Manga - The Other White Meat

Another week comes and more interesting progression takes place in Bleach and Naruto. Chapter 421 in Bleach brings us the conclusion of the Aizen supervillain arc, or at least what seems to be the conclusion. As I suspected Ichigo did the heavy lifting but a surprising – or maybe not so surprising – figure coming in to help with the finishing shot.

Naruto 511 continued the story of Madara trying to become the next Sage of the Six Path’s, a kind of ultimate ninja. He already has three of the six paths in his possession: the Uchiha’s Sharingan, Nagato’s Rinnegan and the Senju clan’s power. This chapter gives us a little more history in the epilogue to what was actually a pretty hard fought battle between Konan and Madara.

Enough stalling for this week, let’s get to the recaps!


Chapter 421 focuses on the aftermath of Ichigo’s ultimate attack on Aizen, the Final Getsuga Tenshou. The resulting explosion could probably have been seen from space if there were satellites in this series. Ichigo’s statement that he would lose his Shinigami powers forever begins to show immediately as his new form begins to change. His face is uncovered from its semi-coverage and his bankai cloak begins to dissolve away. His hair also slowly changes from long and black to its normal light color and length. We even get to see one touching frame of Ichigo’s sword, Zangetsu, saying goodbye.

Of course no fight ever ends that easily. Aizen crashes to the Earth and begins to regenerate even after an attack like that. Ichigo attempts to act but can’t because his powers are already leaving him. Aizen goes into another standard issue villain monologue when suddenly spikes start to pop out of his chest. He is baffled by the kidou but an old enemy who I would always have suspected would have the final say shows up.

Kisuke Urahara, the former captain of the division that Aizen took over, currently banned from soul society and who hasn’t returned in over 100 years, appears on the scene for his first return to end the fight. He had planted in Aizen a sealing Kidou technique that couldn’t have worked until now. Aizen has been weakened enough that he can’t fight it. He calls Urahara a coward for not taking what is probably the highest intellect in all of soul society and using it to gain power. This argument is the one that follows Aizen into the conclusion of the sealing technique that ends the chapter as Ichigo looks on powerless to act in any direction.

So ends Aizen. This would be an interesting end to the series, but of course that isn’t going to happen. Ichigo will somehow regain his powers and it will carry on.


Chapter 511 in Naruto also ended one battle and closed a page in the multiple storylines out there while beginning the next pursuit. Madara finishes collecting Nagato in order to regain the Rinnegan and teleports himself back to his headquarters. There the remaining Akatsuki members state that everything is going well, and Kisame’s message arrives via shark messenger – efficient – and the team learns where the final two jinchuuriki are hiding.

The rest of the episode is actually a comical and yet touching look at the history of Konan, Nagato and Yahiko and their training with Jiraiya. We get a look at their training with the late sage and second of the three legendary ninja known as the Sannin to have passed away (of course it remains to be said if Kabuto has taken over Orochimaru or if Orochimaru is going to return after gaining control). The three ninja formed Akatsuki together and fought through many trials, which we saw some of in the last chapter when Konan was defeated.

After the flashback is over we find that Madara, armed with three of the six paths, a new mask and an overall powerful look to him is going after Naruto. The battle for the nine-tailed fox will begin yet again. Naruto has harnessed the power of the fox, however, and considering that the 4th Hokage – Naruto’s father – defeated Madara once, maybe the son will be able to finish it once and for all.

Want to know what I think? I think Madara will be on the verge of victory and Sasuke will kill him. Why do I think this will happen? I see two possible reasons. One is that Sasuke will do this because he feels he is the one who should kill Naruto and stamp out Konoha. The other is that Naruto’s passion and power to win people over will finally force Sasuke to see the error of his ways, and to end Madara’s plan he will switch sides again and rejoin Konoha. The second is intriguing because Sasuke is an international criminal at this point so if he rejoined and Naruto became Hokage…it could cause a new ninja war when he refused to give up his friend. That would make for a fun new arc no?

At the end of the manga I believe it said no Naruto next week so we may do a profile of another interesting show for all two of you and be back to our regularly scheduled recaps after that.