Bleach for Dummies, Vol. 5

bleach-volume5-cover

Right Arm of the Giant

We’re starting to get somewhere folks.  The conceptual groundwork has been laid.  The hero has been created.  The universe filled in.  Nemeses introduced, and now we add the ensemble cast.  Up til now, we’ve had Ichigo the shinigami with only Rukia as confident.  Now things are changing.  Ishida steps up as the ally nemesis (as opposed to the hollow Ichigo’s sworn to kill) and rains down problems all over town.  Ichigo’s friends are forced to dig deep and blossom with riatsu or die.

So the story moves forward, and things start to get interesting by the end of the volume.  More on that in a minute.

35.  Will You Be My Enemy?

The volume opens with the classmates looking at the first term frosh class standings.  We knew Ichigo made the top 50 last time, this time we find out Ishida was number one.  Orihime is number 3.  Really?  Just thought you’d save her from complete stereotypical characterization by making her a scholar, eh, Tite.  F you.  She’s not been any great shakes in the brains department so far, although I will admit that high marks do not equate with actual smarts.  Still, as a smart girl with high marks and big boobs myself…I’m feeling a little patronized…because I’m getting the feeling it’s supposed to be a joke. ggrrrrrrrrrr.

Any excuse to touch her hair, huh?  'Sokay, Tatsuki, I'm sure the guys all know exactly how you feel.

Any excuse to touch her hair, huh? 'Sokay, Tatsuki, I'm sure the guys all know exactly how you feel.

Tatsuki reminds us of her karate prowess and shows herself to be Orihime’s rottweiler again.  Confusion, I’m telling you.  Chad’s on the list higher than Ichigo.  And Uryuu’s name at the top of the list bothers Ichigo…partly because he has no idea his rival is in his class and has been all along.  It’s cool to get a new character, but waving away Ichigo’s ignorance by saying he’s bad with names and faces is a little weak too.

Ishida.  Hell with a silver needle.  Hot shot with a bow.  Probably has pointed ears.

Ishida. Hell with a silver needle. Hot shot with a bow. Probably has pointed ears.

OMG!  Uryuu is a freaking elf!  He’s in crafts with Orihime, and is a regular demon with a needle and thread.  And haughty about it.  Prancing little arrogant ELF.  He’s the kind of elf I like to see trip, or have a really messy sneeze where the snot just sort of explodes all over his fastidiously perfect clothes.  This gets better and better.

Of course he notices when Ichigo follows him home.  Of course he’s known ALL afternoon.  Of course, he’s going to be a prick, it’s what those perfectly perfect elfin bow masters do.  He challenges Ichigo to a game, and you know it isnt’ going to be anything harmless like dominoes or go.  This is going to be a dick’s challenge.

36.  They Died for Vengeance

Urahara smokes and pulls the strings...I'm starting to see why he works for loves...this pic is for her.

Urahara smokes and pulls the strings...I'm starting to see why he works for loves...this pic is for her.

Comic relief from those weird kids that tag along after Urahara, and I’m reminded of Wednesday and Pugsley Addams.  Something creepy about those kids, and the boy is called Mr. Jinta, and I think their Ro Sham Bo consequence has to do with magic.  Hmmm…shinigami trainees?

Rukia talks to Urahara about Quincy Archer and finds out the Archers (Ishidas) are a clan of hollow destroyers.  They hunt hollows, but prefer to annihilate rather than cleanse.  That’s why they don’t see eye to eye with the shinigami.  Oh, and they’ve apparently gone missing for the last 200 years.

Ichigo and Uryuu do the normal trash talk in the school yard thing.  They stop short of actually saying your dad can beat up my dad, but we have the same testosterone induced poisoning.

37.  Crossing the Rubicon

Ishida with his bow, Ichigo with his bigass sword...crap, we're looking at Legalas and Gimli here, aren't we?!  Remember, if those two can end up friends...

Ishida with his bow, Ichigo with his bigass sword...crap, we're looking at Legalas and Gimli here, aren't we?! Remember, if those two can end up friends...

Ishida drops the hollow bait and the game begins.  Tatsuki is distressed about some things, including this strange new ability to see ghosts.  She and Orihime have talked about it.  A disturbance pulls them toward a big noise at the school.  Ichigo is busy taking down hollows as fast as he can and sends Kon off (in his own body) to find Rukia and her phone thing so he can track them down faster.  The end of the chapter shows his sister, Karin, Chad, Urahara and Kanonji all looking just as distracted at Orihime. 

