Look who’s back—bleach (manga) 334

She's back alright.  The question is what else is she back with.

Just when Bleach have almost snuffed out all my fandom, it comes back with a twist that piques my interest again.

The recent lame fights have been formulaic, repetitive, unoriginal, and unconvincing. Take the Soifon fight: here, we are asked to believe an assassin, a silent killer, would announce to her opponent her method of kill, just so that she could assess the strength of her opponents. But wasn’t she, at the same time, being assessed by Barragan who was watching the entire fight at the sideline?

And the internal piercing plot-twist, lame. Here, we are asked to believe that the Arrancar was only protecting the spots that Soifon had struck already but could not care less anywhere else that she might want to strike next. But wouldn’t that just mean that Soifon could just keep on jabbing at the Arrancar until there would be so many spots on him that he could not defend them all? That would have been a bigger tease if you ask me.

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Then suddenly, a long absent character shows up. She doesn’t wield any particularly cool Zanpakutou or can she sweat off a ton of reiatsu, but she bears the potential to become an epic betrayer, either to her shinigami comrades or to her ex-captain, whom she still calls her captain.

The chapter is called Dregs of Hypnosis, and it hints at Hinamori’s psyche. Whose side is she on? Does she even know the answer herself? If there’s one aspect I love about the villian Aizen, it is his efficiency of using every person around him: he simply does not keep anyone alive whom he does not have a thread attached to, which he can pull on later. What part of Aizen’s plan is Hinamori?

But this plot line can reveal another layer. Soul Society in their healing of Hinamori may have also set up a booby trap within her, waiting for Aizen to pull his own trigger. Fight fire with fire; treachery with treachery. Of course, Hinamori has fat chance of fooling Aizen, but she doesn’t have to know what she’s been set up for. The message in Kira’s fight already hints at how dirty Soul Society is willing to deal with their enemies. Sacrificing Hinamori would not only break new ground for a genre that never kill off a recurring character, but also create a darker image of Soul Society that blurs the line between good and evil as intertwined as the phenomena of Arrancars and Vizards.

Yes, can you tell already? I am trying very hard to like Bleach again.

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5 Responses to Look who’s back—bleach (manga) 334

  1. Panther says:

    I just want the manga to finish. The anime has gone down the drain totally in quality. Bleach is fine and all as my first real shounen, so I am keeping watch on it till the end. But otherwise, I know there are better shows out there. It might be interesting in little doses now, but otherwise, generic is how I would see it.

    And Hinamori is weak.

  2. bakaneko says:

    Oh, which manga do you recommend?

  3. kuromitsu says:

    I still like Bleach (the manga – I never cared about the anime) but I’m sick and tired of what has been going on in the story this year. I mean, when was the last time that Ichigo appeared that wasn’t little more than a cameo? (Hell, I’m sure he won’t show up anymore this year.) Why was it necessary to character rape Ishida six ways from Sunday then even forget that he exists? Where are the Vizards and why aren’t THEY fighting now? Where the hell is Grimmjow? It’s always just shinigami shinigami shinigami shinigami. YAWN.

    I liked the flashback chapter but otherwise I’m officially sick of Soul Society and the shinigami (at least those not called Ichigo, Urahara or Yoruichi) and I really hope that after this battle is done they won’t appear for a long time. (A vain hope, I know…)

  4. frog212 says:

    Read Angel Densetsu… hehe I like that manga and I like how it ended. (be warned.. some parts of the manga does get a little wordy). However It’s still my favorite.
    As for Hinamori… I dont know if her character can be redeemed. She isnt weak in battle but is mentally weak and could spell further disaster.

  5. FSA says:

    The sad thing is that she disappears again afterwards. On the latest Bleach poll, she came as the sixth fovourite character, despite how little we see of her. The reason I like her so much is because she’s never bored me. There was always this tension whenever she was around, like when she was in her cell. She’s always had some sort of plot behind her except for just now. This appearance was, I suspect, just fan service. We probably won’t see her again for a long, long time. Slightly annoying, because I would personally like to see more of the side characters, her included. She’s out of comission, so I don’t think she will be any kind of threat to Soul Society. A final confrontation between Momo and Aizen would be nice, though. If Soul Society were to kill her off for their own benefit, my opinion of the shinigami would drop. I’ve been losing interest in them simply because of the lack of character developement, excluding Momo.

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