Bleach Chapter 455 – Lamenting Circumstances

Bleach Chapter 455 - Guess who needs a hand? Coloured by Wish-man (http://wish-man.deviantart.com)

Tsukishima, guess he really was unarmed...

Oh Ichigo, its amusing watching your roller coaster of reactions, from completely terrified to strangely terrifying – he is ready to kill a human!! And unlike in his Shinigami form where he is actually cleansing (aka Bleaching) the soul of Hollow (doesn’t seem like that to me when the Gotei 13 slash away at their enemies with smirks on their faces – so much for liberating the corrupted), here he has a real sword, that really cuts the flesh and bone, that does real damage, and that really does kill. Walking the road of killer requires more thought than what Ichigo is putting in, especially since he is only a teenager (17)!!

Bleach Chapter 455 - Welcome Home!

Got to applaud Tsukishima for being able to have such a scene unfold in front of Ichigo - a creepy scene indeed...

I still don’t get why Ichigo is 100% behind killing Tsukishima – Ichigo isn’t even 100% sure what is going on, let alone knowing what is actually happening. I get Ichigo’s friends and family are [seemingly] being manipulated by Tsukishima, but none of them have been harmed yet and Ichigo doesn’t even know Tsukishima’s intentions yet – yeah kill first, ask questions later (a shame he’ll be dead and unable to give answers than…). It seems to me that just because Kuugo told him that Tsukishima is the “bad guy” (along with some supporting evidence of his friends and family [seemingly] being manipulated), Ichigo is content to stand behind the thought that Tsukishima is the “bad guy” or as Ichigo puts it, the “arrogant son of a bitch” (or whatever the Japanese translation of this translate to O.o). If Tsukishima’s intentions were revealed and it was shown that he is in fact 100% a villain, than I would be more willing to understand Ichigo’s choice to kill him, but as they stand, Ichigo doesn’t even know what Tsukishima wants…

Was funny seeing Ichigo try to be smart – not wanting to go inside the mansion because of fear of traps – but failing completely when Tsukishima points out he could have laid traps in the forest Ichigo came through – oh snap! =P.

Bleach Chapter 455 - Aplogise!

"APOLOGISE!!" Hahah amusing watching the psyche of Ichigo crack until he finally snaps

Even more amusing seeing Ichigo get boxed in a corner he doesn’t like when his friends and family excitedly greet him (creepy) and pressure him in apologising to Tsukishima – hahah, Kubo did a good job exposing the cracks as they formed until Ichigo finally snapped and concluded on the thought of killing Tsukishima. While there are other options available to Ichigo besides killing (talk to Kisuke or his father or the Vizards), in Ichigo’s eyes, the only option he can see is killing Tsukishima – I wonder how it will affect him when he kills Tsukshima and his family and friends are still the same…

Bleach Chapter 455 - Tsukishima is relieved

Hmmmmm, what they said sounds really strange to me...

Curious as to what Kutsuzawa meant when he said “it appears that he’s fine and healthy” and what Tsukishima meant when he said “it’s almost as if he’s got too much energy. I’m relieved as well.” It seemed to me at the time that they expected Ichigo to be more “drained”, which makes me wonder why and whether they expected Kuugo to “drain” his energy. Or on the flip side, Tsukishima could have been getting at that Ichigo had more power than he should – Kuugo gave him some?

Bleach Chapter 455 - Kuugo provoking Ichigo

Ichigo really is Kuugo's "dog", when Kuugo says jump, Ichigo jumps, when Ichigo is told to bark, he barks...

Whatever they meant, Kuugo’s timing was once again too convenient – just when Tsukishima was about to reveal some information potentially relevant to the arc story. Plus the “there’s no need to hold back! Go all out!! Ichigo!!” statement made it seem that Kuugo doesn’t care about his comrades anymore (they could really get killed, especially if they are under Tsukishima’s “manipulation” as Kuugo believes). Also I don’t get why Kuugo isn’t under Tsukishima’s “Book of the End” effect – Tsukishima did cut him before during their previous fight…are there limits to Tsukishima’s Fullbring power?).

