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Bleach 554 – Old Dog, New Tricks

Bleach Manga   554   01

The way this chapter put it, the whole bankai-stealing medallion trick just met an abrupt end. From Yhwach’s words, it seems like that was just a distraction and a way to toy around with the captains, and now it’s been discarded for other shock and awe powers. The Sternritter’s grand plan is obviously very long and complex, and so far everything is still going as expected for them. Hitsugaya (and I’m assuming Soifon as well) has finally collapsed from his wounds, but no doubt they aren’t dead yet. All their training and abilities seem to have been for naught, as Cang Du and BG9 are alive still and ready to use their “real power”, Vollstandig, along with the other quincy. This has been shown to a minimal degree previously, but I assume it’s something similar to shikai. The Sternritter seem to have abandoned all the old quincy techniques that Uryuu used in the past, so we’ll probably be seeing a lot of new ones. These guys are extremely strong, and to be honest I’m not sure even Zero Squad or Ichigo will be able to faze them too much, as Yhwach is probably aware of what they are truly capable of and what they will do. Kenpachi is a bit of wildcard though; after all, he did slaughter three Sternritter singlehandedly, with his eye-patch on and no power-ups whatsoever. If anyone can put a dent into quincy ranks right off the bat, it would be him.

Right now though, some of the other captains have joined the fight. Shinji and Komamura confront Bambietta, who makes a tongue-in-cheek point about how they showed up to the battle a little early. Since the strongest characters and abilities always show up late (once a trump card is needed for either side), this sort of confirms that Shinji and Komamura are still a little low on the tier-list. This is despite them gaining new skills: the ability for Shinji to reverse his own words, and some shiny new armor for Komamura. I sure hope they have some other tricks they haven’t revealed yet, since that alone is unlikely to beat Bambietta, who seems to be one of the stronger Sternritter. Shinji should have tried to do some damage while she was confused from his shikai, but instead he spent all of his initial advantage explaining what his ability does. Hopefully the effect from his shikai is still working; else he will be forced into using bankai and hollow form very soon. Even with Komamura’s power up however, it would be surprising if the two of them achieved much more than a temporary upper hand before getting overpowered by something new. At this point, they just don’t have the potential to actually kill one of the Sternritter.

October 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm
58 comments »
  • October 23, 2013 at 9:09 pmanon

    I really hope they don’t make Komamura useless/kill him off/lose horribly

    He’s never really gotten to do much of anything really.

    • October 24, 2013 at 4:19 amLogan

      Komamura will never be useless, even if he is on the lower tier list of powerful captains he is still a highly respectable captain among the gotei 13, Hirako though, jesus, did you see how that guy holds his word? on figure barely hanging with it as he spins it. Sadistic bastard.

    • October 24, 2013 at 6:36 amUngas123

      Sorry to say this but we’ll get another useless chapter thanks to Komamura… He’ll easily get defeated anyway.

      But, we have Shinji anyway, so the next chapter may be not bad.

      • October 24, 2013 at 7:13 pmSortedeVaras

        Those two together can only mean one thing, someone is going to give us flashbacks next week. :p

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:18 pmCombi

    First panel from the last page: “From here on out, it becomes true despair”… It just reminds me to Evangelion, is it just me?

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:18 pmYanDaMan

    Bambietta is slowly winning me over.

    Add her to Ichigo’s harem already.

    • October 24, 2013 at 2:03 amSortedeVaras

      So you mean you want her to vanish from the story like the other girls in his harem?

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:27 pmLK

    Endless powerup and no payoff.

    • October 24, 2013 at 1:49 amSortedeVaras

      At least we get a villain who says “just as planned” again.

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:35 pmdudeinthesea

    I honestly miss Kubo’s earlier works (including the earlier bleach volumes) where his stories were more humor-oriented and character-focused. Now the whole thing is just stuck in your typical power-up trap.

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:45 pmEmD

    Bambietta needs to survive this war.

    She and Ishida can repopulate the Quincy through hatesex or something idk

    Sternritter “E” for The Explosion…in my pants.