38.  BENT

Now that's a helluva spring storm...I've heard of raining frogs but this is ridiculous!

Now that's a helluva spring storm...I've heard of raining frogs, fish, blue water even, but this is ridiculous!

Rukia’s Nokia starts going nuts and Urahara just sits there.  Chad gets involved with a hollow he can barely see, and runs into Karin at the soccer field.  He works hard to protect her from the hollow’s attack.

39.  Right Arm of the Giant

Order now and you could have this fabulous arm for only three payments of 59.95...it's a wrench, a bottle opener, a boot jack...and it comes with a nifty racing stripe.

Order now and you could have this fabulous arm for only three payments of 59.95...it's a wrench, a bottle opener, a boot jack...and it comes with a nifty racing stripe.

Karin and Chad tagteam the hollow.  She can see it clearly and he has the brawn to get the job done.  Karin’s obnoxious little playmates are completely clueless knobs.  Chad has a flashback about his Abuelo telling him to use his fists to protect not to harm.  The gentle giant reaches right down deep…and grows a wrench for a right arm.  WOOT!  That’s craftsman right there, and when he starts to swing that hammer, you best believe something will be going down.

40.  Grow?

Thumbs up, lights out...and I'm loving Tite's sort of deadpan humor.  SO ridiculous I'm giggling, and I know half the fans don't think its funny, but day-um that can only be satire.

Thumbs up, lights out...and I'm loving Tite's sort of deadpan humor. SO ridiculous I'm giggling, and I know half the fans don't think its funny, but day-um that can only be satire.

Chad battles the hollow, more flashbacks and character development…about learning to be kind.  Gooshy, sweet…marshmallowy goodness…somebody get me a graham cracker and a bar of really dark chocolate, cuz I needs to make a s’more.  Karin watches as he drops the hollow, without her visual guidance, and then drops himself like a ton of bricks. 

Somehow, the possibility of that many breasts in one place makes the lack of ridiculously large zanpakuto (heh) a...very natural thing.

Somehow, the possibility of that many breasts in one place makes the lack of ridiculously large zanpakuto (heh) a...very natural thing.

Tatsuki and Chizuru (finally learned the name of the little yuuri girl who keeps making openly suggestive remarks to the other gals…I guess with the way she talks, the use of her name would have been lost on most of the guys) are cleaning up the broken glass at the school.  Orihime comes in looking nervous and tries to herd them out of there, because she can see a gruesome tentacled freek of a hollow on the roof.

41.  Princess & Dragon

Hello Orihime.  Hello Kitteh.  Will hello kitteh hollow lay a tentacle on the princess?  Heh...tentacles.  Fear them.  ^.^

Hello Orihime. Hello Kitteh. Will hello kitteh hollow lay a tentacle on the princess? Heh...tentacles. Fear them. ^.^

Chizuru starts flirting with Orihime and Tatsuki gets a little snarky.  Hmm…really? And Orihime tries to save them both.  I loved that the hollow looked like a cross between a pokemon and octopus and something from Hello Kitty (hearts for eyes…FTW!).  Chizuru goes down and gets ‘seeded’ by the pokemon hollow, who possesses her.  Tatsuki steps up, talking like Orihime’s champion.

42.  Princess & Dragon Part 2:  The Majestic

Fairy princess gets fierce.  RAWRRRR.  It's still tongue in cheek, but I'm feeling better about it now.

Fairy princess gets fierce. RAWRRRR. It's still tongue in cheek, but I'm feeling better about it now.

Things look bad for the girls, and Tatsuki gets possessed as well.  Orihime has a flashback about her brother and those stupid hair pins she always wears.  Heh heh heh…what did I say about that?  Her self-esteem is wrapped up in her hair, and there is an interesting flashback about that.  Her brother always complimented her about it, but one day someone said they didn’t like it…so she cut it all off.  Then her brother died, and we all know about the hair pins…right?  Sit up and pay attention, because all that heavy symbolism from way back ago is about to pay off.  Tatsuki’s friendship and loyalty (dare I say…love?) gave Orihime the confidence to grow her hair back, so she decides to protect her friend now.

43.  Princess & Dragon Part 3:  Six Flowers

Hairy Fairy hair pins...don't mess with a princess's grooming kit...it could be your last move.  And you'll lose your turn in the bathroom.  For eternity.

