Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bleach 553 Review – “Frozen Cross”

Bleach 553 Review – “Frozen Cross”

Again with the crazy resilience!

As Cang Du advances towards Hitsugaya, one of the wings given to him by Hyorinmaru fall off due to Urahara’s pill. At the same time, Hitsugaya stands up, with one of Hyorinmaru’s wings. As Cang Du watches, he realises that his medallion has returned to normal, and asks what Hitsugaya did to steal back his Bankai. He replies that maybe Hyorinmaru just wanted to come back, and prepares to confront Cang Du.

Seriously, how can you still stand?

Meanwhile, BG9 is currently about to dissect Sui-Féng when he notices Marechiyo on a roof opposite him. For whatever reason, BG9 allows Marechiyo to get close enough to give the pill to Sui-Féng, and it’s absorbed into her hand. He gives a fumbled explanation of what it does, and BG9 immediately realises that his connection to Sui-Féng’s Bankai isn’t working properly. She wakes up and explains what’s happening to him, and activates her Bankai.

Thank you, Kubo, for that lovely dose of nightmare fuel.

Asking Marechiyo to brace her against the impact, she fires her Bankai at BG9, who by this point has retreated to a faraway rooftop. He appears to take a direct hit, and the Bankai explodes in mid-air, presumably taking BG9 with it.

Back with Cang Du, it transpires that the Bankai isn’t returned to its original owner instantaneously, as he and Hitsugaya are having a battle whilst both using Hyorinmaru. As he sends a lance of ice towards Hitsugaya, it bends away at the last second, and smashes harmlessly into the ground. It would seem that the Bankai won’t attack itself, and so Cang Du has to resort to using physical attacks, which Hitsugaya blocks easily with Hyorinmaru.

"Dynamic Entry!"

Cang Du begins to get annoyed with the fact that Hitsugaya keeps referring to the Bankai as if it has a soul, and states that he doesn’t believe in pantheism. When Hitsugaya asks if that’s really the case, he gets a reply from Hyorinmaru, who manifests himself as a huge dragon made of ice. At this point, Cang Du’s wings have completely vanished, and he realises that Hitsugaya is once again in complete control over the Bankai.

Before Cang Du can prepare an attack, Hitsugaya launches one of his own, enveloping his opponent in ice. When the attack is over, Cang Du has been trapped in a huge cross-shaped pillar of ice, and Hitsugaya makes a one-liner that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Bond film.

"I summon Blue Eyes White Dragon!"

To be honest, this chapter disappointed me somewhat. After the interesting developments of last week’s chapter, this one seemed to just lose some excitement. Cang Du was defeated without revealing what his ability was, and BG9 was beaten without much effort either. Of course, it’s still possible that they’re alive, and that they’ll come back in a manner similar to how Harribel and Baraggan did during the Fake Karakura Town arc.

I was also a bit annoyed at how, despite being beaten nearly to death, the Captains were still able to activate their Bankais with ease. When Isshin was fighting the Proto-Arrancar in the most recent flashback arc, one wound from Aizen was enough to prevent him from activating his Bankai, and yet Hitsugaya and Sui-Féng can do it despite having been impaled, burned and blown up. It just doesn’t really make any sense to me.

And how can you still move?

Changing the subject somewhat, I’ve noticed that there’s been a bit of debate over the information revealed in last week’s chapter – namely, the fact that Hollows are extremely poisonous to Quincies, but for some reason Arrancars aren’t. I imagine that the reason Arrancars aren’t as deadly to Quincies is to do with the fact that they’ve become more like a Soul Reaper than they were as Hollows, and that mitigates the effects of the ‘poison’. However, just in case this explanation made no sense (or is just plain wrong), then I’ve made a chart below that may explain things better (and yes, it is a modified Pokémon type chart). A black box means that the attacking species is completely ineffective against the defending species, a red box means that the attacking species is not very effective against the defending species, a yellow box means that both species are on par with each other, and a green box means that the attacking species is super effective against the defending species. Hope this helps!

Yeah, humans get shafted a lot.

…By the way, isn’t Marechiyo’s sister still bleeding out?

Good Things:     The Captains have a fully-reliable way of regaining their Bankais.

                            Hitsugaya’s Bond one-liner.

Bad Things:        Fights were over too easily.

                            The Captains can activate their Bankais despite being 90% dead.

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 his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. Pokémon Y has taken over his life.


  1. Isshin couldn't activate his bankai because it has a toll on his body as Aizen said. The other bozos could because it doesn't have as much as a toll. Anyway it's Kubo's manga and any attempt to find any reason will be futile. And Aizen is behind everything anyway.

    1. Yeah, but I would imagine that both Hitsugaya and Sui-Fèng's Bankais would put some amount of strain on their bodies too. There is quite a lot of logic and reason in Bleach, but sometimes it's a little hard to see. And I do I hope Aizen is behind this on some level, otherwise his status as a villain would be fairly diminished.

  2. Well, first off, I really appreciate you putting in all that effort to respond to my comments. I like that chart. Pokemon is awesome.
    Hasn't insane resilience been around forever in Bleach? I remember a chart that shows all the insane damage taken by Ichigo, and the Grimmjow"s relatively lesser damage, and Ichigo won. I do agree that this chapter was very boring, but it's still better than Naruto's terrible and betraying chapter.
    Hitsugaya is terribly bland. What happened to Bazz again? He just left? Oh well.
    Meanwhile, Robot Quincy is probi-I mean, dissecting Sui Feng. It seems she has completely forgotten that her incredibly helpful shikai exists. Of course, she remembers the bankai she hated so much. A bazooka. Maybe I'm wrong, but I remember someone in Bleach saying that no shikai and bankai has completely different effects?
    So Robot Quincy is with Sui Feng on a rooftop, and Omaeda is on another rooftop in frontop them.
    Then we see Omaeda handing the pill to Sui Feng.
    Then we see Robot Quincy on another far away rooftop.
    Really Kubo? Try to think a bit about the situation. There is implied movement, but kubo was too busy giving closeups of their faces. Maybe Kubo should try to waste time showing Omaeda or Robot Quincy walking, or give us a panel summarizing where everyone is, like an establishing shot.
    Then Ice Kid and Chinese Quincy. Chinese Quincy tells us that he doesn't believe in pantheism, so like everyone else, hates the Fullbringer arc and is trying to deny its existence. I wouldn't worry about him being taken out too quickly, with Kubo's track record, he'll be back.

    1. Not a problem, I enjoy seeing people's comments and opinions. And who doesn't like Pokémon?
      Insane resilience is quite common, but this is quite possibly a new level. At least when Ichigo fought Grimmjow he had Orihime to heal him first, Hitsugaya has had none of that.
      I do sort of wish that Bazz-B had stayed, it would have made things more interesting. The question is, would Sui-Fèng's Shikai work on an inorganic life form like BG9? If it wouldn't, then that would explain why she didn't use it. And I never thought about how her Shikai and Bankai are different (unless the recurring theme is quick and easy kills).
      Establishing shots don't seem to be used much in Bleach, and it's a shame because they would be a lot of help at some times.
      Given how the defeat of Cang Du and BG9 pretty much perfectly mirrors the defeats of Baraggan and Harribel, it's fairly likely that they aren't defeated yet.

  3. yep, wander-quincy will just scream and they'll reappear recharged