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:46 pmlivevoid

    “I predicted it”
    Sorry Yhwach. It just doesn’t have the same ring as
    “All according to plan”

    • October 24, 2013 at 4:07 pmAnnon

      inb4 Aizen goes, I PLANNED THIS SO ZERO DIVISION WILL LEAVE SOUL KING ALONE WITH MEEEEEE.

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:48 pmHorus

    One thing Bleach never fails at: making hot enemy girls.

    Hot Hollow chicks? Check
    Hot Bount chicks? Check
    Hot Quincy chicks? Check

  • October 23, 2013 at 9:50 pmTez

    No mention of the reveal in the last panel. The page notes a said a call from Ichigo, but Urahara has never called Ichigo “Kurosaki-san” he always uses “kun”. Either this is a mis-translation or it’s actually Ichigo’s dad on the phone.

    • October 23, 2013 at 10:42 pmGer

      He’s always called him “Kurosaki-san”. Orihime is the only one who calls him “Kurosaki-kun”.

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:00 pmbakakubi

    Seriously, wtf bleach, wtf. Yet I’ll still keep reading you each week, lol.

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:07 pmSpike

    “We Stole Your Bankais but we knew you’d steal them back, so ha!” This writing has gotten so fucking stale. You can only go with “Just as Planned” when you build up your character to be intelligent like say Light Yagami. Even then, using it all the time is retarded and a cop out. Bleach has fallen so far from Rukia Inprisonment Arc.

    • October 24, 2013 at 1:59 amSortedeVaras

      When I read them basically saying: “oh we really wanted you to steal your bakais back,” I almost flipped my desk. Way to waste months of time.

      • October 24, 2013 at 2:15 amReverseTales

        Next, they’re going to use a trap card to start a seriously long chain of spell/trap cards, of which the final (intended) result will be to kill the shinigami and recycle their corpses for some pointlessly complex goal. Which they could have achieved simply by continuously nuking SS from “the shadows”.

        Or the bankai’s were meant to be souvenirs. On the offhand chance that Urahara didn’t figure out how to get them back, the Quincy would have kept their toys and be able to pretend that they’re Ichigo, who is basically half-everything.

        I don’t know, brainstorming time! Come up with the most ridiculously plausible ideas, everyone!

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:11 pmAndré

    Bleach is now just a sequence of Deus Ex Machinas…

    We got one in chapter 553, one now in chapter 554 and in chapter 555 we will get another with Ichigo coming back.

    This is getting pretty stupid.

    • October 27, 2013 at 8:35 amLaughingMan

      Do you even know what a Deus Ex Machina is? Or are you just spouting buzzwords in an attempt to sound intelligent?

      • October 29, 2013 at 7:34 amAndré

        Sorry, but I have an academic degree in Literature, so, yeah, I think that I know what I’m talking about.

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:14 pmKentaiyoshimi

    This is getting stupid. There was absolutely no point in stealing the bankais. It gimps the Quincies power and the captains were going to get it back anyways. What was the whole point then?

    And Shinji hasn’t learned what happens when you explain your abilities. Apparently, he has completely forgotten about what happened with Aizen.

    And the endless cycle of one sided trumps is getting ridiculous and tedious.

    • October 23, 2013 at 10:45 pmspikerman87

      The only point I can see is Juha Bach stole Yamamoto’s Bankai, but instead of using it to fry everyone immediately he’s going to wait 9 days because…irony? I don’t know.

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:57 pmPsithief

    Is there any possible answer to “What does Yhwach actually want? that would satisfyingly explain this circuitous route of not killing every Shinigami?

    The Sternritter are on a mission to terrorise, not annihilate.

    • October 23, 2013 at 11:58 pmLone Wanderer

      Revenge?

    • October 24, 2013 at 1:49 amKarma

      Revenge. That’s pretty obvious considering the past events towards the Quincy.

    • October 24, 2013 at 4:23 amLogan

      remember the 9 days poem?

      • October 24, 2013 at 4:46 amPsithief

        The translation I’m looking at says ‘Conquered the World Nine Days Later’.

