One final strike.

The Battle Ends:

I can’t believe there’s only one more week left. I’m stunned, and was honestly lost for what to say in this post; that’s why this is slightly delayed. This is really where it all ends – with one almighty swing that shouldn’t really make much sense. Perhaps it’s useless to do this, but I’m going to try applying as much logic as I can to this chapter. Of course, it’s not the grand finale that we all expected or wanted, but this is what we’ve got and we might as well accept that.

The first part to discuss is Aizen. If you’re expecting an in-depth reasoning for why Aizen’s ability worked, then you’re going to be disappointed. The only valid explanation in my eyes is that because he first affected Juha back in the first invasion that meant he got him under his spell before Juha gained his true Almighty abilities, and thus had a black spot in his powers. That moment isn’t mentioned in this chapter, but we know it happened and it’s plausible enough that a loophole could exist from that. There’s also the fact that Ichigo is apparently unaffected by Kyoka Suigetsu. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this has never been stated before – Aizen must simply mean that he’s never put Ichigo under his spell (which is true). Even so, if he did that with Juha in this final arc, why couldn’t he do it with Ichigo now? Are we to believe that Aizen has become a born-again shinigami without thoughts of world domination? Either way he may be dead after this chapter (even though he’s supposedly immortal), so we may never know the minute details.

Next is Ichigo, who got his new bankai shattered once again, only for his original shikai to break through – was this his true bankai all along or is it him returning to his base power? Has he risen to new heights or lost his abilities similar to the end of the Deicide chapters? So many questions – so many possibilities. We’ll likely get an answer to the last question in the final chapter, but everything is up in the air. Again, we can’t expect too many answers given the circumstances, but it’s a shame we’ll never know the capabilities of his ‘true’ bankai – other than its remarkable breakability.

Thirdly is Juha, who got tricked by Aizen’s plans but was able to bounce back because he’s as broken as any fictional character can possibly be. Yet he doesn’t see Ishida’s arrow coming? Perhaps because that arrow is going to hit him and he will lose his powers he wasn’t able to see what future lay ahead… but even that is a stretch. One thing I do like is that dream sequence that Juha had a dozen or so chapters ago of old-shikai Ichigo appearing in front of him was actually referenced. Since Haschwalth was the one seeing the future, it appears he didn’t show Juha the exact events that would lead to his downfall, but it was enough of a hint that shows Kubo wanted to incorporate this development into his ending. The individual components to Juha’s defeat make sense, but the breakneck pace gives Kubo even less time to explain what’s going on than he usually would, and the result is less than satisfying. “Passable enough”, as Aizen says in this chapter, but not what we should have gotten.

A convenient arrow through the chest.

An Unfortunate Rush:

Let’s face it: Bleach has been horribly rushed. This is a shame, and it at least deserves five or six more chapters to wrap up this fight. In an ideal world we’d reach the 700 mark and see the other side characters do something while they still have the chance. There are so many loose ends and unexplained plot threads that I genuinely believe Kubo wanted to explore. I don’t believe for a minute that he envisioned the Mayuri and Pernida fight to last longer than the final battle of the series. It’s an unfortunate turn of events, and I still can’t believe that this will be my second last post of the series and next week will be the last time I’ll be able to read my favourite and more formative manga…

The end of the Almighty.

Overview – What’s Next?:

Bleach ends next week. I didn’t expect to be typing those words so soon, but there we have it. This isn’t the ending we deserved, but it’s what the ones in charge at Shueisha/Weekly Shonen Jump have decided one of the best-selling manga of all time deserves. I have so much more still to say, but I’ll save that for next week. I’m already dreading it, and I shouldn’t be. I’ve still got a week to prepare myself, but even with how things have turned out, I’m going to try to remain positive and celebrate Bleach for what it is and accept that it simply did not receive the ending it deserved.


      1. Now, like Naruto, I should be prepared to have that same feeling.

        Notably, I sort of how the story doesn’t end with Ichigo losing his powers again. Of course, I would like to know if the manga will end with Ichigo marrying.

    1. I’d like to know the story of how this ended up being such a rushed mess. For a series that ran as long as it did and made bank for the people that Bleach has done over the years it just does not make sense that all of a sudden there were a small handful of chapters left and this was rushed to almost not be coherent. Its almost as if Kubo Tite has a terminal illness and only has days left to finish the series before he goes to Soul Society.

