Manga - The Other White Meat

Welcome back to mangaland folks for another overview of the latest in Bleach and Naruto happenings. The manga is really all I have to look forward too at the moment since both the anime series are currently running filler episodes to let the manga get ahead. I don’t quite understand why they are doing this in Naruto as there is a TON of material from the manga that hasn’t been done yet. At least 3 major battles seem to have taken place and concluded from where they are now. Such is life I suppose. Bleach is also starting its SECOND run of filler episodes in a row. They have to since so little has happened in the manga in what feels like six months. Like I promised, I will be discussing something else here after this arc of Bleach is over. I’m too invested in it to quit now and just have to hope something interesting (like Aizen killing half of soul society and them staying dead) happens during the current fight. Well, that seems like as good a place as any to jump into the reviews, no? BLEACH In chapter 390 Hitsugaya is enraged and in Bankai form, facing off against Aizen, who doesn’t seem worried. The last time these two faced off, back when Aizen was first revealed as the traitor to Soul Society, Captain Hitsugaya was nearly cut in half. It wouldn’t shock me to see that happen again. Captain Kyoraku is also still attacking at the flanks but Aizen deftly avoids those attacks. As Hitsugaya prepares to attack we finally get a look at ex-Captain Gin, who has up until now been quietly observing. According to Gin hatred isn’t the answer, attacking with a willingness to give up your life won’t help. There is a very simple explanation to why Aizen is who he is, and why he has accomplished so much. Captain Komamura attacks at the same time, his Bankai is blocked by Aizen and then he is summarily destroyed. Since any damage done to his Bankai reflects to him, Captain Komamura is pretty much taken out by the blow as Aizen shows him what power truly is. Seeing as how he really is a minor captain, and to my knowledge not a huge fan favorite, I’m guessing that Komamura will die. Gin’s point is that Aizen is simply strong; it really doesn’t matter what his Zanpaktou’s power is. Captain Aizen is scary, because he is strong. Next two of the Vizard’s attack and Aizen simply turns and takes them out. Aizen is above concern for who is attacking, he is just that strong. It would be a novel idea to have the whole series end with the bad guy winning (that would actually be kind of cool). Unfortunately I’m sure Ichigo will just find some “higher level” (maybe over 9000!) and win. At least people are dropping like flies and some actual fighting has begun. NARUTO Chapter 480 begins with Danzou and Sasuke both pierced through with sword strikes. Because Danzou’s ability allows him to substitute his real body for an illusion, however, no one knows if the plan worked. Danzou thinks he has won because one eye is still open, but then he comes to a realization. Izanagi isn’t working, and Sasuke has used his Sharingan to put an illusion on Danzou that only made it appear that the eye was still open. Sasuke used perfect timing to notice that Danzou’s sharingan on his arm had closed and put him under a genjitsu that made it appear still open. Madara confidently says that Danzou’s reliance on the implanted Sharingan was his downfall and that he could never beat a true Uchiha clan member. Karin comes in at this point and allows Sasuke to bite her, which is her unique healing ability. Just when it looks like the fight is over, however, the implanted DNA of the first hokage explodes forth from Danzou’s body, causing him to think he might be taken over completely. It appears that Danzou isn’t quite finished, but he is too close to death to control the abilities properly. Danzou also has one more ace up his sleeve: an implanted eye from Shisui, one of his bodyguards that Madara took care of, is now working again. The ability allows Danzou to dodge Sasuke’s attack and take Karin hostage. Danzou believes he has the upper hand, but he underestimates Sasuke’s hatred. Sasuke sacrifices Karin and blasts right through her to pierce Danzou’s heart. Madara knows this was the final fall into darkness for Sasuke, and finally has the weapon he has been searching for. Great surprise ending of what, in my opinion, is Sasuke’s final fall from grace.