Hairy Fairy hair pins...don't mess with a princess's grooming kit...it could be your last move. And you'll lose your turn in the bathroom. For eternity.

Little birdlike things, seed pods?, start flying around Orihime.  Oh!!!!  Fairies!  Now, mebbe I have a sick and twisted sense of humor but the tongue in cheekiness of this whole little arclet (Orihime’s ‘change’) has now layered on so thick that I’m starting to laugh out loud.  I do apologize to anyone else who reads this bit of the story at face value, but really, these are all wonderfully girly jokes…my guess is Tite has a sister or nieces or a little girl in his life.  This stuff was teh funneh.

And of course the fairies are irreverent as hell…at least one of them.  There are six of them, of course, three from each hair clip.  She demonstrates three different powers, and the fairies team up to make them happen:  santen ketsuhun (three god shield of Lily, Baigon and Hinagiku) provides defense in front, soten kishun (twin god reflection shield of Shuno and Ayame) reverse damage behind the shield and koten zanshun (lone god slicing shield by Tsubaki the smartass fairy) provides offensive attack.  The bleedin’ little fairies kick some serious hollow butt and Orihime falls down.

OH F!CK!  Sir...do I have to carry another one?  I mean, those boobs alone must weigh a ton!

OH F!CK! Sir...do I have to carry another one? I mean, those boobs alone must weigh a ton!

The volume ends with Urahara and his butler (carrying the collapsed Chad) coming to gather up Orihime as well.  Trickster god…yummeh.

From here on out I’ll be covering several volumes in a post, just to keep things moving along…plus I’m anxious to get truly caught up and join the fun on the Bleach page.  The manga is starting to build some momentum, there is some serious exposition just around the corner, but the conflict and changes are tense enough that it’s a much smoother read.  For those of you who haven’t started the manga, I will tell you that my reviews to this point might get you up to speed enought to jump in around chapter 39 when things start to take off and get some decent pacing.

Looking forward to writing up the next few volumes; hope to see you then.

Ja mata,

-Ibi

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~ by 千手 鼾弟子 Ibiki Teishi on February 2, 2009.

13 Responses to “Bleach for Dummies, Vol. 5”

  1. kool nice recap

  2. 2nd!!!!!!

  3. yay!!!! now i got to go back and read volumes 1-4…. i got to get caught up on bleach ehh???

  4. LOL – smokin’ and pullin’ the strings – thanks for the pic Ibiki but you left out the scruffiness/stubble.

  5. 4th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! although i dont read bleach but gonna start soon

  6. LMFAO…Ishida’s an Elf, LOL!!! 😄 You couldn’t have said it better he has the arrogant attitude and marksmanship of one… 😉

    Great recap Ibiki! Can’t wait for everyone to catch up and especially can’t wait for you’ll to get to Soul Society! All the actions happens there…

  7. @Reflex and kakarocks: I just did most of the work for you. Bleach is hard to start, so if you go back and read my reviews, you’ll get most of the set up without have to slog throught the volumes of slow build. Volume 9 (chapter 71) is where things really start to take off…and we get to the spot that everyone has been telling me “stuff gets good.” So, hang with my reviews through then as a short cut. After that, race you to the end, k?

    @loves: *smirk* I’ll never forget the scruff again. 😀

    @supertrek: getting there…only 30 or so chappies to write up until then…*sigh*

  8. Xth Soul Society is like the breaking point, no considering what happens starting point, anyway once past there everything flows a little more.

  9. Thanks Ibiki once again you have touched on things that I have not even considered when reading it. Giving me new insight into the characters that I didn’t have before.

  10. @Ibiki, I thought the start was a bit of a tortuos grindfest, wasn’t really sure what the main thrust of the story was going to be! You’ve made it far more enjoyable than it might have been tho, and in the last couple of days I’ve taken the liberty of racing well ahead, and I gotta say, it’s all awesomeness from here on in! 🙂 thanks again

  11. @ Ibiki – great job as usual. I always enjoy the perspective of others when it comes to manga/anime.

    @ everyone else: So, uhm… did they say why he has a “giant right arm” ? Too much of that will leave him raw…

  12. …or a bit hairy on the palms…or blind…lol

    I’m wondering if he ever gets excited about anything. Boy, when he does, it’s gonna be something big.

  13. do these again please

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