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Bleach 501 – Fear

Bleach Manga   501   01

There is nothing shown of unknown assailant or Urahara from the cliffhanger last week, which is rather disappointing. Ichigo also makes a grand total of zero in his progress towards breaking out of Kirge’s jail, which is also disappointing. It’s hard to understand why Kubo decided to continue that plot line at a later date, and I don’t see anything good out of breaking off readers like that and dropping the tension. Instead, we switch back to Soul Society where Byakuya and Renji continue to face off against Äs Nödt, who gets to showcase some of his skills.

The enemy always seems to have the ability to read their opponents minds regarding their abilities before giving a long description on what those abilities actually are. It’s a scene we have seen over and over again and usually takes up most of the chapter. Äs Nödt himself uses several pages to explain his own power as one that can instill “true fear” into his enemies (not an uncommon motif in fiction), and supposedly it is a fear that surpasses the normal fear that warriors feel in battle and cannot be suppressed by reason. Kubo tends to come up with increasingly crazy new powers that are grander or stranger than the last, and often arbitrarily so, but in this case the ability is actually very much in line with Äs Nödt’s nightmarish appearance (look at those eyes). Kudos to Byakuya, who is able to continue attacking and brush off the fear brought on by the thorns, at least initially. For a moment, I thought he might be able to overcome his opponent, but soon he begins to see frightening hallucinations, and one that perhaps reveals his greatest fear. The scenes he witnesses come straight out of a horror film – flesh rotting away, and hordes of bugs creeping up his body and towards his face. I’ll admit I found that stuff pretty horrifying, and no one can blame Byakuya for being momentarily paralyzed. Unfortunately that moment of weakness is enough for Äs Nödt to cut him down with the bankai medallion, leaving his fate to be resolved some other time. Hopefully that won’t be too long, but I’m willing to bet that he’s not going to die.

July 19, 2012 at 8:17 am
55 comments »
  • July 19, 2012 at 8:21 amAnimus

    That rotten Rukia was just gruesome. Ugh.

    • July 19, 2012 at 8:59 amMormegil

      More like unintentionally hilarious.

    • July 20, 2012 at 11:20 ammedigo

      of all images to grace the front page

  • July 19, 2012 at 8:26 amcaramel_cod

    So is Byakuya… actually dead?
    (Kubo killing good guys? Not likely!)

    • July 19, 2012 at 9:53 amGermanguy

      Well, lets see if the Healer Squad Captain can do something about this.. We dont saw her Bankai so far…

    • July 19, 2012 at 11:29 amAecen

      Seriously… Hiyori got sliced in frickin half and still survived. Until their is nothing ash left I won’t assume anyone died.

      • July 19, 2012 at 2:47 pmSpacyRicochet

        [Alexander Anderson's voice]
        AMEN!
        [/Alexander Anderson's voice]

      • July 20, 2012 at 3:35 amdefunktbots

        even then watch out for an aizen level shikai…

        I’ll give it to kubo, despite being pretty pissed at the cliffhanger last week, by the time this week had come around i was itching to know who or what was holding the mystery zanpakuto…

        AHHH… no reveal!!!!

        I’m getting a bit fed up of ichigos fluctuating power levels…

    • July 19, 2012 at 11:58 amZaku Fan

      Hard to say. This is the final arc so there is no need to keep anyone alive except Ichigo and even he has plot armor only until the final boss fight

    • July 19, 2012 at 1:01 pmLaughingMan

      Kubo was waving a pretty blatant death flag in this chapter, so I’m pretty sure Byakuya might actually get killed off.

  • July 19, 2012 at 8:53 amDio Brando

    as usual another weak chapter from Kubo… like the review said, nothing from Urahara, no progress from Ichigo. 2 moves for the whole chapter, one from Byakuya, one from Nodt. Final Arc from Kubo, but it gonna last for 2 years.