Bleach Chapter 455 - Ichigo's decision

Oh, that was a cool line by Ichigo, but isn't he out of character? He doesn't even know what Tsukishima did to his family and friends, let alone what Tsukishima wants

Ichigo taking the initiative to protect his family and friends (or so he thinks) is cool, but it’s sad he is not even giving Tsukishima the opportunity to explain himself. It almost seems like this scenario is being forced in order to avoid Ichigo and Tsukishima talking – yeah I’m still riding the possibility that Tsukishima isn’t the bad guy this arc. The reason being is because I want to believe that this arcs plot isn’t as straight forward as Kubo is making it out to be – Tsukishima manipulating his friends and family to an extent with his Fullbring and Ichigo killing him and releasing his “Book of the End” effect. There has to be something more going on, right? Maybe when we see more of Kisuke and Isshin, we’ll get to find out what…hopefully…

Bleach Chapter 455 - Orihime and Sado - coloured by benderZz (http://benderzz.deviantart.com)

Well now, haven't things got a whole lot interesting...

Orihime and Sado, well that was interesting and cool. Even if Tsukshima can insert his “presence” inside those two and cause himself to be “deeply entrenched” in their personal lives, he can’t make them forget about what Ichigo has done for the past 400+ chapters – unless his has a completely different ability than what Kuugo “assumed”. If they still remember Ichigo and what he has done for Rukia and Orihime and others, than it comes down to who of the two is more “deeply entrenched” in each of their memories…and I seriously don’t see Tsukishima’s ability overpowering the experiences Ichigo, Rukia, Orihime, Sado and Uryuu shared when they went to Soul Society and Hueco Mundo – I doubt Tsukishima even knows about this, and for crying out loud, Orihime is completely and utterly in love with Ichigo!!  Sado and Orihime trained these past 17 months, pushing themselves, forcing themselves past their limits to new limits and beyond that with the goal of helping Ichigo and not falling behind when he regains his powers (they knew he would, that’s how well they know him). I don’t see them so easily forgetting about that and being ripped away from the reasons and resolve they had merely with just Tsukishima inserting his presence in their memories.

Bleach Chapter 455 - Ichigo - coloured by AR-UA (http://ar-ua.deviantart.com)

Ichigo's not happy, seriously not happy...

Other than Tsukishima having a different ability (or a more expansive one) than what Kuugo explained, the only way I can rationalise this is that Ichigo is looking at things in totally the opposite way. Ichigo thinks he is right, and this is based on what? Ichigo believing everyone else (those “affected” by Tsukishima) are “wrong”. How does he know that he isn’t the one who is “wrong”, how does he know that he isn’t the one being “manipulated” by someone or by some “supernatural” event? An event/effect caused by the shifting of Karakura Town to Soul Society and back to Earth, where residual reiatsu from Soul Society messed with the balance of normality in the human reality? (Yeah I realise I’m stretching with my theories). Maybe it’s because I just can’t see Tsukishima’s presence overwhelming Ichigo’s presence in Orihime and Sado’s memories, but I think that it is in fact Ichigo the one who is strange and Orihime and Sado are protecting Tsukishima because he is the one able to remedy this (his sword can cut anything, so why not cut the effect afflicting Ichigo and the others?). Given a choice between Ichigo, Orihime, and Sado, I would say Ichigo is most easily (by far) manipulated person out of the three – Ichigo’s mind is seriously fragile (his current state in this arc conveys this painfully). As for why Tsukishima doesn’t reveal the “truth” – I will pose the question, what good would it do an insane man if he told all the “sane” people they were insane?

At the very least, I don’t get why Orihime and Sado would fight with Ichigo. Going with Kuugo’s hypothesis of Tsukishima’s Fullbring ability, Tsukshima isn’t able to remove memories in a person only insert his “presence” – Tsukishima’s ability isn’t mind control. So for Orihime and Sado both Ichigo and Tsukishima would be important people in their eyes, and unlike what they appear now, they would be more conflicted in fighting either of them…unless Kuugo’s hypothesis is significantly wrong…I smell something really funny and suspicious here…

Well maybe Kubo doesn’t believe the memories of Ichigo to be so “deeply entrenched” in Orihime and Sado, causing them to now favour Tsukishima – I will find this ridiculous if it is true.

Anyway exciting chapter – enjoyed how the “madness” was conveyed in this chapter. This arc is enjoyable, but Ichigo being an emotional wreck most of the arc and the slow pacing of it is robbing the quality this arc is bringing with its intriguing story and mysterious yet vague developments. Looking forward to the next chapter and seeing whether Orihime and Sado really fight Ichigo.

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