Friday, August 20, 2010

Bleach Chapter 416 Rave

Early this week I mentioned how the most recent chapter of Bleach was good, and to my amazement I was pretty much alone in that thought. After the trashing I’ve been giving Bleach for the past few weeks I figure people just assumed I’d be harsh on the newest chapter, however I must state that I’m not going to lie when I find a chapter honestly decent. The newest chapter of Bleach is good! It’s not great, and the quality of it pales in comparison to even average chapters of other, better manga, but still it was not a bad chapter. Why? Because this is the first time in a while that I hated Aizen… for the right reasons.

For months now Aizen has become the malignant tumor of Bleach; irremovable and doomed to kill the story. I hated what he did because he was a terrible villain. His actions weren’t evil, just over powered. I felt nothing regarding him smashing the cast into pieces just to prove his strength, and Bleach’s inability to truly sell someone as dying makes caring about their supposed demise impossible. I don’t believe the Soul Society will be killed, and thus I don’t care much when it appears they’ve been killed. Aizen failed, for months, to make me hate him for his actions and not just his existence. I hate that he’s an overpowered asshole who buries the cast to boost his already maxed ego. However this week, for one chapter, I hated him for his actions and not who he is.

Killing Gin (or presumably killing him) was the first action Aizen has done since striking down Tousen that legitimately pissed me off at him. I wanted him to get beat then, and I want him to be beaten now. Gin wasn’t the best character, and it’s tough feeling too bad for the same dude that tortured Rukia before her execution, but you do get the feeling that Gin was trying to accomplish something noble. His good-bye to Matsumoto was sweet, and I must note that Kubo actually has very intriguing side characters. The relationships between characters like Matsumoto and Gin or Komamura and Tousen are far more interesting and well developed than characters like Kenpachi or Ichigio.

Aizen did made it savage right off the bat by ripping Gin’s arm clean off, and moments like this strike me. Granted arm removal in Bleach has become somewhat of a trope, but this instant reminded me of the rather vicious scene where Matsumoto lost half of her chest from the attack of the chimera. The resolution to that was bullshit, and I imagine I’ll be displeased with the end result to all of this too, but as of now I remain optimistic and honest when I say that Aizen ripping of Gin’s arm and then cutting him down was pretty intense and intriguing. Follow that up with Ichigo appearing, and for once I’m excited about Bleach. Ichigo appearing means less of the bullshit burying, and we will, fingers crossed, finally see the asshole dead once and for all.

Look, I don’t think Bleach will get good. I think Ichigo v Aizen will be long, boring, and overall very unfulfilling. That doesn’t mean I won’t say I enjoyed this chapter. It was a nice change of pace to actually feel sorry for the guy getting cut down by Aizen instead of just saying “OH COME ON! AGAIN!?” Gin being more than a wild killer has been hinted at for ages, so I’m glad the payoff was something I could get emotionally attached to. Drink it in fans, and get your hate ready. Rollo T liked Bleach this week.


  1. I enjoyed it as well. I wasn't expecting Ichigo till after a boring-ass training montage three months from now. Just seeing him is a bit of a release. He even looks a bit bad-ass.

    Gin's story was tragic, short, and morally ambiguous. Which makes him a good bleach character. Even better than, as you've said, the better explained and drawn out characters.

    So you will receive NO shit from me today, good sir.

  2. I get the feeling this only really got a pass because there was a threat of something big happening next chapter. (Ichigo's appearance is the only thing that saved this. If Ichigo isn't a badass now, I expect a return to full hate mode.)

    I never really cared about the whole twist with Gin because the whole thing with Gin turning was glaringly obvious, and everyone knew Aizen was gonna pop him like a zit once Gin acted. That all happened more or less how I imagined it was going to. (Just a chapter sooner since I budgeted time for Kubo to blow a chapter on Gin's flashback and Ichigo arguing with Zangetsu some more)

    On a less important matter, I'm pretty sure Aizen cut off Gin's arm. No way he could've ripped off the arm and part of the sleeve like that. Pretty standard disable from Aizen. Nipple slash, arm chop.