Manga - The Other White Meat

Hello all you manga fans, Tom here and we’re back with another wrap-up of the last two weeks in manga. Naruto and Bleach have both been running full steam ahead lately and some very interested events have happened. In Naruto the battle between Killer Bee and Kisame rages on while in Bleach the Espada Yammy is still fighting Shinigami Captains Zaraki and Byakuya. Before we delve into that I figured I’d name a few other series that I’ve been fans of. Typically the manga provides a lot of background information for just about any anime, and most of the anime I’ve watched hasn’t been original, but adapted from the manga. One of my favorites, possibly more for the settings then the actual story, is Cowboy Bebop. I love the whole wild, wild west theme as it applies to the exploration of the galaxy for a group of bounty hunters with varied pasts. Trigun and Fullmetal Alchemist are two others that I enjoyed watching (but not the FMA movie). Some others that I’ve watched and enjoyed in varying amounts are Wolf's Rain, Tenjho Tenge (although I’ll admit that one has a bit more fan service then actual quality programming), and Death Note off the top of my head. Sure some of those are better then others, but I figured I’d share some general names with anyone reading who was interested in maybe watching or reading something beyond the current giants that are Naruto and Bleach. In any case…on to the summaries! BLEACH Chapter 383 in the mange opens with Yammy recoiling from the double strike he just took from the captains right in the face. He is missing all kinds of limbs now but still seems to have a lot of fight in him. The captains turn to face each other in a fight when Yammy snaps back to action saying that it hurt a lot, but that it will take more then two blasts to the face to take him down. With that Yammy screams in rage which increases his size tremendously. Mayuri asks that they please finish the fight soon because if Yammy gets any bigger dissecting him to study the corpse will get really hard. Apparently, Yammy’s strength is driven by his anger; the madder he gets, presumably the bigger he will get. To my knowledge neither captain has gone to his ace in the hole yet, referring to Byakuya’s bankai and Zaraki removing his reiatsu containing eye patch. Back in the real world the Vizard Shinji has finally dropped his fallen comrade Hiyori -only half the girl she used to be (pun intended)- and turned to face off against the godlike villain Aizen, Shinji’s former vice-captain. Shinji, usually the cool and collected member of the group, looks to have totally lost it and is ready to fight to his full power. Shinji still places his hope in Ichigo as he tells a fellow Vizard Hachi to look after Hiyori until Ichigo’s return. Aizen finds the dependence on Ichigo confusing, and explains that hope and faith are a weakness. People follow because of the leader’s strength, and if they are not strong enough to follow, they die. That is Aizen’s only truth. In the meantime Captain Komamura and Vice Captain Hisagi face off against former captain turned traitor Tousen. As they are about to fight Tousen reaches for his face to release his true power, not his bankai, but something else. Could Aizen have turned Gin and Tousen into Vizards? If he did they will be a force to be reckoned with. NARUTO In Naruto Manga 472 Killer Bee and Kisame continue their fight. Everyone is underwater as Kisame attacks, being the only one that can breathe and move quickly with a shark like body. The only problem is that the water moves as Kisame does, so it is impossible to escape. Killer Bee decides to move away from his comrades so that Kisame will follow him, releasing them from the water. While Killer Bee is in his transformed state he can survive under water much longer. Bee uses an octopus form of partial transformation to drag Kisame away from his friends, releasing them from the drowning pool of water. Bee is running out of air, and uses ink to try to set up an escape. Unfortunately Kisame can feel chakra levels and is able to track Bee down. Bee is out for the count with no help in sight, and Kisame dispels the water and prepares to disable him so he can’t move. Just as he is about to land a killer strike using his sword Samehada, the sword actually revolts against its master and attacks Kisame! Through absorbing so much of the Hachibi’s chakra the sword appears to want to give Bee back the stolen energy! Kisame won’t allow that and knocks the sword away, electing to use Bee’s own sword to chop of his legs to prevent an escape. Chapter 473 continues the saga of Bee and Kisame’s fight. Just before Bee gets his legs cut off, he turns and fires an electrically charged pencil point blank at Kisame’s face. He hits, but only for a scratch. As the blow is swung, a charged weapon shatters. Bee’s brother, the Raikage, has arrived with his two bodyguards in tow. Kisame is now vastly outnumbered. They tracked the battle down by sensing the huge water trap. Kisame can’t really do much since Samehada has betrayed him and the Hachibi’s chakra has turned the seemingly sentient sword into Bee’s ally. As Kisame attempts to use a technique to turn the tide he is overwhelmed by the double lightning clothesline that the Raikage and Bee execute from opposite sides. Kisame comments on the precision of the technique…but something isn’t quite right. His head is upside down. In the next frame we see that the head is like that because it is now bout 15 feet up in the air while his body is still on the ground. FATALITY! Meanwhile back in the Samurai village the search for Suigetsu and Juugo continues as the pair are trying to escape undetected in some Samurai uniforms, but are discovered. They are vastly outnumbered but I have a feeling it won’t be a big issue. The trap that Danzou’s soldier has set is still in effect as Mizukage, hokage of the rain village, arrives with her other protector Chojuro in toe. They try to get her to fall for it and untie the hands of Ao but she has already seen through the trap. To undo the trap she knocks Ao out, who awakes to ask if it was something he said. That leaves Danzou’s support to announce that unfortunately his trap was a failure. Meanwhile Sai has created a clone and waited for Sakura to leave so that he could inform Naruto, Kakashi, and Yamato what she couldn’t say during her confession. The episode ends here. What could the full truth be? I guess we will find out next week.