Manga - The Other White Meat

This week in the recaps we have Naruto chapter 500 and Bleach chapter 410 up in the queue to discuss for the main focus of our article. When we last left our heroes in Bleach, Ichigo was training with his father Isshin to obtain some new power. The route to his power apparently goes through a new materialized form of her sword Zangetsu. In the meantime Aizen is slowly marching through the real Karakura town which was teleported to soul society by the shinigami. There is nothing pleasant about this stroll though town as he leaves a trail of bodies behind him. Naruto is still talking with his mother after stealing the nine-tailed demon fox’s chakra and is now hearing the story of his birth. One that is proving to be more intriguing then I anticipated.

That said, before we get to the recaps I’d like to make my anime/manga recommendation for the week. I’m going to vary between recommending full series and particular chapters with this portion, and this week I’m going with a full series. If you are a fan of the genre and haven’t watched or read Fullmetal Alchemist, you are doing yourself a disservice.

There is a current remake of the series called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood running on Hulu right now. I also just recently read the final chapter of some translated manga and this is an incredible series that is worth your time. The story is that of two brothers and their incredible journey through the world of alchemy. The basic principle of alchemy is simple: through equal exchange one form of matter can be converted into another. Using this, the brothers try to bring their mother back from the dead committing the forbidden act of human transmutation.

The results are horrifying and have long term repercussions. From there they pursue the mythical power known as the Philosopher’s Stone, an implement that allows alchemists to ignore the principle of equal exchange granting immense power. All of these events are folded in and incorporated into a land in political turmoil and war. Everything ties together nicely and the cast of characters are engaging and really develop nicely throughout the series. Alliances shift and wars begin and end. In the end will the brothers be able to reverse the effects of their childhood error into the world of human transmutation? Check out this series which has been completed in manga and anime form (no need to wait around for completion) and is even currently being redone on Hulu. You won’t be disappointed.

In the meantime let’s get to the recaps!


Chapter 410 is pretty uneventful. Ichigo continues to battle in his soul to unlock new power from his bankai. While battling Tensa Zangetsu in materialized form the broken world within Ichigo’s soul is displayed. What was once towering skyscrapers of potential now looks suspiciously like Karakura Town. Ichigo’s fear of his own power has reduced his potential to this form, and this disgusts Tensa Zangetsu.

With that the female form says that due to this she will rip his fear from his very soul and she plunges her hand into his chest. What she pulls forth is Ichigo’s old nemesis Ogichi, the hollow presence wihin Ichigo. This time, however, he is wearing the new mask that Ichigo is terrified of, the one he transformed into when he lost control in his fight with Ulquiorra. From there the scene shifts back to Karakura town where Aizen and Gin are threatening to hurt some of Ichigo’s childhood friends. Just when the strike seems about to fall, however, a shadowed form shows up and the chapter ends.


Chapter 500 was a little bit of a letdown to be honest given that there was a week off to prepare for it. Naruto has defeated the demon fox and resealed it within his soul. He should now have the full power of the fox, which I really thought we’d see an example of here. Instead he spoke with Kushina, his mother, about her being the previous host of the demon and what events on the day of his birth led to the fox’s release and the death of his mother and father. Apparently, the Uzumaki clan was in a fringe village and were experts in sealing techniques. While they were spread to the four winds in a ninja war because of the danger of their sealing techniques, Kushina was chosen by the Fire Country and Leaf Village as a Jinchuriki.

There is apparently only one time that the seal becomes very weak, and that is during child birth. Somehow, a ninja who remains masked in the manga but is presumed to be current arch-villain Uchiha Madara found out about this and chose this moment to attack. The chapter ends with a masked figure holding newborn Naruto in his arms with the threat to hand over the jinchuriki or the child will die. Intriguing if not a little longwinded and I’m curious if we are going to end up being shocked if Madara isn’t actually beneath the mask.

I was hoping for a double episode of Naruto or a sample of Naruto’s new power; instead we are treated with a story that will probably set Naruto’s resolve when he witnesses the death of his parents in order to save his own life. If anything should set him up to do whatever is necessary to protect the village and avenge his family, this would be it. See you next week!