  • July 19, 2012 at 9:02 amPsithief

    Yep, this chapter does not disagree with my assumption that the Quincy are not stronger or tougher, blow for blow, than the Shinigami captains. They are all about specialised powers that the Shinigami do not (yet) have defences against.

    They have to win here, because overexposing their abilities to the enemy will cause them to lose. That’s why they must use every underhanded trick – to win as quickly as possible and utilise the surprise and disorder.

    Quincy, simply, are the glass cannons of the Bleach universe.

  • July 19, 2012 at 9:06 amTOP2NE1

    http://i.imgur.com/eO9MJ.jpg

    Jesus, these people. This is like Mangastream’s fiasco, congratulating Kubo before the chapter actually even gets officially released. Except here people have the balls to tell him how to write his story/threaten him on top of openly admitting to stealing his work.

    It’s also funny in the sense that they all believe Byakuya’s really dead. Granted I really hope he is, because I don’t see his appeal anyway. One less apathetically smug, too-cool-for-school pretty boy is ok in my book.

    But most of all, where the hell was the backlash for Sasakibe!? 03/28/2012 Never Forget!

    Also,
    Renji: You guys just don’t understand. I’ve been training to fight Aizen!!
    Byakuya: No man you suck. Sit back down.
    Renji: I… uhh… alright.

    • July 19, 2012 at 9:57 amGermanguy

      Well you know, these “fans” thinking that they own Kubo. Yes you read right, they acting like they have a right to tell Kubo how he doing his Manga. But they forgotten that they are Free Lechers, they dont paid for the manga in Original they “stolen” if from the INet. So, i would keep a low profile…

      And Shitstorms have become “normal” this days, too. Men i dont like the direction how the Internet Community goes.. My Naruto is better then your Ichigo!. and so on…

      @Kubo
      in case your reading here. Ignore this “wanna be fans”

      • July 19, 2012 at 10:00 amGermanguy

        or…

        How dare you, you said something against my Lovely dovly Super life Awesome Anime. I crush you Scum!!!

        *cough* SO *cough*

      • July 19, 2012 at 10:05 amGermanguy

        copy & pasted from other Blog

        FAR too many reviews sites are OMG! THIS IS THE GREATEST ANIME EVER!!!!

        I watch anime but I am long pass the phase were I watched everything there was available because after a while you realize there is a ton of mediocre series that are simply not worth the effort, the more you watch the more you start to develop something called “standards”.

        Besides I watch Oda and I enjoy it, nothing anyone says will change that were only the show can change that.

        I dont need validation of my enjoyment of a series, the big issue is when I see people that complain about someone not liking a series that seems to be they are seeking validation of their “enjoyment”, this is becoming more and more apparent with certain fanbases.

        Well, its about a Anime. But you can swap it with Manga. He is right

      • July 19, 2012 at 10:24 amTOP2NE1

        I post on Tenka Seiha occasionally so I recognize the comment. Aroduc’s pessimistic outlook on things is a funny contrast.

      • July 20, 2012 at 10:19 amAnanas

        Aroduc is more realistic than pessimistic. When you have watched too much anime (as in most anime aren’t really good, and in Bleach case quite bad) this kind of thing is bound to happen…

    • July 19, 2012 at 12:51 pmLaughingMan

      What a bunch of fucking idiots. Let Kubo write his own damn story. That’s what separates Kubo from Kishimoto: he doesn’t cater to fans and relies on fanservice.

      • July 19, 2012 at 2:42 pmSortedevaras

        Yeah except fans pay money to keep you in business and a lot of fans obviously are losing patience with Kubo. Thus Bleach’s sales are down, its tv show got cancelled and a SIDE character from Kishimoto’s series got a show to take its place.

