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Bleach 543 – Grade A Quincy »« Bleach 451 – The Blade and I

Bleach 542 – Two Is Better Than One

Ichigo finally arrives at the moment of truth and draws out his new zanpakuto’s; it’s a pair of dual-wielded swords for extra awesomeness. The larger one in his right hand is an oversized cleaver that’s pretty similar to his previous shikai form but with a hollowed out portion in the middle, and the smaller one is more like a butcher knife with the handle built into the blade. It’s clear that design was intended to up Ichigo’s cool factor by a couple degrees (as if it wasn’t enough already), but there seems to be some parallels between his power as well. Based on the panels, I’m guessing that the right-hand blade (the “true” Zangetsu) represents Whitey, the manisfestation of Ichigo’s hollow/shinigami powers; and the smaller one is old man Zangetsu, Ichigo’s quincy powers. My interpretation is that he has accepted both sides as part of who he is, and thus both are bonded to him and manifested in his zanpakutou. There’s no information as to whether Ichigo will gain any additional abilities with these new swords, nor to what his bankai form will be like, but he’s certainly going to be significantly stronger now with his true abilities now in play. Apparently, drawing out his zanpakutou from the forge with his bare hands emanated enough power and heat to evaporate the ocean surrounding them.

Content-wise, this was a pretty short chapter with little more shown than the revelation of Zangetsu. At the end, the scene switches to Yhwach and his Stenreitter as he prepares to make an announcement, and I assume, to begin preparing the next stage of his plans.

June 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm
  • June 19, 2013 at 11:05 pmderprito

    Kurosaki Kirito gonna go dual wield some noobs

    • June 20, 2013 at 6:39 pmPsithief

      Don’t call his swords noobs, they’ll cut you. :D

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • June 19, 2013 at 11:09 pmSwarz

    The small sword is called a “dussack”. It seems to be a German word. So, I’m guessing that your assumption is most likely correct.

    BTW, is it only me who thinks that, Ichigo’s new powers might be related to fire.

    Anyway, I’ll welcome anything new other than good ol’ Getsuga Tenshou. :)

    • June 20, 2013 at 4:08 amLuxor

      Fire? Maybe that’s why Kubo killed off old man Yamamoto: to make room for Ichigo’s own latent fire abilities.

      Also, with all these German words, I think Kubo’s changing the original meaning behind Ichigo’s Buddhist swastika into the… German one. Then again, Kubo might be playing it safe by swapping out the old swastika-katana because it might be a touchy subject on Japanese TV (since the German connection is all the more obvious now).

      We all know how much Kubo liked going overboard with the heavy Spanish motif until recently and is now switching to German. Coincidentally, Shingeki also has a heavy German motif. :3

      • June 20, 2013 at 10:46 amMako

        well I think Kubo uses 3 naming conventions, like japanese for shinigami, spanish for hollow ralated stuff and german for quincy.

      • June 20, 2013 at 7:04 pmDSSeraph

        It’s not a “Japanese Swastika” however, It’s a Manji, a very holy symbol in the Buddhist/Shinto religion, and it’s existed hundreds if not thousands of years longer than Hitlers perversion has. Hitler simply saw the symbol, liked the way it looked, and reversed it (yes, look at a Manji vs. a Swastika, they face opposite directions) to use as the symbol for his armies.

        So, long story short, they aren’t “playing it safe” by removing the Manji, because there are no negative connotations attached to it, in fact, in Japan, a primarily Shinto/Buddhist nation, it was actually a GOOD symbol, not a bad one.

      • June 21, 2013 at 7:02 amLogan

        Thanks DSSeraph very insightful.

    • June 21, 2013 at 2:36 amSain92787

      Then the long sword is a Shinigami style blade that has been “hollowed” out.

  • June 19, 2013 at 11:18 pmOtakuBrawler

    We all knew this was coming, no sword wielding main character is complete without some dual wielding action.

    • June 20, 2013 at 12:43 amHakumen

      Ichigo’s new attack: Getsugaburst Stream

      • June 20, 2013 at 11:54 amCelecia01

        I reckon we’re in for double Getsuga at some point.

    • June 25, 2013 at 11:20 amNoSicko

      Hey, wait a minute!

      Kenshin Himuro did just fine with a single sword. And a reverse-blade sword at that!

  • June 19, 2013 at 11:32 pmgawrshness

    Ooooh mai, kudos to the guys who expected him to become a dual wielder. Though I think he’ll need dual wield training now…most likely from either or both of the dual wielding captains. I hope his new zanpakuto isn’t going to be limited to various forms of getsuga like Naruto’s bazillion types of Rasengan.

