This week’s chapter of Bleach is maddening. I could have cared less about Hitsugaya’s new special move since I’m pretty sure Harribel will find a way to break free, but I was very happy to see that Soifon is finally getting ready to show off her bankai. The part that really drives me crazy is that she doesn’t utter the words “bankai” until the very last panel of the last page, meaning that it might be next chapter or later that we see what it actually is. This is nothing new of course since Bleach has had its share of cliffhangers and plot twists, but for some reason this part with Soifon really bothered me. Maybe it’s because the recent anime episode highlighted for me how slowly the story goes from that point to now (30 chapters, over half a year ago), and I want the really big things to happen at a faster pace. Anyway, chapters like this are the reason I love Bleach, but they’re maddening all the same.

80 Comments

  1. Bleach hasn’t been good since the Soul Society arc, it’s a huge problem when even the story in Naruto progresses faster than Bleach’s does. Everything right now is being stretched so thinly with multiple character fights in a single chapter to anti-climatic cliffhangers (Hitsugaya going “lol never tried this before” being a recent example) is making me ride the internet rage train pretty hard.

    Nick
  2. i have a feeling she’ll regrow her arm back or something like that somehow. chopping her arm off seems way sudden, jus like how that cliffhanger a few chapters ago with hitsugaya getting his arm and then some chopped off was jus an illusion =/

    Mega250
  3. ohhh I should start reading the manga again (I quit cuz I couldn’t wait for just 1 chapter a week) I guess I’ll start reading when school ends, gonna have anime/manga marathon^^

    ConfusedGirl29
  4. haha talking about maddening… no choice wait lor, that’s what’s kubo’s like anyway…

    well hitsugaya was great, and maybe those top 3s should hab ‘segunda etapa’ like ulquiorra… man that would be cool…

    kaineng
  5. Oh man I was pissed as shit about her Bankai. Why on earth Ichigo has to go FULL FUCKING HOLLOW to beat Num-4 but that little kid and this one arm bitch can win against 2nd and 3rd Espadas this easy? I understand they need their shining moments but holy mother of god, this is beyond stupid. Going from ichigo that destroyed vice captains bare-handed and beating one captain after another in soul society to this horse shit is something I can not comprehend.

    Hitsugaya has the power of Fan-girls, I understand that but why is she winning against the Second Espada this easy? Why even have Espadas if all they’re good for is losing? why why WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

    N97
  6. Soi Fon didn’t have Bankai, right? Like she took the place that Yoruichi left, Soi Fon took the Captain seat, maybe learnt by that time.

    So it would like be 1 hit kill attack, now? xD But agaisnt… Barragan “death himself”, maybe it stun/paralyze/poisoning to be unable to fight.

    zerojad
  7. Yeah, well. This is Bleach, and we walked into the cumulation of two large sides fighting each other. Yes, its taking forever and a bloody day. But two page fights wouldn’t exactly amuse me either, and I prefer forever and actually seeing the battle than ‘wham bam who is dead ma’am?’
    To those who don’t like it, there is plenty else to read.
    @redX, Kinmu04, and everyone else who is actually liking this development, I am right there with you.
    @baka~, zerojad: Its been stated that every captain except Zaraki has a bankai (as well as a few associated lieutenants). So we know that everyone wearing a captain insignia has one. We just haven’t seen most of them. (Um, let’s see… of the captains, we’ve seen, what, six? Out of twelve. Meaning half of them are still complete unknowns, and we aren’t completely sure what the lady commanding Squad 4 whose name I cannot properly spell this late at night’s does aside from heals people it ingests. Or something. It only showed in the background. Way back, too, so not using the spoiler tag.)
    @N97…
    You know what? Nevermind. I don’t know where to start.

    Firseal
  8. Soi Fon revealing her Bankai: Hallelujah!
    Hitsugaya and special move: honestly, like I care. But if he ended up dead (which I couldn’t be bothered either), fans in Japan will scream at Kubo-sensei like hell.

  9. No one but Ukitake, Shunsui, Urahara, Isshin, and the Vaizards interest me atm in Bleach. With the exception of Shunsui, everyone else is… well, missing.

    Well I’ll give Soi Fon the benefit of the doubt, a new Bankai is always a pleasing experience.

    twilighthack
  10. Kubo Tite has an annoying habit of making his chapters so short its almost not worth it to read it every week. I’ve personally stopped reading it many times because I got tired of the broken up fights and I actually enjoyed it more when I read story arcs in one go. I personally think Claymore is a good example of how to do chapters. Dialogues are usually finished in one chapter or just split into half like their fights. I know that there is a difference in the schedules but Bleach might actually benefit from having larger chapters every month.

