Bleach 581 Review – “The Hero 2”
Written by: ClayDragon
And about damn time.
Instead of starting the chapter with Kenpachi, we’re shown what Omaeda and Sui-Feng are up to. As it turns out, Sui-Feng passed out sometime after using her Bankai on BG9, and Omaeda is having to carry her around whilst fending off Quincy soldiers. Just as they’re about to attack him, he hears a voice commending him for looking after both his sister and his Captain, and the soldiers are suddenly engulfed in flames.
|"Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?"|
"Big damn heroes, sir!"
As it turns out, the flames were from Momo’s Shikai, and she and Shinji arrive just in time to help out. As Momo takes care of Sui-Feng, Shinji notes that Omaeda was planning to go and help Kenpachi, and says that that was his plan too, despite being almost blown up by Bambietta. Instead of telling Omaeda to sit this out, Shinji says that everyone should help Kenpachi, regardless of their condition.
|Speaking of which, where is Isane?|
He then goes on to say that the Quincies are attacking Kenpachi because he’s weakened, and they think that if they can kill him, they can turn the tide of the battle in their favour. Moreover, Shinji thinks that they’re right, as there are apparently very few Soul Reapers left in the Seireitei that can still fight. Just as he’s finished talking, Bazz-B appears on a roof above him and thanks him for the explanation. He then goes on to attack the Soul Reapers by surrounding them in lava.
|Yeah, there's no-one left....except Shunsui, Byakuya, Renji, Kurotsuchi, Ukitake, and Urahara, as well as the Fullbringers and Lieutenants...|
Meanwhile, Rukia and Byakuya are also moving towards Kenpachi’s location, and whilst Rukia is eager to help, Byakuya points out that she still hasn’t fully healed from the injuries she received during her fight with As Nodt. Just as she’s about to protest, she stops and stares at the sky, asking if Byakuya can also sense something. As she says this, we see a view of the Soul Society from above as something falls towards it at great speed.
|"I can see my house from here!"|
As the falling object nears the top of the barrier around the Seireitei, a number of Soul Reapers are alerted to its presence, including Renji and Ikkaku. They aren’t the only ones however – as a huge flare appears in the sky, the four Femritters react with shock. As they watch, something crashes into a huge clock tower a short distance away, causing it to fall over. Suddenly, a figure appears behind them, saying that it went too fast to avoid hitting the tower.
|Hey, look! Ikkaku's still around! Remember him?|
The figure then ignores the Femritters and walks over to Kenpachi, pointing out that he looks in pretty bad shape. Somehow, Kenpachi is still conscious, and asks the figure why they came to help him. The figure then replies that he came to help him, and it’s finally revealed that the figure is actually Ichigo (as if it wasn’t really obvious).
|Big Ben! NOOOOOOO!!!!|
So Ichigo has finally made it to the battlefield, almost an entire day after Rukia and Renji arrived (despite the fact that Ichigo had taken the route that would apparently take less time). Whilst this would seem to imply that the final battle is getting closer, I don’t think that’s actually the case. There are still thirteen Sternritters left in the fight – Haschwalth, Askin, Bambietta (maybe), the four Femritters, Bazz-B, Cang Du and BG9 (maybe), NaNaNa, Pepe, and the Quincy With Glasses – as well as a large number of Captains and Lieutenants. And that’s not even getting into the Visoreds, Fullbringers, and the Heuco Mundo Squad. At this rate, Bleach won’t be going anywhere for a while.
|Is it just me, or do their faces seem a bit...off here?|
In terms of my predictions regarding what’s going to happen next week, I think the action will probably move away from Ichigo (although I hope I’m wrong about this). We’re probably going to see more of Omaeda and Shinji versus Bazz-B, and – believe it or not – I actually think Momo will be integral to the fight. No, really – hear me out. The only reason Bazz-B survived Yamamoto’s attack was because he could offset the flames, so who’s to say that someone can’t offset his? Given how Momo has always been on the sidelines, it would be quite good to see her in the spotlight for once.
|Tell that to this guy. He walked through lava and survived.|
The next big fight we’ll see will most likely be Renji vs NaNaNa, as he’s the only Sternritter who hasn’t even had a bit of his power explained to us. We’ll probably see Shunsui go up against Haschwalth again soon, and maybe this time he’ll have Ukitake for backup. God knows where everyone else fits into this plan, as I had expected the Fullbringers to show up a long time ago, when the Soul Reapers still had their Bankais stolen.
|Wait, why didn't you take your eyepatch off?|
Speaking of Bankais, it doesn’t look as if we’ll see Kenpachi’s one anytime soon (that is, if he even has one). I had expected it to be used in the fight against Guremi, but in his current condition it doesn’t look as if he’ll be fighting any time soon. On the other hand, given Ichigo’s appearance we might see him use his new Zangetsus, although Kubo might decide to keep his new Bankai a secret until the final battle.
|"It's time to kick ass and chew gum...and I'm all out of gum."|
Good Things: We get to see what some other Soul Reapers have been up to.
Shinji is still alive.
Ichigo has arrived at last.
Bad Things: There are still a few unanswered questions regarding the whereabouts of a number of characters.
Manga Rating: 4/5
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. "The universe is big; it's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.".