Blood for my Bone – Bleach 675

Bleach 675 is out now on Mangastream and other places. Go check it out.  In fact, I’m going to wait until you get to that last panel before I say anything…

SPOILERS

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WTF, huh? Kind of cool, am I right?

So, okay… backing up a bit.  We actually start the chapter with the Ishida/Haschwaldt fight in progress. Ishida is looking pretty worn out, but the sidebar tells us not to lose hope: “No matter the odds against him, his arrows will never run out!” (which is… pretty awesome. Look, if I didn’t love this flavor of cheese, I wouldn’t read Shounen, okay?)

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Ishida asks Hashwaldt if he can ask him a question.  Ishida wants to know why Hashwadlt wanted to know what kind of person Ishida is… since it’s obvious that everyone has figured out that Ishida whole point in existing was to buy Ichigo time to get to Yhwach.  So, why not just hurry up and kill him?

Which is, you know, not the question I would ask, but okay…

Hashwaldt then reminds Ishida that he and Yhwach share power, and when Hashwaldt had the All-Mighty powers, he foresaw the conclusion to this battle, and, frankly, it’s all going to end badly, all your friends are going to die, anyway, so who cares how long it takes to finish this fight.

Wow, okay, cheery.

But, you know, good battlefield trash talk. That would have effectively demoralized me. (Though I kind of feel like there’s a loophole here in what Hashwaldt doesn’t say. He doesn’t say, for instance, that he’s not going to die and that Ishida isn’t going to be victorious. He just says that it doesn’t matter how long the fight is going to take because all of Ishida’s allies are going to perish.  Personally, I’d have taken that as a, “So… you’re saying I could still win, eh?”

But, despite the glasses, Ishida isn’t all that smart, or rather, he’s still _REALLY_ stuck on the idea that he WAS able to surprise Hashwaldt once… and so he taunts him with that again.  To which Hashwaldt does a little vague booking:

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Ishida is all, “The f*ck, dude? What does that mean?” And Hashwaldt (again, kind of confirming that Ishida is going to win or at least that they’d both be alive after the sh*t goes down) says: “I’ll tell you the rest once we’re finished here.”

Then he goes all scales and balances on Ishida, which… I’m not sure how that’s going to work, but hopefully the two dads will show up and intercede before Ishida’s balance runs out (see what I did there!?)

Next, we cut to Ichigo getting his a$$ soundly kicked by the black reiatsu of Yhwach.  This is one of those fights that, I imagine, I would NOT want to see animated, because it’s hard for me to watch Ichigo get mercilessly pounded.  I mean, he’s the hero, right? I like seeing him get back up again, but it’s tough when it’s just bang! wham! bang! you know?  I mean, there’s blood flying and he… looks really rough.

In fact, it’s freaking Orihime out and she really wants him to stop for a second so she can heal him.

Orihime even reaches out and snags his sleeve to hold him back, but then he gives her The Look ™

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Keep your pants on, IchiHime folks… (ah, too late.)

…and she lets him go.

Now I will admit I did NOT see what was coming.  I thought The Look ™ meant, “Let me go, Orihime, you and I both know I need to die for this to work.”

It still might, but we find out that Ichigo was actually intentionally taking a pounding in order to push out the Quincy reiatsu in Zangetsu (?) His exact words (as translated by the MangaStream folks) are: “I needed some time to unleash this Quincy reiatsu because there’s someone I need to jolt awake.”  Orihime then notices that his katana is turning WHITE (a very significant color) and then…. we get that final panel, where it seems that Ichigo has physically merged with “Hichigo,” and more importantly, IMHO, not just Hichigo but Vasto Lorde Hollow Ichigo.

What can I say about this?

I mean, it’s cool.  I’m excited to see what bankai looks like in this form or Getsuga Tensho or any of Ichigo’s usual fighting styles.  I’m still concerned that the ONLY way the Hollow part of Ichigo is going to do any real damage to Yhwach is if Ichigo “dies” or is otherwise taken back in by Yhwach, but we’ll see.

Maybe Kubo-sensei has another plan up his sleeve.

I’ll be honest, I don’t WANT to see Ichigo die (and, even though I’ve been talking about this a LOT, I don’t really expect Ichigo not to come back from “death,” because… this is Bleach, so, hardly anyone has stayed dead, and there’s just so many options when a person is maybe already dead?)  But, at the same time, I really feel like Ichigo’s “death” has been telegraphed really pretty much from the moment we found out Hollows were poison to Quincy and that Quincy that die are absorbed into Yhwach.

But I’d be happy to be wrong.

So, I guess I’m saying I’ll be curious to see where Kubo takes this.

Also…and this is the single most important thing we need to discuss: Ichigo without bangs is weird, don’t you think? I mean, why did the inner Hollow think: “You know what I don’t need, is hair in my face!  When I transform, I’m totally chopping off these ridiculous high schooler bangs!  Oh, and I’m SUPER INTO the whole SIDEBURN thing. Move over, Abarai, I’m The King of the sideburns now! (And I’m going to shave the side of my head so they really stand out!)”

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Who wore it best?

Your thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Blood for my Bone – Bleach 675

  1. Thank god Orihime rambled on at the end there about swords or I would be totally confused about who he had turned into (Hitsugaya + Muguruma + Grimmjow + Zoro One Piece + Laxus Fairy Tail or something…) Kewl. Love the new sideburns but super confused about the internal bonding and emergence of dormant and conflicting powers. You did call it though some time ago with the vasto lord powers being the only effective antidote against old gooey there. Ishida is giving a good fight for now but Haschwalt is substantially less impressive than I was expecting. Not being Japanese, personally, the lengthy dramatic speeches about merit, personal failure and duty often seem to be a waste of paneling. I know, I know, “Shonen” makes all plots possible with extensive retreading and appropriate culturally centric philosophizing. I am trying to abandon my need for plot movement while reading this one.

    • Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of lamenting in private messages on Tumblr about how I wish Kubo would stop with his “broken record” stuff (as Hashwaldt said this time) and tell us something new about the Soul King or what the fuck the Quincies actually WANT or anything that would make some story ou tot this.

      I like honor and I like fighting fate, so I’m down with a lot of the Shounen tropes, but I also like enemies that makes some sense. I think that was what first attracted me–how rich and interesting the Soul Society was, when Ichigo first went after Rukia. Right away, these weren’t typical one-dimensional villains. The people we encountered were weird (I mean Ikkaku and Gin?) but then we had Byakuya fretting about his sister (kind of) and a lot more of a sense that the SS was made up of all sorts with their own agendas, etc. The villains have gotten progressively more one-sided, until we’ve arrived at the Quincy–who should have a lot to complain about (genocide, anyone?) but who mostly just spout the same old same old.

      I do think puppet is on to something though that maybe Hachwaldt is stalling for his own reasons. Fingers crossed anyway.

  2. I’m really intrigued by the number of things happening in this chapter. Hashwalth was suspiciously vague in everything he was saying. He was talking about “Stopping” Ishida, not “Killing”, to paraphrase him from back in the first attack on Seireitei. And “I will not be exposing [Yhwach] to any kind of perilous situation” sounds like a convenient excuse to not be by Yhwach’s side protecting him. Then there was Yhwach goading Ichigo into pulling out his Bankai (haven’t we seen this before?), and then going “now I see”, like he DIDN’T foresee this. But the most interesting thing is, Yhwach is shown without eyes. He’s gone from having an abundance of Mimihagi-esque eyes to having, it seems, none.

    In all honesty, I’d be surprised if it ends up that Ichigo DOESN’T die, in a violation of the future that Yhwach can see (and perhaps shape…? It’d be interesting if his power could also influence and manipulate future events, like picking a future and setting the present on a path towards that future).

    • Oh! I didn’t notice the eyes, good catch!

      And, you’re right about Haschwaldt, too. It does seem awfully convenient to be engaged elsewhere–do you think there might actually be hope that Haschwaldt is still a traitor to the Quincy cause (please, please, please, pleeeeeaaase!)???

      I’m also guessing that it’s going to be revealed that Yhwach can shape the future, too. Which would explain why they had to get rid of Ichbei–made him a war potential, because he can make words into matter. Likewise, Aizen, since he can shape reality in his own way. (Although Ichibei got spoken back to life, didn’t he?) At any rate, if Yhwach can make fate, it brings me back to my favorite Ichigo quote…””… If fate is a millstone, then we are the grist. There is nothing we can do. So I wish for strength. If I cannot protect them from the wheel, then give me a strong blade, and enough strength… to shatter fate.” (You can tell that boy’s favorite author is Shakespeare.)

      What do you think of this whole new form??

      • I’m still holding onto the hope that Hashwalth is pulling his own betrayal from within. His plan is probably to kick Ishida’s butt, and when the time comes, explain that he’s been out to take out Yhwach for over a thousand years. Rereading his first confrontation with Bazz-B when Ishida was announced as the Emperor-to-be says a lot, since his sword isn’t a reishi construct. And he’s been clipping away at futures that he knows won’t work; there’s potentially a lot to read into Bazz’s death happening when the power switch returned in his favor.

        As for Ichigo’s new form… I think it’s analogous to a Shikai version of the real Mugetsu; or, perhaps more accurately, Ichigo’s version of a resurrecion. Ichigo’s always been clad in his power, and it’d be a little odd if he jumped straight to Bankai (which Yhwach might’ve been goading into??). Having the base of his Shinigami power be a hollow, I wouldn’t be surprised if a kind of resurrecion was a part of his abilities.

      • Oh, a Resurrection! That would be neat. I will admit that I would love to see Ichigo be as Hollow-like as possible. I’ve always had a weird attraction to Vasto Lorde Ichigo–that was such a cool fight between him and Ulquiorra–ruthless and beastly. So, I’d be very down with another transformation for bankai.

        A friend of mine on Tumblr suggested at that maybe Yhwach is goading Ichigo into expending himself because rather than worrying about being poisoned, Yhwach wants to absorb Ichigo’s power (Titan-like) because Ichigo is clearly a living antidote to the Hollow poison, being both Hollow and Quincy already. That thought kind of terrifies me because I’m not fond of Yhwach as a villain, and I kind of want the Quincy fight to be over (UNLESS Kubo starts telling me some origin stories about the Soul King or what motivates the Quincy/Yhwach beyond rampaging destruction.)

        And yeah, that early stuff with Bazz-B and Haschwaldt really signaled to me that Hashwaldt was leading a secret rebellion inside the Quincy ranks, but then nothing much has come from it–though I really do see Hashwaldt as a kind of Shindler, since he’s SO close to the Führer, as it were. But, I’d really like to see him make his move soon. I’m still holding out that Bazz-B isn’t entirely dead yet, but… I dunno.

        I’ve been thinking a lot about the stuff that Kubo has done in this arc that feel a bit wasted, and the whole zombification stuff really stands out. We have a whole bunch of captains who were somehow zombified by Giselle, who, despite being Quincy, was able to “turn” two Vizard captains. How does all this Hollow = poison work for her? I mean maybe it’s because they take in her blood… instead of the other way around? I’ll be curious to see what handwaving Kubo-sensei comes up with, though.

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