Manga - The Other White Meat

Welcome back everyone! So I’m been thinking about why my attention lately has been waning for a series that held my interest for a while. I’m speaking of One Piece, the story of the straw hat pirates and Monkey D. Luffy – usually just called Luffy. I think one of the things that works as a double-edged sword in Manga is that it tries to cram what seems like close to 100 different characters and 5 different plotlines into about 17 pages on a weekly basis. One Piece in particular can have so much going on that it can be hard to follow what is going on.

Naruto is running into that right now. With this Shinobi World War we have seen in the last few weeks the introduction of 10-20 characters that are brand new to us, even if to ninjas of the world they are legendary. There is going to come a point where there are SO many legendary ninja that no one can really be legendary. It reminds me of Syndrome in The Incredibles saying, “When everyone’s super, no one is!”

So many legendary ninja are defeated by the everyday characters right now that I’m starting to glaze over every time I hear the word or about someone's “unstoppable jutsu” that just gets stopped. Right now only Madara and Kabuto seem TRULY legendary as they are basically taking on every major nation in the Naruto universe by themselves and no one seems to be able to stop them. THAT is legendary to me. /end rant

Onwards to the recaps for the week!


In Naruto Chapter 525 the joint Shinobi force is faced with a two front war. Zetsu – the member of akatsuki capable of replicating himself by the thousands to form the brunt of the force – has faced off with Gaara’s group and Darui’s group. Gaara’s group is a ranged attack force, but they are going to face a MUCH stiffer challenge in my opinion. Facing them are four former Kage’s that we have never seen before. The Second Mizukage, the Second Tsuchikage, the Second Kazekage and the Third Raikage are all there with Gaara. Darui won’t have a walk in the park however, as there are tons of impure world resurrection powerful ninja facing him as well.

Back at the Shinobi HQ, we get an overview on a battlefield map of where all the major forces are lining up for battle. The divisions are identified and things are really to explode. I have no idea how they are going to be able to depict this in a way that will make sense. Kakashi’s division and the advance recon team aren’t really mentioned but there is one group far away from the main line that is probably them. A battle strategy is laid down and the attack is ready to begin.

The major plotlines outside of the battle formations are that Zetsu has arrived in person – not one of his clones – at the home where the feudal lords are being housed. He may be looking to force surrender by kidnapping the leadership of the countries. In addition we haven’t seen Naruto, Killer Bee, or Sasuke in a while…only three of the main characters for the entire series. Next chapter I suspect we’ll get some battle scenes and people will probably die.


Chapter 434 in Bleach almost seemed like a stall tactic. The entire chapter was Ichigo coming home after two days to say hello with his sisters. Then magically he goes back out to the Xcution clubhouse – for lack of a better word – even though we never saw them contact him. The rest of the chapter consists of banter between the various members of Xcution and then Ichigo getting sucked into a tiny dollhouse to fight a stuffed animal as part of the training to regain his powers. It reminds me a lot of when he was training to regain his Shinigami powers with Urahara in the huge cave after he lost them before.

Looking like typical Bleach, rinse and repeat (it is named after a laundry additive afterall). Nothing new or innovative seems to be happening, and instead of a constantly growing and expanding storyline like Naruto, the formula seems to be:

Ichigo develops new power and there is a problem.
Ichigo fights a bunch of dudes and solves the problem eventually seeming to be on the verge of developing a new power.
Ichigo fights a boss more powerful them him.
Ichigo loses ALL his powers.
Ichigo is the title character so someone trains him and he regains his powers.

There you go…the Bleach formula. Maybe Ichigo should just keep his powers for a change at the end of an arc.