        Objective Revenge:
        • Kill Yamamoto – check

        Objective Conquer:
        • Terrorise shinigami – check
        • Haphazardly throw minions at Seretei <- this is the part I'm missing here
        • ? Rule everything for a day
        • ? Die at the exact end of those 1000 years after being sealed
        • ? Have Uryuu inherit throne

  • October 23, 2013 at 11:10 pmK C M

    Do we get to see Ichigo next week, based on how this episode ended.

  • October 24, 2013 at 12:06 amgawrshness

    sooo Bleach logic; just because quicy chick is powering up it means she is no longer affected by Sakanade. Screw this, even Aizen couldn’t power his way out of that one, he actually managed to adjust to it and hot headed silly girl here is in no way at Aizen’s level.

    • October 24, 2013 at 1:51 amKarma

      Why are you assuming she’s not under Sakanade? There’s not a single panel that implies that. You don’t really need to know the correct direction, when you’re just kinda standing.. doing the power-stance…

      • October 24, 2013 at 2:05 amReverseTales

        Since she’s under Sakanade’s effect, when she’s doing that power up stance, how does she feel? I mean, the energy flows upwards right? But under Sakanade’s effect, shouldn’t that feel like it’s going the other way? Like diarrhea or something. Wouldn’t that make her even more nauseous?

      • October 24, 2013 at 6:33 amgawrshness

        I’ll let you see for yourself next week.

  • October 24, 2013 at 12:08 amWildy

    previous previous previous previous chapter : bad guys win
    previous previous previous chapter : good guys win
    previous previous chapter : bad guys win
    previous chapter : good guys win
    current chapter : bad guys win
    next chapter : kurosaki somehow got a show, good guys win
    next next chapter : some badder ass guy come out, bad guys win
    next next next chapter : kurosaki somehow powered up, good guys win
    next next next next chapter : boss fight, bad guys win
    …………… this is getting very old with 1 side win per chapter with simplified version and some fancy “words”

    • October 24, 2013 at 12:40 amMartianMage

      Well that has been Bleach’s formula for a looong time now. It doesn’t take much to guess that the Quincies will do a powerup this episode. Next chapter will prolly be about Shinigamis revealing another trump card then it’s the Quincies turn again… <_<

      • October 24, 2013 at 9:19 amLinkark07

        Quincy: Trap Card Activate.
        Shinigami: I’ll deny your trap card with my quick play spell card.
        Quincy: Oh no you won’t. Your quick play spell card will be denied by my quick play spell card which in turn will deny your deny of my trap card.
        Shinigami: I say otherwise. I’ll use a trap card which will deny your quick play spell card which denied my quick play spell card.
        Quincy: Wait. My monster effect denies your trap card.

        *Continue with the endless cycle.

    • October 25, 2013 at 1:09 pmHaseo

      Im just waiting for Ichigo to finally go super sayian.

  • October 24, 2013 at 1:23 amgrt

    shounen hero, do you see what happened if u dont double tap a seemingly powerless enemy?
    yeah im looking at you hitsugaya. LOL

  • October 24, 2013 at 3:40 amswordhack4

    I’m starting to think I’m only reading for Bambietta now. Funny, Sadistic, Bitchy, Uncaring as fuck….Yup, new favorite girl.

  • October 24, 2013 at 4:17 amAdolmaea

    Sorry, but I think this is incorrect, to think that bankai-stealing was useless. My point is – what Shinigami have been doing all the time after losing their trumph card? Well, some new technics – so far not of much use. Only Mayuri seem to make some progress. And, as always, Urahara – by returning bankais.
    So, if Sternritters hasn’t steal bankais, thet Urahara or some other useful shinigami might have come up with some plan, effectife against Quincy. Instead, they were working on a thing, useless from the very beginning. Only because they were thinking, that Sternritters fears bankais and consider them a threat.
    But at appears wrong and now shinigami don’t have any ways to fight against Quincies. There is exception of Zaraki – but he alwaus was an exception)
    Sorry for my bad english, still learning it.