    • June 20, 2013 at 1:34 amWatermelon

      Now there is speculation that these swords will be able to combine into bow. We’ll see.

      • June 20, 2013 at 3:36 ambobon721

        Both the sword and the dagger are a bit too straight to combine into a decent bow, unless they change first, or the sword may change into a bow and the dagger into an arrow. However, that would make it a one-shot bow. The dagger may be for parrying.

    • June 20, 2013 at 6:41 pmGekokujou

      Well, I did mention last week that he may dual-wield, but not this quick.

  • June 19, 2013 at 11:32 pmTakurannyan

    inb4 his skill is still Getsuga Tensho…

    • June 19, 2013 at 11:34 pmPsithief

      Well, it does run in the family, so I don’t see why not.

      That doesn’t mean it’s the only move though, just what’s been available to Ichigo so far.

      • June 20, 2013 at 4:57 pmCaptain Sunshine

        Still though, 500 chapters in and it’s still his only move.

      • June 21, 2013 at 11:02 amsortedevaras

        Well now he can (presumably) do two of them maybe. . . I guess I could almost count that as a new ability . . .kinda.

  • June 19, 2013 at 11:33 pmPsithief

    High fives to anyone who called it.

    I’m glad to be seeing the last of Nimaiya’s helpers. Only a few chapters and they’ve already outstayed their welcome. :)

    I have to wonder at what Ichigo’s new fighting style will be, given the lengths of the blades are so mismatched. Are they supposed to fit together, somehow?

    • June 20, 2013 at 7:21 amKarma

      Smaller one works as a parry to whatever attacks are missed by his long sword.

    • June 20, 2013 at 11:06 amtotally_absurd

      It’s traditional actually. If there’s a second sword it’s usually smaller, because it’s an addition that’s not always used.

  • June 19, 2013 at 11:46 pmJuxt

    So, Soul Society has 3 twins sword wielders now?… well, Ichigo’s swords are not exactly twins… i think…

    • June 20, 2013 at 12:40 amL002

      Ever seen Buso Renkin, I have a feeling that Ichigo’s short sword may have the same power as the version 2 Sunlight Heart, or it can be have the same effect as Asuma’s (naruto) special blades. At the very least, it obviously has Ichigo’s quincy powers, so we can imagine Ichigo can fire quincy arrows.

    • June 24, 2013 at 5:54 amsoursix9

      Four, actually. Ukitake, Kyoraku, Shuhei, and now Ichigo.

  • June 20, 2013 at 12:51 ambarano

    Ship war ended, shippers can go home. The official couple of Bleach is Ichigo x Zangetsu(s).

  • June 20, 2013 at 1:03 amK

    Fucking Beater!

  • June 20, 2013 at 1:47 amPaulito

    The end of bleach can’t come any sooner? The mystery behind his mothers death and his own powers was tiny compared to the filler arcs Bleach gets.
    Was hoping this ordeal would make Bleach interesting again, but what we’ve now got is a main character that REQUIRES countless training arcs, now receiving his powers and suddenly plot wise a dual wielding master (cause this is end game, noobs get out.) Yeah, great work Kudo.

    • June 20, 2013 at 1:51 amanon

      Well, we still don’t know anything about the Soul King.

  • June 20, 2013 at 3:41 amZero Hour 17

    I’m not too crazy about the new sword designs really, but hopefully this is just Shikai and his Bankai will look better.

    Also, what happened to his Zanpakuto being white? I guess he could of been speaking philosophically about the inner hollow, but meh, was expecting a white Zanpakuto and a costume change.

    • June 20, 2013 at 7:16 amLogan


      • June 20, 2013 at 7:46 amZero Hour 17

        Yes bankai. This is more than likely Shikai because that will allow for another power up during the future fights.

    • June 20, 2013 at 8:37 pmBNV

      It’s funny because way back in bleach when ichigo got his shikai after urahara busts ichigo’s soul chain, I didn’t like ichigo’s large butcher knife sword. It took me a while to like it and now history’s repeating itelf with Ichigo’s dual swords. The swords are okay– one is slick (whitey’s sword) while the other looks like an abnormally large pocketknife. I like Kubo’s interpretation though, and proof is right about the sizes of ichigo’s swords are based on his hollow and quincy powers.
      I’m still confused though who the heck is tensa zangetsu? Was he an even younger version of Juda Bach?

