Manga - The Other White Meat

Well ladies and gentlemen, this week will be a quicker review of Bleach and Naruto than usual as not much happened in either series. I was hoping that Chapter 400 of Bleach would mark something tremendous happening but it looks like the final two fights going on now will extend well past that chapter. In Naruto lots of very interesting setups to what will surely be a crazy series of battles are going on. I guess it would be kind of lame if the Fourth Great Ninja War wasn’t truly epic in scale. I’m a little short on witty comments so let’s just hop right in to the recaps.


Chapter 299 starts off right where 298 left off, with Aizen and Isshin facing off in one arena while Ichigo and Gin battle in another. The first few pages consist of Ichigo’s father pressing the attack against Aizen, who seems for the first time to be taking a fight seriously. After a few sword swings and near misses by Isshin, Aizen utters a chant for a Kidou we haven’t seen before and launches it against Isshin. The last we see of them for now is a massive explosion which presumably will leave Isshin a little worse for wear.

The remainder of the chapter focuses on Gin’s battle and discussion with Ichigo. Up until this point, every bankai from a Shinigami, Vizard or Arrancar has been pretty epic in nature. Usually, with Ichigo being one of the rare exceptions, it completely alters the form of the sword and sometimes that of the user as well. They have been the high points of discovering what the truly inner power of the wielders Zanpaktou is. When Gin uses the Shikai form of his sword, essentially it can extend itself to 100 sword lengths. The Bankai release of the sword can apparently extend 13 kilometers. In a word that leaves me…disappointed. Sure a 13 kilometer long sword sounds cool, but how boring and predictable is that? Gin attacks with his giant sword, Ichigo blocks it and counterattacks and Gin calls him creepy. With some back and forth conversation that pretty much sums up the rest of this chapter. Hopefully next week we’ll get a look at some fights and maybe someone will actually get the upperhand.


The main focus of Naruto in chapter 490 is the alliance between Kabuto and Madara. Kabuto uses Orochimaru’s ninjitsu technique to bring back the bodies of Itachi, Sasori, Deidara, Kakuzu and Nagato; this comprises almost every member of Akatsuki that has been slain. The only one that he didn’t bring back was Hidan and that is probably because he is immortal. Currently he is buried under several tons of rock, completely dismembered and probably cursing every second. It isn’t fun not being able to die.

Madara asks for Kabuto’s price for such a gift, and Kabuto demands Sasuke. When Madara asks what happens if he refuses another casket is brought back, the contents of which shock Madara into agreeing to the terms and leave him as confused as we’ve seen him. What was in the box? My guess is that the figure currently assumed to be Madara, formerly known as Tobi, is actually someone else all together. He has assumed the form of Madara but Kabuto has obtained the corpse of the real Madara and therefore knows the truth. Only time will tell if I’m right.

Kabuto’s true intentions are still hard to tell however, because the trail of bodies he left behind him has led a group of trackers from Konoha straight to him. They believe they have discovered the Akatsuki headquarters and immediately retreat to Konoha to report back.

Back at Myouboku Mountain the sages are still trying to convince Naruto to use the seal to unleash the full power of the nine-tailed fox for his use. He knows he has to use this source of power within him to finally beat Sasuke, and eventually agrees to the deal after MUCH conversation. Apparently one part of the deal is he has to fight an octopus, at least according to the grand sage. What a coincidence that Killer Bee happens to be the host of an octopus tailed beast.

In the meantime back at the war room the Raikage and Killer Bee, the host of the eight tailed beast, are in a council meeting deciding what course of action to take next. Kisame is hidden within Sammehada, his sword, spying on everyone. The Raikage comes to a decision and the episode ends with him announcing that a joint shinobi army meeting will take place in three days. I’m willing to bet Kisame will escape, inform Madara and Kabuto of this, and the battle will begin there. Excitement abounds.