Manga – The Other White Meat

Hello out there in manga-land, how is everyone doing on this fine Thursday? You may have forgotten since I am so wonderfully lax with my deadlines, but Thursday is manga release day! That means that once again I’m here to bring you the latest happenings in Bleach and Naruto as well as my thoughts and impressions on where the series might be heading. Both series hit a bit of a lull this week with a lot of information being conveyed with no action.

Last week in Bleach Aizen and Gin finished their respective fights and left to invade Soul Society, the place where Karakura town is now located. Aizen wants to sacrifice the town in order to use its energy to create a key of some kind that will allow him to ascend into heaven. At least, I think that is what it does. Naruto finds himself confronted with losing the battle with the nine-tailed demon fox within him and a mysterious woman in his mind. With that said, let’s recap Bleach Chapter 407 and Naruto Chapter 498.


Aizen and Gin have stepped through the Senkai Gate, a way to travel between the real world and Soul Society and are in the Precipice World, a place where time and space don’t exist between the two. For that very reason there is a creature you cannot defeat with reiatsu called the Koutotsu that forces people to move along and not get stuck there. It basically looks like a cross between a giant worm and a train.

Gin states that they should probably get moving because it is a being that dwells in the realm of reason and could cause them problems. Aizen turns, faces the beast, and destroys it without using any obvious attack. He states that reason only exists for those who cannot go on living without clinging to it. Apparently reason has no hold on Aizen. He is truly a scary, scary dude. Aizen and Gin emerge in the city, now located in soul society where it was teleported and being to walk towards their targets.

Isshin meanwhile snaps Ichigo out of his despair and they also open the Senkai Gate and go through it. With no Koutotsu there, however, they are able to linger in this limbo world. Time and space don’t mean anything there, which means that while they are there time does not pass in the other worlds. The fact that Aizen destroyed the creature means they can linger and train, and Isshin will teach Ichigo the Final Getsuga Tenshou.

I don’t remember what it was called but this reminds me of the DBZ training world that some of the characters used to get insane strong in a short period of time. There’s nothing like the old dimension outside of space and time trick to get some training in on unsuspecting enemies. Hopefully they’ll spend three years there to make it a total cliché. I was kind of hoping Ichigo would learn a NEW move, but why would we want originality in a series.


Most of this chapter of Naruto involves a conversation between our hero and the mysterious woman he meets just before the fox devours him. At first Naruto thinks that it is another form of the fox trying to trick him and attacks, but the woman punches him in the head and says no. Naruto hears a peculiarity of speech that gives him pause in that moment. The way she spoke is similar to the nonsense way that Naruto says things when he talks. Naruto always adds a phrase to the end of his sentences that really doesn’t mean anything, and this woman does the same thing. Naruto realizes when she begins to speak of Minato, the Fourth Hokage and Naruto’s father, that this figure is his mother.

On the outside Yamato and Bee notice that Naruto’s transformation into the fox stops halfway and they are wondering what is going on. Kushina, Naruto’s mother’s name, wants to talk and so does Naruto and she uses a technique to pin down the fox that is pretty crazy. The fox recognizes her chakra and seems confused, which is also interesting. The entirety of the episode from there goes into how Naruto’s parents fell in love and reveals a lot of previously unknown background.

This inspiration from his mother and his memory from the last time the fox took over of his father inspires Naruto to renew his struggle against the fox. These are the two safeguards his parents put into place along with the seal of the tailed demon so that Naruto would not lose hope and succumb to the evil inside him. Given that this is chapter 498, I am thinking that Naruto will complete his battle with the fox and emerge with some crazy new strength in a special chapter 500. From there the march to the inevitable battle with Sasuke will begin. Cool chapter, even without any action at all.