      • July 19, 2012 at 5:01 pmLaughingMan

        1. Bleach is still selling well. Check out how much volume 55 sold:
        http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=452249
        http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=454577
        2. Who said that the Bleach anime was taken off the air permanently? For all we know it could have been put on hiatus to give Kubo more time to write more material. The reason that they didn’t make more fillers was because Kubo hadn’t shown the redesigns of the characters since the timeskip. Also, it helps Studio Pierrot save money. If Fullmetal Alchemist, GinTama, and Hunter X Hunter were able to get back on the air, Bleach should have no problem since it’s still very profitable right now.

      • July 20, 2012 at 4:04 amTOP2NE1

        @Sortedevaras

        Hmm I’ll put it this way. I don’t like some comedians. Sure I can judge their material, negatively or positively, write whatever I want about them, etc. But that’s where it stops. I don’t personally tell them they suck or fail, and even more so during their work. These twitter people are like hecklers in the audience of a comedy club. If you don’t like the show you leave. Or review it negatively later on. People have paid for the show, so let the comedian continue to do his or her work. You don’t shout out shit during the middle of their act, it’s just stupid and disrespectful.

        And unlike my above example, these awful people on twitter have clearly not paid the entertainment. There’s no way they could have.

        People may take this the wrong way, but fuck the fans. Always. I’d like to think that an author/artist/entertainer/whatever writes for his or herself and if their work is good enough, fans will follow. I hate the reverse notion where writers would instead do shit just to acquire or please fans. Because at that point, who is writing the story?

        It’s true that Kubo needs some writing partners/better storyboarders/etc. Bleach is full of characterization problems, awkward pacing, foggy concepts, etc. But you know what? This twitter shit isn’t the way to let him know. Instead it’s just a bunch of vapid, loud-mouthed jerks with warped infatuations.

        @LaughingMan

        Lol I dunno man. Kubo doesn’t exactly have the high ground when it comes fan catering and fanservice. As much as Kishimoto may squander panels on his beloved Uchiha, Kubo also delves into cheesy, pretty-boy pandering. And both seem pretty equal on their fanservice to me. Both haven’t really given any overt fanservice since their earlier, more-comedic chapters. Kishimoto may seem to slip some T&A in fight scenes, but on the other hand Kubo created Riruka.

        Also this is kind of off on a tangent but I’d say fanservice, while a shallow tool, is still a tool to be used well. It can be used to create funny, cute, sexy, or even disturbing scenes. So I don’t necessarily hate fanservice. My main gripe is that people should be written as actual characters first rather than objects.

        It’s alright if used to garnish a series. But that’s where series like Negima, HSDK, Fairy Tail, etc seem to come along and abuse it. Haven’t you ever happened across a scene intended to be taken seriously but instead some jarring and inexplicable fanservice pulls you right out of the moment? Like an upskirt during a motivational speech or something? Seriously what the fuck. You expect me to feel the emotion of “x” character’s speech when all I can see is her crotch? At least time your fanservice right. Do it during innocuous battles with nameless side characters or something. Keep it out of the vitally important moments.

        A better example of blatant abuse would be Cage of Eden. Hey ratings are down! Let’s stop fending off whatever man-eating doombeast of the day, and spend half the chapter with girls all naked and wet!

    • July 19, 2012 at 7:49 pmMormegil

      Wow. What is wrong with those people on twitter?

    • July 19, 2012 at 8:37 pmSoren

      I am sorry, but I have been massively out of the loop. What occurred with Mangastream?

      • July 20, 2012 at 12:55 amFishmaster

        A while back Mangastream congratulated Kubo on some milestone chapter via there twitter account. He followed it and found them to have release his bleach chapter earlier then it was out in Japan (most manga we read comes out almost a week early compared to Japan).

        Kubo went nuts about it and there was a giant crackdown on sites like mangastream due to this.

