Manga - The Other White Meat

We’ve reached the culmination of a story arc in one of our faithfully followed series while the other has reached a major turning point in the story. Naruto is seeing a little downtime and some new mysteries to be solved later on are being set up. At this point many of the past storylines have been resolved, but new issues are now coming up that I have no idea what direction they are going in.

Meanwhile, in Bleach the final fight is beginning for this arc. Why do I suspect this? Two reasons: 1) The author practically stated it in the last chapter and 2) Whenever the main hero fights the main villain after everyone else has fallen, it is typically the end. Are you curious to know what happened in the latest chapters of Bleach and Naruto? Oh…well…hm…keep reading anyways will you?


Chapter 396 in Bleach opens with a brief showing of Captain Commander Yamamoto’s final desperate act to stop Aizen. His Kidou #96, Ittou Kasou, is a sacrificial technique that turns one’s own body into a bomb (for lack of a better description). Unfortunately Aizen survives, but escapes only to bear the brunt of Ichigo’s most powerful, and much to my chagrin ONLY (you’d think the main character would have two almost 400 chapters into the series), attack Getsuga Tenshou. Ichigo is in his full hollow form and he almost manages to cut Aizen’s arm clean off.

As Ichigo comes in to finish the job however, Aizen begins to defend and seems no worse for wear. Aizen begins to regenerate immediately as Ichigo realizes he needed to kill with the first strike. Aizen has implanted a powerful artifact called the Hougyoku into himself, and the artifact is healing Aizen to keep its new host alive. The Hougyoku is what Aizen used to create most of his army in this arc and it is a very powerful item.

Since Manga chapters are relatively short compared to traditional comics (they do come out weekly after all), this is where the action ends. From here Aizen explains that every fight Ichigo has been in, every discovery of new power, they have all been part of Aizen’s plans. Ichigo is shocked at the discovery of this, and I am truly intrigued to find out why Aizen would have wanted Ichigo to become as strong as he has. I’m fresh out of theories and we’ll just have to wait until next week to find out more.


Chapter 488 of Naruto begins with the feudal lords agreeing on the ninja alliance against Madara and Akatsuki. As of now it appears that the organization consists of Madara, Sasuke, Tetsu and the very scary Kisame. It is amazing to me that all the ninja villages and feudal countries have decided that they have to band together to survive the onslaught of essentially four ninjas.

In the meantime Kakashi, Sakura, Naruto and the newly captured Karin from Sasuke’s team arrive back at the scene where Sasuke knocked out her other teammates, Sai, Kiba and Lee. Enough names for you? I’ve practically introduced everyone who matters at this point.

All of the Kage from the meetings arrive back in their respective villages to find out that the feudal lords have accepted the alliance. Karin notices that Naruto’s chakra is the opposite of Sasuke’s, warm and bright. However she also senses within him the chakra of the nine-tailed demon fox and her face reflects how terrified that makes her.

Back at the hidden leaf village Naruto explains that he will fight Sasuke alone. All the aforementioned ninja are there along with a few others whose names I’ll leave off for now until they actually are involved in something. Naruto tells them that he couldn’t have won against Sasuke in their last meeting. He claims to be able to see into his thoughts and he just knew. As he walks away from the group there is an ominous frame where everyone is looking at Naruto with questions but he is not willing to answer them now.

Just as the elders are about to declare Kakashi the new Hokage and leader of the village, a ninja interrupts the meeting with urgent news. In another room Shizune, aid to the former Hokage Tsunade who has been unconscious for some time since the last major battle in the village, is hugging her recently awakened master. I presume this means that she will take back up the mantle of Fifth Hokage of the Hidden Leaf village.

Finally we return to Madara’s hideout where Sasuke is recovering from the eye transplant to inherit his brother’s eyes. This should give him the ability to use his eyes powers without the danger of going blind, making him as formidable as Madara. Sasuke states that he can feel himself growing stronger, and that the power is flowing into him. Between the reemergence of the last of the legendary Sanin ninja Tsunade, Sasuke’s newfound power, Naruto’s secret about why he couldn’t be Sasuke and the reveal of Kabuto sporting all of Orochimaru’s old tricks, there is a lot going on in the world of Naruto. How the heck is all that fit into about 18 pages?!? FANtastic.