Manga - The Other White Meat

Welcome back dear readers to the manga recap of Bleach and Naruto for the week with both chapters this week had some nice action and progressed nicely. We got an idea of exactly how strong Ichigo has become and we also see what lengths Kisame will go to in order to protect Akatsuki. Good stuff overall.

I believe last week I promised a recommendation for a series that I personally have enjoyed in the past. I’m going to go with Black Lagoon. The story revolves around a group of pirates and mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company operating out of a fictional city called Roanapur. The main character, Rock, is a guy from Japan who is a typically downtrodden businessman that gets kidnapped by the company. He quickly finds himself a member of the crew and joins them on a variety of adventures. In many ways the story structure is similar to Cowboy Bebop as there are definitely recurring characters and overarching storylines that get mixed in with the current adventures.

You’ll find a mix of everything in this series from dark humor to fairly brutal violence to almost western themes. If Cowboy Bebop is a space western, than Black Lagoon is a pirate western. I mean really…a pirate western? How can you possibly not want to check THAT out? The manga is a long running series and there are also two 12 episode anime seasons out there as well. A third season of anime is on the way. If you enjoy guns, badass female leads, dark humor and pretty crazy combat with a pirate/mercenary theme thrown in, you’ll like this title.

That said, onwards to the recaps!


In Chapter 418 the time for words between Ichigo and Aizen is over. Aizen still doesn’t seem to comprehend Ichigo’s new level of strength because there is no reiatsu to sense from the young hero. Honestly, we don’t have a good idea of what he is capable of either. I’m sure the completion of Ichigo’s training will be revealed to us in the form of flashback over the next few chapters and I’m very eager to learn more about the completion of his training.

Aizen uses his hypnosis to try to get the drop on Ichigo by suddenly appearing behind him but the attack fails. In the process of dodging an entire mountain is leveled. Aizen talks a little trash and attacks again. Ichigo continues to dodge until Aizen claims he will shatter Ichigo’s sword with one swing. Imagine his surprise when Ichigo catches Aizen’s sword with his bare hands. This is a nice homage to the same thing happening at the end of the last arc, only with the roles reversed and Ichigo being the one in shock.

The shock of not knowing what is happening, for maybe the first time in over 100 years, drives Aizen to actually do a full chant for the Black Coffin kidou technique. This is a technique that he used without the chant – the full chant increases the strength – to take out a former captain previously. Aizen declares the fight over for the third time in the chapter. Ichigo casually shatters the blackness around him however, says a few things and then makes his first attack brutally slashing Aizen. Stay tuned as I’m sure this fight will go for at least another couple of weeks and it wouldn’t shock me if other people show up as well.


Chapter 508 of Naruto shows Kisame’s resolve to not surrender or give up any information to his enemies. Last chapter he bit off his own tongue to regain consciousness and prevent any information being discovered. He has shattered the stocks that were holding him, which Yamato says was indeed reinforced with his wood element chakra. In his current weakened state it should have been impossible for Kisame to break free.

Kisame then imprisons himself in a water prison and summons two sharks within it. Afterwards we get another flashback to Kisame’s first meeting with his former partner Itachi. They discuss the meaning of death and how the horrible things they have done destined both of them to die horribly. You see, both Itachi and Kisame slaughtered their own allies. In the end Kisame takes the honorable way out and has his own sharks devour him. For the first time Might Guy remembers his name, and because the way he died was the true ninja way he vows never to forget it.

With the threat seeming to have finally passed the group decides to read the message they intercepted in order to find out what information Akatsuki was after. Kisame had one last trick up his sleeve however and the booby-trapped message spawns a series of water prisons that engulf the group. One of the sharks grabs the message and escapes to the ocean with it while the group is incapacitated. It seems that even in death Kisame completed his final mission.

In the meantime back in the rain village Madara has returned seeking the rinnegan that was lost when Nagato died after the attack on Konoha. The final member of the trio trained by the Legendary Sanin Sage Jiraiya is on her own to fight Madara. What will Konan do? It appears a battle between the former allies is imminent and Konan may be in serious trouble. Perhaps Nagato’s sacrifice in the face of Naruto’s hope will end up driving her to form an alliance with Konoha. Enemies have become friends in this series before after all.

So Kisame is dead, Konan is in trouble and in Bleach the final battle between Aizen and Ichigo is underway with Aizen up against the ropes. Not a bad week if I do say so myself. See you next week.