Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bleach 531 Review – “Dark of the Bleeding Moon”

Bleach 531 Review – “Dark of the Bleeding Moon”
Written by: ClayDragon

And we’re back to the action!

Except not really. We see the Vasto Lorde rush at Isshin and they exchange a few blows, before we switch to Aizen, Gin and Kaname watching the fight back at the Soul Society. After Aizen says he wants to see the fight up close, the story moves back to the Ishida household, where Masaki senses both Isshin’s and the Vasto Lorde’s spiritual pressure.

After a quick conversation with Ryuuken (which includes a fair bit of gratuitous German) he states that she should care about herself more, and let the mixed-blood Quincies handle things. Back at the fight, it appears that Isshin is slowly losing ground. In fact, he’s so absorbed in the fight that he fails to notice that he’s crossed the jurisdiction boundary into Karakura Town.  Yet another unnamed Shinigami appears to tell Isshin about this, and he’s promptly blasted with a Cero from the Vasto Lorde.

"Excuse me, sir. Do you have a moment to talk about Jesus?"

Back with Masaki and Ryuuken, she tells him that she wouldn’t be able to forgive herself if someone dies due to her not being there to help them. With that, she runs off to the fight scene, and Ryuuken tells his maid to prepare the ‘Reishi Armour’, which sounds cool, ominous and strange all at once.

As Isshin and the Vasto Lorde continue to fight, he tries to get a few answers out of his opponent, but with no success. Having had enough with talking, he decides to activate his Shikai, which appears to be his normal Zanpakuto, but wreathed in flames. And just as he’s about to slash the Vasto Lorde, he gets stabbed in the back by a cloaked figure. Three guesses who it was.

Seriously, is there any part of the story he isn't involved in?
Sadly, whilst this chapter moved the story on a little bit, it wasn’t worth waiting two weeks for. Aside from Ryuuken’s order to prepare the ‘Reishi Armour’, the first ten or so pages did very little to advance the plot, and only the last few pages got me properly interested in this chapter.

The story seems to be progressed fairly straightforwardly now; my prediction is that Aizen and the Vasto Lorde will nearly kill Isshin, Ryuuken will intervene at the last minute with the Reishi Armour, which will drive Aizen away whilst Masaki heals Isshin’s wounds. Hopefully there will be at least one or two plot twists coming up soon, but to be honest it doesn’t seem that way.

Well, that's Unnamed Shinigami #3 dead.
One interesting thing is Isshin’s Shikai. Given how similar Isshin’s and Ichigo’s Zanpakutos are, I was expecting something similar to Ichigo’s energy-wavey Shikai, as opposed to something more akin to Yamamoto’s “burn everything” Zanpakuto. It’s nice to finally see Isshin’s Shikai in action, although it would be even better if we could see his Bankai before the fight finishes.

Whilst the last few pages of this chapter introduced a few good plot threads (the Reishi Armour, Isshin’s Shikai and Aizen’s appearance), the first three-quarters of this week’s chapter just didn’t get the ball rolling and the story didn’t really begin to move forward until the end.

Manga Rating: 2.5/5

ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics.


  1. Your reviews are spot on, dude. I actually check your review out after reading each new chapter. Don't know if you realized but your reviews are picking up quite the following. Keep up the good work :D

  2. Thanks for that, man. I wasn't aware that my reviews were being read by that many people, to be honest :)