Bleach 681 – The End Two World

Interesting which set of rumors came true…. so go, the new Bleach chapter, 681, is out!  There supposedly aren’t many left, so we might as well enjoy what we’ve got.

SPOILERS

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As predicted by AuntyA, Renji reacts quickly!

I will say that probably my reaction to this entire chapter can be summed up by how much I sort of love how Renji continues to prove himself a better shounen hero than Ichigo.

There’s been a lot of meta on Tumblr about how Bleach really isn’t structured very much like a traditional shounen story, but it follows more of a YA novel format.  Plus, even Kubo-sensei seems aware that Ichigo is not the perfect Shinigami, not the perfect hero.  There was that whole thing in chapter 523 where that forge guy from Zero Squad, Ōetsu Nimalya, tests both Ichigo and Renji against the asauchi.  Pretty much everyone reading, including me, expected Renji to fail and Ichigo to be victorious.  But, no.  Renji won. Ōetsu even says that, of the two of them, Renji is a true Shinigami.

And… here he is again:

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F*cking be the hero, boy. Don’t make me do yer damn job for you.

But, of course, Renji’s attack fails against the All-Powerful Yhwach.  Poor Zabimaru (Renji’s zanpakutō) ends up frayed and shredded… yet again.  But, that doesn’t even slow Renji down.  He’s all, look, there ain’t going to be a better time.  Why not just go try to waste the f*cker now?

And I kind of love him for that, because he’s not wrong.  Rukia, meanwhile, being the smartest one of this bunch tells everyone to hold up and try thinking things through.  Only everyone is kind of in utter despair and Orihime is convinced her powers and herself are useless.

Cue entrance of the FullBring.

Out of nowhere, kind of almost literally, comes the bookmark guy, Shūkurō Tsukishima.  He stabs Ichigo in the shoulder with his history-changing sword and resets them to a point where Ichigo’s sword was never broken and Orihime’s powers work.

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It’s…um, a clever use for Tsukishima’s powers, but WTF Orihime literally has the same exact ability IF SHE’D BEEN ALLOWED TO USE IT.

Though I’m kind of loving the implication here that the REASON Orihime has been so stymied in these recent chapters is because Yhwach wrote her out of a future where she’d be useful.  It’s kind of a backwards stab at the Orihime haters and a fascinating take on that whole weird dream sequence a few chapters back where everyone was noticing that Ichigo was in his original substitute shinigami uniform and Orihime was no where to be seen.

Similarly, I’m still hoping that Orihime is having a Chad in Hueco Mundo moment, only in reverse.

Do you remember how Chad found being in Hueco Mundo double-plus good increased his powers (it turned out to be a clue as to Chad’s power’s origin story–that he’s a Hollow-touched child, a FullBring.)  So, that’s my long way of saying that I’m really hoping that Kubo is still planning to reveal (even if he only has four more chapters to do it in) that being in the Soul Realm hampered Orihime’s powers, because, basically, that’s their point of origin.

Fingers crossed.

 

The other stuff that happened in the chapter is that we have 100% canon confirmation that Hashbrown (aka Jugram Haschwalth) is an a$$hat.

Oh, sorry, what I meant to say is that it turns out there’s not a single traitorous bone in Haschwalth body and he’s happy to have been screwed over by Yhwach–nay, HONORED to give his life to the cause that we still kind of know jack sh*t about.  But, you know, he’ll help out by rebounding all the damage to Ishida, because, f*ck being in character, he’s dying anyway, so what do a few more injuries mean?

I don’t know.  Maybe Haschwalth’s last sacrifice is meant to be a further representation of his Balance sensibility.  I mean, kind of with his last breath, he evened out the power balance a tiny bit.

It’s hard to say because I’m so filled with incoherent rage over this last parting shot….

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…in which we see that engraved into Hashbrown’s hilt is his lover’s Bazz-B’s crest.

This scene enraged me because he literally says, that he’s happy to have walked his life following his own convictions and that “There’s something to be said for not having… even one regret.”

Wow.

You cold-hearted BASTARD.

Since there may not be time to see this in canon, I’m going to have to write the fix-it fic in which Bazz-B struggles to his feet, finds Hashbrown’s lifeless body, sees his crest in the sword and KICKS HASHBROWN’S IN THE RIBS SIX TIMES AND SAYS “You piece of rotten sh*t, I loved you!”

