Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bleach 551 Review – “The Burnt Offerings”

Bleach 551 Review – “The Burnt Offerings”

So it looks like all Soul Reapers are insanely resilient.

In the Captain-Commander’s room, Haschwalth notes that a kido barrier has been placed between him and Shunsui and Nanao, preventing him from entering. When he questions them, it’s revealed that Nanao placed the barrier, and that only she can use it. As such, Haschwalth deduces that since the other Captains can’t use it, then they’re at a disadvantage, and can’t even fight back properly.


Elsewhere, it seems that Hitsugaya can (at least partially) shrug off getting stabbed through the chest, as he flees from Bazz-B whilst leaking a fair amount of blood. He manages to create a dense fog made of tiny ice particles, but they’re easily burnt away by Bazz-B. Instead of hiding, Hitsugaya instead used the distraction in order to build a trap around his opponent, encasing him in a solid wall of ice.

Of course, this has no effect on Bazz-B, who simply destroys it with one finger. At this point, Hitsugaya pretty much realises that he’s out of options, and Bazz-B uses his next attack, imaginatively titled ‘Burner Finger 2’. This creates a huge explosion which towers into the sky….and only ends up breaking Hitsugaya’s sword as opposed to, you know, vaporising him.

"....Well, crap."

Before he can finish Hitsugaya off, he’s stopped by Cang Du, who reminds him that they had agreed to leave each Captain to the Quincy who stole their Bankai. He jumps down and reveals his Wolverine-like claws as he advances towards Hitsugaya, who at this point has collapsed. Meanwhile, Kurotsuchi notes that two sources of reiatsu have vanished – namely, Sui-Féng and Hitsugaya. He’s then contacted by Urahara, who has apparently found a way to recover a stolen Bankai.

Giving new meaning to the phrase 'two-fingered salute'.

Whilst Haschwalth did point out that without the Quincy-repelling kido, the other Captains are at a disadvantage, you have to wonder how exactly it would help them in the first place. So far, all it has done is allow Haschwalth to talk with Shunsui and Nanao, and chances are he’ll break through it pretty soon. In a combat situation, it would be fairly ineffective, as although it would block incoming Quincy attacks, the person using the kido would be too focused on maintaining the barrier to use any attacks of their own.

Given the power of the attack, he came off lightly.

The fact that the Quincies decided to finish off their respective Captains seems like a bit of a stupid decision, given that their plans so far have been pretty clever. Confronting an opponent whose main weapon you stole is a fairly bad idea, in case they find a way to steal the weapon back. Plus, the Captains would know the power and limitation of their Bankai better than the Quincies, so it would be easier for the Captains to figure out a weak spot or a loophole.


Last week, I mentioned that I was surprised at Hitsugaya getting stabbed by Bazz-B. In an attempt to clarify, I was only surprised by the speed at which it happened, plot-wise. Given Hitsugaya’s insane popularity in Japan, and the fact that Kubo has avoided killing off any major characters (so far), I highly doubt that he’ll die. Chances are he’ll find out about how to recover his Bankai, take it back from Cang Du, and win the fight easily.

"How do you keep getting this number?"

Despite the fact that I predicted that there would be a way for the Captains to recover their Bankais, I’m still at a loss as to how they’re going to do it. Urahara’s involvement makes me suspect that it has something to do with the artifact that he was last seen with. Back when it was first shown, I believed that it had something to do with Yhwach and the Quincies, and given how it resembled the medallions that the Quincies used to steal the Bankais, it could be possible that the artifact is a kind of proto-medallion. If this is the case, then Urahara could have easily reverse-engineered it in order to gain an advantage over the Vandenreich. However, they’ve said nothing about the possibility of a recovered Bankai simply getting stolen again…

Good Things:         A proper confrontation between Shunsui and Haschwalth.

                                Hitsugaya isn’t dead (for now).

                                Possibility of more Urahara and a counterattack.

Bad Things:           The Quincies have probably made a big mistake.

                                A couple of parts of the Hitsugaya vs Bazz-B fight were quite boring.

Manga Rating:      3/5

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 his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. His broadband is dying a slow, painful death.


  1. How did Sui Feng lose? Didn't she hate her bankai? Shouldn't she work best without it?
    And it's probably not the best move to talk about recovering Bankais when...Askin Nakk Le Vaar (seriously, what is up with his name?) is right in the room decisively standing around.
    Recovering Bankais is a pretty underwhelming solution, though. Looks like Hitsugaya's "back to the basics" was for nothing.

  2. Sorry, my first comment forgot to bring up a few more points.
    It's seems like Kubo made Nanao do stupid things just so he could have his villain look totally smart and cool.
    And I was thinking about Japan's favourite Zanpakuto, Hyorinmaru. He said that the difference between bankai and shikai is the amount of ice that it could produce. Does that mean the amount it can make at one moment, or does it mean that his sword will eventually run out of ice and the bankai has a bigger tank?
    I'm guessing it's the former, since the latter needs finer rules that could possibly be exploited(infinite ice). If so, then Hitsugaya can't win against Bazz B with his Bankai. Or maybe he should has used his science power vacuum ice wall when he was trapping Bazz.
    And Hitsugaya said in his fight against Harribel that the amount of water in the air affects his sword's strength, so maybe an ice filled Quincy lair could be useful when melted? But Kubo probably forgot about that as usual.
    And I know I shouldn't get my hopes high, but maybe Hitsugaya might actually lose a battle?

    1. I think it's meant to be that Sui-Féng hated her Bankai, but was still far too reliant on it to train on anything else.
      Presumably Kurotsuchi is confident that Askin won't leave the room alive in order to relay the information. That, or only Kurotsuchi can hear Urahara.
      With regard to Nanao, at least we now know why she's a Lieutenant, and it fleshes out her character a bit more.
      I think how Hyorinmaru works is that it can freeze moisture in the air, and create ice from that. As such, I think the main difference between the Shikai and the Bankai is the rate at which it can freeze the air. At this point, Bazz-B will probably leave, allowing Hitsugaya to defeat Cang Du (which I think is a fairly stupid move to be honest). The vacuum ice wall only worked because he and Matsumoto combined the abilities of their Zanpakuto, it wouldn't have worked when Hitsugaya tried to trap Bazz-B.
      Has it ever actually been said that the Vandenreich base is frozen? It does look that way in some angles, but because all the pictures are in black and white it's hard to tell for sure.
      And Hitsugaya has lost battles before. He lost against Aizen (twice) and Gin (although that battle was interrupted by Matsumoto). Even his fight against Harribel (and even then, it was 3 on 1 and she was still only stopped by Aizen stabbing her in the back).

    2. If it's not frozen, what would it be? Crystallized, maybe? Where's Matsumoto anyway? Oh, wait, the next chapter came out. She was attacked by Cang Du.
      I would've wanted a longer reply, but I don't have much to say right now.