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Bleach 500 – A Challenger Has Appeared »« Bleach 498 – Don’t Despair

Bleach 499 – I Got You Now

With casualties mounting in the thousands, inexplicably overpowered opponents, no bankai, and almost no information on the enemy, the shinigami seem to be making it very clear how much they are relying on Ichigo. Urahara on the other hand is able to quickly analyze the fallen Quincy and give Ichigo some info on their abilities, including how they can power up their defense or attack directly through their blood. I definitely did not think Kirge would just die, but Urahara is surprised when what he thought was a corpse suddenly gets up and traps Ichigo in a cage all the way from Hueco Mundo. And yes, Inoue and Chad are neutralized almost instantly, again.

Perhaps Kirge should have tried that move earlier given its supposed effectiveness, but Urahara should be able to do something about that cage, and even if he can’t I find it hard to believe that a mere barrier could hold Ichigo back, especially when recalling how he destroyed an entire dimension with sheer force of spiritual power back in the Full-bringer arc. However, I do feel like Gotei 13 has other options to try (e.g. the top tier captains or Squad Zero) even if Ichigo is unable to arrive in a timely manner, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense for these new enemies to overpower them so easily. All the developments are emphasizing how critical Ichigo is to the defense of Soul Society and how lost it is without him – a notion that can get a bit ridiculous at times… a mighty organization with thousands of members and thousands of years of history and experience, saved from annihilation so many times within a short period of time by one very special teenager. Should Ichigo fail to escape soon, Soul Society may very well fall to the invaders, and we’ll get an even more protracted arc.

July 6, 2012 at 11:11 am
  • July 6, 2012 at 11:19 amP Ko

    If I don’t see Yachiru going all Yoda and kicking ass in this arc I’m going to be pissed.

  • July 6, 2012 at 11:27 amZeroHour17

    yup, saw this comming. We will see Soul Society figure something out and beat the underlings while Ichigo trains. But Ichigo is trapped, how is he going to train? He is trapped in the precipace world, where he learned the Final Getsuga Tenshou. He is going to meditate and train with Tensa Zangetsu and he is going to find a level above Bankai and break out of the trap.

  • July 6, 2012 at 11:33 amClick

    Uh-oh guys, Chad is useless! Again! Just like in every other arc!

    • July 6, 2012 at 11:57 amvirox

      Did you even read the chapter? Chad blocked about 4 arrows with his body, Urahara got hit by one and the last one managed to get through to Ichigo.

      • July 6, 2012 at 12:18 pmClick

        I find it depressing that he’s dispatched the quickest every time, no matter how much training he goes through. The guy just can’t catch a break. This is made even worse by the fact that he has been beaten outright by every major enemy (i.e. Noitoira, Shunsui) that he’s faced.

        On the bright side, he does get +1 power ups when pitted against minor characters. He’s like the Joey Wheeler of Bleach.

      • July 6, 2012 at 12:40 pmvirox

        True enough, maybe Kubo doesn’t really like his character anymore.

      • July 6, 2012 at 3:56 pmDrift

        Poor Chad. He trains so hard and fights for Ichigo yet Kubo always brushes him off.

        On the other hand, despite Orihime being useless as him, he always glorifies her and every single way possible.

        Kubo really needs to learn how to treat his male characters properly.

      • July 7, 2012 at 9:13 amd

        “Kubo really needs to learn how to treat his male characters properly.”

        Uhh, seeing as there are like two main female characters, with virtually every other powerful/well-developed character being male, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. It’s not about being male at all, Chad is just fodder.

  • July 6, 2012 at 11:59 amvirox

    I think it’s interesting that Kubo grabs back to really old and almost forgotten techniques like Ransoutengai. Spices up the story a little and makes everything feel a lot more connected.

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:14 pmeuler271

    connected? really, if you just throw miscellaneous old stuff into the plot doesnt make it more connected, if anything more convoluted, and that is not good because what I want to see is more answers, no even more questions, they just remind me of all the other characters and techniques that kudo has forgotten about after theirs respectves arcs ended.

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:34 pmAgron

    Im a cross road here. At this point and time its hard to decide which one is better. Bleach or Naruto Shippuden. (Sorry for getting off topic).
    Bleach seems like its just using plot over and over again but just with different characters involved. Naruto on the other hand has that feeling that its about to end and its reeving up the story(a bit confusing story but that’s to be expected for something that’s been running for years).