Because I mean, why the hell did we even get that touching childhood friend backstory if Kubo-sensei was going to end it with, “Yeah, I killed you and I have no regrets.  Peace out!”

What the actual f*ck?!

And, I don’t know, with bookmark guy on the scene, I do have to wonder if there’s any need to release Aizen.  Between bookmark guy, Ishida’s new Anthesis powers, and Orihime, do they really need Aizen’s perception altering?

All bets are off.  I no longer feel qualified to try to guess where this story is going next, especially if the rumors about four more chapters remaining are true.  If they aren’t true, I might speculate, but I just don’t know if it’s worth the effort.  I will say that the penultimate panel:

17.png…of Ichigo pulling himself to his feet, and the last panel of is eyes filled with determination (no hesitation! as the sidebar proclaims) have restored a modicum of faith in me that at least we won’t end with Yhwach victorious, the worlds destroyed, and Kubo-sensei just ending the whole thing with a giant “f*ck you, you rushed me to finish Bleach, so I destroyed everything THE END.”

Which was a rumor going around, so you know.

Thoughts?

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3 thoughts on “Bleach 681 – The End Two World

  1. Incredibly, one of the kids called the Tsukashima thing. I had forgotten about good old suspender guy and his Fullbringer pals. Renji (can he win just a little something at least once before the whole thing ends?), Ginjo. Rukia. Orihime. Quincy shoes. Stuff more characters in there please! It will be nice to see them all before we go.
    But at least Kubo hasn’t had some random “illness” so we all have to wait weeks and weeks for the next bit as it spins out to the start of school or a Jump christmas special release for marketing reason.
    Shounen. Shounen. I chose to read Shounen. That will have to be my mantra until the end of this.
    I will get stronger. You’re in my way. Family. Power up. Power fails. Mentors with flaws. Red headed orphans. Guys with one eye. Snow, cicadas and cherry blossoms. Loss. And I read this stuff again and again so I should really stop complaining.
    Bazz-B. I’m ignoring it completely for the moment or I will have a rage induced stroke. La-la-la-la.
    I have to think about the YA aspect for a bit for Ichigo. Interesting. The Shounen trajectory for the school boy to universe saver is pretty solid here. Especially on the reread of the first couple of volumes juxtaposed with the recent chapters. Very interesting comment though.

  2. The FullBring return was rumored on Tumblr several days back and most people I knew dismissed it out-of-hand, preferring to imagine a daddy rescue (which I’m weirdly happy didn’t happen because now I’m imagining Isshin rushing to the arms of his old friend Urahara, and Ryuuken just rolling his eyes and tagging along because no one likes hanging out when the two benignly-broken up exes get together and talk about the fun they used to have, to bad it didn’t work out and you ran off with that cat lady.)

    I should say too, that I’ve had a change of heart about the Bazz/Jugram (aka “J-azz” ship) scene. My friends all told me I was being a moron and that I should read that final scene as Hashbrown saying that he wanted ISHIDA to live without regrets, that that was the way to live, other than the way he had… which I will say I like much better, because OMG so many regrets you should have Hashbrown.

    But I agree with owl-in-daylight who was complaining about wasted panels and the things she’d rather see: http://owl-in-daylight.tumblr.com/post/147039340147/am-i-the-only-one-screaming-at-panels-like-these

  3. I do like your zany dads on spring break plotline.
    But for the moment, I’m seeing J-azz Hashbrown putting his fake work crush’s initial on his weapon like a phone charm. I thought he was just being all Quincy-emo like to remind himself of how h-a-a-a-r-d it was to become the Yhwach eyeball timeshare and what he suffered to get there (which was nothing really, he’s a blonde talented prince taken in by a very powerful man no strings attached). He’s offering to heal Ishida now I think due to that oppressive Quincy sense of duty that was weighing Uryuu down so much at the beginning.
    I went back and reread the Bazz-B/Jugram fight and it is brutal. I do think he regrets nothing or he would have never taken his childhood friend’s arm off and then slashed him in half with no reaction.
    Also – wasted panels? Absolutely yes. Kubo is rushing.

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