Manga – The Other White Meat

I bet you thought I was going to leave you alone this week. None of the silly discussion and review of the week in Bleach and Naruto will be taking place today. Well…sorry to disappoint but get ready for another weekly review of the happenings in these two phenomenally popular series. I even saw a trailer for a new Naruto video game the other day on Joystiq. I think there was about 15 seconds of actual gameplay footage in three minutes. I forget, is that good these days? As long as there is approximately 10% of the time spent in game that means you should take what you see as an indication of the quality of the overall game right? I digress…

Last week in Chapter 404 of Bleach we found everyone struggling to fight Aizen since he is now apparently some sort of God, and Ichigo had to fend off a few attacks from Gin and even called upon his new hollow form that he gained fighting an Espada back in Hueco Mundo. I’d go into detail but it is an awesome fight and would take too long. If you are really curious this week in the anime they just finished the fight where Ichigo gained some psychotic powers and really looked just downright evil. Go find them floating in the glorious gathering of information known as…the internet. In chapter 495 of Naruto our hero, the title character Naruto, is still looking to gain complete control over the nine-tailed fox demon within him to become powerful enough to fight Sasuke.

Read on to find out what happened this week!


In Chapter 405 the assault on Aizen by Yoruichi, Urahara and Isshin continues but first we get a look at the vice captains for the two remaining disgraced captains Aizen and Gin. Back when they were captains, Gin’s vice-captain was a man named Kira Izuru. Gin also was very close with Captain Hitsugaya’s vice-captain named Rangiku Matsumoto. They are both pretty injured from previous fights but I have a sneaking feeling that Matsumoto is going to throw herself in front of Gin’s blade, sacrificing herself for Ichigo and Gin will hesitate when he kills the one person he still cares about in soul society. This will give Ichigo the chance to win. Why would I say he still cares about her? I suppose you would have had to see his departure at the conclusion of the last arc and their farewell.

So I just spent a long paragraph presuming events that probably won’t happen when they only took up approximately two pages of the story. Apparently Ichigo’s mask has already broken in between chapters after escaping Gin’s latest attack. Gin tells Ichigo he is weak and to run away. Ichigo looks incredulously at Gin as he says this, which is practically a trademark move for him. Yoruichi and Urahara have a spirited debate and in a rare showing of humility Aizen admits that Urahara is the only person in all of soul society that he feels is beyond his level of intellect. Aizen recovers his usual ego however in stating that due to his new form that doesn’t matter, it is merely interesting.

From there Urahara uses some cool new attacks that we hadn’t seen before from his zanpaktou Benihime. Yoruichi and Urahara tag team attack and Aizen blocks everything. Aizen’s exterior shell is cracked but not destroyed, however in the clearing smoke we see Isshin gearing up for an attack, and he uses, much to my surprise, Getsuga Tenshou, Ichigo’s primary attack. Apparently some things run in the family. It appears to split Aizen in half and his eyes even have widened a bit as if he wasn’t expecting it. Cool chapter.


In Chapter 496 Killer Bee has led Naruto to a cave where he can face off against his inner demon. Naruto has managed to defeat his true inner self that was filled with hate and resentment allowing him to take this step. Yamato, the team captain and person with the ability to suppress the chakra of the nine-tails is nervous about releasing the seal on the fox. If Naruto fails and the fox overpowers him Naruto will die. Naruto goes within himself and for the first time in the series the seal holding the fox at bay is completely removed. He and Bee remain in contact and within his mind Bee attempts to subdue the fox. The basic premise is that Naruto has to absorb the fox’s chakra into his own soul completely and that will conquer the beast. If he can’t accomplish this, then Naruto will be overpowered and die.

The Fox, as Naruto adequately states, is looking as evil as ever. Any scene featuring one of the tailed demons tends to be fun, but the nine-tailed fox is malevolent on a different level. Kyuubi (the fox) is surprised to find the real Naruto gone, as that was the main source of its power over Naruto. The battle boils down to this: each entity in Naruto’s soul is attempting to pull the other's chakra out of their body, the first person to lose the tug of war dies. There wasn’t a lot of action in this chapter but some of the humor was fun. One big mystery is what role Samehada and Kisame (who is hiding in the sword) will play. He is acting as a spy at the moment but I have to figure he is going to act soon. I’m not sure if a tailed beast running free is easier to catch then one contained in a jinchuuriki but he is definitely the x-factor in this whole story so far.

I’ve been told articles are better late then never and I hope this holds true for manga. Enjoy!