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Bleach 486 – Death of An Unknown »« Bleach 484 – I’m A Pacifist

Bleach 485 – The Foundation of Peace

The plot thickens. The king of the Vandenreich proves himself to as ruthless as first impressions have showed. His subordinates fear him greatly… and for good reason since he leaves no doubt that they are considered to be easily expendable. Both Ivan and Luders Friegen, the leader of the intruders, are vaporized on a whim, ending any possible future contributions to this arc. More significantly however, is his revelation that he controls Hueco Mundo completely already and has the arrancar under his power, including Harribel. This makes it very likely that the other arrancar with indeterminate fates may make appearance again, as Nel does in an epic skydive right into Ichigo’s mid-section. I wasn’t expecting to see her this soon again, but with the disarray that the Vandenreich has thrown both Soul Society and Hueco Mundo into, an unlikely alliance between the two is not out of the question now.

Soul Society itself is still reeling from the mysterious attack, which has apparently left over a hundred shinigami dead — including the lieutenant of the first squad. Without Ichigo’s help, Soul Society will probably face extinction yet again, and no doubt Urahara’s assistance will need to be enlisted as well. For now though, I’m looking forward most to the appearance of the Zero Squad/Spirit King, a confirmation of which arrancar are still alive, and an explanation of the identity of the new enemy. Tying all the major groups and elements of Bleach together in a clear, logical fashion could really salvage the series from its current long, unimpressive run. There are dozens of questions that need to be answered; that’s really all I expect from the story, and if that is done well, it will make a satisfying conclusion. And of course, hopefully we’ll see some epic battles too.

March 27, 2012 at 2:49 am
  • March 27, 2012 at 2:59 amsuff

    I am only continuing to follow this so I can see some of the captain’s Bankai.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:06 amSkins Thunderbomb

    It’s looking promising, that’s all I can say. *lies in wait*

    • March 27, 2012 at 4:41 pmKarmafan

      So many questions unanswered from just about every arc this series has ever had. Hopefully Kubo will tie them together. We STILL don’t even know whats the deal with Ichigo’s father.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:43 amDa5id

    Dammit, I really need to watch the end of Ano Natsu…but it’s 3:30 AM where I live….

    Oh yeah bleach. Well, I’m glad Nel didn’t just blip out of existence at the end of her last arc…though I’m pretty sure people who didn’t read the databooks will likely be wondering how Hallibel (Harribel?) is still alive, let alone how she lived this long to be captured by…whoever these guys are. I’m still not even sure they’re Quincies, at least not the traditional kind. Bleach, the only story where your villains are named after a city in Illinois!

    The last episode of the anime has aired! Who else is ready for some plot points that will NEVER be explained?

    • March 27, 2012 at 7:03 amBeedle

      I was pretty sure Harribel was killed by Aizen, otherwise we’d have seen her as a POW in Soul Society…And in hindsight, this is Bleach.

      Did the databooks ever say what she’s been up to? o.0

      • March 27, 2012 at 7:34 amDennis

        Orihime healed Harribel after the Ichigo vs Aizen fight in Soul Society. Then she returned to Hueco Mundo with her fraccion

      • March 27, 2012 at 7:34 amDennis

        Bleach Official Character Book 3 UNMASKED; pages 230-231

      • March 27, 2012 at 10:31 amBeedle

        Thanks for clarifying, Dennis :o

        Figures deus ex Orihime’s involved, though I still question the logic in letting Harribel and co. return to Hueco Mundo. Or even reviving her in the first place, from SS’s point of view.

        I mean, Soul Society was willing to off Rukia when she wasn’t even really a traitor, and immediately post-Aizen’s defeat, all SS knew was that Harribel was one of his generals…and that she tried to kill them.

        I feel Harribel’s team were brought back for their boobies and to be fodder for the new guy to establish his ‘power’.

        In any case, I hope that the fact that Kubo finally killed a character on the ‘good-side’, no matter how minor , pathetic, irrelevant, and unknown he was, and that he’s brought in characters from previous arcs suggests that he does have a plot for Bleach all along.

        Meh, I guess I wouldn’t be so irritated with this had they shown how Soul Society was dealing with the aftermath of the war. Kubo could have done an arc about this- showing which Arrancars survived/were healed, what deals/compromises were struck, etc- instead of suddenly introducing a timeskip in the chapter immediately after Aizen’s defeat that showed how nobody changed during that one year, but instead introduce those posers.

        I’ll give this a few more chapters and Prooof’s reviews before finally deciding if I’ll pick this up again.