    • July 21, 2012 at 3:05 pmgawrshness

      I think if Tite Kubo can read English this will serve to actually fuel the guy to really do kill Byakuya even if he didn’t plan to do so originally xD

  • July 19, 2012 at 9:11 amArcad

    Lol i read this chpt last night going, I’d be willing to bet Prooof uses that picture

    • July 19, 2012 at 9:13 amProoof

      heh I usually use the scene I find the most memorable

  • July 19, 2012 at 9:49 amP Ko

    Where’s the Grimmjow reveal dammit.

    • July 19, 2012 at 9:59 amGermanguy

      Cliffhangers :)

    • July 19, 2012 at 1:02 pmLaughingMan

      Kubo wants to keep us guessing it seems.

  • July 19, 2012 at 12:41 pmLaughingMan

    Well that was unexpected. The way Kubo is setting it up, I REALLY don’t think that Byakuya’s gonna make it out of this one, especially since this chapter was waving a giant deathflag for Byakuya. If Unohana can make it in time, then MAYBE he’ll make it, but I really don’t see it happening.

  • July 19, 2012 at 12:56 pmManndoo

    i thought his sword the petals would never cut him?

  • July 19, 2012 at 1:45 pmsoursix9

    Seriously? Why is everyone freaking out over Byakuya; the wounds didn’t even look that grievous compared to most injuries in the series. I mean, come on, people have been sliced in half or had one side of their body blown off and they made it out okay!

    Byakuya’ll probably be shrugging off those wounds in the next chapter! *thumbs up* ^_^

  • July 19, 2012 at 2:13 pmDrift

    That picture gave me a heart-attack as soon as I opened RC. Not something I want to see early in the morning XDDD

  • July 19, 2012 at 2:22 pmcode fan

    Kubo is enjoying his usual trolling on his fans in two ways I am can assume, showing something interesting only when summer comes into a near end and showing a rather horrific version of Rukia. I imagine many Rukia lovers got a heart attack the moment they saw that.

  • July 19, 2012 at 3:12 pmTrombe

    Zaraki doesn’t give a single fuck about bankai and stuff but he’s not even fighting.
    Also don’t forget about Orihime healing hax power.
    Meh.

    • July 19, 2012 at 9:16 pmGermanguy

      Orihime is stuck in Huenco Mundo. And the i dont think, they have the Time right now, to open a Gate between this Worlds…

      So, all lies now on the Healing Squad

  • July 19, 2012 at 5:34 pmHutch Hutchenson

    Still no sign of pikachu…..

  • July 19, 2012 at 9:44 pmrandom viewer

    I suppose this is the biggest twist for Byakuya’s case to actually lose his cool in battle. Again Renji didn’t help much. (fingers crossed that Byakuya pulls off another Yoruichi move)

  • July 20, 2012 at 12:03 ambobon721

    Bleach. Kubo doesn’t seem to be writing to please some (or majority) of the Bleach fans. Seemingly, he wants to be different. It’s becoming his own unique style. I got nothing against that. As long as his work is remembered, it doesn’t matter if it’s remembered in a bad way. I’d go for that. It’s harder, but it’s worth the trouble. We clearly remember those who play the villains.

  • July 20, 2012 at 3:56 amtasa

    So what was Renji doing as Mr Scarecrow right out admited that he poisoned Byakuya with fear. Then stabed him in the stomach and slowly jumped into the air to hit him with his own bankia.

  • July 20, 2012 at 9:52 amGermanguy

    Guys, Renji is doing that what he was told. Stay back and Observer my fight. If i fail, you may succeed…

    He is no “Weakling”… Shesshh
    Should he Ignore his Direct Oder from his Captain?. No also. Lets hope this Enemy dont have time to invoke Renji’s deepest Fear instinct. Against Instinct you cannot defend. Just trying to battle it with Willpower…

    Well example. You are in a big Fire, you first thoughts are RUN, RUN AWAY.. But you see someone in the Fire, that you Love!!.. You must Fight your Instinct to save him/her

    See, it’s not that easy

    • July 20, 2012 at 9:54 amGermanguy

      *you must overcome your Instinct of Fear to save him/her. But it dont happens in a brink of a Eye. it needs big Willpower

      • July 20, 2012 at 3:18 pmGermanguy

        So, Kenpachi never heard the Voice of his Sword.. Well, what a shame. I am curious how he manifests in his Mind… Well ever Captain and so, can hear his Sword Voice. Except kenpachi :)

    • July 20, 2012 at 1:10 pmtasa

      I could of sworn that Renji was told to stay back until he figured out what the enemy’s power is so that they would know how to properly fight him. Renji already knew what Scarecrows ability was long before the stab to the stomach or bankia attack.