    1. ..that perhaps an Bleach: Reborn could take up the challenge to tide them (or most of them) together. But in an Monthly schleuder with more pages. Perhaps one of his “close” helpers can try it, of course if Kubo allow it

  1. I don’t know what I’ll do now. No matter what happened in Bleach, whether it was going through a high or low, I always read it when it came out each week. It’s the end of an era. I hope at least our main cast (Ichigo, Uryu, Chad, Orihime, Rukia and Renji) have some time next week before things end. Is it a longer chapter or the same length. Anybody know?

  2. Kubo has clearly been forced to end this series early. That said, you can’t really blame the publishers, he’s had plenty of time to do a final arc for Bleach and had lots of loose ends. You can’t really keep it going forever. It’s a shame it’ll probably have a super rushed ending, but I’d put that on the author more than anything.

    1. Heh. Kubo was actually forced to continue writing bleach at first. He wanted to stop after Aizen’s defeat. That was the big finale. Then he got pushed into doing more and it only went downhill from there. You can notice the lack of motivation he had as it went from bad to worse.

      Now they force him to quite and ruin the end as well

      1. The anime has been over for quite a long time, there have been no reports of any interested party wanting to make more. He should have mapped out this final arc and perhaps made it less convoluted. The way the manga is now, you’d think Kubo had another 50-100 chapters planned to end things.

        It’s sad to see any well known series end, but he’s had plenty of time to wrap things up neatly on his own terms before the publisher stepped in. He could have wrapped up virtually everything before getting the orders to conclude it.

        Sometimes you just have to know when enoughs enough.

    2. The nature of Shounen manga especially manga in Shonen Jump is to go on for as long as possible. That’s not always the case, but for the most part, it’s true. Considering the fact that Bleach used to top the titan that is One Piece back in the day, the probability of making an author of Shonen Jump continue his manga even if he wanted to end it is very high especially with how popular bleach is and was. They love to push their money makers as long as possible. I’m not saying it’s all Shonen Jump’s fault because it isn’t. Kubo has his share of the blame, but in this area because of this huge purge and Chief Editor change by Shonen Jump, they take a good portion of the blame. The legacy that Bleach has and being one of the pillars for Shonen Jump for years should have at least earned Kubo the right to end his manga by 700 chapters instead of this bullshit. Naruto at least got that, but Shonen Jump doesn’t care for Bleach. When was the last time Bleach got a front cover? The last time was probably over a year ago. Series that sold less got front covers. Shounen Jump is fucking Bleach over in a huge way. I can’t blame them for wanting Bleach to end. It’s probably the right choice, but they needed to give more time especially since Bleach sells okay still and because of how long it’s been around. Though, what can you really say? They’re probably ending Gintama and Toriko by the end of the year. Jump also ended Nisekoi. The Jump purge is real.

  3. T^T Noooo .. the editors should have given Kubo more time to end bleach properly.. not all of sudden

    And the main characters need more screen time coz all of we got in the last arc is ichigo ichigoo ichigoo ><"

  4. Bleach and Nisekoi are the 2 long standing series that are jointly coming to an end next week. Looking at the two we can see a certain similarity. Both series started out pretty strong but as of late they seemed to have lost their way. Unfortunately where as Nisekoi seems to have naturally wrapped things up after a myriad of seemingly filler-ish chapters. The fact is that they gave the story a proper ending where at least most of the story lines where tied up. Bleach on the other hand is definitely rushed.

    The prevailing theory going around is that the ending was rushed. I read somewhere that Bleach was actually suppose to end towards the end of next month rather than this month. Why exactly that changed, we all don’t know, it suddenly calls to mind that ominus chapther where the series count down was announced. Was the blacking out of the number of chapters intentional or something done simply at the last minute? It really is a shame as Bleach really does deserve better. Not because it has been amazing of late, I think majority of us will agree that the quality dropped severly after the Aizen arc and the latest Quincy arc really was just silly and way out of left field. But then again, this was part of the Big 3 (along with Naruto and One Piece). This was one of the corner stones of Jump and even the whole Manga and Anime Industry for a good part of the lives of many of the new fans. If anything, if you were part of the generation I’m from where the internet wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, this series is similar to Rounin Kenshin (Samurai X), DBZ and Sailor Moon. The 3 series that popularized Japanese series abroad. So it is really sad how things are ending as the series deserved at least to come to a proper end given its place in history.

