]If you didn't get to type up your reaction to the big happening chapter last week while LJ was wonky, here's your chance.
I enjoyed it---even though I saw Ishida's fall coming and like lots of people here, called most of it--Ginjou's betrayal, the stabbity of Ichigo with Ginjou's Cross of Scaffold, the Ginjou/Tsuki partnership (sexy!), Ishida in his civilian clothes (Ishida fans are wondering if the boy is using a sacred object anymore? There's been no sign of his Quincy cross all this arc) and the utter emotional devastation of Ichigo. The chapter being called "The End of All Bonds" tells me we're near the finish line and we're not going to get a series of numbered chapters like with Deicide. It seems too easy to call that Urahara and Isshin are up next, though. I almost expect something like a live fist to come at me from the pages after this recent horror show.
Speaking as an Ishida fan,(warning: extreme Ishida bias to follow) even though Ishida's appearances in this arc were short and sweet, it thrilled me that it was revealed in this past chapter that Ishida was indeed targeted to spur Ichigo to join Xcution (because as Jackie joked, Ginjou's ramen just wasn't enough XD). Not talking yaoi fantasies here--this is canon manga. It's said that it's usually a female love interest who is attacked in order to get the hero's attention to protect, but if there's one thing this arc has shown it's that Ichigo wants to protect ALL his friends and family. Yeah, Ichigo would've rushed to the hospital for anyone of his friends but it was Ishida who triggered his desire to recover his Shinigami powers and in the end, it was Ishida who was the only one not bookmarked by Tsukishima and who was Ichigo's only true ally.
As a fan of the Karakura gang, I was glad to see them all again--even briefly before they were "taken" from Ichigo, and in true story telling form, the bonds were all given increasing dramatic importance as they dissolved. First, Ichigo's sisters, always less relevant to the plot of Bleach, turned on him, then Ichigo's friends Mizuro Keigo and Tatsuki. Then, in a surprise twist, his new boss Ikumi.
His comrades Orihime and Chad, who had so recently revealed how they'd trained for 17 months to fight by his side, turned next, and then, Ishida's arrival on the scene was singled out and given the kind of ooo-wee tension that makes fangirls like me wiggle in our computer chairs. Kubo's gorgeous irony was at work here again--because Ichigo so trusted his "new" bond with Ginjou, Ichigo didn't trust Ishida. Ishida, the one who had proven himself the Golden Boy of Friendship on the Dome (I could seriously get all choked up if I recount it!
). A whole chapter where you couldn't see Ishida's eyes--his glasses were white reflections like when he first showed up in the manga--so much tension but now with that added history of trust and kizuma.
The white backgrounds, if you notice, came back--Kubo treated the whole encounter with much care (Chad and Inoue had each received some sad exchanges with Ichigo but not so much tension as this!) Then BAM! Down goes another surprise bond--Ginjou! Ishida too! Sliced by Tsukishima!
Damn it, it was so good. I was telling Neha that I felt ashamed that I didn't predict Ginjou having sliced Ishida (that bit about Ginjou having said someone other than Tsukishima must've done it had me suspecting everyone from ShiShi to Yoruichi, lol) but the best part was just being able to say YEY, I TOLD YA SENSEI PLANS SHIT. Screw those WSJ rankings. The Lost Agent Arc is a great one--and Sensei wrote it the way he wanted to and planned it every bit of the way--you got to take it all, doorknob close-ups and donuts and obscure heavy metal album references to get to the final door. Sensei never fails to deliver.
Okay, change of subject. As for the rumor
that because of this year's low WSJ rankings (yes, the reviled donut chapter had Bleach in the bottom 3 again last week), Bleach is being moved to a monthly, Jump Square, I have one word: BULLOCKS. Seriously, no way. Bleach still makes too much money; there's no way the anime could keep up with a monthly manga and the anime is still good business; can you see Sensei writing a monthly with his big ass panels?
No, just no.
Here's something you may find cute. Courtesy of Annie
, a color ad for Saikyou Jump featuring chibi Kon, Ichigo and Rukia in the 4-panel comic called "KomaBuri." I showed you these chibis before. Bleach chibis not drawn by Kubo still scare me a little. XD MOST people think they're cute. Can't wait for the comic, though--( see! )
Oh and the cheesy cheesy Bleach musical keeps on releasing clips. Shows evolve and apparently cheesier changes were made in Osaka. Everyone I know, including hardcore IchiRuki fans, who watched http://rmbleach.com/video4.html
the closing bit of act one where Ichigo clings to Rukia's body as all this fighting (and singing and dancing) go on around him, were frankly embarrassed. Kubo-sensei has tweeted, though, that he can't wait to see the show again. I watched Fashionista in a solo clip this morning--he can really sing nice! http://rmbleach.com/video5.html
I'm looking forward to next week. Now that Ishida's injured and on the ground again I'm weirdly relieved. It's like his bit is done. And Ichigo's been fucked over SO BADLY. Things can only go uphill now for Ichigo... right? <.< Right? ._.