    CannonBeast
  11. I keep getting images of some Macy’s Day parade balloon shaped like a giant bumble bee. I mean, she tied herself to that building. She must be worried about floating away. =D

    Ahnlay
  12. *Still realing from the death of Ulquiorra*
    How could you kubo How could you!

    anywho, yeh this is annoying, all this i bet to build up to the climax of,
    soifon:-you know that breath attackk which kills us?
    Espada:- yehhh, you mean …
    Sofion:- ah ah ah ah, BANKIA
    *POOF* tiny bee appears and proceeds to sting espada
    Espada:- ~_~’ that it?
    Sofion:- Yep, of by the way forsome reason all hollow/arrancar/espada are allegic to bees
    espada :- -_-‘ i hate you
    *Poof* espada dissapears
    *poof* soifon arm reapears* -_-

    Xgen
  13. Hitsugaya, win? Lolwut? Divide by zero.

    Anyway yea, though it is to be expected they would end it like that. A friend of mine also mentioned that the last Ban Kai to be revealed was really quite a long while ago, so I guess they wanted you to really anticipate this new one, especially from someone whose Shi Kai is a “hit-you-in-same-spot-twice-lol-j00-die” thing.

  14. Is it me or is the showing off of both Hitsu and Soi Fon’s power a little late. The way I see it is that they still have to die or be seriously crippled in order for the other characters to intervene.

    It’s probably because the odds are stacked against Aizen, and we still haven’t seen his Bankai. I get the feeling that he will either have to pull new espada out of no where, or that the current ones are just that strong that the Captains have little chance to win.

    Oz
  15. Bleach is sooo slow. I finish reading bleach under 2-5minutes. its like stare, stare, talk, fight, stare, stare. lol. I prefer One piece now since its soo much more interesting.

    joe
  16. Hahaha, maybe when the anime eventually catches up to the manga (in a couple of decades), they’ll play “flight of the bumblebees” as Soifon releases here bankai. XD

    But, personally, I think she cannot control her bankai yet. Since shes the captain of the squad famous for assassination, her bankai might be something that just kills everything in its path. That’s why she tied herself to the pillar — doesnt want the damage to go out of the control perhaps. (After all, any property damages caused by her would come out of her pay-cheque next payday)

    Tissu3.Tim3
  17. I don’t agree about ichigo get’s a beaten up by grimjow (n6), noitora (n5) and ulquiorra(n4) with so MUCH difference in power and then, the super ichigo with no train or whatsoever kills them “all”…
    Honestly I would like some credibility to espadas, because they just release their form too soon and get beat up pretty “easily”. I think they could explore more the power of espadas, seriously.

    And what space in this arc are going to be left to the vaizards? What about wonderwice too? 🙂

    kyr
  18. One Piece’s pacing right now is bothering me even more (seriously, they barely moved up a flight of stairs). I think I’m just annoyed in general with the current arc. Bleach I expect these things in so I’ve been pretty entertained, though I really wish Kubo would condense all these fights into fewer chapters. But generally, I find I enjoy the manga even more in the graphic novel formats as opposed to weekly chapters.

    nowhere man
  19. @Duran.. exactly. thats what it comes down to. just the fact that everybody who posted here is going left, right and the other way say’s that the mangaka has achieved a “Mission accomplished”. what are the most popular shounen?? naruto? bleach ? onepiece? hunterx? d.gray? etc… they all do the same gimmicks, it come’s down to who executes it better and which STYLE you like more. i cant give NARUTO props because the ART IS HIDEOUS!! and the story is sooo EMO and sloooow. HUNTER-X is also at time’s UGLY and extremely TUTORIAL, and slooow. D.GRAY is exquisitely drawn and awesome but is straying from main plot,maybe? BLEACH is well DRAWN and dispite what people are saying its not paced that bad..
    but ONE PIECE is the clear winner. “to me” in HUMOR,IMAGINATION,Characters and pacing because its always interesting.
    @Nowhere man p.s= there probably setting up to make a D.S game or something with the whole IMPEL DOWN thang. think about it.. six large levels & lots of characters from the past. Hmmmm?

    BROOKLYN otaku
  20. OHH yeah sorry….but how bout BATTLE ANGEL ALITA LAST ORDER, and BERSERK??? are these SHOUNEN as well?? theY come out soooooo sloooooow BUT THE ART, ACTION AND STORY is pure FILTERED CRACK ROCK!!!! check it

    BROOKLYN otaku
  21. Hmm…personal taste thrown aside Bleach IS going even slower than Naruto as a few of you pointed out which is in no way a good thing – this arc is probably the most tedious too. I shudder at the thought of how many chapters we have to go through to see another glimpse of the Vizards or the “fathers” (Ryuken)…

    Which is a shame, really, because out of the manga currently serialized in Shounen Jump, Bleach easily has my vote in terms of style and art.

    tautau
  22. I can sort of live with the captains and vice-captains having some success over the Espadas not because they’re more powerful, but because they’re more experienced. Ichigo is basically pretty brainless in a fight. He just charges at people and he has one and only one attack. In that sense, also, there’s a slim believability in Ichigo’s victory over Zaraki way back in the Soul Society arc, as Zaraki is basically more or less a “brawler” of sorts, and he’s otherwise similar to Ichigo in terms of battle. For the most part, other captain-level battles were between other captains, or basically the beat-down of characters like Chad and Ishida. Given that, though, what doesn’t make sense is how he was able to lift a finger against the likes of Byakuya back then, who has a great deal more variety in a fight than Ichigo ever could, and never actually made use of it.

