Bleach 684 – The Blade

Bleach 684 is out.  I don’t know whether to tell you to go read it or not. I kind of don’t know if there’s a point any more, but I suppose we should follow this manga to its bitter, bitter end.

SPOILERS

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Cool.  But can you rewrite ones in which you SUCK?

Okay, Kubo-sensei, I know you’re panicking because… well, because maybe the rumors are true and you’ve been fired and your series is ending in one more chapter.  That’s cool.  I understand you might be freaking out a little, feeling the pressure, feeling the rush.  I sympathize, I really do. I’ve been there, man; I really have.

BUT WHAT THE F*CK IS THIS SH*T???!!!

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First of all, it’s boring.  How many times now have we seen this pattern repeat.  “We’ve done thing! No, they enemy has a secret power-up! Oh, but so do we! Oh, no wait, the bad guy has yet another thing!”

I can’t believe your editor look at you, Kubo-sensei, and your storyboard, and said, “Yeah, yeah, dude, that’s good, go with that one. THEY’LL NEVER SEE THAT COMING. It was super-effective and surprising the SIXTEEN OTHER TIMES YOU PULLED THAT TRICK.”

Maybe  you can’t sense sarcasm there, Kubo-sensei?

I really don’t know.

In other news, Aizen has EXCELLENT hair.

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That is some very fine hair.

Very fine.

Okay, so what can I say of substance?  Well, I think, for the record, I’d like to point out the very conspicuous absence of our red-haired baboon.  We have Aizen walking around like he didn’t have a hole in his chest five minutes ago and as though blood dripping from his severed arm doesn’t bother him in the slightest.

It’s kind of weird.

I mean, I realize that mortal wounds really have never meant sh*t in Bleach, but, wow, Aizen way to have kintama of steel.

The monologuing about how Kyoka Suigetsu and Zangetsu are clearly having an affair in the spirit world and can communicate with each other across time and space is pure Aizen, but where the hell is Renji?

Like, he’s not even standing there looking on.

Did he get lost in the precipice world?

Considering how much he was central to the “action” last time, it’s super strange not to see him at all.  I’ll admit there’s a tiny part of me that’s still holding out hope that Aizen is NOT STUPID enough to have let down his guard and that Renji is standing there going, “Ichigo, the hell? It’s me!  Why do you keep calling me Aizen??” all the while Ichigo is hearing the monologuing about how Ichigo comes to Kyoka’s beckoning (sexual innuendo intended.)

Because the other thing that bothers me is that I don’t believe Ichigo is immune to Kyoka Suigestu.  How is it then that Aizen managed to make it look like Kyoka Suigetsu shattered at the final battle, when clearly that didn’t happen.

Also WHEN is this, in that first panel?  Is this the Battle of Fake Karakura Town?  What is Aizen wearing? Whose head it that in the foreground? Momo? Rukia?

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I can’t place this at ALL. And Aizen’s “Indeed,” what the hell is that look in your eye, dude?

There’s something off about all this to me, too, and not just a lot of OMFGWTF (which, admittedly, I am also feeling.)

So I don’t know what to make of any of this.

I think the most damaging thing to happen to this fandom is these rumors about Bleach ending.  I have a set of friends with whom I analyze each chapter with.  We tend to reread a lot, looking for past clues, buried way back in the Rescue Arc and sh*t like that.  We lie awake at night imagining EXACTLY HOW IS IT that Yhwach self-inserted into Zangetsu.  And now, with the rumors that these last two chapters are the end, no one can even work up the energy to wonder at things like the panels above.

If somehow, it turns out that Bleach still has life in it, it won’t matter. Its fandom will have died. Those of us who have held the torch, had faith in Kubo’s storytelling, will have all exhausted our hope and given up.

The worst rumor of all, though?  That Yhwach isn’t even dead at the end of this.

If Yhwach pops up again and wastes more panel space….

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4 thoughts on “Bleach 684 – The Blade

  1. Kubo man, go out with grace! You were better than this.
    And we all know that whoever has been greenlighting these past few chapters is right now darkly pushing their glasses up with one finger as the light glints off the lenses,

  2. The entire approach of Aizen this chapter felt… odd. I really don’t know what to make of the “because I chose not to show you my shikai” mixed with the knowledge that Ichigo MUST’VE seen or experienced it in some capacity, to recognize when it was used (the flashback panel is when all the captains were rushing Aizen. I think the head is Soifon’s…?). He wouldn’t be nearly so passive at having just helped dethrone a position that he himself desired.

    Oddly, this “if you kill me, I return” thing supports this headcanon that Yhwach is also taking in the powers of his Sternritter that he can call upon and use at will (it seemed like Gerard’s power was called upon here). That being said, his powers were already returning to him when Ichigo struck the blow, so it’s still uncertain if Yhwach’s finally gone for good.

    Doubly interesting is how Ichigo’s bankai, beneath it all, was his old shikai. I can’t help but think, in the fashion of Aizen, that “when was it ever said that those two swords were his shikai?” might apply here.

    • Yeah, I should probably have mentioned in my review that I actually really LOVED that it turned out that under it all was Old Man Zangetsu, the supposed interloper, who has been transformed by Ichigo into an ally. That was actually awesome.

      And that’s Soi Fon? Oh, okay, what the hell is around Aizen in that picture then? I thought Momo because I thought that maybe that shroud was some kind of projection of Hyorinmaru… but then I thought, no, that can’t be. I swear maybe this is what Ichigo sees when he perceives Kyoka Suigetsu. Plus Josey/7emptymirrors and I spent a long, long time discussing Aizen’s “indeed” after Ichigo gives his whole, “Yep, I came when called master, good thing I’m not your slave and am completely devoid of your influence!!” speech, because it’s… a sinister little panel. All Aizen’s eye… that hypnotic stare.

      And just, “INDEED.”

      Someone you probably read on Tumblr, maybe owl-by-daylight brought up the whole Yhwach dream where he sees himself defeated by the younger version of Ichigo and the old Zangetsu. I’m looking forward to explanation of that (if we get it, either here or in a monthly sequel.)

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