      • March 27, 2012 at 11:06 amMoeronic

        Gotta agree with Beedle. Soul Society has proven itself to be a totalitarian government that eliminates any threat, no matter how weak and pointless, in order to maintain its power. It just seems really out of place that they would not execute or at least imprison Hallibel if she was actually a real threat to SS.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:47 amSeven

    So I’m confused, did Ichigo get new powers or his old powers back? Can he still use his hollow mask or what?

    • March 27, 2012 at 5:14 amMixed Milkshake

      Ichigo still has he’s old powers, the appearance difference is due to his Fullbring power. Judging by how Shinji and the rest of the Visoreds also gave a portion of their reiatsu (which contains both shinigami and hollow reiatsu)to Ichigo, I would say Ichigo’s Hollow Mask will make a return very soon.

      • March 27, 2012 at 5:31 amSeven

        Hmm, Ok thanks. Still lots of plot holes, like him turning it a full hollow during the Arancar arc, and for some reason being stupidly times stronger. Also why his sword un-fused with his hand after beating Azain. That’s why I think he has a new set of powers, If he had his old ones wouldn’t his hand still be fused with his sword?

      • March 28, 2012 at 12:06 amronri

        I wouldn’t say that turning full Hollow was a plothole. At least that was backed up by the fact that humans are more prone to becoming hollows and as we know, Ichigo is half-shinigami, half-human (hence the combination of shinigami and hollow powers). The Vizards are an exception as they got their hollow powers through the Hogyoku.

        But I do agree, this seems more like fresh restart for Ichigo’s powers. He only had his hand fused to his sword when he achieved his final bankai, so I doubt he’d be leveling up that quick just because his shinigami friends lent a hand.

      • March 28, 2012 at 3:07 amSeven

        Remember how Azain commented on how Ichigo’s sword was fusing with his hand? He did that right after he showed up, It was not till a while later that Ichigo did the ‘final’ form thing. the final form was him covered in black fire.

        And I forget, why did he start turning into a hollow in the first place? was it because they dropped him in that pit while tied up? or is it because he’s human in general? And if it’s because he’s human why does he just end up like the vizords? they got masks because of the Hogyoku like you said, so wouldn’t it make sense that he would have something different?
        AND…. how does Ichigo have both hollow powers and a fullbring, fullbrings are hollow power to begin with

      • March 28, 2012 at 11:15 amronri

        Remember how Azain commented on how Ichigo’s sword was fusing with his hand? He did that right after he showed up, It was not till a while later that Ichigo did the ‘final’ form thing. the final form was him covered in black fire.

        And I forget, why did he start turning into a hollow in the first place? was it because they dropped him in that pit while tied up? or is it because he’s human in general? And if it’s because he’s human why does he just end up like the vizords? they got masks because of the Hogyoku like you said, so wouldn’t it make sense that he would have something different?
        AND…. how does Ichigo have both hollow powers and a fullbring, fullbrings are hollow power to begin with

        Like I said final “bankai”, not final form. The one with the fused sword was his final bankai form while his final form is part of the Final Getsuga Tensho attack known as Mugetsu (it’s like an attack move except Ichigo becomes the weapon/energy itself hence the black flames).

        Back to the hollow aspect, when humans like Ichigo undergo the process of becoming a powerful beings of the afterlife, there were two possible outcomes that were on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Either his soul can become shinigami, or it’s risked to becoming a hollow. Ichigo just barely emerged as a shinigami (most likely thanks to his shinigami lineage), but it turned out his transformation was split into two: he also emerged part hollow. The Vizards case was just an “artificially-forced” case of merging shinigamis/hollows by the Hogyoku (same as with hollows becoming like shinigami by being transformed into Arrancars), so I would assume Ichigo was actually the most “natural” case.

        Remember Aizen hinted that from the beginning he knew about Ichigo’s lineage, so he was expecting Ichigo to become a powerful hollow (since he conducts hollow experiments of his own). Funnily enough Aizen was disappointed when he noticed that Ichigo didn’t become a hollow, only to get massively owned by his final bankai. The full Hollow form was basically a representation of Ichigo’s raw power and instincts, which is why it looked almost just as powerful as his final bankai form (with the exception of Mugetsu/Final Getsuga since that’s more of Zangetsu).

      • March 28, 2012 at 11:55 amSeven

        That makes a good amount of sense but still has a few holes. Like final bankai, is that basically just bankai+ not the next form?

