Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bleach - Chapter 528: Everything But The Rain

Synopsis: After being hurled out of the inner Soul Society by Nimaiya, Ichigo finds himself in front of his home back in the living world, and back in his normal human body. He thought he'd left his body at Urahara's shop, and starts to call for him, but quickly realizes that Urahara is still in Hueco Mundo. Realizing that it must have been his father, who is still hiding things from him, Ichigo runs off, just as Isshin opened the door to let him in.

Ichigo runs to the home of Ikumi Unagiya, his part-time boss, to take a shower there and mull things over. He's glad in a way that Urahara, Chad, Orihime, and Uryu aren't around, since he came back without getting his zanpaku-to fixed, and he can't possibly face them like this. He doesn't know how to show himself to his father like this either. As he exits the shower and thanks Ikumi, she throws a hot steam bun into his face. She then tells him that his clothes are dry, so he should get dressed and go home before her son wakes up. Ichigo apologizes for skipping work a lot and then showing up like this, but Ikumi headbutts him and says that instead of apologizing, he should just do his work properly. She says that she doesn't care what his problems are, she should just rely on her and treat her like an older sister - children should always feel that they can rely on adults. Ichigo makes a crack about her being over ten years older than him, prompting her to kick at his head, and the two bicker some more.

Suddenly, a customer shows up, and Ikumi goes to invite them in, but she doesn't see anyone at the door. Ichigo however is confronted by the guest, his father in his Soul Reaper form. Ichigo tells Ikumi that he's going home, and borrows her umbrella, but forgets his Assistant Soul Reaper badge in the process. Ikumi tries to take it to him, but Ichigo has already disappeared into the night. Ikumi decides to just give it back tomorrow instead.

As they walk along, Isshin tries to break the tension by being his normal goofy self, but Ichigo doesn't want to hear any of it, and asks Isshin how much he knows. Isshin explains that he heard all about Ichigo's zanpaku-to breaking, and about Zero Division. He asks Ichigo if he was sent back, and says that makes sense, since his broken bankai can't be fixed when he doesn't know anything about himself. Ichigo angrily grabs Isshin's shirt neck, but lets go slowly. Isshin reminds Ichigo of the time at his mother's grave, when he said he'd wait till Isshin felt like the time was right to tell Ichigo everything, and Isshin says the time is now.

Isshin tells Ichigo to listen carefully, as he informs him that he is not a Soul Reaper, but he's not quite human either, because his mother was... suddenly, the scene flashes to some point in the past, when an injured man lies on the ground as a girl runs up to ask who he is. The man notes that it's pathetic for a Captain to get saved by a girl, but the girl offers to heal him, while asking how he managed to kill 'that' all by himself. The man asks the girl who she is, and she tells him her name is Masaki Kurosaki - a Quincy.

Thoughts: The current arc of Bleach has been a continual series of highs and lows for me. Then again, the entire series has been bobbing back and forth ever since the end of the Aizen material.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying Bleach - but it saddens me to think that not only was there a time that I counted this among my top ten favorite anime and manga, but also that it used to be my favorite of 'The Big Three' (meaning Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece). Now it's in dead last there.

Anyway, as I said, the Aizen arc ended on a bit of a downer for me, then the Fullbring arc was pretty good but ended up being horribly anti-climactic. So when we finally got into this 'Blood War' arc, I have to admit, I was pretty hesitant to get invested in it. And for a while there, things really didn't seem to be improving other than the whole twist of a crapload of super Quincy actually having survived. With the latest twists involving Zero Division, Kenpachi's training, and Ichigo's 'origins', though, things are finally heading back to a place that I'm really interested in.

Concerning this chapter specifically, there's not a whole lot for me to say just yet, except that I'm really excited to see the true history of Isshin revealed at last. Ever since he was first shown to be a Soul Reaper, I've really wanted to know his back-story, and it looks like we're finally getting it, along with actually getting to know Ichigo's mother a bit more too.

Oh, and on his mom - yeah, totally called the Quincy thing earlier at the start of this arc. What a dramatic reveal for something most of us kind of guessed now though.

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