  • October 24, 2013 at 8:32 am7godeohs

    So what is Ishida doing through all this? I guess he doesn’t have much of a stake in the fate of the shinigami since he wasn’t very close with the captains or anything, but he doesn’t seem very (if at all) bothered by this. Also, I wonder why Bach chose Ishida – he doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of power when compared to the other Quincys and his analyticaly skills are unknown.

    btw, Bach has to be Aizen’s father – their “Just as planned” line has to be genetic.

  • October 24, 2013 at 9:21 amThe Dark One

    and a power up here and a power up there
    power here power there power power everywhere
    good ol’ Bleach never ends
    eei eei ooh

  • October 24, 2013 at 10:00 amLaughingMan

    Admittedly it is pretty farfetched that the Quincies would steal their Bankai if they had Volstandig all along. However, it could be that they stole the Captains’ Bankai as a diversion so that the Shinigami would place more time in trying to get their Bankai back rather than coming up with proper countermeasures to Volstandig. If that’s the case then I can understand that.

    • October 24, 2013 at 10:28 pmNUE

      That’s not the case. In their seconed trip to the Soul Society, the Quincies plan was to wipe out the Shinigami by stealing their Bankai and using it against them. But they retreated because of the Royal Guard(Read Ch.511). Yhwach knows everything about the Gotei 13 but doesn’t know anything about the Royal Guard. So they retreated and got prepare( Volstandig)for the Royal Guard.

      • October 25, 2013 at 4:04 amAdolmaea

        But why, in Your opinion, it can’t be both? After all, Sternritter hasn’t wiped out all the remaining shinigami officers. Even while they weren’t dead, Yhwach had already consider Soul Society destroyed.
        And there is nothing about actual plan of Yhwach, considering Zero Division. Exterminating, gathering intel or something. Correct, if I wrong with the last assumption. If he was planning fight against – then there is no info about using Volstandig, while having medallion with bankai. Will it be enough to just throw it away?

      • October 25, 2013 at 2:06 pmNUE

        Ok, I did more research on this and apparently the Quincy has been using the Vollstandig the entire time in the 2nd trip to the Soul Society. The reason why the Quincy wanted to steal the Bankai was to make the massacre easier. Which makes sense because the Quincy fought them before and lost.

      • October 25, 2013 at 4:23 pmspikerman87

        He has an “I win button” called Yamamoto’s Bankai.

  • October 24, 2013 at 3:26 pmSeishowmeu

    The Full Bringer’s will make an appearance just remember! Not to mention the rest of the Vizards although it is highly unlikely that either one of these groups will cause the Sternritter’s any serious problems let alone defeats. But to say the Zero Squad will have no effect or “kills” I find that hard to believe. This only shaping up for the big Ichigo vs Yhwach fight in which he [Yhwach] will undoubtedly put Ishida out front to soften Ichigo up while at the same time prove his loyalty. It will be interesting if Mayuri’s modification [from first trip to hueco mundo] on Ishida finally kicks in or is at least revealed.

  • October 24, 2013 at 3:51 pmlune

    Nice ending the call from Ichigo I wonder what he has to say that could change the battle I hope he get there soon I want see him in action!

  • October 24, 2013 at 5:35 pmedo

    If these quincy were so freakin strong, how the hell did they lose last time?

    • October 24, 2013 at 5:55 pmKeranu

      That’s like asking how did a bodybuilder, who was skinny last year, bulk up and beat you this year. He trained and learned -_-

  • October 24, 2013 at 8:34 pmYogo

    I take it no one enjoyed this chapter from reading these comments e.e. I sure did, any chapter with Shinji is a good chapter :). Also, the war is finally getting more varied, like there’s actually some hot gang-bang action going on with Bambietta! :o

  • October 24, 2013 at 8:40 pmiion42

    PLEASE, do not make Komamura lose again. He’s one of the most awesome captains of the series, in terms of design, personality and raw power. He’s had only one kickass moment and that was against a lowly arracnar. He needs better moments.

  • October 27, 2013 at 3:20 amorkinlort

    Quincy Vollstandig = Quincy’s version of Bankai. Since they used Vollstandig first, they’re destined to lose to the captains.

  • October 27, 2013 at 10:23 pmCorey Lucas

    I told you guys Bleach just went full retard! LOL