        So he’s kind of in thirds, right?
        Ichigo = Soul reaper + hollow + human
        Azain = Soul reaper + hollow + Hogyoku

        But I still don’t get how he had both fullbring and normal hollow powers now, If fullbring is just a hollow power to begin with he should not look any different because it’s just more hollow’ness in him.

      • March 28, 2012 at 10:54 pmronri

        In my opinion, the final bankai is pretty much Ichigo’s (so far) most definitive final/powerful form. The reason why it’s stronger than his full Hollow form is because it’s Ichigo finally accepting and absorbing the power of both his hollow and his zanpakuto (Zangetsu) whereas in the full Hollow form it was just the hollow going on a rampage without full cooperation with Ichigo and Zangetsu. Also just to clarify I mostly consider his Getsuga form (black flames and all) more as part of his Final Getsuga Tensho attack move from his final bankai, rather than a literal new “form”.

        I pretty much explained everything regarding the Hollow aspects so for the new stuff Kubo is bringing in with the Fullbring, honestly all I can say is that we’ll just have to wait and see how explains it. So I have no idea if Kubo will bring in the hollow powers back or whatever, but changing its design isn’t really new, as Ichigo’s hollow form as evolved both in power and appearance even back then as Ichigo grew stronger.

        I guess for now, my vague reasoning would be that the Fullbring is just a more “physical” or “material” form of Ichigo’s resonating reiatsu (hence why it looks different).

    • March 27, 2012 at 6:31 amdiaz

      I don’t believe that the hollow mask will appear again. If it appears I will consider it a plot hole.

      As we know when he fought against Aizen and when he achieved the last form of his bankai we know that zangetsu and hollow ichigo are the same. If the hollow is separated again from zangetsu it is stupid.

      I would like to see is zangetsu again and know what he has to say to ichigo after losing its powers. Is zangetsu even the same?

      • March 27, 2012 at 6:59 amSeven

        If that’s true why is the sword not fused with his hand anymore?

      • March 27, 2012 at 7:33 amderp…

        The sword is only fused when he achieves final getsuga tensho form.
        He is just over-powered right now.
        he is not super battle ghost jesus.

      • March 27, 2012 at 7:39 amSeven

        That’s not true.
        When Ichigo left the ‘in between the worlds’ place it was fused to his hand. The final form was when he was covered in black fire.

      • March 27, 2012 at 12:13 pmRyudo

        It only looked fused, but it wasn’t really. As far as I can tell he has some sort of glove on, and the chains of the sword is just wrapped around his arm up to his shoulder, not actually fused. It did fuse however when he used ‘Mugetsu’ in FGT form.

        Either way it really doesn’t matter much. His current powers seems to be in between his ‘powers gained from the training in the ‘hyperbolic time chamber (lol)’ and his old powers before that.

      • March 27, 2012 at 4:42 pmJustinnnnnn

        I’m with Seven: his sword *was* fused with his hand. No doubt about it.

        If anyone is still reading Bleach, I’d assume they’d have gotten used to tolerating so many plotholes, almost all of them done in the arrancar arc. Seriously, the appearance of his sword is moot by this point. I’m glad it’s not fused anymore: it looked outright bad. And as regards to Ichigo’d mask, it will defintly be used countless times again. You can’t expect the author to take away one of the few powers this main character has. Plus, that’d mean there’d be no Hollow Ichigo, and fans wouldn’t like that. And Kishi has always played it safe.

        And like Diaz said, Zangetsu needs to appear again. It’s so frustrating to have all these interesting characters and not let them even appear in the story. Whenever Urahara, Ichigo’s Dad or Zangetsu, by far 3 of the most interesting characters in Bleach, they only appear when plot needs them to save someone or build something. Or to give Ichigo more powers, only for him to get beat up by the next foe he fights with.

        Well, at least Bleach has been improving these last weeks, and now Nel appeared. Better late than never!

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:52 amEliteF22

    Hate how Nell is still in that damn kid form after all this time. You left out that Ivan and Luders Friegen are Arrancars and that he thinks of them all as scrap.

  • March 27, 2012 at 4:19 amBonta-Kun

    Harribel and Nel in one chapter? I have a greatly renewed interest in the manga now.

    • March 27, 2012 at 5:28 amGekokujou

      That just leaves Grimmjow. I wonder where he fits into all this.

  • March 27, 2012 at 5:09 amMixed Milkshake

    Freefall wasn’t enough for Nel, she just had to go into Super Speed Mode as soon as Ichigo has no way of avoiding her. Poor Ichigo, coughing up blood. LOL

  • March 27, 2012 at 5:19 amronri

    Okay, where do I start? Kubo didn’t need to resort to the Databook to tell what happened Hallibel, that’s just lazy writing. Oh and how this he show off how badass the new villain is? Oh right, by getting him to beat up one of the previously established strong characters. Also killing what’s-his-face felt like rather pointless. “Ohhh these guys killed an actual character! Must be serious business!” Only good thing out of this is showing Nel again.