  • June 20, 2013 at 7:26 amGuren

    Now he’ll start firing ceros with the eyes and Getsuga Tensho with a swing of his tongue. In my opinion, that was Ichigo’s most easily aquired power-up, though it took quite a blow drama-wise. But knowing that this is probably the last (not-hollow) form that we will see makes me kind of sad. I know that Bleach is coming to an end, i just hope that it leaves a good impression…

  • June 20, 2013 at 7:34 amAnanas

    Too much SAO for Kubo.

  • June 20, 2013 at 8:55 amion52

    I don’t mind him getting a new sword, or two, but this entire chapter was pretty much those guys just staring at awe at Ichigo’s new weapon. In context, Bleach chapter is actually pretty short if you combine certain chapters together.

  • June 20, 2013 at 10:37 amYanDaMan

    Totally joked about Ichigo getting 2 Zanpakutos and becoming a dual wielder a few chapters back. Lo and behold.

    This chapter had Persona 4 written all over it.

    “You are me”
    *Ichigo accepts his inner shadow, Ichigo gains the Zangetsu Persona*

    • June 20, 2013 at 12:13 pmCrook

      Now I face out
      I hold out
      I reach out to the truth of my life seeking to seize on the whole moment, yeah

  • June 20, 2013 at 10:51 amK C M

    I can’t wait to see his bankai.

  • June 20, 2013 at 11:58 amCelecia01

    It reminds me of what Unohana said about utilizing both hands in combat, hopefully by doing this Ichigo will be able to do some damage to the Quincies. So, now that Ichigo has these new swords does that mean he retains the powers from before? I can’t wait to see his new Bankai but then, as Zangetsu was a lie, does that mean he no longer has Bankai and needs to master it anew? Whatever the case, look forward to see it in the future and I can easily imagine these dual blades being used in clever ways, such as to form a Getsuga bow and arrow of some sort.

    Also, I’m interested to see how Renji has developed after going on ahead with the training/trials, and what part Uryu has to play in Juha’s plans.

  • June 21, 2013 at 5:03 amSpeculatingSpectator

    The dual wielding is a bit reminiscent of Whitey’s dual blade arms to me

  • June 21, 2013 at 7:12 amMagoiichi

    Dual Wielding muhahahahahhaa

  • June 21, 2013 at 8:18 amNix

    I’m surprised that no one has said anything about how the new Zangetsus 1.) Look a lot like Cloud Strife’s Fusion Swords. Just look at Advent Children when he separates the swords and dual wields. 2) Like Cloud’s sword, I am going to say that Ichigo will combine both Zangetsus when he does Bankai. I like to think that my brain is already in-tuned with Kubo predictability ^_^

  • June 21, 2013 at 12:21 pmspikerman87

    “There were no lies.”

    Yes there were Kubo. Yes there were.

  • June 21, 2013 at 8:14 pmEbisu

    Ichigo, you are a true samurai :P It looks like a katana-wakizashi pair so he’ll be fighting in Niten Ichi-ryū style more than dual-wielding :D I guess every sword will have a different power, for more awesomeness.

  • June 22, 2013 at 5:37 amCarter305

    Don’t know if anyone has already suggested this theory or not, but I’m gonna throw it out there anyway… I have a strange feeling that Yachiru (little pink-haired girl always riding on his back) has been Zaraki’s zanpakto the whole time, and he just didn’t know it. I mean, what do we really know about her other than that he found her alone in the forest, and her name isn’t even really Yachiru, Zaraki named her that…

    • June 23, 2013 at 9:07 amPsithief

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that’s had that theory.

  • June 22, 2013 at 10:06 amKenbu

    now.. is that shikai or bankai?

  • June 22, 2013 at 3:10 pmM

    If you wanna see some action
    Gotta be the center of attraction
    Make sure that they got their eyes on you, like the face that you see on every magazine

    Be the focus of attention
    Be the name that every one must mention
    Come out from the shadows, it’s your time, ’cause tonight is the night for everyone to see

    It’s natural
    You know that this is where you gotta be, it must be your destiny
    And you believe that, this is what you’ve waited for and it’s you that they all adore, so baby

    Now you feel like number one
    Shining bright for everyone
    Living out your fantasy, the
    Brightest star for all to see


    Anyway, my wild guess of the day is that these soul cutters will actually have a sealed form, and while the bigger will seal into a katana, the bigger will seal into quincy’s cross. I know that doesn’t make sense, but would be awesome.

  • July 20, 2013 at 11:31 pmAshen-phoenix

    I’m sad little Tensa Zangetsu didn’t get a mention in this joining of all Ichigo’s pointy brethren. Unless I’m severely misremembering events, that absence makes no sense to me.

    Anyway, based on the spelling of his name, I keep wanting to call Yhwach “Ewok” and just be done with it.