee (vol. 3) $9.99
Toriko (vol. 2) $9.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
What is your favorite currently-running comedy series?
(Beelzebub, Gintama, Hajimete no Aku, Hayate no Gotoku!, Onidere, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Sket Dance, The World God Only Knows, Yankee-kun to Megane-chan)

The Great Shonen Tier List

Characters re-tiered:
Asakura Yoh (Shaman King)

Characters added:
Edward “Whitebeard” Newgate (One Piece)
Hoshigaki Kisame (Naruto)
Amamiya Sakurako (Psyren)
Nogami Aoi (Zettai Karen Children)
Saitou Hajime (Rurouni Kenshin)
Kenshiro (Hokuto no Ken)

Anime Discussion
Highschool of the Dead (ep. 9)
Seitokai Yakuindomo (ep. 10)
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (ep. 10)
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 9)

This Week in Manga
0:58:27 – Mirai Nikki 55
1:00:28 – Naruto 508
1:07:07 – Bleach 418
1:11:40 – Bakuman 99
1:18:57 – Beelzebub 75 + extra
1:24:07 – Fairy Tail 198
1:28:22 – Hayate no Gotoku! 286
1:31:24 – History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi 396
1:36:28 – AR∀GO 33
1:38:58 – Toriko 108
1:43:41 – Gamaran 61
1:47:03 – The World God Only Knows 112
1:49:17 – Psyren 132-133
1:52:43 – Zettai Karen Children 229
1:54:42 – Hajime no Ippo 906
1:59:24 – GE ~ Good Ending 49
2:02:43 – Kimi no Iru Machi 103
2:07:24 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 39
2:08:36 – Code:Breaker 102 (new series!)
2:10:29 – Defense Devil 63
2:12:05 – Gintama 320-321
2:14:17 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 304
2:14:59 – Nurarihyon no Mago 120

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

Comments / questions / additions? Email the show.
Want to share with friends? How kind. Have a shortlink:

Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Bleach 418

September 2, 2010 1 comment
[scanlation by Binktopia]

It’s not like I could take Ichigo seriously before, but his new hair gets me laughing every time I see it. Well, that, and his sad expression.

Cheer up, emo shonen protagonist

Aizen certainly is long-winded this week. As this is Bleach, I assume he will continue assuming things about Ichigo’s powerup until Ichigo makes his move, proving Aizen wrong.

... what?

Ichigo is able to stop Aizen’s sword. To be fair, Ichigo has yet to respond to Aizen’s theory that Ichigo used all his reiatsu to reinforce his strength, so Ichigo could still have some hidden capability that would make this less ridiculous. That said, if Ichigo is only using pure strength, this is unimaginably awful writing. With the Hougyoku, Aizen has the ability to rewrite the plot of his own series; there’s absolutely no excuse for him being overpowered.

Resorting to Kidou is the Bleach equivalent of raising the white flag… or triggering your own death flag.

Background of the week

All this Ichigo dominance bears no credibility whatsoever, but at least the protagonist is doing something for once.

Twist of the week

Final Flash: If it makes people this strong, maybe I should grow a mullet.