Manga - The Other White Meat

This week brings us one step closer to the end of an arc in Bleach with a very exciting chapter…where not much happened. In Naruto we finally learn more about the background of one of the series' most intriguing characters, Kisame Hoshigaki, and how he came to be under the control of Uchiha Madara and the Akatsuki.

In Naruto, as usual, the battle was pretty furious and we find out just how tricky Captain Might Guy can be with his techniques. We also learn the lengths that Kisame will go to for his loyalty to Madara. In Bleach we see the beginning of the results of Ichigo’s new training as well as get a closer look at his new form, which I assume is a result of conquering his sword's true power. We haven’t seen Ichigo in quite some time so it is nice to have him back as it indicates both the end of this arc and a move to something new.

No recommendations for other series today but those will be back next week. Onwards to the recaps!


I mentioned above that Chapter 417 was exciting even though nothing happens. That seems to be a little contradictory doesn’t it? Allow me to try to explain. Just about the ONLY time anything interesting happens in Bleach these days is when we get to see someone’s new powers. That is what we get a glimpse of in Ichigo in this chapter.

Physically he looks much the same as he did. The only noticeable changes are that his hair has grown out and the chain that was at the back of his sword now wraps around his right arm and his cloak sleeve is ripped off. He is also wearing some kind of glove and it seems like the hilt of his all black sword has changed. He hasn’t bulked up or had any nonsense like that happen, but the art overall just does a good job of making him seem…stronger. I have no idea why or how, suffice it to say it does. Gin, who apparently isn’t dead yet – I forgot that no one dies in Bleach, EVER – takes one look at Ichigo’s eyes and thinks to himself that those are indeed strong eyes, and he will now leave defeating Aizen to Ichigo. I have no idea if that was a dying thought or not.

Everyone is confused, from Ichigo’s friends to Aizen, however, because they can’t sense ANY reiatsu at all from him. Technically, as Aizen states, it is possible to mask one’s power but not to eliminate it completely as Ichigo has done. Ichigo asks Aizen to relocate for their impending fight despite this fact and when Aizen states that it would be impossible for someone with no reiatsu to fight him, Ichigo simply…moves them. He basically just overpowers Aizen and in an instant they are somewhere far, far away from his friends.

The chapter ends with Aizen in shock and, for what seems like the tenth time, with someone – Ichigo here – stating that he will simply end this in an instant. So like I said, I enjoyed the chapter, but really, nothing happened! Next week should have a bit more action and a closer look at Ichigo’s new power. I’m sure we have at least one or two more power-ups to go, although it would be great to be shocked and have Ichigo just mop it up in a second as promised leaving everyone else half terrified and half in wonder of him.


Chapter 507 of Naruto has a mix of action and history, which is always a good time because, unlike Bleach in my opinion, Naruto has really interesting characters with intertwined backgrounds and motivations.

We open with Guy facing down Kisame, both having used their ultimate attacks. It is Afternoon Tiger versus Giant Shark Missile – advantage Guy in the name category – for all the marbles. Kisame’s shark has a trick: it can absorb any opposing person’s chakra from the technique to gain strength. Kisame thinks that he has won because of this, but Guy’s technique cuts right through the shark and pretty much decimates the akatsuki member.

How could that have happened? Guy explains that it is because his attack was actually a pressure wave from a massive punch. There was no chakra in the move; it was a pure physical attack. Kisame praises Guy for having a technique that powerful up his sleeve even after four fights between the two of them. Guy warns Kisame not to move and when even a finger twitches he delivers a massive punch to the midsection that knocks out the enemy agent.

After this we find Kisame in stocks, presumably ones fortified with some kind of ninjitsu since Kisame is beastly strong and I feel like wood wouldn’t hold him. One of the Konoha ninja is an interrogator that can go into people’s minds to get information. It is here that we discover how Kisame came to have to leave the mist country and also how he first came to meet Uchiha Madara. Kisame is one of the few Akatsuki members that knew about Madara from the start and thus probably never truly thought Pain was their leader. He respects Madara’s strength and feels this is finally a place where he can belong. The rest of the ninja world was just a world of lies where he was nothing more than a tool. With Madara he felt he could be more. Before any more information can be found, Kisame bites off his own tongue to force himself to consciousness and then breaks the stocks in a crazy feat of strength.

I’m pretty sure that he is about to die as he is surrounded by Lee, Naruto, Guy, Yamato and three other pretty strong ninja and he is already weakened from his fight. If so I’m sure he’ll go out in a blaze of glory and his usefulness as a source of information is probably over. Great chapter.

So until next week, happy reading and I hope to be able to attempt to continue to recap and entertain you.