    TL;DR : Another one of the Big 3 comes to an end, a corner stone series for a generation of fans. And while it’s not surprising that it is ending given the chapters for a while, it is rather disappointing that it wasn’t allowed to fully complete its final story line.

    1. I’ve always liked Raku x Chitoge. But let’s not get offtopic lol.

      Anyway I guess we’d have to wait for any potential Bleach anime revival for a proper ending or any pairings. Not holding my breath but will keep the hope alive.

  5. I’ll be honest. I have no idea what just happened. Ichigo slashed him, but Juha didn’t die. Then he got depowered for a split second but Ichigo was too late in delivering the final blow (as mentioned) and his bankai was shattered but for some reason his shikai wasn’t and also for some reason the second blow was apparently fatal. You are correct, this was rushed and after having lived with Bleach for more than a decade I am saddened that the most powerful adversary in the series had to come to an end like this.

  6. I feel like I wasted many years reading this manga only to have it end like this. What a waste of time. So much stuff is left unanswered. So much stuff hasn’t been approached at all. Any kind of relationship that Ichigo may have with any of the girls is basically moot now, because there’s no way to develop it in one chapter’s time. What a sad end to something that could’ve been potentially great.

    Bleach might not have been the best thing ever, but it certainly deserved to have gotten a better ending than this crap. I really doubt the final chapter is going to cover 200 pages.

  7. What is the secret behind Orihime? Chad? They still lack their secret to be told, Kubo

    Are they Princess and Prince? Princess of the Soul King, Prince of Huenco Mundo?

  8. Aizen was never able to put Ichigo under Kyoka Suigetsu because this is the first time they met after Deicide. He really had never the opportunity. And during Deicide he was too arrogant to use Kyoka Suigetsu.

    Yhwach couldn’t see Uryuu, because Uryuu is immune to the Almighty thanks to the Antithesis. The Auswahlen, which we know Uryuu is immune to, are also just one of the Almighty’s abilties.

    Aizen is immortal, but immortality doesn’t prevent against someone highjacking your body. Though since Yhwach was able to break Ichigo’s Bankai he might have gotten his powers back and reform.

    If not, then Ichigo killed the Soul King…again. So either all the world become one or we will need a new lynchpin. With Aizen dead (probably?) Ichigo would be the likeliest candidate. Well guess that means goodbye to his body parts or freedom.

  9. Rather than saying Bleach was rushed, I’m more inclined to say it was horribly paced. The Full Bringer Arc was almost an entire waste. (An entire arc devoted to giving Ichigo back his powers, and he loses most of it again 3 seconds into the next arc.) It had many chapters in which almost nothing happened, ala Dragon Ball and screaming for 30 minutes. “I have God’s Body! I am invincible! *dies* I am revived even stronger! *Dies* I am revived even stronger! *Dies*

    Now, for a final fight, it’s just a smorgasbord of final attacks and BS reveals. “My power allows me to change the future!” (We can all do that. It’s changing the past that’s a problem.)

    I keep reading Bleach because I think up through the Arrancar’s, the characters were interesting and the story was too. Now it’s just the characters, and I live and breathe the Sunk-Cost Fallacy.

  10. So was Bleach just cancelled? I mean, during the five or so weeks to Naruto’s ending, the series had multiple covers, and official countdowns, a fucking countdown website was made, and every SJ cover mentioned “INSERTNUMBER weeks to the End!” It was a big fucking deal.

    Bleach wasn’t mentioned on this week’s cover, and I doubt it’ll get more than a small mention next week. What a terrible way for what was once part of the “big three” to go out. I mean, I knew it wasn’t as popular in Japan anymore (and certainly not as popular as Naruto and One Piece), but this is almost hilariously embarrassing.

    1. I think Naruto got the star treatment because it’s a much more important series. It has an anime still on the air, video games, and a lot of merchandise out there. In other words, it was relevant still.

    2. Cause Bleach is about “I’m stronger than you”-bla-bla, “I’m not done yet”-bla-bla, “I’m still alive after you killed me several times”-bla-bla.

      Naruto and One Piece narrate about more interesting things.

