Manga - The Other White Meat

Last week we were left off at a turning point in Bleach where Ichigo had been the first person in the fight to actually cut Aizen – other than Gin - with his sneak attack. One of Aizen’s new powers is of course extremely fast regeneration so I doubt that one strike will fell the villain but it shows we are nearing the end of the battle.

In Naruto, Kisame chose a warrior’s death and committed suicide in one of his own techniques, being eaten by sharks. Rather than give up information on Akatsuki to the combined forces of Konoha and Kumogakure he gave up his own life. In the process he also set a trap so that when his original report was opened to determine what information he was attempting to send, everyone present was trapped. Exhausted from their battles they were unable to overcome the technique and a final shark escaped with the message to deliver it to Akatsuki. That can’t be good, but on the plus side in this war, Kisame seems to definitely be dead.

That pretty much brings us up to speed for this week so let’s continue on to the recaps.


In Chapter 419 we pick up in the midst of what is assumed to be the final battle between Ichigo and Aizen. Ichigo has cut Aizen deeply but the monstrous former captain retreats briefly and we can already see his wounds regenerating. After some conversation Aizen feels a strange feeling and suddenly a third eye opens on his forehead. This is the precursor to a new transformation away from the almost beautiful look of a butterfly he had into something resembling a hollow hydra where the wings have turned into heads.

I would try to describe it further but there is really no need. Aizen’s face is covered in the mask of a hollow and the overall look is pretty grotesque. It’s fitting of the leader of this whole arc if you ask me. Aizen believes that the new form is the Hougyoku’s way of saying he will not be allowed to lose. The heads unleash a massive attack similar to many cero blasts coming together. Ichigo is engulfing in one of the biggest explosions we’ve seen yet – that is saying something – but emerges largely unscathed.

Aizen believes he has gained the upperhand and moves in for an attack snaring Ichigo with one of his head/snakelike extensions. Ichigo breaks easily however and defiantly asks if that is all Aizen’s got. As the chapter ends Ichigo says that he is ready to show Aizen “The Final Getsuga Tenshou.” The culmination of his training in the limbo world is about to be revealed. I’d be more excited except that I’m pretty sure we’ll get two chapters of flashbacks before the fight actually ends. Luckily those are often the most entertaining chapters in the series.

Either way I think we are in for a nice finish to the arc in the next 2-3 weeks.


Chapter 509 consists of Konan’s battle with Madara. Madara wants the Rinnegan back from Nagato and Konan wants to keep it hidden for the pride of her country. Unless she is VERY powerful compared to what I’ve seen in the past, she is at a severe disadvantage here. Madara has planned out pretty much every storyline up until now.

Konan believes that Akatsuki was formed by her long ago passed away from Yahiko created the group and that Madara is just using it to his own ends. She also believes that Nagato’s Rinnegan belongs to the hidden rain village and Madara doesn’t deserve it. In a feat where we truly learn how long Madara has been planning this however, he refutes those claims and states that both were actually his doing.

With that Konan begins her attack. Her ability is to separate into a nearly limitless number of sheets of paper that can be used to engulf her opponent. It seems simple but can be used in devious ways. She attempts to surround Madara, as his ability to phase in and out of what could best be described as a solid state is tricky. While surrounded by paper he can’t materialize to attack. To counter this he attempts to use his Sharingan’s power to suck things into another dimension to capture people.

As he does this he notices that Konan has mixed in exploding tags with her abilities paper. It seems that Madara has drawn quite the explosion in on himself. You know what time it is now? Flashback time! I doubt Madara is going to die as the arch-villain of this series at the moment; I think that means Konan is in trouble. In any case Madara manages to survive the blast, although he is much worse for wear. Konan is still alive as well, however as they chat she unleashes a secret technique.

As the chapter ends the ocean splits and begins to turn to paper beneath the two ninjas. The final frames are one of the shocked eyes of Madara – an expression I’ve yet to see him make by the way – and an ocean of paper rising up to meet him. In a word, epic.

Thanks for reading and see you next week.