    I was only slightly bothered by the fact that back in the Soul Society arc, you never saw people fly at all, except maybe Hitsugaya *after* he’d sprouted wings. Ichigo needed to use tools to do so, but it’s understandable that he might have to as he had no knowledge of such a technique. Now, it’s like everybody “walks” on platforms of thin air like it was second nature, which is utterly confusing.

    I think the anime kind of tried to fill that gap a little bit in the lead-up to the Bount arc where Ichigo somehow or other lost his ability to use Bankai, and linked his lack of power to his emotional state. They also vaguely hinted that Ichigo’s power is greater inside Soul Society, whereas this isn’t true for “genuine” Shinigami after they’ve removed their limiters and they’re not in a gigai. The other thing that seems to be plainly obvious is simply that they all seemed to be paired up with people to whom they are suited to fight. Crazy brawler fights crazy multi-limbed brawler. Mad scientist fights metrosexual scientist. Ice lad fights water hottie.

    Well, if nothing else, it can’t be anywhere as maddening as Naruto was this week. Friggin’ reset button. And that’s aside from the fact that Nagato turned over his new leaf way too easily. And then he gets to say “Oh, yeah, you know those people I killed? I was just kidding! You’ve been punk’d!” Not since reading religious folklore have I seen anything that nonsensical.

    DeadMonkeys
  23. @ N97 calm down bud…………..
    I think that ulquiorra might be stronger than 3 and 2 cuz he has a second stage while the other espadas do not. He kept this a secret from everyone even Aizen, so if Aizen knew what he was capable of ulquiorra might have been a number 2 or even 1

    Gundamaniac
  24. @n3rf:

    Okay man, now you gone too far with Mai HiME, in a lot of anime’s they are alot anime with this reset button stuff and anyway I’m still wishing for an Mai HiME sequel for it to make up anyway. But again I would like to see Soi-Fong Bankai, hope it would turn like in a formation into like Grimmjow’s release was. Anyway it should be well.

    Highman
  25. Yeah, Soi Fon will bring forth the wind with her Bankai Dragon style (One Piece) and Respira will be blow away like Ganishka in his mist form(Berserk) and Barragan will go all WTF when Soi Fon will do her Destroy Skill (Guilty Gear) like Hitsugaya did to Harribel. Azu-Nyan!!!

    Orange
  26. In regards to what a few are saying, even though Ulquiorra was number 4 or whatever, the faith placed in him by Aizen clearly showed he deserved to be much higher up in the order.
    Having Yammy as the top Espada is a joke and for me shows that they’re all going to get killed off, and by the point we reach the next arc, which will probably The King’s Domain or whatever it’s called, introducing the Royal Guards (meaning we see the Captain that was promoted from the Vizard past arc), Aizen will probably have other troops under his control, most likley Vasto Lords.
    That’s the only way I can see the story progressing since Aizen and his left and right hand will hardly be able to infiltrate the King Domain alone and duke it out.

  27. I was hoping that Soi Fon would show her Bankai in this chapter but grrr, they had to show it next chapter. XD

    I wonder what it will be.. Can’t wait for next week to come, dammit! ><

    Yoruhime
  28. and you know of course that Soifong’s Ban Kai is going to be something totally f’ing ridiculous.. all the while Barragan stupidly chases her Vice Captain while knowing she’s preparing a secret plan of doom..

    Xero
  29. There are 2 reasons bleach has this sorta slow moving cliffhanger to cliffhanger chapter bit, the first one is simple enough to understand, it sells and wsj wants it to keep going as long as they can make money, so kubo drags it.

    Second is something everyone who follows bleach alot or even just a bit should have also understood, Kubo drags it out even more because he’s got no idea what to do next! Yes, that’s right, he’s pulling this stuff outta his rear as he’s going along. Sure he probably has the basic plot figured out, but all these little bits like ones bankai, or ones other powers, and so on, he’s making it all up week after week.

    If you want a shounen action manga that is weekly yet moves at a way better speed compared to bleach or naruto you should check out psyren.

    GP
  30. bleach is always filled with stupid cliffhangers and theres always a few twists in every battle….

    thats exactly why i started to hate bleach…
    the pacing is so damn annoying

    dQ

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