Bleach 685 – A Perfect Ending… Or Is IT???!!

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

SPOILERS

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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:

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“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:

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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:

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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.

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13 thoughts on “Bleach 685 – A Perfect Ending… Or Is IT???!!

  1. Thing is, there’s the small possibility that we’re getting the aborted “strike at your happiest” moment. In two weeks, it could be revealed that we’ve glimpsed the erased “Bad End” that Yhwach was gonna go after, and the final chapter could have the title “The Imperfect End”.

    But that’s a lot of speculation. It could also be that we swap between Yhwach’s defeat and the Perfect Ending future, seeing his defeat erase “the future him”, establish whoever as the new SK, and then get a glimpse of where Ichigo is in the Perfect Ending future. Two weeks between now and the end might give us an extra-long chapter (double-length chapter would be terrific, actually, for Kubo to tie it all up neat).

    And I’m holding out hope that the announcement is Kubo shifting to work closely with the animation team for an adaptation of this arc (where we’ll get the not-rushed ending he originally wanted). Nothing about this feels open-ended enough for a sequel series.

    • Of course for all the rumors to be UNTRUE it would likely be the one that I would actually be happy with, right? (i.e. the idea of a monthly sequel.)

      But, I do think the ooze is important. I just can’t fathom what else the “startling conclusion” would be when Kubo has put a bow on a lot of stuff… except almost everything that happened in the chapters proceeding up to this. Is Urahara dead? Did Nel come in time or not? Where’s Grimmjow? Is he dead? Is Yoruichi stuck in cat form? What happened to Ichigo and Aizen? Where is Orihime? What happened to Ishida? It’s a screeching timeskip that skips the most vital questions. Like I like knowing that some of these people are okay in the future, but the main character is absent from his own ending in a profound manner. In a WEIRD manner.

  2. Oh my. Underwhelmation at 120%. Can’t be arsed to be witty. Not even Renji’s braid could save this.
    Although I apparently never learn as I was very happy to see the tiny black ooze in the pavement on p. 8. in case that means that there is a slight chance that something could possibly be happening maybe that is interesting.
    And has anyone actually seen the Bleach Live show? Yikes. I was unfortunately right that Baby Metal must have had a space free on their calendar.

    • Yeah, the musical stuff is so… my Tumblr feed is filled with pictures of these children actors–wow.

      But yeah, the ooze is kind of my only lifeline right now because I’m a complete idiot who still hopes for NON-SHITTY endings.

      • Apparently I’m not too filled with ennui to laugh at Captain Iba. That was the only thing I bothered to pay attention to in the inane banter section. I like him in the manga as gangster trope guy with sunglasses but in the anime filler he is absolutely hilarious. I adore his haramaki which follows in the great footsteps of Zoro. And that hair….helpless weeping with laughter.

      • Yeah… other people are also pointing out details I missed because I am to broken to really read all the words, one of which is that we DON’T SEE RENJI’S ARMS. Which could be critical to whether or not Renji was Ichigo and Aizen or if he was just… napping on the battlefield again or what?

  3. Okay. The new chapter 686 is out on the interweebs and I am going to pretend I have never read one chapter of this thing. What’s that? Bleach? I never read that one. Oh is it interesting? Would I like it?

      • Have we met yet? I hear you like horror manga. Me? I’m partial to historical fantasy samurai manga like Blade of the Immortal myself.
        I think this new chapter has caused me to have amnesia. Sorry if I caused you to have a concern – I’m sobbing in my cubicle at the moment. I’m fine. Sob. I’ll be fine eventually.

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