    I’m not sure if anyone agrees with me, but I’m honestly not impressed. I much rather have preferred if Kubo stuck with Ginjo and developed him further.

    • March 27, 2012 at 5:20 amronri

      Farking hell, pardon the grammar mistakes, wrote the post really quickly but people should get the gist of it.

    • March 27, 2012 at 5:15 pmJustinnnnnn

      Don’t worry, I’m with you on every point you made.

      Lazy writing, and Nel showing up as the only real good thing lately, sums up Bleach just about right.

  • March 27, 2012 at 5:22 amAnanas

    Ah, Kubo is getting slightly better, killing off the useless characters quicker while bringing back old ones (none of them being that important anyway), wich probably means this arc will last for ages with a crapload of new characters…

  • March 27, 2012 at 6:02 amThe Concoction

    Ichigo’s gonna save Halibel and recruit her in his harem…

    • March 27, 2012 at 8:05 amPochiko

      YAY!!!! Haribel is back :D! Moar Boobs.

      Not only that but Nel. Oh god reading this chapter almost makes me have faith in Bleach again.

      • March 27, 2012 at 2:43 pmEliteF22

        Thumbs up but only on the condition if Nell ditches the kid form soon.

  • March 27, 2012 at 6:02 amjingoi

    Who gave a crap about Sasakibe? I thought he would be as strong as Yamamoto since he was his lieutenant but his first fight in series killed that assumption and he gets owned in filler as well (correct me if I’m wrong).

  • March 27, 2012 at 6:59 amYukie

    Yayy~ the arrancars are back!

  • March 27, 2012 at 8:48 amLeek

    I got the feeling that Kubo was implying in this chapter that Sasakibe had achieved bankai at some point.

    Considering Ivan had to have Ichigo activate his bankai before he could attempt to seal it, it seems they can’t seal them otherwise. Division 1 were the only people the Vadenreich fought on their way in and they never actually attacked Yamamoto, yet Sasakibe knew about their ability to seal bankai. He shouldn’t know that unless they either demonstrated their ability to seal bankai or he’s masterminding it all.

    Of course, I could be looking too deeply into it. I doubt it will ever be confirmed anyway.

  • March 27, 2012 at 9:38 amyanipheonu

    Someone DIED in Bleach.

    That’s the biggest plot twist the manga has ever had. XD

    • March 27, 2012 at 9:48 amAnanas

      Naah, villains don’t count.

    • March 28, 2012 at 12:04 amSortedeVaras

      I call bull on mustache dude being dead, Hiyori and Toshiro both got cut in half and lived, even if they claim hes dead its most likley a trick or something. Show me a body or it didn’t happen.

  • March 27, 2012 at 9:44 amcode fan

    Mmmmm. well I hope a new female shinigami takes the position of the 1st vice-captain. Kubo really needs more female characters.

    As expected of the leader of the quincy, they show no mercy to arrancar. The only question was what was Ivan. someone said he was an arrancar when he used the quincy cross.

    • March 27, 2012 at 4:45 pmKarmafan

      Don’t say that. Kubo might bring back that skinny foul mouthed Vizard (forget her name right now) as the new Lt.

  • March 27, 2012 at 10:16 amPtolemaios00

    Harribel looks…er, violated…and King-dude said “If I want Arrancar, I can just get as many as I like” while looking in on her…yea.

    Anyway, I still find it weird to hold a funeral for shinigami since they are technically dead.

  • March 27, 2012 at 1:31 pmWorldWiz

    Anyone get the ominous feeling that Soul Society will ultimately resort to freeing Aizen for his help?

    • March 27, 2012 at 1:38 pmYanDaMan

      I actually want that to happen lol.

      Then Aizen will be like ESCAPE JUST AS PLANNED.

      • March 27, 2012 at 7:26 pmAizen

        Damn right, Dr.Snakes!

  • March 27, 2012 at 1:36 pmYanDaMan

    I loved this chapter for just the fact that Harribel is alive. Come on Ichigo, hurry up and rescue her and add her to your harem already~!

    With Nel was in adult form. But we got Harribel so I cant complain :3

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:08 pmTOP2NE1

    It’s good to see Nel again, but what the hell?

