Manga - The Other White Meat

After a one week hiatus we’re back with another weekly wrap-up of Bleach and Naruto. Bleach is actually in the first of a two week break, but thanks to my hiatus we can simply dial back the clock to Chapter 423 from last week and we’ll be fine. Naruto, conveniently enough, has also not been released – at least not from my normal source – so we can discuss Chapter 512 from last week in that series as well.

Bleach is really winding down as this arc comes to a close. We have some funny moments, some really dumb decisions – in my mind – and an intriguing plot point with the main character. I’m not really sure how it is going to play out but, as always, I have my theories. Naruto is just getting geared up for the next epic battle. We finally get a closer look at Kabuto – or is he really losing control to Orochimaru – and his new powers. It appears that Akatsuki is also finally ready to make what could be a final move in this arc. I like that Naruto is less obvious about what the end of this will be right now. Bleach is always VERY obvious in its storytelling so that you can really see when things are wrapping up. Naruto doesn’t roll like that.

Onwards to the chapter recaps!


Chapter 423 is really a wrap-up after the defeat of ex-captain and monstrously powerful Aizen. Central 46 – the governing body of soul society – leads us off with the sentencing of Aizen. Sentencing? Really? This is a guy that pretty much took on and beat all of soul society. Only with the help of Ichigo – a human – and Urahara Kisuke – a banned former captain – did they win. The captains all got taken apart. Aizen needs to be executed not sentenced to 20,000 years of prison (that's not a typo by the way). In a way I suppose this is a nice development. No good guys died despite some being sliced in half and others being mortally wounded time and time again. The bad guys all died, including former captain Gin who turned on Aizen in the end. Having a bad guy live is actually kind of refreshing, although it worries me that the next arc will be as unoriginal as a jailbreak type scenario.

The other scenes involve the Captain Commander – like I said, no one dies no matter what the injury or explosion – yelling at the other captains for losing their gear. There is some amusing dialogue but nothing special. Some of the captains and vice captains are training furiously to get stronger but we don’t’ see much.

Back in the real world Ichigo awakes after apparently being in a coma for a month. He is surrounded by his friends but soon notices that his powers are indeed gone. He can’t sense any spiritual pressure at all, and as the chapter ends even loses the ability to see Rukia in her shinigami form. Even the time he aged in the precipice world has reversed so his hair is back to normal and he is shorter. I have no idea how he is going to regain his powers, but without him the series is dead in my opinion so I’m sure he will. Perhaps Urahara will use the Hougyoku – the root of the evil for the last TWO arcs – to restore him. That wouldn’t shock me. I’ll be interesting to see the introduction to the next arc in two weeks.


In Chapter 512 the aftermath of the fight with Kisame is shown. Guy is hurt from opening up physical gates that essentially destroy his muscles by pushing them beyond human limits. Bee is unable to stop the shark from escaping and the entire cast of characters on the island hiding the two remaining tailed beasts is faced with the reality that Akatsuki will soon know where they are. In an interesting twist we find out that it won’t be so easy to find the island though. There isn’t even any need to evacuate Bee and Naruto because the island is a giant turtle. The whole island moves. They will return to their base of operations and the 80,000 ninja coalition for war to inform them of what has happened.

From this scene we go to Akatsuki HQ where Madara, Zetsu, and Kabuto are having an interesting chat. Kabuto offers to collect the final two tailed beasts to gain Madara’s trust. Don’t forget he used a resurrection technique earlier that he gained from absorbing Orochimaru that allowed him to bring back the bodies of the other former members. Kabuto also wants to experiment on Yamato, the captain accompanying Naruto that is infused with the DNA of the first Hokage. In a stranger request, he also asks for a Zetsu. Up until now it has been strange that Zetsu can be everywhere at once scouting for Madara. It is finally revealed how this is possible. Even Madara in his state couldn’t defeat an 80,000 ninja army with his limited crew.

He has used some technique to create an army of approximately 100,000 Zetsus! With those numbers he can easily take on the joint shinobi forces. Back at the joint command it is decided that Gaara of the Sand, kage of the Sand Village, will go to Naruto and Bee for backup. Kabuto and the raised form of Deidara are about to take on Naruto, Gaara, and Bee. That should be a crazy battle.

See you next week.