Manga - The Other White Meat

Sorry for the delay ladies and gentlemen but I’m afraid my lack of talent in reading Japanese leaves me at the mercy of the translations of the manga getting released from week to week. That said, Bleach and Naruto are both finally out. Perhaps there are other places to view the manga, but if there are I don’t know about them. Generally it usually comes out quickly but there was mention of some unusual delay. In any case, onwards to Naruto and Bleach we go. I’m going to forgo the recommendation this week in the interest of having this posted early on in the day but it will return next week.


Chapter 412 picked up with Vice Captain Rangiku Matsumoto, Gin’s former childhood friend facing down Aizen and Gin while saving the life of Ichigo’s friend and Don Kanojii. After they exit hastily Rangiku says something to the effect of now she can stop them, which is about as ridiculous a statement as she could have made. She is still reeling from the effects of being almost ripped in half in an earlier fight and has no chance.

In the end this chapter was disappointing. Gin and Rangiku have some kind of past together. At times it seems like they are a couple divided by situation longing to be together, at times it seems like she loves Gin and he might just be an evil bastard. I was really hoping we’d get some answers, but instead Gin dispatches of her (not pictured in the panel's mind and out of sight of Aizen so who knows) and moves on with Aizen trailing slightly behind. After this minor distraction we flash back to the interim world where Isshin looks pretty exhausted from holding them in place and Ichigo is bleeding from the mouth and still clearly battling inside his soul. Maybe the next chapter will cover several issues.


In Chapter 502 we continue to see the results of the night of Naruto’s birth. We also are finally told definitively that Sasuke is under the care of his older brother Itachi and his parents are away. We get a look at the younger versions of the parents of the current main characters as they prepare to fight the nine-tailed demon fox. The Third Hokage also enters the battle, a nice cameo for a great character from very early on in Naruto. The fox has one attack deflected using a time-space teleportation jutsu by the Fourth Hokage. Immediately after that the masked man teleports in and attacks Minato (4th Hokage) to prevent him from interfering.

We finally find out that the fourth is indeed Uchiha Madara. I suppose it COULD still be Danzo or another Uchiha, but seeing as they are all dead in the manga I’m going to assume they wouldn’t make them the focal point for this attack. That wouldn’t leave anyone for Naruto to fight after this flashback is over now would it? They battle in a test of who can use time-space jutsu faster and more effectively and the chapter ends with Minato using one of his signature moves in a clever way to land a huge blow on Madara.

The three main things that will need to be resolved before this flashback can end are: How will Sasuke and Itachi be dragged into this (perhaps Madara will confront Itachi and to save his infant brothers life he will pledge to betray the village); how will Minato and Kushina die; and how will Naruto end up with the fox sealed inside of him when in the past it has always been a female. I suppose a male is a good choice given that the seal weakens during child birth. It would seem silly to continue to risk such an obvious vulnerability when the simple solution is to stop using female ninja as the hosts.

Until next week readers, and hopefully the translations will get out in a more timely fashion so I can get this out on its usual Thursday posting time.