So, Bleach 385 is out. When it first hit, Mangastream kept getting overwhelmed… for perhaps obvious reasons. Things seem to have calmed down, so you can head there now: http://mangastream.com/r/bleach/685/3582/1
Even though I’ll still be very, VERY curious to see what my English Digital WSJ does with this on August 8, the fan-translated sites all have started with this notification:
“An important announcement as well!!!”
I’m still really angry that we’ve gotten no official confirmation (in English or seemingly in any Japanese press releases that anyone can link to) about any of this. It seems super-werid to me. I don’t like it and I’m having a really hard time understanding what the officials/editors at WSJ English-language/Japan were thinking with this approach to marketing. I mean, it’s working in a way. Bleach has been trending far more than usual.
Okay, well, we knew the end was coming and apparently the rumors were right about this and I’m going to have to eat my stripped bucket hat. I’m kind of still holding out hope that Bleach is actually going to continue (I LIKED that rumor, that one could be true, too!) as a monthly.
But, so what to make of this chapter’s actual content.
I’ll be perfectly honest. I couldn’t read most of it. I have a low threshold for silly banter at the moment.
The only things that gave me any kind of hope were these moments. First off, early on, we get the horrible confirmation that Captain Ukitake is dead and has been for ten years (which I didn’t not like or find hopeful), BUT there was this weird thing:
In which we see some kind of weird black goop coming up out of the sidewalk. We get three whole panels of focus on this moment.
Plus, of course the very ending:
So it seems likely that we’re supposed to imagine that Yhwach is still out there (or coming back.) Thing is, if I was reading this in collection, I would have, only a few pages ago, heard Yhwach saying “I’ll come back and destroy you when you’re at your happiest.”
Given that everyone is gathering for the “happy” moment of Rukia becoming a captain, I presume this very well could be that. I think the other thing that is giving me any kind of hope is that Aizen and Ichigo are completely absent — no, let me rephrase, CONSPICUOUSLY absent.
Like if you’d just turned the page in the book, you’d be wondering if you were missing pages kinds of absent.
Thing is, there is no mention of Ichigo. How sad it is he couldn’t make it to Rukia’s promotion, how heroic he was before his human body had a horrible heart-attack and died on the spot, or like the fact he’s 27 or something right now–and what the f*ck he’s been doing in the intervening 10 years.
Aizen is also noticeably absent. Perhaps he died. Perhaps they came back and shoved him back into prison. But no one mentions him AT ALL. Not even, “Huh, how shocking was it that Aizen helped us out at the end?”
ALSO WHERE THE LIVING F*CK ARE ALL THE QUINCY??
I get the feeling that the “shocking ending” is going to reveal that Aizen has Ichigo in bankai, hiding from this future that exists without them, and that Aizen has been waiting for Yhwach’s “return” knowing that he couldn’t have been finished by Ichigo’s final blow.
Aizen could also have used forbidden Hado to stop time for himself and Ichigo.
So.. what I guess I’m saying is that I’m actually still hopeful that this doesn’t suck and that this isn’t the end END.
Which probably makes me the biggest fool in all of Bleach fandom.