Bleach (Chapters 664-667) – Review Discussion

Bleach:

Chapters 664-667

Reviewed by: Tom

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I think this whole manga is at its wit’s end.

Synopsis: Ichigo Kurosaki was born with the ability to see Ghosts. When his family is suddenly attacked by a evil lost soul, known as a Hollow, Ichigo becomes entangled in the world of the Soul Reapers, after life beings that hunt and exterminate the Hollows. Ichigo dedicates his life to saving the innocent and helping the tortured spirits find peace.

(Warning: Spoilers to Follow):

But now, the Soul Society is in great jeopardy as the Quincy King Yhwach has returned. He’s begun his final assault against the Soul Reapers, killing Genryusai and taking control of the Seireitei. Now he makes his way to destroy the Soul King Reio himself as near everyone is powerless to stop him. Ichigo, with renewed strength, makes his return just too late as Yhwach destroys Reio and absorbs the Soul King’s powers. Now all of creation has begun to crumble into nothing. With the world hanging in the balance, it’s up to Ichigo, Chad, and the rest of the team to stop Yhwach before everything and everyone they care about is nothing but dust.

Review:

So, last time we chatted about Bleach, Nakk had just performed a 180 reversal and was preparing to own Kisuke. With Chapter 664 he explains how his new form counters everything Yoruichi can throw at him (not that it matters since she’s out cold) and there’s now nothing Kisuke can do to thwart him (boy you can tell Nakk hasn’t been a Bleach character for very long.) Nakk traps Kisuke and Yoruichi inside his prison area and warns him there’s no escape.

But Kisuke is less interested in that, criticizing Nakk for not actually being loyal to Yhwach. Nakk admits it and says he’s only really curious to see what world Yhwach will bring about when he destroys everything. I honestly don’t understand why Kisuke brought loyalty into it. I know the conversation gradually turns around to scientists and making new things with your own two hands and such, but it feels like loyalty was only brought up as a way to transition into a conversation that, vaguely, had any relevance to Kisuke’s own 180 reversal coming up. It’s sloppy, but so is this series’ whole final arc.

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Not really, no, I kinda like my home the way it is, thank you very much.

Nakk, knowing Kisuke is dangerous, attacks him with poison rings, destroying Kisuke’s eyes and blinding him. However, then Kisuke says he has no choice but to use it (Why is everyone frieza in this manga? Always holding back just for the hell of it.) and activates his Bankai: Opened Red Princess Neo.

Chapter 665 continues right off from there, revealing that Kisuke’s bankai reconstructs anything it touches and with that Kisuke’s eyes are healed. He attacks Nakk and the two seem on equal ground. Nakk decides to raise the poison concentration level and cripple Kisuke, but it’s too late as a hand plunges through Nakk’s back and his rips his heart right out of his chest. Kisuke reveals that he’d already opened up a hole in the poison area and allowed Grimmjow inside, the owner of the blood stained hand. So this has been another full reversal, save for a brief exchange in blows that indicated Kisuke and Nakk were, albeit briefly, equal.

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Grimmjow-sama! Sucks you get brought in for little more than a cameo.

With Chapter 666 Nakk lays on the ground, dying. He asks Kisuke how he knew he’d need to save Grimmjow for this victory, but Kisuke explains he takes a thousand precautions and just hopes one turns out successful. Grimmjow seemingly finishes off Nakk, but suddenly both Grimmjow and Kisuke are hit by the concentration of poison as it spikes. Despite having been stabbed by Grimmjow, and missing a heart, Nakk lives long enough to explain his poison prison automatically ups the concentration when he dies (but he’s not dead yet?) So yay! Another full reversal! Kisuke says he can’t go on and leaves the fight to Ichigo as Nelliel jumps into the poison area to save Kisuke and the others. I’m sure they’ll be fine.

Meanwhile Gerard, a massive giant still, takes on Captain Hitsugaya who holds his own. He allies with Byakuya after a brief joke concerning Hitsugaya’s height. Gerard attacks them while they argue but his arm is instantly sliced up by none other than a healed Kenpachi! I’m not surprised Kenpachi’s back, guy seems to a walking Mr. Potato head with re-attachable limps whenever the story needs it. He’s a cool character, although I feel with how often he returns from numerous damaged or missing limbs it’s gotten old.

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Hitsugaya, this seems like wholly the wrong time to get hung up on your own unfortunate word choice.

With Chapter 667 the damage Kenpachi dealt Gerard is healed and Byakuya explains that Gerard can instantly heal his wounds and gets stronger every time. Kenpachi decides to cut Gerard into tiny bits and make him fall, but Hitsugaya warns Kenpachi that if he knocks Gerard down the force of the fall could wipe out the soul society. Moments later Gerard tries to stomp Kenpachi into nothing, but Kenpachi grabs Gerard’s foot and topples the giant over (So much for that concern.) Kenpachi goes in for the kill, but Gerard knocks him away as he summons his sword and shield. Kenpachi also gets back up, with his sword having converted into a much deadlier blade. Byakuya comments that everyone thought Kenpachi’s sword was a constant release type, but perhaps not, maybe he’s just innately bad ass (damn straight, son.) Kenpachi and Gerard cross swords and the chapters ends with Gerard in a rage over his precious sword having been chipped in the clash.

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By the end of this manga his sword will be nine times the size of him.

In someways I think these chapters were a slight improvement over the last set. On the one hand there’s several exchanges during these battles that aren’t simply 180 reversals, and I’m so far enjoying what little we had of the Gerard vs. Kenpachi battle, but I’m not confident this minor improvement in writing quality will last. I fully expect the next chapter to contain some 180 reversal between Gerard and Kenpachi, with perhaps Kenpachi becoming utterly defeated followed by the arrival of another character who’ll make short work of Gerard.

Either way, that’s the end of this session’s Bleach Review and Discussion. Please share your thoughts on these chapters in the comments below!

Bleach is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 592-601 are available in Volume 66. Chapters discussed today, 664-667, will be available in Volume 72-73 releasing mid-2017.

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