    At the end of the Arrancar arc, the über powerful hollow master Aizen gets beaten. Soul Society routs the strongest hollows in existence, who have been arrancarized to boot. Absolutely nothing remains in Hueco Mondo to challenge the shinigami, nothing can keep them out, and oh yeah, the even state that Mayuri is just chilling there now and has made it his personal playground.


    How the FUCK did that happen? Why did noone notice? Why was there anything worth conquering? Soul Society didn’t as much as leave a single lookout, they just chose to up and ignore the home of their eternal bitter enemies while having them completely at their mercy?

    Letting soul devouring undead monstrosities live because they got boobs is bad enough, but to do it in such an amazingly lazy and contrived way? Really, through a data book? They should have just had Nel captured, at least that way it’s character worth caring about.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:15 pmNanashi

    Considering the inevitable team-up of HM and SS, it would seem Vandenreich will have to introduce at least 10 more opponents to satisfy the HUGE match ups required.

    • March 27, 2012 at 4:47 pmKarmafan

      Naruto is finishing up their series by bringing all the major factions that ever appeared in the series under 2 different camps (5 Kages/Bee/Naruto vs. Madara/Sasuke/Kabuto). I bet Kubo does the same thing.

      • March 27, 2012 at 5:21 pmJustinnnnnn

        Karmafan, but almost any remaining ‘enemy’ factions are dead!

        Soul Society, Vizards, Arrancars that are left (Nel, Halibel, GJ(?))…They’re all good guys now, and they’re the entire Bleach cast.

        What ‘remaining factions’ will fight them? Aizen and Riruka :P ?

        Even if Squad Zero shows up and fights the good guys for whatever reason, they’d still be new faces (I’m calling it: I wouldn’t be surprised if Ichigo’s mother is in there or related to it).

      • March 28, 2012 at 10:50 amKarmafan

        I’ve always questioned Ichigo’s mom’s role in all this. She is either a hollow that fell in love with Ichigo’s father or the Sky Kings daughter or some such thing. I doubt she was just some human housewife that fell for dad. Where would Ichigo’s hollow powers come from if not his mom’s side of the family tree?

  • March 27, 2012 at 4:37 pmLaughingMan

    Are you gonna provide your thoughts on episode 366 Prooof?

  • March 27, 2012 at 5:23 pmJustinnnnnn

    :( Why so late Prooof? Busy schedule?

    If you think you’ll take long till you finish Bleach’s final anime episode post, at least open up a page so that the followers can discuss, like Divine did with GC :)

    • March 27, 2012 at 6:42 pmProoof

      aiming for tonight

  • March 27, 2012 at 6:40 pmSortedeVaras

    Harribel alive, semi-arrancar villians. . . Aizen trolls us from prison?

  • March 27, 2012 at 7:11 pmNoub

    Welcome back Halibel <3

  • March 27, 2012 at 7:29 pmAizen

    The bankai sealing ability of these arrancars is an off-shoot of that retarded arrancar kid’s ability (you know, the one that sealed the old man’s sword).

  • March 27, 2012 at 8:53 pmXin

    Nice writeup Prooof, that’s pretty much my approach to Bleach right now as well. I definitely expect answers and weaving together all the plot points you mentioned, and whether Kubo can up his game and pull it off well will ultimately determine everyone’s final impressions of Bleach.

  • March 27, 2012 at 10:04 pmSpencer

    Wow, way to go Kubo, you finally decided to kill a “protagonist” that wasn’t in a flash back, it only took you 485 chapters to do it, to bad it happened off panel so I couldn’t relish in it.
    And I put protagonist in quotation marks because not did the character have any impact, to the point that I forgot his name, but also he was so divorced from the main story that he was one of the few characters that Kubo could kill and not lose a lot of options in storytelling. For f@#$ sake he could have killed Hanataro and it would have had more impact!

  • March 27, 2012 at 10:06 pmSpencer

    Wow, way to go Kubo, you finally decided to kill a “protagonist” that wasn’t in a flash back, it only took you 485 chapters to do it, to bad it happened off panel so I couldn’t relish in it.
    And I put protagonist in quotation marks because not only did the character not have any impact on me, to the point that I forgot his name, but he was so divorced from the main story that he was one of the few characters that Kubo could kill who really had no back story whatsoever. For f@#$ sake he could have killed Hanataro and it would have had more impact!

  • March 28, 2012 at 9:16 amAshen

    Well said, Prooof. Indeed, if all the characters left in limbo are brought back and the dangling plot lines neatly tied up, just sprinkle on some kickass fights and I’ll be happy with Bleach’s finale.