      • July 20, 2012 at 1:37 pmGermanguy

        Well, it is Kubo will, to demonstrate how “powerful” this Quincy’s are. We have to accept that. Lets Hope he dont let him Die forever. But i fear that. because it is the “last Chapter”

      • July 20, 2012 at 1:39 pmGermanguy

        I hope Kenpachi will kick some of them in their Ass, until he get Defend… Yes, even Brute Force can be defended, if you worn him out

  • July 20, 2012 at 3:08 pmaymanxa

    so i guess in the upcoming chapters we’ll see some defeat in captains lines “captains who lost their bankai” before the sword holder revealed

  • July 20, 2012 at 3:22 pmRyougaZell

    Honestly? I had forgotten about the mysterious arrival with Urahara from last week until I read this post. Damn.

  • July 20, 2012 at 6:27 pmHunterWulf

    Just wanted to say that i’m really waiting to see how the Qunciy will deal with Kenpachi .. actually he is a far better candidate to mop the floor with them than any other character (including Ichigo).. he really loves battles and he literally is fearless … and most important of all .. he is extremely powerful and he doesn’t even depend on his Bankai (let alone have one) to defeat his enemies .. i couldn’t help laughing-out-loud when he took down his opponent from the FullBringers arc with single hit .. i was like “ROTFL, OMG .. that’s Zaraki for you .. guess he was too much for you to handle XD”

    I’d really hope Kubo decides to give Zaraki some spotlight and give a big role in stopping the slaughter of soul-society people and keeping the Quincy preoccupied until Ichigo arrives .. maybe even have both of them making a counter-strike together against the Quincy.

    And i hope Kubo has a good reason why Ichigo’s Bankai can’t be stolen .. otherwise it would be a very contrived reason to make him have a role in this battle when actually Zaraki is a much better option since we know long ago that he doesn’t even have a Bankai.

    • July 20, 2012 at 6:40 pmtasa

      It’s possible that the Quincys might have another indestructable muting cage for Zaraki just like they did with Ichigo. Or teleport him to some random dimension with their shadow or teleportation spell.

      • July 20, 2012 at 7:34 pmHunterWulf

        That’s possible indeed … which actually makes me think .. they probably have been spying on Soul Society for some time and they seem to have spies among the captains and/or at least the 13 squads members .. cause they seem to know a lot about soul society while Soul Society didn’t know much about them at all .. that’s why i wonder if the Quincy already know Zaraki has no Bankai or have marked him as a potential danger to their plans like they did with Ichigo or not and Zaraki may prove to be soul-society’s trump card XD

        Also wonder what was that ability the Quincy used on the science lab team and made them kill each other (it seems like an ability similar to Nödt’s True Fear power except it makes you see your allies as enemies or something) .. can it be used on captain’s as well .. i wonder what would happen if that ability was used on Zaraki XD

        Oh .. and where is Ishida and his father ? .. wonder how they feel about the Quincy carrying retribution on soul-society for the atrocities committed against them by people like Mayuri Kurotsuchi (the explanation he gave to what he did to them -in the name of science of all things- rivals atrocities committed in WW2 by Hitler and his henchmen like Josef Mengele).

  • July 25, 2012 at 1:48 pmLaughingMan

  • July 25, 2012 at 2:29 pmKarma

    It seems Byakuya Show Spoiler ▼