    3. Bleach had a lot of promise and was legitimately great early on. It’s been a horribly written boring mess of plot holes, deus ex machina, and meaningless red herrings/dead end characters for years though. The Soul Society arc was a high water mark a lot of manga never achieve but it was something Bleach would never even come close to matching again either. It’s no wonder its popularity has tanked to the point where SJ doesn’t even care how it ends and just wants it to be dead so they can spotlight a new tent-pole series.

      Char Aznable
    1. well, it all dies when she is lying wounded on the ground before Ichigo go through this Portal. If she would follow him, then it would had be better. But, she is left behind, this “portal” at the end is an Shortcut escape to the final… left and cut all tides for the ending

      1. i was not interest in Orihime because of fan service, her oppais are the same as the Ice Vice-captain. No what i wanted to know was her “History”, and also Chad’s there are Ichigo’s first friends (except his other class room buddies) that show hidden Powers in his first Arc. But oh well, we never get to know what Secret or Bloodlines was there to be told

        Perhaps an Spin off, but then this will not feels like Bleach anymore

  11. Reminds me of when Negima was cut. Though in Negima’s case, it actually was running like a finally oiled machine. These and Nisekoi reek of cuts. Though in Nisekoi’s case at least they were able to wrap it up. The other two not so much.

    Dorian S.
  12. I actually can’t believe it’s ending next week. Such rushed ending for such manga that started out so strong. Now thanks to Kubo’s preference of pushing Orihime’s importance whenever he can the series got boring and now it’s canceled. Shame on him.

    Team Chitoge by the way!

  13. Despite all its ups and downs, Bleach is my favorite. Even more than Naruto and One Piece.

    As for Aizen’s ability, I can pretty much assume that there were just too many variables, and not enough time for Juha to make a decision. He could see everything, but wasn’t able to pick the correct path to take. Not to mention, I’m kinda accepting it, considering that Juha did already see himself getting killed.

    However, I am kinda disappointed that not everything was resolved, like what happened to Halibel, where the hell did Soi Fon and Omaeda go, and a few others.

    Regardless, still my favorite series, as it deals with a theme most rare in these shounen manga, which is sacrifice. I probably should save this for the end, but I’ll go on with it, and repeat it in the next chapter.

    Most of the shounen manga deal with never giving up, or the power of friendship. Bleach, on the other hand, tends to deal more with sacrifice. The characters are less concerned about being friends, and are more concerned with doing what’s right. They’re willing to use others and themselves to make sure that the job is done. They’re focused on duty, rather than personal relationships with one another. That in itself, is what probably made me more attracted to Bleach.

    1. I never realized the theme of sacrifice in Bleach. It makes perfect sense.

      One reason why I think Bleach attracted me is its similarities with DBZ. DBZ had friendships and a never-quit protagonist, but above all other things was the action. And the action was “power level” based. They never really mentioned power levels after the Frieza Saga, but that element of the show remained.

      Bleach is similar in that the action tends to come down to who can punch harder, run faster, last longer. Most fights in Bleach aren’t that simple because of the plethora of unique abilities, but for some of them, this element remains.

      Examples include the climax of Ichigo vs. ByaKuya in the Soul Society and the end of Ichigo vs. Aizen.

      I don’t think favorably of DBZ anymore, but I did grow up watching it, so it has definitely shaped my viewing preferences.

  14. Maybe they are planning an anime series for the winter and all the missing info from this will be added into the anime the same way Naruto is showing lots of backstory as it leads to the final showdown with Kagura?

  15. the only way Kubo has to do to cover as much as he can in only 19 pages in the final chapter, is to draw many panels in one page (I noticed he has been wasting a lot of pages for just one or two panels)

    I really wish we will get a logical and satisfying ending T^T

  16. Bleach was great until the Hueco arc ended. After that it became apparent that character development went down the drain. The plots became largely predictable and boring to the point all there was to look forward to was Ichigo’s next badass fight.
    I’m dragging along till the very end (like many fans) just to see it through.
    I’m not trying to start arguments, honest. My point is that Bleach long exceeded its days of glory, in my book.

  17. PS: Do you guys think that one of Bleach’s greatest mistakes is the large amount of characters it tried to keep up with? I feel like even DBZ and Naruto did a better job at this.


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