    Naruto is resolving all of its loose ends so far and even the teen angst romance is resolved while Bleach manages to through another arc out there that seems almost emotionless and cliche in its usual ichigo will save us all theme. In short naruto is throwing all it has at the viewers and making it really heartfelt at that and is full of emotion while Bleach’s finale seems no different from the many other story arcs its put out so far.
    (Again im sorry for going off topic but just wanted to state my opinion.)

  • July 6, 2012 at 12:51 pmNaske

    cliche cliche cliche cliche cliche..
    come on bleach this is your last hurrah at least go at in a bit more style D:

  • July 6, 2012 at 2:07 pmRyudo

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. The Zero Squad will appear and kick the Quincies straight back out of Soul Society when this gets too far out of hand. Marking the beginning of the final story arc revolving around them and the Spirit King.

  • July 6, 2012 at 2:11 pmLaughingMan

    I honestly didn’t expect to see Ichigo get trapped like that. Kubo’s really trying to emphasize how insane this attack on Soul Society is. Anyway I can see 2 outcomes to this fight against Kirge.
    1. Uryuu appears and takes him out, mentioning that he was worried about Ichigo and the others and arrives just in time.
    2. Grimmjow appears and kicks the shit out of Kirge (Kubo said in an interview that Grimmjow would return).

    • July 6, 2012 at 3:12 pmJustinnnnnn

      Oh man, I’d take any of those options (but judging with Bleach-logic, if you’re one of Ichigo’s best pals -Uryuu-, you’re bound to be worthless).

      If Kubo goes for the usual Ichigo-saves-the-day, I would love to see Ichigo kick reason to the curb and break all these barriers and 1-hit-KO Kirge. Much like Prooof said, Ichigo has broken through countless barriers time and time again. It’d be nice if he’d break this one now that it’s worth the trouble.

      Keep up with the good writing Prooof! I think I found some small mistakes; if you’d like to correct them:

      -(line 2)…clear how much they are relying Ichigo.
      -(line 6) Perhaps Kirge he should have…
      -(line 6)…but Urahara should be able be able to do.

      a notion that can get a bit ridiculous at times… a mighty organization with thousands of members and thousands of years of history and experience, saved from annihilation so many times within a short period of time by one very special teenager.

      Truer words were never spoken…

      • July 7, 2012 at 5:56 amProoof

        typos fixed; thanks for pointing them out

    • July 6, 2012 at 6:47 pmNadester

      I’m really rooting for the second outcome to come to pass. :D

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:21 pmSheapy

    Can’t the Visored captains just put on their hollow mask and fuck shit up? Extremely annoying how the author is completely ignoring all of the Visored.

    • July 8, 2012 at 4:00 pmAizen

      As if that’s worth anything. I’d rather not have another boring stompfest. Just get on with the Zero Squad already!

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:37 pmgawrshness

    I think that barrier is only there to serve as a way to stall Ichigo so that when he gets to Soul Society he would only see the carnage left behind by the enemy’s attack. As for Kirge…can that guy get any more annoying? And for Ichigo’s friends, it’s like they’re cannon fodder man seriously…the last time they were able to actually put up a fight against something and win was all the way back to the beginning of Hueco Mundo arc for Chad and near the beginning of story for Orihime when she successfully fought and destroyed a hollow without help. When making a group a friends the difference of strength mustn’t be so much that the others would only end up being objects with which the background is filled with…

  • July 6, 2012 at 3:58 pmDrift

    What is the point of Orihime and Chad? Other than hiding behind rocks what did they do to help DEFEAT the enemy?

    • July 6, 2012 at 4:33 pmLeo

      cannon fodder

    • July 7, 2012 at 3:36 amAnanas

      Ichigo needs friends to save.

  • July 6, 2012 at 9:50 pmArsalan

    Kenpachi can be the savior this time around. He doesn’t need a bankai to fight…

  • July 7, 2012 at 6:20 amStereoman

    Happy 100th Bleach manga post! :D

    • July 7, 2012 at 6:32 amProoof

      thanks :D I didn’t even know

  • July 7, 2012 at 7:19 amL002

    If my hopes are correct, then Ichigo may break out via using his hollow mask. Or he may go to his inner world to see Zangetsu, since he also may have gone into a new wardrobe change, the same goes for the inner world.

    I am a little shocked. With Ichigo coming in and then leaving. I have not seen a single sight of Grimmejaw, much less any other arrancar like that Afro primera Espada one.

    Then there is Nel, I wanted to see her adult form again, which is every mans’ dream, so she can fight against the big ugly quincy.

  • July 7, 2012 at 3:27 pmFeline

    Kandur where is your avatar from? I really like it!

  • July 10, 2012 at 3:33 pmLaughingMan